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Putin-did-it fiasco: Obama repeat Bush's WMD fiasco

Putin-did-it conspiracy theory has too many holes in it

"Russian Hackers" is a more palatable way of saying that Trump stole the election.

News Demonization of Putin Recommended Links Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak Cold War II Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA Neoconservatism Obama: a yet another Neocon
Fake news accusations as projection Do the US intelligence agencies attempt to influence the US Presidential elections ?  Conversion of Democratic Party into War Party and Hillary Clinton policy toward Russia Color revolutions Neoliberal war on reality or the importance of controlling the narrative Deception as an art form Neoliberalism as Trotskyism for the rich Conspiracy theory label as a subtle form of censorship
 Diplomacy by deception US and British media are servants of security apparatus  The Deep State Predator state  Hillary as a pathological liar  Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair Noble Lie Doublespeak  
Pathological Russophobia of the US elite Cold War II Demonization of Putin Machiavellism Mayberry Machiavellians Neocons Credibility Scam Leo Straus as the godfather of neocons Nation under attack meme
Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism Neocons Credibility Scam Leo Strauss and the Neocons Neoliberalism and Christianity  Elite [Dominance] Theory And the Revolt of the Elite   Politically Incorrect Humor Etc
  The original falsehood behind the Iraq War was that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and intended to use them against America either directly or by giving them to al-Qaeda. The opening lie about the Ukraine crisis was that Russian President Vladimir Putin instigated the conflict as part of some Hitlerian plan to conquer much of Europe.

Yet, while the Hussein-WMD claim was hard for the common citizen to assess because it was supposedly supported by U.S. intelligence information that was kept secret, the Putin-Ukraine lie collapses under the most cursory examination based simply of what’s publicly known and what makes sense.

Robert Parry

The tempest over whether Russian state hackers were behind the WikiLeaks release of Democratic Party emails is really a battle for the narrative of the 2016 Presidential election. Just as Bush v Gore gave birth to the slogan of an illegitimate Bush presidency, so do the Democrats (and some Republican anti-Trumpists) want “Putin stole the election for his friend Trump” to be the narrative of the Trump Presidency. With the Republicans in control of Congress and the Presidency, the Russian hacking story is the last weapon in the Democrats’ arsenal. They will pursue it with vigor. We need desperately to study Russian hybrid warfare, but not in a narrow political forum.

The Battle Over Russian Hacking Is Over The Legitimacy Of The Trump Presidency

Hacking accusation is a perfect propaganda tool, because usually nothing can be proven as form the time operation was performed to the time it was detected most traces are gone. And indirect evidence such as IP from which the attack came, code style, code page of discovered malware code, etc can easily be faked. Also unscrupulous security firms, hungry for funding, serve as a powerful amplifier, predicting rich variety of  propaganda warmongering alarmist nonsense the initiators want for free.  As most of such firms depends on government funding in no way they can say: Obama administration is lying, even is they see blatant discrepancies in the evidence presented. But discrepancies or complete absence of evidence is not a barrier for launching powerful propaganda campaign, brainwashing public in anti-Russian paranoia in cane of Obama administration, anti-Russian compaign. Not that Russians are perfect, but this is a clear case of pot calling the kettle black. 

When it is the USA or its allied did it in Iran with Flame and Stuxnet they were protected by the USA status of superpower. There were no US resolution condeming the USA for such blatant disregard of international norms and launching of new phase of cyber war.  Most methods used in those works are not entered the arsenal of regular criminals, especially those sho specialize on banking fraud. 

Who would risk calling the USA government irresponsible and gangrenous cybercriminals. But other countries are a fair play and can be scapegoated any time it is convenient. And what is more dangerous cyber attacks are perfect for false flag operations.

My impression is that if there were attempts to hack US sites from Russian IP space a false flag operation. As one commenter noted: "The Ukranian government have been trying to drive a wedge between the West and Russia for years for their own political advantage."

If so the agenda outside obvious attempt to poison US-Russian relations just before Trump assumes presidency coincide with internal need of neocon fifth column in Washington, DC.  Neocon in Washington are really afraid of losing their level of influence and their lucrative positions. And there is the whole colony of such "national security professionals" in Washington DC. For example,  what other employment Robert Kagan can find, if he can't do anything useful outside his favorite Russophobic agenda? He might well to became  unemployed along with his wife, who brought us the Ukrainian disaster.  So in way there is some kind of neocon coupe which is centered on undermining the legitimacy of Trump election (The Battle Over Russian Hacking Is Over The Legitimacy Of The Trump Presidency):

The tempest over whether Russian state hackers were behind the WikiLeaks release of Democratic Party emails is really a battle for the narrative of the 2016 Presidential election. Just as Bush v Gore gave birth to the slogan of an illegitimate Bush presidency, so do the Democrats (and some Republican anti-Trumpists) want “Putin stole the election for his friend Trump” to be the narrative of the Trump Presidency. With the Republicans in control of Congress and the Presidency, the Russian hacking story is the last weapon in the Democrats’ arsenal. They will pursue it with vigor. We need desperately to study Russian hybrid warfare, but not in a narrow political forum.

The Washington Post’s “Secret CIA assessment says Russia was trying to help Trump win White House” cites unnamed sources “briefed on the matter” that "intelligence agencies have identified individuals with connections to the Russian government who provided WikiLeaks with thousands of hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee and others, including Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman."  The Post article cites an unnamed senior U.S. official that the "consensus view" of the intelligence committee is that Russia's goal was to get Trump elected.

President-elect Donald Trump's transition team has challenged the credibility of the CIA’s secret assessment: "These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction…The election ended a long time ago in one of the biggest Electoral College victories in history. It’s now time to move on and 'Make America Great Again.'"

The third player in this drama, Vladimir Putin, has remained consistent in his denials. In an interview carried by his foreign propaganda arm, RT, Putin declared:

“I wouldn’t know anything about it [hacked emails]. You know, there are so many hackers today and they work with such finesse, planting a trail where and when they need. Not even their own trail but masquerade their actions as those of other hackers acting from other territories, nations. It’s difficult to trace, if even possible. Anyway, we certainly don’t do such things on the state level.”

Putin’s press secretary denied Russian interference in the US election: “Russia will never intervene in the internal affairs, much less electoral process of other countries. Moscow scrupulously avoids any actions or words that could be regarded as direct or indirect interference in an electoral process.”

... ... ..

Trump has resisted pressure to agree that Russia was behind the hacks and was trying to get him elected. Instead, Trump has stated that “once they hack if you don't catch them in the act you're not going to catch them. They have no idea if it's Russia or China or somebody. It could be somebody sitting in a bed some place. I mean, they have no idea.” Trump’s political instincts are again serving him well. If he were to endorse the leaked intelligence community’s “high level of confidence” not only in the hacking but also in its intent, he would be signing on to the illegitimate President narrative the Democrats are pushing.

Here Ukrainians would be ery convenient tools for  Putin-did-it agenda, especially during post election Monday morning quarterbacking. 200PM Water Cooler 12-30-2016 naked capitalism

UPDATE “With Russia sanctions move, Obama leaves Trump with tough choices” [Japan Times].

FWIW, I view Obama’s moves as half-hearted, particularly given that Clintonites regard Trump as a witting agent of Putin (that is, a traitor (hence, should be prevented from taking office on January 20 by any means necessary)). If Obama wanted to send a strong signal, he wouldn’t be closing down Russian compounds that have been around 44 years, he’d be recalling our Ambassador from Moscow.

I think he’s out to make life hard for Trump, and to get the Clintonites — and The Blob — off his back, and not much more.

We’ll see what the long-promised report shows, but my guess is that there will be no exposed evidence, and no named sources. That is, Obama’s case will be even worse than the case Bush put together to justify the Iraq War, which at least had the status of a National Intelligence Estimate and the benefit of an inter-agency process that produced dissent (in the form of footnotes).

... ... ...

“By all accounts, Bill and Hillary Clinton never had any such qualms, and now their quarter-century project to build a mutual buy-one, get-one-free Clinton dynasty has ended in her defeat, and their joint departure from the center of the national political stage they had hoped to occupy for another eight years. Their exit amounts to a finale not just for themselves, but for Clintonism as a working political ideology and electoral strategy” [Politico]. If this article, and Yglesias’s “Smoking Rubble” piece in Vox, are indicative of the political class hive mind, whatever the Clintonites are ginning up with their Russian War Scare isn’t going to work (ergo, Trump will take the oath of office on January 20.)

Yes, in a way Obama’s case is even worse than the case Bush put together to justify the Iraq War, which at least had the status of a National Intelligence Estimate and the benefit of an inter-agency process that produced dissent (in the form of footnotes).


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[Dec 14, 2017] With the 2018 midterms on the horizon, Moscow proposed a sweeping noninterference agreement with the United States. The Trump administration said no

Highly recommended!
Here you have it – a self-confession from the highest D.C. officials, that "democracy promotion = meddling in the elections"! Oh, but that's not all:
Notable quotes:
"... "To test the possibility of a mutual agreement, Putin dispatched Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov to Washington for a July 17 meeting with Under Secretary Tom Shannon, the No. 3 official at the State Department. The official US account of the meeting offered only a bland summary of conversations on "areas of mutual concern." But three US administration officials, including one inside the meeting, said Ryabkov handed over a document containing a bold proposal: A sweeping noninterference agreement between Moscow and Washington that would prohibit both governments from meddling in the other's domestic politics. ..."
"... After examining the proposal, which has not previously been reported, US officials told Moscow there would be no deal. ..."
"... "We said 'thank you very much but now is not the time for this,'" said a senior State Department official who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive diplomatic discussions." ..."
"... Here you have it – a self-confession from the highest D.C. officials, that "democracy promotion = meddling in the elections"! Oh, but that's not all: ..."
Dec 12, 2017 | marknesop.wordpress.com

Lyttenburgh , December 10, 2017 at 5:59 pm

C for Chutzpah.

ButtFeed: How Secret Talks With Russia to Prevent Election Meddling Collapsed

With the 2018 midterms on the horizon, Moscow proposed a sweeping noninterference agreement with the United States, US officials tell BuzzFeed News. The Trump administration said no.

"To test the possibility of a mutual agreement, Putin dispatched Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov to Washington for a July 17 meeting with Under Secretary Tom Shannon, the No. 3 official at the State Department. The official US account of the meeting offered only a bland summary of conversations on "areas of mutual concern." But three US administration officials, including one inside the meeting, said Ryabkov handed over a document containing a bold proposal: A sweeping noninterference agreement between Moscow and Washington that would prohibit both governments from meddling in the other's domestic politics.

After examining the proposal, which has not previously been reported, US officials told Moscow there would be no deal.

"We said 'thank you very much but now is not the time for this,'" said a senior State Department official who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive diplomatic discussions."

Here you have it – a self-confession from the highest D.C. officials, that "democracy promotion = meddling in the elections"! Oh, but that's not all:

[Dec 13, 2017] The U.S. Media Suffered Its Most Humiliating Debacle in Ages by Glenn Greenwald

Notable quotes:
"... publicly available ..."
"... Greenwald's lamenting of the US media's lack of transparency and accountability is touchingly high-minded, but it is also naive. These people are not in the business of informing their viewers; they are in the business of delivering their viewers to a preestablished agenda set by powerful and wealthy people. Until Mr. Greenwald understands this, he will continue to feel disappointment and dissonance. ..."
"... The massive deception operation that goes by the name of "US media" will continue so long as the audience tolerates it, which is probably indefinitely. Over and over again, I have showed members of that audience that they are being lied to. Their reaction is always the same: anger with me for discomforting them. The audience does not watch the US media in order to be informed, they watch the media in order to be comforted, and the media know this and exploit this. This show will run for a long, long time. ..."
"... Well put. Lying is not a special occasion for the US media. It's an everyday occurrence, whereas telling the truth is quite rare. As a person who was born and grew up in Ukraine and has lots of relatives and acquaintances all over that disintegrating country, I can testify that 80% of the reports in the US media about Ukraine since 2014 were blatant lies, whereas in the remaining 20% truth was twisted beyond recognition. ..."
"... There is a minute of breaking news. Then 3 minutes of ads. Then a minute of news. Then 3 minutes of ads. Then what news is up next for 2 minutes. Then 3 minutes of ads. Then a minute of news. ..."
Dec 09, 2017 | www.unz.com

FRIDAY WAS ONE of the most embarrassing days for the U.S. media in quite a long time. The humiliation orgy was kicked off by CNN, with MSNBC and CBS close behind, with countless pundits, commentators and operatives joining the party throughout the day. By the end of the day, it was clear that several of the nation's largest and most influential news outlets had spread an explosive but completely false news story to millions of people, while refusing to provide any explanation of how it happened.

The spectacle began on Friday morning at 11 a.m. EST, when the Most Trusted Name in News™ spent 12 straight minutes on air flamboyantly hyping an exclusive bombshell report that seemed to prove that WikiLeaks, last September, had secretly offered the Trump campaign, even Donald Trump himself, special access to the DNC emails before they were published on the internet. As CNN sees the world, this would prove collusion between the Trump family and WikiLeaks and, more importantly, between Trump and Russia, since the U.S. intelligence community regards WikiLeaks as an "arm of Russian intelligence," and therefore , so does the U.S. media.

This entire revelation was based on an email which CNN strongly implied it had exclusively obtained and had in its possession. The email was sent by someone named "Michael J. Erickson" -- someone nobody had heard of previously and whom CNN could not identify -- to Donald Trump, Jr., offering a decryption key and access to DNC emails that WikiLeaks had "uploaded." The email was a smoking gun, in CNN's extremely excited mind, because it was dated September 4 -- 10 days before WikiLeaks began promoting access to those emails online -- and thus proved that the Trump family was being offered special, unique access to the DNC archive: likely by WikiLeaks and the Kremlin.

It's impossible to convey with words what a spectacularly devastating scoop CNN believed it had, so it's necessary to watch it for yourself to see the tone of excitement, breathlessness and gravity the network conveyed as they clearly believed they were delivering a near-fatal blow on the Trump/Russia collusion story:

There was just one small problem with this story: it was fundamentally false, in the most embarrassing way possible. Hours after CNN broadcast its story -- and then hyped it over and over and over -- the Washington Post reported that CNN got the key fact of the story wrong.

The email was not dated September 4, as CNN claimed, but rather September 14 -- which means it was sent after WikiLeaks had already published access to the DNC emails online. Thus, rather than offering some sort of special access to Trump, "Michael J. Erickson" was simply some random person from the public encouraging the Trump family to look at the publicly available DNC emails that WikiLeaks -- as everyone by then already knew -- had publicly promoted . In other words, the email was the exact opposite of what CNN presented it as being.

Read the Entire Article at The Intercept

Jim Christian , December 11, 2017 at 12:57 pm GMT

The real cartoon network if you ask me. Once people blow it, their public character becomes that of a cartoon character. Franken, Conyers, Hillary, Weinstein and the Weiners. Why is CNN and liberal media exempt? Oh. They aren't.
Almost Missouri , December 11, 2017 at 1:11 pm GMT
Kudos to Greenwald for calling the US media out on this occasion, but in reality the US media humiliates itself weekly, if not daily, if not hourly, with its false reports, poorly concealed agenda and generally propagandistic approach to everything.

Greenwald's lamenting of the US media's lack of transparency and accountability is touchingly high-minded, but it is also naive. These people are not in the business of informing their viewers; they are in the business of delivering their viewers to a preestablished agenda set by powerful and wealthy people. Until Mr. Greenwald understands this, he will continue to feel disappointment and dissonance.

The massive deception operation that goes by the name of "US media" will continue so long as the audience tolerates it, which is probably indefinitely. Over and over again, I have showed members of that audience that they are being lied to. Their reaction is always the same: anger with me for discomforting them. The audience does not watch the US media in order to be informed, they watch the media in order to be comforted, and the media know this and exploit this. This show will run for a long, long time.

anonymous , • Disclaimer December 11, 2017 at 2:50 pm GMT
@Almost Missouri

Yes. Most of our fellows are willfully ignorant cowards. I also believe that many cope by turning on Confederate statues, getting worked up over bathrooms, etc.

Svigor , December 11, 2017 at 4:01 pm GMT
Missouri, how the fuck anyone finds Big Media comforting is beyond me. Their contempt for America and Americans isn't hard to suss out.
Anon , • Disclaimer December 12, 2017 at 1:31 am GMT
@Almost Missouri

Well put. Lying is not a special occasion for the US media. It's an everyday occurrence, whereas telling the truth is quite rare. As a person who was born and grew up in Ukraine and has lots of relatives and acquaintances all over that disintegrating country, I can testify that 80% of the reports in the US media about Ukraine since 2014 were blatant lies, whereas in the remaining 20% truth was twisted beyond recognition.

anarchyst , December 12, 2017 at 1:43 pm GMT
The mainstream media has always been dishonest...

... ... ...

The media has become a "fifth column" of the government and is not to be trusted.

To our advantage, we now have the internet, which gives the ability for ordinary citizens to be real "journalists", quite often getting and reporting the story TRUTHFULLY before the mainstream media.

In fact, there are calls by "mainstream media" to "license" journalists, in an attempt to keep these "citizen journalists" out twenty years ago, any journalist suggesting such a scheme would have been thrown out, but nowadays

Alden , December 12, 2017 at 10:32 pm GMT
@Achmed E. Newman

But do they really watch the TV? The news shows are terrible for getting a coherent message across.

There is a minute of breaking news. Then 3 minutes of ads. Then a minute of news. Then 3 minutes of ads. Then what news is up next for 2 minutes. Then 3 minutes of ads. Then a minute of news.

In an hour of a news show its probably 15 minutes, broken into 1 minute segments of actual news. The rest is just flashing lights and ads and what news will be next. Except for PBS and NPR of course which are just liberal propaganda. Democracy Now, Charlie Rose, Travis Smiley have fewer ads, but who can listen to them or look at them? I'd like to smash Charley Rose' sanctimonious face. And Amy Goodman, why women shouldn't be allowed to vote or hold elected or appointed office.

It's so chopped up with ads and what's up next I don't see how anyone could have the patience to sit through it and figure out what they are blathering about.

Some White Guy , December 13, 2017 at 4:51 pm GMT
I'm sure everyone at CNN has completely forgotten about it by now.
jacques sheete , December 13, 2017 at 11:53 pm GMT
@Alden

It's so chopped up with ads and what's up next I don't see how anyone could have the patience to sit through it and figure out what they are blathering about.

I agree but I'm not sure it would take patience so much as total lack of self respect as well as a hopeless amount of gullibility.

Speaking of ads

for I knew nothing of the facts. I read no newspaper now but Ritchie's, and in that chiefly the advertisements, for they contain the only truths to be relied on in a newspaper.

Thomas Jefferson, letter to To Nathaniel Macon
Monticello, January 12, 1819

[Dec 13, 2017] All the signs in the Russia probe point to Jared Kushner. Who next?

