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NeoMcCartyism as a smoke screen to hide the crisis of neoliberalism

Election of Trump is the sign of crisis of neoliberal ideology and decadence of US elite; warmongering neocon Hillary was the establishment candidate that was rejected by votes and which represented a grave threat to the US national security. War hysteria unleashed is an attempt to put a smoke screen of Hillary fiasco and preserve Democratic Party establishment from purges, as well as a sure way to renew hostile to each other social groups cooperation and patch cracks

A case study of state-fuelled paranoia designed to provide a smoke screen over crisis of neoliberalism in the USA which led to Trump victory. Samuel Johnson saying  "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel" can be modified to "McCarthyism is the last refuge of Washington neocon scoundrels"

News Pathological Russophobia of the US elite Recommended Links Russiagate -- a color revolution against Trump Steele dossier Fake tale about Smolenkov as "Kremlin spy" who provided info for Steele dossier Marina Butina case as classic neo-McCarthyism witch hunt DNC and Podesta emails leak: blaming Vladimir Putin Putin-did-it meme
Coordinated set of leaks as a color revolution tool Neoliberal war on reality or the importance of controlling the narrative US and British media are servants of security apparatus Media as a weapon of mass deception MSM as fake news industry Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak Anti Trump Hysteria in MSM Do the US intelligence agencies attempt to influence the US Presidential elections? Neoliberal Brainwashing -- Journalism in the Service of the Powerful Few
Internet research agency story as fiasco of Russiagate Mueller invokes ghosts of GRU operatives to help his and Brennan case The problem of control of intelligence services in democratic societies How FBI swiped under the carpet Hillary Clinton email scandal Trump vs. Deep State Special Prosecutor Mueller and his fishing expedition Amorality and criminality of neoliberal elite MSM as an attack dogs of color revolution  Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners"
Wiretaps of Trump and his associates during Presidential elections Color revolutions "Seventeen agencies" memo about Russian influence on elections Conspiracy theory label as a subtle form of censorship Brennan elections machinations Appointment of a Special Prosecutor gambit Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair Two Party System as polyarchy Frustrated underachievers
Conversion of Democratic Party into War Party and Hillary Clinton policy toward Russia History of American False Flag Operations Media-Military-Industrial Complex Neoconservatism New American Militarism FBI Mayberry Machiavellians PeterStrzok and Strzok-gate Andrew McCabe James Comey role in preventing election of Sanders
Nation under attack meme National Security State Fake news hysteria in US MSM as a method of suppressing dissent against neoliberalism and militarism            
Machiavellism Mayberry Machiavellians Neocons Credibility Scam Doublespeak Leo Straus as the godfather of neocons Demonization of Putin Cold War II Predator state Elite [Dominance] Theory And the Revolt of the Elite
Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA The Deep State The Iron Law of Oligarchy Diplomacy by deception Obama: a yet another Neocon Militarism and reckless jingoism of the US neoliberal elite Skeptic Quotations Politically Incorrect Humor Hypocrisy and Pseudo-democracy

Due to the size the introductory article was  moved to NeoMcCartyism an introduction

===Sample ==

Russiagate is McCarthyism-style witch hunt that strives to achieve three main goals:

  1. Block any attempts of rapprochement and detente with Russia and preserve of, better, increase military budget. Detente contradicts that goals (and  wellbeing) of MIC, defense contractors,  and intelligence agencies as well as their lobbyists in Congress and MSM (Chris Hedges: The Demonization of Russia is Driven by Defense Contractors)
  2. Absolve the leadership of Democratic Party of Hillary Clinton fiasco and ensure that there will be no purges of discredited leadership.
  3. To patch cracks in the USA neoliberal society and to renew support of some social groups of Democratic Party. Or at least stem "Demexit"

While there might be better labels, we will call this new Anti-Russian hysteria neo-McCarthyism, because it is pretty diligent replication of "Red Scare" (which BTW lasted a decade)  in which Communist agents are replaced with "Russian agents" who are everywhere.  Marina Butina case is a textbook example here

This new McCarthyism-style campaign against Russia also reflects the depth of the crisis of neoliberalism in the USA.  A strong and confident ruling class welcomes criticism and is ready to brush it all off with a smile and a shrug.

This new McCarthyism-style campaign against Russia also reflects the depth of the crisis of neoliberalism in the USA.  A strong and confident ruling class welcomes criticism and is ready to brush it all off with a smile and a shrug. 

When they start pretending that the growing level of dissent is the work of "foreign enemies", well, this is an important sign of decadence/degeneration of the US elite as well as profound weakness of neoliberal ideology. The latter was discredited in 2008 and since then neoliberalism became a zombie. Bloodthirsty, but still zombie.  Latest counterrevolutions in Argentina and Brazil which brought back neoliberals into power should not hide the fact that the  time for Triumph March of neoliberalism over the globe is over. It is in retreat and is endangered in some countries.  Like Soviet Empire in 70th the US global neoliberal empire experience stress and might soon start to crumble (if oil prices go up above $100 then sooner, rather then later). Trump "might makes right" foreign policy just speed up the inevitable process, at the base of which are "secular stagnation" in the USA due to high oil prices and excesses of financialization, which weakened the country manufacturing base, while the competitors such  as Germany, Japan, and China now completely recovered from the post WWII destruction  and  now represent a real threat to the USA manufacturing having a more modern and more efficient manufacturing base.

Looking at the Integrity Initiative it's clear that UK was the key player in Russiagate, promoting information warfare with Russia at all levels - academia, the media, on down to the subsidized web sites and the individuals who are paid to insert comments on social media. The latter is now regarded in England as an integral part of Intelligence work.  Britain strived to stem Russian influence in Europe and block any possibility of the alliance of Germany and Russia or France and Russia for centuries. So, in a way, nothing changed.

That's why British intelligence services (working with the US intelligence services, which promote the US MIC interests that include creating anti-Russian hysteria) played important role in several recent false flag operations. Such as Steele dossier, Papadopoulos entrapmentNatalia Veselnitskaya meeting with Trump Jr. All of those false flags were designed to poison the US-Russia and EU-Russia relationships and block the possibilities of any detente.  And only as a side effect to entrap Trump.  I suspect Trump was never the primary goal as Mueller was appointed in May 2017, while Trump completely folded in April 2017. So creating the atmosphere of anti-Russian hysteria was probably the primary goal and instigation of Trump only secondary goal

They fully accomplished this goal. The level of anti-Russian hysteria in the USA now reached such height that merely passing the salt to a Russian guest at a dinner party makes you "an unregistered foreign agent" of Russia bent on implementing Putin's evil plans.

At the same time Mueller investigation exposed the MI6 and UK government attempts to manipulate the result of the 2016 US Presidential elections (the fact the Mueller tried to conceal in his disingenuous report).

The pillars of the USA "Deep State" such  as CIA, FBI and the Department of State are interested in enlargement of the military budget. And that requires elevated level of anti-Russian hysteria. Nothing personal, only business. That's why they tried to entrap Trump associates such as Papadopoulos  implicating them with ties to Russia. Simply because the détente with Russia contradicts their interests,  which they are ready to defend tooth and nail.  So any change in the USA foreign policy that threaten their budgets and influence is naturally defined as a treason, which we saw in the rhetoric of Brennan and Clapper (who more intellectually limited, but overambitious and ruthless  representatives of the upper echelons of the US intelligence community)  That's why on Russiagate all neoliberal MSM sing in unison, using intelligence agencies talking points. The  result is almost complete brainwashing which was can observe even among academic blogs such as  Angry Bear.  Relations with Russia are probably now spoiled for a generation or more.

The supporting factor is that ordinary people in the USA (who are busy with their lives and most of which struggle just to survive economically) have no time to decipher all those complex games. Most buy neoliberal MSM coverage uncritically. While neoliberal MSM lie and deceive the US public as if there is a war with Russia. Using all tried and true principles of war propaganda (10 principles of war propaganda):

  1. We don't want war, we are only defending ourselves
  2. The other guy is the sole responsible for this war
  3. Our adversary's leader is evil and looks evil
  4. We are defending a noble purpose, not special interest
  5. The enemy is purposefully causing atrocities; we only commit mistakes
  6. The enemy is using unlawful weapons
  7. We have very little losses, the enemy is losing big
  8. Intellectuals and artists support our cause
  9. Our cause is sacred
  10. Those who doubt our propaganda are traitors.

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[Nov 09, 2019] The Media's Obsession With Personalities Consortiumnews

Notable quotes:
"... Earlier in Stone's legal process his lawyers filed a motion to try to prove that Russia did not hack the DNC and Podesta emails. The motion revealed that CrowdStrike, the cybersecurity firm hired by the DNC and Clinton campaign, never completed its report, and only gave a redacted draft to the FBI blaming Russia. The FBI was never allowed to examine the DNC server itself. ..."
"... Faced now with a criminal investigation into how the Russiagate conspiracy theory originated intelligence officers and their accomplices in the media and in the Democratic Party are mounting a defense by launching an offensive in the form of impeachment proceedings against Trump that is based on an allegation of conducting routine, corrupt U.S. foreign policy. ..."
"... Consortium News ..."
Nov 09, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

Earlier in Stone's legal process his lawyers filed a motion to try to prove that Russia did not hack the DNC and Podesta emails. The motion revealed that CrowdStrike, the cybersecurity firm hired by the DNC and Clinton campaign, never completed its report, and only gave a redacted draft to the FBI blaming Russia. The FBI was never allowed to examine the DNC server itself.

In the end, though, it doesn't matter if it were a hack or a leak by an insider. That's because the emails WikiLeaks released were accurate. When documents check out it is irrelevant who the source is. That's why WikiLeaks set up an anonymous drop box, copied by big media like The Wall Street Journal and others . Had the emails been counterfeit and disinformation was inserted into a U.S. election by a foreign power that would be sabotage. But that is not what happened.

The attempt to stir up the thoroughly discredited charge of collusion appears to be part of the defense strategy of those whose reputations were thoroughly discredited by maniacally pushing that false charge for more than two years. This includes legions of journalists. But principal among them are intelligence agency officials who laundered this "collusion" disinformation campaign through the mainstream media.

Faced now with a criminal investigation into how the Russiagate conspiracy theory originated intelligence officers and their accomplices in the media and in the Democratic Party are mounting a defense by launching an offensive in the form of impeachment proceedings against Trump that is based on an allegation of conducting routine, corrupt U.S. foreign policy.

Stone may be just a footnote to this historic partisan battle that may scar the nation for a generation. But he has the personality to be the poster boy for the Democrats' lost cause.

Joe Lauria is editor-in-chief of Consortium News and a former correspondent for T he Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe , Sunday Times of London and numerous other newspapers. He can be reached at joelauria@consortiumnews.com and followed on Twitter @unjoe .

[Nov 09, 2019] They're gettin' the old gang back together

Nov 09, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

lotlizard on Fri, 11/08/2019 - 1:12am

@on the cusp
Debbie Wasserman Schultz could come roaring back as House Appropriations Committee chair.

https://www.miamiherald.com/news/politics-government/article236811358.html

[Nov 08, 2019] Scapegoating as the major neoliberal propaganda tool

Nov 08, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

Orange Watch 11.07.19 at 5:11 pm 71

Donald@63 :

The tendency to scapegoat rather than make the case for one's own merit is very deeply ingrained in our top-down liberal democratic systems; the Democratic establishment is unfortunately just getting back to core principles by shifting almost exclusively to this mode of discourse over the past decade. From Guy Debord's 1988 Commentaries on the Society of the Spectacle :

This perfect democracy creates for itself its own inconceivable enemy, terrorism. In effect, it wants to be judged by its enemies moreso than by its results. The history of terrorism is written by the State; it is therefore instructive. The spectator populations certainly cannot know everything about terrorism, but they can always know enough to be persuaded that compared to terrorism, anything else must seem to be more or less acceptable, and in any case more rational and democratic.

[Nov 08, 2019] Inconvenient Truths by Stephen F. Cohen

Notable quotes:
"... The Democratic establishment is deeply and widely imbued with rancid Russophobic attitudes. Most telling was (and remains) a core "Russiagate" allegation that "Russia attacked American democracy during the 2016 presidential election" on Trump's behalf -- an "attack" so nefarious it has often been equated with Pearl Harbor. ..."
"... We have also learned that the heads of America's intelligence agencies under President Obama, especially John Brennan of the CIA and James Clapper, director of National Intelligence, felt themselves entitled to try to undermine an American presidential candidacy and subsequent presidency, that of Donald Trump. ..."
"... We also learned that, contrary to Democratic dogma, the mainstream "free press" cannot be fully trusted to readily expose such abuses of power. ..."
"... Opponents of Barr's investigation into the origins of Russiagate say it is impermissible or unprecedented to "investigate the investigators." But the bipartisan Church Committee, based in the US Senate, did so in the mid-1970s. It exposed many abuses by US intelligence agencies, particularly by the CIA, and adopted remedies that it believed would be permanent. Clearly, they have not been. ..."
"... However well-intentioned Barr may be, he is Trump's attorney general and therefore not fully credible. As I have also argued repeatedly, a new Church Committee is urgently needed. It's time for honorable members of the Senate of both parties to do their duty. ..."
Nov 08, 2019 | www.unz.com

Almost daily for three years, Democrats and their media have told us very bad things about Donald Trump's life, character, and presidency. Some of them are true. But in the process, we have also learned some lamentable, even alarming, things about the Democratic Party establishment, including self-professed liberals. Consider the following:

The Democratic establishment is deeply and widely imbued with rancid Russophobic attitudes. Most telling was (and remains) a core "Russiagate" allegation that "Russia attacked American democracy during the 2016 presidential election" on Trump's behalf -- an "attack" so nefarious it has often been equated with Pearl Harbor. But there was no "attack" in 2016, only, as I have previously explained , ritualistic "meddling" of the kind that both Russia and America have undertaken in the other's elections for decades. Little can be more phobic than the allegation or belief that one has been "attacked by a hostile" entity. And yet this myth and its false narrative persist in the Democratic Party's discourse, campaigning, and fund-raising. We have also learned that the heads of America's intelligence agencies under President Obama, especially John Brennan of the CIA and James Clapper, director of National Intelligence, felt themselves entitled to try to undermine an American presidential candidacy and subsequent presidency, that of Donald Trump. Early on, I termed this operation " Intelgate ," and it has since been well documented by other writers, including Lee Smith in his new book . Intel officials did so in tacit alliance with certain leading, and equally Russophobic, members of the Democratic Party, which had once opposed such transgressions. This may be the most alarming revelation of the Trump years: Trump will leave power, but these self-aggrandizing intelligence agencies will remain. We also learned that, contrary to Democratic dogma, the mainstream "free press" cannot be fully trusted to readily expose such abuses of power. Indeed, what the mainstream media -- leading national newspapers and two cable news networks, in particular -- chose to cover and report, and chose not to cover and report, made the abuses and consequences of Russiagate allegations possible. Even now, exceedingly influential publications such as The New York Times seem eager to delegitimize the investigation by Attorney General William Barr and his appointed special investigator John Durham into the origins of Russiagate. Barr's critics accuse him of fabricating a "conspiracy theory" on behalf of Trump. But the real, or grandest, conspiracy theory was the Russiagate allegation of "collusion" between Trump and the Kremlin, an accusation that was -- or should have been -- discredited by the Robert Mueller report. And we have learned, or should have learned, that for all the talk by Democrats about Trump as a danger to US national security, it is their Russiagate allegations that truly endanger it. Consider two examples. Russia's new "hyper-sonic" missiles, which can elude US missile-defense systems, make new nuclear arms negotiations with Moscow imperative and urgent. If only for the sake of his legacy, Trump is likely to want to do so. But even if he is able to, will Trump be entrusted enough to conduct negotiations as successfully as did his predecessors in the White House, given the "Putin puppet" and "Kremlin stooge" accusations still being directed at him? Similarly, as I have asked repeatedly, if confronted with a US-Russian Cuban missile–like crisis -- anywhere Washington and Moscow are currently eyeball-to-eyeball militarily, from the Baltic region and Ukraine to Syria -- will Trump be as free politically as was President John F. Kennedy to resolve it without war? Here too there is an inconvenient truth: To the extent that Democrats any longer seriously discuss national security in the context of US-Russian relations, it mostly involves vilifying both Trump and Russian leader Vladimir Putin. (Recall also that previous presidents were free to negotiate with Russia's Soviet communist leaders, even encouraged to do so, whereas the demonized Putin is an anti-communist, post-Soviet leader.)

The current state of US-Russian relations is unprecedentedly dangerous, not only due to reasons cited here -- a new Cold War fraught with the possibility of hot war. Whether President Trump serves one or two terms, he must be fully empowered to cope with the multiple possibilities of a US-Russian military confrontation. That requires ridding him and our nation of Russiagate allegations -- and that in turn requires learning how such allegations originated.

Opponents of Barr's investigation into the origins of Russiagate say it is impermissible or unprecedented to "investigate the investigators." But the bipartisan Church Committee, based in the US Senate, did so in the mid-1970s. It exposed many abuses by US intelligence agencies, particularly by the CIA, and adopted remedies that it believed would be permanent. Clearly, they have not been.

However well-intentioned Barr may be, he is Trump's attorney general and therefore not fully credible. As I have also argued repeatedly, a new Church Committee is urgently needed. It's time for honorable members of the Senate of both parties to do their duty.

[Nov 08, 2019] Unfree Media State Stenography and Shameful Silence Dissident Voice

Nov 08, 2019 | dissidentvoice.org

Unfree Media: State Stenography and Shameful Silence

by Media Lens / November 7th, 2019

A recent viral clip of Jeremy Corbyn featured vital truths about the corporate media that ought to be at the forefront of public consciousness in the approach to the UK General Election on December 12. The clip began:

A free press is essential to our democracy. But much of our press isn't very free at all.

Corbyn continued:

Just three companies control 71 per cent of national newspaper circulation and five companies control 81 per cent of local newspaper circulation.

This unhealthy sway of a few corporations and billionaires shapes and skews the priorities and worldview of powerful sections of the media.

And it doesn't stop with the newspapers, on and offline. Print too often sets the broadcast agenda, even though it is wedded so firmly to the Tories politically and to corporate interests more generally.

Corbyn's words were not from a recent speech. They were actually delivered as part of his Alternative Mactaggart Lecture at the Edinburgh TV Festival in August 2018. But they remain as relevant as ever; hence being picked up anew by ' Tory Fibs ', a grassroots socialist Twitter account.

Corbyn shone a spotlight on the BBC:

The BBC should be freed of government control, democratised and made representative of the country it serves to help it do that.

The BBC is meant to be independent, but its charter grants governments the power to appoint the chair and four directors of the board and set the level of the licence fee.

As regular readers will be well aware, Media Lens has long highlighted the BBC's lack of independence and, more particularly, the insidious role of BBC News in protecting the establishment, promoting deference to the royal family and class system, as well as deflecting scrutiny of state and corporate crimes.

Corbyn concluded on the state of the media today:

We need to set journalists and citizens free to hold power to account, by breaking the grip of tech giants and billionaires on our media.

All this is arguably never more evident than when a General Election is looming. Right now, established power is fighting tooth and nail to maintain its control on society. Corporate media, including gatekeepers like the BBC and the Guardian – 'thus far and no farther', in the words of Noam Chomsky – play a central role in maintaining the destructive status quo.

Filtering Facts

The state-corporate management and manipulation of 'the news' relies on a subtle filtering process whereby leading journalists select – consciously or otherwise – which facts are 'fit' to be reported, and which can or should be ignored.

Consider an item on BBC News at Ten last Thursday when political editor Laura Kuenssberg reported Boris Johnson's visit to Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge. She presented the Prime Minister in a favourable light, having amiable encounters with people in Addenbrooke's. What the BBC did not show were the jeers of staff and patients ringing in Johnson's ears as he left the hospital. Nor did Kuenssberg report on the young medical student who was 'pushed aside by [a] Boris Johnson aide' while attempting to challenge Johnson on the NHS and the climate crisis. Julia Simons , who is training at the hospital to become a doctor, called his visit a 'PR stunt'.

We challenged the BBC political editor via Twitter:

Hello @bbclaurak,

Why did your @BBCNews at Ten piece on Boris Johnson's visit to a Cambridge hospital omit the part where he left with jeers from staff and patients ringing in his ears?

Our tweet was 'liked' and retweeted hundreds of times, but there was no reply from Kuenssberg. Her Twitter bio states:

I know it's fashionable, but even in 2019 there is nothing big or clever about shooting the messenger – tweets or retweets here aren't necessarily my view

But, by heavily filtering the facts that Kuenssberg selects to tweet or retweet, 'the messenger' has transformed into an echo chamber and amplifier of government propaganda. This phenomenon of state stenography – which, of course, is far from new – was highlighted in an excellent article recently by Peter Oborne, former chief political commentator of the Daily Telegraph . Under the title, 'British journalists have become part of Johnson's fake news machine', Oborne argued that:

From the Mail, The Times to the BBC and ITN, everyone is peddling Downing Street's lies and smears. They're turning their readers into dupes.

As Oborne noted, 'mainstream' political journalism too often relies upon whatever 'a senior No 10 source' says:

This modus operandi, which allow pro-government narratives to enter the public domain unmediated by proper interrogation, has become routine among political reporters since Johnson and his Vote Leave media team entered Downing Street.

Oborne observed:

There is an implicit deal. In return for access and information (much of it false) the political media spins a pro-government narrative.

As a recent example, Oborne pointed to the government's deceitful response to the leaked ' Yellowhammer dossier ' setting out the damaging consequences of a no-deal Brexit on the UK – a news story that 'deeply embarrassed' Boris Johnson and senior ministers. Downing Street responded by feeding a false claim to compliant journalists that the leak happened on Theresa May's watch; and that Remain-supporting ex-ministers led by Philip Hammond, Chancellor of the Exchequer in May's Cabinet, were responsible. Newspapers were full of convenient headlines and stories about the alleged leakers, distracting attention from the damaging analysis of the leaked dossier itself. As Oborne noted, it turned out that the leaked document was dated nine days after Johnson came to power: the leak had occurred under his watch, not May's.

This issue of journalist access in return for maintaining a power-friendly narrative has long been known. The media's heavy reliance on state and corporate sources is one of the five 'news filters' – along with corporate ownership, advertising, flak and 'anti-Communism' – in the propaganda model of the media introduced by Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky in 'Manufacturing Consent' (1988).

Focusing on the country's two main political editors – the BBC's Laura Kuenssberg and Robert Peston of ITV News – Oborne added:

Political editors are so pleased to be given "insider" or "exclusive" information that they report it without challenge or question.

Oborne, as a senior journalist with experience and clout, was afforded follow-up media interviews to make his case. Perhaps the most noteworthy example was his fiery appearance on Radio 2 where he was interviewed by Amol Rajan, a former editor of the oligarch-owned Independent and now the BBC's media editor. You do not get to such exalted positions in the corporate media, as Rajan has done, by being a thorn in the side of the establishment. In a remarkable exchange, not only did Oborne name and shame major political editors for cosying up to power, he directly, and correctly, accused Rajan of the same. (Click here , starting at around 1:09:20; or, once the BBC link has expired, listen to the relevant segment here )

Oborne commented:

You, yourself, when you were Independent editor, notoriously sucked up to power. You are a client journalist yourself you were a crony journalist yourself. It's time this system was exploded.

Rajan blustered:

It's unbecoming of you, Peter, it's unbecoming.

When Oborne added that Rajan had also 'failed to notice' stories as BBC media editor, there was a brief stunned silence.

In 2014, when Rajan was the Independent's editor, he boasted of 'our proud record on coverage of Iraq'. We responded at the time:

Sorry, we have analysed the Independent's performance closely. Your record was and is shameful. Where to start?

Rajan did not reply. It was around this time that he blocked us on Twitter.

OPCW Whistleblowers Question The Douma Narrative

A further, grave example of present-day propaganda filtering involves the corporate media blanking of further proof that western powers, notably the US, have been manipulating the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

Last month, WikiLeaks published evidence from an OPCW whistleblower showing that the international chemical watchdog had suppressed evidence suggesting that the Syrian government had not, in fact, mounted a chemical weapons attack in Douma , Syria, on April 7, 2018. In other words, there is clear authoritative testimony from an OPCW insider contradicting the endlessly repeated narrative that 'Assad used weapons against his own civilians' in Douma. This state-approved script, propagated throughout the major western news media, served as the 'justification' for the US, UK and France to launch missile strikes on Syria seven days later.

Shockingly, as reported by WikiLeaks, a panel of experts convened by the Courage Foundation, an independent British civil society organisation, reported that:

Not only did the panel find that OPCW tampered with the evidence to produce an outcome desired by the geopolitical actors involved in this instance, it tried to silence its own senior civil servants.

One member of the panel, Richard Falk – an international law and international relations scholar who taught at Princeton University for forty years – noted that the credibility of the panel's conclusions were strengthened by having José Bustani, a former Director-General of the OPCW, among its members.

Falk added:

Not only is there a lack of transparency and accountability with respect to the undertakings of major national governments, but there is a deliberate manipulation of evidence and obstruction of procedures designed to protect the citizenry against abuses of state, and in the case of major states, especially the United States, to protect the public interest.

This new testimony added to the earlier revelations in May that Ian Henderson, a senior OPCW scientist, had written a detailed report , suppressed by OPCW, calling into question the official version of events in Douma. As our media alert at the time noted, very little media coverage was devoted to this expert evidence questioning the Washington-stamped 'consensus' view.

Robert Fisk's article in the Independent ten days after the Douma incident was a vanishingly rare exception. He interviewed a Syrian doctor who told him that the victims of the alleged chemical attack had actually suffered from hypoxia – oxygen starvation in the dusty tunnels where they had taken refuge from bombing– and not gas poisoning. As we also observed in our media alert, BBC Syria producer Riam Dalati stated on Twitter that after almost six months of investigation he had concluded that:

I can prove without a doubt that the Douma Hospital scene was staged.

Two days after the Douma attack, he had tweeted :

Sick and tired of activists and rebels using corpses of dead children to stage emotive scenes for Western consumption. Then they wonder why some serious journos are questioning part of the narrative.

Dalati later deleted his tweet and set his Twitter account to 'private' status (it has since become accessible to the public again).

Typically, the BBC sought to minimise any public doubts about the official narrative on Douma by including only Syrian and Russian claims of 'fabrication'. There was little, or no, coverage of sceptical Western voices. In similar fashion, in the run-up to the Iraq war of 2003, BBC News and other 'mainstream' outlets had relegated credible allegations that the 'threat' of 'Iraqi WMD' was fake news to the 'evil dictator' Saddam Hussein.

Readers may recall that award-winning journalist Seymour Hersh had difficulty publishing his in-depth, sceptical reporting about an earlier alleged Syrian government chemical weapons attack at Ghouta in 2013. In the end, he had to publish in the London Review of Books , of all places ( here and here ).

This is so often the fate of the best journalism: pushed to the margins where it can be safely ignored.

Corporate Eyes Averted And Tongues Bitten

The fact that a second OPCW whistleblower has now revealed extremely serious manipulation of evidence surrounding what happened at Douma has been greeted by a wall of corporate media silence. However, it was mentioned briefly by Jonathan Steele, a former senior Middle East correspondent for the Guardian , in a radio interview with Paul Henley on the BBC World Service on October 27, 2019 (listen here ; from around 11:00; if no longer available from the BBC, listen to the extract archived here by Caitlin Johnstone and read her article ):

Jonathan Steele: I was in Brussels last week I attended a briefing by a whistleblower from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. He was one of the inspectors who was sent out to Douma in Syria in April last year to check into the allegations by the rebels that Syrian aeroplanes had dropped two canisters of chlorine gas, killing up to 43 people. He claims he was in charge of picking up the samples in the affected areas, and in neutral areas, to check whether there were chlorine derivatives there

Paul Henley: And?

JS: and he found that there was no difference. So it rather suggested there was no chemical gas attack, because in the buildings where the people allegedly died there was no extra chlorinated organic chemicals than in the normal streets elsewhere. And I put this to the OPCW for comment, and they haven't yet replied. But it rather suggests that a lot of this was propaganda

PH: Propaganda led by?

JS: led by the rebel side to try and bring in American planes, which in fact did happen. American, British and French planes bombed Damascus a few days after these reports. And actually this is the second whistleblower to come forward. A few months ago there was a leaked report by the person [senior OPCW scientist Ian Henderson – mentioned earlier in this alert] who looked into the ballistics, as to whether these cylinders had been dropped by planes, looking at the damage of the building and the damage on the side of the cylinders. And he decided, concluded, that the higher probability was that these cylinders were placed on the ground, rather than from planes.

PH: This would be a major revelation

JS: it would be a major revelation

PH: given the number of people rubbishing the idea that these could have been fake videos at the time.

JS: Well, these two scientists, I think they're non-political – they wouldn't have been sent to Douma, if they'd had strong political views, by the OPCW. They want to speak to the Conference of the Member States in November, next month, and give their views, and be allowed to come forward publicly with their concerns. Because they've tried to raise them internally and been – they say they've been – suppressed, their views have been suppressed.

PH: Very interesting.

( Transcript courtesy of Tim Hayward of the Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media. )

In May, when the suppressed engineering assessment report on Douma by the OPCW's Ian Henderson was leaked, Lyse Doucet, the BBC's chief international correspondent, agreed that this was 'an important story'. Despite polite nudges from Media Lens, and others, she said no more on the matter. Did BBC colleagues have a quiet word in her ear?

Following revelations of a second whistleblower last week, we challenged her once more. She again ignored us, but she did reply to one of our Twitter followers:

Thanks Philip. I've been in Canada this month reporting on elections & in Afghanistan for most of Sept. I did forward the earlier information to programmes but was away during more recent news so other teams /programmes would have looked at it.

While it is heartening to see any reply – perhaps a measure of Doucet's desire to give at least the impression of being accountable to the public – it is a very evasive reply. It is remarkable that for five months she had not been around to report vital testimony from OPCW insiders blowing a hole in the official, US-friendly narrative used to 'justify' missile attacks on Syria. Clearly, she had decided it was not that important after all.

And what does 'so other teams /programmes would have looked at it' actually mean? What evidence did they examine? And how closely? Where are the BBC headlines and major coverage these revelations deserve? As far as we can tell, there has been no mention of the OPCW whistleblowers on the BBC News website; nor has there been any coverage on the main BBC News programmes. Our challenges to Paul Royall , editor of the BBC News flagship News at Six and Ten programmes, and Nick Sutton , editor of the BBC News website, have gone unanswered.

Meanwhile, the General Election on December 12 may well be, as Jeremy Corbyn says :

a once-in-a-generation chance to transform our country and take on the vested interests holding people back.

But time is rapidly running out for real change – whether that be on foreign policy, such as Syria, or the largest crisis now facing all of us. A global group of 11,000 scientists declared this week that the evidence is 'clear and unequivocal' that humanity is in a climate emergency. The stakes, then, are even higher than 'once-in-a-generation'. As Extinction Rebellion have repeatedly warned , there may not be more than one new generation of humanity that will survive, given the severity of climate breakdown.

Media Lens is a UK-based media watchdog group headed by David Edwards and David Cromwell. The second Media Lens book, Newspeak: In the 21st Century by David Edwards and David Cromwell, was published in 2009 by Pluto Press. Read other articles by Media Lens , or visit Media Lens's website .

This article was posted on Thursday, November 7th, 2019 at 10:16pm and is filed under Boris Johnson , Jeremy Corbyn , Media , Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) , Syria , UK Media , UK Politics , United Kingdom , Whistleblowing .

[Nov 07, 2019] Rigged Again Dems, Russia, The Delegitimization Of America s Democratic Process by Elizabeth Vos

Highly recommended!
Images removed.
Notable quotes:
"... The Clinton camp was hardly absent from social media during the 2016 race. The barely-legal activities of Clintonite David Brock were previously reported by this author to have included $2 million in funding for the creation of an online " troll army " under the name Shareblue. The LA Times described the project as meant to "to appear to be coming organically from people and their social media networks in a groundswell of activism, when in fact it is highly paid and highly tactical." In other words, the effort attempted to create a false sense of consensus in support for the Clinton campaign. ..."
"... In terms of interference in the actual election process, the New York City Board of Elections was shown to have purged over one hundred thousand Democratic voters in Brooklyn from the rolls before the 2016 primary, a move that the Department of Justice found broke federal law . Despite this, no prosecution for the breach was ever attempted. ..."
"... In 2017, the Observer reported that the DNC's defense counsel argued against claims that the party defrauded Sanders' supporters by favoring Clinton, reasoning that Sanders' supporters knew the process was rigged. Again: instead of arguing that the primary was neutral and unbiased in accordance with its charter, the DNC's lawyers argued that it was the party's right to select candidates. ..."
"... The DNC defense counsel's argument throughout the course of the DNC fraud lawsuit doubled down repeatedly in defense of the party's right to favor one candidate over another, at one point actually claiming that such favoritism was protected by the First Amendment . ..."
"... The DNC's shameless defense of its own rigging disemboweled the most fundamental organs of the U.S. body politic. This no indication that the DNC will not resort to the same tactics in the 2020 primary race, ..."
"... f Debbie Wasserman Schultz's role as disgraced chairwoman of the DNC and her forced 2016 resignation wasn't enough, serious interference was also alleged in the wake of two contests between Wasserman Schultz and professor Tim Canova in Florida's 23rd congressional district. Canova and Wasserman Schultz first faced off in a 2016 Democratic primary race, followed by a 2018 general congressional election in which Canova ran as an independent. ..."
"... Debacles followed both contests, including improper vote counts, illegal ballot destruction , improper transportation of ballots, and generally shameless displays of cronyism. After the controversial results of the initial primary race against Wasserman Schultz, Canova sought to have ballots checked for irregularities, as the Sun-Sentinel reported at the time: ..."
"... Ultimately, Canova was granted a summary judgment against Snipes, finding that she had committed what amounted to multiple felonies. Nonetheless, Snipes was not prosecuted and remained elections supervisor through to the 2018 midterms. ..."
"... Hillary Clinton's recent comments to the effect that Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard is being "groomed" by Russia, and that the former Green Party Presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein is a "Russian asset", were soon echoed by DNC-friendly pundits. These sentiments externalize what Gabbard called the "rot" in the Democratic party outward onto domestic critics and a nation across the planet. ..."
"... Newsweek provided a particularly glaring example of this phenomenon in a recent op-ed penned by columnist Naveed Jamali, a former FBI double agent whose book capitalizes on Russiagate. In an op-ed titled: " Hillary Clinton Is Right. Tulsi Gabbard Is A Perfect Russian Asset – And Would Be A Perfect Republican Agent," ..."
Nov 07, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Elizabeth Vos via ConsortiumNews.com,

Establishment Democrats and those who amplify them continue to project blame for the public's doubt in the U.S. election process onto outside influence, despite the clear history of the party's subversion of election integrity. The total inability of the Democratic Party establishment's willingness to address even one of these critical failures does not give reason to hope that the nomination process in 2020 will be any less pre-ordained.

The Democratic Party's bias against Sen. Bernie Sanders during the 2016 presidential nomination, followed by the DNC defense counsel doubling down on its right to rig the race during the fraud lawsuit brought against the DNC , as well as the irregularities in the races between former DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Tim Canova, indicate a fatal breakdown of the U.S. democratic process spearheaded by the Democratic Party establishment. Influences transcending the DNC add to concerns regarding the integrity of the democratic process that have nothing to do with Russia, but which will also likely impact outcomes in 2020.

The content of the DNC and Podesta emails published by WikiLeaks demonstrated that the DNC acted in favor of Hillary Clinton in the lead up to the 2016 Democratic primary. The emails also revealed corporate media reporters acting as surrogates of the DNC and its pro-Clinton agenda, going so far as to promote Donald Trump during the GOP primary process as a preferred " pied-piper candidate ." One cannot assume that similar evidence will be presented to the public in 2020, making it more important than ever to take stock of the unique lessons handed down to us by the 2016 race.

Social Media Meddling

Election meddling via social media did take place in 2016, though in a different guise and for a different cause from that which are best remembered. Twitter would eventually admit to actively suppressing hashtags referencing the DNC and Podesta emails in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election. Additional reports indicated that tech giant Google also showed measurable "pro-Hillary Clinton bias" in search results during 2016, resulting in the alleged swaying of between 2 and 10 millions voters in favor of Clinton.

On the Republican side, a recent episode of CNLive! featured discussion of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, in which undecided voters were micro-targeted with tailored advertising narrowed with the combined use of big data and artificial intelligence known collectively as "dark strategy." CNLive! Executive Producer Cathy Vogan noted that SCL, Cambridge Analytica's parent company, provides data, analytics and strategy to governments and military organizations "worldwide," specializing in behavior modification. Though Cambridge Analytica shut down in 2018, related companies remain.

The Clinton camp was hardly absent from social media during the 2016 race. The barely-legal activities of Clintonite David Brock were previously reported by this author to have included $2 million in funding for the creation of an online " troll army " under the name Shareblue. The LA Times described the project as meant to "to appear to be coming organically from people and their social media networks in a groundswell of activism, when in fact it is highly paid and highly tactical." In other words, the effort attempted to create a false sense of consensus in support for the Clinton campaign.

In terms of interference in the actual election process, the New York City Board of Elections was shown to have purged over one hundred thousand Democratic voters in Brooklyn from the rolls before the 2016 primary, a move that the Department of Justice found broke federal law . Despite this, no prosecution for the breach was ever attempted.

Though the purge was not explicitly found to have benefitted Clinton, the admission falls in line with allegations across the country that the Democratic primary was interfered with to the benefit of the former secretary of state. These claims were further bolstered by reports indicating that voting results from the 2016 Democratic primary showed evidence of fraud.

DNC Fraud Lawsuit

The proceedings of the DNC fraud lawsuit provide the most damning evidence of the failure of the U.S. election process, especially within the Democratic Party. DNC defense lawyers argued in open court for the party's right to appoint candidates at its own discretion, while simultaneously denying any "fiduciary duty" to represent the voters who donated to the Democratic Party under the impression that the DNC would act impartially towards the candidates involved.

In 2017, the Observer reported that the DNC's defense counsel argued against claims that the party defrauded Sanders' supporters by favoring Clinton, reasoning that Sanders' supporters knew the process was rigged. Again: instead of arguing that the primary was neutral and unbiased in accordance with its charter, the DNC's lawyers argued that it was the party's right to select candidates.

The Observer noted the sentiments of Jared Beck, the attorney representing the plaintiffs of the lawsuit:

"People paid money in reliance on the understanding that the primary elections for the Democratic nominee -- nominating process in 2016 were fair and impartial, and that's not just a bedrock assumption that we would assume just by virtue of the fact that we live in a democracy, and we assume that our elections are run in a fair and impartial manner. But that's what the Democratic National Committee's own charter says. It says it in black and white."

The DNC defense counsel's argument throughout the course of the DNC fraud lawsuit doubled down repeatedly in defense of the party's right to favor one candidate over another, at one point actually claiming that such favoritism was protected by the First Amendment . The DNC's lawyers wrote:

"To recognize any of the causes of action that Plaintiffs allege would run directly contrary to long-standing Supreme Court precedent recognizing the central and critical First Amendment rights enjoyed by political parties, especially when it comes to selecting the party's nominee for public office ." [Emphasis added]

The DNC's shameless defense of its own rigging disemboweled the most fundamental organs of the U.S. body politic. This no indication that the DNC will not resort to the same tactics in the 2020 primary race,

Tim Canova's Allegations

If Debbie Wasserman Schultz's role as disgraced chairwoman of the DNC and her forced 2016 resignation wasn't enough, serious interference was also alleged in the wake of two contests between Wasserman Schultz and professor Tim Canova in Florida's 23rd congressional district. Canova and Wasserman Schultz first faced off in a 2016 Democratic primary race, followed by a 2018 general congressional election in which Canova ran as an independent.

Debacles followed both contests, including improper vote counts, illegal ballot destruction , improper transportation of ballots, and generally shameless displays of cronyism. After the controversial results of the initial primary race against Wasserman Schultz, Canova sought to have ballots checked for irregularities, as the Sun-Sentinel reported at the time:

"[Canova] sought to look at the paper ballots in March 2017 and took Elections Supervisor Brenda Snipes to court three months later when her office hadn't fulfilled his request. Snipes approved the destruction of the ballots in September, signing a certification that said no court cases involving the ballots were pending."

Ultimately, Canova was granted a summary judgment against Snipes, finding that she had committed what amounted to multiple felonies. Nonetheless, Snipes was not prosecuted and remained elections supervisor through to the 2018 midterms.

Republicans appear no more motivated to protect voting integrity than the Democrats, with The Nation reporting that the GOP-controlled Senate blocked a bill this week that would have "mandated paper-ballot backups in case of election machine malfunctions."

Study of Corporate Power

A 2014 study published by Princeton University found that corporate power had usurped the voting rights of the public: "Economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent influence."

In reviewing this sordid history, we see that the Democratic Party establishment has done everything in its power to disrespect voters and outright overrule them in the democratic primary process, defending their right to do so in the DNC fraud lawsuit. We've noted that interests transcending the DNC also represent escalating threats to election integrity as demonstrated in 2016.

Despite this, establishment Democrats and those who echo their views in the legacy press continue to deflect from their own wrongdoing and real threats to the election process by suggesting that mere discussion of it represents a campaign by Russia to attempt to malign the perception of the legitimacy of the U.S. democratic process.

Hillary Clinton's recent comments to the effect that Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard is being "groomed" by Russia, and that the former Green Party Presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein is a "Russian asset", were soon echoed by DNC-friendly pundits. These sentiments externalize what Gabbard called the "rot" in the Democratic party outward onto domestic critics and a nation across the planet.

Newsweek provided a particularly glaring example of this phenomenon in a recent op-ed penned by columnist Naveed Jamali, a former FBI double agent whose book capitalizes on Russiagate. In an op-ed titled: " Hillary Clinton Is Right. Tulsi Gabbard Is A Perfect Russian Asset – And Would Be A Perfect Republican Agent," Jamali argued :

"Moscow will use its skillful propaganda machine to prop up Gabbard and use her as a tool to delegitimize the democratic process. " [Emphasis added]

Jamali surmises that Russia intends to "attack" our democracy by undermining the domestic perception of its legitimacy. This thesis is repeated later in the piece when Jamali opines : "They want to see a retreat of American influence. What better way to accomplish that than to attack our democracy by casting doubt on the legitimacy of our elections." [Emphasis added]

The only thing worth protecting, according to Jamali and those who amplify his work (including former Clinton aide and establishment Democrat Neera Tanden), is the perception of the democratic process, not the actual functioning vitality of it. Such deflective tactics ensure that Russia will continue to be used as a convenient international pretext for silencing domestic dissent as we move into 2020.

Given all this, how can one expect the outcome of a 2020 Democratic Primary -- or even the general election – to be any fairer or transparent than 2016?

* * *

Elizabeth Vos is a freelance reporter, co-host of CN Live! and regular contributor to Consortium News. If you value this original article, please consider making a donation to Consortium News so we can bring you more stories like this one.

[Nov 07, 2019] Scapegoating as the major neoliberal propaganda tool

Nov 07, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

Orange Watch 11.07.19 at 5:11 pm 71

Donald@63 :

The tendency to scapegoat rather than make the case for one's own merit is very deeply ingrained in our top-down liberal democratic systems; the Democratic establishment is unfortunately just getting back to core principles by shifting almost exclusively to this mode of discourse over the past decade. From Guy Debord's 1988 Commentaries on the Society of the Spectacle :

This perfect democracy creates for itself its own inconceivable enemy, terrorism. In effect, it wants to be judged by its enemies moreso than by its results. The history of terrorism is written by the State; it is therefore instructive. The spectator populations certainly cannot know everything about terrorism, but they can always know enough to be persuaded that compared to terrorism, anything else must seem to be more or less acceptable, and in any case more rational and democratic.

[Nov 07, 2019] DNC Lawyers Argue Primary Rigging Is Protected by the First Amendment

Notable quotes:
"... They also failed to note the voice-modulated phone calls received by the law offices of the Becks which contained a caller-ID corresponding to the law offices of Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a defendant in the case. In light of this context, the Becks hardly appear to be peddlers of conspiracy theory. ..."
Nov 07, 2019 | archive.is

The defense counsel also took issue with Jared Beck for what they termed as: " Repeatedly promoted patently false and deeply offensive conspiracy theories about the deaths of a former DNC staffer and Plaintiffs' process server in an attempt to bolster attention for this lawsuit." This author was shocked to find that despite the characterization of the Becks as peddlers of conspiracy theory, the defense counsel failed to mention the motion for protection filed by the Becks earlier in the litigation process.

They also failed to note the voice-modulated phone calls received by the law offices of the Becks which contained a caller-ID corresponding to the law offices of Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a defendant in the case. In light of this context, the Becks hardly appear to be peddlers of conspiracy theory.

The DNC defense lawyers then argued:

" There is no legitimate basis for this litigation, which is, at its most basic, an improper attempt to forge the federal courts into a political weapon to be used by individuals who are unhappy with how a political party selected its candidate in a presidential campaign ."

The brief continued:

" To recognize any of the causes of action that Plaintiffs allege based on their animating theory would run directly contrary to long-standing Supreme Court precedent recognizing the central and critical First Amendment rights enjoyed by political parties, especially when it comes to selecting the party's nominee for public office."

It appears that the defendants in the DNC Fraud Lawsuit are attempting to argue that cheating a candidate in the primary process is protected under the first amendment. If all that weren't enough, DNC representatives argued that the Democratic National Committee had no established fiduciary duty "to the Plaintiffs or the classes of donors and registered voters they seek to represent." It seems here that the DNC is arguing for its right to appoint candidates at its own discretion while simultaneously denying any "fiduciary duty" to represent the voters who donated to the Democratic Party under the belief that the DNC would act impartially towards the candidates involved.

Adding to the latest news regarding the DNC Fraud Lawsuit was the recent finding by the UK Supreme Court, which stated that Wikileaks Cables were admissible as evidence in legal proceedings.

If Wikileaks' publication of DNC emails are found to be similarly admissible in a United States court of law, then the contents of the leaked emails could be used to argue that, contrary to the defendant's latest brief, the DNC did in favor the campaign of Hillary Clinton over Senator Sanders and that they acted to sabotage Sanders' campaign.

The outcome of the appeal of the DNC Fraud Lawsuit remains to be seen.

Elizabeth Vos is the Co-Founder and Editor in Chief at Disobedient Media .

[Nov 07, 2019] Imagine I worked for Putin, who was arming MS-13, and then Putin put me on trial because, for whatever reason, I stopped arming MS-13

Notable quotes:
"... How many establishment Dems (or even non-establishment Dems) have indicated that they have any objections to arming the Ukrainians? ..."
"... The Democrats position is that arming the Ukrainians is a good and moral thing to do and that Trump is terrible for threatening to stop it, which is far simpler, far more logical and, if one ignores its flagrant immorality, far easier to 'swallow'. ..."
"... As always 'reversing the polarities' gives clarity (imagine I worked for Putin, who was arming MS-13, and then Putin put me on trial because, for whatever reason, I stopped arming MS-13 .what would we think of Putin?). ..."
Nov 07, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

Hidari 11.05.19 at 1:54 pm 96

... How many establishment Dems (or even non-establishment Dems) have indicated that they have any objections to arming the Ukrainians? That would be in the region of about 'none', I would imagine.