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... More like he's denying the story peddled by the Democrats in some vain attempt at reducing his legitimacy over smashing Hillary in the elections. ..."
"... What is he going to prison for, again? Colluding with Israel? ..."
"... The most anger in the media against the POTUS seems to be directed against Russia gate. Time and energy is wasted on conjecture, most 'probables will not stand in a court of law. This media hysteria deflects from the destruction of the affordable healthcare act and the tax changes good for the rich against the many. I think the people are being played. ..."
"... In the 1990s and 2000s a large section of the American establishment was effectively bought off by people like Prince Bandar. These are the ones that are determined that the anti-Russian policy then instigated be continued, even at the cost of slandering the current President's son-in-law. The irony is that in the meantime an effective regime change has taken place in Saudi and Bandar's bandits are mostly locked up behind bars. ..."
"... True, and not just hypocrisy either. This has to be seen in the context of a war, cold for now, on Russia - with China, via Iran and NK, next in line. Dangerous times, as a militarily formidable empire in economic decline looks set to take us all out. For the few who think and resist the dominant narrative - and are thereby routinely called out as 'kremlin trolls' - it is dismaying how easily folk are manipulated. ..."
"... Your points are valid but, alas, factual truths are routinely trumped (!) by powerful mythology. Fact is, despite an appalling record since WW2, Washington and its pet institutions - IMF/World Bank/WTO - are still seen as good guys. How? Because (a) all western states have traded foreign policy independence for favoured status in Washington, (b) English as global lingua franca means American soft propaganda is lapped up across the world via its entertainment industry, and (c) all 'our' media are owned by billionaire corps or as with BBC/Graun, subject to government intimidation/market forces. ..."
"... Truth is, DRT is not some horrifically new entity. (Let's not forget how HRC's 'no fly zone' for Syria promised to take us into WW3, nor her demented "we came, we saw, he died - ha ha" response to Gaddafi's sodomisation by knife blade, and more importantly to Libya's descent into hell.) As John Pilger noted, "the obsession with Trump the man – not Trump as symptom and caricature of an enduring system – beckons great danger for all of us". ..."
"... If all Meuller has is Flynn and the Russians during the transition period, he's got nothing. ..."
"... It's alleged that Turkey wanted Flynn to extradite Gullen for his alleged involvement in Turkey's failed coup. Just this weekend, Turkey have issued an arrest warrant for a former CIA officer in relation to the failed coup. So, IF the CIA were behind the failed coup and Flynn knows this - well, a good way to silence him would be to charge him with some serious crimes and then offer to drop them in return for his silence. But, like your theory, it's just speculation. ..."
"... The secret deep state security forces haven't been this diminished since Carter cleared the stables in the 70's - they fought back and stopped his second term ... ..."
"... Seeing how the case against Trump and Flynn is based on 'probable' and not hard proof its 'probable that the anti Trump campaign is directed from within the murky enclaves of the US intelligence community. ..."
"... Hatred against Trump deflects the anger, see the system works the US is still a democracy. Well it isn't, its a sick oligarchy run by the mega rich who own the media, 90% is owned by 5 corporations. Americans are fed the lie that their vast military empire with its 800 overseas bases are to defend US interests. ..."
"... Wow this is like becoming McCarthy Era 2.0. I'm just waiting for the show trials of all these so-called colluders. ..."
"... the interest of (Russian Ambassador) Kislyak in determining the position of the new administration on sanctions is not unheard of in Washington, or necessarily untoward to raise with one of the incoming national security advisers. Ambassadors are supposed to seek changes in policies and often seek to influence officials in the early stages of administrations before policies are established. Flynn's suggestion that the Russians wait as the Trump administration unfolded its new policies is a fairly standard response of an incoming official ..."
"... "The problem is charging Flynn for lying. A technicality. But not charging Hillary for email server. Another technicality. That's all the public will see if no collusion proved, and will ruin credibility of the FBI and the Dems" ..."
"... It's not just collusion is it, what about the rampant, naked nepotism, last seen on this unashamed scale in ancient Rome? ..."
"... So he lobbied for Israel not Russia then? Whoops. How does the author even know where Mueller's probe is heading, and which way Flynn flipped? Flynn worked much longer for the Obama administration than for Trump's. ..."
"... You can easily impeach Trump for bombing Syria's military airfield, which is by UN definition war crime of war aggression, starting war without the Congress approval; and doing so by supporting false flag of AQ, is support of terrorists and so on ..."
"... Oh you can't do it, of course, it was so - so presidential to bomb another country and it is just old habit and no war declaration, if country is too weak to bomb you back. And you love this exiting crazy balance of global nuclear annihilation too much, so you prefer screaming Russia, Russia to keep it hot, for wonderful military contracts. ..."
"... If the US wanted to do itself a massive favour it should shine the spotlight on Robert Mueller, the man now in charge of investigating the President of these United States for "collusion" with Russia and possible "obstruction of justice" himself obstructed a congressional investigation into the 9/11 terrorist attacks. ..."
"... Dealing with western backed coups on its own doorstep and being the only country actually to be legally fighting in Syria - a war that directly threatens its security - does not amount to global belligerence. ..."
"... Clinton lied under oath ..."
"... The logan act is a dead law no one will be prosecuted for a act that has never been used... plus the president elect can talk to any foreign leader he or she wishes to use and even talk deals even if a current president for 2 months is still in office... ..."
"... Should all countries which try to influence elections be treated as enemies? Where do you set the threshold? If we go by the actual evidence, Russia seems to have bought some Facebook ads and was allegedly involved in exposing HRC's meddling with the Democratic primaries. Compare that to the influence that countries like Israel and the Gulf Arabs exert on American politics and elections. Are you seriously claiming that Russia's influence is bigger or more decisive? ..."
"... The goal of weakening the US is also highly debatable. Accepting for a moment that Russia tried to tip the balance in favor of Trump, would America be stronger if it were engaged more actively in Syria and Ukraine? Is there a specific example where Trump's administration weakened the American position to the advantage of Russia? And how is the sustained anti-Russian information warfare helping anyone but the Chinese? ..."
"... The clues that Kushner has been pulling the strings on Russia are everywhere... He then pushed Flynn hard to try to turn Russia around on an anti-Israel vote by the UN security council. ..."
"... And Russia didn't turn, so hardly a clue that Kushner was pulling strings with any effect. What this clue does suggest however, is that Israel pressured/colluded with the Trump Team to undermine the Obama administrations policy towards a UN resolution on illegal settlements. The elephant in the room is Israels influence on US politics. ..."
"... In relation to the "lying" charge - In December, Flynn (in his role as incoming National Security Advisor) was told to talk to the Russians by Kushner (in his role as incoming special advisor). In these conversations, Flynn told the Russians to be patient regarding sanctions as things may change when Trump becomes President. All of this is totally legal and is what EVERY new adminstration does. Flynn had his phoned tapped by the FBI so they knew he had talked to the Russian about sanctions - they also knew the conversation was totally legal - but when they asked him about it, he said he didn't discuss sanctions. So Flynn is being charged about lying about something that was totally legal for him to do. That's it. ..."
"... All those thinking this is the beginning of the end of Trump are going to be disappointed. Just look at the charges so far. Manafort has been charged with money laundering and not registering as a foreign agent - however, both of those charges pre-date him working for Trump. Flynn has been charged with lying to the FBI about speaking to the Russians - even though him speaking to the Russians in his role as National Security Advisor to the President-elect was not only totally legal, it was the norm. And this took place in December, after the election. ..."
"... So the 2 main players have been charged with things that have nothing to do with the Trump campaign, and lets not forget the point of the investigation is to find out if Trump's campaign colluded with the Russians to win the election. Manafort's charges related to before working for the Trump campaign whilst Flynn's came after Trump won the Presidency, neither of which have anything to do with the election. As much as I wish Trump wasn't President, don't get your hopes up that this is going anywhere ..."
"... Gross hypocrisy on the US governments side. They have, since WW2 interfered with other countries elections, invaded, and killed millions worldwide, and are still doing so. Where were the FBI investigations then? Non existent. US politicians and the military hierarchy are completely immune from any prosecutions when it comes down to overseas illegal interference. ..."
"... America like all governments are narcissistic, they will cheat, steal, kill, if it benefits them. It's called national interest, and it's number one on any leader's job list. Watch fog of war with Robert McNamara, fantastic and terrifying to see how it works. ..."
"... The US has also been meddling in other countries elections for years, and doubtless most Americans neither know or care about that! So it's perhaps it's best to simply term them a 'rival', most people should be able to agree on that ..."
"... Gallup have been polling Americans for the past couple of decades on this. The last time I read about it a couple of years ago 70% of Americans had unfavourable views of Russia, ranging from those who saw them as an enemy (a smaller amount) through to those who saw them as a threat. ..."
Dec 13, 2017 | www.theguardian.com

polpont , 4 Dec 2017 08:32

Mueller will have to thread very carefully because he is maneuvering on a very politically charged terrain. And one cannot refrain from comparing the current situation with the many free passes the democrats were handed over by the FBI, the Department of Justice and the media which make the US look like a banana republic.

The mind blowing fact that Clinton sat with the Attorney General on the tarmac of the Phoenix airport "to chit-chat" and not to discuss the investigation on Clinton's very wife that was being overseen by the same AG, leaves one flabbergasted.

And the fact that Comey essentially said that Clinton's behaviour, tantamount in his own words to extreme recklessness, did not warrant prosecution was just inconceivable.

Don't forget that Trump has nearly 50 M gun-toting followers on Tweeter and that he would not hesitate to appeal to them were he to feel threatened by what he could conceive as a judicial Coup d'Etat. The respect for the institutions in the USA has never been so low.

ID1456161 -> Canadiman , 4 Dec 2017 08:30

...a judge would decide if the evidence was sufficient to warrant a trial.

Actually, in the U.S. a grand jury would decide if the evidence was sufficient to warrant formal charges leading to a trial. There is also the possibility that Mueller has uncovered both Federal and NY State offenses, so charges could be brought against Kushner at either level. Mueller has been sharing information from his investigation with the NY Attorney General's Office. Trump could pardon a federal offense, but has no jurisdiction to pardon charges brought against Kushner by the State of NY.

Anna Bramwell -> etrang , 4 Dec 2017 08:28
I watched RT for 24 months before the US election. They favoured Bernie Saunders strongly before he lost to Hilary. Then they ran hustings for the smaller US parties, eg Greens, and the Libertarians , which could definitely be seen as an interference in the US election, but which as far as I know, was never mentioned in the US. They were anti Hilary but not pro Trump. And indeed, their strong anti capitalist bias would have made such support unlikely.
EduardStreltsovGhost -> JonShone , 4 Dec 2017 08:28
What's he lying about? More like he's denying the story peddled by the Democrats in some vain attempt at reducing his legitimacy over smashing Hillary in the elections.

Obama and Hillary met hundreds of foreign officials. Were they colluding as well?

pretzelattack -> Atticus_Finch , 4 Dec 2017 08:28
What is he going to prison for, again? Colluding with Israel?
oddballs -> Taf1980uk , 4 Dec 2017 08:26
The most anger in the media against the POTUS seems to be directed against Russia gate. Time and energy is wasted on conjecture, most 'probables will not stand in a court of law. This media hysteria deflects from the destruction of the affordable healthcare act and the tax changes good for the rich against the many. I think the people are being played.
Krautolivier , 4 Dec 2017 08:21
In the 1990s and 2000s a large section of the American establishment was effectively bought off by people like Prince Bandar. These are the ones that are determined that the anti-Russian policy then instigated be continued, even at the cost of slandering the current President's son-in-law. The irony is that in the meantime an effective regime change has taken place in Saudi and Bandar's bandits are mostly locked up behind bars.
It's all too funny.
zerohoursuni -> damientrollope , 4 Dec 2017 08:19
True, and not just hypocrisy either. This has to be seen in the context of a war, cold for now, on Russia - with China, via Iran and NK, next in line. Dangerous times, as a militarily formidable empire in economic decline looks set to take us all out. For the few who think and resist the dominant narrative - and are thereby routinely called out as 'kremlin trolls' - it is dismaying how easily folk are manipulated.

Your points are valid but, alas, factual truths are routinely trumped (!) by powerful mythology. Fact is, despite an appalling record since WW2, Washington and its pet institutions - IMF/World Bank/WTO - are still seen as good guys. How? Because (a) all western states have traded foreign policy independence for favoured status in Washington, (b) English as global lingua franca means American soft propaganda is lapped up across the world via its entertainment industry, and (c) all 'our' media are owned by billionaire corps or as with BBC/Graun, subject to government intimidation/market forces.

Truth is, DRT is not some horrifically new entity. (Let's not forget how HRC's 'no fly zone' for Syria promised to take us into WW3, nor her demented "we came, we saw, he died - ha ha" response to Gaddafi's sodomisation by knife blade, and more importantly to Libya's descent into hell.) As John Pilger noted, "the obsession with Trump the man – not Trump as symptom and caricature of an enduring system – beckons great danger for all of us".

cookcounty , 4 Dec 2017 08:15
I missed Jill Abramson's column about all the meetings the Obama administration held -- quite openly -- with foreign governments during the transition period between his election and his first inauguration.

But since she's been demonstrably and laughably wrong about predicting future political events in the USA (see her entire body of work during the 2016 election campaign), why should she start making sense now?

It's completely possible, of course, that some as-yet-to-be-revealed piece of evidence will prove collusion -- before the election and by candidate Trump -- with the Russians. But the Flynn testimony certainly isn't it. All the heavy breathing and hysteria is simply a sign of how the media, yet again, always gravitates toward the news it wishes were true, rather than what really is true. If all Meuller has is Flynn and the Russians during the transition period, he's got nothing.

themandibleclaw -> SteveMilesworthy , 4 Dec 2017 08:12
Flynn was charged with far more serious crimes which were all dropped and he was left with a charge that if he spends any time in prison, it will be about 6 months. Now, you could say for him to agree to that, he must have some juicy info - and he probably does - but what that juicy info is is just speculation. And if we are speculating, then maybe what he traded it for was nothing to do with Trump? After all, one of the charges against him was failing to register as a foreign agent on behalf of Turkey.

It's alleged that Turkey wanted Flynn to extradite Gullen for his alleged involvement in Turkey's failed coup. Just this weekend, Turkey have issued an arrest warrant for a former CIA officer in relation to the failed coup. So, IF the CIA were behind the failed coup and Flynn knows this - well, a good way to silence him would be to charge him with some serious crimes and then offer to drop them in return for his silence. But, like your theory, it's just speculation.

WallyWillage , 4 Dec 2017 08:05
Still no evidence of Russian collusion in Trump campaign BEFORE the election...... whatever happened after being president elect is not impeachable unless it would be after taking office.

The secret deep state security forces haven't been this diminished since Carter cleared the stables in the 70's - they fought back and stopped his second term ...

EduardStreltsovGhost -> CitizenOfTinyBlue , 4 Dec 2017 08:03

You can easily impeach Trump for bombing Syria's military airfield, which is by UN definition war crime of war aggression

if that were the case, Clinton, Bush and Obama would be sitting in jail right now.
oddballs -> Taf1980uk , 4 Dec 2017 07:58
Seeing how the case against Trump and Flynn is based on 'probable' and not hard proof its 'probable that the anti Trump campaign is directed from within the murky enclaves of the US intelligence community.

Trumps presidency could have the capability of galvanising a powerful resistance against the 2 party state for 'real change, like affordable healthcare and affordable education for ALL its people. But no its not happening, Trump is attacked on probables and undisclosed sources. A year has passed and nothing has been revealed.

Hatred against Trump deflects the anger, see the system works the US is still a democracy. Well it isn't, its a sick oligarchy run by the mega rich who own the media, 90% is owned by 5 corporations. Americans are fed the lie that their vast military empire with its 800 overseas bases are to defend US interests.

Well their not, their only function is, is to spend tax dollars that otherwise would be spent on education, health, infrastructure, things that would 'really' benefit America. Disagree, well go ahead and accuse me of being a conspiracy nut-job, in the meantime China is by peaceful means getting the mining rights in Africa, Australia, deals that matter.

The tax legislation for the few against the many is deflected by the anti-Trump hysteria based on conjecture and not proof.

EduardStreltsovGhost , 4 Dec 2017 07:52
Wow this is like becoming McCarthy Era 2.0. I'm just waiting for the show trials of all these so-called colluders.
RelaxAndChill -> Silgen , 4 Dec 2017 07:46
Crimea was and is Russian. Your mask is slipping, Vlad .

Your ignorance is showing. I have no connection to Russia what so ever. Crimea was legally ceded to Russia over 200 years ago, by the Ottomans to Catherine the Great. Russia has never relinquished control. What the criminal organization the USSR did under Ukrainian expat Khrushchev, is irrelevant. And as Putin said , any agreement about respecting Ukraine's territorial integrity was negated when the USA and the EU fomented and financed a rebellion and revolution.

StillAbstractImp , 4 Dec 2017 07:40
Decelerating Fascism - Is Kushner a Putin operative, too?
mikedow -> Karantino , 4 Dec 2017 07:35
Australia, Canada, and S. Africa supply the lion's share of gold bullion that London survives on. And the best uranium in the world. All sorts of other precious commodities as well. If you're not toeing the line on US foreign policies religiously, the Yanks will drop you.
themandibleclaw -> Toastface_Killah , 4 Dec 2017 07:34

You are selectively choosing to refer to this one instance, but even here Obama administration were still in charge - so not very legal, was it.

I am "selectively choosing to refer to this one instance" because that's all Flynn has been charged with. Oh, and it is totally legal for a member of the incoming administration to start talks with their foreign counterparts. Here's a quote from an op-ed piece in The Hill from a law professor at Washington University.

the interest of (Russian Ambassador) Kislyak in determining the position of the new administration on sanctions is not unheard of in Washington, or necessarily untoward to raise with one of the incoming national security advisers. Ambassadors are supposed to seek changes in policies and often seek to influence officials in the early stages of administrations before policies are established. Flynn's suggestion that the Russians wait as the Trump administration unfolded its new policies is a fairly standard response of an incoming official .

http://thehill.com/opinion/judiciary/362813-the-good-the-bad-and-the-ugly-of-the-flynn-indictment

backstop -> EdwardFatherby , 4 Dec 2017 07:31
"The problem is charging Flynn for lying. A technicality. But not charging Hillary for email server. Another technicality. That's all the public will see if no collusion proved, and will ruin credibility of the FBI and the Dems"

It's not just collusion is it, what about the rampant, naked nepotism, last seen on this unashamed scale in ancient Rome?

BustedBoom , 4 Dec 2017 07:31

He then pushed Flynn hard to try to turn Russia around on an anti-Israel vote by the UN security council.

So he lobbied for Israel not Russia then? Whoops. How does the author even know where Mueller's probe is heading, and which way Flynn flipped? Flynn worked much longer for the Obama administration than for Trump's.
CitizenOfTinyBlue , 4 Dec 2017 07:26
You can easily impeach Trump for bombing Syria's military airfield, which is by UN definition war crime of war aggression, starting war without the Congress approval; and doing so by supporting false flag of AQ, is support of terrorists and so on

Oh you can't do it, of course, it was so - so presidential to bomb another country and it is just old habit and no war declaration, if country is too weak to bomb you back. And you love this exiting crazy balance of global nuclear annihilation too much, so you prefer screaming Russia, Russia to keep it hot, for wonderful military contracts.

Oh, and I have to be supporter of Putin's oligarchy with dreams of great tsars of Russia, if I care about humans survival on this planet and have very bad opinion about suicidal fools playing this stupid games.

ConCaruthers , 4 Dec 2017 07:25
If the US wanted to do itself a massive favour it should shine the spotlight on Robert Mueller, the man now in charge of investigating the President of these United States for "collusion" with Russia and possible "obstruction of justice" himself obstructed a congressional investigation into the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
moonsphere -> Hydro , 4 Dec 2017 07:24
Dealing with western backed coups on its own doorstep and being the only country actually to be legally fighting in Syria - a war that directly threatens its security - does not amount to global belligerence.
etrang -> CraftyRabbi , 4 Dec 2017 07:14

Mueller could charge/indict Kushner or Trump Jr under New York state criminal statutes

But not for crimes relating to federal elections or conspiring with Russia.

John Edwin -> OlivesNightie , 4 Dec 2017 07:13
Clinton lied under oath
John Edwin -> SoAmerican , 4 Dec 2017 07:11
The logan act is a dead law no one will be prosecuted for a act that has never been used... plus the president elect can talk to any foreign leader he or she wishes to use and even talk deals even if a current president for 2 months is still in office...
emiliofloris -> Sowester , 4 Dec 2017 07:08

I am not sure any level of scandal will make much difference to Trump or his supporters. They simply see this as an elitist conspiracy and not amount of evidence of wrongdoing will have an impact.

So far the level of scandal is below that of Whitewater/Lewinsky, and that was a very low level indeed. What "evidence of wrongdoing" is there? Nothing, that's why they charged Flynn with lying to investigators. It's important to keep in mind that the he did nor lie about actual crimes. Perhaps that's going to change as the investigation proceeds, but so far this is nothing more than a partisan lawfare fishing expedition.

Billsykesdoggy -> reinhardpolley , 4 Dec 2017 06:55
<blockquoteSpecifically, it prohibits citizens from negotiating with other nations on behalf of the United States without authorization.>

So Trump authorized Obama's talks with Macron last week?

Don't think so.

braciole -> Karantino , 4 Dec 2017 06:55

Because they attempted to covertly influence a general election in order to weaken the US.

And your evidence for this is what exactly? As for countries trying to influence elections in other countries, I'm all for it particularly when one of the candidates is murderous, arrogant and stupid.

BTW, in Honduras after supporting a coup against the democratically-elected president because he sought a referendum on allowing presidents to serve two terms, you'd think the United States would interfere when his non-democratically-elected replacement used a "packed" supreme court to change the constitution to allow presidents to serve more than one term to at least stop him stealing an election as he is now doing/has done. But they didn't and that hasn't stopped the United States whining that Evo Morales is being undemocratic by trying to extend the number of terms he can serve.

emiliofloris -> Karantino , 4 Dec 2017 06:53

Because they attempted to covertly influence a general election in order to weaken the US.

Should all countries which try to influence elections be treated as enemies? Where do you set the threshold? If we go by the actual evidence, Russia seems to have bought some Facebook ads and was allegedly involved in exposing HRC's meddling with the Democratic primaries. Compare that to the influence that countries like Israel and the Gulf Arabs exert on American politics and elections. Are you seriously claiming that Russia's influence is bigger or more decisive?

The goal of weakening the US is also highly debatable. Accepting for a moment that Russia tried to tip the balance in favor of Trump, would America be stronger if it were engaged more actively in Syria and Ukraine? Is there a specific example where Trump's administration weakened the American position to the advantage of Russia? And how is the sustained anti-Russian information warfare helping anyone but the Chinese?

technotherapy , 4 Dec 2017 06:46
The clues that Kushner has been pulling the strings on Russia are everywhere... He then pushed Flynn hard to try to turn Russia around on an anti-Israel vote by the UN security council.

And Russia didn't turn, so hardly a clue that Kushner was pulling strings with any effect. What this clue does suggest however, is that Israel pressured/colluded with the Trump Team to undermine the Obama administrations policy towards a UN resolution on illegal settlements. The elephant in the room is Israels influence on US politics.

themandibleclaw -> Simon Denham , 4 Dec 2017 06:44

Can someone please actually tell us what Flynn/Jared/Trump is supposed to have done.

In relation to the "lying" charge - In December, Flynn (in his role as incoming National Security Advisor) was told to talk to the Russians by Kushner (in his role as incoming special advisor). In these conversations, Flynn told the Russians to be patient regarding sanctions as things may change when Trump becomes President. All of this is totally legal and is what EVERY new adminstration does. Flynn had his phoned tapped by the FBI so they knew he had talked to the Russian about sanctions - they also knew the conversation was totally legal - but when they asked him about it, he said he didn't discuss sanctions. So Flynn is being charged about lying about something that was totally legal for him to do. That's it.

moonsphere -> SoAmerican , 4 Dec 2017 06:44
These days "US influence" seems to consist of bombing Middle Eastern countries back to the bronze age for reasons that defy easy logic. Anything that reduces that kind of influence would be welcome.
reinhardpolley -> Simon Denham , 4 Dec 2017 06:33
The Logan Act (18 U.S.C.A. § 953 [1948]) is a single federal statute making it a crime for a citizen to confer with foreign governments against the interests of the United States. Specifically, it prohibits citizens from negotiating with other nations on behalf of the United States without authorization.
https://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Logan+Act
themandibleclaw , 4 Dec 2017 06:22
All those thinking this is the beginning of the end of Trump are going to be disappointed. Just look at the charges so far. Manafort has been charged with money laundering and not registering as a foreign agent - however, both of those charges pre-date him working for Trump. Flynn has been charged with lying to the FBI about speaking to the Russians - even though him speaking to the Russians in his role as National Security Advisor to the President-elect was not only totally legal, it was the norm. And this took place in December, after the election.

So the 2 main players have been charged with things that have nothing to do with the Trump campaign, and lets not forget the point of the investigation is to find out if Trump's campaign colluded with the Russians to win the election. Manafort's charges related to before working for the Trump campaign whilst Flynn's came after Trump won the Presidency, neither of which have anything to do with the election. As much as I wish Trump wasn't President, don't get your hopes up that this is going anywhere.

damientrollope , 4 Dec 2017 06:15
Gross hypocrisy on the US governments side. They have, since WW2 interfered with other countries elections, invaded, and killed millions worldwide, and are still doing so. Where were the FBI investigations then? Non existent. US politicians and the military hierarchy are completely immune from any prosecutions when it comes down to overseas illegal interference.

But now this Russian debacle, and at last they've woken up, because another country had the temerity to turn the tables on them. And I think if this was Bush or Obama we would never have heard a thing about it. Everybody hates the Dotard, because he's an obese dick with an IQ to match.

Boojay , 4 Dec 2017 06:15
Nothing will happen to Trump, It's all bollocks. You've all watched too many Spielberg films, bad guys win, and they win most of the time.
Trump is the real face of America, America like all governments are narcissistic, they will cheat, steal, kill, if it benefits them. It's called national interest, and it's number one on any leader's job list. Watch fog of war with Robert McNamara, fantastic and terrifying to see how it works.
formerathlete -> vacantspace , 4 Dec 2017 06:15

when American presidents were rational, well balanced with progressive views we had.... decent American healthcare? Equality of opportunity? Gun laws that made it safe to walk the streets?

Say who, what an a where now????????? Since when has the US EVER had any of the three things that you mentioned???

If ever, then it was a loooooong time before the pilgrim fathers ever landed.

Hugh Mad -> JonShone , 4 Dec 2017 06:10

The US has also been meddling in other countries elections for years, and doubtless most Americans neither know or care about that! So it's perhaps it's best to simply term them a 'rival', most people should be able to agree on that.

That is the bottom line, yes. People view the world through west = good and Russia = bad, while both make economic and political decisions that serve the interests of their people respectively. Ultimately, I think people are scared that the West's monopoly on global influence is slipping, to as you said, a rival.

JonShone -> Hugh Mad , 4 Dec 2017 06:06
You are right that calling Russia the US enemy needs justification, but these threads often deteriorate into arguments of the yes it is/no it isn't variety.

Gallup have been polling Americans for the past couple of decades on this. The last time I read about it a couple of years ago 70% of Americans had unfavourable views of Russia, ranging from those who saw them as an enemy (a smaller amount) through to those who saw them as a threat.

It's certain that their ideals and goals run counter to those generally held in the US in many ways. But let's not forget that the US' ideals are often, if not generally, divergent from their interests and US foreign policy since 1945 has been responsible for countless deaths, perhaps more than Russia's.

The US has also been meddling in other countries elections for years, and doubtless most Americans neither know or care about that! So it's perhaps it's best to simply term them a 'rival', most people should be able to agree on that.

RelaxAndChill , 4 Dec 2017 05:59
All the signs in the Russia probe point to ..

How the liberals and the Democrats don't give a damm about the USA or the world's political scene, just some endless 'sore loser' witch hunt. So much could be achieved by the improving of relations with Russia. Crimea was and is Russian. Let Trump have a go as POTUS and then judge him. He wants to befriend Putin and if done it would help solve Syrian, Nth Korean and other global problems.

variation31 -> Sowester , 4 Dec 2017 05:50

They simply see this as an elitist conspiracy and not amount of evidence of wrongdoing will have an impact

Whereas if it's a Democrat in the spotlight, these same dipshits see it as an élitist cover-up and no lack of evidence of wrongdoing will have an impact. If anything, lack of evidence is evidence of cover-up which is therefore proof of evidence.

These cynical games they play with veracity and human honesty are a very pure form of evil.

[Dec 12, 2017] With the 2018 midterms on the horizon, Moscow proposed a sweeping noninterference agreement with the United States, US officials tell BuzzFeed News. The Trump administration said no

Notable quotes:
"... "To test the possibility of a mutual agreement, Putin dispatched Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov to Washington for a July 17 meeting with Under Secretary Tom Shannon, the No. 3 official at the State Department. The official US account of the meeting offered only a bland summary of conversations on "areas of mutual concern." But three US administration officials, including one inside the meeting, said Ryabkov handed over a document containing a bold proposal: A sweeping noninterference agreement between Moscow and Washington that would prohibit both governments from meddling in the other's domestic politics. ..."
"... After examining the proposal, which has not previously been reported, US officials told Moscow there would be no deal. ..."
"... "We said 'thank you very much but now is not the time for this,'" said a senior State Department official who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive diplomatic discussions." ..."
Dec 12, 2017 | marknesop.wordpress.com

Lyttenburgh , December 10, 2017 at 5:59 pm

C for Chutzpah.

ButtFeed: How Secret Talks With Russia to Prevent Election Meddling Collapsed
With the 2018 midterms on the horizon, Moscow proposed a sweeping noninterference agreement with the United States, US officials tell BuzzFeed News. The Trump administration said no.

"To test the possibility of a mutual agreement, Putin dispatched Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov to Washington for a July 17 meeting with Under Secretary Tom Shannon, the No. 3 official at the State Department. The official US account of the meeting offered only a bland summary of conversations on "areas of mutual concern." But three US administration officials, including one inside the meeting, said Ryabkov handed over a document containing a bold proposal: A sweeping noninterference agreement between Moscow and Washington that would prohibit both governments from meddling in the other's domestic politics.

After examining the proposal, which has not previously been reported, US officials told Moscow there would be no deal.

"We said 'thank you very much but now is not the time for this,'" said a senior State Department official who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive diplomatic discussions."

Here you have it – a self-confession from the highest D.C. officials, that "democracy promotion = meddling in the elections"! Oh, but that's not all:

[Dec 12, 2017] The Acceleration of Censorship in America by Joe Lauria

Notable quotes:
"... BuzzFeed , of course, is the sensationalist outlet that irresponsibly published the Steele dossier in full, even though the accusations – not just about Donald Trump but also many other individuals – weren't verified. Then on Nov. 14, BuzzFeed reporter Jason Leopold wrote one of the most ludicrous of a long line of fantastic Russia-gate stories, reporting that the Russian foreign ministry had sent money to Russian consulates in the U.S. "to finance the election campaign of 2016." The scoop generated some screaming headlines before it became clear that the money was to pay for Russian citizens in the U.S. to vote in the 2016 Duma election. ..."
"... A lesson of the 2016 campaign was that growing numbers of Americans are fed up with three decades of neoliberal policies that have fabulously enriched the top tier of Americans and debased a huge majority of everyone else. The population has likewise grown tired of the elite's senseless wars to expand their own interests, which they to conflate with the entire country's interests. ..."
"... Careerist journalists readily acquiesce in this suppression of news to maintain their jobs, their status and their lifestyles. Meanwhile, a growing body of poorly paid freelancers compete for the few remaining decent-paying gigs for which they must report from the viewpoint of the mainstream news organizations and their wealthy owners. ..."
"... Their solution has been to brand the content of the Russian television network, RT, as "propaganda" since it presents facts and viewpoints that most Americans have been kept from hearing. ..."
"... Now, these American transgressions are projected exclusively onto Moscow. There's also a measure of self-reverence in this for "successful" people, like some journalists, with a stake in an establishment that underpins the elite, demonstrating how wonderfully democratic they are compared to those ogres in Russia. ..."
"... The Jan. 6 intelligence assessment on alleged Russian election meddling is a good example of this. A third of its content is an attack on RT for "undermining American democracy" by reporting on Occupy Wall Street, the protest over the Dakota pipeline and, of all things, holding a "third party candidate debates," at a time when 71% of American millennials say they want a third party. ..."
"... According to the Jan. 6 assessment, RT's offenses include reporting that "the US two-party system does not represent the views of at least one-third of the population and is a 'sham.'" RT also "highlights criticism of alleged US shortcomings in democracy and civil liberties." In other words, reporting newsworthy events and giving third-party candidates a voice undermines democracy. ..."
"... The assessment also says all this amounts to "a Kremlin-directed campaign to undermine faith in the US Government and fuel political protest," but those protests by are against privileges of the wealthy and the well-connected, a status quo that the intelligence agencies were in essence created to protect. ..."
"... There are also deeper reasons why Russia is being targeted. The Russia-gate story fits neatly into a geopolitical strategy that long predates the 2016 election. Since Wall Street and the U.S. government lost the dominant position in Russia that existed under the pliable President Boris Yeltsin, the strategy has been to put pressure on getting rid of Putin to restore a U.S. friendly leader in Moscow. There is substance to Russia's concerns about American designs for "regime change" in the Kremlin. ..."
"... But the "deranking" isn't only aimed at Russian sites; Google algorithms also are taking aim at independent news sites that don't follow the mainstream herd – and thus are accused of spreading Russian or other "propaganda" if they question the dominant Western narratives on, say, the Ukraine crisis or the war in Syria. A number of alternative websites have begun reporting a sharp fall-off of traffic directed to their sites from Google's search engines. ..."
"... the European Union is spending €3.8 million to counter Russian "propaganda." It is targeting Eurosceptic politicians who repeat what they hear on Russian media. ..."
"... Less prominent figures are targeted too. John Kiriakou, a former CIA agent who blew the whistle on torture and was jailed for it, was kicked off a panel in Europe on Nov. 10 by a Bernie Sanders supporter who refused to appear with Kiriakou because he co-hosts a show on Radio Sputnik . ..."
"... At the end of November, Reporters Without Borders, an organization supposedly devoted to press freedom, tried to kick journalist Vanessa Beeley off a panel in Geneva to prevent her from presenting evidence that the White Helmets, a group that sells itself as a rescue organization inside rebel-controlled territory in Syria, has ties to Al Qaeda. The Swiss Press Club, which hosted the event, resisted the pressure and let Beeley speak. ..."
"... Much of this spreading mania and intensifying censorship traces back to Russia-gate. Yet, it remains remarkable that the corporate media has failed so far to prove any significant Russian interference in the U.S. election at all. Nor have the intelligence agencies, Congressional investigations and special prosecutor Robert Mueller. His criminal charges so far have been for financial crimes and lying to federal authorities on topics unrelated to any "collusion" between the Trump campaign and Russians to "hack" Democratic emails ..."
"... As journalist Yasha Levine tweeted: "So the country that influenced US policy through Michael Flynn is Israel, not Russia. But Flynn did try to influence Russia, not the other way around. Ha-ha. This is the smoking gun? What a farce." ..."
"... There's also the question of how significant the release of those emails was anyway. They did provide evidence that the DNC tilted the primary campaign in favor of Clinton over Sanders; they exposed the contents of Clinton's paid speeches to Wall Street, which she was trying to hide from the voters; and they revealed some pay-to-play features of the Clinton Foundation and its foreign donations. But – even if the Russians were involved in providing that information to the American people – those issues were not considered decisive in the campaign. ..."
"... As for vaguer concerns about some Russian group "probably" buying $100,000 in ads, mostly after Americans had voted, as a factor in swaying a $6 billion election, it is too silly to contemplate. ..."
"... RT and Sputnik 's reach in the U.S. is minuscule compared to Fox News , which slammed Clinton throughout the campaign, or for that matter, MSNBC, CNN and other mainstream news outlets, which often expressed open disdain for Republican Donald Trump but also gave extensive coverage to issues such as the security concerns about Clinton's private email server. ..."
"... Without convincing evidence, I remain a Russia-gate skeptic. I am not defending Russia. Russia can defend itself. However, amid the growing censorship and the dangerous new McCarthyism, I am trying to defend America -- from itself. ..."
"... Lauria's article is an excellent review of the hydra-headed MSM perversion of political journalism in this era of the PATRIOT Act, with special focus on 2016-2017. With one small exception that still is worth noting. Namely the inclusion of "North Koreans" along with Palestinians, Russians and Iranians as those whose viewpoints are never represented in the Western media. ..."
"... Without factual support James calls Putin an organized criminal. US NGO staff who have actually dealt with Putin characterize him as a strict legalist. In fact, Putin's incorruptibility is what drives CIA up the wall. Ask any upper-echelon spook. Putin's cupidity deficit short-circuits CIA's go-to subversion method, massive bribes. Putin has an uneasy relationship with the kleptocrats CIA installed while their puppet Yeltsin staggered around blind drunk. But Putin has materially curbed kleptocratic corruption and subversion. Russians appreciate that. ..."
"... It seems to be the same in Germany. The German journalist Udo Ulfkotte, he died maybe a year ago, he worked long for the prestigious newspaper FAZ, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, wrote a book about bought journalism. His explanation for the disappearence of discussion sites with newspapers is that the journalists discovered that the reactions got far more attention than the articles. Very annoying, of course. With us here, Follow The Money, and The Post Online behave as childish as German newspapers. ..."
"... And if that same central bank would give out loans -- that never get repaid -- to the same ethnic gangsters that would then would use those loans to buy up over 90% of the host nations MSM outlets to forever ensure that a steady drip, drip, drip of propaganda went into the host nation's residents, ever so slowly turning them into mindless sheep always bleating for more wars to help the ethnic gangsters steal their way to an Eretz state? ..."
"... Reminds me of a contemporary Russian joke: "Everything communists told us about socialism turned out to be a lie. However, everything they told us about capitalism is perfectly true". ..."
Dec 11, 2017 | www.unz.com

Under increasing pressure from a population angry about endless wars and the transfer of wealth to the one percent, American plutocrats are defending themselves by suppressing critical news in the corporate media they own. But as that news emerges on RT and dissident websites, they've resorted to the brazen move of censorship, which is rapidly spreading in the U.S. and Europe. I know because I was a victim of it.

At the end of October, I wrote an article for Consortium News about the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton's campaign paying for unvetted opposition research that became the basis for much of the disputed story about Russia allegedly interfering in the 2016 presidential election.

The piece showed that the Democrats' two paid-for sources that have engendered belief in Russia-gate are at best shaky. First was former British spy Christopher Steele's largely unverified dossier of second- and third-hand opposition research portraying Donald Trump as something of a Russian Manchurian candidate.

And the second was CrowdStrike, an anti-Putin private company, examining the DNC's computer server to dubiously claim discovery of a Russian "hack." CrowdStrike, it was later discovered, had used faulty software it was later forced to rewrite . The company was hired after the DNC refused to allow the FBI to look at the server.

My piece also described the dangerous consequences of partisan Democratic faith in Russia-gate: a sharp increase in geopolitical tensions between nuclear-armed Russia and the U.S., and a New McCarthyism that is spreading fear -- especially in academia, journalism and civil rights organizations -- about questioning the enforced orthodoxy of Russia's alleged guilt.

After the article appeared at Consortium News , I tried to penetrate the mainstream by then publishing a version of the article on the HuffPost, which was rebranded from the Huffington Post in April this year by new management. As a contributor to the site since February 2006, I am trusted by HuffPost editors to post my stories directly online. However, within 24 hours of publication on Nov. 4, HuffPost editors retracted the article without any explanation.

.... ... ...

Support from Independent Media

Like the word "fascism," "censorship" is an over-used and mis-used accusation, and I usually avoid using it. But without any explanation, I could only conclude that the decision to retract was political, not editorial.