... ... ...

The Democrats position is that arming the Ukrainians is a good and moral thing to do and that Trump is terrible for threatening to stop it, which is far simpler, far more logical and, if one ignores its flagrant immorality, far easier to 'swallow'.

As always 'reversing the polarities' gives clarity (imagine I worked for Putin, who was arming MS-13, and then Putin put me on trial because, for whatever reason, I stopped arming MS-13 .what would we think of Putin?).

[Nov 07, 2019] 3 Steps to Reviving the Russian Relationship

Notable quotes:
"... This period is when Clinton IMHO sent NATO in a wrong direction from being strictly defensive/political to getting involved in Yugoslavia which certainly irritated Russia. ..."
"... Then good old Obama and another Clinton deciding to overthrow Gaddafi and his whole Arab Spring foreign policy to include getting involved in Syria. These were disastrous decisions that the current POTUS inherited and is trying to change except the "deep state" is fighting him tooth and nail. ..."
"... Getting out of Ukraine would be a huge trust maker for Russia and it would be followed by sanctions being lifted allowing for a level playing field to begin working on the issues that need fixing. NATO isn't going away however the forward deployed forces in the Baltic's and Poland could over time in an agreed to reciprocal move say removing Iskander missiles from Kaliningrad could be accomplished. ..."
Nov 07, 2019 | nationalinterest.org

J Urie Z'ing Sui 13 hours ago ,

You are 100% correct that trust is the number one point in coming to any agreement and currently there is very little trust on either side for varying reasons. One important fact that is overlooked by most people is the leadership of President George H. W. Bush and PM Margaret Thatcher during the transition from the Soviet Union/Warsaw pact to independent sovereign nations. The Bush was a WW II pilot and Thatcher earned the name Iron Lady for her decisive action in the Falklands War, both understood the world as it was in 1990. This statement highlights the view that prevailed from Bush at the time: "Not once, but three times, Baker tried out the "not one inch eastward" formula with Gorbachev in the February 9, 1990, meeting. He agreed with Gorbachev's statement in response to the assurances that "NATO expansion is unacceptable." Baker assured Gorbachev that "neither the President nor I intend to extract any unilateral advantages from the processes that are taking place," and that the Americans understood that "not only for the Soviet Union but for other European countries as well it is important to have guarantees that if the United States keeps its presence in Germany within the framework of NATO, not an inch of NATO's present military jurisdiction will spread in an eastern direction." (See Document 6)"

These were complicated issues that involved a multitude of parties being negotiated by just a few i.e. US, UK, France and West Germany a holdover from the WW II model. The Poles, Czechs and others were not consulted and IMHO had they been the situation would have become untenable. It must be remembered that Poland and Czechoslovakia suffered heavily due to "large important nations" giving them away pre and post WW II. There was no written agreement nor official treaty between the west and the Soviet Union soon to be Russian Federation and I believe that was intentional for the reason I give above. George H. W. Bush was not reelected in 1992 and Bill Clinton became POTUS and he pursued a foreign policy that was entirely different. Some of his ideas used Thatchers earlier idea of a more political NATO with less emphasis on the original military mission which brought in the Partnerships for Peace program. That program was IMHO quite good as it stabilized countries that were wobbly in the 1990's after the breakup occurred. The Clinton White House had Madeline Albright an immigrant from Czechoslovakia as secretary of State and Zbigniew Brzezinski a former secretary of State and an academic that influenced his policies which were pro eastern European anti Russian. It was during this time that NATO expanded. The US is a country of immigrants and there is a large Polish population as well as other eastern Europeans and political considerations are always come into play.

This period is when Clinton IMHO sent NATO in a wrong direction from being strictly defensive/political to getting involved in Yugoslavia which certainly irritated Russia.

G.W. Bush basically continued the trend with regard to NATO but was preoccupied with 9/11 more than anything else. Bush thought that he understood Putin and even invited him to his ranch in Crawford, Texas which Putin accepted and they did seem to get along.

However 2008 and the Georgia War began the slide in relations between the two countries. Then good old Obama and another Clinton deciding to overthrow Gaddafi and his whole Arab Spring foreign policy to include getting involved in Syria. These were disastrous decisions that the current POTUS inherited and is trying to change except the "deep state" is fighting him tooth and nail.

Getting out of Ukraine would be a huge trust maker for Russia and it would be followed by sanctions being lifted allowing for a level playing field to begin working on the issues that need fixing. NATO isn't going away however the forward deployed forces in the Baltic's and Poland could over time in an agreed to reciprocal move say removing Iskander missiles from Kaliningrad could be accomplished.

Gaugamela39 a day ago ,

Carthago delenda est. The policy of Cato the Censor should be applied in an unrelenting manner, leading to 'salting the earth' of Moscow.

dorotea Gaugamela39 a day ago ,

Many have tried, usually ended up in those infamous endless Russian fields, in long boxes. See Pushkin, for the exact quote. But historical trivialities aside, there should be a way to satisfy Imperial hubris without 'salting the grounds'. Hannibal's elephants did not carry nukes in their trunks. Trying for the sixth time in the last 4 centuries to get Moscow grounds salted might end badly for the entire planet.

The Chosen One dorotea a day ago ,

So it seems to me that only the advent of a nuclear weapon and the threat of an imminent deadly retaliation prevents a new "drang nach osten".

Z'ing Sui J Urie 39 minutes ago • edited ,

Trust was not breached by Russia, military buildup, hostile threatening military, NATO expansion and refusal to negotiate on these issues did not originate from Russia. Russia has tried to negotiate, concede and de-escalate before. The West did not respond to those moves. Even US sanctions placed on Soviet Union were not removed from Russia, despite there being no reason for them to remain in place. This and other recent events (libya, iran deal etc) tells Russia and other global players that de-escalating with the West doesn't work.

Even now, West seems to be interested to trade with Russia at least in some areas. And Europe is increasingly frustrated with the United States. There is reportedly a number of EU initiatives aimed at gradually limiting US economic levers created during the Cold War. Rising economies will gradually offer more opportunities outside of the Western world. Multipolar wolrd was a slogan in the 00s, in the 2040es it might be a reality.

We know NATO will not maintain ABM and CFE, and it is apparently not interested in INF and Open Skies, and even START is in question now. NATO will withdraw troops if only Russia does something? Please, you don't really believe that. With INF gone, Iskander is outdated, it was a treaty-limited weapon. Moving it a few hundred klicks will not make NATO concede anything now.

A huge trust maker would be for all NATO members to publically admit on their web page that pledges to Russia were broken and at least some NATO officials feel responsibility for that. They've spent 27 years denying any verbal assurances, now that those assurances are declassified, they build other narratives about how those pledges did not matter. For there to be trust, there needs to be an admission that trust was there, and was broken, and not by Russia. No troop movements necessary even.

J Urie mal a day ago • edited ,

Biden isn't going to win the next election Trump will be reelected in 2020. The current strain in relations with Russia has been inherited by Trump and even before he was elected the DNC and Hillary Clinton cooked up the "Russia colusion" story which after $46 million and 2 1/2 years no Russia collision. Of course now we have the Dems trying to impeach Trump which will not go anywhere in the Senate more waste of time and money. However there is the Justice Department I.G. report soon to be released and many of the people who brought you the Russia colusion hoax will be named. The Justice Department has an ongoing criminal investigation into the key players and will undoubtedly result in indictments and prosecutions.
The real reason all of this is going on is because the establishment both Dem's & Repub's along with the deep state look at Trump as an outsider who is tipping over their apple cart i.e. he is changing the foreign policy direction and they don't like it one bit so they create fake issues to try and stop him.
After his reelection I predict that more normal relations with Russia will resume.

dorotea Roma Ilto 14 hours ago ,

Nowadays the actual attacks are manifested as 'hybrid warfare'. Of course Russia took the US intervention and financing of Chechen rebels as an attack back in the 2000 ties. She took fermenting and financing of the Georgian rose revolution as a hybrid attack, same as promises made to pres. Saakashvili to support him militarily and politically after his attack on Tskhinvali were taken as a hybrid attack. Same goes for both of the first color revolution in Ukraine, and then the Revolution of dignity of 2014 that pushed ultra-right government to power in Ukraine. In fact the NATO promise to both Georgia and Ukraine to take them in as members in 2008 right after Putin's warning in 2007 was the first move in the 'hybrid war'. The West had been warned, yet it decided to bulldoze its way across Eurasia and triggered the confrontation. The placings of Aegises ashore in Poland and Romania was the cherry on top. There can be be no meaningful compromise until the West backs off on the NATO enlargement. That 2008 conference was what had reanimated the image of the collective West as adversary for Russia.

What both sides should strive for though is at the very least to diminish the degree of danger to the planet. Russia would not back off because she finds it easy enough to corner individual EU states into minimal economic cooperation - Germany is already in recession and there is no way they are going to continue damaging their economy for the sake of US politics. And then there is China. When the Russians cannot buy goods from Germans they go for made in China, which in turn gets China secure oil and gas from Russia. Which make the repeat of pre-WW II situation with blockade on Japan pretty much impossible. Get realistic, the West is loosing this one and should count her chickens already.

Roma Ilto dorotea 14 hours ago ,

Well, then the sanctions will continue, as will the policy of keeping Russian in check in the EU gas market.
What's interesting is that NATO never attacked Russia or threatened to attack Russia. Seems to me that Putin is simply using the expansion as a pretext for military aggression against the neighboring states. It's what the USSR did in 1939 against Finland. According the Soviet side, the war started after Finland attacked the Soviet Union...

dorotea Roma Ilto 14 hours ago ,

Russia *needs* the sanctions for at least another 5 years. Her milk and beef production is still lagging compared to the deceased USSR and the only way her greedy oligarchs will heavily invest in cow herd rearing is to continue to block the Eastern European milk products to enter Russia. Chicken, eggs, pork and veggies are already up to speed, wheat production is exploding, the salmon breeding programme have started so the Norway is not getting her market back, bu the cow herds take longer to rear.
The Power of Siberia pipeline is being certified and filled right now - China would receive her first delivery of piped Russian gas in 2020, so it is good that EU is prepping or the squeeze - they are not going to continue getting unlimited cheap Russian gas, because Power of Siberia II is in the works.

Every individual NATO member had attacked Russia in the past 4 centuries ( including small but meaningful US contingent in the 1918), and some non-member allies had stomped those fields as well. So the Russians are not taking any chances with the buffer zone. All of Russia expansions to the West have always started with West invading first - then being rolled back league by league. But seriously - ? Russians can live with Europe staying where she is - if in turn Europe can learn to respect her civilization borders. The move on Ukraine and Georgia was not a wise one.

[Nov 07, 2019] Note on the the degradation of the elite.

Notable quotes:
"... There is a collection of Democratic and Republican politicians and think tanks funded by various corporations and governments and bureaucrats in the government agencies mostly all devoted to the Empire, but also willing to stab each other in the back to obtain power. They don't necessarily agree on policy details. ..."
"... They don't oppose Trump because Trump is antiwar. Trump isn't antiwar. Or rather, he is antiwar for three minutes here and there and then he advocates for war crimes. ..."
"... He is a fairly major war criminal based on his policies in Yemen. But they don't oppose him for that either or they would have been upset by Obama. They oppose Trump because he is incompetent, unpredictable and easily manipulated. And worst of all, he doesn't play the game right, where we pretend we intervene out of noble humanitarian motives. This idiot actually say he wants to keep Syrian oil fields and Syria's oil fields aren't significant to anyone outside Syria. ..."
"... Our policies are influenced in rather negative ways by various foreign countries, but would be embarrassed to go to the extremes one regularly sees from liberals talking about Russian influence ..."
Nov 07, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

Donald 11.07.19 at 4:37 am 64

" In a sense, the current NeoMcCartyism (Russophobia, Sinophobia) epidemic in the USA can partially be viewed as a yet another sign of the crisis of neoliberalism: a desperate attempt to patch the cracks in the neoliberal façade using scapegoating -- creation of an external enemy to project the problems of the neoliberal society.

I would add another, pretty subjective measure of failure: the degradation of the elite. When you look at Hillary, Trump, Biden, Warren, Harris, etc, you instantly understand what I am talking about. They all look like the second-rate, if not the third rate politicians. Also, the Epstein case was pretty symbolic."

I had decided to stay on the sidelines for the most part after making a few earlier comments, but I liked this summary, except I would give Warren more credit. She is flawed like most politicians, but she has made some of the right enemies within the Democratic Party.

On Trump and " the Deep State", there is no unified Deep State. There is a collection of Democratic and Republican politicians and think tanks funded by various corporations and governments and bureaucrats in the government agencies mostly all devoted to the Empire, but also willing to stab each other in the back to obtain power. They don't necessarily agree on policy details.

They don't oppose Trump because Trump is antiwar. Trump isn't antiwar. Or rather, he is antiwar for three minutes here and there and then he advocates for war crimes.

He is a fairly major war criminal based on his policies in Yemen. But they don't oppose him for that either or they would have been upset by Obama. They oppose Trump because he is incompetent, unpredictable and easily manipulated. And worst of all, he doesn't play the game right, where we pretend we intervene out of noble humanitarian motives. This idiot actually say he wants to keep Syrian oil fields and Syria's oil fields aren't significant to anyone outside Syria.

But yes, scapegoating is a big thing with liberals now. It's pathetic. Our policies are influenced in rather negative ways by various foreign countries, but would be embarrassed to go to the extremes one regularly sees from liberals talking about Russian influence .

For the most part, if we have a horrible political culture nearly all the blame for that is homegrown.

Donald 11.07.19 at 4:40 am (no link)

Sigh. Various typos above. Here is one --

Our policies are influenced in rather negative ways by various foreign countries, but would be embarrassed to go to the extremes one regularly sees from liberals talking about Russian influence.
--

I meant to say I would be embarrassed to go to the extremes one regularly sees from liberals talking about Russian influence.

[Nov 06, 2019] More Evidence that The Comey FBI was a Malevolent Clown Show by Larry C Johnson

Notable quotes:
"... If Flynn actually had lied to Strzok and Pientka that fact would have been reflected in the notes and the original 302. But that did not happen. A normal routine would be to write up the 302 and put it into final within five days. That did not happen. The original 302 still has not been produced. However, Ms. Powell has presented exhibits showing that there were other versions of the 302 generated and that substantive, unsupportable changes were made. The "final" 302 essentially made the case that Flynn lied. ..."
"... But Sidney Powell has produced documentary evidence showing that Strzok stated he did not believe that Flynn lied. And there was more FBI misconduct. General Flynn, for example, was not advised of the need to have a lawyer present nor was he shown the transcript of the call that was illegally recorded by the NSA. At no point was he given a chance to correct the record. It was a total setup and designed to paint Flynn as a liar and a collaborator with the Russians. This is malevolently diabolical conduct by law enforcement officers. ..."
Nov 06, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

I believe in repentance and redemption. But the FBI remains an unrepentant, vile sinner. Yesterday, Tuesday, the FBI and the Department of Justice made a stunning admission in the Michael Flynn case--they mislabeled evidence. DOJ sheepishly admitted that the notes of the interview of Michael Flynn taken by Agent Pientka actually belonged to Agent Strzok and that the notes attributed to Strzok actually belonged to Pientka. Holy Guacamole, Batman. It is still not clear that the FBI is freely confessing its sin and is committed to turning its bureaucratic life around.

There is no good news in this for the government's case. At a minimum it exposes the FBI as incompetent clowns. At worse, it may be evidence of a deliberate effort to deceive the defense and the judge. It has been exposed because of the insistent demands of the principled Sidney Powell, a relentless Honey Badger. That woman will not quit in demanding that General Flynn be treated fairly. She knows right from wrong. Cannot say the same for the FBI. The Bureau is a disgrace.

Now that we know that the FBI mislabeled the notes taken by the FBI agents during their interview of General Flynn, it would appear the entire case is in jeopardy. The foundation of the charge that Flynn lied about his conversation with the Russian Ambassador is predicated on the notes the FBI agents took and then turned into a 302 report. I asked one of my retired FBI buddies (he served as a Special Agent in Charge of a large US city) if the agents were required to date and sign their notes. He replied: No, we did not sign and date notes. They were placed in a 1-A (evidence) Envelope which had our name and the date collected along with the file number and, I believe, the case title. The 1-As were kept as part of the original case file. They were not entered into evidence like other things we collected.

Those notes should have been placed in an "evidence" envelope with the appropriate name and date on the envelope. How could so-called professionals screw up something this basic?

There was something more nefarious afoot. Let's put this into the broader context. If Flynn actually had lied to Strzok and Pientka that fact would have been reflected in the notes and the original 302. But that did not happen. A normal routine would be to write up the 302 and put it into final within five days. That did not happen. The original 302 still has not been produced. However, Ms. Powell has presented exhibits showing that there were other versions of the 302 generated and that substantive, unsupportable changes were made. The "final" 302 essentially made the case that Flynn lied.

But Sidney Powell has produced documentary evidence showing that Strzok stated he did not believe that Flynn lied. And there was more FBI misconduct. General Flynn, for example, was not advised of the need to have a lawyer present nor was he shown the transcript of the call that was illegally recorded by the NSA. At no point was he given a chance to correct the record. It was a total setup and designed to paint Flynn as a liar and a collaborator with the Russians. This is malevolently diabolical conduct by law enforcement officers.

Honey Badger Powell's terrific lawyering and insistence on getting her hands on the evidence the US Government is withholding has now backed the Mueller team into a corner. Sidney Powell has exposed staggering misconduct and malfeasance. Michael Flynn will be exonerated. The only real question is whether or not the prosecutors will be held in contempt and tried.


Jack , 06 November 2019 at 11:55 AM

Larry

Why doesn't the FBI, just record an interview? It's not that video cameras and tape recorders are a new invention. Is the objective to manipulate using written interpretations of conversations?

Mr Zarate , 06 November 2019 at 12:16 PM
I'm worried there won't be any popcorn left by the time we get to the end of this sorry saga. It would be nice to think that success by Sidney Powell might be the start of the finale in this duplicitous story but I doubt it. The world is upside down and to many this is now a matter of belief not evidence, something that has been largely caused be an entirely partisan mainstream media (interested only in improving its revenue stream) and what can only be described as a totally gullible section of the voting public.
Upstate NY'er , 06 November 2019 at 01:14 PM
One thing, Flynn has one hell of a lawsuit against his prior lawyers - a well known swamp law firm. Egregious malpractice if not outright conspiring with the prosecutors.

LA Sox Fan -> Jack... , 06 November 2019 at 06:16 PM

FBI interviews are not recorded because if they were, then the interview subject could not be falsely charged with the felony of lying to a federal investigator.
Coleen Rowley -> Jack... , 06 November 2019 at 10:32 PM
I need to write about the long history of the FBI honoring J. Edgar Hoover's policy, even countering former Director Louis Freeh, after a meeting in mid 1990's with a federal judge who had same suggestion, ORDERED the FBI to begin tape recording confessions and even after many states like Minnesota, began to find their own constitutions required tape-recording (at least of custodial confessions). After Freeh ordered the FBI to begin tape-recording, a number of SACs argued the advantages for prosecutorial purposes of sticking with the old policy of allowing Agents to write up, from memory and notes, what subjects and witnesses said. The SACs made the point that juries would always tend to believe agents over the word of defendants. So Freeh backed down. Flynn's attorney ought to request these memos documenting how FBI policy was deliberately kept antiquated because it was advantageous.
artemesia said in reply to Upstate NY'er... , 06 November 2019 at 06:12 PM
Perhaps Larry Johnson knows -- Does Michael Flynn have some form of redress agains the government, some established protocol for compensation for the misery and expense he's been put through? Or are lawsuits against former lawyers his only option to try to recoup legal expenses?

Strozk's caree/life is over. An interesting meditation: is he an evil man, or did he get caught up in something larger than he could handle? (He thought he had what it took to swim with the sharks, but he was just a barnacle. Or steelhead trout.)

The "unidentified" supposed whistleblower, Eric Ciaramella, is young - early 30s. Age of consent, for sure, but very young, the "age of youthful ambition," a different category from Strozk, the age of damn well should have known better. I would judge Eric -- whom I suspect was at very least put up to carrying out dirty deeds for Biden and careerism -- less harshly than Strozk.

Factotum , 06 November 2019 at 02:58 PM
How did Sidney Powell become involved in this long, on-going case? She can't ethically "solicit" the business, but someone must have put Flynn in touch with her -- at what point. What made Flynn seek legal advice elsewhere.

Flynn seemed so passive about facing these drummed up charges earlier in the case - what exactly was he trying to protect his son about that allegedly caused this legal passivity about his own case.

Love watching this unfold and the lessons in " big government" that come with it. But Flynn having to live out a modern day Greek tragedy is a very high price to pay for our civics lesson.

Factotum said in reply to Factotum... , 06 November 2019 at 07:46 PM
Asked and answered: Powell tussled dramatically in the past with Andrew Weissman over his role in the government's prosecution of Enron steam roller cases. She finally got court vindication for her clients 9 years later.

Why does Andrew Weissman's name keep popping up just about everywhere now, when one is looking in pari delitci (including our now famous Pierre Delecto)?

Brent , 06 November 2019 at 03:04 PM
From what I have read, I gather that the FBI in the Mueller / Comey era has made extensive use of "perjury traps". They then threaten charges to get someone to "flip" on someone bigger, in this case Trump. Flynn wouldn't flip even when they threatened to go after Flynn's son. So they decided to "F" him, as stated by Andrew McCabe.

The FBI has been thoroughly disgraced, and Wray is incapable of cleaning it up. He just wants to keep the dirt under the rug. It is too late for that, it is all coming out. US citizens deserve to know how dirty our FBI and CIA are - they are criminal organizations.

Andrei Martyanov (aka SmoothieX12) , 06 November 2019 at 04:07 PM
Is it just me (wink, wink) but I find it completely coincidental that both Strzok (100%) and Pientka (likely) are of Polish origins. Could it be my Russian paranoia. Nah, I am being unreasonable--those people never had a bad feeling towards Trump's attempts to boost Russian-American relations with Michael Flynn spearheading this effort. Jokes aside, however, I can only imagine how SVR and GRU are enjoying the spectacle. I can only imagine how many "free" promotions and awards can be attach to this thing as a free ride.

[Nov 06, 2019] The demonisation of Russia is all about the long term aim if destabilising, cracking it open and stealing it's resources

Nov 06, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Richard , Nov 5 2019 8:04 utc | 34

@13 Joost Your comment is spot on. The demonisation of Russia is all about the long term aim if destabilising, cracking it open and stealing it's resources. Russia is, in fact, the woreld's largets and most resource rich nation so its an irresistible target to the insane, greed-driven psychopath's who rule us.

First and foremost amongst those (and the most insane) is Hillary Clinton who it seems maybe preparing for another run at the presidency...a Hillary presidency risks a full out nuclear war.

You see, Hilary and the people who back her (and whom she faithfully serves) genuinely are psychopaths. They lack empathy, care, and humanity. They see only their own need and greed, only their own dysfunctional lust for power and wealth; they don't give a damn what it takes to satisfy their perverse desires and who dies in the process. Psychopaths (blinded by their own perversity) are also bad judges of risk and, in the minds of Hillary and her cabal of psychopaths, they actually do believe that the US could fight a 'limited' nuclear war against Russia, win it and steal all those lovely Russian resources.

The tragic misjudgement here, and why disgusting Hillary and her ilk are so dangerous, is that there is no such thing as a 'limited' nuclear war. A nuclear war would be global. And fatal.

https://richardhennerley.com/2019/10/21/hilary-clinton-is-back-be-afraid-very-afraid/

[Nov 06, 2019] British Government Disinformation Shop Lost Charity Status

Nov 06, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

The Integrity Initiative, as paid for by the British Foreign Office, Ministry of Defense, NATO and other such entities, will live on as a non-charitable entity with even less transparency. Its website, as well as that of Institute of Statecraft, is down. That it will now have to live in total secrecy will make it more difficult for it to recruit foreign journalists to spread its propaganda.

Since the Integrity Initiative was exposed the British government opened and financed a new secretive shop that will continue to spread anti-Russian disinformation :

On 3rd April, Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) minister Alan Duncan revealed his department's 'Counter Disinformation and Media Development Programme' - which bankrolls the Institute for Statecraft and its Integrity Initiative subsidiary - was funding a new endeavour, Open Information Partnership (OIP).

The announcement, buried in a response to a written parliamentary question, was supremely light on detail - Duncan merely said the effort would "respond to manipulated information in the news, social media and across the public space". Official fanfare was also unforthcoming - there was no accompanying press release, briefing document, or even mention of the launch by any government minister or department via social media channels.

The original proposal for the Open Information Partnership , as released by 'anonymous' , included the Institute of Statecraft , a Media Diversity Institute , Bellingcat , DFR Lab (i.e. the Atlantic Council) and some others in a so called ZINC Network . On the current OIP website the Institute of Statecraft 'charity' is no longer named.

---
Previous Moon of Alabama reports on the issue:

Tim Hayward provides a list (scroll down) of a large number of articles written here and elsewhere about the Integrity Initiative . Speaking of Bellingcat:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1BfLPJpRtyq4RFtHJoNpvWQjmGnyVkfE2HYoICKOGguA/mobilebas

Posted by: NOBTS | Nov 4 2019 18:45 utc | 2


karlof1 , Nov 4 2019 18:49 utc | 3

At Kit Klarenberg's Twitter , there's a long tweet thread further detailing what b has written above. I can't help be wonder how the Monty Python troop would have portrayed the Institute for Statecraft and its parent the Integrity Initiative. It appears that the governments of the English speaking nations became addicted to lying to their citizens @1900 and are unable to kick the habit and instead have actually deepened their addiction. Elsewhere on the planet, it seems that people are learning it's easier to talk straight and transparently with other people and to pool resources and combine efforts to form a community of nations and humanity to better one and all. Seems simple enough to determine which is functional and which isn't.
/div> Oops! Googlehidden. Here's one that might work. An interesting compendium: https://www.comsuregroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Bellingcats-Digital-Toolkit.pdf

Posted by: NOBTS , Nov 4 2019 18:51 utc | 5

Oops! Googlehidden. Here's one that might work. An interesting compendium: https://www.comsuregroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Bellingcats-Digital-Toolkit.pdf

Posted by: NOBTS | Nov 4 2019 18:51 utc | 5

Symen Danziger , Nov 5 2019 11:34 utc | 41
Bellingcat only serves one interest, a propaganda/info laundering shop for NATO, the military industrial complex and some very rich people. The blatant lies about MH17, chemical weapons in Syria, OPCW, Russia, the list goes on and on.

By the time the people in the Netherlands find out how they have been manipulated with the MH17 narrative and the role of Bellingcat in this operation, hopefully they will torch the office of Bellingcat in The Hague and club the survivors to death like the Uktainian Nazi friends of Bellingcat did in Odessa.

The Ukrainian army shot down MH17. It was no accident. The Dutch were also involved with the 2014 coup in the Ukraine. Putting the blame on Russia is a political decision, its not based on facts. Dutch politicians are very dirty people. Burn in hell.

[Nov 06, 2019] Fake news as a culmination of neoliberal market-based epistemology: starting from the basic doctrine that markets are information processors more powerful than any human being or institution could ever hope to be, neoliberals like Hayek decided that the true origin point of the "road to serfdom" is the hubristic notion of a non-marketized Truth that people could hope to grasp for themselves without slaving themselves to the ongoing dictates of the market, which is why in neoliberal terms, this empowerment of hucksterish for-profit "fake news" grifters to freely manipulate people's base instincts according to the algorithmic logic of social media platforms and targeted ad networks is actually a sublime act of political virtue and seriousness

Nov 06, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

WLGR 11.05.19 at 12:27 am 42

Lefties have a lot of reasons to roll our eyes when liberals start talking about Putin and his horde of Rooskie bots comin' to sap and impurify our precious bodily fluids, but most pertinent to this specific conversation, the underlying concerns about social media manipulation, fake news, etc. would be far better addressed by redirecting their ire from Russia and onto wait for it neoliberalism!

Seriously, I can't stress enough how much this whole conversation would benefit from grappling with Philip Mirowski's argument about fake news as a culmination of neoliberal market-based epistemology: starting from the basic doctrine that markets are information processors more powerful than any human being or institution could ever hope to be, neoliberals like Hayek decided that the true origin point of the "road to serfdom" is the hubristic notion of a non-marketized Truth that people could hope to grasp for themselves without slaving themselves to the ongoing dictates of the market, which is why in neoliberal terms, this empowerment of hucksterish for-profit "fake news" grifters to freely manipulate people's base instincts according to the algorithmic logic of social media platforms and targeted ad networks is actually a sublime act of political virtue and seriousness. It's not the big bad Rooskies who are driving this stuff, it's the neoliberalized/marketized logic of modern Western discourse itself, and the only reason it seems so jarring when we Westerners see the Russians doing it (e.g. Mirowski's quote from Adam Curtis on Putin advisor Vladislav Surkov) is because they're following our example in ways we haven't already trained ourselves to accept as normal.

[Nov 06, 2019] Hate Inc. Why Today's Media Makes Us Despise One Another eBook Matt Taibbi Kindle Store

Nov 06, 2019 | www.amazon.com

I thought I understood this and many other things about the journalism business at a young age. I even knew everything that "off the record" entails -- really knew, as if it were a religious tenet -- before I hit junior high. I thought I was an expert.

Then I read Manufacturing Consent .

The book came out in 1988 and I read it a year later, when I was nineteen. It blew my mind.

Along with the documentary Hearts and Minds (about the atrocities of the Vietnam War) and books like Soul on Ice, In the Belly of the Beast, and The Autobiography of Malcolm X, Manufacturing Consent taught me that some level of deception was baked into almost everything I'd ever been taught about modern American life.

I knew nothing about either of the authors, academics named Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky. It seemed odd that a book purporting to say so much about journalism could be written by non-journalists. Who were these people? And how could they claim to know anything about this business?

This was the middle of the George H. W. Bush presidency, still the rah-rah Top Gun eighties. Political earnestness was extremely uncool. America was awesome and hating on America was sad. Noam Chomsky was painted to me as the very definition of uncool, a leaden, hectoring bore.

But this wasn't what I found on the page. Manufacturing Consent is a dazzling book. True, like a lot of co-written books, and especially academic books, it's written in slow, grinding prose. But for its time, it was intellectually flamboyant, wild even.

The ideas in it radiated defiance. Once the authors in the first chapter laid out their famed propaganda model, they cut through the deceptions of the American state like a buzz saw.

The book's central idea was that censorship in the United States was not overt, but covert. The stage-managing of public opinion was "normally not accomplished by crude intervention" but by the keeping of "dissent and inconvenient information" outside permitted mental parameters: "within bounds and at the margins."

The key to this deception is that Americans, every day, see vigorous debate going on in the press. This deceives them into thinking propaganda is absent. Manufacturing Consent explains that the debate you're watching is choreographed. The range of argument has been artificially narrowed long before you get to hear it.

This careful sham is accomplished through the constant, arduous policing of a whole range of internal pressure points within the media business. It's a subtle, highly idiosyncratic process that you can stare at for a lifetime and nonetheless not see.

American news companies at the time didn't (and still don't) forbid the writing of unpatriotic stories. There are no editors who come blundering in, red pen in hand, wiping out politically dangerous reports, in the clumsy manner of Soviet Commissars.

Instead, in a process that is almost 100 percent unconscious, news companies simply avoid promoting dissenting voices. People who are questioners by nature, prodders, pains in the ass -- all good qualities in reporting, incidentally -- get weeded out by bosses, especially in the bigger companies. Advancement is meanwhile strongly encouraged among the credulous, the intellectually unadventurous, and the obedient.

As I would later discover in my own career, there are a lot of C-minus brains in the journalism business. A kind of groupthink is developed that permeates the upper levels of media organizations, and they send unconscious signals down the ranks.

Young reporters learn early on what is and is not permitted behavior. They learn to recognize, almost more by smell than reason, what is and is not a "good story."

Chomsky and Herman described this policing mechanism using the term "flak." Flak was defined as "negative responses to a media statement or program."

They gave examples in which corporate-funded think tanks like The Media Institute or the anti-communist Freedom House would deluge media organizations that ran the wrong kinds of stories with "letters, telegrams, phone calls, petitions, lawsuits" and other kinds of pressure.

What was the wrong kind of story? Here we learned of another part of the propaganda model, the concept of worthy and unworthy victims . Herman and Chomsky defined the premise as follows:

A propaganda system will consistently portray people abused in enemy states as worthy victims, whereas those treated with equal or greater severity by its own government or clients will be unworthy.

Under this theory, a Polish priest murdered by communists in the Reagan years was a "worthy" victim, while rightist death squads in U.S.-backed El Salvador killing whole messes of priests and nuns around the same time was a less "worthy" story.

What Herman and Chomsky described was a system of informal social control, in which the propaganda aims of the state were constantly reinforced among audiences, using a quantity-over-quality approach.

Here and there you might see a dissenting voice, but the overwhelming institutional power of the media (and the infrastructure of think-tanks and politicians behind the private firms) carried audiences along safely down the middle of a surprisingly narrow political and intellectual canal.

One of their examples was Vietnam, where the American media was complicit in a broad self-abnegating effort to blame itself for "losing the war."

An absurd legend that survives today is that CBS anchor Walter Cronkite, after a two-week trip to Vietnam in 1968, was key in undermining the war effort.

Cronkite's famous "Vietnam editorial" derided "the optimists who have been wrong in the past," and villainously imparted that the military's rosy predictions of imminent victory were false. The more noble course, he implied, was to face reality, realize "we did the best we could" to defend democracy, and go home.

The Cronkite editorial sparked a "debate" that continues to the present.

On the right, it is said that we should have kept fighting in Vietnam, in spite of those meddling commies in the media.

The progressive take is that Cronkite was right, and we should have realized the war wasn't "winnable" years earlier. Doing so would have saved countless American lives, this thinking goes.

These two positions still define the edges of what you might call the "fairway" of American thought.

The uglier truth, that we committed genocide on a fairly massive scale across Indochina -- ultimately killing at least a million innocent civilians by air in three countries -- is pre-excluded from the history of that period.

Instead of painful national reconciliation surrounding episodes like Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, the CIA-backed anti-communist massacres in places like Indonesia, or even the more recent horrors in Middle Eastern arenas like Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen, we mostly ignore narrative-ruining news about civilian deaths or other outrages.

A media that currently applauds itself for calling out the lies of Donald Trump (and they are lies) still uses shameful government-concocted euphemisms like "collateral damage." Our new "Democracy Dies in Darkness" churlishness has yet to reach the Pentagon, and probably never will.

In the War on Terror period, the press accepted blame for having lost the most recent big war and agreed to stop showing pictures of the coffins coming home (to say nothing of actual scenes of war deaths).

We also volunteered to reduce or play down stories about torture ("enhanced interrogation"), kidnapping ("rendition"), or assassination ("lethal action," or the "distribution matrix").

Even now, if these stories are covered, they're rarely presented in an alarmist tone. In fact, many "civilian casualties" stories are couched in language that focuses on how the untimely release of news of "collateral damage" may hinder the effort to win whatever war we're in at the time.

"After reports of civilian deaths, U.S. military struggles to defend air operations in war against militants," is a typical American newspaper headline.

Can you guess either the year or the war from that story? It could be 1968, or 2008. Or 2018.

As Manufacturing Consent predicted -- with a nod to Orwell, maybe -- the scripts in societies like ours rarely change. 1

When it came time for me to enter the journalism business myself, I discovered that the Chomsky/Herman diagnosis was mostly right. Moreover, the academics proved prescient about future media deceptions like the Iraq War. Their model predicted that hideous episode in Technicolor.

But neither Herman nor Chomsky could have known, when they published their book in 1988, that the media business was going through profound change.

As it turned out, Manufacturing Consent was published just ahead of three massive revolutions. When I met and interviewed Chomsky for this book (see Appendix 2 ), we discussed these developments. They included:

1. The explosion of conservative talk radio and Fox-style news products. Using point of view rather than "objectivity" as commercial strategies, these stations presaged an atomization of the news landscape under which each consumer had an outlet somewhere to match his or her political beliefs. This was a major departure from the three-network pseudo-monopoly that dominated the Manufacturing Consent period, under which the country debated a commonly held set of facts.

2. The introduction of twenty-four-hour cable news stations, which shifted the emphasis of the news business. Reporters were suddenly trained to value breaking news, immediacy, and visual potential over import. Network "crashes" -- relentless day-night coverage extravaganzas of a single hot story like the Kursk disaster or a baby thrown down a well, a type of journalism one TV producer I knew nicknamed "Shoveling Coal For Satan" -- became the first examples of binge-watching. The relentless now now now grind of the twenty-four-hour cycle created in consumers a new kind of anxiety and addictive dependency, a need to know what was happening not just once or twice a day but every minute. This format would have significant consequences in the 2016 election in particular.

3. The development of the Internet, which was only just getting off the ground in 1988. It was thought it would significantly democratize the press landscape. But print and broadcast media soon began to be distributed by just a handful of digital platforms. By the late 2000s and early 2010s, that distribution system had been massively concentrated. This created the potential for a direct control mechanism over the press that never existed in the Manufacturing Consent era. Moreover the development of social media would amplify the "flak" factor a thousandfold, accelerating conformity and groupthink in ways that would have been unimaginable in 1988.

Maybe the biggest difference involved an obvious historical change: the collapse of the Soviet Union.

One of the pillars of the "propaganda model" in the original Manufacturing Consent was that the media used anti-communism as an organizing religion.

The ongoing Cold War narrative helped the press use anti-communism as a club to batter heretical thinkers, who as luck would have it were often socialists. They even used it as a club to police people who weren't socialists (I would see this years later, when Howard Dean was asked a dozen times a day if he was "too left" to be a viable candidate).

But the fall of the Berlin Wall and the dissolution of the Soviet empire took a little wind out of the anti-communist religion. Chomsky and Herman addressed this in their 2002 update of Manufacturing Consent, in which they wrote:

The force of anti-communist ideology has possibly weakened with the collapse of the Soviet Union and the virtual disappearance of socialist movements across the globe, but this is easily offset by the greater ideological force of the belief in the "miracle of the market "

The collapse of the Soviets, and the weakening of anti-communism as an organizing principle, led to other changes in the media. Manufacturing Consent was in significant part a book about how that unseen system of informal controls allowed the press to organize the entire population behind support of particular objectives, many of them foreign policy objectives.

But the collapse of the Wall, coupled with those new commercial strategies being deployed by networks like Fox, created a new dynamic in the press.

Media companies used to seek out the broadest possible audiences. The dull third-person voice used in traditional major daily newspapers is not there for any moral or ethical reason, but because it was once believed that it most ably fulfilled the commercial aim of snatching as many readers/viewers as possible. The press is a business above all, and boring third-person language was once advanced marketing.

But in the years after Manufacturing Consent was published the new behemoths like Fox turned the old business model on its head. What Australian tabloid-merchant Rupert Murdoch did in employing political slant as a commercial strategy had ramifications the American public to this day poorly understands.

The news business for decades emphasized "objective" presentation, which was really less an issue of politics than of tone.

The idea was to make the recitation of news rhetorically watered down and unthreatening enough to rope in the whole spectrum of potential news consumers. The old-school anchorperson was a monotone mannequin designed to look and sound like a safe date for your daughter: Good evening, I'm Dan Rather, and my frontal lobes have been removed . Today in Libya

Murdoch smashed this framework. He gave news consumers broadcasts that were pointed, opinionated, and nasty. He struck gold with The O'Reilly Factor, hosted by a yammering, red-faced repository of white suburban rage named Bill O'Reilly (another Boston TV vet).

The next hit was Hannity & Colmes, a format that played as a parody of old news. In this show, the "liberal" Colmes was the quivering, asexual, "safe date" prototype from the old broadcast era, and Sean Hannity was a thuggish Joey Buttafuoco in makeup whose job was to make Colmes look like the spineless dope he was.

This was theater, not news, and it was not designed to seize the whole audience in the way that other debate shows like CNN's Crossfire were.

The premise of Crossfire was an honest fight, two prominent pundits duking it out over issues, and may the best man (they were usually men) win.

The prototypical Crossfire setup involved a bombastic winger like Pat Buchanan versus an effete liberal like New Republic editor Michael Kinsley. On some days the conservative would be allowed to win, on some days the liberal would score a victory. It looked like a real argument.

But Crossfire was really just a formalized version of the artificial poles of allowable debate that Chomsky and Herman described. As some of its participants (like Jeff Cohen, a pioneering media critic who briefly played the "liberal" on the show, about whom we'll hear more later) came to realize, Crossfire became a propagandistic setup, a stage trick in which the "left" side of the argument was gradually pushed toward the right over the years. It was propaganda, but in slow motion.

Hannity & Colmes dispensed with the pretense. This was the intellectual version of Vince McMahon's pro wrestling spectacles, which were booming at the time. In the Fox debate shows, Sean Hannity was the heel, and Colmes was the good guy, or babyface. As any good wrestling fan knows, most American audiences want to see babyface stomped.

The job of Colmes was to get pinned over and over again, and he did it well. Meanwhile rightist anger merchants like Hannity and O'Reilly (and, on the radio, Rush Limbaugh) were rapidly hoovering up audiences that were frustrated, white, and often elderly. Fox chief Roger Ailes once boasted, "I created a network for people 55 to dead." (Ailes is now dead himself.)

This was a new model for the media. Instead of targeting the broad mean, they were now narrowly hunting demographics. The explosion of cable television meant there were hundreds of channels, each of which had its own mission.

Just as Manufacturing Consent came out, all the major cable channels were setting off on similar whale hunts, sailing into the high demographic seas in search of audiences to capture. Lifetime was "television for women," while the Discovery Channel did well with men. BET went after black viewers. Young people were MTV's target audience.

This all seems obvious now, but this "siloing" effect that spread across other channels soon became a very important new factor in news coverage. Fox for a long time cornered the market on conservative viewers. Almost automatically, competitors like CNN and MSNBC became home to people who viewed themselves as liberals, beginning a sifting process that would later accelerate.

A new dynamic entered the job of reporting. For generations, news directors had only to remember a few ideological imperatives. One, ably and voluminously described by Chomsky and Herman, was, "America rules: pay no attention to those napalmed bodies." We covered the worthy victims, ignored the unworthy ones, and that was most of the job, politically.

The rest of the news? As one TV producer put it to me in the nineties, "The entire effect we're after is, 'Isn't that weird?'"

Did you hear about that guy in Michigan who refused to mow his lawn even when the town ordered him to? Weird! And how about that drive-thru condom store that opened in Cranston, Rhode Island? What a trip! And, hey, what happened in the O.J. trial today? That Kato Kaelin is really a doof! And I love that lawyer who wears a suede jacket! He looks like a cowboy!

TV execs learned Americans would be happy if you just fed them a nonstop succession of National Enquirer –style factoids (this is formalized today in meme culture). The New York Times deciding to cover the O.J. freak show full-time broke the seal on the open commercialization of dumb news that among other things led to a future where Donald Trump could be a viable presidential candidate.

In the old days, the news was a mix of this toothless trivia and cheery dispatches from the front lines of Pax Americana. The whole fam could sit and watch it without getting upset (by necessity: an important principle in pre-Internet broadcasting is that nothing on the air, including the news, could be as intense or as creative as the commercials). The news once designed to be consumed by the whole house, by loving Mom, by your crazy right-wing uncle, by your earnest college-student cousin who just came home wearing a Che T-shirt.

But once we started to be organized into demographic silos, the networks found another way to seduce these audiences: they sold intramural conflict.

The Roger Ailes types captured the attention of the crazy right-wing uncle and got him watching one channel full of news tailored for him, filling the airwaves with stories, for instance, about immigration or minorities committing crimes. Different networks eventually rose to market themselves to the kid in the Che T-shirt. If you got them in different rooms watching different channels, you could get both viewers literally addicted to hating one another.

There was a political element to this, but also not. It was commerce, initially. And reporters stuck in this world soon began to realize that the nature of their jobs had changed.

Whereas once the task was to report the facts as honestly as we could -- down the middle of the "fairway" of acceptable thought, of course -- the new task was mostly about making sure your viewer came back the next day.

We sold anger, and we did it mainly by feeding audiences what they wanted to hear. Mostly, this involved cranking out stories about people our viewers loved to hate.

Selling siloed anger was a more sophisticated take on the WWE programming pioneered in Hannity & Colmes . The modern news consumer tuned into news that confirmed his or her prejudices about whatever or whoever the villain of the day happened to be: foreigners, minorities, terrorists, the Clintons, Republicans, even corporations.

The system was ingeniously designed so that the news dropped down the respective silos didn't interfere with the occasional need to "manufacture" the consent of the whole population. If we needed to, we could still herd the whole country into the pen again and get them backing the flag, as was the case with the Iraq War effort.

But mostly, we sold conflict. We began in the early nineties to systematically pry families apart, set group against group, and more and more make news consumption a bubble-like, "safe space" stimulation of the vitriolic reflex, a consumer version of "Two Minutes Hate."

How did this serve the needs of the elite interests that were once promoting unity? That wasn't easy for me to see, in my first decades in the business. For a long time, I thought it was a flaw in the Chomsky/Herman model. It looked like we were mostly selling pointless division.

But it now seems there was a reason, even for that.

The news media is in crisis. Polls show that a wide majority of the population no longer has confidence in the press. Chomsky himself despairs at this, noting in my discussion with him (at the end of this book) that Manufacturing Consent had the unintended consequence of convincing readers not to trust the media.

There are many ways of mistrusting something, but people who came away from Manufacturing Consent with the idea that the media peddles lies misread the book. Papers like the New York Times, for the most part, do not traffic in outright deceptions.

The overwhelming majority of commercial news reporting is factual (with one conspicuous exception I'll get into later on), and the individual reporters who work in the business tend to be quite stubborn in their adherence to fact as a matter of principle. (Sadly, in the time it's taken to write this book, even this has begun to change some). Still, people should trust most reporters, especially local reporters, who tend to have real beats (like statehouses or courts), have few of the insular prejudices of the national media, and don't deserve the elitist tag. The context in which reporters operate is most often the problem.

Now, more than ever, most journalists work for giant nihilistic corporations whose editorial decisions are skewed by a toxic mix of political and financial considerations. Without understanding how those pressures work, it's very difficult for a casual news consumer to gain an accurate picture of the world.

This book is intended as an insider's guide to those distortions.

The technology underpinning the modern news business is sophisticated and works according to a two-step process. First, it creates content that reinforces your pre-existing opinions, and, after analysis of your consumer habits, sends it to you.

Then it matches you to advertisers who have a product they're trying to sell to your demographic. This is how companies like Facebook and Google make their money: telling advertisers where their likely customers are on the web.

The news, basically, is bait to lure you into a pen where you can be sold sneakers or bath soaps or prostatitis cures or whatever else studies say people of your age, gender, race, class, and political persuasion tend to buy.

Imagine your Internet surfing habit as being like walking down a street. A man shouts: "Did you hear what those damned liberals did today? Come down this alley."

You hate liberals, so you go down the alley. On your way to the story, there's a storefront selling mart carts and gold investments (there's a crash coming -- this billionaire even says so!).