I am non-partisan as I oppose both major parties for failing to represent millions of Americans' interests. I follow facts where they lead. In this case, the facts led to an understanding that the Jan. 6 FBI/NSA/CIA intelligence "assessment" on alleged Russian election interference, prepared by what then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper called "hand-picked" analysts, was based substantially on unvetted opposition research and speculation, not serious intelligence work.

The assessment even made the point that the analysts were not asserting that the alleged Russian interference was a fact. The report contained this disclaimer: "Judgments are not intended to imply that we have proof that shows something to be a fact. Assessments are based on collected information, which is often incomplete or fragmentary, as well as logic, argumentation, and precedents."

Under deadline pressure on Jan. 6, Scott Shane of The New York Times instinctively wrote what many readers of the report must have been thinking: "What is missing from the public report is what many Americans most eagerly anticipated: hard evidence to back up the agencies' claims that the Russian government engineered the election attack. Instead, the message from the agencies essentially amounts to 'trust us.'"

Yet, after the Jan. 6 report was published, leading Democrats asserted falsely that the "assessment" represented the consensus judgment of all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies – not just the views of "hand-picked" analysts from three – and much of the U.S. mainstream media began treating the allegations of Russian "hacking" as fact, not as an uncertain conclusion denied by both the Russian government and WikiLeaks, which insists that it did not get the two batches of Democratic emails from the Russian government.

Yet, because of the oft-repeated "17 intelligence agencies" canard and the mainstream media's over-hyped reporting, the public impression has built up that the accusations against Russia are indisputable. If you ask a Russia-gate believer today what their faith is based on, they will invariably point to the Jan. 6 assessment and mock anyone who still expresses any doubt.

For instance, an unnamed former CIA officer told The Intercept last month, "You've got all these intelligence agencies saying the Russians did the hack. To deny that is like coming out with the theory that the Japanese didn't bomb Pearl Harbor."

That the supposedly dissident Intercept would use this quote is instructive about how unbalanced the media's reporting on Russia-gate has been. We have film of Japanese planes attacking Pearl Harbor and American ships burning – and we have eyewitness accounts of thousands of U.S. soldiers and sailors. Yet, on Russia-gate, we have only the opinions of "hand-picked" intelligence officials who themselves admit their opinions aren't fact. No serious editor would allow a self-interested and unnamed source to equate Russia-gate and Pearl Harbor in print.

In this atmosphere, it was easy for HuffPost editors to hear complaints from readers and blithely ban my story. But before it was pulled, 125 people had shared it. Ray McGovern, a former CIA analyst, then took up my cause, being the first to write about the HuffPost censorship on his blog. McGovern included a link to a .pdf file that I captured of the censored HuffPost story. It has since been republished on numerous other websites.

Journalist Max Blumenthal tweeted about it. British filmmaker and writer Tariq Ali posted it on his Facebook page. Ron Paul and Daniel McAdams interviewed me at length about the censorship on their TV program. ZeroHedge wrote a widely shared piece and someone actually took the time, 27 minutes and 13 seconds to be exact, to read the entire article on YouTube. I began a petition to HuffPost 's Polgreen to either explain the retraction or restore the article. It has gained more than 2,000 signatures so far. If a serious fact-check analysis was made of my article, it must exist and can and should be produced.

Watchdogs & Media Defending Censorship

Despite this support from independent media, a senior official at Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, I learned, declined to take up my cause because he believes in the Russia-gate story. I also learned that a senior officer at the American Civil Liberties Union rejected my case because he too believes in Russia-gate. Both of these serious organizations were set up precisely to defend individuals in such situations on principle, not preference.

In terms of their responsibilities for defending journalism and protecting civil liberties, their personal opinions about whether Russia-gate is real or not are irrelevant. The point is whether a journalist has the right to publish an article skeptical of it. I worry that amid the irrational fear spreading about Russia that concerns about careers and funding are behind these decisions.

One online publication decidedly took the HuffPost's side. Steven Perlberg, a media reporter for BuzzFeed, asked the HuffPost why they retracted my article. While ignoring me, the editors issued a statement to BuzzFeed saying that "Mr. Lauria's self-published" piece was "later flagged by readers, and after deciding that the post contained multiple factually inaccurate or misleading claims, our editors removed the post per our contributor terms of use." Those terms include retraction for "any reason," including, apparently, censorship.

Perlberg posted the HuffPost statement on Twitter. I asked him if he inquired of the editors what those "multiple" errors and "misleading claims" were. I asked him to contact me to get my side of the story. Perlberg totally ignored me. He wrote nothing about the matter. He apparently believed the HuffPost and that was that. In this way, he acquiesced with the censorship.

BuzzFeed , of course, is the sensationalist outlet that irresponsibly published the Steele dossier in full, even though the accusations – not just about Donald Trump but also many other individuals – weren't verified. Then on Nov. 14, BuzzFeed reporter Jason Leopold wrote one of the most ludicrous of a long line of fantastic Russia-gate stories, reporting that the Russian foreign ministry had sent money to Russian consulates in the U.S. "to finance the election campaign of 2016." The scoop generated some screaming headlines before it became clear that the money was to pay for Russian citizens in the U.S. to vote in the 2016 Duma election.

That Russia-gate has reached this point, based on faith and not fact, was further illustrated by a Facebook exchange I had with Gary Sick, an academic who served on the Ford and Carter national security staffs. When I pressed Sick for evidence of Russian interference, he eventually replied: "If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck " When I told him that was a very low-bar for such serious accusations, he angrily cut off debate.

When belief in a story becomes faith-based or is driven by intense self-interest, honest skeptics are pushed aside and trampled. True-believers disdain facts that force them to think about what they believe. They won't waste time making a painstaking examination of the facts or engage in a detailed debate even on something as important and dangerous as a new Cold War with Russia.

This is the most likely explanation for the HuffPost 's censorship: a visceral reaction to having their Russia-gate faith challenged.

Why Critical News is Suppressed

But the HuffPos t's action is hardly isolated. It is part of a rapidly growing landscape of censorship of news critical of American corporate and political leaders who are trying to defend themselves from an increasingly angry population. It's a story as old as civilization: a wealthy and powerful elite fending off popular unrest by trying to contain knowledge of how the elite gain at the others' expense, at home and abroad.

A lesson of the 2016 campaign was that growing numbers of Americans are fed up with three decades of neoliberal policies that have fabulously enriched the top tier of Americans and debased a huge majority of everyone else. The population has likewise grown tired of the elite's senseless wars to expand their own interests, which they to conflate with the entire country's interests.

America's bipartisan rulers are threatened by popular discontent from both left and right. They were alarmed by the Bernie Sanders insurgency and by Donald Trump's victory, even if Trump is now betraying the discontented masses who voted for him by advancing tax and health insurance plans designed to further crush them and benefit the rich.

Trump's false campaign promises will only make the rulers' problem of controlling a restless population more difficult. Americans are subjected to economic inequality greater than in the first Gilded Age. They are also subjected today to more war than in the first Gilded Age, which led to the launch of American overseas empire. Today American rulers are engaged in multiple conflicts following decades of post-World War II invasions and coups to expand their global interests.

People with wealth and power always seem to be nervous about losing both. So plutocrats use the concentrated media they own to suppress news critical of their wars and domestic repression. For example, almost nothing was reported about militarized police forces until the story broke out into the open in the Ferguson protests and now the story has been buried again.

Careerist journalists readily acquiesce in this suppression of news to maintain their jobs, their status and their lifestyles. Meanwhile, a growing body of poorly paid freelancers compete for the few remaining decent-paying gigs for which they must report from the viewpoint of the mainstream news organizations and their wealthy owners.

To operate in this media structure, most journalists know to excise out the historical context of America's wars of domination. They know to uncritically accept American officials' bromides about spreading democracy, while hiding the real war aims.

Examples abound: America's role in the Ukraine coup was denied or downplayed; a British parliamentary report exposing American lies that led to the destruction of Libya was suppressed ; and most infamously, the media promoted the WMD hoax and the fable of "bringing democracy" to Iraq, leading to the illegal invasion and devastation of that country. A recent example from November is a 60 Minutes report on the Saudi destruction of Yemen, conspicuously failing to mention America's crucial role in the carnage.

I've pitched numerous news stories critical of U.S. foreign policy to a major American newspaper that were rejected or changed in the editorial process. One example is the declassified Defense Intelligence Agency document of August 2012 that accurately predicted the rise of the Islamic State two years later.

The document, which I confirmed with a Pentagon spokesman, said the U.S. and its Turkish, European and Gulf Arab allies, were supporting the establishment of a Salafist principality in eastern Syria to put pressure on the Syrian government, but the document warned that this Salafist base could turn into an "Islamic State."

But such a story would undermine the U.S. government's "war on terrorism" narrative by revealing that the U.S.-backed strategy actually was risking the expansion of jihadist-held territory in Syria. The story was twice rejected by my editors and to my knowledge has never appeared in corporate media.

Another story rejected in June 2012, just a year into the Syrian war, was about Russia's motives in Syria being guided by a desire to defeat the growing jihadist threat there. Corporate media wanted to keep the myth of Russia's "imperial" aims in Syria alive. I had to publish the article outside the U.S., in a South African daily newspaper.

In September 2015 at the U.N. General Assembly, Russian President Vladimir Putin confirmed my story about Russia's motives in Syria to stop jihadists from taking over. Putin invited the U.S. to join this effort as Moscow was about to launch its military intervention at the invitation of the Syrian government. The Obama administration, still insisting on "regime change" in Syria, refused. And the U.S. corporate media continued promoting the myth that Russia intervened to recapture its "imperial glory."

It was much easier to promote the "imperial" narrative than report Putin's clear explanation to French TV channel TF1, which was not picked up by American media.

"Remember what Libya or Iraq looked like before these countries and their organizations were destroyed as states by our Western partners' forces?" Putin said. "These states showed no signs of terrorism. They were not a threat for Paris, for the Cote d'Azur, for Belgium, for Russia, or for the United States. Now, they are the source of terrorist threats. Our goal is to prevent the same from happening in Syria."

But don't take Putin's word for it. Then Secretary of State John Kerry knew why Russia intervened. In a leaked audio conversation with Syrian opposition figures in September 2016, Kerry said: "The reason Russia came in is because ISIL was getting stronger, Daesh was threatening the pos­sibility of going to Damascus, and that's why Russia came in because they didn't want a Daesh government and they supported Assad."

Kerry admitted that rather than seriously fight the Islamic State in Syria, the U.S. was ready to use its growing strength to pressure Assad to resign, just as the DIA document that I was unable to report said it would. "We know that this was growing, we were watching, we saw that Daesh was growing in strength, and we thought Assad was threatened. We thought, how­ever, we could probably manage that Assad might then negotiate, but instead of negotiating he got Putin to support him." Kerry's com­ment suggests that the U.S. was willing to risk the Islamic State and its jihadist allies gaining power in order to force out Assad.

Why Russia Is Targeted

Where are independent-minded Western journalists to turn if their stories critical of the U.S. government and corporations are suppressed? The imperative is to get these stories out – and Russian media has provided an opening. But this has presented a new problem for the plutocracy. The suppression of critical news in their corporate-owned media is no longer working if it's seeping out in Russian media and through dissident Western news sites.

Their solution has been to brand the content of the Russian television network, RT, as "propaganda" since it presents facts and viewpoints that most Americans have been kept from hearing.

As a Russian-government-financed English-language news channel, RT also gives a Russian perspective on the news, the way CNN and The New York Times give an American perspective and the BBC a British one. American mainstream journalists, from my experience, arrogantly deny suppressing news and believe they present a universal perspective, rather than a narrow American view of the world.

The viewpoints of Iranians, Palestinians, Russians, North Koreans and others are never fully reported in the Western media although the supposed mission of journalism is to help citizens understand a frighteningly complex world from multiple points of view. It's impossible to do so without those voices included. Routinely or systematically shutting them out also dehumanizes people in those countries, making it easier to gain popular support to go to war against them.

Russia is scapegoated by charging that RT or Sputnik are sowing divisions in the U.S. by focusing on issues like homelessness, racism, or out-of-control militarized police forces, as if these divisive issues didn't already exist. The U.S. mainstream media also seems to forget that the U.S. government has engaged in at least 70 years of interference in other countries' elections, foreign invasions, coups, planting stories in foreign media and cyber-warfare, which Russian media crucially points out.

Now, these American transgressions are projected exclusively onto Moscow. There's also a measure of self-reverence in this for "successful" people, like some journalists, with a stake in an establishment that underpins the elite, demonstrating how wonderfully democratic they are compared to those ogres in Russia.

The overriding point about the "Russian propaganda" complaint is that when America's democratic institutions, including the press and the electoral process, are crumbling under the weight of corruption that the American elites have created or maintained, someone else needs to be blamed.

The Jan. 6 intelligence assessment on alleged Russian election meddling is a good example of this. A third of its content is an attack on RT for "undermining American democracy" by reporting on Occupy Wall Street, the protest over the Dakota pipeline and, of all things, holding a "third party candidate debates," at a time when 71% of American millennials say they want a third party.

According to the Jan. 6 assessment, RT's offenses include reporting that "the US two-party system does not represent the views of at least one-third of the population and is a 'sham.'" RT also "highlights criticism of alleged US shortcomings in democracy and civil liberties." In other words, reporting newsworthy events and giving third-party candidates a voice undermines democracy.

The assessment also says all this amounts to "a Kremlin-directed campaign to undermine faith in the US Government and fuel political protest," but those protests by are against privileges of the wealthy and the well-connected, a status quo that the intelligence agencies were in essence created to protect.

There are also deeper reasons why Russia is being targeted. The Russia-gate story fits neatly into a geopolitical strategy that long predates the 2016 election. Since Wall Street and the U.S. government lost the dominant position in Russia that existed under the pliable President Boris Yeltsin, the strategy has been to put pressure on getting rid of Putin to restore a U.S. friendly leader in Moscow. There is substance to Russia's concerns about American designs for "regime change" in the Kremlin.

Moscow sees an aggressive America expanding NATO and putting 30,000 NATO troops on its borders; trying to overthrow a secular ally in Syria with terrorists who threaten Russia itself; backing a coup in Ukraine as a possible prelude to moves against Russia; and using American NGOs to foment unrest inside Russia before they were forced to register as foreign agents.

Accelerated Censorship in the Private Sector

The Constitution prohibits government from prior-restraint, or censorship, though such tactics were imposed, largely unchallenged, during the two world wars. American newspapers voluntarily agreed to censor themselves in the Second World War before the government dictated it.

In the Korean War, General Douglas MacArthur said he didn't "desire to reestablish wartime censorship" and instead asked the press for self-censorship. He largely got it until the papers began reporting American battlefield losses. On July 25, 1950, "the army ordered that reporters were not allowed to publish 'unwarranted' criticism of command decisions, and that the army would be 'the sole judge and jury' on what 'unwarranted' criticism entailed," according to a Yale University study on military censorship.

After excellent on-the-ground reporting from Vietnam brought the war home to America, the military reacted by instituting, initially in the first Gulf War, serious control of the press by "embedding" reporters from private media companies. They accepted the arrangement, much as World War II newspapers censored themselves.

It is important to realize that the First Amendment does not apply to private companies, including the media. It is not illegal for them to practice censorship. I never made a First Amendment argument against the HuffPost , for instance. However, under pressure from Washington, even in peacetime, media companies can do the government's dirty work to censor or limit free speech for the government.

In the past few weeks, we've seen an acceleration of attempts by corporations to inhibit Russian media in the U.S. Both Google and Facebook, which dominate the Web with more than 50 percent of ad revenue, were at first resistant to government pressure to censor "Russian propaganda." But they are coming around.

Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Alphabet, Google's parent company, said on Nov. 18 that Google would "derank" articles from RT and Sputnik in the Google searches, making the stories harder for readers to find. The billionaire Schmidt claimed Russian information can be "repetitive, exploitative, false, [or] likely to have been weaponized," he said. That is how factual news critical of U.S. corporate and political leadership is seen by them: as a weapon threatening their rule.

"My own view is that these patterns can be detected, and that they can be taken down or deprioritized," Schmidt said. Though Google would essentially be hiding news produced by RT and Sputnik , Schmidt is sensitive to the charge of censorship, even though there's nothing legally to stop him. "We don't want to ban the sites. That's not how we operate," Schmidt said cynically. "I am strongly not in favor of censorship. I am very strongly in favor of ranking. It's what we do."

But the "deranking" isn't only aimed at Russian sites; Google algorithms also are taking aim at independent news sites that don't follow the mainstream herd – and thus are accused of spreading Russian or other "propaganda" if they question the dominant Western narratives on, say, the Ukraine crisis or the war in Syria. A number of alternative websites have begun reporting a sharp fall-off of traffic directed to their sites from Google's search engines.

Responding to a deadline from Congress to act, Facebook on Nov. 22 announced that it would inform users if they have been "targeted" by Russian "propaganda." Facebook's help center will tell users if they liked or shared ads allegedly from the St. Petersburg-based Internet Research Agency, which supposedly bought $100,000 in ads over a two-year period, with more than half these ads coming after the 2016 U.S. election and many not related to politics.

The $100,000 sum over two years compares to Facebook's $27 billion in annual revenue. Plus, Facebook only says it "believes" or it's "likely" that the ads came from that firm, whose links to the Kremlin also have yet to be proved.

Facebook described the move as "part of our ongoing effort to protect our platforms and the people who use them from bad actors who try to undermine our democracy." Congress wants more from Facebook, so it will not be surprising if users will eventually be alerted to Russian media reports as "propaganda" in the future.

While the government can't openly shut down a news site, the Federal Communications Commission's upcoming vote on whether to deregulate the Internet by ending net neutrality will free private Internet companies in the U.S. to further marginalize Russian and dissident websites by slowing them down and thus discouraging readers from viewing them.

Likewise, as the U.S. government doesn't want to be openly seen shutting down RT operations, it is working around the edges to accomplish that.

After the Department of Justice forced, under threat of arrest, RT to register its employees as foreign agents under the Foreign Agents Registration Act , State Department spokeswoman Heather Nuaert said that "FARA does not police the content of information disseminated, does not limit the publication of information or advocacy materials, and does not restrict an organization's ability to operate." She'd earlier said that registering would not "impact or affect the ability of them to report news and information. We just have them register. It's as simple as that."

The day after Nuaert spoke the Congressional press office stripped RT correspondents of their Capitol Hill press passes, citing the FARA registration. "The rules of the Galleries state clearly that news credentials may not be issued to any applicant employed 'by any foreign government or representative thereof.' Upon its registration as a foreign agent under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), RT Network became ineligible to hold news credentials," read the letter to RT.

But Russia-gate faithful ignore these aggressive moves and issue calls for even harsher action. After forcing RT to register, Keir Giles, a Chatham House senior consulting fellow, acted as though it never happened. He said in a Council on Foreign Relations Cyber Brief on Nov. 27: "Although the Trump administration seems unlikely to pursue action against Russian information operations, there are steps the U.S. Congress and other governments should consider."

I commented on this development on RT America. It would also have been good to have the State Department's Nuaert answer for this discrepancy about the claim that forced FARA registrations would not affect news gathering when it already has. My criticism of RT is that they should be interviewing U.S. decision-makers to hold them accountable, rather than mostly guests outside the power structure. The decision-makers could be called out on air if they refuse to appear.

Growing McCarthyite Attacks

Western rulers' wariness about popular unrest can be seen in the extraordinary and scurrilous attack on the Canadian website globalresearch.ca . It began with a chilling study by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization into the relatively obscure website, followed by a vicious hit piece on Nov. 18 by the Globe and Mail, Canada's largest newspaper. The headline was: "How a Canadian website is being used to amplify the Kremlin's view of the world."