Maybe you buy the gold, maybe you don't. But at the end of the alley, there's a red-faced screamer telling a story that may even be true, about a college in Massachusetts where administrators took down a statue of John Adams because it made a Hispanic immigrant "uncomfortable." Boy, does that make you pissed!

They picked that story just for you to hear. It is like the parable of Kafka's gatekeeper, guarding a door to the truth that was built just for you.

Across the street, down the MSNBC alley, there's an opposite story, and set of storefronts, built specifically for someone else to hear.

People need to start understanding the news not as "the news," but as just such an individualized consumer experience -- anger just for you.

This is not reporting. It's a marketing process designed to create rhetorical addictions and shut any non-consumerist doors in your mind. This creates more than just pockets of political rancor. It creates masses of media consumers who've been trained to see in only one direction, as if they had been pulled through history on a railroad track, with heads fastened in blinders, looking only one way.

As it turns out, there is a utility in keeping us divided. As people, the more separate we are, the more politically impotent we become.

This is the second stage of the mass media deception originally described in Manufacturing Consent .

First, we're taught to stay within certain bounds, intellectually. Then, we're all herded into separate demographic pens, located along different patches of real estate on the spectrum of permissible thought.

Once safely captured, we're trained to consume the news the way sports fans do. We root for our team, and hate all the rest.

Hatred is the partner of ignorance, and we in the media have become experts in selling both.

I looked back at thirty years of deceptive episodes -- from Iraq to the financial crisis of 2008 to the 2016 election of Donald Trump -- and found that we in the press have increasingly used intramural hatreds to obscure larger, more damning truths. Fake controversies of increasing absurdity have been deployed over and over to keep our audiences from seeing larger problems.

We manufactured fake dissent, to prevent real dissent.

[Nov 06, 2019] Manufacturing Fear and Loathing, Maximizing Corporate Profits! A Review of Matt Taibbi's Hate Inc. Why Today's Media Makes Us

Notable quotes:
"... "Manufacturing Consent," Taibbi writes, "explains that the debate you're watching is choreographed. The range of argument has been artificially narrowed long before you get to hear it" (p. 11). ..."
"... Americans were held captive by the boob tube affords us not only a useful historical image but also suggests the possibility of their having been able to view the television as an antagonist, and therefore of their having been able, at least some of them, to rebel against its dictates. Three decades later, on the other hand, the television has been replaced by iPhones and portable tablets, the workings of which are so precisely intertwined with even the most intimate minute-to-minute aspects of our lives that our relationship to them could hardly ever become antagonistic. ..."
"... The massive political revolution was, going all the way back to 1989, the collapse of the Berlin Wall, and then of the Soviet Union itself -- and thus of the usefulness of anti-communism as a kind of coercive secular religion (pp. 14-15). ..."
"... our corporate media have devised -- at least for the time being -- highly-profitable marketing processes that manufacture fake dissent in order to smother real dissent (p. 21). ..."
"... And the smothering of real dissent is close enough to public consentto get the goddam job done: The Herman/Chomsky model is, after all these years, still valid. ..."
"... For Maddow, he notes, is "a depressingly exact mirror of Hannity . The two characters do exactly the same work. They make their money using exactly the same commercial formula. And though they emphasize different political ideas, the effect they have on audiences is much the same" (pp. 259-260). ..."
Nov 06, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Matt Taibbi's Hate Inc . is the most insightful and revelatory book about American politics to appear since the publication of Thomas Frank's Listen, Liberal almost four full years ago, near the beginning of the last presidential election cycle.

While Frank's topic was the abysmal failure of the Democratic Party to be democratic and Taibbi's is the abysmal failure of our mainstream news corporations to report news, the prominent villains in both books are drawn from the same, or at least overlapping, elite social circles: from, that is, our virulently anti-populist liberal class, from our intellectually mediocre creative class, from our bubble-dwelling thinking class. In fact, I would strongly recommend that the reader spend some time with Frank's What's the Matter with Kansas? (2004) and Listen, Liberal! (2016) as he or she takes up Taibbi's book.

And to really do the book the justice it deserves, I would even more vehemently recommend that the reader immerse him- or herself in Taibbi's favorite book and vade-mecum , Manufacturing Consent (which I found to be a grueling experience: a relentless cataloging of the official lies that hide the brutality of American foreign policy) and, in order to properly appreciate the brilliance of Taibbi's chapter 7, "How the Media Stole from Pro Wrestling," visit some locale in Flyover Country and see some pro wrestling in person (which I found to be unexpectedly uplifting -- more on this soon enough).

Taibbi tells us that he had originally intended for Hate, Inc . to be an updating of Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky's Manufacturing Consent (1988), which he first read thirty years ago, when he was nineteen. "It blew my mind," Taibbi writes. "[It] taught me that some level of deception was baked into almost everything I'd ever been taught about modern American life .

Once the authors in the first chapter laid out their famed propaganda model [italics mine], they cut through the deceptions of the American state like a buzz saw" (p. 10). For what seemed to be vigorous democratic debate, Taibbi realized, was instead a soul-crushing simulation of debate. The choices voters were given were distinctions without valid differences, and just as hyped, just as trivial, as the choices between a Whopper and a Big Mac, between Froot Loops and Frosted Mini-Wheats, between Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi, between Marlboro Lites and Camel Filters. It was all profit-making poisonous junk.

"Manufacturing Consent," Taibbi writes, "explains that the debate you're watching is choreographed. The range of argument has been artificially narrowed long before you get to hear it" (p. 11). And there's an indisputable logic at work here, because the reality of hideous American war crimes is and always has been, from the point of view of the big media corporations, a "narrative-ruining" buzz-kill. "The uglier truth [brought to light in Manufacturing Consent ], that we committed genocide of a fairly massive scale across Indochina -- ultimately killing at least a million innocent civilians by air in three countries -- is pre-excluded from the history of the period" (p. 13).

So what has changed in the last thirty years? A lot! As a starting point let's consider the very useful metaphor found in the title of another great media book of 1988: Mark Crispin Miller's Boxed In: The Culture of TV . To say that Americans were held captive by the boob tube affords us not only a useful historical image but also suggests the possibility of their having been able to view the television as an antagonist, and therefore of their having been able, at least some of them, to rebel against its dictates. Three decades later, on the other hand, the television has been replaced by iPhones and portable tablets, the workings of which are so precisely intertwined with even the most intimate minute-to-minute aspects of our lives that our relationship to them could hardly ever become antagonistic.

Taibbi summarizes the history of these three decades in terms of three "massive revolutions" in the media plus one actual massive political revolution, all of which, we should note, he discussed with his hero Chomsky (who is now ninety! -- Edward Herman passed away in 2017) even as he wrote his book. And so: the media revolutions which Taibbi describes were, first, the coming of FoxNews along with Rush Limbaugh-style talk radio; second, the coming of CNN, i.e., the Cable News Network, along with twenty-four hour infinite-loop news cycles; third, the coming of the Internet along with the mighty social media giants Facebook and Twitter.

The massive political revolution was, going all the way back to 1989, the collapse of the Berlin Wall, and then of the Soviet Union itself -- and thus of the usefulness of anti-communism as a kind of coercive secular religion (pp. 14-15).

For all that, however, the most salient difference between the news media of 1989 and the news media of 2019 is the disappearance of the single type of calm and decorous and slightly boring cis-het white anchorman (who somehow successfully appealed to a nationwide audience) and his replacement by a seemingly wide variety of demographically-engineered news personæ who all rage and scream combatively in each other's direction. "In the old days," Taibbi writes, "the news was a mix of this toothless trivia and cheery dispatches from the frontlines of Pax Americana . The news [was] once designed to be consumed by the whole house . But once we started to be organized into demographic silos [italics mine], the networks found another way to seduce these audiences: they sold intramural conflict" (p. 18).

And in this new media environment of constant conflict, how, Taibbi wondered, could public consent , which would seem to be at the opposite end of the spectrum from conflict, still be manufactured ?? "That wasn't easy for me to see in my first decades in the business," Taibbi writes. "For a long time, I thought it was a flaw in the Chomsky/Herman model" (p. 19).

But what Taibbi was at length able to understand, and what he is now able to describe for us with both wit and controlled outrage, is that our corporate media have devised -- at least for the time being -- highly-profitable marketing processes that manufacture fake dissent in order to smother real dissent (p. 21).

And the smothering of real dissent is close enough to public consentto get the goddam job done: The Herman/Chomsky model is, after all these years, still valid.

Or pretty much so. Taibbi is more historically precise. Because of the tweaking of the Herman/Chomsky propaganda model necessitated by the disappearance of the USSR in 1991 ("The Russians escaped while we weren't watching them, / As Russians do ," Jackson Browne presciently prophesied on MTV way back in 1983), one might now want to speak of a Propaganda Model 2.0. For, as Taibbi notes, " the biggest change to Chomsky's model is the discovery of a far superior 'common enemy' in modern media: each other. So long as we remain a bitterly-divided two-party state, we'll never want for TV villains" (pp. 207-208).

To rub his great insight right into our uncomprehending faces, Taibbi has almost sadistically chosen to have dark, shadowy images of a yelling Sean Hannity (in lurid FoxNews Red!) and a screaming Rachel Maddow (in glaring MSNBC Blue!) juxtaposed on the cover of his book. For Maddow, he notes, is "a depressingly exact mirror of Hannity . The two characters do exactly the same work. They make their money using exactly the same commercial formula. And though they emphasize different political ideas, the effect they have on audiences is much the same" (pp. 259-260).

And that effect is hate. Impotent hate. For while Rachel's fan demographic is all wrapped up in hating Far-Right Fascists Like Sean, and while Sean's is all wrapped up in despising Libtard Lunatics Like Rachel, the bipartisan consensus in Washington for ever-increasing military budgets, for everlasting wars, for ever-expanding surveillance, for ever-growing bailouts of and tax breaks for and and handouts to the most powerful corporations goes forever unchallenged.

Oh my. And it only gets worse and worse, because the media, in order to make sure that their various siloed demographics stay superglued to their Internet devices, must keep ratcheting up levels of hate: the Fascists Like Sean and the Libtards Like Rachel must be continually presented as more and more deranged, and ultimately as demonic. "There is us and them," Taibbi writes, "and they are Hitler" (p. 64). A vile reductio ad absurdum has come into play: "If all Trump supporters are Hitler, and all liberals are also Hitler," Taibbi writes, " [t]he America vs. America show is now Hitler vs. Hitler! Think of the ratings! " The reader begins to grasp Taibbi's argument that our mainstream corporate media are as bad as -- are worse than -- pro wrestling. It's an ineluctable downward spiral.

Taibbi continues: "The problem is, there's no natural floor to this behavior. Just as cable TV will eventually become seven hundred separate twenty-four-hour porn channels, news and commentary will eventually escalate to boxing-style, expletive-laden, pre-fight tirades, and the open incitement to violence [italics mine]. If the other side is literally Hitler, [w]hat began as America vs. America will eventually move to Traitor vs. Traitor , and the show does not work if those contestants are not eventually offended to the point of wanting to kill one another" (pp. 65-69).

As I read this book, I often wondered about how difficult it was emotionally for Taibbi to write it. I'm just really glad to see that the guy didn't commit suicide along the way. He does describe the "self-loathing" he experienced as he realized his own complicity in the marketing processes which he exposes (p. 2). He also apologizes to the reader for his not being able to follow through on his original aim of writing a continuation of Herman and Chomsky's classic: "[W]hen I sat down to write what I'd hoped would be something with the intellectual gravitas of Manufacturing Consent ," Taibbi confesses, "I found decades of more mundane frustrations pouring out onto the page, obliterating a clinical examination" (p. 2).

I, however, am profoundly grateful to Taibbi for all of his brilliantly observed anecdotes. The subject matter is nauseating enough even in Taibbi's sparkling and darkly tragicomic prose. A more academic treatment of the subject would likely be too depressing to read. So let me conclude with an anecdote of my own -- and an oddly uplifting one at that -- about reading Taibbi's chapter 7, "How the News Media Stole from Pro Wrestling."

On the same day I read this chapter I saw that, on the bulletin board in my gym, a poster had appeared, as if by magic, promoting an upcoming Primal Conflict (!) professional wrestling event. I studied the photos of the wrestlers on the poster carefully, and, as an astute reader of Taibbi, I prided myself on being able to identify which of them seemed be playing the roles of heels , and which of them the roles of babyfaces .

For Taibbi explains that one of the fundamental dynamics of wrestling involves the invention of crowd-pleasing narratives out of the many permutations and combinations of pitting heels against faces . Donald Trump, a natural heel , brings the goofy dynamics of pro wrestling to American politics with real-life professional expertise. (Taibbi points out that in 2007 Trump actually performed before a huge cheering crowd in a Wrestlemania event billed as the "battle of the billionaires." Watch it on YouTube! https://youtu.be/5NsrwH9I9vE -- unbelievable!!)

The mainstream corporate media, on the other hand, their eyes fixed on ever bigger and bigger profits, have drifted into the metaphorical pro wrestling ring in ignorance, and so, when they face off against Trump, they often end up in the role of inept prudish pearl-clutching faces .

Taibbi condemns the mainstream media's failure to understand such a massively popular form of American entertainment as "malpractice" (p. 125), so I felt more than obligated to buy a ticket and see the advertised event in person. To properly educate myself, that is.

... ... ...


Steve Ruis , November 5, 2019 at 8:13 am

I have stopped watching broadcast "news" other than occasional sessions of NPR in the car. I get most of my news from sources such as this and from overseas sources (The Guardian, Reuters, etc.). I used to subscribe to newspapers but have given them up in disgust, even though I was looking forward to leisurely enjoying a morning paper after I retired.

I was brought up in the positive 1950's and, boy, did this turn out poorly.

Dao Gen , November 5, 2019 at 8:59 am

Matt Taibbi is an American treasure, and I love his writing very much, but we also need to ask, Why hasn't another Chomsky (or another Hudson), an analyst with a truly deep and wide-ranging, synthetic mind, appeared on the left to take apart our contemporary media and show us its inner workings? Have all the truly great minds gone to work for Wall Street? I don't have an answer, but to me the pro wrestling metaphor, while intriguing, misses something about the Fourth Estate in America, if it indeed still exists. And that is, except for radio, there is a distinct imbalance between the two sides of the MSM lineup. On the corporate liberal side of the national MSM team you have five wrestlers, but on the conservative/reactionary side you have only the Fox entry. Because of this imbalance, the corruption, laziness, self-indulgence, and generally declining interest in journalistic standards seems greater among the corporate liberal media team, including the NYT and WaPo, than the Fox team.

I'm not a fan of either Maddow (in her current incarnation) or Hannity, but Hannity, perhaps because he thinks he's like David, often hustles to refute the discourse of the corporate liberal Goliath team. Hannity obviously does more research on some topics than Maddow, and, perhaps because he began in radio, he puts more emphasis on semi-rationally structured rants than Maddow, who depends more on primal emotion, body language, and Hollywood-esque fear-inducing atmospherics.

I'd wager that in a single five-minute segment there will often be twice as many rational distinctions made in a Hannity rant than in a Maddow performance. In addition, for the last three years Hannity has simply been demonstrably right about the fake Russiagate propaganda blitz while Maddow has been as demonstrably wrong from the very beginning as propaganda industry trend-setter Adam Schiff. So for at least these last three years, the Maddow-Hannity primal match has been a somewhat misleading metaphor. The Blob and the security state have been decisively supporting (and directing?) the corporate liberal global interventionist media, at least regarding Russia and the permanent war establishment, and because the imbalance between the interventionist and the non-interventionist MSM, Russia and Ukraine are being used as a wedge to steadily break down the firewalls between the Dem party, the intel community, and the interventionist MSM. If we had real public debates with both sides at approximately equal strength as we did during the Vietnam War, then even pro wrestling-type matches would be superior to what we have now, which is truthy truth and thoughtsy thought coming to us from the military industrial complex and monopolistic holding companies. If fascism is defined as the fusion of the state and corporations, then the greatest threat of fascism in America may well be coming from the apparent gradual fusion of the corporate liberal MSM, the Dem party elite, and the intel community. Instead of an MSM wrestling match, we may soon be faced with a Japanese-style 'hitori-zumo' match in which a sumo wrestler wrestles with only himself. Once these sumo wrestlers were believed to be wrestling with invisible spirits, but those days are gone . http://kikuko-nagoya.com/html/hitori-zumo.htm

coboarts , November 5, 2019 at 9:59 am

"If we had real public debates" and if they were even debates where issues entered into contest were addressed point by point with evidence

Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg , November 5, 2019 at 10:03 am

Today's Noam Chomksy? Chomsky was part of the machine who broke ranks with it. His MIT research was generously funded by the Military Industrial Complex. Thankfully, enough of his latent humanity and Trotskyite upbringing shone through so he exposed what he was part of. So I guess today that's Chris Hedges, though he's a preacher at heart and not a semiotician.

neighbor7 , November 5, 2019 at 10:04 am

Thank you, Dao Gen. An excellent analysis, and your final image is usefully haunting.

a different chris , November 5, 2019 at 12:11 pm

> In addition, for the last three years Hannity has simply been demonstrably right about the fake Russiagate propaganda blitz while Maddow has been as demonstrably wrong

Eh. Read whats-his-name's (Frankfurter?) book On Bullshit . You are giving Hannity credit for something he doesn't really care about.

jrs , November 5, 2019 at 12:21 pm

I don't believe the media environment as a whole leans corporate Dem/neoliberal.

T.V. maybe, but radio is much more right wing than left (yes there is NPR and Pacifica, the latter with probably only a scattering of listerners but ) and it's still out there and a big influence, radio hasn't gone away. So doesn't the right wing tilt of radio kind of balance out television? (not necessarily in a good way but). And then there is the internet and I have no idea what the overall lean of that is (I mean I prefer left wing sites, but that's purely my own bubble and actually there are much fewer left analysis out there than I'd like)

Self Affine , November 5, 2019 at 9:05 am

Also,

Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism

by Sheldon S. Wolin

Critical deep analysis of not just the media but the whole American political enterprise and
the nature of our "democracy".

DJG , November 5, 2019 at 9:20 am

The whole review is good, but this extract should be quoted extensively:

While Frank's topic was the abysmal failure of the Democratic Party to be democratic and Taibbi's is the abysmal failure of our mainstream news corporations to report news, the prominent villains in both books are drawn from the same, or at least overlapping, elite social circles: from, that is, our virulently anti-populist liberal class, from our intellectually mediocre creative class, from our bubble-dwelling thinking class.

In short, stagnation and self-dealing at the top. What could possibly go wrong?

Yves Smith Post author , November 5, 2019 at 11:51 am

Are you serious? Maddow called Trump a traitor and accused him of betrayal in Russiagate, and was caught out when that fell apart. This was pointed out all over the MSM .

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2019/03/27/rachel-maddows-deep-delusion-226266

https://www.salon.com/2018/07/17/rachel-maddow-hits-the-panic-button-after-trump-putin-summit-this-is-the-worst-case-scenario/

Carolinian , November 5, 2019 at 9:52 am

This is great stuff. Thanks.

One quibble: the author says

Three decades later, on the other hand, the television has been replaced by iPhones and portable tablets

and then goes on to spend most of the article talking about television. I'd say television is still the main propaganda instrument even if many webheads like yours truly ignore it (I've never seen Hannity's show or Maddow's–just hear the rumors). Arguably even newspapers like the NYT have been dumbed down because the reporters long to be on TV and join the shouting. And it's surely no coincidence that our president himself is a TV (and WWE) star. Mass media have always been feeders of hysteria but television gave them faces and voices. Watching TV is also a far more passive experience than surfing the web. They are selling us "narratives," bedtime stories, and we like sleepy children merely listen.

Jerri-Lynn Scofield , November 5, 2019 at 9:54 am

This rave review has inspired me to add this to my to-read non-fiction queue. Currently reading William Dalrymple's The Anarchy, on the rise of the East India Company. Next up: Matt Stoller's Goliath. And then I'll get to Taibbi. Probably worth digging up my original copy of Manufacturing Consent as well, which I read many moons ago; time for a re-read.

Susan the Other , November 5, 2019 at 12:32 pm

almost every page of mine is dog-eared and marked along the edge with exclamation points

urblintz , November 5, 2019 at 1:41 pm

May I suggest Stephen Cohen's "War with Russia?" if it's not already on your list? In focusing on the danger emerging from the new cold war, seeded by the Democrats, propagated by corporate media (which he thinks is more dangerous than the first), Cohen clarifies the importance of diplomacy especially with one's nuclear rivals.

Imagine that

shinola , November 5, 2019 at 9:56 am

Support your local book store!

Off The Street , November 5, 2019 at 9:57 am

Us rubes knew decades ago about pro wrestling. There was a regional circuit and the hero in one town would become the villain in another town. The ones to be surprised were like John Stossel, who got a perforated eardrum from a slap upside the head for his efforts at in-your-face journalism with a wrestler who just wouldn't play along with his grandstanding. Somewhere, kids cheered and life went on.

The Historian , November 5, 2019 at 10:01 am

Ah, Ancient Athens, here we come – running back to repeat your mistakes! Our MSM media has decided that when we are not at our neighbor's throats, we should be at each other's throats!

teacup , November 5, 2019 at 10:11 am

I was watching old clips of the 'Fred Friendly Seminars' on YouTube. IMHO any channel that produced a format such as this would be a ratings bonanza. Imagine a round table with various media figures (corporate) left, (corporate) right, and independent being refereed by a host-moderator discussing topics in 'Hate, Inc.'. In wrestling it's called a Battle Royale. The Fourth Estate in a cage match!

@ape , November 5, 2019 at 10:12 am

And the smothering of real dissent is close enough to public consentto get the goddam job done: The Herman/Chomsky model is, after all these years, still valid.

This is important, if people don't want to be naive about what democracy buys. Democracy in the end is a ritual system to determine which members of an elite would win a war without actually having to hold the war. Like how court functions to replace personal revenge by determining (often) who would win in a fight if there were one, and the feudal system replaced the genocidal wars of the axial age with the gentler warfare of the middle ages which were often ritual wars of the elite that avoided the full risk of the earlier wars.

That, I think, is important -- under a democracy, the winner should be normally the winner of the avoided violent conflict to be sustainable. Thus, it's enough to get most people to consent to the solution, using the traditional meaning of consent being "won't put up a fight to avoid it". If the choices on the table are reduced enough, you can get by with most people simply dropping out of the questions.

Qui tacet consentire videtur, ubi loqui debuit ac potuit

It shouldn't be a surprise that we've moved to "faking dissent" -- it's the natural evolution of a system where a lot of the effective power is in the hands of tech, and not just as in the early 20th century, how many workers you have and how many soldiers you can raise.

If you don't like it, change the technology we use to fight one another. We went from tribes to lords when we switch from sticks to advanced forged weapons, and we went from feudalism to democracy when we had factories dropping guns that any 15 year old could use (oversimplifying a bit). Now that the stuff requires expertise, you'd expect a corresponding shift in how we ritualize our conflict avoidance, and thus the organization of how we control communication and how we organize our rituals of power.

Aka, it's the scientists and the engineers who end up determining how everything is organized, and people never seem to bother with that argument, which is especially surprising that even hard-core Marxists waste their time on short-term politics rather than the tech we're building.

I'd be curious whether Taibbi thought about the issue of the nature of the technology and whether there are technological options on the horizon which drive the conflict in other directions. If we had only kept the laws on copyright and patent weaker, so that the implementation of communicative infrastructure would have stayed decentralized

Susan the Other , November 5, 2019 at 12:41 pm

Tabby's "manufacturing fake consent" was really the whole punchline – the joke's on us. Hunter S. Thompson, another of Taibbi's heroes, is, along with Chomsky, speaking to us through MT. Our media is distracting us from social coherence. Another thing it is doing (just my opinion) is it is overwhelming us to the point of disgust. Nobody likes it. And we protect ourselves by tuning it out. Turning it off. Once the screaming lunatics marginalize themselves by making the whole narrative hysterical, we just act like it's another family fight and we're gonna go do something else. When everyone is screaming, no one is screaming.

Jerry B , November 5, 2019 at 10:26 am

I have tried to read Hate Inc. and Taibbi's Griftopia but one of my main issues with Taibbi's writing is his lack of notes, references, or bibliography, etc. in his books. In skimming Hate Inc. it seems like a book I would enjoy reading, however my personal value system is that any book without footnotes, endnotes, citations, or at minimum a bibliography is just an opinion or a story. At least Thomas Frank's Listen Liberal has a section for End Notes/References at the end of the book. Again just my personal values.

Sbbbd , November 5, 2019 at 10:45 am

Another classic in the genre of manufactured consent through media from the age of radio and Adolf Hitler:

"The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception", in the book Dialectic of Enlightenment (1947), Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer.

Joe Well , November 5, 2019 at 11:04 am

I am from Greater Boston, far, far from flyover country (which I imagine begins in Yonkers NY), but I sure grew up with pro wrestling as part of the schoolyard discourse. I certainly knew it was as much of a family affair as Disney on Ice and have trouble believing he thought otherwise though I will not impugn his honesty. I am very grateful to the author for taking the time to write this, but is it possible for a male who grew up in the US to be as deeply embedded in the MSNBC demo as he claims to be?

Seriously, how is it possible for a male raised in the US to not at least have some working familiarity with pro wrestling? My family along with my community was very close to the national median income–do higher income boys really not learn about WWF and WWE?

Seriously, rich kids, what was childhood like? I know you had music lessons and sports camps, what else? Was it really that different?

Carolinian , November 5, 2019 at 11:59 am

And it's not just the US. See the British WWE movie: Fighting With My Family.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fighting_with_My_Family

Yves Smith Post author , November 5, 2019 at 12:03 pm

Sorry, my blue collar, lifetime union member brother says your view is horseshit. All the knows about WWE and WWF is that they are big-budget fakery and that's why they are of no interest.

amfortas the hippie , November 5, 2019 at 1:38 pm

aye. in my blue to white collar( and back to blue to no collar) upbringing, wrestling was never a thing. it was for the morons who couldn't read. seen as patently absurd by just about everyone i knew. and this in klanridden east texas exurbia
wife's mexican extended familia oth luche libre is a big thing that all and sundry talked about at thanksgiving. less so these days possibly due to the hyperindiviualisation of media intake mentioned
(and,btw, in my little world , horseshit is a good thing)

BlueStater , November 5, 2019 at 11:11 am

Even allowing for my lefty-liberal bias, I do not see how it is possible to equate Fox Noise and MSNBC, or Hannity and Maddow, as "both-sides" extremists. Fox violates basic professional canons of fairness and equity on a daily basis. MSNBC occasionally does, but is quick to correct errors of fact. Hannity is a thuggish outer-borough New York schmuck without much education or knowledge of the world. Maddow is an Oxford Ph.D. and Rhodes Scholar. It is one of the evil successes of the right-wing news cauldron to have successfully equated these two figures and organizations.

Yves Smith Post author , November 5, 2019 at 12:05 pm

Huh? MSNBC regularly makes errors of omission and commission with respect to Sanders. They are still pushing the Russiagate narrative. That's a massive, two-year, virtually all the time error they have refused to recant.

The blind spots of people on the soi-disant left are truly astonishing.

semiconscious , November 5, 2019 at 1:08 pm

'Hannity is a thuggish outer-borough New York schmuck without much education or knowledge of the world. Maddow is an Oxford Ph.D. and Rhodes Scholar '

oh, well, then – end of conversation! i mean, god knows, it'd be a cold day in hell before a rhodes scholar, or even someone married to one, would ever lead us astray down the rosy neoliberal path to hell, while, at the same time, under the spell of trump derangement syndrome, actually attempt to revive the mccarthy era, eh?

Summer , November 5, 2019 at 12:11 pm

Actual drugs are being used to hinder debate as well as emotional drugs like hate.
They can't trust agency to be removed by words and images alone – the stakes are too high.
Now all of you go take a feel good pill and stop complaining!

McWatt , November 5, 2019 at 1:02 pm

I would like to know if Matt is doing any book signings any where around the states for this new title?

David , November 5, 2019 at 1:15 pm

I've been impressed with Taibbi's work, what I've read of it, but ironically this very article contains a quote from him which exemplifies the problem: his casual assertion that the US committed "genocide" in Indochina. Even the most fervent critics of US policy didn't say this at the time, for the very good reason that there was no evidence that the US tried to destroy a racial, religious, ethnic or nationalist group (the full definition is a lot more complex and demanding than that). He clearly means that the US was responsible for lots of deaths, which is incontestable. But the process of endless escalation of rhetoric, which this book seems to be partly about, means that everything now has to be described in the most extreme, absurd or apocalyptic tones, and at the top of your voice, otherwise nobody takes any notice. So any self-respecting war now has to be qualified as "genocide" or nobody will take any notice.

[Nov 05, 2019] Anti-Russian hysteria and the extensive disinformation campaign probably stems from a 'Five Eyes' strategy ... with the malign Uncle as its director.

Notable quotes:
"... Integrity Initiative. ..."
"... Integrity Initiative ..."
"... Institute of Statecraft ..."
"... Institute of Statecraft ..."
"... Institute of Statecraft ..."
"... Integrity Initiative ..."
"... 'Where a charity is providing education in respect of a controversial issue it must do so in a way that allows the people being educated to make up their own minds.' ..."
"... Institute of Statecraft. ..."
"... Integrity Initiative, ..."
"... Institute of Statecraft, ..."
"... Integrity Initiative ..."
"... Open Information Partnership ..."
"... Institute of Statecraft ..."
"... Media Diversity Institute ..."
"... Institute of Statecraft ..."
"... Moon of Alabama ..."
"... Integrity Initiative ..."
"... Integrity Initiative. ..."
"... Integrity Initiative ..."
"... Institute of Statecraft ..."
"... Institute of Statecraft ..."
"... Institute of Statecraft ..."
"... Integrity Initiative ..."
"... 'Where a charity is providing education in respect of a controversial issue it must do so in a way that allows the people being educated to make up their own minds.' ..."
"... Institute of Statecraft. ..."
"... Integrity Initiative, ..."
"... Institute of Statecraft, ..."
"... Integrity Initiative ..."
"... Open Information Partnership ..."
"... Institute of Statecraft ..."
"... Media Diversity Institute ..."
"... Institute of Statecraft ..."
"... Moon of Alabama ..."
"... Integrity Initiative ..."
Nov 05, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

ben , Nov 4 2019 19:46 utc | 8

james @ 4 opined;"
thanks b... i don't understand why so much hate is directed at russia... is this due some need to find someone to demonize, an outgrowth of christianity or god knows what? or is it purely to generate more money into the industrial military complex"

I'm with ya' james, this demonization of Russia, and any countries that refuse the empire's beck and call, is around to stay I'm afraid.

And yes, it's all of the above, but, mostly about the $.


semiconscious , Nov 4 2019 20:11 utc | 9

james @ 4;

'i don't understand why so much hate is directed at russia... is this due some need to find someone to demonize, an outgrowth of christianity or god knows what? or is it purely to generate more money into the industrial military complex? what is the rationale?...'

They're the nuclear rival that don't import many of the u.s.'s consumer products. otherwise, it'd either be china, or both...

plus, of course, there's all them cold war memes that can be triggered in a sizable portion of the population's heads...

chet380 , Nov 4 2019 20:26 utc | 11
#4 James, #8 Ben --

I suspect the the antipathy to Russia and the extensive disinformation campaign stems from a 'Five Eyes' project and strategy ... with the malign Uncle as its director.

Joost , Nov 4 2019 20:41 utc | 13
@james #4 "i don't understand why so much hate is directed at russia..."
Same motivation as all forgotten empires had. Even our cat want some of it, staring down on his employees from his basket high up on the fridge with that evil look on his face. We call it his World Domination Command Centre, WDCC for short. Global domination is what they crave. Kill the competition, loot its resources, more power, more money. America has been looted, devastated. Time for the locusts to move on to greener pastures. Russia is the promised land, the next wild west new world to colonize. Problem is, as always, the natives.
TEP , Nov 4 2019 21:11 utc | 14
I am hopeful that more and more of the population are realising that if an organisation is promoted by any western government as a source of information, then that organisation will provide disinformation by default. There are few, if any, journalists anywhere that are not part of the empirical disinformation program. Those that are not will be independent and, therefore, by alternate default, extremely wary of western government/government-funded/NGO sources. All the hegemon and it's vassals can do now is double-down and hope that the populations will go back to sleep.
Trisha , Nov 4 2019 21:22 utc | 16
As with all things evil, the British oligarchy began in the 1830s targeting Russia as a threat to its autocratic interests, in this case "defending" the Ottoman Empire against Russia.

The Brits were further scared out of their wits when the 1917 Russian Revolution was on the verge of establishing an anti-capitalist system. So they, along with a ragtag bag of co-conspirators including the United States, launched a military invasion of Russia.

That's right, U.S. troops landed at two places in Russia and fought against Russian soldiers. The Brits/U.S/et. al. suffered a humiliating defeat, leaving so quickly that U.S. dead soldiers were left behind buried in Soviet soil, to be repatriated years later.

But it's Russia that is the threat to "us", right?

Ort , Nov 4 2019 22:23 utc | 19
@ Trisha | Nov 4 2019 21:22 utc | 16
___________________________________________

Thanks for your informative comment. I'd started to reply to James that Russia has been a default "boogie-man" and Western scapegoat since the 19th Century, but that sounded unhelpfully circular-- and I didn't have the ambition to refresh my understanding with actual historical facts. ;)

The fact that a sort of Western "coalition of the willing" invaded Russia after the 1917 revolution is still a well-kept secret! It was never mentioned in my (US) school courses, from parochial school through the "Honors Survey of Western Civilization" course I took in college.


/div> " The MoA Week In Review - Open Thread 2019-64 , Main November 04, 2019 British Government Disinformation Shop Lost Charity Status - Continues In New Format

At the end of last year some enterprising 'anonymous' person released papers of the British Integrity Initiative. As we reported at that time:

The British government financed Integrity Initiative is tasked with spreading anti-Russian propaganda and thereby with influencing the public, military and governments of a number of countries. What follows is an contextual analysis of the third batch of the Initiative's internal papers which were dumped by an anonymous yesterday.

Christopher Nigel Donnelly (CND) is the co-director of The Institute for Statecraft and founder of its offshoot Integrity Initiative . The Initiative claims to "Defend Democracy Against Disinformation".

The Integrity Initiative does this by planting disinformation about alleged Russian influence through journalists 'clusters' throughout Europe and the United States.

Both, the Institute as well as the Initiative, claim to be independent Non-Government Organizations. Both are financed by the British government, NATO and other state donors.

There have been seven releases of Institute of Statecraft documents. They included proposals for large anti-Russian disinformation campaigns . The Institute of Statecraft suggested to impose anti-Russian sanctions as early as January 2015. Its head, the former NATO advisor and military spy Chris Donnelly , also proposed to synchronously expel a large number of Russian diplomats from western countries.

That plans seems to have been the blueprint for the March 2018 mass expulsion of Russian diplomats during the Skripal affair. Several of the other measures Donnelly and his ilk planned have since been implemented.

The Institute of Statecraft was registered as a charity under Scottish law. After the release of its papers the Scottish charity regulator OSCR investigated the status of the Institute . Unsurprisingly the OSCR found (pdf) that its shady behavior and its running of anti-Russian disinformation campaigns did not justify its status:

In the course of our inquiry we found that the charity was not meeting the charity test required for continuing registration as a charity in Scotland because:

The purpose of the charity was purportedly to educate the public. But the regulator found that the Integrity Initiative did not educate but only spread its own version of 'reality' i.e. disinformation. The charity lacked neutrality:

In addition, our Meeting the Charity Test guidance states that:

'Where a charity is providing education in respect of a controversial issue it must do so in a way that allows the people being educated to make up their own minds.'

OSCR's view is that the Integrity Initiative expressed a particular perspective intended to persuade the public to a specific point of view and, given the nature of the subject matter, it was not sufficiently neutral to advance education.

The crocks who were running the charity were filling their own pockets with the public money the 'charity' received:

To pass the charity test any private benefit must be incidental to the organisation's activities that advance its purposes, that is, it must be a necessary result or by-product of the organisation's activities and not an end in itself.

We were concerned at the level of private benefit that a number of the charity's trustees were gaining from the exercise of its functions.

There was no clear explanation as to why the salaries being paid to charity trustees were considered reasonable and necessary, and we had concerns about the charity trustees' decision-making process around these payments. We do not consider that this private benefit was incidental to the organisation's activities that advanced its purposes.

The regulator also noted a lack of record keeping and a lack of documentation of decision making by the Institute's trustees.

Unfortunately the charity regulator will not close down the Institute of Statecraft. It accepted that it rectified its behavior by taking a number of measures:

The Integrity Initiative, as paid for by the British Foreign Office, Ministry of Defense, NATO and other such entities, will live on as a non-charitable entity with even less transparency. Its website, as well as that of Institute of Statecraft, is down. That it will now have to live in total secrecy will make it more difficult for it to recruit foreign journalist to spread its propaganda.

Since the Integrity Initiative was exposed the British government opened and financed a new secretive shop that will continue to spread anti-Russian disinformation :

On 3rd April, Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) minister Alan Duncan revealed his department's 'Counter Disinformation and Media Development Programme' - which bankrolls the Institute for Statecraft and its Integrity Initiative subsidiary - was funding a new endeavour, Open Information Partnership (OIP).

The announcement, buried in a response to a written parliamentary question, was supremely light on detail - Duncan merely said the effort would "respond to manipulated information in the news, social media and across the public space". Official fanfare was also unforthcoming - there was no accompanying press release, briefing document, or even mention of the launch by any government minister or department via social media channels.

The original proposal for the Open Information Partnership , as released by 'anonymous' , included the Institute of Statecraft , a Media Diversity Institute , Bellingcat , DFR Lab (i.e. the Atlantic Council) and some others in a so called ZINC Network . On the current OIP website the Institute of Statecraft 'charity' is no longer named.

---
Previous Moon of Alabama reports on the issue:

Tim Hayward provides a list (scroll down) of a large number of articles written here and elsewhere about the Integrity Initiative .

Posted by b on November 4, 2019 at 17:57 UTC | Permalink

" The MoA Week In Review - Open Thread 2019-64 | Main November 04, 2019 British Government Disinformation Shop Lost Charity Status - Continues In New Format

At the end of last year some enterprising 'anonymous' person released papers of the British Integrity Initiative. As we reported at that time:

The British government financed Integrity Initiative is tasked with spreading anti-Russian propaganda and thereby with influencing the public, military and governments of a number of countries. What follows is an contextual analysis of the third batch of the Initiative's internal papers which were dumped by an anonymous yesterday.

Christopher Nigel Donnelly (CND) is the co-director of The Institute for Statecraft and founder of its offshoot Integrity Initiative . The Initiative claims to "Defend Democracy Against Disinformation".

The Integrity Initiative does this by planting disinformation about alleged Russian influence through journalists 'clusters' throughout Europe and the United States.

Both, the Institute as well as the Initiative, claim to be independent Non-Government Organizations. Both are financed by the British government, NATO and other state donors.

There have been seven releases of Institute of Statecraft documents. They included proposals for large anti-Russian disinformation campaigns . The Institute of Statecraft suggested to impose anti-Russian sanctions as early as January 2015. Its head, the former NATO advisor and military spy Chris Donnelly , also proposed to synchronously expel a large number of Russian diplomats from western countries.

That plans seems to have been the blueprint for the March 2018 mass expulsion of Russian diplomats during the Skripal affair. Several of the other measures Donnelly and his ilk planned have since been implemented.

The Institute of Statecraft was registered as a charity under Scottish law. After the release of its papers the Scottish charity regulator OSCR investigated the status of the Institute . Unsurprisingly the OSCR found (pdf) that its shady behavior and its running of anti-Russian disinformation campaigns did not justify its status:

In the course of our inquiry we found that the charity was not meeting the charity test required for continuing registration as a charity in Scotland because:
  • its purposes were not entirely charitable
  • one of its most significant activities, a project known as Integrity Initiative, did not provide public benefit in furtherance of the charity's purposes
  • private benefit to charity trustees was not incidental to the charity's activities that advance its charitable purpose

The purpose of the charity was purportedly to educate the public. But the regulator found that the Integrity Initiative did not educate but only spread its own version of 'reality' i.e. disinformation. The charity lacked neutrality:

In addition, our Meeting the Charity Test guidance states that:

'Where a charity is providing education in respect of a controversial issue it must do so in a way that allows the people being educated to make up their own minds.'

OSCR's view is that the Integrity Initiative expressed a particular perspective intended to persuade the public to a specific point of view and, given the nature of the subject matter, it was not sufficiently neutral to advance education.

The crocks who were running the charity were filling their own pockets with the public money the 'charity' received:

To pass the charity test any private benefit must be incidental to the organisation's activities that advance its purposes, that is, it must be a necessary result or by-product of the organisation's activities and not an end in itself.

We were concerned at the level of private benefit that a number of the charity's trustees were gaining from the exercise of its functions.

There was no clear explanation as to why the salaries being paid to charity trustees were considered reasonable and necessary, and we had concerns about the charity trustees' decision-making process around these payments. We do not consider that this private benefit was incidental to the organisation's activities that advanced its purposes.

The regulator also noted a lack of record keeping and a lack of documentation of decision making by the Institute's trustees.

Unfortunately the charity regulator will not close down the Institute of Statecraft. It accepted that it rectified its behavior by taking a number of measures:

  • the charity has ceased to undertake any activity related to the Integrity initiative, and this is now undertaken by a non-charitable entity having no legal connection to the charity
  • the charity has ceased to remunerate any of its charity trustees
  • the charity is taking external guidance on governance
  • some charity trustees are to stand down as soon as replacement charity trustees can be identified

The Integrity Initiative, as paid for by the British Foreign Office, Ministry of Defense, NATO and other such entities, will live on as a non-charitable entity with even less transparency. Its website, as well as that of Institute of Statecraft, is down. That it will now have to live in total secrecy will make it more difficult for it to recruit foreign journalist to spread its propaganda.

Since the Integrity Initiative was exposed the British government opened and financed a new secretive shop that will continue to spread anti-Russian disinformation :

On 3rd April, Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) minister Alan Duncan revealed his department's 'Counter Disinformation and Media Development Programme' - which bankrolls the Institute for Statecraft and its Integrity Initiative subsidiary - was funding a new endeavour, Open Information Partnership (OIP).

The announcement, buried in a response to a written parliamentary question, was supremely light on detail - Duncan merely said the effort would "respond to manipulated information in the news, social media and across the public space". Official fanfare was also unforthcoming - there was no accompanying press release, briefing document, or even mention of the launch by any government minister or department via social media channels.

The original proposal for the Open Information Partnership , as released by 'anonymous' , included the Institute of Statecraft , a Media Diversity Institute , Bellingcat , DFR Lab (i.e. the Atlantic Council) and some others in a so called ZINC Network . On the current OIP website the Institute of Statecraft 'charity' is no longer named.

---
Previous Moon of Alabama reports on the issue:

Tim Hayward provides a list (scroll down) of a large number of articles written here and elsewhere about the Integrity Initiative .

Posted by b on November 4, 2019 at 17:57 UTC | Permalink

div
NoOneYouKnow , Nov 4 2019 18:27 utc | 1
Thanks, B. It's a pity the people of the UK have no foreseeable recourse to stop shadow government operations like this that exist to disinform the people of the UK.
div> Speaking of Bellingcat:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1BfLPJpRtyq4RFtHJoNpvWQjmGnyVkfE2HYoICKOGguA/mobilebas

Posted by: NOBTS , Nov 4 2019 18:45 utc | 2

Speaking of Bellingcat:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1BfLPJpRtyq4RFtHJoNpvWQjmGnyVkfE2HYoICKOGguA/mobilebas

Posted by: NOBTS | Nov 4 2019 18:45 utc | 2

karlof1 , Nov 4 2019 18:49 utc | 3
At Kit Klarenberg's Twitter , there's a long tweet thread further detailing what b has written above. I can't help be wonder how the Monty Python troop would have portrayed the Institute for Statecraft and its parent the Integrity Initiative. It appears that the governments of the English speaking nations became addicted to lying to their citizens @1900 and are unable to kick the habit and instead have actually deepened their addiction. Elsewhere on the planet, it seems that people are learning it's easier to talk straight and transparently with other people and to pool resources and combine efforts to form a community of nations and humanity to better one and all. Seems simple enough to determine which is functional and which isn't.
james , Nov 4 2019 18:50 utc | 4
thanks b... i don't understand why so much hate is directed at russia... is this due some need to find someone to demonize, an outgrowth of christianity or god knows what? or is it purely to generate more money into the industrial military complex? what is the rationale? i agree with @ 1 - noyk - it is unfortunate the uk people are used as guinea pigs on such a regular basis.. i suspect a similar exercise is in operation in canada and the west, although it seems the msm fulfills this role here...
NOBTS , Nov 4 2019 18:51 utc | 5
Oops! Googlehidden. Here's one that might work. An interesting compendium: https://www.comsuregroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Bellingcats-Digital-Toolkit.pdf
erik , Nov 4 2019 18:54 utc | 6
It seems that often products or organizations, which contain superlatives or anodyne expressions in their names, are generally sketchy...
karlof1 , Nov 4 2019 19:19 utc | 7
The Federalist declares it's published a scoop :

"CIA, FBI Informant Was Washington Post Source For Russiagate Smears."

The article details a segment of Russiagate's overall unraveling and outs WaPost's David Ignatius as part of Operation Mockingbird. And I see no reason to dispute the item's conclusion:

"These close connections between the Washington Post's Ignatius and individuals connected to the American and British intelligence communities, and the false reporting that has taken place over the last three-plus years, raise grave concerns that the warfare of the soft coup aimed at President Trump includes using the media to push propaganda."

The longer the above conclusion's denied, the wider the polarization becomes between those guided by facts and those following media fantasies.

ben , Nov 4 2019 19:46 utc | 8
james @ 4 opined;"
thanks b... i don't understand why so much hate is directed at russia... is this due some need to find someone to demonize, an outgrowth of christianity or god knows what? or is it purely to generate more money into the industrial military complex"

I'm with ya' james, this demonetization of Russia, and any countries that refuse the empire's beck and call, is around to stay I'm afraid.

And yes, it's all of the above, but, mostly about the $.

semiconscious , Nov 4 2019 20:11 utc | 9
james @ 4;

'i don't understand why so much hate is directed at russia... is this due some need to find someone to demonize, an outgrowth of christianity or god knows what? or is it purely to generate more money into the industrial military complex? what is the rationale?...'

they're the nuclear rival that don't manufacture many of the u.s.'s consumer products. otherwise, it'd either be china, or both...

plus, of course, there's all them cold war memes that can be triggered in a sizable portion of the population's heads...

David G , Nov 4 2019 20:13 utc | 10
The OSCR report includes the Institute for Statecraft's own description of its purposes, but nothing about its actual operations, other than the ones now being deemed unsatisfactory under the charities law.

So now that the Institute has committed not to run the Integrity Initiative, and not to enrich its trustees, what are its legitimate "charitable" activities that OSCR is kindly allowing it to continue with?

chet380 , Nov 4 2019 20:26 utc | 11
#4 James, #8 Ben --

I suspect the the antipathy to Russia and the extensive disinformation campaign stems from a 'Five Eyes' project and strategy ... with the malign Uncle as its director.