"What once appeared to be a relatively harmless online refuge for conspiracy theorists is now seen by NATO's information warfare specialists as a link in a concerted effort to undermine the credibility of mainstream Western media – as well as the North American and European public's trust in government and public institutions," the Globe and Mail reported.

"Global Research is viewed by NATO's Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence – or StratCom – as playing a key accelerant role in helping popularize articles with little basis in fact that also happen to fit the narratives being pushed by the Kremlin, in particular, and the Assad regime." The website never knew it had such powers. I've not agreed with everything I've read on the site. But it is a useful clearinghouse for alternative media. Numerous Consortium News articles are republished there, including a handful of mine. But the site's typical sharing and reposting on the Internet is seen by NATO as a plot to undermine the Free World.

"It uses that reach to push not only its own opinion pieces, but 'news' reports from little-known websites that regularly carry dubious or false information," the he Globe and Mail reported. " At times, the site's regular variety of international-affairs stories is replaced with a flurry of items that bolster dubious reportage with a series of opinion pieces, promoted on social media and retweeted and shared by active bots."

The newspaper continued, "'That way, they increase the Google ranking of the story and create the illusion of multi-source verification,' said Donara Barojan, who does digital forensic research for [StratCom]. But she said she did not yet have proof that Global Research is connected to any government."

This sort of smear is nothing more than a blatant attack on free speech by the most powerful military alliance in the world, based on the unfounded conviction that Russia is a fundamental force for evil and that anyone who has contacts with Russia or shares even a part of its multilateral world view is suspect.

Such tactics are spreading to Europe. La Repubblica newspaper in Italy wrote a similar hit piece against L'Antidiplomatico, a dissident website. And the European Union is spending €3.8 million to counter Russian "propaganda." It is targeting Eurosceptic politicians who repeat what they hear on Russian media.

High-profile individuals in the U.S. are also now in the crosshairs of the neo-McCarthyite witch hunt. On Nov. 25 The Washington Post ran a nasty hit piece on Washington Capitals' hockey player Alex Ovechkin, one of the most revered sports figures in the Washington area, simply because he, like 86 percent of other Russians , supports his president.

"Alex Ovechkin is one of Putin's biggest fans. The question is, why?" ran the headline. The story insidiously implied that Ovechkin was a dupe of his own president, being used to set up a media campaign to support Putin, who is under fierce and relentless attack in the United States where Ovechkin plays professional ice hockey.

"He has given an unwavering endorsement to a man who U.S. intelligence agencies say sanctioned Russian meddling in last year's presidential election," write the Post reporters, once again showing their gullibility to U.S. intelligence agencies that have provided no proof for their assertions (and even admit that they are not asserting their opinion as fact).

Less prominent figures are targeted too. John Kiriakou, a former CIA agent who blew the whistle on torture and was jailed for it, was kicked off a panel in Europe on Nov. 10 by a Bernie Sanders supporter who refused to appear with Kiriakou because he co-hosts a show on Radio Sputnik .

At the end of November, Reporters Without Borders, an organization supposedly devoted to press freedom, tried to kick journalist Vanessa Beeley off a panel in Geneva to prevent her from presenting evidence that the White Helmets, a group that sells itself as a rescue organization inside rebel-controlled territory in Syria, has ties to Al Qaeda. The Swiss Press Club, which hosted the event, resisted the pressure and let Beeley speak.

But as a consequence the club director said its funding was slashed from the Swiss government.

Russia-gate's Hurdles

Much of this spreading mania and intensifying censorship traces back to Russia-gate. Yet, it remains remarkable that the corporate media has failed so far to prove any significant Russian interference in the U.S. election at all. Nor have the intelligence agencies, Congressional investigations and special prosecutor Robert Mueller. His criminal charges so far have been for financial crimes and lying to federal authorities on topics unrelated to any "collusion" between the Trump campaign and Russians to "hack" Democratic emails.

There will likely be more indictments from Mueller, even perhaps a complaint about Trump committing obstruction of justice because he said on TV that he fired Comey, in part, because of the "Russia thing." But Trump's clumsy reaction to the "scandal," which he calls "fake news" and a "witch hunt," still is not proof that Putin and the Russians interfered in the U.S. election to achieve the unlikely outcome of Trump's victory.

The Russia-gate faithful assured us to wait for the indictment of retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, briefly Trump's national security adviser. But again there was nothing about pre-election "collusion," only charges that Flynn had lied to the FBI about conversations with the Russian ambassador regarding policy matters during the presidential transition, i.e., after the election.

One of Flynn's conversations was about trying unsuccessfully to comply with an Israeli request to get Russia to block a United Nations resolution censuring Israel's settlements on Palestinian land.

As journalist Yasha Levine tweeted: "So the country that influenced US policy through Michael Flynn is Israel, not Russia. But Flynn did try to influence Russia, not the other way around. Ha-ha. This is the smoking gun? What a farce."

The media is becoming a victim of its own mania. In its zeal to push this story reporters are making a huge number of amateurish mistakes on stories that are later corrected. Brian Ross of ABC News was suspended for erroneously reporting that Trump had told Flynn to contact the Russians before the election, and not after.

There remain a number of key hurdles to prove the Russia-gate story. First, convincing evidence is needed that the Russian government indeed did "hack" the Democratic emails, both those of the DNC and Clinton's campaign chairman John Podesta – and gave them to WikiLeaks. Then it must be linked somehow to the Trump campaign. If it were a Russian hack it would have been an intelligence operation on a need-to-know basis, and no one in the Trump team needed to know. It's not clear how any campaign member could have even helped with an overseas hack or could have been an intermediary to WikiLeaks.

There's also the question of how significant the release of those emails was anyway. They did provide evidence that the DNC tilted the primary campaign in favor of Clinton over Sanders; they exposed the contents of Clinton's paid speeches to Wall Street, which she was trying to hide from the voters; and they revealed some pay-to-play features of the Clinton Foundation and its foreign donations. But – even if the Russians were involved in providing that information to the American people – those issues were not considered decisive in the campaign.

Clinton principally pinned her loss on FBI Director James Comey for closing and then reopening the investigation into her improper use of a private email server while Secretary of State. She also spread the blame to Russia (repeating the canard about "seventeen [U.S. intelligence] agencies, all in agreement"), Bernie Sanders, the inept DNC and other factors.

As for vaguer concerns about some Russian group "probably" buying $100,000 in ads, mostly after Americans had voted, as a factor in swaying a $6 billion election, it is too silly to contemplate.

That RT and Sputnik ran pieces critical of Hillary Clinton was their right, and they were hardly alone. RT and Sputnik 's reach in the U.S. is minuscule compared to Fox News , which slammed Clinton throughout the campaign, or for that matter, MSNBC, CNN and other mainstream news outlets, which often expressed open disdain for Republican Donald Trump but also gave extensive coverage to issues such as the security concerns about Clinton's private email server.

Another vague Russia-gate suspicion stemming largely from Steele's opposition research is that somehow Russia bribed or blackmailed Trump because of past business with Russians. But there are evidentiary and logical problems with these theories, since some lucrative deals fell through (and presumably wouldn't have if Trump was being paid off).

Some have questioned how Trump could have supported detente with Russia without being beholden to Moscow in some way. But Jeffrey Sommers, a political scientist at the University of Wisconsin, wrote a convincing essay explaining adviser Steve Bannon's influence on Trump's thinking about Russia and the need for cooperation between the two powers to solve international problems.

Without convincing evidence, I remain a Russia-gate skeptic. I am not defending Russia. Russia can defend itself. However, amid the growing censorship and the dangerous new McCarthyism, I am trying to defend America -- from itself.

An earlier version of this story appeared on Consortium News .

Joe Lauria is a veteran foreign-affairs journalist. He has written for the Boston Globe, the Sunday Times of London and the Wall Street Journal among other newspapers. He is the author of How I Lost By Hillary Clinton published by OR Books in June 2017. He can be reached at joelauria@gmail.com and followed on Twitter at @unjoe .

Carlton Meyer , Website December 11, 2017 at 5:49 am GMT

"Breaking News" – CNN's Fake News Exposed -- Again!

https://theintercept.com/2017/12/09/the-u-s-media-yesterday-suffered-its-most-humiliating-debacle-in-ages-now-refuses-all-transparency-over-what-happened/

AndrewR , December 11, 2017 at 6:40 am GMT
People believe what they want to. Evidence, or lack thereof, has little to do with it, so censorship, or lack thereof, is largely pointless.
El Dato , December 11, 2017 at 6:53 am GMT

But Huffington stepped down as editor in August 2016 and has nothing to do with the site now. It is run by Lydia Polgreen, a former New York Times reporter and editor, who evidently has very different ideas. In April, she completely redesigned the site and renamed it HuffPost.

Ah, so HuffPo is now a NYT vehicle.

jilles dykstra , December 11, 2017 at 7:34 am GMT
" It's a story as old as civilization: a wealthy and powerful elite fending off popular unrest by trying to contain knowledge of how the elite gain at the others' expense, at home and abroad. "

This is exactly what Howard Zinn writes. Alas it is the same at this side of the Atlantic. The British newspaper Guardian was independent, Soros bought it. Dutch official 'news' is just government propaganda.

But also most Dutch dicussion sites are severely biased, criticism of Israel is next to impossible. And of course the words 'populist' and 'extreme right' are propaganda words, used for those who oppose mainstream politics: EU, euro, globalisation, unlimited immigration, etc.

Despite all these measures and censorship, including self censorship, dissident political parties grow stronger and stronger. One could see this in the French presidential elections, one sees it in Germany where AfD now is in parliament, the Reichstag, one sees it in Austria, where the nationalist party got about half the votes, one sees it in countries as Poland and Hungary, that want to keep their cultures. And of course there is Brexit 'we want our country back'.

In the Netherlands the in October 2016 founded party FvD, Forum for Democracy, got two seats in the last elections, but polls show that if now elections were held, it would have some fourteen seats in our parliament of 150. The present ruling coalition, led by Rutte, has very narrow margins, both in parliament and what here is called Eerste Kamer.
Parliament maybe can be seen as House, Eerste Kamer as Senate. There is a good chance that at the next Eerste Kamer elections FvD will be able to end the reign of Rutte, who is, in my opinion, just Chairman of the Advance Rutte Foundation, and of course a stiff supporter of Merkel and Brussels. Now that the end of Merkel is at the horizon, I'm curious how Rutte will manoevre.

Grandpa Charlie , December 11, 2017 at 7:42 am GMT

"The viewpoints of Iranians, Palestinians, Russians, North Koreans and others are never fully reported in the Western media although the supposed mission of journalism is to help citizens understand a frighteningly complex world from multiple points of view" -- Joe Lauria

Lauria's article is an excellent review of the hydra-headed MSM perversion of political journalism in this era of the PATRIOT Act, with special focus on 2016-2017. With one small exception that still is worth noting. Namely the inclusion of "North Koreans" along with Palestinians, Russians and Iranians as those whose viewpoints are never represented in the Western media.

It"s true, of course, that the viewpoints of North Koreans go unreported in MSM, but that's hardly the "whole truth and nothing but the truth." The problems confronting any journalist who might endeavor to report on public opinion in North Korea are incomparably more difficult than the problems confronting attempts to report on public opinion in Iran, in Russia or in Palestine. These three "theaters" -- so to speak –each with its own challenges, no doubt, should never be conflated with the severe realities of censorship and even forceful thought policing in North Korea.

Anonymous , Disclaimer December 11, 2017 at 9:32 am GMT

Despite this support from independent media, a senior official at Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, I learned, declined to take up my cause because he believes in the Russia-gate story. I also learned that a senior officer at the American Civil Liberties Union rejected my case because he too believes in Russia-gate. Both of these serious organizations were set up precisely to defend individuals in such situations on principle, not preference.

I'm not even sure that they believe in Russia-gate. This could easily be cowardice or corruption. The globalists have poured untold millions into "fixing" the Internet wrongthink so it's only natural that we're seeing results. I'm seeing "grassroots" shilling everywhere, for instance.

This is not going to work for them. You can't force consent of the governed. The more you squeeze, the more sand slips through your fingers.

Vlad , December 11, 2017 at 10:12 am GMT
Thank you for your steadfastness, honesty, courage and determination.
cowardly troll , December 11, 2017 at 11:31 am GMT
It is worse than censorship. History, via web searches, are being deleted. Now, you have no hint what is missing. Example, in 1999 I read an article in a weekly tech newspaper – maybe Information Week – about university researchers who discovered that 64 bit encrypted phones were only using the first 56 bits and the last 8 were zeros. They suspected that the US government was responsible. Cannot find any reference to that online.
Jim Bob Lassiter , December 11, 2017 at 12:54 pm GMT
Joe Lauria may very well be a "victim", but certainly not one that I would parade around as some USDA table grade poster child victim of really egregious reprisals. He's a veteran in the establishment MSM milieu and certainly knew what kind of a shit bird operation it is that he chose to attempt to publish his piece in.

Oh, lest I forget to mention, he didn't lose his livelihood, get ejected from his gym, have his country club membership revoked, get banned from AirB&B ad nauseum.

Che Guava , December 11, 2017 at 2:19 pm GMT
It is an interesting article. I am curious about the '17 intellience agencies' thing, CIA., FBI, NSA, army and navy intel units, well that is making five or so. The latter two would likely having no connection with checking the 'Russia was hacking the election', likewise, air force sigint (which they obviously need and have). So, a list from a poster who is expert on the topic, what are the seventeen agencies which were agreeing on vicious Vlad having 'hacked' poor Hillary's campaign?

Is anybody knowing? This is a very real, good, and serious question, from me, and have not seeing it before. Can anybody producing a list of the seventeen agencies? Parodic replies welcome, but it would be of interest to many if somebody could making a list of the seventeen lurching about in Hillary's addled mind.

jack ryan , Website December 11, 2017 at 2:24 pm GMT
We're witnessing a huge closing of the American Liberal secular mind. There used to be secular liberal hard copy magazines like the Atlantic Magazine that published intelligent well written articles and commentary about foreign affairs, immigration, Islam from a principled secular, Liberal perspective – especially in the early 1990s. That's pretty much gone now as The Atlantic is mostly just a blog that puts out the party line. There are still, thankfully a few exceptions like

Graeme Wood's "What ISIS Really Wants" https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2015/03/what-isis-really-wants/384980/

The Atlantic Magazine still allows a lot of free speech in the comment section, except in cases like articles written by the Ta-Nehisi Coates.

We try to use humor to deflate the humorless PC Lib Left thought police and the go alongs to get along in the Cuckservative, Conservative Inc.

Here's one of our/Farstar cartoons just noticing that too many people are just parroting CNN nonsense about Russian conspiracies.

http://www.occidentaldissent.com/2017/06/16/farstar-returns-parroting-the-tv-the-russians-are-behind-everything/jpg-parrot/

Ilyana_Rozumova , December 11, 2017 at 3:01 pm GMT
Bias MSM. Censorship. These are affirmative sins of insecurity eventually leading to desperation, resulting in dictatorship.
Joe Hide , December 11, 2017 at 4:06 pm GMT
Your article seemed otherwise good, but lacked any humor early on to keep me reading. After all, it is 6000 words! I have a job, family, obligations, other readings, and only so much thinking energy in a day. I think You might try shortening such articles to maybe 2000 – 3000 words? Like I said though, You did present some good ideas.
Julius n' Ethel , December 11, 2017 at 4:27 pm GMT
Mark James' modified limited hangout shows us the true purpose of his ICCPR-illegal statist war propaganda. James candidly jettisons Hillary, acknowledging the obvious, that she was the more repulsive choice in this duel of the titans. But James is still hanging on to the crucial residual message of the CIA line: Putin tripleplus bad.

Without factual support James calls Putin an organized criminal. US NGO staff who have actually dealt with Putin characterize him as a strict legalist. In fact, Putin's incorruptibility is what drives CIA up the wall. Ask any upper-echelon spook. Putin's cupidity deficit short-circuits CIA's go-to subversion method, massive bribes. Putin has an uneasy relationship with the kleptocrats CIA installed while their puppet Yeltsin staggered around blind drunk. But Putin has materially curbed kleptocratic corruption and subversion. Russians appreciate that.

James fantasizes that Putin is going to get ousted and murdered. However Putin has public approval that US politicians couldn't dream of. This is because Russia's government meets world human rights standards that the US fails to meet. The Russian government complies with the Paris Principles, world standard for institutionalized human rights protection under expert international review. The USA does not. The USA is simply not is Russia's league with respect to universally-acknowledged rights.

James can easily verify this by comparing the US human-rights deficiencies to corresponding Russian reviews, point-by-point, based on each article of the core human rights conventions.

https://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Indicators/Pages/HRIndicatorsIndex.aspx

Comprehensive international human rights review shows that the USA is not in Russia's league. Look at the maps if you can't be bothered to read the particulars – they put the US in an underdeveloped backwater with headchopping Arab princelings and a couple African presidents-for-life. CIA's INGSOC fixation on Putin is intended to divert your attention from the objectively superior human-rights performance of the Russian government as a whole, and the USA's failure and disgrace in public in Geneva, front of the whole world.

How did this happen? Turns out, dismantling the USSR did Russia a world of good. Now we see it's time to take the USA apart and do the same for America. That's the origin of the panic you can smell on the CIA regime.

Don Bacon , December 11, 2017 at 4:41 pm GMT
There is censorship on blogs.
> I have been banned from The Atlantic blog for correcting a noted anti-Iran blogger.
> I have been banned from the National Interest blog for highlighting Pentagon's acquisition problems.
> I have been banned by Facebook for declaring that females don't belong in the infantry. I "violated community standards" with my opinion which was based somewhat on my time in the infantry, which my PC critic probably lacked.
jilles dykstra , December 11, 2017 at 5:53 pm GMT
@Don Bacon

In hindsight I wish I would have made a list of sites where I was banned, some of them several times. In the USA Washpost and Christian Science Monitor, both sites were abolished, I suppose because censorship and banning became too expensive.

In UK War Without End was was one of the very few sites where was no censorship, UK laws forced the owner to close down. The site was near impossible to hack, the owner had a hand built interface in Linux between incoming messages and the site itself. At present there is not one more or less serious Dutch site where I can write.

On top of that, most Dutch sites no longer exist, especially those operated by newspapers.

It seems to be the same in Germany. The German journalist Udo Ulfkotte, he died maybe a year ago, he worked long for the prestigious newspaper FAZ, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, wrote a book about bought journalism. His explanation for the disappearence of discussion sites with newspapers is that the journalists discovered that the reactions got far more attention than the articles. Very annoying, of course. With us here, Follow The Money, and The Post Online behave as childish as German newspapers.

Alden , December 11, 2017 at 5:57 pm GMT
@Jim Bob Lassiter

Your post is exactly what I wanted to write. Saved me the effort. I figured out the MSM was nothing but lies around 1966. I have no sympathy for any MSM journalist.

Greg Bacon , Website December 11, 2017 at 6:12 pm GMT
Wouldn't it be scary if a nation's central bank was controlled and run by a group pretending to be loyal to their host nation, but was actually in league with a nation that was trying to gobble up huge chunks of ME land, doing this by controlling the host nation's media outlets, and forever posting psyop stories and actual lies to support the land thefts?

And if that same central bank would give out loans -- that never get repaid -- to the same ethnic gangsters that would then would use those loans to buy up over 90% of the host nations MSM outlets to forever ensure that a steady drip, drip, drip of propaganda went into the host nation's residents, ever so slowly turning them into mindless sheep always bleating for more wars to help the ethnic gangsters steal their way to an Eretz state?

Yes, it would be scary to live in a tyrant state like that.

Anon , Disclaimer December 12, 2017 at 1:02 am GMT

Reminds me of a contemporary Russian joke: "Everything communists told us about socialism turned out to be a lie. However, everything they told us about capitalism is perfectly true".

[Dec 10, 2017] #blamePutin continues to be the media s dominant hashtag

Notable quotes:
"... The decline of the falsely self-described "quality" media outlet The Guardian/Observer into a deranged fake news site pushing anti-Russian hate propaganda continues apace. ..."
"... Later in the same article Magnitsky is described as having been Browder's "tax lawyer" a standard trope of the Western propaganda narrative about the case. Magnitsky was actually an accountant . ..."
"... By "doing something about it" they mean they're going to tell one hostile lie about Russia after another. ..."
"... I think huge swathes of the media, in the eyes of many people, have never really recovered from the ghastly debacle that was their dreadful coverage of the reasons for the illegal attack on Iraq. The journalists want us to forget and move on, but many, many, people still remember. ..."
"... At a time when the ruling elite, across virtually the entire western world, is losing it; it being, political legitimacy and the breakdown of any semblance of a social contract between the ruled and the rulers the Guardian lurches even further to the political right . Amazing, though not really surprising. The Guardian's role appears to be to 'coral' radical and leftist ideas and opinions and 'groom' the educated middle class into accepting their own subjugation. ..."
"... The Guardian is a bit like the Tory government, lost and without any real ideas or ideals. The slow strangulation of the CIF symbolizes the crisis of confidence at the Guardian. 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 running scared and pretending there is no dissent or opposition, well, this is a sign of decadence and profound weakness. They are losing the battle of ideas and the battle of solutions to our problems. All that really stands between them and a social revolution is a thin veneer of 'authority' and status, and that's really not enough anymore. ..."
"... John Pilger has described the "respectable" liberal press (Guardian, NYT etc) as the most effective component of the propaganda system, precisely BECAUSE it is respectable and trusted. As to why the Guardian is so insistent in demonizing Russia, I would propose that is integrates them further with a Brexit-ridden Tory government. Its Blairite columnists prefer May over Corbyn any day. ..."
"... So Russians cannot do business in America but Americans must be protected to do business in Russia? If you look at Ukraine and how US corporations are benefitting from the US-funded coup, you ask what the US did in Russia in the 1990s and the effect it had on US business and ordinary Russian people. Were the two consistent with a common US template of economic imperialism? ..."
"... In particular, you ask what Bill Browder was doing, his links to US spying organisations etc etc. You ask if he supported the rape of Russian State assets, turned a blind eye to the millions of Russians dying in the 1990s courtesy of catastrophic economic conditions. If he was killing people to stay alive, he would not have been the only one. More important is whether him making $100m+ in Russia needed conditions where tens of millions of Russians were starving .and whether he saw that as acceptable collateral damage ..he made a proactive choice, after all, to go live in Moscow. It is not like he was born there and had no chance to leave. ..."
"... I do not know the truth about Bill Browder, but one thing I do know: very powerful Americans are capable of organizing mass genocide to become rich, so there is no possible basis for painting all American businessmen as philanthropists and all Russians as murdering savages ..."
"... Browder is a spook. ..."
"... This "tactic" – a bold or outrageous claim made in the headline or in the first few sentences of a piece that is proven false in the very same article – is becoming depressingly common in the legacy media. ..."
"... In other words, the so-called respectable media knowingly prints outright lies for propaganda and clickbait purposes ..."
"... I dropped a line to a friend yesterday saying "only in a parallel universe would a businessman/shady dealer/tax evader such as Browder be described as an "anti-corruption campaigner."" Those not familiar with the history of Browder's grandfather, after whom a whole new "deviation" in leftist thinking was named, should look it up. ..."
"... The US are the masters of molesting other nations. It's not even a secret what they've been up to. Look at their budgets or the size of the intelligence buildings. Most journalists know full well of their programs, including those on social media, which they even reported on a few years back. The Guardian run stories by the CIA created and US state funded RFE/RL & then tell us with a straight face that RT is state propaganda which is destroying our democracy. ..."
"... The madness spreads: today The Canary has/had an article 'proving' that the 'Russians' were responsible for Brexit, Trump, etc etc. Then there is the neo-liberal 'President' of the EU charging that the extreme right wing and Russophobic warmongers in the Polish government are in fact, like the President of the USA, in Putin's pocket.. ..."
"... The Canary is publishing mainstream russophobia? ..."
off-guardian.org

Vladimir Putin finally confesses his entire responsibility for everything bad that has ever happened since the beginning of time

The decline of the falsely self-described "quality" media outlet The Guardian/Observer into a deranged fake news site pushing anti-Russian hate propaganda continues apace. Take a look at this gem :

The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, has accused prominent British businessman Bill Browder of being a "serial killer" – the latest extraordinary attempt by the Kremlin to frame one of its most high-profile public enemies.

But Putin has not been reported anywhere else as making any recent statement about Browder whatever, and the Observer article makes no further mention of Putin's supposed utterance or the circumstances in which it was supposedly made.

As the rest of the article makes clear, the suspicions against Browder were actually voiced by Russian police investigators and not by Putin at all.

The Observer fabricated a direct quote from the Russian president for their propaganda purposes without any regard to basic journalistic standards. They wanted to blame Putin personally for the suspicions of some Russian investigators, so they just invented an imaginary statement from him so they could conveniently do so.

What is really going on here is the classic trope of demonisation propaganda in which the demonised leader is conflated with all officials of their government and with the targeted country itself, so as to simplify and personalise the narrative of the subsequent Two Minutes Hate to be unleashed against them.

When, as in this case, the required substitution of the demonised leader for their country can't be wrung out of the facts even through the most vigorous twisting, a disreputable fake news site like The Guardian/Observer is free to simply make up new, alternative facts that better fit their disinformative agenda. Because facts aren't at all sacred when the official propaganda line demands lies.

In the same article, the documents from Russian investigators naming Browder as a suspect in certain crimes are first "seen as" a frame-up (by the sympathetic chorus of completely anonymous observers yellow journalism can always call on when an unsupported claim needs a spurious bolstering) and then outright labelled as such (see quote above) as if this alleged frame-up is a proven fact. Which it isn't.

No evidence is required down there in the Guardian/Observer journalistic gutter before unsupported claims against Russian officials can be treated as unquestionable pseudo-facts, just as opponents of Putin can commit no crime for the outlet's hate-befuddled hacks.

The above falsifications were brought to the attention of the Observer's so-called Readers Editor – the official at the Guardian/Observer responsible for "independently" defending the outlet's misdeeds against outraged readers – who did nothing. By now the article has rolled off the site's front page, rendering any possible future correction nugatory in any case.

Later in the same article Magnitsky is described as having been Browder's "tax lawyer" a standard trope of the Western propaganda narrative about the case. Magnitsky was actually an accountant .

A trifecta of fakery in one article! That makes crystal clear what the Guardian meant in this article , published at precisely the same moment as the disinformation cited above, when it said:

"We know what you are doing," Theresa May said of Russia. It's not enough to know. We need to do something about it.

By "doing something about it" they mean they're going to tell one hostile lie about Russia after another.


michaelk says November 26, 2017

https://www.theguardian.com/news/2017/nov/26/big-issue-who-will-step-in-after-bullies-have-silenced-dissenters

From the 'liberal' Guardian/Observer wing of the rightwing bourgeois press, spot the differences with the article in the Mail on Sunday by Nick Robinson?

michaelk says November 26, 2017
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-5117723/Nick-Robinson-Putin-using-fake-news-weaken-West.html

This thing seems to have been cobbled together by a guy called Nick Robinson. The same BBC Nick Robinson that hosts the Today Programme? I dunno, one feels really rather depressed at how low our media has sunk.

michaelk says November 23, 2017
I think huge swathes of the media, in the eyes of many people, have never really recovered from the ghastly debacle that was their dreadful coverage of the reasons for the illegal attack on Iraq. The journalists want us to forget and move on, but many, many, people still remember.

Nothing happened afterwards. There was no tribunal to examine the media's role in that massive international crime against humanity and things actually got worse post Iraq, which the attack on Libya and Syria illustrates.

rtj1211 says November 29, 2017
Exactly: in my opinion there should be life sentences banning scribblers who printed lies and bloodthirsty kill, kill, kill articles from ever working again in the media. Better still, make them go fight right now in Yemen. Amazing how quickly truth will spread if journalists know they have a good chance of dying if they print lies and falsehoods ..
michaelk says November 23, 2017
At a time when the ruling elite, across virtually the entire western world, is losing it; it being, political legitimacy and the breakdown of any semblance of a social contract between the ruled and the rulers the Guardian lurches even further to the political right . Amazing, though not really surprising. The Guardian's role appears to be to 'coral' radical and leftist ideas and opinions and 'groom' the educated middle class into accepting their own subjugation.

The Guardian's writers get so much, so wrong, so often it's staggering and nobody gets the boot, except for the people who allude to the incompetence at the heart of the Guardian. They fail dismally on Trump, Brexit and Corbyn and yet carry on as if everything is fine and dandy. Nothing to complain about here, mover along now.

I suppose it's because they are actually media aristocrats living in a world of privilege, and they, as members of the ruling elite, look after one another regardless of how poorly they actually perform. This is typical of an elite that's on the ropes and doomed. They choose to retreat from grubby reality into a parallel world where their own dogmas aren't challenged and they begin to believe their propaganda is real and not an artificial contruct. This is incredibly dangerous for a ruling elite because society becomes brittle and weaker by the day as the ruling dogmas become hollow and ritualized, but without traction in reality and real purpose.

The Guardian is a bit like the Tory government, lost and without any real ideas or ideals. The slow strangulation of the CIF symbolizes the crisis of confidence at the Guardian. 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 running scared and pretending there is no dissent or opposition, well, this is a sign of decadence and profound weakness. They are losing the battle of ideas and the battle of solutions to our problems. All that really stands between them and a social revolution is a thin veneer of 'authority' and status, and that's really not enough anymore.

All our problems are pathetically and conviniently blamed on the Russians and their Demon King and his vast army of evil Trolls. It's like a political version of the Lord of the Rings.

WeatherEye says November 21, 2017
Don't expect the Guardian to cover the biggest military build-up (NATO) on Russia's borders since Hitler's 1941 invasion.

John Pilger has described the "respectable" liberal press (Guardian, NYT etc) as the most effective component of the propaganda system, precisely BECAUSE it is respectable and trusted. As to why the Guardian is so insistent in demonizing Russia, I would propose that is integrates them further with a Brexit-ridden Tory government. Its Blairite columnists prefer May over Corbyn any day.

rtj1211 says November 29, 2017
The Guardian is now owned by Neocon Americans, that is why it is demonising Russia.

Simple as that.

WeatherEye says November 29, 2017
Evidence?
Harry Stotle says November 21, 2017
The Guardian is trying to rescue citizens from 'dreadful dangers that we cannot see, or do not underdstand' – in other words they play a central role in 'the power of nightmares'

https://www.youtube.com/embed/LlA8KutU2to?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

rtj1211 says November 21, 2017
So Russians cannot do business in America but Americans must be protected to do business in Russia? If you look at Ukraine and how US corporations are benefitting from the US-funded coup, you ask what the US did in Russia in the 1990s and the effect it had on US business and ordinary Russian people. Were the two consistent with a common US template of economic imperialism?

In particular, you ask what Bill Browder was doing, his links to US spying organisations etc etc. You ask if he supported the rape of Russian State assets, turned a blind eye to the millions of Russians dying in the 1990s courtesy of catastrophic economic conditions. If he was killing people to stay alive, he would not have been the only one. More important is whether him making $100m+ in Russia needed conditions where tens of millions of Russians were starving .and whether he saw that as acceptable collateral damage ..he made a proactive choice, after all, to go live in Moscow. It is not like he was born there and had no chance to leave.

I do not know the truth about Bill Browder, but one thing I do know: very powerful Americans are capable of organizing mass genocide to become rich, so there is no possible basis for painting all American businessmen as philanthropists and all Russians as murdering savages ..

michaelk says November 21, 2017
It's perfectly possible, in fact the norm historically, for people to believe passionately in the existence of invisible threats to their well-being, which, when examined calmly from another era, resemble a form of mass-hysteria or collective madness. For example; the religious faith/dogma that Satan, demons and witches were all around us. An invisible, parallel, world, by the side of our own that really existed and we were 'at war with.' Satan was our adversary, the great trickster and disseminator of 'fake news' opposed to the 'good news' provided by the Gospels.

What's remarkable, disturbing and frightening is how closely our media resemble a religious cult or the Catholic Church in the Middle Ages. The journalists have taken on a role that's close to that of a priesthood. They function as a 'filtering' layer between us and the world around us. They are, supposedly, uniquely qualified to understand the difference between truth and lies, or what's right and wrong, real news and propaganda. The Guardian actually likes this role. They our the guardians of the truth in a chaotic world.

This reminds one of the role of the clergy. Their role was to stand between ordinary people and the 'complexities' of the Bible and seperate the Truths it containedf from wild and 'fake' interpretations, which could easily become dangerous and undermine the social order and fundamental power relationships.

The big challenge to the role of the Church happened when the printing press allowed the ordinary people to access the information themselves and worst still when the texts were translated into the common language and not just Latin. Suddenly people could access the texts, read and begin to interpret and understand for themselves. It's hard to imagine that pepeople were actually burned alive in England for smuggling the Bible in english translation a few centuries ago. That's how dangerous the State regarded such a 'crime.'

One can compare the translation of the Bible and the challenge to the authority of the Church and the clergy as 'guardians of the truth' to what's happeing today with the rise of the Internet and something like Wikileaks, where texts and infromation are made available uncensored and raw and the role of the traditional 'media church' and the journalist priesthood is challenged.

We're seeing a kind of media counter-reformation. That's why the Guardian turned on Assange so disgracefully and what Wikileaks represented.

WeatherEye says November 21, 2017
A brilliant historical comparison. They're now on the legal offensive in censoring the internet of course, because in truth the filter system is wholly vulnerable. Alternative media has been operating freely, yet the majority have continued to rely on MSM as if it's their only source of (dis)information, utilising our vast internet age to the pettiness of social media and prank videos. Marx was right: capitalist society alienates people from their own humanity. We're now aliens, deprived of our original being and floating in a vacuum of Darwinist competition and barbarism. And we wonder why climate change is happening?
pimatters says November 27, 2017
Yes, as the guy below says this is a great simile. Wikileaks is like the first English translations of the bible! Fantastic!
pimatters says November 27, 2017
above – not below
tutisicecream says November 21, 2017
Apparently we are "living in disorientating times" according to Viner, she goes on to say that "championing the public interest is at the heart of the Guardian's mission".

Really? How is it possible for her to say that when many of the controversial articles which appear in the Guardian are not open for comment any more. They have adopted now a view that THEIR "opinion" should not be challenged, how is that in the public interest?

In the Observer on Sunday a piece also appeared smearing RT entitled:
"MPs defend fees of up to £1,000 an hour to appear on 'Kremlin propaganda' channel"
However they allowed comments which make interesting reading. Many commenter's saw through their ruse and although the most vociferous critics of the Graun have been banished, but even the mild mannered ones which remain appear not the buy into the idea that RT is any different than other media outlets. With many expressing support for the news and op-ed outlet for giving voice to those who the MSM ignore – including former Guardian writers from time to time.

Why Viner's words are so poisonous is that the Graun under her stewardship has become a agitprop outlet offering no balance. In the below linked cringe worthy article there is no mention of RT being under attack in the US and having to register itself and staff as foreign agents. NO DEFENCE OF ATTACKS ON FREEDOM OF THE PRESS by the US state is mentioned.

Surely this issue is at the heart of championing public interest?

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/nov/18/mps-kremlin-propaganda-channel-rt#comments

The fact that it's not shows clearly the fake Guardian/Observer claim and their real agenda.

WE ARE DEFINITELY LIVING IN DISORIENTATION TIMES and the Guardian/Observer are leading the charge.

tutisicecream says November 21, 2017
Correction: DISORIENTATING TIMES
Peter says November 21, 2017
For the political/media/business elites (I suppose you could call them 'the Establishment') in the US and UK, the main problem with RT seems to be that a lot of people are watching it. I wonder how long it will be before access is cut.

RT is launching a French-language channel next month. We are already being warned by the French MSM about how RT makes up fake news to further Putin's evil propaganda aims (unlike said MSM, we are told).

Basically, elites just don't trust the people (this is certainly a constant in French political life).

Jim says November 21, 2017
It's not just that they don't allow comments on many of their articles, but even on the articles where CiF is enabled, they ban any accounts that disagree with their narrative. The end result is that Guardianistas get the false impression everyone shares their view and that they are in the majority.
The Guardian moderators are like Scientology leaders who banish any outsiders for fear of influencing their cult members.
BigB says November 20, 2017
Everyone knows that Russia-gate is a feat of mass hypnosis, mesmerized from DNC financed lies. The Trump collusion myth is baseless and becoming dangerously hysterical: but conversely, the Clinton collusion scandal is not so easy to allay. Whilst it may turn out to be the greatest story never told: it looks substantive enough to me. HRC colluded with Russian oligarchy to the tune of $145m of "donations" into her slush fund. In return, Rosatom gained control of Uranium One.

A curious adjunct to this corruption: HRC opposed the Magnitsky Act in 2012. Given her subsequent rabid Russophobia: you'd have thought that if the Russians (as it has been spun) arrested a brave whistleblowing tax lawyer and murdered him in prison – she would have been quite vocal in her condemnation. No, she wanted to make Russia great again. It's amazing how $145m can focus ones attention away from ones natural instinct.

[Browder and Magnitsky were as corrupt as each other: the story that the Russians took over Browder's hedge fund and implicated them both in a $230m tax fraud and corruption scandal is as fantastical as the "Golden Shower" dossier. However, it seems to me Magnitsky's death was preventable (he died from complications of pancreatitis, for which it seems he was initially refused treatment ) ]

So if we turn the clock back to 2010-2013, it sure looks to me as though we have a Russian collusion scandal: only it's not one the Guardian will ever want to tell. Will it come out when the FBI 's "secret" informant (William D Cambell) testifies to Congress sometime this week? Not in the Guardian, because their precious Hillary Clinton is the real scandal here.

jag37777 says November 20, 2017
Browder is a spook.
susannapanevin says November 20, 2017
Reblogged this on Susanna Panevin .
Eric Blair says November 20, 2017
This "tactic" – a bold or outrageous claim made in the headline or in the first few sentences of a piece that is proven false in the very same article – is becoming depressingly common in the legacy media.

In other words, the so-called respectable media knowingly prints outright lies for propaganda and clickbait purposes.

labrebisgalloise says November 20, 2017
I dropped a line to a friend yesterday saying "only in a parallel universe would a businessman/shady dealer/tax evader such as Browder be described as an "anti-corruption campaigner."" Those not familiar with the history of Browder's grandfather, after whom a whole new "deviation" in leftist thinking was named, should look it up.
Eric Blair says November 20, 2017
Hey, MbS is also an "anti-corruption" campaigner! If the media says so it must be true!
Sav says November 20, 2017
Some months ago you saw tweets saying Russophobia had hit ridiculous levels. They hadn't seen anything yet. It's scary how easily people can be brainwashed.

The US are the masters of molesting other nations. It's not even a secret what they've been up to. Look at their budgets or the size of the intelligence buildings. Most journalists know full well of their programs, including those on social media, which they even reported on a few years back. The Guardian run stories by the CIA created and US state funded RFE/RL & then tell us with a straight face that RT is state propaganda which is destroying our democracy.

A Petherbridge says November 20, 2017
Well said – interesting to know what the Guardian is paid to run these stories funded by this arm of US state propaganda.
bevin says November 20, 2017
The madness spreads: today The Canary has/had an article 'proving' that the 'Russians' were responsible for Brexit, Trump, etc etc. Then there is the neo-liberal 'President' of the EU charging that the extreme right wing and Russophobic warmongers in the Polish government are in fact, like the President of the USA, in Putin's pocket..