James , Nov 4 2019 20:31 utc | 12
As an Irish citizen, I think the British deep state - the original deep state -have been very successful at demonising the enemies of 'freedom' and 'civilisation', the Irish yes, also the Indians, Africans, Germans, french, Spanish, Muslims and now the Russians. Our enemies are not each other rather the deep state. Let's recognise who our real enemy is
Joost , Nov 4 2019 20:41 utc | 13
@james #4 "i don't understand why so much hate is directed at russia..."
Same motivation as all forgotten empires had. Even our cat want some of it, staring down on his employees from his basket high up on the fridge with that evil look on his face. We call it his World Domination Command Centre, WDCC for short. Global domination is what they crave. Kill the competition, loot its resources, more power, more money. America has been looted, devastated. Time for the locusts to move on to greener pastures. Russia is the promised land, the next wild west new world to colonize. Problem is, as always, the natives.
TEP , Nov 4 2019 21:11 utc | 14
I am hopeful that more and more of the population are realising that if an organisation is promoted by any western government as a source of information, then that organisation will provide disinformation by default. There are few, if any, journalists anywhere that are not part of the empirical disinformation program. Those that are not will be independent and, therefore, by alternate default, extremely wary of western government/government-funded/NGO sources. All the hegemon and it's vassals can do now is double-down and hope that the populations will go back to sleep.
james , Nov 4 2019 21:18 utc | 15
@8 ben / @ 9 semiconscious / @ 11 chet380.. yes, there is that too, but is that it? money as ben says rings true for me mostly... that is mostly how i see this...the agencies seem to be a front for western oligarchs.. the kleptomaniacs want access to all russian resources and have yet to be successful in getting it.. they succeeded in ukraine for the most part in having the kleptos gain control over much of ukraine.. the 2014 coop was meant to solidify more of that and poke russia in the eye too..

@ 13 joost... i would watch out for your cat! alas, we all seem to agree it is about wanting to loot russia... we share a similar viewpoint.. it is really sick how so many are ignorant pawns, or worse in all of this.. no wonder i make next to no money working in the music industry... i am in the wrong game and don't share a lack of ethics on such display with all these losers..

Trisha , Nov 4 2019 21:22 utc | 16
As with all things evil, the British oligarchy began in the 1830s targeting Russia as a threat to its autocratic interests, in this case "defending" the Ottoman Empire against Russia.

The Brits were further scared out of their wits when the 1917 Russian Revolution was on the verge of establishing an anti-capitalist system. So they, along with a ragtag bag of co-conspirators including the United States, launched a military invasion of Russia.

That's right, U.S. troops landed at two places in Russia and fought against Russian soldiers. The Brits/U.S/et. al. suffered a humiliating defeat, leaving so quickly that U.S. dead soldiers were left behind buried in Soviet soil, to be repatriated years later.

But it's Russia that is the threat to "us", right?

Jen , Nov 4 2019 21:34 utc | 17
Reading through the OCSR's document at the PDF link in B's post, I am surprised (should I be?) that during the entire decade-long period when the Institute of Statecraft was registered as a charity, the OCSR did not see fit at any time to remind the organisation of its responsibilities to keep proper records of its activities and decision-making, to provide a proper formal and transparent structure for its activities that could be shown to demonstrate a public benefit, and to have proper formal structures generally for its day-to-day running and governance activities. The Scottish public have every right to hold the OCSR to much higher standards of being a regulatory organisation making sure that charities are run properly as charities and not simply accept those charities' word that they will improve their operations when they have spent 10 long years taking money (some of it taxpayers' money) and misusing it.
Jackrabbit , Nov 4 2019 21:46 utc | 18
james @15:
they succeeded in ukraine for the most part in having the kleptos gain control over much of ukraine..

Ukraine is an economic disaster. Donbas and Crimea were the most valuable parts.

Ort , Nov 4 2019 22:23 utc | 19
@ Trisha | Nov 4 2019 21:22 utc | 16
___________________________________________

Thanks for your informative comment. I'd started to reply to James that Russia has been a default "boogie-man" and Western scapegoat since the 19th Century, but that sounded unhelpfully circular-- and I didn't have the ambition to refresh my understanding with actual historical facts. ;)

The fact that a sort of Western "coalition of the willing" invaded Russia after the 1917 revolution is still a well-kept secret! It was never mentioned in my (US) school courses, from parochial school through the "Honors Survey of Western Civilization" course I took in college.


Jackrabbit , Nov 4 2019 22:31 utc | 20
james @4

You ask too many questions... isn't it clear?

We hate THEM 'cause THEY hate US.

/snarc

Seriously, we've seen the movie and read the book. This is how "Red Scare" McCarthyism works.

!!

james , Nov 5 2019 0:10 utc | 21
@18 jr... disaster capitalism at its finest!!

@ 20..lol.. that is true... can't ver ask too many questions! and, it has been a repeat of mccarthyism.. it's bizarre to see so many otherwise intelligent people swallow this crap.. i think of emptywheel and how i used to think she was smart.. she is so busy looking at the trees, she's incapable of seeing the forest..

james , Nov 5 2019 0:21 utc | 22
@16 trisha... thanks... as i have mentioned here at moa numerous times, the book 'paris 1918' by Margaret Macmillan is an excellent book that gives an overview and discusses exactly what you are talking about.. i can't recommend the book enough..
https://www.bookbrowse.com/reviews/index.cfm/book_number/1135/Paris-1919
Ash Naz , Nov 5 2019 0:55 utc | 23
I ploughed through the Kit Klarenberg piece on Sputnik that b linked to and would have wept at the Orwellian inversions of truth in the OIP's 'mission statment' if I'd had any tears left after enduring the recent decades of lies and projection of the Empire's propaganda machine. The Mighty Wurlitzer at corporate-speak indeed. In fact all I could do was laugh like Group Captain Mandrake in Dr Strangelove when confronted with the madness of General Ripper.

Tragically, the opening paragraph of their statement sounded like something Caitlin Johnstone might pen, urging our side to be wary and vigilant of the propaganda of them .

"Democracy cannot thrive without honest, accurate and freely available information about the world around us We need to know where our information is coming from, we need to know the motives (good, bad or neither) of those providing the information, and be in the habit of thinking critically about everything we read and hear. Every one of us has the right to be properly informed – that knowledge gives us strength. Every one of us shares responsibility for informed engagement and critical thinking, to challenge the powerful and uncover the truth An engaged population, equipped with clarity and the truth, is the foundation for a world where we can all enjoy greater equality and greater peace."

"critical thinking"
"challenge the powerful"
"uncover the truth"

They are taking the tools that we need to deal with their perfidy, and pretending that they need to use them to "challenge the powerful and uncover the truth". I found this Orwellian inversion of the truth so chilling that I could only laugh.

In all seriousness, I can only presume that they actually believe their own lies.

vk , Nov 5 2019 3:10 utc | 26
The Wolfowitz Doctrine (1992) states that Russia should remain America's main enemy for the forseeable future because it inherited the USSR's nuclear arsenal. At least this is the official rationale.

But there may be another reason. Courtesy from Pepe Escobar's facebook page:

Francis Fukuyama interview: "Socialism ought to come back"

Trisha , Nov 5 2019 4:08 utc | 29
@22 James ... thanks for the "Paris 1919" book reference, luckily it's available at my local library. For a detailed history of (sadly) another in a long list of America's criminal acts of aggressive war, I highly recommend Russian Sideshow: America's Undeclared War, 1918-1920 by Robert L. Willett.
nietzsche1510 , Nov 5 2019 7:15 utc | 33
they are attacking Russia because they know that only military force can stop the collapse the fake Dollar & all the Jewish printed wealth which goes with it. "yes, the Dollar is our money, but, it is your problem" sort of imposed doctrine of the last half-century is coming to an end & no naval carriers could stop its fall.

[Nov 04, 2019] Adam Schiff's Impeachment Witness Tampering Julie Kelly RUTHFULLY YOURS

Nov 04, 2019 | www.ruthfullyyours.com

Adam Schiff's Impeachment Witness Tampering Julie Kelly

Posted By Ruth King on October 19th, 2019

https://amgreatness.com/2019/10/18/adam-schiffs-impeachment-witness-tampering/

The House Intelligence Committee chairman has lied with impunity to the American public and to Congress. Now he's running a secret inquiry, withholding evidence from colleagues, and may have coached the "whistleblower" behind Ukraine-gate.

H ouse Republicans on Monday will attempt to force a vote to censure Representative Adam Schiff (D.-Calif.), the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. The resolution, authored by Rep. Andy Biggs (R.-Ariz.), has 170 Republican co-sponsors. (It's unclear why the remaining 27 GOP congressmen have not signed on.)

The motion condemns Schiff for actions that "misled the American people, bring disrepute upon the House of Representatives, and make a mockery of the impeachment process, one of this chamber's most solemn constitutional duties." It lists several specific offenses, including Schiff's repeated claims that he possessed solid evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians, and his intentional misrepresentation of the July phone call between Trump and Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

If Schiff were a Republican, his own colleagues would have dispatched him long ago. Compare the way Schiff's caucus is condoning his misdeeds with the way House Republicans in 2017 signed on to a bogus House ethics inquiry into Rep. Devin Nunes (R.-Calif.), sidelining his nascent investigation into the corrupt origins of the FBI's Trump-Russia probe for eight crucial months. (He was cleared of any wrongdoing.)

Schiff has lied with impunity to the American public and to Congress. He is suspected of leaking nonpublic, and in some instances, classified material to the press.

At the same time, Schiff is denying access to his secret impeachment proceedings and withholding information from House members. Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee sent a letter to Schiff on Friday, accusing him of failing to furnish documents related to his "impeachment inquiry," a clear violation of House rules. Yet Schiff remains a media darling and a hero of #TheResistance.

Schiff's Possible Crimes

But Schiff's repeated witness tampering is not just a breach of House protocol, it is a crime. In a bombshell article, Breitbart reported this week that Thomas Eager, a top Schiff aide, traveled to Ukraine in late August and met with the acting U.S. ambassador to that country. The diplomat, Bill Taylor -- who is temporarily occupying the position following Trump's removal of the previous ambassador -- is scheduled to testify next week before Schiff's ongoing impeachment tribunal.

According to Breitbart , Eager traveled to Ukraine from August 24 to August 31; Eager's meeting with Taylor was the first item of business. (The trip was approved by Schiff, according to official documents.)

The timing of the trip is suspicious for several reasons: The junket occurred during the exact timeframe that the "whistleblower" complaint concerning Trump's call with Ukranian President Zelensky was under consideration by the intelligence community's inspector general. On August 28, Schiff ominously tweeted that "Trump is withholding vital military aid to Ukraine, while his personal lawyer seeks help from the Ukraine government to investigate his political opponent."

But the report had not been submitted officially to Schiff's committee. Inspector General Michael Atkinson did not alert Schiff's committee about the complaint until September 9 over an internal disagreement about Atkinson's assessment that the complaint was of "urgent concern."

Coincidentally (or not), on that very same day , Taylor sent a text to Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union.

"As I said on the phone, I think it's crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign," Taylor wrote to Sondland, who seemed surprised by the message. "Bill, I believe you are incorrect about President Trump's intentions," Sondland replied. "The President has been crystal clear no quid pro quo's of any kind." The $250 million aid package was released two days later.

So, Schiff's lackey suddenly shows up in Ukraine at the end of August to meet with the fill-in American ambassador while his boss is concocting his latest collusion-based impeachment fantasy? What exactly did Eager and Taylor discuss?

Did Eager brief Taylor about the forthcoming "whistleblower" report , which also contained false accusations that Trump "is using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 U.S. election" while expressing alarm about a delay in American financial assistance to Ukraine? After all, there was no reason for Taylor to suggest the aid was tied to giving assistance to a political campaign since nothing of the sort had been reported by the news media. Why did Taylor send that text on the same day that Atkinson tattled to Schiff's committee about a hold-up of the "whistleblower" report?

Questions for Witnesses

Another question Republicans might want to ask Taylor is whether Eager told him that the committee already had talked to the "whistleblower" before the official report was prepared. In another example of his bad habit of tampering with witnesses, Schiff admitted that, despite his public protestations to the contrary, his committee had been approached by the "whistleblower" prior to filing the complaint on August 12.

An unnamed intelligence committee aide -- could it also be Eager? -- met with the still-anonymous "whistleblower" and advised the official how to proceed. He then notified his boss, Schiff, who later denied the pre-report rendezvous. Schiff told MSNBC on September 17 that "we have not spoken directly with the whistleblower." After the New York Times contradicted that claim on October 2, Schiff was forced to backpedal, insisting he should have been more clear. The Washington Post awarded Schiff four Pinocchios for his initial claim and subsequent excuse.

Now that his chicanery has been exposed, Schiff also is walking back his demand that the "whistleblower" immediately testify before his committee.

In addition to his most recent witness-tampering escapades, Schiff has a few more incidents on the books.

During his House testimony last February, Michael Cohen, Trump's former personal attorney, confessed that he had been in contact with the California Democrat in advance of the spectacle. "I spoke to Mr. Schiff about topics that were going to be raised at the upcoming hearing," Cohen told Rep. James Jordan (R.-Ohio). Reports later emerged that Schiff's staff traveled to New York on four separate occasions to meet with Cohen for more than 10 hours before his testimony, leading to legitimate questions about coaching a congressional witness.

And then there is the allegedly serendipitous meet-up in Aspen between Schiff and Glenn Simpson, the co-owner of Fusion GPS, as Simpson faced congressional scrutiny for his role in facilitating the bogus Trump-Russia collusion hoax and handling of the infamous Steele dossier. A few months after his encounter with Schiff in the summer of 2018, Simpson pleaded the Fifth before the House Intelligence Committee, which was controlled by Republicans at the time.

Tampering with a witness -- including attempts to "influence, delay, or prevent the testimony of any person in an official proceeding" including a secret congressional tribunal -- is a federal offense . But although Schiff is a repeat offender, his Democratic colleagues refuse to denounce his bad behavior. Schiff is lucky he isn't a Republican. Julie Kelly Julie Kelly is a political commentator and senior contributor to American Greatness. Her past work can be found at The Federalist and National Review. She also

[Nov 03, 2019] The Saker interviews Michael Hudson by Michael Hudson and The Saker

Nov 03, 2019 | www.unz.com

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Introduction: I recently spoke to a relative of mine who, due to her constant and voluntary exposure to the legacy AngloZionist media, sincerely believed that the three Baltic states and Poland had undergone some kind of wonderful and quasi-miraculous economic and cultural renaissance thanks to their resolute break with the putatively horrible Soviet past and their total submission to the Empire since. Listening to her, I figured that this kind of delusion was probably common amongst those who still pay attention and even believe the official propaganda. So I asked Michael Hudson, whom I consider to be the best US economists and who studied the Baltics in great detail, to reply to a few very basic questions, which he very kindly did in spite of being very pressed on time. Once again, I want to sincerely thank him for his kind time, support and expertise.

* * *

The Saker: The US propaganda often claims that the three Baltic states are a true success, just like Poland is also supposed to be. Does this notion have a factual basis? Initially it did appear that these states were experiencing growth, but was that not mostly/entirely due to EU/IMF/US subsidies? Looking specifically at the three Baltic states, and especially Latvia, these were the "showcase" Soviet republics, with a high standard of living (at least compared to the other Soviet republics) and a lot of high-tech industries (including defense contracts). Could you please outline for us what truly happened to these economies following independence? How did they "reform" their economies going from an ex-Soviet one to the modern "liberal" one?

Michael Hudson: This is a trick question, because it all depends on what you mean by "success."

The post-Soviet neoliberalism has been a great success for kleptocrats at the top. They gave themselves the public domain, from key industries to prime real estate. But the Balts largely let their Soviet industries collapse, making no effort to salvage or reorganize them.

Much of the problem, of course, was that all the linkages to Soviet-era industry were torn apart as the Soviet Union was disbanded. With their supplier and final markets closed down from Russia to Central Asia, the Baltic economies had to start afresh – with a very right-wing tax policy and no government help whatsoever, as the government itself had become privatized in the hands of former officials and grabitizers.

Lithuania was marginally better in having some industrial policy. EU and NATO accession in 2004, along with easy credit, kicked off property bubbles in the Baltics, largely inflated by Swedish banks that made a bonanza off these countries that lacked their own banks or public credit creation. The resulting 2008 crashes were the largest in the world as a percent of GDP, with Latvia suffering the world's biggest contraction.

The neoliberal western advisors who took control of these economies – as if this was the only alternative to Soviet bureaucracy – imposed crushing austerity programs to restore macroeconomic "stability" meaning security of their land and infrastructure grabs. This was applauded by Europe's bankers, who thought the Balts had discovered a workable recipe allowing austerity governments to retain power in a seeming democracy. These policies would have collapsed governments anywhere else, but the ability to emigrate, plus ethnic divisions against Russian speakers, allowed these governments to survive.

It's a historically specific situation, but Europe's bankers promote it as a generalized model. George Soros's INET and his associated front institutions have been leaders in subsidizing this financialization-cum-grabitization. The result has been a massive exodus of prime working age people from Lithuania and Latvia. (Estonians simply commute to Finland.) Meanwhile, their economies are buoyed by foreign bank lending, which sends profits back to home countries and can be reversed at any time.

Politically, the neoliberal revolution also has been a success for U.S. Cold Warriors, who sent over native Balts from Georgetown and other universities to impose "free market" doctrine – that is, a market "free" of domestic regulation against theft of the public domain, against monopolies, against land taxes and other income taxes. The Baltic states, like most of the rest of the former Soviet Union, became the Wild East.

What was left to the Baltic countries was land and real estate. Their forests are being cut down to sell wood abroad. I describe all this in my book Killing the Host .

The Saker: After independence, the Baltic states had tried to cut as many ties with Russia as possible. This included building (rather silly looking) fences, to forcing the Russians to develop their ports on the Baltic, to shutting down large (or selling to foreign interests which then shut them down) and profitable factories (including a large nuclear plant I believe), etc. What has been the impact of this policy of "economic de-Sovietization" on the local economies?

Michael Hudson: Dissolution of the Soviet Union meant that Baltic countries lost their traditional markets, and had to shift their focus to Western Europe and, to some extent, Asia.

Latvia and Estonia had been assigned computer and information technology, and they have found this to be much in demand. When I was in Japan, for instance, CEOs told me that they were looking to Latvia above all to outsource computer work.

Banking also was a surviving sector. Gregory Lautchansky, former vice-rector at the University of Riga had been a major player already in the 1980s for moving out Russian oil and KGB money. (His company, Nordex, was sold to Mark Rich.) Many banks continued to shepherd Russian flight capital via offshore banking centers into the United States, Britain and other countries. Cyprus of course was another big player in this.

The Saker: Russians are still considered "non-citizens" in the Baltic republics; what has been the economic impact of this policy, if any, of anti-Russian discrimination in the Baltic states?

ORDER IT NOW

Michael Hudson: Russian-speakers, who do not acquire citizenship (which requires passing local language and history tests), are blocked from political office and administrative work. While most Russian speakers below retirement age have now acquired that citizenship, the means by which citizenship must be acquired has caused divisions.

Early on in independence, many Russians were blocked from government, and they went into business, which was avoided by many native Balts during the Soviet era because it was not as remunerative as going into government and profiting from corruption. For instance, real estate was a burden to administer. Russian-speakers, especially Jewish ones, have wisely focused on real estate.

The largest political party is Harmony Center, whose members and leadership are mainly Russian-speaking. But the various neoliberal and nationalist parties have jointed to block its ability to influence law in Parliament.

Since Russian speakers are only able to "vote with their feet," many have joined in the vast outflow of emigration, either back to Russia or to other EU countries. Moreover, the poor quality of social benefits has led to few children being born.

The Saker: I often hear that a huge number of locals (including non-Russians) have emigrated from the Baltic states. What has caused this and what has been the impact of this emigration for the Baltic states?

Michael Hudson: The Baltic states, especially Latvia, have lost about 30 percent of their population since the 1990s, especially those of working age. In Latvia, about 10 percent of the loss were Russians who exited shortly after independence. The other 20 percent have subsequently emigrated.

The European Commission forecasts that Latvia's working-age population will decline by 1.6% annually for the next 20 years, while the birth rate remains as stagnant as it was in the late 1980s. The retired population (over age 65) will rise to half a million people by 2030, more than a quarter of today's population, and perhaps about a third of what remains. This is not a domestic market that will attract foreign or local investment.

And in any case, the European Union has viewed the post-Soviet economies simply as markets for their own industrial and agricultural exports, not as economies to be built up by public subsidy as the European countries themselves, the U.S. and Chinee economies have done. The European motto is, "Give a man a fish, and he will be fed all day with your surplus fish and consumer goods – but give him a fishing rod and we will lose a customer."

Readers who are interested might want to look at the following books and articles. I think the leading work has been done by Jeffrey Sommers and Charles Woolfson.

The Saker: Finally, what do you believe is the most likely future for these states? Will the succeed in becoming a "tiny anti-Russia" on Russia's doorstep? The Russians appear to have been very successful in their import-substitution program, at least when trying to replace the Baltic states: does that mean that the economic ties between Russia and these states is now gone forever? Is it now too late, or are there still measures these countries could take to reverse the current trends?

Michael Hudson: Trump's trade sanctions against Russia hurt the Baltic countries especially. One of their strong sectors was agriculture. Lithuania, for instance, was known for its cheese, even in Latvia. The sanctions led Russian dairy farming to develop their own cheese-making, and agriculture has become one of Russia's strongest performing sectors.

This is a market that looks like it will be permanently lost to the Baltic states. In effect, Trump is helping Russia follow precisely the policy that made American agriculture rich: agricultural isolation has forced domestic replacement for hitherto foreign food. I expect that this will lead to consumer goods and other products as well.

The Saker: thank you for your time and replies!


PeterMX , says: November 3, 2019 at 7:01 am GMT

I am in Tallinn, Estonia right now. Just how good an economy is performing is often hard to determine by talking to people, because like economists, many people have different perceptions. I was just talking to a Russian-Estonian who was telling me how much better Lithuanians and Latvians are then Estonians at doing things and how much cheaper things are there. It is true that things are much cheaper in the other Baltic countries because Estonia (a tiny country of just over 1 million people) has taken off. Since the 2008 econmic collapse housing prices have shot up and in Tallinn there is building going on all over the city. But, my acquaintance is wrong about other things. Estonians do things very well and Tallinn is a very nice city, with beautiful cafes, clean and well kept streets and crime is very low. It is a very good city, except it is now very expensive, especially considering how much people make here. The weather is not nice, except for in the summer and there are friendly Estonians but they don't have a reputation for being particularly friendly, even among themselves. I have not been back to Latvia yet, but when I was in Riga years ago, it was a gorgeous city, bigger than Tallinn too. I think they do things very well there too. The Russians I speak to here are often friendly and based on what I have been told, relations between Russians and Estonians are much better than when I was here in the early 2000's.

No offense is intended to Russians, but the Baltic countries had large German populations that played a key role in the development of the cultures and peoples of these countries. There were also many Jews here prior to WW II. By the time WW II had begun the German populations were much smaller than they had been and at the end of the war the Jewish populations were much smaller. Jews were targeted in Latvia and Lithuania and many Latvians, Lithuanians and Estonians were shipped off to far off places in the USSR during the war. I believe the Jews were largely pro communist and welcomed the Soviet takeover of these countries in 1940, while the Latvian and Estonian peoples were pro German, thus explaining the hard feelings between Balts and Jews.. They wanted independence and formed legions to fight alongside the German army during WW II.

These countries were very advanced before WW II, having engineering industries and the Russian Empire's first auto company was formed in Riga before WW I. While engineering may have been restarted after WW II, these countries populations were decimated and they never returned to their former heights. Perhaps they still can.

GMC , says: November 3, 2019 at 7:33 am GMT
I'm assuming that these 3 East European countries are being bombarded with the same propaganda as the Ukies are, so Russian speakers and those intelligent enough to see the game being played will be belittled and isolated. But the Russian folks living in Russia have a birds eye view of what is going on in the west and their puppet countries. Russia TV and debate programs, just have to show the delinquencies that are daily happenings in the States, and Europe, in order to make the Ru people say – No Thanks to that way of life. As far as the new Russian cheeses that are now in the markets -lol – they make a lightly smoked gouda that is really good and is about 120-140 roubles a kilo. And, they are making more cheddar that is a white medium taste as well. No scarcity of good natural food in Russia and No POlice state. Spacibo Unz Rev.
Anonymous [159] Disclaimer , says: November 3, 2019 at 8:18 am GMT
The trade volume between Russia and the Baltic states has actually risen, despite the sanctions. The Baltics send food products and booze to Russia (and another 150 countries, food exports to Russia actually grew in 2016-2018). As well as chemical products and pharmaceuticals. Meldonium, btw, is made in Latvia and is still being sent to Russia (as well as 20 other countries), not for athletes, but for regular folks. Work is being carried out on a new generation Meldonium pill (the biggest market will be Russia).

Growth in the Baltic states has been 3-4% in the last few years. GDP per capita, as well as HDI, is higher than in Russia. Foreign investment, including from Russia, has been growing (Russia was the second largest investor in Latvia in 2018). Savings rates are growing, too. After a relative quiet period after 2010, the number of Russian (and other tourists) has grown again.

Estonia's population stopped shrinking in 2016 and is now growing in fact. They've seen immigration from Finland, Ukraine, Belarus and Russia, as well as returning Estonians.

Emigration is a problem, of course, but this is partly because the Baltic states are the only former USSR republics whose citizens were even given work permits in the West, imagine what would happen if these permits were given to Russians from the regions.

Neo-liberal policies are of course bad and certain types of investment should be controlled, but to say that there are no social services in the Baltic states is complete nonsense. Due to generous parental payments, birthrates have risen significantly since the 1990s – in fact, birthrates in the Baltics are now slightly higher than the EU average. Life expectancy is also growing. Latvia covers IVF treatments in full. There are free school lunches.

Yes, it is true that some of the Soviet era factories should've been salvaged but the problem was they were not competitive globally at that time (and there was no capital to remodel them). The Soviet market was a closed one. However, some businesses were salvaged. There is local manufacturing (electronics, pharmaceuticals, etc).

Not everything is ideal, but it is also not the kind of gloom and doom as you paint.

Jake , says: November 3, 2019 at 11:46 am GMT
If the Anglo-Zionist Empire comes to save you, you should expect to be raped: culturally and religiously as well as economically.
onebornfree , says: Website November 3, 2019 at 3:48 pm GMT
Saker says: "Initially it did appear that these states were experiencing growth, but was that not mostly/entirely due to EU/IMF/US subsidies?"

"Foreign Aid Makes Corrupt Countries More Corrupt":

"Any time a government hands out money, not just foreign aid, it breeds corruption And there are few better examples than Ukraine – just don't tell the House impeachment hearings. Counting on foreign aid to reduce corruption is like expecting whiskey to cure alcoholism .If U.S. aid was effective, Ukraine would have become a rule of law paradise long ago . The surest way to reduce foreign corruption is to end foreign aid."

http://jimbovard.com/blog/2019/10/29/foreign-aid-makes-corrupt-countries-more-corrupt/

Anon [424] Disclaimer , says: November 3, 2019 at 5:16 pm GMT
@onebornfree The EU gives every year about 2,500 million euros to the 3 Baltic countries ( 6 million people the three of them ) , and 9000 million euros to Poland ( 38 million people ) , plus more billions to other eastern members .

Older members of the EU , specially the UK which is going out , Greece witch was tortured ( again ) economically by Germany , and south Europe in general are not very happy about admitting so many ex-soviets countries en the EU and subsidizing them .

AnonFromTN , says: November 3, 2019 at 9:31 pm GMT
@SeekerofthePresence

Recovery and self-sufficiency since Yeltsin show the brilliance of the Russian people

It's not so much brilliance as sheer necessity to survive under sanctions. But some results were better than anyone expected. Say, food before sanctions used to be so-so in the provinces and downright bad in Moscow because of abundance of imported crap. Now the food is exclusively domestic, fresh and tasty. Russia never had traditions of making fancy cheeses. Now, to bypass sanctions, quite a few Italian and French cheese-makers started production in Russia, so in the last 2-3 years domestically made excellent fancy cheeses appeared in supermarkets. Arguably, Russian agriculture benefited by sanctions more than any other sector, but there are success stories virtually in every industry. Sanctions and Ukrainian stupidity served as a timely wake up call for Russian elites, who earlier wanted to sell oil and natural gas and buy everything else. Replacing imports after the sanctions were imposed had a significant cost in the short run, but in the long run it made Russia much stronger, economically and militarily. Speak of unintended consequences.

Kazlu Ruda , says: November 3, 2019 at 11:58 pm GMT
My mom is from Lithuania and I've been there several times. We have second cousins our age.

Her father was a surveyor for the Republic in the 20s and 30s, charged with breaking up the manors and estates and the state distributing the land to the peasantry. It was near-feudalism. There was very little industrialization; that which existed were in a few urban centers. One interesting comment from her was that the "Jews were communists". From what I've read they were the urban working class, but perhaps part of the socialist/Jewish Bund?

There is no doubt that the Soviet period unleashed considerable industrialization and modernization. Lithuania had some of the best infrastructure in the USSR. Its traditional culture was really celebrated.

When I first visited, not long after the fall of the USSR, there were enormous, vacant industrial plants. The collective farms were in the process of being sold off the western European agribusiness firms. One relative through marriage was from the Ukraine, with a PhD in Physics and had been employed in the military industries -- she was cleaning houses thereafter.

Any usable industrial enterprises were quickly sold off. The utilities are all foreign owned. Part of EU mandates are "open" electricity "markets", which resulting in DC interconnections costing hundreds of millions with the west to import very high priced electricity. The EU has paid for "Via Baltica", a highway running from Poland to Estonia; it is choked with trucks carrying imports and there are huge distribution and fulfillment centers along the highway. Such progress, huh?

There had been good public transport in the earlier years of independence, but that has been replaced with personal automobiles -- usually western European used cars that pollute a lot. Trakai is a commuter town to Vilnius with a medieval castle (restored in Soviet times). First time I went it was very pleasant. Second time in 2018 the place was choked with cars and not very nice at all.

The impact of emigration cannot be over-stated. College educated young people leave by the hundreds of thousands. Those that remain are paid very low wages (e.g., 1000 euros for a veterinarian or dentist), but pay west European prices for many essentials. Housing is cheaper than the west.

Last time in Kazlu Ruda there were huge NATO exercises in progress and even bigger ones planned for 2020. German units were billeted at an airbase nearby, rumored to have been a CIA black site. How fitting, as the Germans with the Lithuanian Riflemens Union exterminated a quarter of a million Jews in a matter of months (see Jager Report on Wikipedia). There is a Red Army graveyard in the town that has the remains of perhaps 350 soldiers killed in the area driving out the Nazis. I was frankly surprised it was still there.

Lithuania hasn't been independent since the days of the Pagans and Vytautas. It surely isn't independent today.

Anecdotal -- yes. But based on personal observation.

[Nov 03, 2019] Growing Indicators of Brennan's CIA Trump Task Force by Larry C Johnson - Sic Semper Tyrannis

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The Task Force also could carry out other covert actions, such as information operations. A nice sounding euphemism for propaganda, and computer network operations. There has been some informed speculation that Guccifer 2.0 was a creation of this Task Force. ..."
Nov 03, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Growing Indicators of Brennan's CIA Trump Task Force by Larry C Johnson Larry Johnson-5x7

The average American has no idea how alarming is the news that former CIA Director John Brennan reportedly created and staffed a CIA Task Force in early 2016 that was named, Trump Task Force, and given the mission of spying on and carrying out covert actions against the campaign of candidate Donald Trump.

This was not a simple gathering of a small number of disgruntled Democrats working at the CIA who got together like a book club to grouse and complain about the brash real estate guy from New York. It was a specially designed covert action to try to destroy Donald Trump.

A "Task Force" is a special bureaucratic creation that provides a vehicle for bring case officers and analysts together, along with admin support, for a limited term project. But it also can be expanded to include personnel from other agencies, such as the FBI, DIA and NSA. Task Forces have been used since the inception of the CIA in 1947. Here's a recently declassified memo outlining the considerations in the creation of a task force in 1958. The author, L.K. White, talks about the need for a coordinating Headquarters element and an Operational unit "in the field", i.e. deployed around the world.

A Task Force operates independent of the CIA " Mission Centers " (that's the jargon for the current CIA organization chart).

So what did John Brennan do? I am told by an knowledgeable source that Brennan created a Trump Task Force in early 2016. It was an invitation only Task Force. Specific case officers (i.e., men and women who recruit and handle spies overseas), analysts and admin personnel were recruited. Not everyone invited accepted the offer. But many did.

This was not a CIA only operation. Personnel from the FBI also were assigned to the Task Force. We have some clues that Christopher Steele's FBi handler, Michael Gaeta, may have been detailed to the Trump Task Force ( see here ).

So what kind of things would this Task Force do? The case officers would work with foreign intelligence services such as MI-6, the Italians, the Ukrainians and the Australians on identifying intelligence collection priorities. Task Force members could task NSA to do targeted collection. They also would have the ability to engage in covert action, such as targeting George Papadopoulos. Joseph Mifsud may be able to shed light on the CIA officers who met with him, briefed on operational objectives regarding Papadopoulos and helped arrange monitored meetings. I think it is highly likely that the honey pot that met with George Papadopoulos, a woman named Azra Turk, was part of the CIA Trump Task Force.

The Task Force also could carry out other covert actions, such as information operations. A nice sounding euphemism for propaganda, and computer network operations. There has been some informed speculation that Guccifer 2.0 was a creation of this Task Force.

In light of what we have learned about the alleged CIA whistleblower, Eric Ciaramella, there should be a serious investigation to determine if he was a part of this Task Force or, at minimum, reporting to them.

When I described this to one friend, a retired CIA Chief of Station, his first response was, "My God, that's illegal." We then reminisced about another illegal operation carried out under the auspices of the CIA Central American Task Force back in the 1980s. That became known to Americans as the Iran Contra scandal.

I sure hope that John Durham and his team are looking at this angle. If true it marks a new and damning indictment of the corruption of the CIA. Rather than spying on genuine foreign threats, this Task Force played a critical role in creating and feeding the meme that Donald Trump was a tool of the Russians and a puppet of Putin.

[Nov 03, 2019] Little mentioned is the server in Ukraine which was brought up in the phone call. Barr's investigation has become a criminal investigation and interested in a server in Ukraine. The impeachment farce is trying to put the focus on Biden, but the server may be what they are trying to protect

Nov 03, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Peter AU 1 , Nov 2 2019 1:00 utc | 82

Petri Krohn's comment @37 "ERIC CIARAMELLA IS NOT A WHISTLEBLOWER - HE IS A SUSPECT"

Little mentioned is the server in Ukraine which was brought up in the phone call. Barr's investigation has become a criminal investigation and interested in a server in Ukraine.

The impeachment farce is trying to put the focus on Biden, but the server may be what they are trying to protect.

This impeachment show looks to be a rearguard or defensive action to try and stop the Barr criminal investigation into russiagate.

[Nov 03, 2019] Ratcliffe rats out the Schiff show

Notable quotes:
"... A former federal prosecutor who sits on the committee tasked by Democrats with removing President Donald Trump from office blasted Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., as being unfit to oversee the process. Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-Tex., told The Federalist on Friday that Schiff's problem isn't mere partisan political bias, it's that Schiff has a conflict of interest given his secret interactions with the anti-Trump whistleblower before his false complaint against Trump was even submitted. ..."
"... "It's more than just bias -- it's an actual legal conflict of interest," Ratcliffe told The Federalist. "Schiff is using his authority as a Chairman presiding over an impeachment inquiry to prevent the investigation and discovery of facts about his own actions or the actions of his staff." ..."
Nov 03, 2019 | www.citizenfreepress.com

John Ratcliffe @RepRatcliffe

This is impeachment effort 3.0 by Schiff. After twice falsely accusing the President of treason with Russia and obstructing justice, Democrats put Schiff in charge of impeachment 3.0 with someone who became a whistleblower after meeting with Schiff's staff.

A former federal prosecutor who sits on the committee tasked by Democrats with removing President Donald Trump from office blasted Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., as being unfit to oversee the process. Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-Tex., told The Federalist on Friday that Schiff's problem isn't mere partisan political bias, it's that Schiff has a conflict of interest given his secret interactions with the anti-Trump whistleblower before his false complaint against Trump was even submitted.

"It's more than just bias -- it's an actual legal conflict of interest," Ratcliffe told The Federalist. "Schiff is using his authority as a Chairman presiding over an impeachment inquiry to prevent the investigation and discovery of facts about his own actions or the actions of his staff."

[Nov 03, 2019] Rep. John Ratcliffe: Adam Schiff's Problem Isn't That He's Biased, It's That He's Running A Corrupt Process

Notable quotes:
"... "He is essentially a witness in the trial over which he is presiding," Ratcliffe continued. "He has a conflict of interest because his testimony is relevant to the origins of the impeachment process that he is simultaneously conducting, directing and managing." ..."
"... Although Schiff initially claimed that he and his staff had never interacted with the anti-Trump complainant and didn't even know who he was, the New York Times reported that the whistleblower secretly coordinated with Schiff's Democratic staff, who then urged him to file a complaint against the president. ..."
"... "Despite initially denying any contact with the whistleblower, Schiff had already been briefed about at least one meeting between his staff and that individual prior to the filing of the complaint," Ratcliffe said. "Material facts about the date, nature and extent of that meeting as well as any other contacts, communication or possible coordination between Chairman Schiff, his staff and the whistleblower were never disclosed by any of those parties to ICIG Michael Atkinson -- facts confirmed in the sworn testimony of ICIG Atkinson which Chairman Schiff is refusing to release." ..."
"... Testimony by Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG) Michael Atkinson revealed that the whistleblower, whom Real Clear Investigations has identified as former National Security Council (NSC) staffer and current Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) analyst Eric Ciaramella, concealed his contacts with Schiff from the ICIG in his complaint form. If the anti-Trump complainant did, in fact, refuse to disclose previous disclosures of his allegations to Congress or the news media, he could be subject to felony criminal penalties for making false statements. The final portion of the whistleblower form requires whistleblowers to attest under penalty of perjury that they have neither misstated nor concealed material facts in their complaints. ..."
"... Schiff has refused to detail the breadth of his interactions with the anti-Trump complainant or explain why he lied about his staff's collusion with the complainant. Ratcliffe told The Federalist that Schiff's behavior was an "outrageous offense to legal due process." ..."
"... "Your actions both past and present are incompatible with your duty as Chairman of this Committee, which alone in the House of Representatives has the obligation and authority to provide effective oversight of the U.S. intelligence community," they continued . "As such, we have no faith in your ability to discharge your duties in a manner consistent with your Constitutional responsibility and urge your immediate resignation as Chairman of this Committee. Sean Davis is the co-founder of The Federalist. ..."
Nov 03, 2019 | thefederalist.com

"The person who planted fake evidence shouldn't be the one ruling on the admissibility of fake evidence," Ratcliffe said of Schiff on Friday. November 1, 2019 By Sean Davis A former federal prosecutor who sits on the committee tasked by Democrats with removing President Donald Trump from office blasted Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., as being unfit to oversee the process. Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-Tex., told The Federalist on Friday that Schiff's problem isn't mere partisan political bias, it's that Schiff has a conflict of interest given his secret interactions with the anti-Trump whistleblower before his false complaint against Trump was even submitted.

"It's more than just bias -- it's an actual legal conflict of interest," Ratcliffe told The Federalist . "Schiff is using his authority as a Chairman presiding over an impeachment inquiry to prevent the investigation and discovery of facts about his own actions or the actions of his staff."

"He is essentially a witness in the trial over which he is presiding," Ratcliffe continued. "He has a conflict of interest because his testimony is relevant to the origins of the impeachment process that he is simultaneously conducting, directing and managing."

Although Schiff initially claimed that he and his staff had never interacted with the anti-Trump complainant and didn't even know who he was, the New York Times reported that the whistleblower secretly coordinated with Schiff's Democratic staff, who then urged him to file a complaint against the president.

"The person who planted fake evidence shouldn't be the one ruling on the admissibility of fake evidence," Ratcliffe said on Friday.

"Despite initially denying any contact with the whistleblower, Schiff had already been briefed about at least one meeting between his staff and that individual prior to the filing of the complaint," Ratcliffe said. "Material facts about the date, nature and extent of that meeting as well as any other contacts, communication or possible coordination between Chairman Schiff, his staff and the whistleblower were never disclosed by any of those parties to ICIG Michael Atkinson -- facts confirmed in the sworn testimony of ICIG Atkinson which Chairman Schiff is refusing to release."

Testimony by Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG) Michael Atkinson revealed that the whistleblower, whom Real Clear Investigations has identified as former National Security Council (NSC) staffer and current Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) analyst Eric Ciaramella, concealed his contacts with Schiff from the ICIG in his complaint form. If the anti-Trump complainant did, in fact, refuse to disclose previous disclosures of his allegations to Congress or the news media, he could be subject to felony criminal penalties for making false statements. The final portion of the whistleblower form requires whistleblowers to attest under penalty of perjury that they have neither misstated nor concealed material facts in their complaints.

"I certify that all of the statements made in this complaint (including any continuation pages) are true, complete, and correct to the best of my knowledge and belief," whistleblowers are required to attest under penalty of perjury. "I understand that, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 1001, a false statement or concealment of a material fact is a criminal offense punishable by a fine of up to $10,000, imprisonment for up to five years, or both."

Schiff has refused to detail the breadth of his interactions with the anti-Trump complainant or explain why he lied about his staff's collusion with the complainant. Ratcliffe told The Federalist that Schiff's behavior was an "outrageous offense to legal due process."

"Chairman Schiff has likewise refused to allow any inquiry by Republicans into these material facts which may bear on the credibility and motivation of the whistleblower and perhaps Chairman Schiff," Ratcliffe said. "Republicans have been and continue to be deprived of the ability to investigate these material facts which can only be ascertained from the sworn testimony of Chairman Schiff, his staff and the whistleblower."

"Chairman Schiff is a material fact witness in the same impeachment inquiry that Democrats have authorized him to preside over," Ratcliffe continued. "It's an outrageous offense to legal due process and any standard of fairness."

Earlier this year, all nine Republican lawmakers on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence called on Schiff to step down as chairman due to his repeated lies about treasonous Russian collusion by the president.

"The findings of the Special Counsel conclusively refute your past and present assertions and have exposed you as having abused your position to knowingly promote false information, having damaged the integrity of this Committee, and undermined faith in U.S. government institutions," they wrote.

"Your actions both past and present are incompatible with your duty as Chairman of this Committee, which alone in the House of Representatives has the obligation and authority to provide effective oversight of the U.S. intelligence community," they continued . "As such, we have no faith in your ability to discharge your duties in a manner consistent with your Constitutional responsibility and urge your immediate resignation as Chairman of this Committee. Sean Davis is the co-founder of The Federalist.

[Nov 02, 2019] WATCH Udo Ulfkotte – Bought Journalists by Terje Maloy

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... We drove for hours through the desert, towards the Iraqi border. Approx. 20-30 kilometers from the border, there really was nothing. First of all no war. There were armored vehicles and tanks, burned-out long ago. The journalist left the bus, splashed the contents of the cans on the vehicles. We had Iraqi soldiers with us as an escort, with machine guns, in uniform. You have to imagine: tanks in a desert, burned out long ago, now put on fire. Clouds of smoke. And there the journalists assemble their cameras. ..."
"... So I gathered courage and asked one of the reporters: 'I understand one thing, they are great pictures, but why are they ducking all the time? ' ..."
"... I'll finish, because I am not here to make satire today. I just want to say that this was my first experience with truth in journalism and war reporting. ..."
"... Then a certain type of reporting is expected. Which one? Forget my newspaper, this applies in general. At the start of the trip, the journalist gets a memo – today it is electronic – in his hand. If you are traveling abroad, it is info about the country, or the speeches that will be held. This file contains roughly what will happen during this trip. In addition there are short conversations, briefings with the politician's press manager. He then explains to you how one views this trip. Naturally, you should see it the same way. No one says it in that way. But is is approximately what one would have reported. ..."
"... He explained that a recruitment board from the intelligence services had participated. But I had no idea that the seminar Introduction to Conflict Studies was arranged by the defense forces and run by the foreign intelligence service BND, to have a closer look at potential candidates among the students, not to commit them. They only asked if they, after four such seminars, possibly could contact me later, in my occupation. ..."
"... Two persons from BND came regularly to the paper, to a visiting room. And there were occasions when the report not only was given, but also that BND had written articles, largely ready to go, that were published in the newspaper under my byline. ..."
"... But a couple of journalists were there, they told about it. Therefore I repeat: Merkel invited the chief editors several times, and told them she didn't want the population to be truthfully and openly informed about the problems out there. For example, the background for the financial crisis. If the citizens knew how things were, they would run to the bank and withdraw their money. So beautifying everything; everything is under control; your savings are safe; just smile and hold hands – everything will be fine. ..."
"... From one hour 18 minutes onwards, Ulfkotte details EU-Inter-State Terror Co-operation, with returning IS Operatives on a Free Pass, fully armed and even Viktor Orban had to give in to the commands of letting Terrorists through Hungary into Germany & Austria. ..."
"... Everybody who works in the MSM, without exception, are bought and paid for whores peddling lies on behalf of globalist corporate interests. ..."
"... Udo's voice (in the form of his book) was silenced for a reason – that being that he spoke the truth about our utterly and completely corrupt Western fantasy world in which we in the West proclaim our – "respect international law" and "respect for human rights." His work, such as this interview and others he has done, pulled the curtain back on the big lie and exposed our oligarchs, politicians and the "journalists" they hire as simply a cadre of professional criminals whose carefully crafted lies are used to soak up the blood and to cover the bodies of the dead, all in order to hide all that mayhem from our eyes, to insure justice is an impossibility and to make sure we Western citizens sleep well at night, oblivious to our connection to the actual realities that are this daily regime of pillage and plunder that is our vaunted "neoliberal order." ..."
"... "The philosopher Diogenes (of Sinope) was eating bread and lentils for supper. He was seen by the philosopher Aristippus, who lived comfortably by flattering the king. Said Aristippus, 'If you would learn to be subservient to the king you would not have to live on lentils.' To which Diogenes replied, 'Learn to live on lentils and you will not have to be subservient to the king"." ..."
"... So Roosevelt pushed Hitler to attack Stalin? Hitler didn't want to go East? Revisionism at it most motive free. ..."
"... Pushing' is synonymous for a variety of ways to instigate a desired outcome. Financing is just one way. And Roosevelt was in no way the benevolent knight history twisters like to present him. You are outing yourself again as an easliy duped sheep. ..."
"... Lebensraum was first popularized in 1901 in Germany https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lebensraum Hitler's "Mein Kampf" ( 1925) build on that: he had no need for any American or other push, it was intended from the get go. ..."
"... This excellent article demonstrates how the Controlling Elite manipulates the Media and the Message for purposes of misdirecting attention and perception of their true intentions and objective of securing Global Ownership (aka New World Order). ..."
"... Corporate Journalism is all about corporatism and the continuation of it. If the Intelligence Community needs greater fools for staffing purposes in the corporate hierarchy they look for anyone that can be compromised via inducements of whatever the greater fools want. ..."
"... Bought & paid for corporate Journalists are controlled by the Intelligence Agencies and always have been since at least the Second World War. The CIA typically runs bribery & blackmail at the state & federal level so that when necessary they have instant useless eaters to offer up as political sacrifice when required via state run propaganda, & impression management. ..."
"... Assuming that journalism is an ethical occupation is naďve and a fools' game even in the alternative news domain as all writers write from bias & a lack of real knowledge. Few writers are intellectually honest or even aware of their own limits as writers. The writer is a failure and not a hero borne in myth. Writers struggle to write & publish. Bought and paid for writers don't have a struggle in terms of writing because they are told what to write before they write as automatons for the Intelligence Community knowing that they sold their collective souls to the Prince of Darkness for whatever trinkets, bobbles, or bling they could get their greedy hands on at the time. ..."
"... Once pond scum always pond scum. ..."
"... It is a longer process in which one is gradually introduced to ever more expensive rewards/bribes. Never too big to overwhelm – always just about what one would accept as 'motivation' to omit aspects of any issue. Of course, omission is a lie by any other name, but I can attest to the life style of a journalist that socializes with the leaders of all segments of society. ..."
"... Professional whoring is as old as the hills and twice as dusty. Being ethical is difficult stuff especially when money is involved. Money is always a prime motivator but vanity works wonders too. Corporatists will offer whatever inducements they can to get what they want. ..."
"... All mainstream media voices are selling a media package that is a corporatist lie in and of itself. Truth is less marketable than lies. Embellished news & journalistic hype is the norm ..."
Oct 06, 2019 | off-guardian.org

WATCH: Udo Ulfkotte – Bought Journalists Terje Maloy

Subtitled and transcribed by Terje Maloy

https://www.youtube.com/embed/3ZLgW3hgRBY

In 2014, the German journalist and writer Udo Ulfkotte published a book that created a big stir, describing how the journalistic profession is thoroughly corrupt and infiltrated by intelligence services.

Although eagerly anticipated by many, the English translation of the book, Bought Journalists , does not seem to be forthcoming anytime soon.

[We covered that story at the time – Ed.]

So I have made English subtitles and transcribed this still very relevant 2015-lecture for those that are curious about Ulfkotte's work. It covers many of the subjects described in the book.

Udo Ulfkotte died of a heart attack in January 2017, in all likelihood part of the severe medical complications he got from his exposure to German-made chemical weapons supplied to Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq War in the 1980s.

Transcription

[Only the first 49 minutes are translated; the second half of the lecture deals mostly with more local issues]

Introducer Oliver: I am very proud to have such a brave man amongst us: Udo Ulfkotte

Udo Ulfkotte: Thanks Thanks for the invitation Thanks to Oliver. I heard to my great surprise from Oliver that he didn't know someone from the intelligence services (VVS) would be present. I wish him a warm welcome. I don't mean that as a joke, I heard this in advance, and got to know that Oliver didn't know. If he wants – if it is a man – he can wave. If not? no? [laughter from the audience]

I'm fine with that. You can write down everything, or record it; no problem.

To the lecture. We are talking about media. we are talking about truth. I don't want to sell you books or such things. Each one of us asks himself: Why do things develop like they do, even though the majority, or a lot of people shake their heads.

The majority of people in Germany don't want nuclear weapons on our territory. But we have nuclear weapons here. The majority don't want foreign interventions by German soldiers. But we do.

What media narrates and the politicians say, and what the majority of the population believes – seems often obviously to be two different things.

I can tell you this myself, from many years experience. I will start with very personal judgments, to tell you what my experiences with 'The Lying Media' were – I mean exactly that with the word 'lying'.

I was born in a fairly poor family. I am a single child. I grew up on the eastern edge of the Ruhr-area. I studied Law, Political Science and Islamic Studies. Already in my student years, I had contact with the German Foreign Intelligence, BND. We will get back to that later.

From 1986 to 2003, I worked for a major German newspaper, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ), amongst other things as a war reporter. I spent a lot of time in Eastern and African countries.

Now to the subject of lying media. When I was sent to the Iran-Iraq war for the first time, the first time was from 1980 to July 1986, I was sent to this war to report for FAZ. The Iraqis were then 'the good guys'.

I was bit afraid. I didn't have any experience as a war reporter. Then I arrived in Baghdad. I was fairly quickly sent along in a bus by the Iraqi army, the bus was full of loud, experienced war reporters, from such prestigious media as the BBC, several foreign TV-stations and newspapers, and me, poor newbie, who was sent to the front for the first time without any kind of preparation. The first thing I saw was that they all carried along cans of petrol. And I at once got bad consciousness, because I thought: "oops, if the bus gets stuck far from a petrol station, then everyone chips in with a bit of diesel'. I decided to in the future also carry a can before I went anywhere, because it obviously was part of it.

We drove for hours through the desert, towards the Iraqi border. Approx. 20-30 kilometers from the border, there really was nothing. First of all no war. There were armored vehicles and tanks, burned-out long ago. The journalist left the bus, splashed the contents of the cans on the vehicles. We had Iraqi soldiers with us as an escort, with machine guns, in uniform. You have to imagine: tanks in a desert, burned out long ago, now put on fire. Clouds of smoke. And there the journalists assemble their cameras.

It was my first experience with media, truth in reporting.

While I was wondering what the hell I was going to report for my newspaper, they all lined up and started: Behind them were flames and plumes of smoke, and all the time the Iraqis were running in front of camera with their machine guns, casually, but with war in their gaze. And the reporters were ducking all the time while talking.

So I gathered courage and asked one of the reporters: 'I understand one thing, they are great pictures, but why are they ducking all the time? '

'Quite simply because there are machine guns on the audio track, and it looks very good at home.'

That was several decades ago. It was in the beginning of my contact with war. I was thinking, the whole way back:'Young man, you didn't see a war. You were in a place with a campfire. What are you going to tell?'

I returned to Baghdad. There weren't any mobile phones then. We waited in Hotel Rashid and other hotels where foreigners stayed, sometimes for hours for an international telephone line. I first contacted my mother, not my newspaper. I was in despair, didn't know what to do, and wanted to get advice from an elder person.

Then my mother shouted over the phone: 'My boy, you are alive!' I thought: 'How so? Is everything OK?'

'My boy, we thought ' 'What's the matter, mother?' 'We saw on TV what happened around you' TV had already sent lurid stories, and I tried to calm my mother down, it didn't happen like that. She thought I had lost my mind from all the things that had happened in the war – she saw it with her own eyes!

I'll finish, because I am not here to make satire today. I just want to say that this was my first experience with truth in journalism and war reporting.

That is, I was very shocked by the first contact, it was entirely different from what I had experienced. But it wasn't an exceptional case.

In the beginning, I mentioned that I am from a fairly poor family. I had to work hard for everything. I was a single child, my father died when I was young. It didn't matter further on. But, I had a job, I had a degree, a goal in life.

I now had the choice: Should I declare that the whole thing was nonsense, these reports? I was nothing, a newbie straight out of uni, in my first job. Or if I wanted to make money, to continue, look further. I chose the second option. I continued, and that for many years.

Over these years, I gained lots of experience. When one comes from university to a big German newspaper – everything I say doesn't only apply to FAZ, you can take other German or European media. I had contact with other European journalists, from reputable media outlets. I later worked in other media. I can tell you: What I am about to tell you, I really discovered everywhere.

What did I experience? If you, as a reporter, work either in state media financed by forced license fees, or in the big private media companies, then you can't write what you want yourself, what you feel like. There are certain guidelines.

Roughly speaking: everyone knows that you won't, for example in the Springer-newspapers – Bild, die Welt – get published articles extremely critical of Israel. They stand no chance there, because one has to sign a statement that one is pro-Israel, that one won't question the existence of the state of Israel or Israeli points of view, etc.

There are some sort of guidelines in all the big media companies. But that isn't all: I learned very fast that if one doesn't – I don't mean this negatively – want to be stuck in the lower rungs of editors, if one wants to rise; for me this rise was that I was allowed to travel with the Chancellor, ministers, the president and politicians, in planes owned by the state; then one has to keep to certain subjects. I learned that fast.

That is, if one gets to follow a politician – and this hasn't changed to this day – I soon realized that when I followed the president or Chancellor Helmut Kohl etc, one of course isn't invited because your name is Udo Ulfkotte, but because you belong to the newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine.

Then a certain type of reporting is expected. Which one? Forget my newspaper, this applies in general. At the start of the trip, the journalist gets a memo – today it is electronic – in his hand. If you are traveling abroad, it is info about the country, or the speeches that will be held. This file contains roughly what will happen during this trip. In addition there are short conversations, briefings with the politician's press manager. He then explains to you how one views this trip. Naturally, you should see it the same way. No one says it in that way. But is is approximately what one would have reported.

All the time you no one tells you to write it this or that way but you know quite exactly that if you DON'T write it this or that way,then you won't get invited next time. Your media outlet will be invited, but they say 'we don't want him along'. Then you are out.

Naturally you want to be invited. Of course it is wonderful to travel abroad and you can behave like a pig, no one cares. You can buy what you want, because you know that when you return, you won't be checked. You can bring what you want. I had colleagues who went along on a trip to the US.

They brought with them – it was an air force plane – a Harley Davidson, in parts. They sold it when they were back in Germany, and of course earned on it. Anyway, just like the carpet-affair with that development minister, this is of course not a single instance. No one talks about it.

You get invited if you have a certain way of seeing things. Which way to see things? Where and how is this view of the world formed? I very often get asked: 'Where are these people behind the curtain who pulls the wires, so that everything gets told in a fairly similar way?'

In the big media in Germany – just look yourself – who sit in the large transatlantic think-tanks and foundations,the foundation The Atlantic Bridge, all these organizations, and how is one influenced there? I can tell from my own experience.

We mustn't talk only theoretically. I was invited by the think-tank The German Marshall Fund of the United States as a fellow. I was to visit the United States for six weeks. It was fully paid. During these six weeks I could this think-tank has very close connections to the CIA to this day, they acquired contacts in the CIA for me and they got me access to American politicians, to everyone I wanted. Above all, they showered me with gifts.

Already before the journey with German Marshall Fund, I experienced plenty of bought journalism. This hasn't to do with a particular media outlet. You see, I was invited and didn't particularly reflect over it, by billionaires, for example sultan Quabboos of Oman on the Arabian peninsula.

When sultan Qabboos invited, and a poor boy like me could travel to a country with few inhabitants but immense wealth, where the head of state had the largest yachts in the world, his own symphony orchestra which plays for him when he wants – by the way he bought a pub close to Garmisch-Patenkirchen, because he is a Muslim believer, and someone might see him if he drank in his own country, so he rather travels there. The place he bought every day fly in fresh lamb from Ireland and Scotland with his private jet. He is also the head of an environmental foundation.

But this is a digression. If such a person, who is so incredibly rich, invites someone like me, then I arrive first class. I had never traveled first class before. We arrive, and a driver is waiting for me. He carries your suitcase or backpack. You have a suite in the hotel. And from the very start, you are showered with gifts. You get a platinum or gold coin. A hand-weaved carpet or whatever.

I interviewed the sultan, several times. He asked me what I wanted. I answered among other things a diving course. I wanted to learn how to dive. He flew in a PADI-approved instructor from Greece. I was there for two weeks and got my first diving certificate. On later occasions, the sultan flew me in several times, and the diving instructor. I got a certificate as rescue diver, all paid for by the sultan. You see, when one is attended to in such a way, then you know that you are bought. For a certain type of journalism. In the sultan's country, there is no freedom of the press.

There are no human rights. It is illegal to import many writings, because the sultan does not wish so. There are reports about human rights violations, but my eyes are blind. I reported, like all German media when they report about the Sultanate of Oman, to this day, only positive things. The great sultan, who is wonderful. The fantastic country of the fairy tale prince, overshadowing everything else – because I was bought.

Apart from Oman, many others have bought me. They also bought colleagues. I got many invitations through the travel section in my big newspaper. 5-star. The reportage never mentioned that I was bought, by country A or B or C. Yemenia, the Yemeni state airline, invited me to such a trip.

I didn't report about the dirt and dilapidation in the country, because I was influenced by this treatment, I only reported positively, because I wanted to come back. The Yemenis asked me when I had returned to Frankfurt what I wished In jest, I said "your large prawns, from the Red Sea, from the Indian Ocean, they were spectacular.", from the seaport of Mocha (Mocha-coffee is named after it). Two days later, Yemenia flew in a buffet for the editorial office, with prawns and more.

Of course we were bought. We were bought in several ways. In your situation: when you buy a car or something else, you trust consumer tests. Look closer. How well is the car tested? I know of no colleagues, no journalists, who do testing of cars, that aren't bribed – maybe they do exist.

They get unlimited access to a car from the big car manufacturers, with free petrol and everything else. I had a work car in my newspaper, if not, I might have exploited this. I had a BMW or Mercedes in the newspaper. But there are, outside the paper, many colleagues who only have this kind of vehicle all year round. They are invited to South Africa, Malaysia, USA, to the grandest travels, when a new car is presented.

Why? So that they will write positively about the car. But it doesn't say in these reports "Advertisement from bought journalists".

But that is the reality. You should also know – since we are on the subjects of tests – who owns which test magazines? Who owns the magazine Eco-test? It is owned by the Social Democrats. More than a hundred magazines belong to the Social Democrats. It isn't about only one party, but many editorial rooms have political allegiance. Behind them are party political interests.

I mentioned the sultan of Oman and the diving course, and I have mentioned German Marshall Fund. Back to the US and the German Marshall Fund. There one told me, they knew exactly, 'hello, you were on a diving course in Oman ' The CIA knew very precisely. And the CIA also gave me something: The diving gear. I received the diving gear in the United States, and I received in the US, during my 6-week stay there, an invitation from the state of Oklahoma, from the governor. I went there. It was a small ceremony, and I received an honorary citizenship.

I am now honorary citizen of an American state. And in this certificate, it is written that I will only cover the US positively. I accepted this honorary citizenship and was quite proud of it. I proudly told about it to a colleague who worked in the US. He said 'ha, I already have 31 of these honorary citizenships!'

I don't tell about this to be witty, today I am ashamed, really.

I was greedy. I accepted many advantages that a regular citizen at my age in my occupation doesn't have, and shouldn't have. But I perceived it – and that is no excuse – as entirely normal, because my colleagues around me all did the same. But this isn't normal. When journalists are invited to think-tanks in the US, like German Marshall Fund, Atlantic Bridge, it is to 'bring them in line', for in a friendly way to make them complicit, naturally to buy them, to grease them with money.

This has quite a few aspects that one normally doesn't talk about. When I for the first time was in Southern Africa, in the 80s, Apartheid still existed in South Africa, segregated areas for blacks and whites. We didn't have any problems with this in my newspaper, we received fully paid journeys from the Apartheid regime to do propaganda work.

I was invited by the South-African gold industry, coal industry, tourist board. In the first invitation, this trip was to Namibia – I arrived tired to the hotel room in Windhoek and a dark woman lay in my bed. I at once left the room, went down to the reception and said 'excuse me, but the room is already occupied' [laughter from the audience]

Without any fuss I got another room.

Next day at the breakfast table, this was a journalist trip, my colleagues asked me 'how was yours?' Only then I understood what had happened. Until then, I had believed it was a silly coincidence.

With this I want to describe which methods are used, maybe to film journalists in such situations, buy, make dependent. Quite simply to win them over to your side with the most brutal methods, so that they are 'brought in line'.

This doesn't happen to every journalist. It would be a conspiracy theory if I said that behind every journalist, someone pulls the wires.

No. Not everyone has influence over the masses. When you – I don't mean this negatively – write about folk costume societies or if you work with agriculture or politics, why should anyone from the upper political spheres have an interest in controlling the reporting? As far as I know, this doesn't happen at all.

But if you work in one of the big media, and want up in this world, if you want to travel with politicians, heads of state, with CEOs, who also travel on these planes, then it happens. Then you are regularly bought, you are regularly observed.

I said earlier that I already during my study days had contact with the intelligence services.

I will quickly explain this to you, because it is very important for this lecture.

I studied law, Political Science and Islamology, among other places in Freiburg. At the very beginning of my study, just before end of the term, a professor approached me. Professors were then still authority figures.

He came with a brochure, and asked me: 'Mr. Ulfkotte, what are your plans for this vacation?'

I couldn't very well say that I first planned to work a bit at a building site, for then to grab my backpack and see the ocean for the first time in my life, to Italy, 'la dolce vita', flirting with girls, lie on the beach and be a young person.

I wondered how I would break it to him. He then came with a brochure [Ulfkotte imitating professor]: 'I have something for you a seminar, Introduction to Conflict Studies, two weeks in Bonn I am sure you would want to participate!'

I wondered how I would tell this elderly gentleman that I wanted to flirt with girls on the beach. Then he said 'you will get 20 Marks per day as support, paid train journey, money for books 150 Marks You will naturally get board and lodging.' He didn't stop telling me what I would receive.

It buzzed around in my head that I had to achieve everything myself, work hard. I thought 'You have always wanted to participate in a seminar on Introduction to Conflict Studies!'

So I went to Bonn from Freiburg, and I saw other students who had this urge to participate in this seminar. There were also girls one could flirt with, about twenty people. The whole thing was very strange, because we sat in a room like this one, there were desks and a lectern, and there sat some older men and a woman, they always wrote something down. They asked us about things; What we thought of East Germany, we had to do role play.

The whole thing was a bit strange, but it was well paid. We didn't reflect any further. It was very strange that in this house, in Ubierstraße 88 in Bonn, we weren't allowed to go to the second floor. There was a chain over the stairs, it was taboo.

We were allowed to go to the basement, there were constantly replenished supplies of new books that we were allowed to get for free. Ebay didn't exist then, but we could still sell them used. Anyway, it was curious, but at the end of the fortnight, we were allowed to go up these stairs, where we got an invitation to a continuation course in Conflict Studies.

After four such seminars, that is, after two years, someone asked me 'you have probably wondered what we are doing here'.

He explained that a recruitment board from the intelligence services had participated. But I had no idea that the seminar Introduction to Conflict Studies was arranged by the defense forces and run by the foreign intelligence service BND, to have a closer look at potential candidates among the students, not to commit them. They only asked if they, after four such seminars, possibly could contact me later, in my occupation.

They gave me a lot of money. My mother has always taught me to be polite. So I said 'please do', and they came to me. I was then working in the newspaper FAZ from 1986, straight after my studies.

Then the intelligence services came fairly soon to me. Why am I telling you this? The newspaper knew very soon. It is also written in my reference, therefore I can say it loud and clear. I had very close contact with the intelligence service BND.

Two persons from BND came regularly to the paper, to a visiting room. And there were occasions when the report not only was given, but also that BND had written articles, largely ready to go, that were published in the newspaper under my byline.

I highlight certain things to explain them. But if I had said here: 'There are media that are influenced by BND', you could rightly say that 'these are conspiracy theories, can you document it?'

I CAN document it. I can say, this and that article, with my byline in the paper, is written by the intelligence services, because what is written there, I couldn't have known. I couldn't have known what existed in some cave or other in Libya, what secret thing were there, what was being built there. This was all things that BND wanted published. It wasn't like this only in FAZ.

It was like this also in other media. I told about it. If we had rule of law, there would now be an investigation commission. Because the political parties would stand up, regardless of if they are on the left, in the center or right, and say: What this Ulfkotte fella says and claims he can document, this should be investigated. Did this occur in other places? Or is it still ongoing?'

I can tell you: Yes it still exists. I know colleagues who still have this close contact. One can probably show this fairly well until a few years ago. But I would find it wonderful if this investigation commission existed.

But it will obviously not happen, because no one has an interest in doing so. Because then the public would realize how closely integrated politics, media, and the secret services are in this country.

That is, one often sees in reporting, whether it is from the local paper, regional papers, TV-channels, national tabloids and so-called serious papers.

Put them side by side, and you will discover that more than 90% looks almost identical. A lot of subjects and news, that are not being reported at all, or they are – I claim reported very one-sided. One can only explain this if one knows the structures in the background, how media is surrounded, bought and 'brought onboard' by politics and the intelligence services; Where politics and intelligence services form a single unity. There is an intelligence coordinator by the Chancellor.

I can tell you, that under the former coordinator Bernd Schmidbauer, under Kohl, I walked in and out of the Chancellery and received stacks of secret and confidential documents, which I shouldn't have received.

They were so many that we in the newspaper had own archive cabinets for them. Not only did I receive these documents,but Schmidbauer should have been in jail if we had rule of law. Or there should have been a parliamentary commission or an investigation, because he wasn't allowed

For example if I couldn't bring along the documents if the case was too hot, there was another trick. They locked me in a room. In this room were the documents, which I could look through. I could record it all on tape, photograph them or write them down. When I was done, I could call on the intercom, so they could lock me out. There were thousands of these tricks. Anonymous documents that I and my colleagues needed could be placed in my mail box.

These are of course illegal things. BUT, you ONLY get them if you 'toe the line' with politics.

If I had written that Chancellor Helmut Kohl is stupid, a big idiot, or about what Schmidbauer did, I would of course not have received more. That is, if you today, in newspapers, read about 'soon to be revealed exposures, we will publish a big story based on material based on intelligence', then none of these media have dug a tunnel under the security services and somehow got hold of something secret. It is rather that they work so well with intelligence services, with the military counterespionage, the foreign intelligence, police intelligence etc, that if they have got hold of internal documents, it is because they cooperate so well that they received them as a reward for well performed service.

You see, in this way one is in the end bought. One is bought to such a degree that at one point one can't exit this system anymore.

If I describe how you are supplied with prostitutes, bribed with cars, money; I tried to write down everything I received in gifts, everything I was bribed with. I stopped doing so several years ago, more than a decade ago.

It doesn't make it any better, but today I regret everything. But I know that it goes this way with many journalists.

It would make me very happy if journalists stood up and said they won't participate in this any longer, and that they think this is wrong.

But I see no possibility, because media corporations in any case are doing badly. Where should a journalist find work the next day? It isn't so that tens of thousands of employers are waiting for you. It is the other way round. Tens of thousands of journalists are looking for work or commissions.

That is, from pure desperation one is happy to be bribed. If a newsroom stands behind or not an article that in reality is advertising, doesn't matter, one goes along. I know some, even respected journalists, who want to leave this system.

But imagine if you are working in one of the state channels, that you stand up and tell what you have received. How will that be received by your colleagues? That you have political ulterior motives etc.

September 30 [2015], a few days ago, Chancellor Merkel invited all the directors in the state channels to her in the Chancellery. I will claim that she talked with them about how one should report the Chancellors politics. Who of you [in the audience] heard about this incident? 3-4-5? So a small minority. But this is reality. Merkel started already 6 years ago, at the beginning of the financial crisis, to invite chief editors ..she invited chief editors in the large media corporations, with the express wish that media should embellish reality, in a political way. This could have been only claims, one could believe me or not.

But a couple of journalists were there, they told about it. Therefore I repeat: Merkel invited the chief editors several times, and told them she didn't want the population to be truthfully and openly informed about the problems out there. For example, the background for the financial crisis. If the citizens knew how things were, they would run to the bank and withdraw their money. So beautifying everything; everything is under control; your savings are safe; just smile and hold hands – everything will be fine.

In such a way it should be reported. Ladies and gentlemen, what I just said can be documented. These are facts, not a conspiracy theory.

I formulated it a bit satirically, but I ask myself when I see how things are in this country: Is this the democracy described in the Constitution? Freedom of speech? Freedom of the press?

Where one has to be afraid if one doesn't agree with the ruling political correctness, if one doesn't want to get in trouble. Is this the republic our parents and grandparents fought for, that they built?

I claim that we more and more – as citizens – are cowards 'toeing the line', who don't open our mouths.

It is so nice to have plurality and diversity of opinions.

But it is at once clamped down on, today fairly openly.

Of my experiences with journalism, I can in general say that I have quit all media I have to pay for, for the reasons mentioned. Then the question arises, 'but which pay-media can I trust?'

Naturally there are ones I support. They are definitely political, I'll add. But they are all fairly small. And they won't be big anytime soon. But I have quit all big media that I used to subscribe to, Der Spiegel, Frankfurter Allgemeine, etc. I would like to not having to pay the TV-license fee, without being arrested because I won't pay fines. But maybe someone here in the audience can tell me how to do so without all these problems?

Either way, I don't want to financially support this kind of journalism. I can only give you the advice to get information from alternative, independent media and all the forums that exist.

I'm not advertising for any of them. Some of you probably know that I write for the publishing house Kopp. But there are so many portals. Every person is different in political viewpoint, culturally etc. The only thing uniting us, whether we are black or white, religious or non-religious, right or left, or whatever; we all want to know the truth. We want to know what really happens out there, and exactly in the burning political questions: asylum seekers, refugees, the financial crisis, bad infrastructure, one doesn't know how it will continue. Precisely with this background, is it even more important that people get to know the truth.

And it is to my great surprise that I conclude that we in media, as well as in politics, have a guiding line.

To throw more and more dust in the citizens' eyes to calm them down. What is the sense in this? One can have totally different opinions on the subject of refugees with good reasoning.

But facts are important for you as citizens to decide the future. That is, how many people will arrive? How will it affect my personal affluence? Or will it affect my affluence at all? Will the pensions shrink? etc. Then you can talk with people about this, quite openly. But to say that we should open all borders, and that this won't have any negative consequences, is very strange. What I now say isn't a plug for my books. I know that some of them are on the table in front.

I'm not saying this so that you will buy books. I am saying this for another reason that soon will be clear. I started to write books on certain subjects 18 years ago. They have sold millions. It is no longer about you buying my books. It is important that you hear the titles, then you will see a certain line throughout the last ten years. One can have different opinions about this line, but I have always tried to describe, based on my subjective experiences, formed over many years in the Middle East and Africa.

That there will be migration flows, from people from culture areas that are like; if one could compare a cultural area with an engine, that one fills petrol in a diesel engine then everyone knows what will happen, the engine is great, diesel is great, but if there too much petrol, then the engine starts to splutter and stop.

I have tried to make you aware of this, with drastic and less drastic words. What we can expect, and ever faster. The book titles are SOS Occident; Warning Civil War; No Black,Red, Yellow [the colors in the German flag], Holy War in Europe; Mecca Germany.

I just want to say, when politicians and media today claim no one could have predicted it, everything is a complete surprise; Ladies and Gentlemen, this is not at all surprising. The migration flows, for years warnings have been coming from international organizations, politicians, experts, exactly about what happened and it is predictable, if we had a map over North Africa and the Middle East..

If the West continues to destabilize countries like Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, Syria, country by country, Iraq when we toppled Saddam Hussein, Afghanistan. We as Europeans and Germans have spent tens of billions on a war where we allegedly defend peace and liberty, at the mountain range Hindu Kush [in Afghanistan]. And here, in front of our own door, we soon have Hindu Kush.

We have no stabilization in Afghanistan. Dozens of German soldiers have lost their lives for nothing. We have a more unstable situation than ever.

You can have your own opinions. I am only saying that these refugee flows didn't fall from the sky. It is predicable, that if I bomb and destabilize a country, that people – it is always so in history – it hasn't anything to do with the Middle East or North Africa. I have seen enough wars in Africa. Naturally they created refugee flows.

But all of us didn't want to see this. We haven't prepared. And now one is reacting in full panic, and what is most disconcerting with this, is when media and politicians, allegedly from deepest inner conviction, say: 'this was all a complete surprise!'

Are they drunk? What are they smoking? What sort of pills are they eating? That they behave this way?

End transcription

The transcription has been edited for clarity, and may differ from the spoken word. The subtitles and transcription are for the first 49 minutes of the lecture only. Subtitled and transcribed by Terje Maloy. This article is Creative Commons 4.0 for non-commercial purposes.
Terje Maloy ( Website ) is a Norwegian citizen, with roots north of the Arctic Circle. Nowadays, he spends a lot of time in Australia, working in the family business. He has particular interests in liberty, global justice, imperialism, history, media analysis and what Western governments really are up to. He runs a blog , mostly in Norwegian, but occasionally in English. He likes to write about general geopolitical matters, and Northern Europe in particular, presenting perspectives that otherwise barely are mentioned in the dominant media (i.e. most things that actually matter).
Tim Jenkins
From 1:18 minutes, Ulfkotte reveals without question, that the EU Political 'elite's' combined intelligence services work with & propagate . . .

Terror, Terrorists & Terrorism / a conscious organised Politics of FEAR ! / Freedom of Movement, of fully armed IS Agents Provocateurs & with a Secret Services get out of jail free card, 'Hände Weg Nicht anfassen', it's 'Hammertime', "U Can't Touch this", we're armed state operatives travelling to Germany & Austria, " don't mess with my operation !" & all journalists' hands tied, too.

The suggestions & offers below to translate fully, what Ulfkotte declares publicly, make much sense. It is important to understand that even an 'Orban' must bow occasionally, to deep state Security State Dictators and the pressures they can exert in so many ways. Logic . . . or else one's life is made into hell, alive or an 'accidental' death: – and may I add, it is a curiously depressing feeling when you have so many court cases on the go, that when a Gemeinde/Municipality Clerk is smiling, celebrating and telling you, (representing yourself in court, with only independent translator & recorder), "You Won the Case, a superior judge has over-ruled " and the only reply possible is,

"Which case number ?"

life gets tedious & time consuming, demanding extreme patience. Given his illness, surely Ulfkotte and his wife, deserve/d extra credit & 'hot chocolate'. Makes a change to see & read some real journalism: congrats.@OffG

Excellent Professional Journalism on "Pseudo-Journalist State Actors & Terrorists". If you see a terrorist, guys, at best just reason with him or her :- better than calling

INTERPOL or Secret Services @theguardian, because you wouldn't want a member of the public, grassing you up to your boss, would you now ? ! Just tell the terrorist who he really works for . . . Those he resents ! Rather like Ulfkotte had to conclude, with final resignation. My condolences to his good wife.

Wilmers31
Very good of you to not forget Ulfkotte. If I did not have sickness in the house, I would translate it. Maybe I can do one chapter and someone else can do another one? What's the publisher saying?
jgiam
It's just a long unedited speech.
Tim Jenkins
You wouldn't say that if you could speak German, my friend ! ?

From one hour 18 minutes onwards, Ulfkotte details EU-Inter-State Terror Co-operation, with returning IS Operatives on a Free Pass, fully armed and even Viktor Orban had to give in to the commands of letting Terrorists through Hungary into Germany & Austria.

But, don't let that revelation bother you, living under a Deep State 'Politic of Fear' in the West and long unedited speeches gets kinda' boring now, I know a bit like believing in some kinda' dumbfuk new pearl harbour, war on terror &&& all phoney propaganda fairy story telling, just like on the 11/9/2001, when the real target was WTC 7, to hide elitist immoral endeavours, corruption & the missing $$$TRILLIONS$$$ of tax payers money, 'mislaid' by the D.o.D. announced directly the day before by Rumsfeld, forgotten ? Before ramping the Surveillance States abilities in placing & employing "Parallel Platforms" on steroids, so that our secret services can now employ terror & deploy terrorists at will .., against us, see ?

Plus ca change....
I remember on a similar note a 60 Minutes piece just prior to Clinton's humanitarian bombing of Serbian civilian infrastructure (and long ago deleted, I'm sure) on a German free-lancer staging Kosovo atrocities in a Munich suburb, and having the German MSM eating it up and asking for more. (WWII guilt assuagement at work, no doubt).
mark
Everybody who works in the MSM, without exception, are bought and paid for whores peddling lies on behalf of globalist corporate interests.
That is their job.
That is what they do.
They have long since forfeited all credibility and integrity.
They have lied to us endlessly for decades and generations, from the Bayonetted Belgian Babies and Human Bodies Turned Into Soap of WW1 to the Iraq Incubator Babies and Syrian Gas Attacks of more recent times.

You can no longer take anything at face value.
The default position has to be that every single word they print and every single word that comes out of their lying mouths is untrue.
If they say it's snowing at the North Pole, you can't accept that without first going there and checking it out for yourself.
You can't accept anything that has not been independently verified.

This applies across the board.
All of the accepted historical narrative, including things like the holocaust.
And current Global Warming "science."
We know we have been lied to again and again and again.
So what else have we been lied to without us realising it?

mark
Come to think of it, I need to apologise to sex workers.
I have known quite a few of them who have quite high ethical and moral standards, certainly compared to the MSM.
And they certainly do less damage.
Vert few working girls have blood on their hands like the MSM.
Compared to them, working girls are the salt of the earth and pillars of the community.
Seamus Padraig

Compared to them, working girls are the salt of the earth and pillars of the community.

I heartily agree. Even if one disapproves morally of prostitution, how can it possibly be worse to sell your body than to sell your soul?

Oliver
Quite. Checking things out for yourself is the way to go. Forget 'Peer Reviews', just as bent as the journalism Ulfkotte described. DIY.
Mortgage
So natural, all it seems

Part II:
Bought Science

Part III:
Bought Health Services

mapquest directions
The video you shared with great info. I really like the information you share. boxnovel
Gary Weglarz
I knew we were in dangerous new territory regarding government censorship when after waiting several years for Ulfkotte's best selling book to finally be available in English – it suddenly, magically, disappeared completely – a vanishing act – and I couldn't get so much as a response from, much less an explanation from, the would be publisher. Udo's book came at a time when it could have made a difference countering the fact-free complete and total "fabrication of reality" by the U.S. and Western powers as they have waged a brutal and ongoing neocolonial war on the world's poor under the guise of "fighting terrorism."

Udo's voice (in the form of his book) was silenced for a reason – that being that he spoke the truth about our utterly and completely corrupt Western fantasy world in which we in the West proclaim our – "respect international law" and "respect for human rights." His work, such as this interview and others he has done, pulled the curtain back on the big lie and exposed our oligarchs, politicians and the "journalists" they hire as simply a cadre of professional criminals whose carefully crafted lies are used to soak up the blood and to cover the bodies of the dead, all in order to hide all that mayhem from our eyes, to insure justice is an impossibility and to make sure we Western citizens sleep well at night, oblivious to our connection to the actual realities that are this daily regime of pillage and plunder that is our vaunted "neoliberal order."

Ramdan
After watching the first 20 min I couldn't help but remembering this tale:

"The philosopher Diogenes (of Sinope) was eating bread and lentils for supper. He was seen by the philosopher Aristippus, who lived comfortably by flattering the king. Said Aristippus, 'If you would learn to be subservient to the king you would not have to live on lentils.' To which Diogenes replied, 'Learn to live on lentils and you will not have to be subservient to the king"."

which is also the reason why such a large part of humanity lives in voluntary servitude to power structures, living the dream, the illusion of being free..

Ramdan
"English Translation of Udo Ulfkotte's "Bought Journalists" Suppressed?" at Global Research 2017!!

https://www.globalresearch.ca/english-translation-of-udo-ulfkottes-bought-journalists-suppressed/5601857

Francis Lee
Just rechecked Amazon. Journalists for Hire: How the CIA Buys the News by Udo Ulfkotte PH.D. The tag line reads.

Hard cover – currently unavailable; paperback cover – currently unavailable; Kindle edition – ?

Book burning anyone?

nottheonly1
No translation exists for this interview with Udo Ulfkotte on KenFM, the web site of Ken Jebsen. Ken Jebsen has been in the cross hairs of the CIA and German agencies for his reporting of the truth. He was smeared and defamed by the same people that Dr. Ulfkotte had written extensively about in his book 'Gekaufte Journalisten' ('Bought Journalists').

The reason why I add this link to the interview lies in the fact that Udo Ulfkotte speaks about an important part of Middle Eastern and German history – a history that has been scrubbed from the U.S. and German populations. In the Iraq war against Iran – that the U.S. regime had pushed for in the same fashion the way they had pushed Nazi Germany to invade the U.S.S.R. – German chemical weapons were used under the supervision of the U.S. regime. The extend of the chemical weapons campaign was enormous and to the present day, Iranians are born with birth defects stemming from the used of German weapons of mass destruction.

Dr. Ulfkotte rightfully bemoans, that every year German heads of state are kneeling for the Jewish victims of National socialism – but not for the victims of German WMD's that were used against Iran. He stresses that the act of visual asking for forgiveness in the case of the Jewish victims becomes hypocrisy, when 40 years after the Nazis reigned, German WMD's were used against Iran. The German regime was in on the WMD attack on Iran. It was not something that happened because they had lost a couple of thousand containers with WMDs. They delivered the WMD's to Iraq under U.S. supervision.

Ponder that. And there has never been an apology towards Iran, or compensations. Nada. Nothing. Instead, the vile rhetoric and demagogery of every U.S. regime since has continued to paint Iran in the worst possible ways, most notably via incessant psychological projection – accusing Iran of the war crimes and crimes against humanity the U.S. and its Western vassal regimes are guilty of.

Here is the interview that was recorded shortly before Udo Ulfkotte's death:

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

If enough people support the effort, I am willing to contact KenFM for the authorization to translate the interview and use it for subtitles to the video. However, I can't do that on my own.

nottheonly1
Correction: the interview was recorded two years before his passing.
Antonym
the U.S. regime had pushed for in the same fashion the way they had pushed Nazi Germany to invade the U.S.S.R.

So Roosevelt pushed Hitler to attack Stalin? Hitler didn't want to go East? Revisionism at it most motive free.

nottheonly1
It would help if you would use your brain just once. 'Pushing' is synonymous for a variety of ways to instigate a desired outcome. Financing is just one way. And Roosevelt was in no way the benevolent knight history twisters like to present him. You are outing yourself again as an easliy duped sheep.

But then, with all the assaults by the unintelligence agencies, it does not come as a surprise when facts are twisted.

Antonym
Lebensraum was first popularized in 1901 in Germany https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lebensraum Hitler's "Mein Kampf" ( 1925) build on that: he had no need for any American or other push, it was intended from the get go. The timing of operation Barbarossa was brilliant though: it shocked Stalin into a temporary limbo as he had his own aggressive plans.
Casandra2
This excellent article demonstrates how the Controlling Elite manipulates the Media and the Message for purposes of misdirecting attention and perception of their true intentions and objective of securing Global Ownership (aka New World Order).

This approach has been assiduously applied, across the board, over many years, to the point were they now own and run everything required to subjugate the 'human race' to the horrors of their psychopathic inclinations. They are presently holding the global economy on hold until their AI population (social credit) control system/grid is in place before bringing the house down.

Needless to say, when this happens a disunited and frightened Global Population will be at their mercy.

If you wish to gain a full insight of what the Controlling Elite is about, and capable of, I recommend David Icke's latest publication 'Trigger'. I know he's been tagged a 'nutter' over the past thirty years, but I reckon this book represents the 'gold standard' in terms of generating awareness as a basis for launching a united global population counter-attack (given a great strategy) against forces that can only be defined as pure 'EVIL'.

MASTER OF UNIVE
Corporate Journalism is all about corporatism and the continuation of it. If the Intelligence Community needs greater fools for staffing purposes in the corporate hierarchy they look for anyone that can be compromised via inducements of whatever the greater fools want. Engaging in compromise allows both parties to have complicit & explicit understanding that corruption and falsehood are the tools of the trade. To all-of-a-sudden develop a conscience after decades of playing the part of a willing participant is understandable in light of the guilt complex one must develop after screwing everyone in the world out of the critical assessment we all need to obtain in order to make decisions regarding our futures.

Bought & paid for corporate Journalists are controlled by the Intelligence Agencies and always have been since at least the Second World War. The CIA typically runs bribery & blackmail at the state & federal level so that when necessary they have instant useless eaters to offer up as political sacrifice when required via state run propaganda, & impression management.

Assuming that journalism is an ethical occupation is naďve and a fools' game even in the alternative news domain as all writers write from bias & a lack of real knowledge. Few writers are intellectually honest or even aware of their own limits as writers. The writer is a failure and not a hero borne in myth. Writers struggle to write & publish. Bought and paid for writers don't have a struggle in terms of writing because they are told what to write before they write as automatons for the Intelligence Community knowing that they sold their collective souls to the Prince of Darkness for whatever trinkets, bobbles, or bling they could get their greedy hands on at the time.

Developing a conscience late in life is too late.

May all that sell their souls to the Intel agencies understand that pond scum never had a conscience to begin with.

Once pond scum always pond scum.

MOU

nottheonly1
What is not addressed in this talk is the addictive nature of this sort of public relation writing. Journalism is something different altogether. I know that, because I consider myself to be a journalist at heart – one that stopped doing it when the chalice was offered to me. The problem is that one is not part of the cabal one day to another.

It is a longer process in which one is gradually introduced to ever more expensive rewards/bribes. Never too big to overwhelm – always just about what one would accept as 'motivation' to omit aspects of any issue. Of course, omission is a lie by any other name, but I can attest to the life style of a journalist that socializes with the leaders of all segments of society.

And I would also write a critique about a great restaurant – never paying a dime for a fantastic dinner. The point though is that I would not write a good critique for a nasty place for money. I have never written anything but the truth – for which I received sometimes as much as a bag full of the best rolls in the country.

Twisting the truth for any form of bribes is disgusting and attests of the lowest of any character.

MASTER OF UNIVE
Professional whoring is as old as the hills and twice as dusty. Being ethical is difficult stuff especially when money is involved. Money is always a prime motivator but vanity works wonders too. Corporatists will offer whatever inducements they can to get what they want.

All mainstream media voices are selling a media package that is a corporatist lie in and of itself. Truth is less marketable than lies. Embellished news & journalistic hype is the norm.

If the devil offers inducements be sure to up the ante to outsmart the drunken sot.

MOU

[Nov 02, 2019] At the Feet of Mammon by Philip Farruggio

Notable quotes:
"... Of course, when the die was cast and Rumsfeld's famous Shock and Awe campaign began, the three major news talk channels, CNN, MSNBC and FOX, were all over us with cheerleading. ..."
"... Swinton's use of the phrase 'Intellectual prostitutes' rang true then. ..."
"... As the war criminal Mr. Obama stated, when in 2008 many of his own party wanted to have hearings on the pre-emptive attack and occupation of Iraq, that it was time to 'Move forward'. Forward he did by increasing the number of drone murderous assaults by Tenfold! ..."
"... Now that he is out of office, Barack, the 'Hope and Change' king, just purchased a home for $8.1 million. Tell that to the suckers who fell for his rhetoric in the Afro American communities. ..."
Oct 20, 2019 | off-guardian.org

He stated:

There is no such thing at this date of the world's history, in America, as an independent press There is not ONE of you who dares to write your honest opinions, and if you did you know beforehand that it would never appear in print!

I am paid weekly for keeping my honest opinion out of the paper I am connected with The business of journalists is to destroy the truth, to lie outright, to pervert, to vilify, to fawn at the feet of mammon, and to sell his country and his race for his daily bread We are the tools of rich men behind the scenes.

We are jumping jacks, they pull the strings and we dance. Our talents, our possibilities and our lives are all the property of other men. We are intellectual prostitutes!"

We only need go back a few short years to see the utter magnitude of what Swinton was talking about. Remember the illegal and immoral USA invasion and occupation of Iraq? Most of the 'levers of empire' were pushed to accommodate that bit of lying, disinformation and half truths.

This writer remembers when Phil Donahue had his nightly news/talk show on MSNBC. By February of 2003 or thereabouts, Jeff Cohen, Phil's producer, recalls how he was told to have TWO pro invasion guests on for every anti invasion guest. Remember, at that time General Electric Corp. owned MSNBC. Yet, that was not enough to satisfy the empire. On February 23 the Donahue show was cancelled, although the ratings were pretty good.

You see, by that time, late February, the machine was all ready for the attack. It just needed a few more morsels of propaganda to sink into both the Congress and of course the consumers Sorry, I mean the citizenry.

This writer was extremely agitated by the high level of Pro invasion info coming over the embedded mainstream print and electronic media. One slight consolation was when C-Span actually 'did the correct thing' and showed a Canadian news channel's coverage of the impending doom.

Of course, when the die was cast and Rumsfeld's famous Shock and Awe campaign began, the three major news talk channels, CNN, MSNBC and FOX, were all over us with cheerleading.

FOX was so off the radar that no critique is needed. However, CNN and MSNBC, trying to look like 'Neutral Journalism 101', could not contain their peanut gallery mindsets, the one that John Swinton referred to in his famous speech.

You had Aaron Brown, Lester Holt and little Katie Couric (of flagship station NBC, owned by GE), along with Brian Williams (later to be outed, for but awhile, for his phony news stories in Iraq) all right there celebrating the 'Liberators of Iraq'.

They all wore their flag buttons on their lapels, and little Katie was filmed strolling through the halls of NBC shouting 'Marines Rock!' Of course, Lester Holt did the 'right (wing) thing' and now is a respected anchor so much so that good ole Lester moderates presidential debates.

Swinton's use of the phrase 'Intellectual prostitutes' rang true then.

Now we come to a recent bit of disgrace. Ellen Degeneres, the highly celebrated and successful daytime talk show hostess and proud gay woman, was seen sitting with Junior Bush at a Dallas Cowboys game, in the exclusive owner's box area.

She has had Junior on her show to talk about his painting, has visited him at his ranch, and considers him a 'Nice guy'. Junior has, on record as president, never did squat to help with the AIDs pandemic, and allowed his far right evangelical beliefs to keep him from ever speaking favorably about gay rights etc.

Yet, this openly gay woman, who must have felt alarmed by our illegal invasion (OR DID SHE?), must have had friends who were enraged by that invasion at the time.

All the many alternative news blips must have gotten to her eyes and ears, telling her that the Bush/Cheney gang were WAR CRIMINALS! Yet Ms. DeGeneres continues to satisfy the lie which tells us to take a pass on the dastardly things done by the war criminals in the White House.

As the war criminal Mr. Obama stated, when in 2008 many of his own party wanted to have hearings on the pre-emptive attack and occupation of Iraq, that it was time to 'Move forward'. Forward he did by increasing the number of drone murderous assaults by Tenfold!

Now that he is out of office, Barack, the 'Hope and Change' king, just purchased a home for $8.1 million. Tell that to the suckers who fell for his rhetoric in the Afro American communities.

Anyone but the foolish people who still support Mr. Trump realize that he is as much of a populist as the man he emulates with his body gestures: Il Duce!

Nothing ever changes when the majority of working stiffs suck in the foul air that comes from the mouths of the empire's minions, whether they be presidents, congress people or (so called) journalists and talk show hosts. It is time for those of good conscience to boycott the lot of them!

Philip A Farruggio is a son and grandson of Brooklyn , NYC longshoremen. He has been a free lance columnist since 2001, with over 400 of his works posted on sites like Global Research, Greanville Post, OffGuardian, Consortium News, Information Clearing House, Nation of Change, World News Trust, Op Ed News, Dissident Voice, , Activist Post, Sleuth Journal, Truthout and many others. His blog can be read in full on World News Trust , whereupon he writes a great deal on the need to cut military spending drastically and send the savings back to save our cities. Philip has an internet interview show, 'It's the Empire... Stupid' with producer Chuck Gregory.


peeWee

Pretty good article. Pity you had to spoil it with the Trump populist Mussolini comparison at the end. Don't get me wrong I am no Trump fan but are you saying that much of the stuff written about him is not propaganda? So when it comes to Trump the media are ..even handed? honest? ..unbiased? (LOL). P.S. How many wars did Bush try and stop? How many wars did Obama stop? Is stopping wars now "populism"? Even I can see that the highest levels of the US government have been compromised by the intelligence agencies and corrupt partisan actors. Need I remind you that it was a "populist" who called out the FAKE NEWS?
Doctortrinate
The News Today, as slipshod as you like – but how far is it different from those diligent yesterdays. Broadcasts, built upon a complex Fabrication, to deceive it's willing dependants into accepting falsifications as an authentic constant of everyday reality.