This outbreak is reaching the dimensions of the sort of mass hysteria that gave us St Vitus' dance. Oh and the 'sonic' terrorism practised against US diplomats in Havana, in which crickets working for the evil one (who he?) appear to have been responsible for a breach in diplomatic relations. It couldn't have happened to a nicer empire.

Admin says November 21, 2017
The Canary is publishing mainstream russophobia?

[Dec 10, 2017] Russia-gate s Reach into Journalism by Dennis J Bernstein

Highly recommended!
When national security establishment is trying to undermine sitting President this is iether color revolution or coup d'état. In the USa it looks more like color revolution.
"Now you have this interesting dynamic where the national security establishment is effectively undermining a duly elected president of the United States. I recognize that Trump is vulnerable, but these types of investigations often become highly politicized."
Notable quotes:
"... The Credico subpoena, after he declined a request for a "voluntary" interview, underscores how the investigation is moving into areas of "guilt by association" and further isolating whistleblowers who defy the powers-that-be through unauthorized release of information to the public, a point made by National Security Agency whistleblower Thomas Drake in an interview. ..."
"... Drake knows well what it means to blow the whistle on government misconduct and get prosecuted for it. A former senior NSA executive, Drake complained about a multi-billion-dollar fraud, waste, and widespread violation of the rights of civilians through secret mass surveillance programs. As a result, the Obama administration indicted Drake in 2010, "as the first whistleblower since Daniel Ellsberg charged with espionage," according to the Institute for Public Accuracy. ..."
"... In 2011, the government's case against him, which carried a potential 35 years in prison, collapsed. Drake went free in a plea deal and was awarded the 2011 Ridenhour Truth Telling Prize. ..."
"... In this hyper-inflated, politicized environment, it is extremely difficult to wade through the massive amount of disinformation on all sides. Hacking is something all modern nation-states engage in, including the United States, including Russia. The challenge here is trying to figure out who the players are, whose ox is being gored, and who is doing the goring. ..."
"... From all accounts, Trump was duly elected. Now you have the Mueller investigation and the House investigation. Where is this all leading? The US intelligence agency hasn't done itself any favors. The ICA provides no proof either, in terms of allegations that the Russians "hacked" the election. We do have the evidence disclosed by Reality Winner that maybe there was some interference. But the hyper-politicization is making it extraordinarily difficult. ..."
"... Well, if you consider the content of those emails .Certainly, the Clinton folks got rid of Bernie Sanders. ..."
"... The national security establishment was far more comfortable having Clinton as president. Someone central to my own case, General Michael Hayden, just a couple days ago went apoplectic because of a tweet from Trump taking on the mainstream media. Hayden got over 100,000 likes on his response. Well, Hayden was central to what we did in deep secrecy at the highest levels of government after 9/11, engaging in widespread surveillance and then justifying it as "raw executive authority." ..."
"... Now you have this interesting dynamic where the national security establishment is effectively undermining a duly elected president of the United States. I recognize that Trump is vulnerable, but these types of investigations often become highly politicized. I worry that what is really happening is being sacrificed on the altar of entertainment and the stage of political theater. ..."
"... What is happening to Randy is symptomatic of a larger trend. If you dare speak truth to power, you are going to pay the price. Is Randy that much of a threat, just because he is questioning authority? Are we afraid of the press? Are we afraid of having the uncomfortable conversations, of dealing with the inconvenient truths about ourselves? ..."
"... Yeah, it is definitely a way of describing the concept of fascism without using the word. The present Yankee regime seems to be quite far along that road, and the full-on types seem to be engaged in a coup to eliminate those they fear may not be as much in the fascist deep-state bag. ..."
"... How disgusting to have to live today in the society so accurately described by Orwell in 1984. It was a nice book to read, but not to live in! ..."
"... Truth is he enemy of coercive power. Lies and secrecy are essential in leading the sheeple to their slaughter. ..."
"... Perhaps the one good thing about Trumps election is that its shows democracy is still just about alive and breathing in the US, because as is pointed out in this article, Trump was never expected to win and those who lost are still in a state of shock and disbelief. ..."
"... One things for sure: the Neocons, the deep state, and all the rest of the skunks that infest Washington will make absolutely sure that future elections will go the way as planned, so perhaps we should celebrate Trump, because he may well be the last manifestation of the democracy in the US. ..."
"... In the end, what will bring this monstrously lumbering "Russia-gate" dog and pony show crashing down is that stupid, fake Fusion GPS dossier that was commissioned, paid for, and disseminated by Team Hillary and the DNC. Then, as with the sinking of the Titanic, all of the flotsam and jetsam floating within its radius of destruction will go down with it. What will left to pluck from the lifeboats afterwards is anyone's guess. All thanks to Hillary. ..."
Dec 10, 2017 | www.facebook.com

The investigation to somehow blame Russia for Donald Trump's election has now merged with another establishment goal of isolating and intimidating whistleblowers and other dissidents, as Dennis J Bernstein describes.

The Russia-gate investigation has reached into the ranks of journalism with the House Intelligence Committee's subpoena of Randy Credico, who produced a series about WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for Pacifica Radio and apparently is suspected of having passed on early word about leaked Democratic emails to Donald Trump's supporter Roger Stone.

The Credico subpoena, after he declined a request for a "voluntary" interview, underscores how the investigation is moving into areas of "guilt by association" and further isolating whistleblowers who defy the powers-that-be through unauthorized release of information to the public, a point made by National Security Agency whistleblower Thomas Drake in an interview.

Drake knows well what it means to blow the whistle on government misconduct and get prosecuted for it. A former senior NSA executive, Drake complained about a multi-billion-dollar fraud, waste, and widespread violation of the rights of civilians through secret mass surveillance programs. As a result, the Obama administration indicted Drake in 2010, "as the first whistleblower since Daniel Ellsberg charged with espionage," according to the Institute for Public Accuracy.

In 2011, the government's case against him, which carried a potential 35 years in prison, collapsed. Drake went free in a plea deal and was awarded the 2011 Ridenhour Truth Telling Prize.

I interviewed Drake about the significance of Credico's subpoena, which Credico believes resulted from his journalism about the persecution of Julian Assange for releasing information that powerful people would prefer kept hidden from the public. (I had a small role in Credico's 14-part radio series, Julian Assange: Countdown to Freedom . It was broadcast first as part of his Live on the Fly Series, over WBAI and later on KPFA and across the country on community radio.)

Credico got his start as a satirist and became a political candidate for mayor of New York City and later governor of New York, making mainstream politicians deal with issues they would rather not deal with.

I spoke to Thomas Drake by telephone on Nov. 30, 2017.

Dennis Bernstein: How do you look at Russiagate, based on what you know about what has already transpired in terms of the movement of information? How do you see Credico's role in this?

Thomas Drake: Information is the coin of the realm. It is the currency of power. Anyone who questions authority or is perceived as mocking authority -- as hanging out with "State enemies" -- had better be careful. But this latest development is quite troubling, I must say. This is the normalization of everything that has been going on since 9/11. Randy is a sort of 21st century Diogenes who is confronting authority and pointing out corruption. This subpoena sends a chilling message. It's a double whammy for Randy because, in the eyes of the US government, he is a media figure hanging out with the wrong media figure [Julian Assange].

Dennis Bernstein: Could you say a little bit about what your work was and what you tried to do with your expose?

Thomas Drake: My experience was quite telling, in terms of how far the government will go to try to destroy someone's life. The attempt by the government to silence me was extraordinary. They threw everything they had at me, all because I spoke the truth. I spoke up about abuse of power, I spoke up about the mass surveillance regime. My crime was that I made the choice to go to the media. And the government was not just coming after me, they were sending a really chilling message to the media: If you print this, you are also under the gun.

Dennis Bernstein: We have heard the charges again and again, that this was a Russian hack. What was the source? Let's trace it back as best we can.

Thomas Drake: In this hyper-inflated, politicized environment, it is extremely difficult to wade through the massive amount of disinformation on all sides. Hacking is something all modern nation-states engage in, including the United States, including Russia. The challenge here is trying to figure out who the players are, whose ox is being gored, and who is doing the goring.

From all accounts, Trump was duly elected. Now you have the Mueller investigation and the House investigation. Where is this all leading? The US intelligence agency hasn't done itself any favors. The ICA provides no proof either, in terms of allegations that the Russians "hacked" the election. We do have the evidence disclosed by Reality Winner that maybe there was some interference. But the hyper-politicization is making it extraordinarily difficult.

The advantage that intelligence has is that they can hide behind what they are doing. They don't actually have to tell the truth, they can shade it, they can influence it and shape it. This is where information can be politicized and used as a weapon. Randy has found himself caught up in these investigations by virtue of being a media figure and hanging out with "the wrong people."

Dennis Bernstein: It looks like the Russiagaters in Congress are trying to corner Randy. All his life he has spoken truth to power. But what do you think the role of the press should be?

Thomas Drake: The press amplifies just about everything they focus on, especially with today's 24-hour, in-your-face social media. Even the mainstream media is publishing directly to their webpages. You have to get behind the cacophony of all that noise and ask, "Why?" What are the intentions here?

I believe there are still enough independent journalists who are looking further and deeper. But clearly there are those who are hell-bent on making life as difficult as possible for the current president and those who are going to defend him to the hilt. I was not surprised at all that Trump won. A significant percentage of the American electorate were looking for something different.

Dennis Bernstein : Well, if you consider the content of those emails .Certainly, the Clinton folks got rid of Bernie Sanders.

Thomas Drake: That would have been an interesting race, to have Bernie vs. Trump. Sanders was appealing, especially to young audiences. He was raising legitimate issues.

Dennis Bernstein: In Clinton, they had a known quantity who supported the national security state.

Thomas Drake: The national security establishment was far more comfortable having Clinton as president. Someone central to my own case, General Michael Hayden, just a couple days ago went apoplectic because of a tweet from Trump taking on the mainstream media. Hayden got over 100,000 likes on his response. Well, Hayden was central to what we did in deep secrecy at the highest levels of government after 9/11, engaging in widespread surveillance and then justifying it as "raw executive authority."

Now you have this interesting dynamic where the national security establishment is effectively undermining a duly elected president of the United States. I recognize that Trump is vulnerable, but these types of investigations often become highly politicized. I worry that what is really happening is being sacrificed on the altar of entertainment and the stage of political theater.

What is happening to Randy is symptomatic of a larger trend. If you dare speak truth to power, you are going to pay the price. Is Randy that much of a threat, just because he is questioning authority? Are we afraid of the press? Are we afraid of having the uncomfortable conversations, of dealing with the inconvenient truths about ourselves?

Dennis J Bernstein is a host of "Flashpoints" on the Pacifica radio network and the author of Special Ed: Voices from a Hidden Classroom . You can access the audio archives at www.flashpoints.net .

orwell

"Raw Executive Authority" means Totalitarianism/Fascism.

exiled off mainstreet , December 7, 2017 at 4:23 pm

Yeah, it is definitely a way of describing the concept of fascism without using the word. The present Yankee regime seems to be quite far along that road, and the full-on types seem to be engaged in a coup to eliminate those they fear may not be as much in the fascist deep-state bag.

Jerry Alatalo , December 7, 2017 at 3:34 pm

It is highly encouraging to know that a great many good and decent men and women Americans are 100% supportive of Mr, Randy Credico as he prepares for his testimony before the House Intelligence Committee. Remember all those standing right there beside you, speak what rightly needs to be spoken, and make history Mr. Credico!

jaycee , December 7, 2017 at 3:56 pm

The intensification of panic/hysteria was obviously triggered by the shock election of Trump. Where this is all heading is on display in Australia, as the government is writing legislation to "criminalise covert and deceptive activities of foreign actors that fall short of espionage but are intended to interfere with our democratic systems and processes or support the intelligence activities of a foreign government." The legislation will apparently be accompanied by new requirements of public registration of those deemed "foreign agents". (see http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/12/07/auch-d07.html ).

This will be an attack on free speech, free thought, and political freedoms, justified by an orchestrated hysteria which ridiculously assumes a "pure" political realm (i.e. the "homeland") under assault by impure foreign agents and their dirty ideas. Yes, that is a fascist construct and the liberal establishment will see it through, not the alt-right blowhards.

mike k , December 7, 2017 at 5:49 pm

How disgusting to have to live today in the society so accurately described by Orwell in 1984. It was a nice book to read, but not to live in!

john wilson , December 8, 2017 at 5:48 am

Actually Mike, the book was a prophesy but you aren't seen nothing yet. You me and the rest of the posters here may well find ourselves going for a visit to room 101 yet.

fudmier , December 7, 2017 at 4:42 pm

Those who govern (527 of them) at the pleasure of the constitution are about to breach the contract that entitles them to govern. Limiting the scope of information allowed to those who are the governed, silencing the voices of those with concerns and serious doubts, policing every word uttered by those who are the governed, as well as abusing the constitutional privilege of force and judicial authority, to deny peaceful protests of the innocents is approaching the final straw.

The governors and their corporate sponsors have imposed on those the governors govern much concern. Exactly the condition that existed prior to July 4, 1776, which elicited the following:

When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the Political bands which connected them with another, and to assume among the Powers of the Earth, the separate and equal Station to which the laws of nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent Respect to the Opinions of Mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

I submit the actions and intentions of those who govern that are revealed and discussed in this article https://consortiumnews.com/2017/12/07/russia-gates-reach-into-journalism/ should be among the list of impels that support the next declaration.

Al Pinto , December 7, 2017 at 5:23 pm

Those who govern (527 of them and the puppet master oligarch behind them) will make certain that there's no support for the next declaration. There's no respect to the opinions of the mankind, what matters is keeping the current status quo in place and further advance it by silencing the independent media.

Maybe when the next "Mother of all bubbles" come, there's an opportunity for the mankind to be heard, but it's doubtful. What has taken place during the last bubble is that the rich has gotten richer and the poor, well, you know the routine.

https://usawatchdog.com/mother-of-all-bubbles-too-big-to-pop-peter-schiff/

mike k , December 7, 2017 at 5:53 pm

Truth is he enemy of coercive power. Lies and secrecy are essential in leading the sheeple to their slaughter.

john wilson , December 8, 2017 at 5:44 am

Perhaps the one good thing about Trumps election is that its shows democracy is still just about alive and breathing in the US, because as is pointed out in this article, Trump was never expected to win and those who lost are still in a state of shock and disbelief.

Trump's election has also shown us in vivid technicolour, just what is really going on in the deep state. Absolutely none of this stuff would have come out had Clinton won and anything there was would have been covered up as though under the concrete foundation of a tower block. However, Trump still has four years left and as a British prime minister once said, "a week is a long time in politics". Well four more years of Trump is a hell of a lot longer so who knows what might happen in that time.

One things for sure: the Neocons, the deep state, and all the rest of the skunks that infest Washington will make absolutely sure that future elections will go the way as planned, so perhaps we should celebrate Trump, because he may well be the last manifestation of the democracy in the US.

Christene Bartels , December 8, 2017 at 9:57 am

In the end, what will bring this monstrously lumbering "Russia-gate" dog and pony show crashing down is that stupid, fake Fusion GPS dossier that was commissioned, paid for, and disseminated by Team Hillary and the DNC. Then, as with the sinking of the Titanic, all of the flotsam and jetsam floating within its radius of destruction will go down with it. What will left to pluck from the lifeboats afterwards is anyone's guess. All thanks to Hillary.

Apparently, Santa isn't the only one making a list and checking it twice this year. He's going to have to share the limelight with Karma.

[Dec 10, 2017] blamePutin continues to be the media's dominant hashtag. Vladimir Putin finally confesses his entire responsibility for everything bad that has ever happened since the beginning of time

Highly recommended!
Dec 10, 2017 | off-guardian.org

by VT

The decline of the falsely self-described "quality" media outlet The Guardian/Observer into a deranged fake news site pushing anti-Russian hate propaganda continues apace. Take a look at this gem :

The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, has accused prominent British businessman Bill Browder of being a "serial killer" – the latest extraordinary attempt by the Kremlin to frame one of its most high-profile public enemies.

But Putin has not been reported anywhere else as making any recent statement about Browder whatever, and the Observer article makes no further mention of Putin's supposed utterance or the circumstances in which it was supposedly made.

As the rest of the article makes clear, the suspicions against Browder were actually voiced by Russian police investigators and not by Putin at all.

The Observer fabricated a direct quote from the Russian president for their propaganda purposes without any regard to basic journalistic standards. They wanted to blame Putin personally for the suspicions of some Russian investigators, so they just invented an imaginary statement from him so they could conveniently do so.

What is really going on here is the classic trope of demonisation propaganda in which the demonised leader is conflated with all officials of their government and with the targeted country itself, so as to simplify and personalise the narrative of the subsequent Two Minutes Hate to be unleashed against them.

When, as in this case, the required substitution of the demonised leader for their country can't be wrung out of the facts even through the most vigorous twisting, a disreputable fake news site like The Guardian/Observer is free to simply make up new, alternative facts that better fit their disinformative agenda. Because facts aren't at all sacred when the official propaganda line demands lies.

In the same article, the documents from Russian investigators naming Browder as a suspect in certain crimes are first "seen as" a frame-up (by the sympathetic chorus of completely anonymous observers yellow journalism can always call on when an unsupported claim needs a spurious bolstering) and then outright labelled as such (see quote above) as if this alleged frame-up is a proven fact. Which it isn't.

No evidence is required down there in the Guardian/Observer journalistic gutter before unsupported claims against Russian officials can be treated as unquestionable pseudo-facts, just as opponents of Putin can commit no crime for the outlet's hate-befuddled hacks.

The above falsifications were brought to the attention of the Observer's so-called Readers Editor – the official at the Guardian/Observer responsible for "independently" defending the outlet's misdeeds against outraged readers – who did nothing. By now the article has rolled off the site's front page, rendering any possible future correction nugatory in any case.

Later in the same article Magnitsky is described as having been Browder's "tax lawyer" a standard trope of the Western propaganda narrative about the case. Magnitsky was actually an accountant .

A trifecta of fakery in one article! That makes crystal clear what the Guardian meant in this article , published at precisely the same moment as the disinformation cited above, when it said:

"We know what you are doing," Theresa May said of Russia. It's not enough to know. We need to do something about it.

By "doing something about it" they mean they're going to tell one hostile lie about Russia after another.


michaelk says November 26, 2017

https://www.theguardian.com/news/2017/nov/26/big-issue-who-will-step-in-after-bullies-have-silenced-dissenters

From the 'liberal' Guardian/Observer wing of the rightwing bourgeois press, spot the differences with the article in the Mail on Sunday by Nick Robinson?

michaelk says November 26, 2017
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-5117723/Nick-Robinson-Putin-using-fake-news-weaken-West.html

This thing seems to have been cobbled together by a guy called Nick Robinson. The same BBC Nick Robinson that hosts the Today Programme? I dunno, one feels really rather depressed at how low our media has sunk.

michaelk says November 23, 2017
I think huge swathes of the media, in the eyes of many people, have never really recovered from the ghastly debacle that was their dreadful coverage of the reasons for the illegal attack on Iraq.

The journalists want us to forget and move on, but many, many, people still remember. Nothing happened afterwards. There was no tribunal to examine the media's role in that massive international crime against humanity and things actually got worse post Iraq, which the attack on Libya and Syria illustrates.

rtj1211 says November 29, 2017
Exactly: in my opinion there should be life sentences banning scribblers who printed lies and bloodthirsty kill, kill, kill articles from ever working again in the media.