So, until the demoi discard the pleasure of blissful ignorance, for the painful truth whatever the spin, however its dressed, the story will continue, trapped in it's own invention, lost in a pernicious labyrinth where every redundant turn forgets the last.

MASTER OF UNIVE
Corporatism is Fascism, and Fascists that tow the party line are always utilized for purposes of impression management much like props on a TV program are. Dubya is a corporatist whore just as daytime talk show hosts are too. Assuming that corporatist whores should have integrity is naďve in the extreme.

If you watch television you are an automaton without enough reason to be able to turn the television off given that you have been programmed to mindlessly adhere to whatever the television coughs up daily.
If you watch mindless Fascists entertaining mass murderers like George W. Bush at ballgames that host the Military Industrial Complex for halftime shows you are _Functionally Retarded_ and likely skimmed over this article whilst locked in a trance state of ignorance & a lack of education.

FUCK America & American television.

It's a bankrupt Corporation that is $22 trillion in debt that it will never pay back, suckers!

MOU

wardropper
" Mr. Obama stated, when in 2008 many of his own party wanted to have hearings on the pre-emptive attack and occupation of Iraq, that it was time to 'Move forward' "

And I will never, ever, forget Nancy Pelosi's dismissive shrug when many of that same party were calling for Bush's impeachment on account of that illegal invasion:
"Impeachment is off the table." Decent Americans no longer have a representative in the US government. As Swinton clearly implies, those who hire today's journalists bear practically all the responsibility for this.

hollyPlastic
A glaring example of how much the West loves freedom is shown in this UN briefing on Torture, this week.

Spoiler: the room is basically empty.

https://www.rt.com/news/471016-assange-torture-violations-un/

This serves a good demonstration of how stupid Hong Kong protesters are in believing that there is a 'West/UK/US' supporting their quest for 'Democracy' and 'Freedom'.

milosevic
you mean Hollywood movies aren't an accurate source of information about world politics and history???
hollyPlastic
Look and you'll see that according to the Controlled Corporate Mass Media, there are, in this period of history, three pillars that are supporting Western civilisation:

And

The Blonde is getting blonder. Even, black is now turning blonde. The White is getting whiter. The Blue is getting bluer.

Other pillars of Western Civilisation are somewhat behind the scene and include the proliferation/sales of weapons of mass destruction, breaking international laws, as well as, the withdrawal from treaties which restrict the deployment of nuclear missiles.

mark
Ah, but everybody knows Bombing Brown People and Torturing Brown People is good for them. We only do it for their benefit. And this in no way contradicts Our Values and Our Rules Based Order. All these benighted natives and lesser breeds are jolly grateful for all our lofty sermons and pious lectures about human rights.
milosevic
indeed, it's the white man's burden .
padre
I find it very interesting, how people need to worship something!It seems to me that they aren't able to admit, that there are things that are not clear to them!For instance, we know very little about the universe, so we declare God made it!
hollyPlastic
There is a poignant remark made on these pages which goes something like this:

When surviving depends on believing, the mind works wonders

I think the implications of 'believing' in order to survive are profound. People need to believe in order to fit in, in order to get a job, in order to get a promotion, in order to get married, in order to get enough food to feed their offspring, and in order to 'look' free.

Not to forget, by believing in Jesus, you give your proxy support to plunder every inch of the Earth, and kill as many brown-skin people as possible.

hollyPlastic

I describe this situation we face as mind control warfare

It is indeed. Thanks for the valuable thoughts!

Tim Jenkins
Mammon avoids questioning & analysing incredible endless lies by 'Schiff for brains'. When actually, just like Norman Bates in Psycho, Adam Schiff is actually the "whistleblower", with bent whistle all he needs is a wig and a rocking chair 🙂
Tim Jenkins
Correction: an electric rocking chair, lol
Gezzah Potts
Jayzus . Adam fecken Schiff. Complete wackjob extraordinaire, tho in Washington DC he has s(ch)tiff competition. Someone the Liberal bourgie professional types here in Aussie regard with dewy eyed fondness and admiration for leading the . Resistance. Gag. Can things get anymore surreal? Do you sometimes feel like you've dropped acid by mistake such is the bizarre happenings, um, happening. Do you think the Mad Hatter would be perplexed at the state of our World? I know I bloody am
bob
Hey man, there's nothing wrong with the way the British regime treats its sick people .

https://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/months-of-pip-distress-hastened-my-brothers-death/

. is there?

vexarb
Bob, nothing wrong at all -- if you worship St.Margaret of Muck, patron saint of the AZC.

"There's no such thing as a social conscience".

Pyewacket
Eugenics mate, it's been back in fashion here for the past decade. But instead of dying in a death camp, you die on the street, or your own home, if you have one.
vexarb
AOO, you mean Trump's Time to Bring Them Back might be genuine? I give him credit because I understand his problem: he has to face his Jewish daughter and her Likudnik husband.

"It is easier to rule an Empire than to manage a family" -- Montaigne

vexarb
ps Not only face but live with. Trump's sincerity is in the same awkward family position as Cher in "Moonstruck" when she and her boyfriend meet her father and his girlfriend at the Opera, and she says to her father:

"I'm not sure whether I saw you".

mark
The only 2 reputable journalists who tried to cover Iraq honestly were Donahue and Chris Hedges. Needless to say, both were immediately sacked. Needless to say, all the cheerleading whores with blood on their hands prospered greatly and are still in situ peddling new lies.
Graft
Unfortunately Donahue is not on the working mans side he just didn't want a war and Chris Hedges is controlled opposition that's why he has his own tv show and lost a tonne of support for his outright lies about Lenin
mark
I don't agree with either of them on different issues but I wouldn't question their integrity.
Ramdan
"But the more fundamental problem is that Americans are too nice. That may seem like a paradox, since we are a country that blithely bombs the world and then weeps with self-pity and affronted dignity when the little people we just stomped on fail to forgive us for tearing out their fingernails. In fact, our niceness is itself a symptom of the moral obliviousness that permits us to enact atrocities in the first place. Niceness is not friendliness, not hospitality, not charity and not goodness. Niceness is the blank grin on the face of the psychopath: it is the public enactment of all the forms of love and kindness without the troublesome burden of loving anyone or treating people with kindness.

This is what an Ellen DeGeneres is really getting at when she brags about being friends with those who have "different beliefs." It is not a matter of actual emotional attachment to any system of values, and it's certainly not a matter of transcending minor political squabbles to form some approximation of a community. [ ]
Rather, she is saying that it is more personally and professionally convenient just to be nice to whatever person happens to be in the same grandstand for the same spectacle of large men grievously injuring each other. It is not that there are disparate values to be bridged in order to form a diverse and tolerant society. Instead, it is hankering after the ease of a society in which there is no necessity to form a core of values beyond the practical calculation of personal and social advantage."

Ellen DeGeneres and the American Psychopath

mark
Dubya rehabilitated himself by slagging off the Orange Man. So he's now a jolly decent chap and all round good egg. Certainly outweighs a little thing like a couple of million dead sand niggers.
Graft
As jimmy Bore said on his show liberals love Bush nowadays but they still fucking hate Ralph Nader, because he gave us ..Bush! Mind officially blown
Ramdan
This is an interesting (as for debate) assessment of the motives and the way we (mis)construct reality .

"in the interests of survival" but "survival" of what?

"survival" of a mind construct as in "I don't like this but I NEED to do it to survive, to STAY ALIVE, to keep eating, to not to die"?

"Survival" as in the indegenous kids eating from dumpsters? ( here and here ) .

OR "survival" of our INTERNALIZED adoration of Mammon as the provider for pleasurable moments and the utter avoidance of the non-pleasurable.

survival of a vehement desire for what is mentally, socially and culturally construed as 'satisfactory', 'laudable', 'praiseworthy', 'deserving' .which basically is the adoration of wealth, and 'upper' social status, of celebrity and of all other things that represent the ACTUAL internal adoration of Mammon.

Is in this- seemingly 'innocuous' – way that reality is subverted and we (unconsciously) construct the uber-materialistic worldview that continues to discard the honest, deep human, spiritual values that can save us from this madness.

I would rather remember again, and old, "crazy" guy .

"A philosopher named Aristippus, who had quite willingly sucked up to Dionysus and won himself a spot at his court, saw Diogenes cooking lentils for a meal. "If you would only learn to compliment Dionysus, you wouldn't have to live on lentils."

Diogenes replied, "But if you would only learn to live on lentils, you wouldn't have to flatter Dionysus."
― Diogenes of Sinope

[Nov 01, 2019] How The Obama Administration Set In Motion Its Coup Against Trump by Lee Smith

Notable quotes:
"... "To any rational person," says Nunes, "it looks like they were scheming to produce a get-out-of-jail-free card -- for the president and anyone else in the White House. They were playing Monopoly while the others were playing with fire. Now the Obama White House was in the clear -- sure, they had no idea what Comey and Brennan and McCabe and Strzok and the rest were up to." ..."
"... Meanwhile, Obama added his voice to the Trump-Russia echo chamber as news stories alleging Trump's illicit relationship with the Kremlin multiplied in the transition period. He said he hoped "that the president-elect also is willing to stand up to Russia." ..."
"... After refusing to act while the Russian election meddling was actually occurring, Obama responded in December. He ordered the closing of Russian diplomatic facilities and the expulsion of thirty- five Russian diplomats. The response was tepid. The Russians had hacked the State Department in 2014 and the Joint Chiefs of Staff in 2015. And now Obama was responding only on his way out. ..."
"... Even Obama partisans thought it was weak. "The punishment did not fit the crime," said Michael McFaul, Obama's former ambassador to Russia. "The Kremlin should have paid a much higher price for that attack." ..."
"... But the administration wasn't retaliating against Russia for interfering in a US election; the action was directed at Trump. Obama was leaving the president-elect with a minor foreign policy crisis in order to box him in. Any criticism of Obama's response, never mind an attempt to reverse it, would only further fuel press reports that Trump was collaborating with the Russians. ..."
"... Obama's biggest move against Trump was to order CIA director John Brennan to conduct a full review of all intelligence relating to Russia and the 2016 elections. He requested it on December 6 and wanted it ready by the time he left office on January 20. But the sitting president already knew what the intelligence community assessment (ICA) was going to say, because Brennan had told him months before. ..."
"... Brennan's handpicked team of CIA, FBI, and NSA analysts had started analyzing Russian election interference in late July. In August, Brennan had briefed Harry Reid on the dossier and may have briefed Obama on it, too. Earlier in August, Brennan sent a "bombshell" report to Obama's desk. ..."
Nov 01, 2019 | thefederalist.com

The following is an excerpt from Lee Smith's book out October 29, " The Plot Against the President: The True Story of How Congressman Devin Nunes Uncovered the Biggest Political Scandal in U.S. History ."

AFTER DONALD TRUMP was elected forty-fifth president of the United States, the operation designed to undermine his campaign transformed. It became an instrument to bring down the commander in chief. The coup started almost immediately after the polls closed.

Hillary Clinton's communications team decided within twenty-four hours of her concession speech to message that the election was illegitimate, that Russia had interfered to help Trump.

Obama was working against Trump until the hour he left office. His national security advisor, Susan Rice, commemorated it with an email to herself on January 20, moments before Trump's inauguration. She wrote to memorialize a meeting in the White House two weeks before.

On January 5, following a briefing by IC leadership on Russian hacking during the 2016 Presidential election, President Obama had a brief follow-on conversation with FBI Director Jim Comey and Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates in the Oval Office. Vice President Biden and I were also present.

President Obama began the conversation by stressing his continued commitment to ensuring that every aspect of this issue is handled by the Intelligence and law enforcement communities "by the book." The President stressed that he is not asking about, initiating or instructing anything from a law enforcement perspective. He reiterated that our law enforcement team needs to proceed as it normally would by the book.

From a national security perspective, however, President Obama said he wants to be sure that, as we engage with the incoming team, we are mindful to ascertain if there is any reason that we cannot share information fully as it relates to Russia. . . .

The President asked Comey to inform him if anything changes in the next few weeks that should affect how we share classified information with the incoming team. Comey said he would.

The repetition of "by the book" gave away the game -- for there was nothing normal about any of it.

Rice wrote an email to herself. It commemorated a conversation from two weeks before. The conversation was about the FBI's investigation of the man who was about to move into the White House -- an investigation from which Obama was careful to distance himself. During the conversation, the outgoing president instructed his top aides to collect information ("ascertain") regarding the incoming administration's relationship with Russia.

"To any rational person," says Nunes, "it looks like they were scheming to produce a get-out-of-jail-free card -- for the president and anyone else in the White House. They were playing Monopoly while the others were playing with fire. Now the Obama White House was in the clear -- sure, they had no idea what Comey and Brennan and McCabe and Strzok and the rest were up to."

Boxing Trump in on Russia

Meanwhile, Obama added his voice to the Trump-Russia echo chamber as news stories alleging Trump's illicit relationship with the Kremlin multiplied in the transition period. He said he hoped "that the president-elect also is willing to stand up to Russia."

The outgoing president was in Germany with Chancellor Angela Merkel to discuss everything from NATO to Vladimir Putin. Obama said that he'd "delivered a clear and forceful message" to the Russian president about "meddling with elections . . . and we will respond appropriately if and when we see this happening."

After refusing to act while the Russian election meddling was actually occurring, Obama responded in December. He ordered the closing of Russian diplomatic facilities and the expulsion of thirty- five Russian diplomats. The response was tepid. The Russians had hacked the State Department in 2014 and the Joint Chiefs of Staff in 2015. And now Obama was responding only on his way out.

Even Obama partisans thought it was weak. "The punishment did not fit the crime," said Michael McFaul, Obama's former ambassador to Russia. "The Kremlin should have paid a much higher price for that attack."

But the administration wasn't retaliating against Russia for interfering in a US election; the action was directed at Trump. Obama was leaving the president-elect with a minor foreign policy crisis in order to box him in. Any criticism of Obama's response, never mind an attempt to reverse it, would only further fuel press reports that Trump was collaborating with the Russians.

Spreading Intelligence to Spring Leaks

In the administration's last days, it disseminated intelligence throughout the government, including the White House, Capitol Hill, and the intelligence community (IC). Intelligence was classified at the lowest possible levels to ensure a wide readership. The White House was paving the way for a campaign of leaks to disorient the incoming Trump team.

The effort, including the intended result of leaks, was publicly acknowledged in March 2017 by Evelyn Farkas, a former deputy assistant secretary of defense in the Obama administration.

Obama's biggest move against Trump was to order CIA director John Brennan to conduct a full review of all intelligence relating to Russia and the 2016 elections. He requested it on December 6 and wanted it ready by the time he left office on January 20. But the sitting president already knew what the intelligence community assessment (ICA) was going to say, because Brennan had told him months before.

Brennan's handpicked team of CIA, FBI, and NSA analysts had started analyzing Russian election interference in late July. In August, Brennan had briefed Harry Reid on the dossier and may have briefed Obama on it, too. Earlier in August, Brennan sent a "bombshell" report to Obama's desk.

When Brennan reassembled his select team in December, it was to have them reproduce their August findings: Putin, according to Brennan, was boosting the GOP candidate. And that's why only three days after Obama ordered the assessment in December, the Washington Post could already reveal what the intelligence community had found.

"The CIA," reported the December 9 edition of the Post , "has concluded in a secret assessment that Russia intervened in the 2016 election to help Donald Trump win the presidency, rather than just to undermine confidence in the U.S. electoral system."

The story was the first of many apparently sourced to leaks of classified information that were given to the Post team of Adam Entous, Ellen Nakashima, and Greg Miller. The reporters' sources weren't whistle-blowers shedding light on government corruption -- rather, they were senior US officials abusing government resources to prosecute a campaign against the newly elected commander in chief. The article was the earliest public evidence that the coup was under way. The floodgates were open, as the IC pushed more stories through the press to delegitimize the president-elect.

A Wave of Leak-Sourced Stories All Saying the Same Thing

The same day, a New York Times article by David E. Sanger and Scott Shane echoed the Post 's piece. According to senior administration officials, "American intelligence agencies have concluded with 'high confidence' that Russia acted covertly in the latter stages of the presidential campaign to harm Hillary Clinton's chances and promote Donald J. Trump."

A December 14 NBC News story by William M. Arkin, Ken Dilanian, and Cynthia McFadden reported that "Russian President Vladimir Putin became personally involved in the covert Russian campaign to interfere in the U.S. presidential election, senior U.S. intelligence officials told NBC News."

The ICA that Obama ordered gave political operatives, the press, and his intelligence chiefs a second shot at Trump. They'd used the Steele Dossier to feed the echo chamber and obtain surveillance powers to spy on the Trump campaign. The dossier, however, had come up short. Trump had won.

But now, on his way out of the White House, Obama instructed Brennan to stamp the CIA's imprimatur on the anti-Trump operation. As Fusion GPS's smear campaign had been the source of the preelection press campaign, the ICA was the basis of the postelection media frenzy. It was tailored to disrupt the peaceful transition of power and throw the United States into chaos.

Because Trump hadn't been elected by the US public, according to the ICA, but had been tapped by Putin, he was illegitimate. Therefore, the extraconstitutional and illegal tactics employed by anti-Trump officials were legitimate. The ultimate goal was to remove Trump from office.

"If it weren't for President Obama," said James Clapper, "we might not have done the intelligence community assessment . . . that set off a whole sequence of events which are still unfolding today."

Nunes agrees. "The ICA," he says, "was Obama's dossier."

Changing the Intelligence Assessment

Nunes is sitting in his office in the Longworth House Office Building along with his communications director, Jack Langer, a forty-six-year-old former book editor and historian with a PhD from Duke University.

"The social media attacks on Devin began shortly after the election," Langer remembers. "They're all hinting at some vast conspiracy involving Russia that the chairman of the Intelligence Committee is part of. And we have no idea what they're talking about."

Nunes points out that his warnings about Russia fell on deaf ears for years. "And all of a sudden I'm a Russian agent," says the congressman.

Now Langer and Nunes see that the attacks were first launched because the congressman had been named to Trump's transition team. "I put forward [Mike] Pompeo for CIA director," says Nunes. "He came from our committee."

The attacks on Nunes picked up after the December 9 Washington Post article. The assessment provided there was not what the HPSCI chairman had been told. The assessment had been altered, and Nunes asked for an explanation. "We got briefed about the election around Thanksgiving," he says. "And it's just the usual stuff, nothing abnormal. They told us what everyone already knew: 'Hey, the Russians are bad actors, and they're always playing games, and here's what they did.'"

By providing that briefing, the IC had made a mistake. When it later changed the assessment, the November briefing was evidence that Obama's spy chiefs were up to no good. "I bet they'd like to have that back," says Nunes. "They briefed us before they could get their new story straight."

'They Kept Everyone Else Away from It'

Nunes acknowledges that he was caught off guard by many things back then. "We still thought these guys were on the up and up," he says. "But if we knew, we'd have nailed them by mid-December, when they changed their assessment. 'Wait, you guys are saying this now, but you said something else just a few weeks ago. What's going on?'"

After the Post story, Nunes wanted an explanation. "We expressed deep concern, both publicly and privately," says Langer. "We demanded our own briefing to try to determine whether that Post story was true or false. They refused to brief us. They said, 'We're not going to be doing that until we finish the ICA.'"

Nunes says the fact that the IC conducted an assessment like that was itself unusual. "I don't know how many times they'd done that in the past, if ever," he says. "But if the IC is operating properly, when someone says what can you tell me on X or Y or Z, they have it ready to pull up quickly. The tradecraft is reliable, and the intelligence products are reliable." That was not the case with the ICA. There were problems with how the assessment had been put together.

"If you really were going to do something like an assessment from the intelligence community, then you'd get input from all our seventeen agencies," says Nunes. "They did the opposite. It was only FBI, CIA, NSA, and DNI. They siloed it, just like they had with Crossfire Hurricane. They kept everyone else away from it so they didn't have to read them in."

'Manipulation of Intelligence for Political Purposes'

Nunes released several statements in the middle of December. The HPSCI majority, read a December 14 statement, wanted senior Obama intelligence officials "to clarify press reports that the CIA has a new assessment that it has not shared with us. The Committee is deeply concerned that intransigence in sharing intelligence with Congress can enable the manipulation of intelligence for political purposes."

After the statements warned of political foul play in the IC's assessments, the social media attacks on Nunes became more regular. "They were constant," says Langer.

Anti-Trump operatives recognized that Nunes was going to be a problem. The HPSCI chair had previously called out the IC for politicizing intelligence. "They said that we had defeated Al Qaeda in Iraq and Syria," says Nunes, "and I knew that wasn't true. Then they withheld the Osama bin Laden documents to conceal that Al Qaeda worked with Iran, because the administration was protecting the Iran deal. So when I saw them changing this assessment of the 2016 election in midstream, I knew it was the same old trick: they were politicizing intelligence."

The speed with which Brennan's handpicked analysts produced the ICA and then got a version of it declassified for public consumption was another sign that something wasn't right. "All throughout Obama's two terms, his IC chiefs aren't paying attention to Russian actions," says Nunes. "We give them more money for Russia, which they don't use. But now they know so much about Putin that they manage to produce a comprehensive assessment of Russian intentions and actions regarding election interference in a month -- at Christmastime, when everything slows down. And then they produce a declassified version in a manner of weeks. None of this is believable."

Three different versions of the ICA were produced: an unclassified version, a top secret one, and another highly compartmentalized version. According to a January 11, 2017, Washington Post story by Greg Miller, Ellen Nakashima, and Karen DeYoung, an annex summarizing the dossier was attached to the versions that were not declassified.

'Designed to Have a Political Effect'

The FBI had been working from Steele's reports for more than half a year. Including the dossier along with the ICA would provide Comey with ammunition to take on the president-elect. Both he and Brennan were manipulating intelligence for political purposes.

"A lot of the ICA is reasonable," says Nunes. "But those parts become irrelevant due to the problematic parts, which undermine the entire document. It was designed to have a political effect; that was the ICA's sole purpose."

The assessment's methodological flaws are not difficult to spot. Manufacturing the politicized findings that Obama sought meant not only abandoning protocol but also subverting basic logic. Two of the ICA's central findings are that:

To know preferences and intentions would require sources targeting Putin's inner circles -- either human sources or electronic surveillance. As Nunes had previously noted, however, US intelligence on Putin's decision-making process was inadequate.

But even if there had been extensive collection on precisely that issue, it would be difficult to know what was true. For instance, the closest you can get to Putin's inner circle is Putin himself. But even capturing him on an intercept saying he wanted to elect Trump might prove inconclusive. It is difficult to judge intentions because it is not possible to see into the minds of other people. How would you know that Putin was speaking truthfully? How would you know that the Russian president didn't know his communications were under US surveillance and wasn't trying to deceive his audience?

Quality control of information is one of the tasks of counterintelligence -- to discern how you know what you know and whether that information is trustworthy. There was no quality control for the Trump-Russia intelligence. For instance, Crossfire Hurricane lead agent Peter Strzok was the FBI's deputy assistant director of counterintelligence. Instead of weeding out flawed intelligence on Russia, the Crossfire Hurricane team was feeding Steele's reports into intelligence products. Yet the ICA claimed to have "high confidence" in its assessment that "Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President- elect Trump." What was the basis of that judgment?

According to the ICA:

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

"Most likely" and "almost certainly" are rhetorical hedges that show the assessment could not have been made in "high confidence." Putin may have held a grudge against Clinton, but there is no way of knowing it.

The supporting evidence deteriorates more the farther the ICA purports to reach into Putin's mind.

Beginning in June, Putin's public comments about the US presidential race avoided directly praising President-elect Trump, probably because Kremlin officials thought that any praise from Putin personally would backfire in the United States.

This is absurd. Part of the evidence that Putin supported Trump is that he avoided praising Trump. It is difficult enough to determine intentions by what someone says. Yet the ICA claims to have discerned Putin's intentions by what he did not say.

There is no introductory philosophy class in logic where reasoning like that would pass muster. Yet Brennan's handpicked group used it as the basis of its assessment that Putin had helped Trump.

Moscow also saw the election of President-elect Trump as a way to achieve an international counterterrorism coalition against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant.

This may be an accurate description of how Putin saw Trump. But Trump's predecessor also wanted to coordinate anti- ISIS operations with Moscow. On this view, Trump would have represented a continuation of Obama's ISIS policy. Why would this make Trump's victory suspicious to Obama's intelligence chiefs?

Curious Inaccuracies about Russia's RT Network

The ICA also pointed to documentary evidence of Putin's intentions: English-language media owned by the Russian government, the news site Sputnik, and the RT network, were critical of Clinton.

State-owned Russian media made increasingly favorable comments about President-elect Trump as the 2016 US general and primary election campaigns progressed while consistently offering negative coverage of Secretary Clinton.

Curiously, just days before the election, the informant the US government sent after the Trump campaign praised the Democratic candidate in an interview with Sputnik. "Clinton would be best for US-UK relations and for relations with the European Union," Stefan Halper told the Kremlin-directed media outlet. "Clinton is well-known, deeply experienced, and predictable. US-UK relations will remain steady regardless of the winner although Clinton will be less disruptive over time."

The ICA includes a seven-page appendix devoted to RT, the central node, according to the document, of the Kremlin's effort to "influence politics, fuel discontent in [ sic ] US."

Adam Schiff appeared on RT in July 2013. He argued for "making the FISA court much more transparent, so the American people can understand what's being done in their name in the name of national security, so that we can have a more informed debate over the balance between privacy and security."

RT's editor in chief, Margarita Simonyan, is a master propagandist, according to the ICA. The document fails to mention that Simonyan heads another Moscow-owned media initiative, Russia Beyond the Headlines , a news supplement inserted into dozens of the West's leading newspapers, including the New York Times . Russia Beyond the Headlines has been delivered to millions of American homes over the last decade. By contrast, RT's US market share is so small that it doesn't qualify for the Nielsen ratings. Virtually no one in the United States watches it.

Taking the logic of Brennan's handpicked team seriously would mean that the publishers of the New York Times played a major role in a coordinated Russian effort to elect Donald Trump.

'It Was an Operation to Bring Down Trump'

Nunes realized even then the purpose of Obama's dossier. "Devin figured out in December what was going on," says Langer. "It was an operation to bring down Trump."

There was no evidence that any Trump associate had done anything improper regarding the Russians, and Nunes was losing patience. "We had serious things the committee wanted to do," he says. "With Trump elected, we could do some big stuff, like with China."

Still, it was important for HPSCI to maintain control of the Russia investigation. Otherwise, Democrats and Never Trump Republicans were likely to get their wish to convene a bipartisan commission to investigate Russian interference -- with the purpose of turning it on Trump.

"Before they started floating the idea of a special counsel, the big idea was a special commission like the 9/11 Commission," says Langer. It was outgoing secretary of state John Kerry who first came forward with the proposal.

The point was to change the power dynamic. "In a normal committee," says Langer, "the majority has the power, and that happened to be us. They wanted to strip our power and make it fifty-fifty."

"Bipartisan" was a euphemism for "anti-Trump." "It would have been a complete joke," says Nunes. "A combination of partisan hacks from the left and people who hated Trump on the right."

Democrats led by Schiff and Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer were joined by the late John McCain, the most active of the Never Trump Republicans. After the election, the Arizona senator had instructed his aide David Kramer to deliver a copy of the Steele Dossier to Comey.

"God only knows who they'd have populated that committee with," says Nunes. "Anyone they could control. It would have been a freak show."

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan defended HPSCI's independence. On the Senate side, Intelligence Committee chairman Richard Burr had only one move. To deflect demands for an independent commission, he effectively ceded control of the Senate investigation to his vice chair, Democrat Mark Warner.

No Evidence of Collusion Years Later

Still, Nunes believed that all the talk of Trump and Russia was a waste of time. "They kept promising us evidence of collusion, week after week, and they came up with nothing."

Nunes's disdain for the ICA forced the Crossfire Hurricane team's hand. "Right around the time that they came out with the ICA, they kept saying that we were waiting on something to show us, something important that was coming in," he says. "They said it was some significant figure who they couldn't quite track down yet."

But the FBI knew exactly where its missing link was, the piece of evidence that they thought would convince hardened skeptics like Nunes that collusion was real. They didn't have to chase him down, because he was sitting at home in Chicago. He submitted to a voluntary interview January 27 and without a lawyer because he had no idea what the FBI had in store for him.

The Crossfire Hurricane team was figuring how they were going to set up the Trump adviser they'd used to open up the investigation in July 2016: George Papadopoulos. Lee Smith is the media columnist at Tablet.

[Nov 01, 2019] Viable Opposition The Legal Connection Between Washington and Kiev

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Note this key excerpt from the letter of transmittal: ..."
"... " Mutual assistance available under the Treaty includes: taking of testimony or statements of persons; providing documents, records, and articles of evidence; serving documents; locating or identifying persons; transferring persons in custody for testimony or other purposes; executing requests for searches and seizures; assisting in proceedings related to restraint, confiscation, forfeiture of assets, restitution, and collection of fines; and any other form of assistance not prohibited by the laws of the requested state. " ..."
"... The Treaty was reported favourable by the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on September 27, 2000, consented to ratification by the Senate on October 18, 2000 and ratified by the President of the United States on January 5, 2001. The Treaty was entered into force on February 27, 2001. Here are the title page of the Treaty and the signature page: ..."
"... With this background and while I don't want to appear to be pro- or anti-Trump, it is very, very clear that the current POTUS was within the law under the Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters between the United States and Ukraine when it comes to asking Ukraine to investigate a potential criminal matter. ..."
October 15, 2019 | viableopposition.blogspot.com

With the Trump impeachment procedures ongoing and the connection to his conversation about the Biden family with Ukraine President Zelenskyy, there has been very little coverage of an important aspect of the relationship between Washington and Kiev. While none of us can speak to the actual intent of Donald Trump's remarks be it for personal gain or for other reasons, there is background information that may help illuminate the context of the discussion between the two world leaders.

In case you haven't read the pertinent section of the transcript of the conversation, here it is:

" President Zelenskyy : Yes it is very important for me and everything that you just mentioned earlier. For me as a President, it is very important and we are open for any future cooperation. We are ready to open a new page on cooperation in relations between the United States and Ukraine. For that purpose, I just recalled our ambassador from United States and he will be replaced by a very competent and very experienced ambassador who will work hard on making sure that our two nations are getting closer. I would also like and hope to see him having your trust and your confidence and have personal relations with you so we can cooperate even more so. I will personally tell you that one of my assistants spoke with Mr. Giuliani just recently and we are hoping very much that Mr. Giuliani will be able to travel to Ukraine and we will meet once he comes to Ukraine. I just wanted to assure you once again that you have nobody but friends around us. I will make sure that I surround myself with the best and most experienced people. I also wanted to tell you that we are friends. We are great friends and you Mr. President have friends in our country so we can continue our strategic partnership. I also plan to surround myself with great people and in addition to that investigation, I guarantee as the President of Ukraine that all the investigations will be done openly and candidly.. That I can assure you.

President Trump : Good because I heard you had a prosecutor who was very good and he was shut down and that's really unfair. A lot of people are talking about that, the way they shut your very good prosecutor down and you had some very bad people involved. Mr. Giuliani is a highly respected man. He was the mayor of New York City, a great mayor, and I would like him to call you. I will ask him to call you along with the Attorney General. Rudy very much knows what's happening and he is a very capable guy. If you could speak to him that would be great. The former ambassador from the United States, the woman, was bad news and the people she was dealing with in the Ukraine were bad news so I just want to let you know that. The other thing, There's a lot of talk about Biden's son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it... It sounds horrible to me.

President Zelenskyy : I wanted to tell you about the prosecutor. First of all, I understand and I'm knowledgeable about the situation. Since we have won the absolute majority in our Parliament, the next prosecutor general will be 100% my person, my candidate, who will be approved, by the parliament and will start as a new prosecutor in September. He or she will look into the situation, specifically to the company that you mentioned in this issue. The issue of the investigation of the case is actually the issue of making sure to restore the honesty so we will take care of that and will work on the investigation of the case. On top of that, I would kindly ask you if you have any additional information that you can provide to us, it would be very helpful for the investigation to make sure that we administer justice in our country with regard to the Ambassador to the United States from Ukraine as far as I recall her name was Ivanovich. It was great that you were the first one who told me that she was a bad ambassador because I agree with you 100%. Her attitude towards me was far from the best as she admired the previous President and she was on his side. She would not accept me as a new President well enough.

President Trump : Well, she's going to go through some things. I will have Mr. Giuliani give you a call and I am also going to have Attorney General Barr call and we will get to the bottom of it. I'm sure you will figure it out. I heard the prosecutor was treated very badly and he was a very fair prosecutor so good luck with everything. Your economy is going to get better and better I predict. You have a lot of assets. It's a great country. I have many Ukrainian friends, their incredible people." (my bolds)

Now, let's look back in time to 1998. On July 22, 1998, a treaty was signed between Ukraine and Washington.

The Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters was signed in Kiev on the aforementioned date. Here is an excerpt from the The original letter of submittal from the Department of State to the President's office dated October 19, 1999 which states the following:

"I have the honor to submit to you the Treaty between the United States of America and Ukraine on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters with Annex (``the Treaty''), signed at Kiev on July 22, 1998. I recommend that the Treaty be transmitted to the Senate for its advice and consent to ratification.
Also enclosed, for the information of the Senate, is an exchange of notes under which the Treaty is being provisionally applied to the extent possible under our respective domestic laws, in order to provide a basis for immediate mutual assistance in criminal matters. Provisional application would cease upon entry into force of the Treaty.

The Treaty covers mutual legal assistance in criminal matters. In recent years, similar bilateral treaties have entered into force with a number of other countries. The Treaty with Ukraine contains all essential provisions sought by the United States. It will enhance our ability to investigate and prosecute a range of offenses. The Treaty is designed to be self-executing and will not require new legislation." (my bold)

The Treaty was then transmitted by the President of the United States (Bill Clinton) to the Senate on November 10, 1999 (Treaty Document 106-16 -106th Congress - First Session) as shown on this letter of transmittal from Bill Clinton's office:

Note this key excerpt from the letter of transmittal:

" Mutual assistance available under the Treaty includes: taking of testimony or statements of persons; providing documents, records, and articles of evidence; serving documents; locating or identifying persons; transferring persons in custody for testimony or other purposes; executing requests for searches and seizures; assisting in proceedings related to restraint, confiscation, forfeiture of assets, restitution, and collection of fines; and any other form of assistance not prohibited by the laws of the requested state. "

The Treaty was reported favourable by the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on September 27, 2000, consented to ratification by the Senate on October 18, 2000 and ratified by the President of the United States on January 5, 2001. The Treaty was entered into force on February 27, 2001. Here are the title page of the Treaty and the signature page:

Here are the first two pages of the Treaty which outline the scope of assistance that is to be offered by both nations as well as the limitations on assistance:

... ... ...

If you wish to read the Treaty in its entirety, please click here .

With this background and while I don't want to appear to be pro- or anti-Trump, it is very, very clear that the current POTUS was within the law under the Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters between the United States and Ukraine when it comes to asking Ukraine to investigate a potential criminal matter.

[Nov 01, 2019] Russia, Ukraine, and Donald Trump by Stephen F. Cohen

Nov 01, 2019 | www.unz.com

Cohen notes that the Russian press, which follows American politics closely, has resulted in a consensus that all of this -- Russiagate, Ukrainegate -- was created to stop Trump from having better relations with Russia. Thus, it is important that Putin had been told the reason Trump cannot engage in détente is because of Trump being shackled.

Cohen noted that expert opinion in Russia -- which informs the Kremlin leadership, including Putin -- has soured on the United States; the older generation of Russian America specialists who like America, who visit regularly and appreciate American culture, have become utterly disillusioned and cannot promote a Russian-American partnership given what has happened to Trump.

Regarding Ukraine, Cohen notes it shares a very large border with Russia, tens of millions of intermarriages, language, culture and history, and although the United States shares none of this with Ukraine, the United States has declared Ukraine is a strategic ally, and this would be equivalent to Russia stating that Mexico is its strategic ally, which is preposterous; the term "strategic" clearly has military implications.


renfro , says: November 1, 2019 at 4:49 am GMT

I agree with Cohen.

Congress (and the Jewish groups) ruined Nixon's effort with Russia.
Now congress and the eternally stupid Dems are ruining Trump's efforts.

I have argued for years that we should have taken Russia in as an ally affter WWII.

Alfred , says: November 1, 2019 at 5:14 am GMT
Your line of thinking might reflect the way some people in the US Establishment look on the matter. However, this is militarily a non-starter. Attacking Russia with nuclear weapons would immediately result in the disappearance of the USA.

IMHO, Ukraine and other countries has been a gift to corrupt US politicians. The money they send to Ukraine never ends in the hands of those who are supposed to get it -- the Ukrainian peoples (it is de facto several countries). The money is redirected into the hands of US and Ukrainian politicians and Jewish oligarchs.

The weapons that are sent to Ukraine are largely sold off to countries in the Middle East -- countries which in turn give them to terrorists on their payrolls. This money largely benefits the upper echelons of the army of Ukraine.

S , says: November 1, 2019 at 6:01 am GMT
Powerful elements amongst the US power elites and their hangers on wish to provoke a war with Russia. The obtainment of total world power would seem to be the ultimate objective.

Z Brzizinski in his late 1990's book The Grand Chessboard specifically points out the importance of Ukraine to US ambitions in Eurasia.

Excerpts below from an 1853 US geo-political book called The New Rome elaborate further. I see the mid 19th century book and it's contents potentially as 'a suggestion' being put into the US public's mind to let them know what was expected of them in the future, and why, as most people in the US, then and now, are rather indifferent about Russia, just as most Russians are probably indifferent about the United States.

Similarly, Russia could be being manipulated into a war with the US, a war which potentially could largely destroy both the US and Russia, which indeed may be the idea as part of a larger picture.

People have their refusal.

Has Mr Cohen read this generally unknown 1853 book, The New Rome ?

Some excerpts from The New Rome linked below:

US and UK are free, Russia is not.

pg 155

'Freedom is now limited to the oceanic world, to England and America; Russia, with its continental dependencies, is despotic..'

After US and UK form a united front and conquer Germany (the center of power upon continental Europe) and consolidate control over it, the US and Russia will then square off.

pg 109

'Thus the lines are drawn. The choirs are marshalled on each wing of the world's stage, Russia leading the one, the United States the other. Yet the world is too small for both, and the contest must end in the downfall of the one and the victory of the other.'

Global projection of US air power is to be the key for final US victory over Russia.

pg.155-156

'It [air power] will give us the victory over Russian continentalism. American air-privateers will be down upon the Russian garrisons, to use our own expressive slang, 'like a parcel of bricks'

https://majorityrights.com/weblog/comments/the_new_rome_or_the_united_states_of_the_world_1853

https://archive.org/details/politicalprophec00goeb/page/n3

Erebus , says: November 1, 2019 at 6:05 am GMT
There's a treaty obliging the USA and Ukraine to cooperate in the prosecution of criminal matters. One wonders why it seems to have escaped notice.
Dan Hayes , says: November 1, 2019 at 6:25 am GMT
Who transcribed the broadcast (Giraldi?). BTW, I regard the transcription as very fair and accurate.

Listening to the very last stages of the broadcast I felt that Batchelor became somewhat confrontational towards Cohen. As a matter of fact Cohen remarked that Batchelor will be getting a lot of phone calls and emails over that!

Franz , says: November 1, 2019 at 6:32 am GMT

Here is the obvious explanation.
Zio-Globalist led by Rothschild are dead set to destroy, or at least neutralize Russia.

Keep in mind another clear and obvious point: The Zio-Globalists now see the USA as totally expendable. There is some sign they are throwing it to the curb right now.

To be fair, Netanyahu said as much years ago. America would be tossed when no longer needed. Well, that day is coming close. Productive facilities leaving the nation is nearing its half-century mark, and now even films and TV shows mostly film in Canada, the UK, etc., even though they are sold as US products, which they are mostly not.

Destroy and Russia and USA, part one. Get them to blame each other, part two. Three? They'll both still have lots of bombs

Jake , says: November 1, 2019 at 1:03 pm GMT

@Ilyana_Rozumova “Russia now is last resistance to Globalist control of all world.
China for Globalists is not really a problem. When Globalists will control Russia than China will like it not, will be controlled by flow of energy.”

That is essentially the situation. If Russia is forced to be something close to a vassal of the Anglo-Zionist Empire, then China will be faced with being forced into the same boat. The Chinese might well prefer nuclear war, and unleashing 5 million men at arms, with another 5 million in training camps.

The leaders of the Anglo-Zionist Empire would not care a teeny tiny bit if Korea, southeast Asia, the Philippines, and Japan were to be decimated. They would be tickled pink to fill those lands with black Africans and Sunni Arabs, with Jews running the local shows

Emslander , says: November 1, 2019 at 1:20 pm GMT
@Baron Ukraine is lebensraum . It has had little importance in geopolitical affairs until Russia stupidly gave it its independence upon the breakup of the Soviet Union. Now it’s a slush fund for the most prominent Democrat politicians. It’s also become another conveniently remote shithole for justifying insane military spending.

[Nov 01, 2019] Color revolution is a method of using a minority to render the country ungovernble, waving a simplistic banner against corruption and for (undefined) democracy, which leaves the masses unorganized and eschews even a platform, in favor of a secret coterie run by intelligence againces

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... And there is the real definition, which is using a minority to render the country ungovernble, waving a simplistic banner against corruption and for undefined democracy, which movement leaves the masses unorganized and eschews even a platform lest they organize, in favor of a secret coterie. ..."
"... No matter how you view Trump, it is undeniable that several signs of a color revolution were present in Russiagate (and Ukrainegate, which is, in essence, Russiagate 2.0 -- a counterattack on the attempt by Trump to investigate the origins of Russiagate). ..."
Nov 01, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

steven t johnson 10.31.19 at 8:35 pm 46

Faustusnotes@43 continues the meltdown, notably forgetting his own list of non-rigid class societies (nations, ) retreating to the UK and Australia. Reminding everyone of the widely accepted definition for color revolution would have been useful. There is the propaganda notion, a vague image of the outraged people rising en masse to throw out the Communists/Communist-adjacent corrupt (unlike all others of course,) government. Inasmuch as likbez specifically denied a mass movement, this is still as much a red herring as it was when first brandished.

And there is the real definition, which is using a minority to render the country ungovernble, waving a simplistic banner against corruption and for undefined democracy, which movement leaves the masses unorganized and eschews even a platform lest they organize, in favor of a secret coterie. Thus when the Astroturf does drive out the current administration, mirabile dictu! nothing changes except its receptivity to international capital. The fundamental color revolution mechanism it seems to me is the hiding of the real program, the true commitment to capital, behind a facade.

Lastly, the idea that likbez just made stuff up is remarkable. If anything, it seems to me that likbez has been heavily influenced by the thesis of Quinn Slobodian's The Globalists. But that book may be touted largely as (unread) proof somebody disreputable isn't acceptable in polite company, not really useful otherwise.

Surprisingly, nastywoman confirms my general impression is really seeing the EU as the inspiration for a better society, without radicalism, much less revolution. I agree there's nothing worse than revolution except not having a revolution, which I guess takes us back to square one. The EU of course is really the Maastricht treaty, the Lisbon treaty, the announcement that elections can't change policy, technocrats as PM in Italy, Greece, etc. In short, nastywoman confesses to incoherence. But nastywoman can take joy in correctly spotting that I'm a disgusting old person too vile to understand rap and can hope I'll be dead soon, and blight humanity no more.

likbez 10.31.19 at 11:22 pm (no link)

Faustusnotes 10.30.19 at 2:38 pm @43

'Color revolution ' has a specific meaning and what happened to Lula and Trump ain't it

You probably never read Gene Sharp, who passed in Feb 2018. Claims of "corruption" and "unfair" election results (which includes foreign influence on elections) are classic color revolution methods described in detail in his books.

Participation of intelligence agencies and controlled by them MSM is a distinctive feature of any color revolution: is it, in essence, a modern, very sophisticated variant of a false flag operation. Controlled/influenced (often indirectly) by intelligence agencies MSM essentially serve the role similar to airforce in modern neocolonial wars (and the level of control is staggering starting from the operation Mockingbird; see Journalists for Hire How the CIA Buys the News by Dr. Udo Ulfkotte).

No matter how you view Trump, it is undeniable that several signs of a color revolution were present in Russiagate (and Ukrainegate, which is, in essence, Russiagate 2.0 -- a counterattack on the attempt by Trump to investigate the origins of Russiagate).

Here is the list adapted from the writings on the topic by former CIA analyst Larry C Johnson and Colonel Lang (DIA). The latter led intelligence analysis of the Middle East and South Asia for the Defense Department and world-wide HUMINT activities in a high-level equivalent to the rank of a lieutenant general. He runs well respected
Sic Semper Tyrannis blog.

Both think that the CIA pulled the main strings. They noted the following:

  1. -- Obama officials efforts in establishing surveillance on Trump campaign on a false pretext (FICA memo scandal, etc.) ;
  2. -- CrowdStrike false flag operation with DNC -- converting the internal leak into Russian break-in;
  3. -- MI6 fabrication of Steele dossier using materials from the USA obtained via Fusion GPS and Brennan and rehashing them as an original British intelligence.
  4. -- Brennan use of Steele dossier to produce "17 intelligence agencies assessment," which served as the signal of unleashing of Russiagate hysteria in neoliberal MSM and the official start of Russiagate.
  5. -- Rosenstein gambit with using firing of Comey as a convenient pretext for appointment Mueller (appointment of the Special Prosecutor was in the cards anyway and was inescapable for Trump as it was a preplanned action by the plotters, and they controlled all the necessary strings; this probably was the meaning of the word "insurance" in Strzok-Page text messages).
  6. -- McCabe's opening of FBI investigation of Trump links to Russia.
  7. -- Alexandra Chalupa machination with getting dirt on Trump and his associates (Manafort) from Poroshenko government (which was a client state anyway so it is funny that Schiff now tries to claim that Ukraine can exercise foreign influence; it is a USA controlled entity; the country in a debt trap ).
  8. -- Systematic attempts to entrap Trump associates with connection to the Russian government by CIA, MI6 and Italian intelligence (Misfud entrapment operation, Felix Sater entrapment operation with idea of building of Trump hotel in Moscow, Halper entrapment attempt, MI6 entrapment operation with Natalia Veselnitskaya visit to Trump tower, etc.).

I think that under the weight of those facts, the picture is more or less clear -- this was a color revolution.

[Nov 01, 2019] The Piece of Presstitute Excrement known as the NYTimes Has Had to Admit that Yes there Is a Deep State at War with President Trump by Paul Craig Roberts

Nov 01, 2019 | www.unz.com

This is a surprisingly good report from Robert Merry. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/52461.htm

The only mistake Merry makes is his erroneous statement that Trump held up aid to Ukraine to pressure the Ukrainian president to investigate the Ukrainian firm that made $1,750,000 payments to the corrupt Biden and his corrupt son. The transcript of the telephone call between Trump and the Ukrainian president shows no Quid Pro Quo, and the Ukrainian president says there was none. The Quid Pro Quo was entirely on Biden's part when he told the president of Ukraine to fire the prosecutor investigating the firm that was paying him and his son seven figures in protection money or forfeit $1 billion in US aid. You can watch it here: https://www.wsj.com/video/opinion-joe-biden-forced-ukraine-to-fire-prosecutor-for-aid-money/C1C51BB8-3988-4070-869F-CAD3CA0E81D8.html

Moreover, even it Trump did threaten to withhold aid from a country that was covering up corruption by a US vice president and his son, that is the US president's right. There is no reason whatsoever that a president should permit US taxpayers' money to be given to a government that covers up corruption by a vice president of the United States.

We know for a fact that there was corruption by Vice President Biden. He bragged about it before the Council on Foreign Relations. You can watch him doing so here: https://www.wsj.com/video/opinion-joe-biden-forced-ukraine-to-fire-prosecutor-for-aid-money/C1C51BB8-3988-4070-869F-CAD3CA0E81D8.html

Biden's son has admitted that he used poor judgment taking money from a firm in order to protect it from prosecution.

Even if Trump did what the Democrats allege, which he did not, there is nothing illegal or unethical about it whatsoever. Compared to the tactics US prosecutors use to convict the innocent, Trump's conversation with the president of Ukraine is far above the highest ethics known to US prosecutors.

Why aren't the Democrats complaining about the criminally illegal treatment of Julian Assange and Manning? The reason is that the Democrats, the most utterly corrupt political organization on the face of the Earth, are bought and paid for by the Deep State. The Democrats are dog excrement to the core. They are traitors to America and to our Constitutional order. The entire party should be arrested and put on trial for sedition to overthrow the government of the United States.

[Oct 31, 2019] Adam Schiff Coached Alexander Vindman Throughout Impeachment Testimony Nunes

Oct 31, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Adam Schiff Coached Alexander Vindman Throughout Impeachment Testimony: Nunes by Tyler Durden Wed, 10/30/2019 - 16:50 0 SHARES

Rep. Devin Nunes claims that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff was coaching Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, the director of European affairs at the National Security Council (NSC) , as he told House committees that he "did not think it was proper" for President Trump to ask Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelensky to investigate former VP Joe Biden during a July 25 phone call.

" I have never in my life seen anything like what happened today , during the testimony of Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman," Nunes told Fox News ' "Hannity."

" It was unprecedented ," Nunes continued. "I mean, they've been bad at most of these depositions, but to interrupt us continually to coach the witness , to decide what we're going to be able to ask the witness."

"And, to see someone coach a witness, this isn't the first time that Schiff -- Schiff is very good at coaching witnesses."

Watch: (relevant part @ 1:30)

https://www.youtube.com/embed/AddJ1huQUeY

"When we asked [Vindman] who he spoke to after important events in July -- Adam Schiff says, 'no, no, no, we're not going to let him answer that question," said Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) discussing Vindman's testimony - saying that Schiff seemed to be breaking his own rules for the hearings according to shtfplan.com .


AI Agent , 8 minutes ago link

I want the Globalist to give us much better seditionist and traitors. They ones they gave us are totally inept and stupid clowns.

I'm sure they can spend a few bucks more and by lying little shits who are actually competent.

I M DeMan , 23 minutes ago link

Why isn't Debbie Wasserman in jail?

jeff montanye , 11 minutes ago link

because she is mossad and imo so is imran awan who was allowed to skip out on any real investigation of his and his families crimes.

same as epstein.

gold_silver_as_money , 34 minutes ago link

The "whistleblower's" identity is out, apparently. And he invited a DNC operative who was a Ukrainian-American into the White House to help dig up dirt on Trump...the best part is the operative's name: Alexandra Chalupa. Time to drop the chalupa.
https://www.realclearinvestigations.com/articles/2019/10/30/whistleblower_exposed_close_to_biden_brennan_dnc_oppo_researcher_120996.html

jeff montanye , 36 minutes ago link

the current rules for the impeachment "inquiry" are not the rules used with clinton, nixon or andrew johnson after the civil war. the president's party's representatives and the executive branch have fewer rights to due process. this house vote is not to open a traditional impeachment investigation, far less a vote to impeach a president. it is to provide sheeple-confusing optics to continue a lawfare-designed process to abuse the president.

imo the dems don't, at all, want to impeach the president and give him a relatively fair trial in the senate. they want to continually investigate him under historically unfair rules, leaking bits of testimony to their dependable sycophants in the mockingbird state media.

Templar X , 55 minutes ago link

October 30, 2019 Meet another of Trump Accuser - Leonid Vindman - Iran and Libya Smuggler

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3kiwTP-PP10

[Oct 31, 2019] Seditious Conspiracy / Sketchy Witness Schiff Blocks Questioning of NSC Staffer Alexander Vindman to Protect Him from Legal Exposure

Oct 31, 2019 | theconservativetreehouse.com

Holy smokes, this Alexander Vindman witness is very sketchy. Generally suspected of being "whistle-blower #2", records show Vindman had numerous contacts with registered foreign agents, while a member of the National Security Council. [ FARA link – pg 4 ]

Additionally, it is highly likely Vindman leaked the content of presidential phone calls illegally while he was a member of the National Security Council; which explains why Adam Schiff would not permit Vindman to answer questions about who he talked to.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/_WBpt8OdnJU?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

.

The New York Times is reporting that sketchy Vindman attempted to manipulate the CIA transcripts of President Trump's call with Ukraine President Zelenskyy to meet Vindman's ideological interpretations. [Vindman had a hidden agenda "spying" while inside the NSC]

In an effort to bolster his very sketchy credibility; and likely in an effort to avoid the appearance of sedition; Schiff's Lawfare staff recommended Vindman wear his military uniform to the hearing today, though Vindman never wore the uniform for his NSC job.

[ Link to FARA document – Page 4 ]

( Open Secrets ) – sA little known U.S.-based attorney quietly poured six figures into foreign influence operations for President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, hoping to be rewarded with a job in his administration, foreign agent records identified by OpenSecrets show.

The new Foreign Agent Registration Act records reveal previously unreported meetings with Trump administration officials and details of a six-figure lobbying campaign promoting Zelensky's interests in the U.S. during the leadup to his election and now-infamous phone call with President Donald Trump .

[ ] Notable among the Trump officials contacted was Alexander Vindman , who oversees European affairs at the National Security Council. Vindman was one of five Trump administration officials chosen for a delegation to Zelensky's inauguration featured in the whistleblower complaint alongside Kurt Volker , the U.S. special envoy to Ukraine who resigned after fallout from the whistleblower's allegations. ( read more )

President Volodymyr Zelensky and First Lady Olena Zelenska with U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry and the U.S. delegation attending the inauguration, which included U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations Kurt Volker, U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon D. Sondland, the National Security Council's Director for European Affairs Alexander Vindman and Deputy Chief of Mission for the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine Joseph Pennington. ( Source )


We the people know , October 30, 2019 at 10:03 am

I believe I've found some video with Vindman with John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Amy Klobuchar in Ukraine on 12/29/16. You can see him on the left @ the :18 mark and again @ the end starting at the 1:38.
AP
(29 Dec 2016) US senators visiting eastern European allies to discuss security issues called for sanctions against Russia for interfering in the presidential election by hacking American political sites and email accounts.

Their demands came amid ongoing discussions among US officials on an imminent response to alleged Russian meddling that would ensure the US takes action before President-elect Donald Trump takes office.

"We will be urging increases in sanctions on Russia for what they just attempted to do in the United States election which they have attempted to do in other parts of the world," said US senator John McCain during his visit to Lithuania on Thursday.

Russian officials have denied the Obama administration's accusation that the highest-levels of the Russian government were involved in trying to influence the US presidential election.

Speaking after talks with Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite in Vilnius, the US lawmakers reaffirmed Washington's commitment to the Baltics.

McCain is accompanied by US Senators Amy Klobuchar and Lindsey Graham in their visits to Russian neighbours, the Baltic States, Ukraine, and Georgia as well as Montenegro.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/gnyjdrP91yA?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

Compare to this photo, he's got a bad toupee and a much enhanced uniform and he's lost some weight.
https://www.businessinsider.com/who-is-alexander-vindman-army-nsc-veteran-trump-ukraine-2019-10/
Here's Vindman walking and smiling:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/_fWOPjZJyEA?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

I guess we've got some questions for Lindsey.

Like Liked by 1 person

DeWalt , October 30, 2019 at 10:19 am
That is a poster perfect picture of a Ticket Puncher. This is an ideal Leftist Military Commander. What a joke.

Like Liked by 5 people

Jederman , October 30, 2019 at 4:47 pm
What I find odd is this guy is an 05 (errand boy) on the NSC. How out of control is the NSC when an 05, is editing official transcripts of presidential conversations? Who told him to do it? To whom did he express his concern before he was told to edit them?

Like Like

Gort , October 30, 2019 at 3:23 am
On Laura Ingram's show the other night, former Deputy Assistant Attorney Genera John Yoo observed that Alexander Vindman may have committed espionage.

"Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel." -- Samuel Johnson

That would explain the uniform.

Like Liked by 12 people

LivLovely101 , October 30, 2019 at 10:14 am
My thoughts exactly. If you need to SHOW how patriotic you are by wearing your uniform, then it is no more than a costume.
He has that look; 100% Grade A USA inspected A**h**e!

Like Liked by 7 people

LivLovely101 , October 30, 2019 at 10:14 am
My thoughts exactly. If you need to SHOW how patriotic you are by wearing your uniform, then it is no more than a costume.
He has that look; 100% Grade A USA inspected A**h**e!
Blind no longer , October 30, 2019 at 10:01 am
I believe he is too! I thought I heard Jim Jordan refer to him as the whistleblower but I may not have been listening closely enough.
He sure fits the profile.

I think they thought President Trump would never release the transcript and planned to set the narrative with the schiff remarks at that hearing. President Trump blew it up with the release. This champion of Ukraine thought he'd never have to be seen or heard of and could continue spying and leaking, imho.
Hope he is exposed along with schiff and goes down hard without all those badges on his uniform.

Like Liked by 2 people

dayallaxeded , October 30, 2019 at 12:39 pm
I didn't make it clear above, but I'm hoping this sh-tbag is determined to be fraudulently wearing some of those badges and tabs. He dishonors every dayum one of them.

Like Liked by 3 people

Mike Robinson , October 30, 2019 at 7:43 am
You aren't a "witness" when you're lying, even when you're saying what somebody else prefers to hear. You're just committing perjury.

The House is not crafting "articles of impeachment," but an unconstitutional "writ of attainder." Most absurdly, they are trying to do it based on false representations about a conversation, the true content of which has been declassified and affirmed by the other party to the call.

These people are carving a place of infamy in US history far worse than that of Joseph McCarthy.

FilthySanchez0302 , October 30, 2019 at 8:08 am
UCMJ article 94: (2) with intent to cause the overthrow or destruction of lawful civil authority, creates, in concert with any other person, revolt, violence, or other disturbance against that authority is guilty of sedition
(b) A person who is found guilty of attempted mutiny, mutiny, sedition, or failure to suppress or report a mutiny or sedition shall be punished by death or such other punishment as a court-martial may direct."
Make an example out of this a-hole. Traitor.
Bluto , October 30, 2019 at 1:45 pm
His twin brother (likely the official he supposedly complained twice to) is a White House lawyer. His older brother is an investment banker doing business in Eastern Europe, Asia, Russia, and the Middle East.

I wonder who would stand to lose money if corruption were to be investigated in Ukraine?

mylabs5 , October 30, 2019 at 9:55 am
So a while back I posted that the DoE (Dept. of Energy) was involved. To keep your eyes on the DoE. Now you know. And parts of this runs through their email system just like at State except Perry is not involved like Hillary was. But he may have found something that made him want to leave the post.

POTUS needs to have the new Sec Engery audit the system. There's gold there. Trust me on this too.

Don't know if it's been posted yet, but Vindman tried to change the draft of the call. The WH uses voice recognition software for the calls so that there is a record of who said what. He tried to infer that the software was wrong and that Trump had said the word "Burisma" (which doesn't matter). He also tried to get the agents who transcribed to change the draft of the call citing the error. He as denied.
That's solid evidence for tampering with evidence along with violation of the espionage act. Now since he is part of the this scam he's also guilty of obstruction. Add 5 yrs to his Leavenworth stay.

Here's POTUS problem with all of this. The corruption goes so far and so deep in all these agencies, Congress, Senate, military that if he goes scorched earth the gov may just fall if. That's how pervasive it is. He's going to have to be a neurosurgeon operating with a scalpel to carve out the cancer and it's going to take timing, precision, quiet and patience. After all that's been done to him I'm not sure he'll be able to hold back when the Durham reports comes out (which I believe will be the public predicate for his actions to clean up the mess).
I'm praying for him.

Mike Robinson , October 30, 2019 at 10:33 am
There is not just "voice recognition software," but several human stenographers who compare their notes and ensure that the transcription is correct. It is a binding official record of the exchange, and routinely classified. Naturally, the many people who are right now lying to their teeth about what actually happened want to dispute and to change that record to suit their purposes.

But you really can see right through this whole thing. Until she realized that Ukraine had resumed investigating, and that they were talking with our DOJ, Pelosi, Schiff, Nadler, Obama, Biden, and many others really weren't all that concerned. But now they know that they've been talking to Durham and that his investigation has turned criminal. They know that they've all individually been hip-waders-deep in corruption in Ukraine, but now there is no American official to "give them six hours." They suddenly became desperate to throw out this President because he has both the willingness and the determination to put them all in jail. As do the Ukranians.

Like Liked by 3 people

Mike Robinson , October 30, 2019 at 10:38 am
P.S.: You definitely see the "Swamp business-as-usual reflexes" at work here. None of them perceive that Joe Biden (and by direct implication, Barak Obama) actually did anything wrong. They watch "Biden's boast" and shrug and say, "so what?" 🤷‍♂️ 😇

They gather around and protect him as though strong-arming another nation to drop a criminal investigation (a.k.a. "obstruction of justice") was the most ordinary thing for the VPOTUS to do. When the President asks another President to cooperate in law enforcement, as we have a treaty that calls for both countries to do, they see it as "smearing." Because, in their accustomed-to-corruption eyes, what Biden did is perfectly normal. Unfortunately for them, in the eyes of the law, it is not. Biden confessed on camera to a clearly impeachable offense, and implicated his boss while doing so.

Cynthia , October 30, 2019 at 11:13 am
Of interest, the Ukraine "quid pro quo" phone call took place THE DAY AFTER Mueller's testimony blew up . . . The actors were in place and they planned this to a T.
Concernedcitizen , October 30, 2019 at 11:27 am
With the unveiling of Whistleblower #2 (Vindman), Schiff and his Lawfare staff are trying to rescue their flagging "whistleblower" impeachment scam. Essentially, Vindman is claiming that President Trump released a false transcript of his conversation with Ukraine President Zelensky. The NYT article is an attempt to help Vindman and his co-conspirators get out in front of allegations that Vindman attempted to manipulate the wording of the transcript to create an impeachable offense.
2Alpha , October 30, 2019 at 3:52 pm
Additional Ukraine info From American Spectator interesting details

An Impeachment Defense: It Most Justifiably Means Going on Offense
https://spectator.org/an-impeachment-defense-it-most-justifiably-means-going-on-offense/

ShainS , October 29, 2019 at 11:09 pm
This all reads like a bad "Fusion GPS" Glenn Simpson novel from a year ago. Oh, wait

Like Liked by 19 people

GB Bari , October 29, 2019 at 11:42 pm
So now the sleazy Lawfare / Deep State plot is to build a narrative around the dropped words in the phone call that are represented by ellipses in the transcript.

Great. When nothing exists in a spot in the conversation they can fabricate & claim whatever they want because, if a recording doesn't exist, no one can refute the fabricated words besides other first hand witnesses who were listening on the phone call. So it boils down to hearsay: He said vs. He said.

That's all they have.

Unless Pelousy & Co's trip to Ukraine included a fishing expedition for a potential Ukrainian Gov't. recording of the phone call.

Like Liked by 6 people

TheHumanCondition , October 30, 2019 at 1:25 am
It's the continuation of absolute PHALE! From pee pee tapes that don't exist to the "imcoupment", nothing. Nothing but phale.
Marc , October 30, 2019 at 1:42 am
It's past time for the US to stop this dual citizenship nonsense along with birth-rite citizenship. At the very least, force dual citizens to renounce their other country's citizenship if they want to run for office, serve in the military, or lobby foreign governments.
California Joe , October 29, 2019 at 11:18 pm
Vindman testified today that he was listening to President Trump's phone call with the Ukrainian President and there was no quid pro quo shakedown by President Trump. In fact, he said that the transcript of the call that President Trump made public was, in fact, accurate. Doesn't this invalidate and show the initial whistle-blower complaint to the IC OIG was a lie?
BlackKnightRides , October 29, 2019 at 11:18 pm
I repeat my earlier suspicions regarding the potential sketchiness of Rick Perry's resignation just after the Ukrainian allegations began to break particularly given the snake pit of Obama Holdovers er EMBEDS operating in Ukrainian-affiliated circles.
Sentient , October 29, 2019 at 11:21 pm
Yeah, Alexander Vindman was "concerned" about the president asking Ukraine to look into Crowdstrike and the Bidens. So Alexander felt compelled to talk with the attorney for the National Security Council assigned to ethics affairs his brother, Yevgeny. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Vindman
BlackKnightRides , October 29, 2019 at 11:28 pm
How to THWART the House's SHAMpeachment fraud.
[updated from yesterday]

AG BARR must GO on OFFENSE by SEIZING the INITIATIVE on multiple fronts!

1. AG Barr immediately APPEALS Judge Howell's ruling directly to SCOTUS.

• The House has unconstitutionally tried to intimidate testimony from the Executive Branch.

• The House has NO authority to Subpoena in search of crimes without an Impeachment Inquiry.

• The House has NOT launched an Impeachment Inquiry with vote of its entire membership.

• House actions constitute a SHAMpeachment fraud.

• District Judges have no Constitutional authority to approve a Congressional SHAMpeachment.

• Given that the Constitution directs that the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court preside over any Senate Trial following an Impeachment by the House, ONLY SCOTUS can rule on the DUE PROCESS requirements for a Constitutional Impeachment according to the Rule of Law.

2. AG Barr announces he has launched three CRIMINAL INVESTIGATIONS that involve the Majority Caucus of the House of Representatives including their members on the Judiciary, Intelligence and Ways & Means Committees:

• POLITICAL RACKETEERING $50 Million funneled through Feinstein's former Chief of Staff

• SEDITION Pelosi, Schiff, Vindman et al

• TREASON Vindman

3. AG Barr forwards SUBPOENAS from his designated investigators to the Speaker, Majority Leader and Committee Chairmen requiring that they immediately surrender all records of related testimony and investigations, and that they preserve all historical records until the investigations and any prosecutions have been completed.

4. NOTIFY Demo☭rat House Leadership that they are Criminal Investigation TARGETS for OBSTRUCTION of JUSTICE (familiar theme for them), including

• Colluding in a fraudulent SHAMpeachment that fabricated Evidence

• Rigging Witness Testimony

• Threatening and intimidating Witnesses

• Doctoring and withholding or concealing Evidence

• Using a SCIF in a cover-up of their Obstruction of Justice

5. INDICT Pelosi and her Committee Chairmen NOW.

• The Gang of Eight became willing Accomplices.

• Start with the Demo☭rat House Leadership leaves the Senate off the hook, but exposed to being taken out, in case they want to raise their heads from their foxholes.
=====
All 3 Investigations must tap all NSA and Federal Surveillance powers
with ALACRITY.

Like Liked by 21 people

Jan , October 30, 2019 at 1:34 am
Fingers crossed, I hope this happens BUT the DOJ is also mostly comprised of never-Trumpers and career lawyers/staff who agree with the Deep State that does not want anything changed and disagree with the policies of this President, i.e., mini-Yates.

Hopefully, Trump's legal team is more brilliant than we know, as is White House legal counsel.

nobodyspecial1958 , October 29, 2019 at 11:47 pm
This is a little off topic but I read an article today titled, "Mittens, the Deep State and the on going Coup against Potus" on Red State. Original article was by a Polish writer, and I found it be an amazing article if true. It details how the Russian collusion narrative originated in 2014 and was to be used against whoever ran in 2016. They didn't know trump would be the nominee. It was for whoever won the nomination.
It talks a lot about John Brennan and a guy named Joseph Cofer Black and their involvement in the 911 attacks. Both these guy have ties to burisma but the point about mittens is that Black was his foreign policy adviser and mitt wants Trump shut down before it gets him too. It is a long article that covers a lot of territory and has several places you can click to read even more about it. I think the red state article has a good commentary on the original article and helps tie it together with what's going on. This post doesn't even scratch the surface of it but the article clears up a lot of thing even if you already understand what's going on. Well worth the read.

[Oct 31, 2019] The Failed FBI Plot to Paint Trump Doing Deals with Putin by Larry C Johnson

Notable quotes:
"... The Kremlin's cultivation operation on TRUMP also had comprised offering him various lucrative real estate development business deals in Russia ..."
"... Honestly, the more that emerges, the more I wonder under what inducements Mueller consented to figurehead this steaming heap of offal. (The rest of the gang at least had the excuse of assuming Clinton would win, but Mueller agrees to step into it, through the tainted subterfuge of Comey's no less, once Trump was already elected.) ..."
"... And then there's Ukraine. I know PL has just stressed the impropriety of a uniformed officer detailed to the NSC doing what he's done -- because he disagrees with the President's policy on Eastern Europe, by his own admission, which includes urging Zelensky to investigate those allied with the Borg in Ukraine for attempting to influence the outcome of the election in favour of Clinton. ..."
"... A shame Trump couldn't just leave the Biden investigation to the professionals, but then maybe he's having trouble trusting his subordinates. Wonder why. ..."
"... Fred -> indus56... , 30 October 2019 at 03:19 PM ..."
"... The "professionals" ensured the Burisma investigation was closed by the prior Ukraine government. By all means cover up corruption at the top of the Obama administration. Kompromat would never happen there. BTW I wonder if Pussy Riot will be joining the band of the same name at their next concert? https://www.infoconcert.com/artiste/kompromat-175468/concerts.html ..."
"... catherine said in reply to indus56... , 30 October 2019 at 04:54 PM ..."
"... Is it normal procedure to edit phone call memos? ..."
"... National security official tells Congress he tried to add edits to White House memo about Trump Ukraine call ..."
"... The proposed edits of the call were to include Trump mentioning possible recordings of Joe Biden discussing corruption in Ukraine and Ukraine's president mentioning the Burisma gas company specifically. ..."
"... https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry/national-security-official-tells-congress-he-tried-add-edits-white-n1073726 ..."
"... Flavius , 30 October 2019 at 02:31 PM ..."
"... Shame on the FBI for many failings in their handling of the Steele report. Of course the Agents responsible for evaluating the report knew that Sater was an informant or asset; but the report reeks of bullshit anyway. ..."
"... "Speaking to a trusted compatriot in June 2016 sources A and B, a senior Russian Foreign Ministry figure and a former top level Russian intelligence officer still active inside the Kremlin respectively,.." "Trusted compatriot... sources A and B... senior...figure... former...(but) still active..." what does this nonsense even mean? Specifics? To use the word specifics to describe what is being put on offer is a joke. Those specifics wouldn't serve to predicate a FISC wire on Joe Shit the Ragman let alone a candidate for President of the United States. ..."
"... There should have been no action taken on Steele's offerings absent Steele's fully identifying every source cited in his document, the precise circumstances surrounding their receipt of the information, the precise circumstances of Steele's receipt of the information from the so called sources, and either access to the sources themselves or. damn good reason why not. ..."
"... The Agents not pinning this guy down knowing that he was a paid political operative doing Oppo research makes the whole thing truly shocking. It's going to be very telling if and when the files come out that were used to administer the handling not only of Sater but also Steele. ..."
"... ex PFC Chuck , 30 October 2019 at 03:44 PM ..."
"... Although he may be a pariah to some who hang out here, during a recent interview with Joe Rogan Edward Snowden offered some intriguing views of the Borg/Deep State from his experience and perspective. He sees it as a conglomeration of interest groups inside and outside of the government who have interests that sometimes compete and sometimes cooperate. The video is over 2 hours long, and it's almost all Snowden talking and very little of Rogan. ..."
Oct 31, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

To appreciate the lies and corruption that are the foundation of the conspiracy to destroy the Presidency of Donald Trump by the FBI, the CIA and the DNI, one need only look at how Robert Mueller lied about FBI informants who were targeting the Trump team.

Let us look specifically at Felix Sater. Felix Sater has been a fully signed up Confidential Human Source for the FBI since 1998. His original plea deal was signed off on by Mueller's deputy, Andrew Weismann. But you would not know any of this if you relied solely on the Mueller Report.

Here is how Mueller portrays Sater:

In approximately September 2015, Felix Sater, a New York based real estate advisor, contacted Michael Cohen, then-executive vice president of the Trump Organization and special counsel to Donald J. Trump. Sater had previously worked with the Trump Organization and advised it on a number of domestic and international projects. Sater had explored the possibility of a Trump Tower project in Moscow while working with the Trump Organization and therefore knew of the organization's general interest in completing a deal there.

This is fundamentally dishonest. Sater was more than a mere "real estate advisor" who had previously worked with Trump. He was and is a fully signed up FBI Confidential Human Source. Not my opinion. It is a fact. An excellent article by Newsweek reporter Bill Powell, Donald Trump Associate Felix Sater Is Linked to the Mob and the CIA -- What's His Role in the Russia Investigation? , provides an excellent review of Sater's history and involvement with the FBI. One of the surprising revelations from Powell is that Felix Sater was a childhood friend of Michael Cohen, Trump's lawyer. Let that sink in for a moment. The FBI informant, Felix Sater, was a long time friend of Cohen.

Sater was playing a role scripted by the FBI and deliberately designed to feed the meme that Trump was dealing with the Russians.

The covert op to paint Trump as a Russian stooge was not left to Sater alone. Christopher Steele, a British spy who was hired by Fusion GPS, conveniently produced a report insisting that the Russians were working overtime to get Trump in bed with them on "lucrative real estate deals." The Steele report dated 20 June 2016 makes the following claims:

Speaking to a trusted compatriot in June 2016 sources A and B, a senior Russian Foreign Ministry figure and a former top level Russian intelligence officer still active inside the Kremlin respectively, the Russian authorities had been cultivating and supporting US Republican presidential candidate, Donald TRUMP for at least 5 years. . . .

In terms of specifics, Source A confided that the Kremlin had been feeding TRUMP and his team valuable intelligence on his opponents, including Democratic presidential candidate Hillary CLINTON, for several years (see more below). . . .

The Kremlin's cultivation operation on TRUMP also had comprised offering him various lucrative real estate development business deals in Russia , especially in relation to the ongoing 2018 World Cup soccer tournament. How ever, so far, for reasons unknown, TRUMP had not taken up any of these.

Pay attention. Who offered Trump the deal in Moscow? FELIX SATER. Was he a Russian agent? No. He was the FBI's Joe.

If the Steele Dossier was true, Trump should have had multiple offers for projects on in Russia, especially Moscow. Steele claims Putin's people were feeding Trump information and opportunity. So where is the evidence of such activity? There is none. Just Felix Sater, FBI snitch.

Robert Mueller tried in vain to advance the lie that Trump was doing deals in Moscow. His report states:

In the late summer of 2015, the Trump Organization received a new inquiry about pursuing a Trump Tower project in Moscow. In approximately September 2015, Felix Sater . . . contacted Cohen (i.e., Michael Cohen) on behalf of I.C. Expert Investment Company (I.C. Expert), a Russian real-estate development corporation controlled by Andrei Vladimirovich Rozov. Sater had known Rozov since approximately 2007 and, in 2014, had served as an agent on behalf of Rozov during Rozov's purchase of a building in New York City. Sater later contacted Rozov and proposed that I.C. Expert pursue a Trump Tower Moscow project in which I.C. Expert would license the name and brand from the Trump Organization but construct the building on its own. Sater worked on the deal with Rozov and another employee of I.C. Expert. (see page 69 of the Mueller Report).

Who was pushing the project in Moscow? FELIX SATER. Not Michael Cohen and certainly not Donald Trump. Sater was the instigator. At no time did he testify that he was directed by Trump or anyone else in the Trump organization to reachout to the Russians. And don't forget what Christopher Steele claimed -- the Russians were in a frenzy supposedly to offer Trump lucrative deals. That was and is a monumental lie.

Sater was and is an FBI informant. Sater was not just a private entrepreneur looking to make some coin. We know without a doubt that Sater was a fully signed up FBI informant. Sater's status as an FBI snitch was first exposed in 2012 (you can read the letter confirming Sater's status as an FBI snitch here ). Another inconvenient fact excluded from the Mueller report is that one of Mueller's Chief Prosecutors, Andrew Weissman, signed the deal with Felix Sater in December 1998 that put Sater into the FBI Informant business . Sater was used multiple times in the next decade by the FBI to make cases against Russian spies and mobsters.

How could Robert Mueller neglect to mention this critical fact? This was not the oversight of a senile old man. It was deliberate obfuscation.

The question that prosecutor Robert Durham needs to ask is who directed Sater to pitch the Trump team in September 2015 to pursue a deal in Moscow? The answer probably lies in Sater's FD-1023s. A 1023 is a report that an FBI agent must file every time he meets with a Confidential Human Source. This was an orchestrated attempt to set up Donald Trump as a Russian stooge. But it did not start in July 2016 as the FBI falsely claims. It started in September 2015. Who authorized this?

Posted at 10:20 AM in Larry Johnson , Russiagate | Permalink

Reblog (0) Comments


Factotum , 30 October 2019 at 12:12 PM

Add to the curious terminology used by the guy setting up the Trump Tower meeting with the female lawyer who promised dirt on Clinton - he described her as the "Crown Prosecutor" for Russia (no such thing)- more likely also on M16's payroll working in cahoots with Brennan and the CIA?
indus56 , 30 October 2019 at 12:49 PM
I'm not sure if LJ is presenting anything new here on Sater, though it's damning enough to merit a refresh. I suppose many reading this for the second time will, as I do, feel impatient that this has been out there for some time, and nothing official has yet come of it, from Horowitz or Durham. Perhaps that impatience is fuelled by what appears to be a repeat performance using the same comic-opera playbill, this time with Ukraine. I recognize that the wheels of justice grind slowly; the Borg can manufacture these colour-tempests much more quickly, and so continue to control the news cycles (in addition to controlling the news).

Honestly, the more that emerges, the more I wonder under what inducements Mueller consented to figurehead this steaming heap of offal. (The rest of the gang at least had the excuse of assuming Clinton would win, but Mueller agrees to step into it, through the tainted subterfuge of Comey's no less, once Trump was already elected.)

Nor is it easy to maintain confidence in Barr through the rumbling over his role in Iran Contra, the family connections with the CIA, with its attendant opportunities to develop kompromat to hold over the family. Then there's Horowitz's reputation for playing softball...

And then there's Ukraine. I know PL has just stressed the impropriety of a uniformed officer detailed to the NSC doing what he's done -- because he disagrees with the President's policy on Eastern Europe, by his own admission, which includes urging Zelensky to investigate those allied with the Borg in Ukraine for attempting to influence the outcome of the election in favour of Clinton.

A shame Trump couldn't just leave the Biden investigation to the professionals, but then maybe he's having trouble trusting his subordinates. Wonder why.

Fred -> indus56... , 30 October 2019 at 03:19 PM
Indus56,

The "professionals" ensured the Burisma investigation was closed by the prior Ukraine government. By all means cover up corruption at the top of the Obama administration. Kompromat would never happen there. BTW I wonder if Pussy Riot will be joining the band of the same name at their next concert?
https://www.infoconcert.com/artiste/kompromat-175468/concerts.html

catherine said in reply to indus56... , 30 October 2019 at 04:54 PM
Is it normal procedure to edit phone call memos?

National security official tells Congress he tried to add edits to White House memo about Trump Ukraine call

The proposed edits of the call were to include Trump mentioning possible recordings of Joe Biden discussing corruption in Ukraine and Ukraine's president mentioning the Burisma gas company specifically.

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry/national-security-official-tells-congress-he-tried-add-edits-white-n1073726

Flavius , 30 October 2019 at 02:31 PM
Shame on the FBI for many failings in their handling of the Steele report. Of course the Agents responsible for evaluating the report knew that Sater was an informant or asset; but the report reeks of bullshit anyway.

"Speaking to a trusted compatriot in June 2016 sources A and B, a senior Russian Foreign Ministry figure and a former top level Russian intelligence officer still active inside the Kremlin respectively,.." "Trusted compatriot... sources A and B... senior...figure... former...(but) still active..." what does this nonsense even mean? Specifics? To use the word specifics to describe what is being put on offer is a joke. Those specifics wouldn't serve to predicate a FISC wire on Joe Shit the Ragman let alone a candidate for President of the United States.

There should have been no action taken on Steele's offerings absent Steele's fully identifying every source cited in his document, the precise circumstances surrounding their receipt of the information, the precise circumstances of Steele's receipt of the information from the so called sources, and either access to the sources themselves or. damn good reason why not.

The Agents not pinning this guy down knowing that he was a paid political operative doing Oppo research makes the whole thing truly shocking. It's going to be very telling if and when the files come out that were used to administer the handling not only of Sater but also Steele.

ex PFC Chuck , 30 October 2019 at 03:44 PM
Although he may be a pariah to some who hang out here, during a recent interview with Joe Rogan Edward Snowden offered some intriguing views of the Borg/Deep State from his experience and perspective. He sees it as a conglomeration of interest groups inside and outside of the government who have interests that sometimes compete and sometimes cooperate. The video is over 2 hours long, and it's almost all Snowden talking and very little of Rogan.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=efs3QRr8LWw

[Oct 30, 2019] Breaking Ethics Complaint Filed Against Adam Schiff

Oct 30, 2019 | www.redstate.com

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) is now taking action.

He's filed an ethics complaint after the Star Chamber leader, House Intel Committee Chair Adam Schiff (D-CA). Normally, actual impeachment proceedings would proceed out of the Judiciary Committee, which would have been under that Chair, Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY). But Pelosi delegated it to Schiff instead, another break from precedent and proper procedure.

Gaetz's complaint alleges that Schiff's handling of the proceedings has been full of unethical actions, including
"distorting @POTUS 's call with President Zelensky, lying to the public about 'Russian collusion', and blocking members of Congress from attending impeachment depositions," according to Townhall.

me title=

me title=

"Nancy Pelosi's impeachment resolution gives unprecedented power to the Intelligence Committee Chairman, Adam Schiff," Gaetz told reporters ahead of filing his complaint. "That's deeply troubling to me for a few reasons. First, Adam Schiff has proven in this process that he cannot adhere to the fundamental principles of fairness. Second, and I would say most important for my work today, is that Adam Schiff has violated the ethical rules of the House of Representatives."

Gaetz point out how Schiff had deceived the public about what was said on the Trump phone call with Ukraine's President Zelensky, making up things that were not in fact said and claiming Trump's words were "'like a classic organized crime shakedown'" on the call. Gaetz also referenced the lie that Schiff told about the Russia investigation claiming that there was "more than circumstantial evidence" that Trump had colluded with Russia.

Additionally, Gaetz noted rules Schiff was in violation of including, "A Member, Delegate, or Resident Commissioner may not be excluded from nonparticipatory attendance at a hearing of a committee or subcommittee [ ] unless the House by majority vote authorizes a particular committee or subcommittee, for purposes of a particular series of hearings on a particular article of legislation or on a particular subject of investigation, to close its hearings to Members, Delegates, and the Resident Commissioner by the same procedures specified in this subparagraph for closing hearings to the public."

Holding a closed hearing for impeachment hearings that do not contain classified information or have any specific reason to be closed is outrageous.

Schiff also didn't tell the truth about prior contacts that he and his aide had had with the Ukraine whistleblower. On that basis alone, he really should recuse himself from the matter.

Gaetz's filing comes the day after a big dust-up when Schiff intervened during a hearing and wouldn't let Republicans ask questions of Lt. Col Alexander Vindman. Schiff stopped Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) from asking Vindman who he had spoken to about the matter. According to Jordan, Schiff said, "No, no, no, we're not going to let him answer that question," as though he were Vindman's lawyer and not the head of a committee which is supposed to be impartial and getting at the truth.

Rep. Steve Scalise told Fox News that Pelosi needed to declare a "mistrial."

"This has been a tainted process from the start. What happened today confirms even worse just how poorly Adam Schiff is handling this process, denying the ability for Republicans to even ask basic questions that are critical to the heart of whether or not a President of the United States is impeached."

[Oct 29, 2019] The New York Times itself is part of the Deep State it initially denied and now wholeheartedly supports

Notable quotes:
"... Not that this should surprise anyone who is familiar with Operation Mockingbird and The New York Times' part in co-operating with the CIA to plant CIA-origin reports with reporters who were either willing volunteers or unaware innocents or to practise self-censorship to appease the CIA. ..."
"... The Deep State has little to nothing to do with "rule of law." It is simply the law of the jungle: might makes right, exercised behind the scenes by the true power brokers and their minions. It is not partisan. It does use both parties to put on a show to distract the people while owning and using major parts of both ..."
"... It is they who have us in Syria now to steal Syria's oil. It is they who were enraged that Trump, an outsider, won the election contrary to all expectations and predictions. It is they who control most of the media. They are not the friends of the American people; in fact, they are our mortal enemies. ..."
"... They have hijacked our government and our foreign policy, which they operate largely for their own interests and not in the true interests of the American people. ..."
"... They use the media to sell us on what they are doing, appealing to our pride, our patriotism, the project of spreading peace, prosperity, democracy, and freedom to the world, the project of promoting human rights, the project of prosperity--whatever works to convince us that we should be in Iraq, and Afghanistan, and Syria, and Kosovo, and in hundreds of military bases around the world. They equally exploit left and right; thus dividing us, they conquer. ..."
Oct 29, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jen , Oct 28 2019 21:51 utc | 75

I'm sure I'm not the only person here who sees the headlines B has linked to and other NYT headlines (and some of the actual articles themselves, if I have the time and patience to read them) and realised that The New York Times itself is part of the Deep State it initially denied and now wholeheartedly supports. Not that this should surprise anyone who is familiar with Operation Mockingbird and The New York Times' part in co-operating with the CIA to plant CIA-origin reports with reporters who were either willing volunteers or unaware innocents or to practise self-censorship to appease the CIA.
Arthur , Oct 28 2019 17:22 utc | 14
The Deep State has little to nothing to do with "rule of law." It is simply the law of the jungle: might makes right, exercised behind the scenes by the true power brokers and their minions. It is not partisan. It does use both parties to put on a show to distract the people while owning and using major parts of both.

It is they who have us in Syria now to steal Syria's oil. It is they who were enraged that Trump, an outsider, won the election contrary to all expectations and predictions. It is they who control most of the media. They are not the friends of the American people; in fact, they are our mortal enemies.

They have hijacked our government and our foreign policy, which they operate largely for their own interests and not in the true interests of the American people.

They use the media to sell us on what they are doing, appealing to our pride, our patriotism, the project of spreading peace, prosperity, democracy, and freedom to the world, the project of promoting human rights, the project of prosperity--whatever works to convince us that we should be in Iraq, and Afghanistan, and Syria, and Kosovo, and in hundreds of military bases around the world. They equally exploit left and right; thus dividing us, they conquer.

[Oct 28, 2019] Maria Butina Denies She's a Russian Spy -- Says She Was Railroaded by 'Anti-Russian Hysteria'

Oct 28, 2019 | pluralist.com

Oct 27, 2019

In her first interview since her release from federal prison in the United States, Maria Butina denied ever acting as a spy for Russia and said she pleaded guilty in her case because she didn't stand a chance for a fair trial because of "anti-Russian hysteria" in the U.S.

Butina, 30, was released from jail in Florida on Friday after serving most of an 18-month prison sentence. She was deported to Russia, where she gave her first interview to RT, the Russia-owned media outlet.

"I've never been a spy, and I have never been charged with any espionage charges," she said in an interview that aired Saturday.

"I did plea to be a foreign agent, because, look I am in solitary confinement in jail facing 15 years, knowing that statistically Americans plea in more than 90 percent of cases. Why do they do that?"

She added that "if you go to trial, you're going to lose that trial."

"Especially me, a Russian, on trial in Washington, D.C., in the middle of anti-Russian hysteria? I would have gotten all 15 years. So, my choice was obvious."

A federal grand jury in Washington, D.C., indicted Butina on July 17, 2018, on charges that she acted as an unregistered foreign agent of Russia and conspired to do the same.

She pleaded guilty Dec. 13, 2018, to the conspiracy charge, and admitted that she operated under the direction of Aleksandr Torshin, who previously served as deputy chairman of Russia's central bank, to establish "unofficial ties" to Republican political operatives in the U.S.

Butina captured media attention well before the indictment, in part because of her appearance -- she has long red hair and a penchant for guns. Butina and Torshin operated a group called Right to Bear Arms, which advocated for gun rights in Russia.

Through that group, Butina and Torshin established relationships with executives at the National Rifle Association. They also made contacts with conservative political operatives, and attempted to establish ties with the Trump campaign.

U.S. prosecutors initially floated the theory that Butina used sex as part of a scheme to collect information from targets. But they admitted in a Sept. 8, 2018, court filing that their interpretation of allegedly salacious text messages was inaccurate.

Butina's lawyer, Robert Driscoll, also accused prosecutors of withholding exculpatory information regarding Butina, who studied at American University in Washington, D.C., before her arrest.

In a July 26 letter to the Justice Department, Driscoll pointed to statements made by Patrick Byrne, the now-former CEO of Overstock.com, who said he was tasked by the FBI to develop a relationship with Butina and keep tabs on her. Byrne said he told his contacts at the FBI that he did not believe Butina was engaged in wrongdoing.

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[Oct 28, 2019] Could we please kill the Blob's "gift to Putin" meme?

Oct 28, 2019 | nonzero.org

Oct 26 2019 American foreign policy elites are in near-unanimous agreement that President Trump's withdrawal of troops from northern Syria, along with the ensuing influx of Russian and Syrian troops, is a "gift to Putin." Some variant of that phrase has over the past two weeks appeared in headlines from the venerable New York Times, the venerable Foreign Affairs, and the quasi-venerable CNN, among other mainstream outlets.
Russian elites have joined their American counterparts in viewing recent developments in Syria as a zero-sum game that Russia won and the United States lost. One Russian newspaper touted Russia's "triumph in the Middle East," and an analyst on Russian TV said this triumph is "sad for America."
There are certainly things to be sad about. It's sad that Trump's withdrawal -- impulsively ordered, with no diplomatic preparation -- has caused so much more havoc and suffering, especially for the Kurds, than was necessary. And to me, at least, it's sad that Trump, in his record-setting incompetence, is giving military withdrawals a bad name.
But I don't buy the premise of the "gift to Putin" meme -- that a decline of American influence in Syria, and a commensurate growth in Russian influence, is inherently a sad thing for America. This shift may well be good for Putin, but it could also be, in the long run, good for the United States and good for the Middle East broadly.

Some people may find the previous sentence, with it's win-win overtones, deeply disorienting if not flat-out unintelligible. The Cold War idea that the U.S. and Russia are playing a zero-sum game has gotten a second wind in recent years, in part because of genuine contentions between the two but also because of #Resistance psychology. Acting on the intuition that the friend of my enemy is my enemy, lots of anti-Trumpers look at the often-cozy relationship between Trump and Vladimir Putin (including their symbiosis during the 2016 presidential campaign) and conclude that Russia must be thwarted at every stop.
But what most needs thwarting is this archaic way of looking at foreign policy -- as a Manichaean struggle for influence between the United States and its allies, on the one hand, and the forces of darkness on the other. The U.S. shares important interests with Russia -- and, for that matter, with Russian allies Syria and Iran -- and the sooner it recognizes that, the better.
I noted one example of this in last week's newsletter: Russia and Syria and Iran are enemies of ISIS, one of the final obstacles to firm regime control of Syria. So any reprieve to ISIS granted by America's abrupt withdrawal may be temporary.
But a larger and more critical point is that the challenge facing Russia and its client regime in Syria -- not just consolidating control of Syria but rebuilding a devastated country -- leaves Russia with no interest in the further destabilization of the Middle East. Which is good, because it's hard to imagine the Middle East getting much more unstable -- especially along the fault line between Iran and Syria on the one hand and Israel and Saudi Arabia on the other -- without another disastrous war breaking out.
Russia has already shown signs of being able to play a constructive role here -- a fact that, oddly, has been emphasized even by some who buy the "gift to Putin" thesis. Hal Brands of the American Enterprise Institute -- in a Bloomberg Opinion essay titled, "Putin Conquered the Middle East. The U.S. Can Get It Back" -- notes that "Putin has shown diplomatic flexibility, keeping the lines open to nearly all players throughout the region."
Brands laments "the collapse of America's position in the region and Moscow's ascendance as the key power broker in the Syrian civil war." He goes on: "Moscow, in partnership with Iran and its proxies, has made itself the centerpiece of the diplomacy and regional power struggles surrounding that conflict. To what other capital would both Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel and Qassem Soleimani, the commander of Iran's Quds Force, trek to discuss Middle Eastern security?"
Not Washington, certainly -- and that's the point! It isn't just that Russia shares America's interest in a stable Middle East. It's that Russia, unlike America, is in a position to do something about it. Yet Brands is so busy recoiling at Russia's regional rise that he doesn't welcome, or perhaps even quite recognize, its potential benefits -- even as he comes tantalizingly close to spelling them out.
Brands's disposition is shared by many in the American foreign policy establishment. They combine an awareness that America hasn't translated its regional power into productive diplomacy with a deep aversion to any waning of that power. This isn't as ironic as it may sound. Many, perhaps most, of them see America's diplomatic impotence as a product of the Trump era. They want to preserve American influence so that, once Trump is gone, it can again be used wisely.
Hope is a wonderful thing, but in this case you have to wonder what its historical basis is. When exactly in recent American history could you have gotten an Iranian leader, and not just an Israeli leader, to trek to Washington? Would that be, say, right after George W. Bush declared Iran part of the "axis of evil"? Even Barack Obama, more intent on improving relations with Iran than any recent president, never got all the way to rapprochement.
To read the rest of this piece, go to Politico Magazine . [ Back story: A Politico editor who read the piece in last week's NZN that noted the shared Russian-US interest in subduing ISIS asked me if I wanted to do a piece on other non-zero-sum aspects of Russia's growing influence in the Middle East -- in other words, a piece that would rebut the "gift to Putin" argument more broadly. This piece, published in Politico Magazine a few hours before this week's newsletter came out, is the result.]

[Oct 28, 2019] My Speech on the Deep State Plot by Larry C Johnson

Regardless of what do you think about Donald Trump, what intelligence community did was a plain vanilla coup d'état approved by Obama and coordinated by run by Brennan faction in CIA. With active participation of factions of FBI (Counterintelligence department), Department of Justice (several highly placed officials) and State Department (which is a real neocon vipers nest so the majority of high level officials, especially connected with the Ukrainian color revolution participated) eagerly participated in the coup.
They left too many fingerprints in this and now Barr hopefully will brings some individuals to justice for this coup.
Notable quotes:
"... I was fortunate to participate in a forum in August sponsored by the Ron Paul Institute. Here is my presentation on the attempted coup by US Law Enforcement and the Intelligence Community. ..."
Oct 28, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

I was fortunate to participate in a forum in August sponsored by the Ron Paul Institute. Here is my presentation on the attempted coup by US Law Enforcement and the Intelligence Community.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/GgRJ6UuPWM0

Posted at 12:00 PM in Larry Johnson , Russiagate | Permalink

Turcopolier , 28 October 2019 at 01:00 PM

All

I was invited to this meeting and regret now that I did not attend.

[Oct 28, 2019] Frothing Hysterics The Fumes Of Fanaticism by James Howard Kunstler

Notable quotes:
"... You'd think that the failure of Mr. Mueller's extravaganza might have chastened them just a little - a $32 million-dollar effort starring the most vicious partisan lawyers inside-the-Beltway, 2,800 subpoenas issued over two years, 500 search warrants exercised, and finally nothing whatever to pin on Mr. Trump - except the contra-legal assertion that now he must prove his innocence. ..."
"... General Michael Flynn , for ditto? You may have noticed that General Flynn's case is shaping up to be the biggest instance of prosecutorial misconduct since the Dreyfus affair (France, 1894-1906, which badly-educated Americans most certainly know nothing about). ..."
"... Last week he put out a narrative that US Chargé d'Affaires to Ukraine Bill Taylor fired a gun-that-smoked fer sure in testimony. Except, of course, as per Mr. Schiff's usual practice, he refused to issue any actual transcript of the interview in evidence, while there are plenty of indications that Mr. Taylor's second-hand gossip was roundly refuted under counter-questioning by the non-Jacobin minority members of the House intel Committee. ..."
"... Mr. Schiff's pattern lo these many months of strife has been to claim ultimate proof of wrongdoing only to have it blow up in his face. It's a face that many Americans are sick of seeing and hearing from, and I am serenely confident that before this colossal scandal is resolved, the Congressman from Hollywood will be fatally disgraced, as was his role-model, Senator Joseph McCarthy, before him. ..."
Oct 28, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by James Howard Kunstler via Kunstler.com,

Judging by the volume of intemperate emails and angry social media blasts that come my way, the party of impeachment seems to be inhaling way too much gas from the smoking guns it keeps finding in the various star chambers of its inquisition against you-know-who. You'd think that the failure of Mr. Mueller's extravaganza might have chastened them just a little - a $32 million-dollar effort starring the most vicious partisan lawyers inside-the-Beltway, 2,800 subpoenas issued over two years, 500 search warrants exercised, and finally nothing whatever to pin on Mr. Trump - except the contra-legal assertion that now he must prove his innocence.

When you state just that, these frothing hysterics reply that many background figures - if not the Golden Golem of Greatness himself - were indicted and convicted of crimes by Mr. Mueller's crew. Oh yes!

To set the record straight I'm forced to repeat something that these New Age Jacobins seem unable to process: you don't have to be a Trump cheerleader to be revolted by the behavior of his antagonists, which is a stunning spectacle of bad faith, dishonesty, incompetence, and malice -- and is surely way more toxic to the American project than anything the president has done . Every time I entertain the complaints of these angry auditors, I'm forced to remind myself that these are the same people who think that "inclusion" means shutting down free speech, who believe that the US should not have borders, who promote transsexual reading hours in the grammar schools, and who fiercely desire to start a war with Russia.

That's not a polity I want to be associated with and until it screws its head back on, I will remain the enemy of it. In fact, in early November I'm traveling to New York City, where the Jacobin city council has just made it a crime to utter the phrase illegal alien in a public place, with a $250,000 penalty attached. I challenge their agents to meet me in Penn Station and arrest me when I go to the information kiosk and inquire if they know what is the best place in midtown Manhattan to meet illegal aliens.

The volume of Jacobin hysteria ratcheted up to "11" late last week when the news broke that the Attorney General's study of RussiaGate's origins was upgraded to a criminal investigation, and that a voluminous report from the DOJ Inspector General is also about to be released. What do you suppose they're worried about? Naturally the Jacobins' bulletin board, a.k.a The New York Times , fired a salvo denouncing William Barr -- so expect his reputation to be the next battle zone for these ever more desperate fanatics. Talk of preemptively impeaching him is already crackling through the Twitter channels. That will be an excellent sideshow.

Meanwhile, how is Rep, Adam Schiff's secret proceeding going?

Last week he put out a narrative that US Chargé d'Affaires to Ukraine Bill Taylor fired a gun-that-smoked fer sure in testimony. Except, of course, as per Mr. Schiff's usual practice, he refused to issue any actual transcript of the interview in evidence, while there are plenty of indications that Mr. Taylor's second-hand gossip was roundly refuted under counter-questioning by the non-Jacobin minority members of the House intel Committee.

Mr. Schiff's pattern lo these many months of strife has been to claim ultimate proof of wrongdoing only to have it blow up in his face. It's a face that many Americans are sick of seeing and hearing from, and I am serenely confident that before this colossal scandal is resolved, the Congressman from Hollywood will be fatally disgraced, as was his role-model, Senator Joseph McCarthy, before him.

[Oct 28, 2019] Putin Derangement Syndrome Craziester And More Craziester

Notable quotes:
"... Libs and neocons are too stupid to see the Russia situation with any clarity. They think it's still 1951 and they're battling the commies hither and yon. ..."
"... Oh, and Putin is still here. Despite the sanctions and despite the Soros funded color revolution against him. Don't get me wrong, I don't trust him much (neither do I trust any politician in the world) but he is the result of the US policy of the 90s to push Russia further into the ground. ..."
"... That color revolution might get stepped up a bit now since Rosneft decided to trade oil and gas only in Euro. ..."
"... US diplomacy and foreign policy has become amateur hour and who can steal the most the fastest, real fuckups. ..."
"... I just watched CNN's 1-hour prime-time special on "Russian spying" on State Department in 1999 (which was, like, 20 years ago. I guess the Russians also colluded in the 2000 presidential elections with the aim of electing George W. Bush) I kid you not. These guys are about as subtle as a gigantic iron mace. ..."
"... Fortunately this is not 1938 ! Now its easy for people to look behind the curtain using the internet and see this is all BS . It only takes one voiciferous truth teller , to get all the 'believing' sheeple to also have a look behind the curtain . I suspect this hysteria is designed to keep Gov slaves in line : toe the line or get the boot . ..."
"... Is it just coincidental, the Deep State and minion (dupe) based "Resistance" from day one of (actually before) Trumps inauguration - which more recently looks distinctly like a coup attempt? ..."
Oct 28, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

10/27/2019

Authored by Patrick Armstrong via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

... Somebody leaked e-mails from the DNC showing that it was rigging the nomination for Clinton and she lost a 99% certain election. Immediately, her campaign settled on blaming Russia for both.

That strategy had been set within twenty-four hours of her concession speech. [9 November 2016] Mook and Podesta assembled her communications team at the Brooklyn headquarters to engineer the case that the election wasn't entirely on the up-and-up. For a couple of hours, with Shake Shack containers littering the room, they went over the script they would pitch to the press and the public. Already, Russian hacking was the centerpiece of the argument. (From Shattered , quoted here .)

The bogus – bogus because most of the people on his team were part of the conspiracy and knew there was no collusion – Mueller investigation dragged on until – despite the endless " bombshells " – it finally stopped. But the crazies insist not guilty but not exonerated ! And Trumputin's principal conspiracist rants on .

Wikipedia tells us that " A conspiracy theory is an explanation of an event or situation that invokes a conspiracy by sinister and powerful actors, often political in motivation, when other explanations are more probable. " The CIA, referring to the Kennedy assassination, is said to have coined the expression in 1967 . The "trusted source" media (an description it likes to award itself) is dead set against "conspiracy theories" and quick to denounce them as crazy , prejudiced and criminal . For example, Trump's statement that Mueller was a hitman, is a "conspiracy theory" as are Trump's ideas about the Bidens and Ukraine .

Everything I mention below comes from "trusted sources". Therefore we must assume that all of them – Putin wants Trump to buy Greenland, Russians want to get Americans arguing about pizza, Russians have no moral sense and all the rest – are not "conspiracy theories" but honestly "more probable".

Mere evidence – for example that the DOJ Admits FBI Never Saw Crowdstrike Report on DNC Russian Hacking Claim or No Evidence – Blame Russia: Top 5 Cases Moscow Was Unreasonably Accused of Election Meddling or U.S. States: We Weren't Hacked by Russians in 2016 or The Myth of Russian Media Influence by Larry C Johnson .. or Biden admitting to doing what USA Today insists is nothing but a conspiracy theory invented by Trump – makes no difference . The dial is turned up one more and we are solemnly and (incoherently – Paul Robinson again ) warned that Russia might/could meddle in Canada's forthcoming election.

Anti-Russia prejudice can have unhappy consequences. We have just learned that Putin phoned Bush a couple of days before 911 to warn him that something long-prepared and big was coming out of Afghanistan. Other Russian warnings had been dismissed by Condoleezza Rice – supposedly a Russia "expert" – as "Russian bitterness toward Pakistan for supporting the Afghan mujahideen". One is reminded of Chamberlain's dismissal of Stalin's attempts to form an anti-Hitler alliance because of his "most profound distrust of Russia" ( see Habakkuk comment ). In some alternate universe they listened to Moscow in the 1930s and in the 2000s, but, in the one we live in, they didn't. And they don't.

Or maybe (foolish optimism!) this is starting to end: after all, it's been a complete failure. I especially enjoyed the NYT, that bastion of the Russian-conspiracy/Putin-superpowers/Trump-treason meme, solemnly opining : "That means President Trump is correct to try to establish a sounder relationship with Russia and peel it away from China. But his approach has been ham-handed and at times even counter to American interests and values." Ham-handed! – here's the NYT's view of the Trump-Putin " love affair " again if you missed it the first time. And now it's Trump's fault that relations with Russia aren't better! French President Macron has recently said that " I believe we should rebuild and revise the architecture of trust between Russia and the European Union ." And Trump rather brutally delivered the message to Ukraine's new president that he ought to talk to Putin .

Well, we'll see. Russophobia runs deep and the Russians have probably got the message. As long as we're stuck in a mindset of " Nine Things Russia Must Do Before Being Allowed to Rejoin the G7 " it's not going to change. An arrogant invitation is not an invitation.


Jazzman , 46 minutes ago link

The ossified club of the imperialist G7 has served its time and the times they are a changin'. Without China as the 2nd (and soon) largest economy, nothing goes in this world and ever since 2014 Russia was forced to look to the East for not bowing down to the imperial US and its minions in the G7, ousted from the G8.

Thus only the broader spectrum of the G20 makes any sense in the context of the world economy.

Footprint , 1 hour ago link

Paperclips carried the last message from the Wolf's lair: "The western world must unite against the slavic hordes".

.

They are still peddling the same mantra. Kind of sad, really. The world is going through a phase change. All the symptoms are there:

Global cooling; Failing crops; African Swine Fever; huge asymmetric response from the world population over energy price increases... Other signs are more subtle but the dying culture of the shopping mall must be noted; Amazon; Alexa.

The US is following the lead of the ghosts of WWII to its own detriment. Brzezinsky's Grand Chessboard is no more, all its objectives have been defeated. The "World order" nightmare is fading away fast.

Baron Samedi , 2 hours ago link

One has to be amazed that these desperate MSM & political idiots get so much mileage out of this dead horse. Worse yet is that anyone - catching the first whiff of a Russiadiddit narrative - doesn't reflexively just pass on and ignore it.

presterjohn1198 , 2 hours ago link

Libs and neocons are too stupid to see the Russia situation with any clarity. They think it's still 1951 and they're battling the commies hither and yon.

What those two aforementioned groups of dumb asses represent is mr global in their corner and, in the other corner, national culture and sovereignty.

Joe A , 2 hours ago link

Back then, I remember you saying (I remember because I have a brain the size of a planet) that Putin was finished and that you would be out of here. You indeed disappeared for a while to come back some time ago. Back then, your postings were more elaborate and eloquent. Now, not so much. Makes me wonder what happened to you in the meanwhile...

Oh, and Putin is still here. Despite the sanctions and despite the Soros funded color revolution against him. Don't get me wrong, I don't trust him much (neither do I trust any politician in the world) but he is the result of the US policy of the 90s to push Russia further into the ground.

That color revolution might get stepped up a bit now since Rosneft decided to trade oil and gas only in Euro.

jeff montanye , 7 minutes ago link

imo the operative date is 2001 not 2014. and all the yinon wars that followed (including ukraine).

francis scott falseflag , 3 hours ago link

A Brief Compendium of Nonsense About Putin\

Excellent piece.

BTW, do you remember that the US bombed the ISIS tanker trucks before Putin did on November 19, 2015? In a campaign called Tidal Wave II?

https://impeachobamatoday.blogspot.com/2015/11/us-finally-takes-trumps-suggestion-to.html

https://www.bing.com/search?q=us+bombs+isis+tanker+trucks+nov15%2C+16+2015&PC=U316&FORM=CHROMN

According to Google and Michael R. Gordon of the NYT, there was a bombing of 116 ISIS tanker trucks on Monday November 16, 2015, three days before the Russian attack. And then again on Monday November 23, 2015, four days after the Russian bombing, when the US destroyed 295 ISIS tankers.

I remember nothing about "Tidal Wave II", and the US attack 3 days before the renown Russian attack. But hey, I'm an oldtimer and my memory is dim. Do you? Or is this an example of the Pentagon's 'Memory Hole' and Winston Smith's day job?

francis scott falseflag , 2 hours ago link

Why don't you STFU? Like there are more honest politicians in the leadership of the House, Senate or in the Oval office?

How the **** did George W Bush get to be the owner a baseball team? His father.

And how did your pal Hunter Biden get $50,000 a month in Ukraine after the Maidan Coup? His father.

If you don't know what you're saying, SHUT THE **** UP.

heretickle , 53 minutes ago link

(1) after all Geroge Herbert Walker Bush was a corrupt crook who stole the money from the AMERICAN people, just to enrich his family and lackeys, and is nothing but a blatant tyrant, who will not allow any real democratic election, nor any sort of real democratic political opposition.

(2) after all William Jefferson Clinton is a corrupt crook who stole the money from the AMERICAN people, just to enrich his family and lackeys, and is nothing but a blatant tyrant, who will not allow any real democratic election, nor any sort of real democratic political opposition.

(3) after all George W Bush is a corrupt crook who stole the money from the AMERICAN people, just to enrich his family and lackeys, and is nothing but a blatant tyrant, who will not allow any real democratic election, nor any sort of real democratic political opposition.

(4) after all **** Cheney is a corrupt crook who stole the money from the AMERICAN people, just to enrich his family and lackeys, and is nothing but a blatant tyrant, who will not allow any real democratic election, nor any sort of real democratic political opposition.

(5) after all Barak Hussein Obama is a corrupt crook who stole the money from the AMERICAN people, just to enrich his family and lackeys, and is nothing but a blatant tyrant, who will not allow any real democratic election, nor any sort of real democratic political opposition.

(6) after all Joe Biden is a corrupt crook who stole the money from the AMERICAN people, just to enrich his family and lackeys, and is nothing but a blatant tyrant, who will not allow any real democratic election, nor any sort of real democratic political opposition.

(7) after all Hillary Clinton is a corrupt crook who stole the money from the AMERICAN people, just to enrich his family and lackeys, and is nothing but a blatant tyrant, who will not allow any real democratic election, nor any sort of real democratic political opposition.

(8) after all Victoria Nuland is a corrupt crook who stole the money from the AMERICAN people, just to enrich his family and lackeys, and is nothing but a blatant tyrant, who will not allow any real democratic election, nor any sort of real democratic political opposition.

We could go on for days

jeff montanye , 1 minute ago link

upvote for including chameleon victoria nuland. she works for democrats, republicans, the private sector. she's likud mossad 24/7.

dogfish , 1 hour ago link

If anybody cares to notice look who Trump attended that game with, all of his war monger friends.

Hadenough1000 , 3 hours ago link

Read in their own words as the DNC went insane election night -- - Read the new book for sale on amazon the night 'Trump Derangement Syndrome' began the democrats are insane with LOSER hate

the whole russia deal was a con

their deranged hate for our President is why we must remove them all from office

rtb61 , 3 hours ago link

I like Putin as the alien love child reincarnation of Rasputin, see, it is all in the name ;DDD.

The more US and EU media attacked Putin in that PR=B$ way, the more popular Putin became.

Here's an attack. Putin is doing deals with Saudi Arabia, this after Saudi Arabia funded terrorism in Chechnya killing thousands of Russians, I mean it is really bad, the optics would be quite damaging, in fact I challenged them on it via Vesti and was immediately censored, no bad language just pointing out reality.

The funny thing is, the US B$=PR machine can not use it because it would mean attacking Saudi Arabia. So there they have a great opportunity to really stick it to Putin, taking Saudi Arabia money after Saudi Arabia funded the murder of thousands of Russians, really bad political optics (to be clear my beef is with Saudi Arabia and their murdering Australians with the terrorist funding the House of Saud did all over the globe and not with the Russian government, apart from them letting the House of Saud get away with it, just like the slimey American government).

Passed it onto Voice of America, to stick it to Vesti with a damned if you do and damned if you don't message and as you can guess, silence from the US government, bwa hah hah. Their chance to attack and silence because they would also have to attack the House of Saud.

Now the reason Russia media was uptight and hence the government, well, after all the US **** ups all over the place, they stand to gain diplomatic alliances with Iran, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela and then add in Russian Oil and well, the US just clumsily and stupidly handed over control of oil to Russia, if they can tie up the deal with Saudi Arabia and so US sent more troops to Saudi Arabia during the negotiation process, what a pack of clowns.

Oil is yesterdays tech, nuclear energy is where the focus should be and there are much better designs available including a low output reactor, quite a smart design, it is all changing and the US really has to push nuclear, abandon oil and make deals with Australia and Japan, one for uranium and the other for manufacturing including rebuilding US manufacturing.

US diplomacy and foreign policy has become amateur hour and who can steal the most the fastest, real fuckups.

Justin Case , 3 hours ago link

One only needs to review the JFK, Saddam, Milosevic, Augusto Pinochet, Mark David Chapman and Manuel Noriega stories as examples.

Justin Case , 3 hours ago link

I think the label first became widely used to slander people who questioned the details surrounding the JFK assassination, and forty years later, there aren't too many thinking people who still believe the Warren Commission's "lone gunman" explanation. That explanation is doubted by everyone who has taken the time to look into the details, and believed only by people who refuse to.

Which is "theory" and which is fact? In the absence of a full confession, this can only be decided by a preponderance of evidence, and it would be silly to come to a conclusion on any matter without looking at all the evidence available. This is only common sense, just as it is safe to assume some degree of guilt or complicity on the part of anyone who lies about an event, or tries to hide, plant, or destroy any type of evidence.

Conspiracy theories arise from evidence. After the government releases an explanation of a particular event, a conspiracy theory is only born because evidence exists to disprove their explanation, or at least call it into question. There's nothing insane about it, unless you define sanity as believing whatever the government tells you. In light of the fact that our government lies to us regularly, I would define believing everything they tell you as utter stupidity.

The orthodox, for their part, dismiss the unorthodox as conspiracy theorists (by which term they mean: people whose opinions are based in something other than objective reality – if it were objectively real, the sources which provide the orthodox with their opinions would have told them about it).

In July of 1996, flight 800 exploded over Long Island. Shortly after their terrorist explanation failed scrutiny, our government then explained the event by claiming that a faulty electrical system caused a spark that ignited a fuel tank, and the people who doubted this explanation were quickly labeled "conspiracy theorists." More than a hundred witnesses saw a missile travel from the ground up to the plane just prior to its explosion, but rather than being treated as eyewitnesses to an event, they were labeled "conspiracy theorists," which label allowed all subsequent investigation to ignore the strongest evidence in the matter.

Our "investigative" news agencies decided to accept and disseminate the official story, and they helped us forget the U.S. naval station nearby, the fact that missiles were regularly test fired there, and naturally, they paid no heed to more than a hundred "conspiracy theorists" who saw the plane get blown out of the sky by a missile. I believe that the U.S. Navy accidentally shot down flight 800, and that's my belief because it's the most sensible explanation that can be drawn from the available evidence. I'm not theorizing about conspiracies, but there are conflicting explanations of the event, and if the Navy did accidentally blow a passenger plane out of the sky, who would have a motive to lie about it? The U.S. government, or a hundred witnesses?

phillyla , 3 hours ago link

The one thing that always puzzled me about flight 800 was why a gas tank explosion lead to no more waiting in your cars outside the terminals and additional gate security?

"Responding to repeated criticisms of the security at Kennedy International Airport after the crash of Trans World Airlines Flight 800, Port Authority officials announced a series of changes yesterday intended to make it more difficult for anyone to plant a bomb on a plane."

But it was the jet fuel fumes from sitting on the hot tarmac and a frayed wire. So how in the world did someone think about the B word?

fireant , 3 hours ago link

Putin is a breath of fresh air compared to the insane American left

Hadenough1000 , 3 hours ago link

All day long the left knows we should be friends with Russia INSTEAD of CHINA. Thats what the killers don't want

DEDA CVETKO , 4 hours ago link

I just watched CNN's 1-hour prime-time special on "Russian spying" on State Department in 1999 (which was, like, 20 years ago. I guess the Russians also colluded in the 2000 presidential elections with the aim of electing George W. Bush) I kid you not. These guys are about as subtle as a gigantic iron mace.

I practically had to be hospitalized for acute lobotomy. An hour later, I still feel like 3/4s of my brain were surgically sucked out by Jeff Zucker. Will have to have me some Russian sex soon to regain some of my missing IQ.

heretickle , 4 hours ago link

..........Wikipedia tells us that " A conspiracy theory is an explanation of an event or situation that invokes a conspiracy by sinister and powerful actors, often political in motivation, when other explanations are more probable. " The CIA, referring to the Kennedy assassination, is said to have coined the expression in 1967 ............

Interesting.

Within the first few years after the Kennedy Assassination, the American people were collecting evidence and pointing fingers at the CIA, the Military Industrial Complex, the Mossad and Israel. The late Michael Collins Piper provides all the evidence necessary in his book FINAL JUDGEMENT to realize that Israel had Kennedy killed.

1967 is the same year Israel murdered 34 US Servicemen and injured over 200 others during its cowardly attack on the USS Liberty.

In the mid-sixties, the world was first introduced in full baloney mode to the Holocaust.

Intersting coincidence.

Maybe the deep state (Central Banks and Israel) desparately needed a BAIT and SWITCH to hide their tracks.

Today, our kids must bow before the Holocaust g_d and yet few realize that JFK wanted to eliminate Israel's nuclear weapons and was instead sacrificed for GREATER ISRAEL

Hadenough1000 , 3 hours ago link

The same bastard HO. LBJ killed JFK like he killed 60,000 of my fellow Vietnam soldiers

youshallnotkill , 4 hours ago link

For Bibi, being against him, equates to Antisemitism, for Trump being critical of him is Anti-American, for ZH being opposed to Putin is a Anti-Russian.

Anti-Russia prejudice can have unhappy consequences.

Let't nobody tell you that ZH didn't warn you!

DelusionsCrowded , 4 hours ago link

Fortunately this is not 1938 ! Now its easy for people to look behind the curtain using the internet and see this is all BS . It only takes one voiciferous truth teller , to get all the 'believing' sheeple to also have a look behind the curtain . I suspect this hysteria is designed to keep Gov slaves in line : toe the line or get the boot .

TrustbutVerify , 4 hours ago link

So, is the anti-Russia/anti-Putin a head fake? By looking to be oh-so over the top freaked out about anything Russian, and taking on the mantle of looking freaked out (though in actuality are not), Democrats are perhaps intentionally making him look less harmful and dangerous by comparison.

After all, the Russian communist form of government, a dictatorship run by a small percentage of elites, is exactly the road down which Democrats want to take the U.S. Similar comparisons of this fashion can be made with the Chinese communist government, too.

The Democratic primary was obviously rigged. Democrats thought, with insider help from the FBI, CIA, IRS and others, that the actual election was rigged, too.

Is it just coincidental, the Deep State and minion (dupe) based "Resistance" from day one of (actually before) Trumps inauguration - which more recently looks distinctly like a coup attempt? With, of course, the vast majority of news outlets (virtually all Left leaning) in the US pushing and covering the obvious subversion. Hence, the astoundingly intense looks of deep shock on TV when it was realized an "outsider," Trump, would win?

[Oct 28, 2019] Expert Panel Finds Gaping Plot-Holes In OPCW Report On Alleged Syrian Chemical Attack by Caitlin Johnstone

Highly recommended!
This implicates State Department in the attempt to run a false flag operation. If we add that the State Department is the key organization behind for color revolution against Trump that picture becomes even more disturbing. This is really a neocon vipers nest.
Notable quotes:
"... This was because the public had already been shown that highly suspicious chemical attacks tended to happen when the Trump administration begins pushing for a reversal of standing US Syria policy, as I noted in April 2017 immediately following the alleged attack in Khan Shaykhun. ..."
"... "I was able to predict Douma in 2018 because it happened already almost exactly 1 year prior, at Khan Shaykhun, April 4, 2017," Cox told me on Twitter earlier today. ..."
"... And, like clockwork, on April 7 2018 dozens of civilians in Douma were killed in an incident which was quickly reported as a Syrian government chemical attack by all the usual establishment narrative managers on Syria , with everyone from the White Helmets to Charles Lister to Eliot Higgins to Julian Röpcke loudly flagging it on social media to draw the attention of mainstream news outlets who were slower to pick up the story. ..."
"... Long before any investigation into this suspicious incident could even be begun, much less completed, the US State Department declared it to have been a chemical weapons attack perpetrated by the Syrian government, saying "the Assad regime must be held accountable", and that Russia "ultimately bears responsibility" for the attack. Which was of course mighty convenient for US geostrategic interests. ..."
"... On the 14th of April 2018, the US, UK and France launched an airstrike on the Syrian government as punishment for using chemical weapons, citing secret "intelligence" which the US government claimed gave them "very high confidence that Syria was responsible." The public has to this day never been permitted to see this intelligence. This all happened before any formal international investigation could take place. ..."
"... The OPCW conducted their investigation, and in July 2018 published an interim report saying that "no organophosphorus nerve agents or their degradation products were detected, either in the environmental samples or in plasma samples from the alleged casualties." This ruled out sarin gas, invalidating earlier reports by Syria war pundits like Charles Lister who claimed that sarin had been used, but it didn't rule out chlorine gas. In March of this year the OPCW issued its final report saying forensics were consistent with chlorine gas use and advancing a ballistics report which strongly implicated the Assad government by implying it was an aerial drop (Syrian opposition militias have no air force). The official Twitter account for the UK Delegation to the OPCW tweeted at the time that the report "confirms chemical weapons used, demonstrating the vital importance of OPCW's work. This confirmed chlorine attack was only the latest example of Asad regime's CW attacks on its own population." ..."
"... In May of this year, a leaked internal document from the OPCW investigation was published by the Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media which completely contradicts the findings of the official report published in March. The leaked Engineering Assessment said that "observations at the scene of the two locations, together with subsequent analysis, suggest there is a higher probability both cylinders were manually placed at those two locations rather than being delivered from aircraft," which would implicate the forces on the ground in the incident rather than the Assad government. ..."
"... The OPCW indirectly confirmed the document's authenticity by telling the press that its release had been "unauthorised". Climate Audit's Stephen McIntyre published an excellent thread breaking down how the document invalidates the OPCW's claims which you can read by clicking here . Establishment narrative managers had a very difficult time spinning the fact that the OPCW had taken it upon itself to hide findings from the public which dissented from its official report on an incident which preceded an international act of war upon a sovereign nation, and all the implications that necessarily has for the legitimacy of the organization's other work. ..."
"... "Based on the whistleblower's extensive presentation, including internal emails, text exchanges and suppressed draft reports, we are unanimous in expressing our alarm over unacceptable practices in the investigation of the alleged chemical attack in Douma, near the Syrian capital of Damascus on 7 April 2018. We became convinced by the testimony that key information about chemical analyses, toxicology consultations, ballistics studies, and witness testimonies was suppressed, ostensibly to favor a preordained conclusion ." ..."
"... "The convincing evidence of irregular behaviour in the OPCW investigation of the alleged Douma chemical attack confirms doubts and suspicions I already had. I could make no sense of what I was reading in the international press. Even official reports of investigations seemed incoherent at best. The picture is certainly clearer now, although very disturbing. " ..."
"... "The interpretation of the environmental analysis results is equally questionable. Many, if not all, of the so-called 'smoking gun' chlorinated organic chemicals claimed to be not naturally present in the environment' (para 2.6) are in fact ubiquitous in the background, either naturally or anthropogenically (wood preservatives, chlorinated water supplies etc). The report, in fact, acknowledges this in Annex 4 para 7, even stating the importance of gathering control samples to measure the background for such chlorinated organic derivatives. Yet, no analysis results for these same control samples (Annex 5), which inspectors on the ground would have gone to great lengths to gather, were reported." ..."
"... "One alternative ascribing the origin of the crater to an explosive device was considered briefly but, despite an almost identical crater (understood to have resulted from a mortar penetrating the roof) being observed on an adjacent rooftop, was dismissed because of ' the absence of primary and secondary fragmentation characteristics'. In contrast, explosive fragmentation characteristics were noted in the leaked study ." ..."
"... "Contrary to what has been publicly stated by the Director General of the OPCW it was evident to the panel that many of the inspectors in the Douma investigation were not involved or consulted in the post-deployment phase or had any contribution to, or knowledge of the content of the final report until it was made public . The panel is particularly troubled by organisational efforts to obfuscate and prevent inspectors from raising legitimate concerns about possible malpractices surrounding the Douma investigation." ..."
Oct 28, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Caitlin Johnstone via Medium.com,

The Courage Foundation , an international protection and advocacy group for whistleblowers, has published the findings of a panel it convened last week on the extremely suspicious behavior of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in its investigation of an alleged chemical attack in Douma, Syria last year. After hearing an extensive presentation from a member of the OPCW's Douma investigation team, the panel's members (including a world-renowned former OPCW Director General) report that they are "unanimous in expressing our alarm over unacceptable practices in the investigation of the alleged chemical attack in Douma, near the Syrian capital of Damascus on 7 April 2018."

I'll get to the panel and its findings in a moment, but first I should provide some historical background so that readers who aren't intimately familiar with this ongoing scandal can fully appreciate the significance of this new development.

In late March of last year, President Trump publicly stated that the US military would soon be withdrawing troops from Syria, causing some with an ear to the ground like independent US congressional candidate Steve Cox to predict that there would shortly be a false flag chemical weapons attack in that nation. This was because the public had already been shown that highly suspicious chemical attacks tended to happen when the Trump administration begins pushing for a reversal of standing US Syria policy, as I noted in April 2017 immediately following the alleged attack in Khan Shaykhun.

"I was able to predict Douma in 2018 because it happened already almost exactly 1 year prior, at Khan Shaykhun, April 4, 2017," Cox told me on Twitter earlier today.

"Khan Shaykhun also occurred within days of the Trump Admin saying we're leaving Syria."

And, like clockwork, on April 7 2018 dozens of civilians in Douma were killed in an incident which was quickly reported as a Syrian government chemical attack by all the usual establishment narrative managers on Syria , with everyone from the White Helmets to Charles Lister to Eliot Higgins to Julian Röpcke loudly flagging it on social media to draw the attention of mainstream news outlets who were slower to pick up the story.

There was immediate skepticism, partly because acclaimed journalists like Sy Hersh have been highlighting plot holes in the official story about chemical weapons in Syria since 2013, partly because Assad would stand nothing to gain and everything to lose by using a banned yet highly ineffective weapon in a battle he'd already essentially won in that region, and partly because the people controlling things on the ground in Douma were the Al Qaeda-linked extremist group Jaysh-al Islam and the incredibly shady narrative management operation known as the White Helmets. Those groups, unlike the Assad government, most certainly would stand everything to gain by staging a chemical attack in the desperate hope that it would draw NATO powers into attacking the Syrian government and perhaps saving their necks.

Long before any investigation into this suspicious incident could even be begun, much less completed, the US State Department declared it to have been a chemical weapons attack perpetrated by the Syrian government, saying "the Assad regime must be held accountable", and that Russia "ultimately bears responsibility" for the attack. Which was of course mighty convenient for US geostrategic interests.

On the 14th of April 2018, the US, UK and France launched an airstrike on the Syrian government as punishment for using chemical weapons, citing secret "intelligence" which the US government claimed gave them "very high confidence that Syria was responsible." The public has to this day never been permitted to see this intelligence. This all happened before any formal international investigation could take place.

The OPCW conducted their investigation, and in July 2018 published an interim report saying that "no organophosphorus nerve agents or their degradation products were detected, either in the environmental samples or in plasma samples from the alleged casualties." This ruled out sarin gas, invalidating earlier reports by Syria war pundits like Charles Lister who claimed that sarin had been used, but it didn't rule out chlorine gas. In March of this year the OPCW issued its final report saying forensics were consistent with chlorine gas use and advancing a ballistics report which strongly implicated the Assad government by implying it was an aerial drop (Syrian opposition militias have no air force). The official Twitter account for the UK Delegation to the OPCW tweeted at the time that the report "confirms chemical weapons used, demonstrating the vital importance of OPCW's work. This confirmed chlorine attack was only the latest example of Asad regime's CW attacks on its own population."

In May of this year, a leaked internal document from the OPCW investigation was published by the Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media which completely contradicts the findings of the official report published in March. The leaked Engineering Assessment said that "observations at the scene of the two locations, together with subsequent analysis, suggest there is a higher probability both cylinders were manually placed at those two locations rather than being delivered from aircraft," which would implicate the forces on the ground in the incident rather than the Assad government.

The OPCW indirectly confirmed the document's authenticity by telling the press that its release had been "unauthorised". Climate Audit's Stephen McIntyre published an excellent thread breaking down how the document invalidates the OPCW's claims which you can read by clicking here . Establishment narrative managers had a very difficult time spinning the fact that the OPCW had taken it upon itself to hide findings from the public which dissented from its official report on an incident which preceded an international act of war upon a sovereign nation, and all the implications that necessarily has for the legitimacy of the organization's other work.

Throughout this time, critical thinkers like myself have been aggressively smeared as deranged conspiracy theorists, war crimes deniers and genocide deniers for expressing skepticism of the establishment-authorized narrative on Douma. Which takes us to today.

The Courage Foundation panel who met with the OPCW whistleblower consists of former OPCW Director General José Bustani (whose highly successful peacemongering once saw the lives of his children threatened by John Bolton during the lead-up to the Iraq invasion in an attempt to remove him from his position), WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Kristinn Hrafnsson , Professor of International Law Richard Falk , former British Army Major General John Holmes , Dr Helmut Lohrer of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, German professor Dr Guenter Meyer of the Centre for Research on the Arab World, and former Deputy National Intelligence Officer for the Near East Elizabeth Murray of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity.

So these are not scrubs. These are not "conspiracy theorists" or "Russian propagandists". These are highly qualified and reputable professionals expressing deep concerns in the opaque and manipulative way the OPCW appears to have conducted its investigation into the Douma incident. Some highlights from their joint statement and analytical points are quoted below, with my own emphasis added in bold:

"Based on the whistleblower's extensive presentation, including internal emails, text exchanges and suppressed draft reports, we are unanimous in expressing our alarm over unacceptable practices in the investigation of the alleged chemical attack in Douma, near the Syrian capital of Damascus on 7 April 2018. We became convinced by the testimony that key information about chemical analyses, toxicology consultations, ballistics studies, and witness testimonies was suppressed, ostensibly to favor a preordained conclusion ."

"The convincing evidence of irregular behaviour in the OPCW investigation of the alleged Douma chemical attack confirms doubts and suspicions I already had. I could make no sense of what I was reading in the international press. Even official reports of investigations seemed incoherent at best. The picture is certainly clearer now, although very disturbing. "
~ Bustani

"A critical analysis of the final report of the Douma investigation left the panel in little doubt that conclusions drawn from each of the key evidentiary pillars of the investigation (chemical analysis, toxicology, ballistics and witness testimonies,) are flawed and bear little relation to the facts. "

From the section on Chemical Analysis:

"The interpretation of the environmental analysis results is equally questionable. Many, if not all, of the so-called 'smoking gun' chlorinated organic chemicals claimed to be not naturally present in the environment' (para 2.6) are in fact ubiquitous in the background, either naturally or anthropogenically (wood preservatives, chlorinated water supplies etc). The report, in fact, acknowledges this in Annex 4 para 7, even stating the importance of gathering control samples to measure the background for such chlorinated organic derivatives. Yet, no analysis results for these same control samples (Annex 5), which inspectors on the ground would have gone to great lengths to gather, were reported."

"Although the report stresses the 'levels' of the chlorinated organic chemicals as a basis for its conclusions (para 2.6), it never mentions what those levels were -- high, low, trace, sub-trace? Without providing data on the levels of these so-called 'smoking-gun' chemicals either for background or test samples, it is impossible to know if they were not simply due to background presence . In this regard, the panel is disturbed to learn that quantitative results for the levels of 'smoking gun' chemicals in specific samples were available to the investigators but this decisive information was withheld from the report ."

"The final report also acknowledges that the tell-tale chemicals supposedly indicating chlorine use, can also be generated by contact of samples with sodium hypochlorite, the principal ingredient of household bleaching agent (para 8.15). This game-changing hypothesis is, however, dismissed (and as it transpires, incorrectly) by stating no bleaching was observed at the site of investigation. (' At both locations, there were no visible signs of a bleach agent or discoloration due to contact with a bleach agent' ). The panel has been informed that no such observation was recorded during the on-site inspection and in any case dismissing the hypothesis simply by claiming the non -observation of discoloration in an already dusty and scorched environment seems tenuous and unscientific ."

From the section on Toxicology:

"The toxicological studies also reveal inconsistencies, incoherence and possible scientific irregularities. Consultations with toxicologists are reported to have taken place in September and October 2018 (para 8.87 and Annex 3), but no mention is made of what those same experts opined or concluded. Whilst the final toxicological assessment of the authors states ' it is not possible to precisely link the cause of the signs and symptoms to a specific chemical ' (para 9.6) the report nonetheless concludes there were reasonable grounds to believe chlorine gas was the chemical (used as a weapon)."

"More worrying is the fact that the panel viewed documented evidence that showed other toxicologists had been consulted in June 2018 prior to the release of the interim report. Expert opinions on that occasion were that the signs and symptoms observed in videos and from witness accounts were not consistent with exposure to molecular chlorine or any reactive-chlorine-containing chemical. Why no mention of this critical assessment, which contradicts that implied in the final report, was made is unclear and of concern. "

From the section on Ballistic Studies:

"One alternative ascribing the origin of the crater to an explosive device was considered briefly but, despite an almost identical crater (understood to have resulted from a mortar penetrating the roof) being observed on an adjacent rooftop, was dismissed because of ' the absence of primary and secondary fragmentation characteristics'. In contrast, explosive fragmentation characteristics were noted in the leaked study ."

From the section titled "Exclusion of inspectors and attempts to obfuscate":

"Contrary to what has been publicly stated by the Director General of the OPCW it was evident to the panel that many of the inspectors in the Douma investigation were not involved or consulted in the post-deployment phase or had any contribution to, or knowledge of the content of the final report until it was made public . The panel is particularly troubled by organisational efforts to obfuscate and prevent inspectors from raising legitimate concerns about possible malpractices surrounding the Douma investigation."

I'll leave it there for now.

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[Oct 28, 2019] Larry Johnson says that James Clapper and John Brennan set up a CIA task force to prevent Trump from winning the 2016 election

Oct 28, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Bob In Portland , Oct 27 2019 18:22 utc | 49

Larry Johnson says that James Clapper and John Brennan set up a CIA task force to prevent Trump from winning the 2016 election. That is quite possible or even likely. There will be bureaucratic traces of it and some people will sing. Barr and Durham will find them. Where will it end? Well ...

Matt Taibbi @mtaibbi - 23:26 UTC · Oct 25, 2019
LOL. Barack Obama is going to love this interview his former DIA James Clapper just gave to CNN about the Durham probe: "It's frankly disconcerting to be investigated for having done... what we were told to do by the president of the United States."
Clapper: Trump administration is sending us this message
Don't expect AG Barr to come up with a real investigation of any CIA op against Trump. Barr worked for the CIA in the 70s while he was going to law school in Washington, DC. As Attorney General his first time around he protected the first Bush regime from the Iran-contra fallout. It was Robert Swan Mueller III, the very special prosecutor of Manuel Noriega, who managed to not notice the cocaine and weapons moved through Panama for Ollie North and friends. Or, for that matter, all the money-laundering the CIA was doing through Panamanian banks.

[Oct 28, 2019] Did Obama and Breanna organize a secret CIA task force to ensure Clinton won?

Oct 28, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

steven t johnson , Oct 27 2019 16:37 utc | 27

A secret CIA task force to ensure Clinton won? It would have started by telling the world that Clinton was the patriot who stood up and repeated what she was told to say by the CIA.

It could have continued by presenting a report that Clinton Ca$h was dingbat. And that the CIA found no evidence of email server practices being used by foreign agencies. And under the table it could have pressured Comey to keep his useless mouth shut and actually be competent enough to control his underlings' mouths too. If they had any real competence, they could have either planted stories (true!) in the foreign media about Trump's business career or exposed the ongoing Cambridge Analytica sleaze.

If they had any real competence, they knew the biggest asset Trump had was billions of dollars of free publicity that wasn't ever going to go to Bernie Sanders. It's not clear why they'd think a CIA task force would help that. Rich people not buying advertising from Trump megaphones was the solution there.

But of course the rich people are the #1 Trumpists, because Wall Street, the real swamp, is Trump's native habitat.

Lastly of course it is not at all clear why they think impeaching Trump is going to give them what they want, any more than it's clear how Trump isn't giving them enough of what they want.

It's not like he actually draining the "Swamp," even in the half-wits' definition of the "Swamp" as elected politicians who follow the law or the unnamed and unnameable conspirators of the Deep State.

Look, the dirt the Clinton campaign had was the Access Hollywood tape, and they used it. (Not officially of course.) And, supposing, for a deranged moment, that Seth Rich leaked the DNC emails to Julian Assange, why does Trump want to kill Jullian Assange?

The call for Bill Barr to rig up to rig up a fake conspiracy charge is contemptible. It shows you how people could have sincerely believed Moscow show trials.

Bob In Portland , Oct 27 2019 18:22 utc | 49

Don't expect AG Barr to come up with a real investigation of any CIA op against Trump. Barr worked for the CIA in the 70s while he was going to law school in Washington, DC. As Attorney General his first time around he protected the first Bush regime from the Iran-contra fallout. It was Robert Swan Mueller III, the very special prosecutor of Manuel Noriega, who managed to not notice the cocaine and weapons moved through Panama for Ollie North and friends. Or, for that matter, all the money-laundering the CIA was doing through Panamanian banks.

[Oct 28, 2019] DOJ Barr and Durham close in on Brennan, Clapper and Comey (Video)

Oct 28, 2019 | theduran.com

The Duran's Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the DOJ's Russiagate probe taking it up a notch, to now be turned into criminal investigation.

Deep State officials John Brennan, James Clapper and James Comey better lawyer up.

Remember to Please Subscribe to The Duran's YouTube Channel. Via Zerohedge

What began as an administrative review by the Justice Department into the origins of Russiagate has "shifted" to a criminal inquiry , according to the New York Times , citing two people familiar with the matter.

The move will allow prosecutor John H Durham the power to subpoena documents and witnesses, to impanel a grand jury, and to file criminal charges . Durham's progress has been closely monitored by Attorney General William Barr, who appointed the veteran investigator in May , tasking him with looking into FBI and CIA intelligence gathering operations surrounding the 2016 US election.

As the Daily Caller ' s Chuck Ross notes, Barr said on April 10 that he believed "spying" had taken place against the Trump campaign , and that he doesn't buy former FBI officials' version of how the collusion investigation began.

Little is known about Durham's activities so far in the investigation. The Times report said it is unclear when the investigation took on a criminal element, or what specific crime Durham is investigating.

Durham accompanied Barr to Italy late in September as part of an inquiry into U.S. intelligence agents' activities there during the 2016 campaign. They also inquired about Joseph Mifsud, a mysterious Maltese professor who established contact with Trump aide George Papadopoulos in 2016. – Daily Caller

Just over three weeks ago , the Times also reported that President Trump asked the Australian Prime Minister to help Barr uncover the origins of "Russiagate," a move which Justice Department officials said "would be neither illegal nor untoward for Trump to ask."

And according to NBC News , Durham has set his sights on former CIA Director John Brennan and former national intelligence director James Clapper .

Durham's investigation has been running parallel to a probe by Justice Department Inspector General (and registered Democrat) Michael Horowitz, who told Congress on Thursday that he expects his report to be "lengthy," but able to be made mostly available to the public.

The Durham probe is similar to a Justice Department inspector general's investigation into the FBI's surveillance of Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. Michael Horowitz, the inspector general, told Congress on Thursday that the report of that investigation is "lengthy" and that he anticipates most of it will be made public.

Horowitz has been investigating whether the FBI misled the foreign surveillance court in spy applications against Page. Investigators relied heavily on the Steele dossier in the applications, though information in that document was largely unverified. Unlike Durham, Horowitz has not had subpoena power, and cannot use a grand jury as part of his investigation. – Daily Caller

And of course, with Durham's administrative review turning into a criminal probe , the Times has already given away the predictable response from the left; Barr is investigating the Obama intelligence community to help Trump win in 2020. Nothing to see here folks, right?

[Oct 27, 2019] Frat Boy Thermopylae The American Conservative

Notable quotes:
"... The Democrats are the ones who are twisting the "protocols" regarding private hearings to protect the seditious liars and their lies... To paraphrase the Washington Post : "Democracy Dies In The Darkness"... The Darkness created by the shadowy deep state and those who dwell in it ! ..."
"... Without expressing any opinion on the truth or falsity of Taylor's testimony or any of it, the idea that being a West Point graduate and Vietnam vet is some kind of assurance of probity is a joke. ..."
"... Have you learned nothing from RussiaGate, from the various imperial wars on Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Serbia, etc.? All these were based on flat out lies promoted by cleancut, well dressed, well spoken, impeccably credentialed monsters. Many of them veterans themselves. All of them lying without shame, and lauded for telling lies. ..."
"... You realize that we are an empire, and our institutions act the way that imperial institutions do? Imperial institutions cannot be hindered by things like honesty and "rule of law", because the empire cannot survive if its freedom of action is restrained. ..."
"... Is your anti Russian phobia a product of Slavic racism or of disliking orthodox countries or what? Why do you pro war liberals obsess over Russia so much? I think it is empire envy. ..."
"... I Keep reading about this "aid to ukraine" improperly tied to an investigation of a rival. But this "aid" to Ukraine is really just weapons isn't it? Weapons meant to stoke conflict with a nuclear power. The deep state and the pro war liberals will never let This country move past militarism ..."
Oct 27, 2019 |