Better still, make them go fight right now in Yemen. Amazing how quickly truth will spread if journalists know they have a good chance of dying if they print lies and falsehoods ..

michaelk says November 23, 2017
At a time when the ruling elite, across virtually the entire western world, is losing it; it being, political legitimacy and the breakdown of any semblance of a social contract between the ruled and the rulers the Guardian lurches even further to the political right . amazing, though not really surprising. The Guardian's role appears to be to 'coral' radical and leftist ideas and opinions and 'groom' the educated middle class into accepting their own subjugation.

The Guardian's writers get so much, so wrong, so often it's staggering and nobody gets the boot, except for the people who allude to the incompetence at the heart of the Guardian. They fail dismally on Trump, Brexit and Corbyn and yet carry on as if everything is fine and dandy. Nothing to complain about here, mover along now.

I suppose it's because they are actually media aristocrats living in a world of privilege, and they, as members of the ruling elite, look after one another regardless of how poorly they actually perform. This is typical of an elite that's on the ropes and doomed. They choose to retreat from grubby reality into a parallel world where their own dogmas aren't challenged and they begin to believe their propaganda is real and not an artificial contruct. This is incredibly dangerous for a ruling elite because society becomes brittle and weaker by the day as the ruling dogmas become hollow and ritualized, but without traction in reality and real purpose.

The Guardian is a bit like the Tory government, lost and without any real ideas or ideals. The slow strangulation of the CIF symbolizes the crisis of confidence at the Guardian. 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 running scared and pretending there is no dissent or opposition, well, this is a sign of decadence and profound weakness. They are losing the battle of ideas and the battle of solutions to our problems. All that really stands between them and a social revolution is a thin veneer of 'authority' and status, and that's really not enough anymore.

All our problems are pathetically and conviniently blamed on the Russians and their Demon King and his vast army of evil Trolls. It's like a political version of the Lord of the Rings.

WeatherEye says November 21, 2017
Don't expect the Guardian to cover the biggest military build-up (NATO) on Russia's borders since Hitler's 1941 invasion.

John Pilger has described the "respectable" liberal press (Guardian, NYT etc) as the most effective component of the propaganda system, precisely BECAUSE it is respectable and trusted. As to why the Guardian is so insistent in demonising Russia, I would propose that is integrates them further with a Brexit-ridden Tory government. Its Blairite columnists prefer May over Corbyn any day.

rtj1211 says November 29, 2017
The Guardian is now owned by Neocon Americans, that is why it is demonising Russia. Simple as that.
WeatherEye says November 29, 2017
Evidence?
Harry Stotle says November 21, 2017
The Guardian is trying to rescue citizens from 'dreadful dangers that we cannot see, or do not understand' – in other words they play a central role in 'the power of nightmares' https://www.youtube.com/embed/LlA8KutU2to
rtj1211 says November 21, 2017
So Russians cannot do business in America but Americans must be protected to do business in Russia?

If you look at Ukraine and how US corporations are benefitting from the US-funded coup, you ask what the US did in Russia in the 1990s and the effect it had on US business and ordinary Russian people. Were the two consistent with a common US template of economic imperialism?

In particular, you ask what Bill Browder was doing, his links to US spying organisations etc etc. You ask if he supported the rape of Russian State assets, turned a blind eye to the millions of Russians dying in the 1990s courtesy of catastrophic economic conditions. If he was killing people to stay alive, he would not have been the only one. More important is whether him making $100m+ in Russia needed conditions where tens of millions of Russians were starving .and whether he saw that as acceptable collateral damage ..he made a proactive choice, after all, to go live in Moscow. It is not like he was born there and had no chance to leave ..

I do not know the trurh about Bill Browder, but one thing I do know: very powerful Americans are capable of organising mass genocide to become rich, so there is no possible basis for painting all American businessmen as philanthropists and all Russians as murdering savages ..

michaelk says November 21, 2017
It's perfectly possible, in fact the norm historically, for people to believe passionately in the existence of invisible threats to their well-being, which, when examined calmly from another era, resemble a form of mass-hysteria or collective madness. For example; the religious faith/dogma that Satan, demons and witches were all around us. An invisible, parallel, world, by the side of our own that really existed and we were 'at war with.' Satan was our adversary, the great trickster and disseminator of 'fake news' opposed to the 'good news' provided by the Gospels.

What's remarkable, disturbing and frightening is how closely our media resemble a religious cult or the Catholic Church in the Middle Ages. The journalists have taken on a role that's close to that of a priesthood. They function as a 'filtering' layer between us and the world around us. They are, supposedly, uniquely qualified to understand the difference between truth and lies, or what's right and wrong, real news and propaganda. The Guardian actually likes this role. They our the guardians of the truth in a chaotic world.

This reminds one of the role of the clergy. Their role was to stand between ordinary people and the 'complexities' of the Bible and separate the Truths it contained from wild and 'fake' interpretations, which could easily become dangerous and undermine the social order and fundamental power relationships.

The big challenge to the role of the Church happened when the printing press allowed the ordinary people to access the information themselves and worst still when the texts were translated into the common language and not just Latin. Suddenly people could access the texts, read and begin to interpret and understand for themselves. It's hard to imagine that people were actually burned alive in England for smuggling the Bible in English translation a few centuries ago. That's how dangerous the State regarded such a 'crime.'

One can compare the translation of the Bible and the challenge to the authority of the Church and the clergy as 'guardians of the truth' to what's happeing today with the rise of the Internet and something like Wikileaks, where texts and infromation are made available uncensored and raw and the role of the traditional 'media church' and the journalist priesthood is challenged.

We're seeing a kind of media counter-reformation. That's why the Guardian turned on Assange so disgracefully and what Wikileaks represented.

WeatherEye says November 21, 2017
A brilliant historical comparison. They're now on the legal offensive in censoring the internet of course, because in truth the filter system is wholly vulnerable. Alternative media has been operating freely, yet the majority have continued to rely on MSM as if it's their only source of (dis)information, utilizing our vast internet age to the pettiness of social media and prank videos. Marx was right: capitalist society alienates people from their own humanity. We're now aliens, deprived of our original being and floating in a vacuum of Darwinist competition and barbarism. And we wonder why climate change is happening?
tutisicecream says November 21, 2017
Apparently we are "living in disorientating times" according to Viner, she goes on to say that "championing the public interest is at the heart of the Guardian's mission".

Really? How is it possible for her to say that when many of the controversial articles which appear in the Guardian are not open for comment any more. They have adopted now a view that THEIR "opinion" should not be challenged, how is that in the public interest?

In the Observer on Sunday a piece also appeared smearing RT entitled: "MPs defend fees of up to £1,000 an hour to appear on 'Kremlin propaganda' channel." However they allowed comments which make interesting reading. Many commenter's saw through their ruse and although the most vociferous critics of the Graun have been banished, but even the mild mannered ones which remain appear not the buy into the idea that RT is any different than other media outlets. With many expressing support for the news and op-ed outlet for giving voice to those who the MSM ignore – including former Guardian writers from time to time.

Why Viner's words are so poisonous is that the Graun under her stewardship has become a agitprop outlet offering no balance. In the below linked cringe worthy article there is no mention of RT being under attack in the US and having to register itself and staff as foreign agents. NO DEFENCE OF ATTACKS ON FREEDOM OF THE PRESS by the US state is mentioned.

Surely this issue is at the heart of championing public interest?

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/nov/18/mps-kremlin-propaganda-channel-rt#comments

The fact that it's not shows clearly the fake Guardian/Observer claim and their real agenda.

WE ARE DEFINITELY LIVING IN DISORIENTATION TIMES and the Guardian/Observer are leading the charge.

tutisicecream says November 21, 2017
Correction: DISORIENTATING TIMES
Peter says November 21, 2017
For the political/media/business elites (I suppose you could call them 'the Establishment') in the US and UK, the main problem with RT seems to be that a lot of people are watching it. I wonder how long it will be before access is cut. RT is launching a French-language channel next month. We are already being warned by the French MSM about how RT makes up fake news to further Putin's evil propaganda aims (unlike said MSM, we are told). Basically, elites just don't trust the people (this is certainly a constant in French political life).
Jim says November 21, 2017
It's not just that they don't allow comments on many of their articles, but even on the articles where CiF is enabled, they ban any accounts that disagree with their narrative. The end result is that Guardianistas get the false impression everyone shares their view and that they are in the majority. The Guardian moderators are like Scientology leaders who banish any outsiders for fear of influencing their cult members.
BigB says November 20, 2017
Everyone knows that Russia-gate is a feat of mass hypnosis, mesmerized from DNC financed lies. The Trump collusion myth is baseless and becoming dangerously hysterical: but conversely, the Clinton collusion scandal is not so easy to allay. Whilst it may turn out to be the greatest story never told: it looks substantive enough to me. HRC colluded with Russian oligarchy to the tune of $145m of "donations" into her slush fund. In return, Rosatom gained control of Uranium One.

A curious adjunct to this corruption: HRC opposed the Magnitsky Act in 2012. Given her subsequent rabid Russophobia: you'd have thought that if the Russians (as it has been spun) arrested a brave whistleblowing tax lawyer and murdered him in prison – she would have been quite vocal in her condemnation. No, she wanted to make Russia great again. It's amazing how $145m can focus ones attention away from ones natural instinct.

[Browder and Magnitsky were as corrupt as each other: the story that the Russians took over Browder's hedge fund and implicated them both in a $230m tax fraud and corruption scandal is as fantastical as the "Golden Shower" dossier. However, it seems to me Magnitsky's death was preventable (he died from complications of pancreatitis, for which it seems he was initially refused treatment ) ]

So if we turn the clock back to 2010-2013, it sure looks to me as though we have a Russian collusion scandal: only it's not one the Guardian will ever want to tell. Will it come out when the FBI 's "secret" informant (William D Cambell) testifies to Congress sometime this week? Not in the Guardian, because their precious Hillary Clinton is the real scandal here.

jag37777 says November 20, 2017
Browder is a spook.
susannapanevin says November 20, 2017
Reblogged this on Susanna Panevin .
Eric Blair says November 20, 2017
This "tactic" – a bold or outrageous claim made in the headline or in the first few sentences of a piece that is proven false in the very same article – is becoming depressingly common in the legacy media.

In other words, the so-called respectable media knowingly prints outright lies for propaganda and clickbait purposes.

labrebisgalloise says November 20, 2017
I dropped a line to a friend yesterday saying "only in a parallel universe would a businessman/shady dealer/tax evader such as Browder be described as an "anti-corruption campaigner."" Those not familiar with the history of Browder's grandfather, after whom a whole new "deviation" in leftist thinking was named, should look it up.
Eric Blair says November 20, 2017
Hey, MbS is also an "anti-corruption" campaigner! If the media says so it must be true!
Sav says November 20, 2017
Some months ago you saw tweets saying Russophobia had hit ridiculous levels. They hadn't seen anything yet. It's scary how easily people can be brainwashed.

The US are the masters of molesting other nations. It's not even a secret what they've been up to. Look at their budgets or the size of the intelligence buildings. Most journalists know full well of their programs, including those on social media, which they even reported on a few years back. The Guardian run stories by the CIA created and US state funded RFE/RL & then tell us with a straight face that RT is state propaganda which is destroying our democracy.

A Petherbridge says November 20, 2017
Well said – interesting to know what the Guardian is paid to run these stories funded by this arm of US state propaganda.
bevin says November 20, 2017
The madness spreads: today The Canary has/had an article 'proving' that the 'Russians' were responsible for Brexit, Trump, etc etc.

Then there is the neo-liberal 'President' of the EU charging that the extreme right wing and Russophobic warmongers in the Polish government are in fact, like the President of the USA, in Putin's pocket..

This outbreak is reaching the dimensions of the sort of mass hysteria that gave us St Vitus' dance. Oh and the 'sonic' terrorism practised against US diplomats in Havana, in which crickets working for the evil one (who he?) appear to have been responsible for a breach in diplomatic relations. It couldn't have happened to a nicer empire.

Admin says November 21, 2017
The Canary is publishing mainstream russophobia?

[Dec 09, 2017] Hyping the Russian Threat to Undermine Free Speech by Max Blumenthal

Highly recommended!
This is a simply a brilliant article. Probably the best written on the subject so far. Kudos to Max Blumenthal
Thinks tanks are really ideological tanks -- formidable weapon in propaganda wars that crush everything on its way. And taken together far right think tanks financed by defense sector or intelligence agencies are really a shadow far right political party with its own neocon agenda. Actually subverting the will of American people (who elected Trump) for more peaceful relations (aka detente) with Russia in favor of interest of weapon manufactures and the army of "national security parasites".
At a time when the ruling elite, across virtually the entire western world, is… losing it; it being, political legitimacy and the breakdown of any semblance of a social contract between the ruled and the rulers those think tanks decides to create a fake narrative and blame Russians. Is not this a classic variant of projection ?
The slow strangulation of the US MSM means the crisis of confidence. 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 running scared and pretending there is no dissent or opposition, well, this is a sign of of degradation of the ruling elite. They are losing the battle of ideas and the battle of solutions to social problems. All that really stands between them and a social revolution is a thin veneer of 'authority' and status, as well as intelligence agencies spying on everybody.
Now all those well paid ( and sometimes even talented) war propagandist intend to substitute the real crisis of neoliberalism in the USA demonstrated during the recent Presidential Elections for the artificial problem of Russian meddling. And they are succeeding in this unfair and evil substitution. The also manage to "poison the well" -- relation between two nations were now at the level probably lower then during Cold War (when many Russians were sympathetic to the USA). I think 70% of Democratic voters now are convinced the Russia was meddling in the USA election and about 30% of Republican voters also think so. For the creators of 'artificial reality" such numbers signify big success. A very big success to be exact.
Notable quotes:
"... In perhaps the most chilling moment of the hearings, and the most overlooked, Clint Watts, a former U.S. Army officer who had branded himself an expert on Russian meddling, appeared before a nearly empty Senate chamber. Watts conjured up a stark landscape of American carnage, with shadowy Russian operatives stage managing the chaos ..."
"... The spectacle perfectly illustrated the madness of Russiagate, with liberal lawmakers springboarding off the fear of Russian meddling to demand that Americans be forbidden from consuming the wrong kinds of media ..."
"... A former U.S. Army officer who spent years in obscurity at a defense industry funded think tank called the Foreign Policy Research Institute (FPRI), Watts has become a go-to source for cable news producers and print journalists on the subject of Russian bots, always available with a comment that reinforces the sense that America is under sustained cyborg attack. This September, his employers at FPRI hailed him as "the leading expert on developments related to Russian-backed efforts to not only influence the 2016 presidential election, but also to inflame racial and cultural divisions within the U.S. and across Europe." ..."
"... Watts boasts an impressive-looking bio that is replete with fancy sounding fellowships at national security-oriented outfits, including George Washington University's Center Cyber and Homeland Security. His bio also indicates that he served on an FBI Joint Terror Task Force. ..."
"... Though Watts is best known for his punditry on Russian interference, it's fair to say he is as much an expert on Russian affairs as Harvey Weinstein is a trusted voice on feminism. Indeed, Watts appears to speak no Russian, has no record of reporting or scholarship from inside Russia, and has produced little to no work of any discernible academic value on Russian affairs. ..."
"... Whether or not he has the substance to support his claims of expertise, Watts has proven a talented salesman, catering to popular fears about Russian interference while he plies credulous lawmakers with ease. ..."
"... In the widely publicized testimony, Watts explained to the panel of senators that he first noticed the pernicious presence of Russian social media bots after he co-authored an article in 2014 in Foreign Affairs titled, " The Good and The Bad of Ahrar al Sham ." The article urged the US to arm a group of Syrian Salafi insurgents known for its human rights abuses , sectarianism and off-and-on alliances with Al Qaeda. Watts and his co-authors insisted that Ahrar al-Sham was the best proxy force for wreaking havoc on the Syrian government weakening its allies in Iran and Russia. Right below the headline, Watts and his co-authors celebrated Ahrar al-Sham as "an Al Qaeda linked group worth befriending." ..."
"... Watts rehashed the same argument at FPRI a year later, urging the U.S. government to harness jihadist terror as a weapon against Russia. "The U.S. at a minimum, through covert or semi-covert platforms, should take advantage and amplify these free alternative [jihadist] narratives to provide Russia some payback for recent years' aggression," he wrote. In another paper, Watts asked , "Why shouldn't the U.S. redirect some of the jihadi hatred towards those with the dirtiest hands in the Syrian conflict: Russia and Iran?" Watts did not specify whether the theater of covert warfare should be limited to the Syrian battlefield, or if he sought to encourage jihadists to carry out terrorist acts inside Russia and Iran. ..."
"... Next, Watts introduced his signature theme, claiming that Russia manipulated civil rights protests to exploit divisions in American society. Declaring that "pro-Russian" outlets were spreading "chaos in Black Lives Matter protests" by deploying active measures, Watts did not bother to say what those measures were. ..."
"... Watts then moved to the main course of his testimony, focusing on how Trump employed Russian "active measures" to attack his opponents. Watts told the Senate panel that the Russian-backed news outlets RT and Sputnik had produced a false report on the U.S. airbase in Incirlik, Turkey being "overrun by terrorists." He presented the Russian stories as the anchor for a massive influence operation that featured swarms of Russian bots across social media. And he claimed that then-Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort invoked the incident to deflect from negative media coverage, suggesting that Trump was coordinating strategy with the Kremlin. In reality, it was Watts who was spreading the fake news. ..."
"... Watts has pushed his bogus narrative of RT and Sputnik's Incirlik coverage in numerous outlets, including Politico . Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen echoed Watts' false account on the Senate floor while arguing for legislation to force RT out of the U.S. market on political grounds. And Jim Rutenberg, the New York Times' media correspondent, reproduced Watts' distorted account in a major feature on RT and Sputnik's "new theory of war." Almost no one, not one major media organization or public figure, has bothered to fact check these false claims, and few have questioned the agenda behind them. ..."
"... The episode began during a Trump rally at the height of the 2016 presidential campaign, when Trump read out an email purportedly from longtime Hillary Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal (the father of this writer), hoping to embarrass Clinton over Benghazi. The text of the email turned out to be part of a column written by the pro-Clinton Newsweek columnist Kurt Eichenwald, not an email by Blumenthal. ..."
"... The source of Trump's falsehood appeared to have been a report by Bill Moran, then a reporter for Sputnik, the news service funded by the Russian government. Having confused Eichenwald's writing for a Blumenthal email, Moran scrubbed his erroneous article within 20 minutes. Somehow, Moran's retracted article had found its way onto the Trump campaign's radar, a not atypical event for a campaign that had relied on material from far-out sites like Infowars to undercut its opponents. ..."
"... In his column at Newsweek, Eichenwald framed Moran's honest mistake as the leading edge of a secret Russian influence operation. With help from pro-Clinton elements, Eichenwald's column went viral, earning him slots on CNN and MSNBC, where he howled about the nefarious Russian-Trump-Wikileaks plot he believed he had just exposed. (Glenn Greenwald was perhaps the only reporter with a national platform to highlight Eichenwald's falsifications .) Moran was fired as a result of the fallout, and would have to spend the next several months fighting to correct the record. ..."
"... When Moran appealed to Eichenwald for a public clarification, Eichenwald staunchly refused. Instead, he offered Moran a job at the New Republic in exchange for his silence and warned him, "If you go public, you'll regret it." (Eichenwald had no role at the New Republic or any clear ability to influence the magazine's hiring decisions.) Moran refused to cooperate, prompting Eichenwald to publish a follow-up piece painting himself as the victim of a Russian "active measures" campaign, and to cast Moran once again as a foreign agent. ..."
"... Representing himself in court, Moran elicited a settlement from Newsweek that forced the magazine to scrub all of Eichenwald's articles about him -- a tacit admission that they were false from top to bottom. This meant that the most consequential claim Watts made before the Senate was also a whopping lie. ..."
"... The day after Watts' deception-laden appearance, he was nevertheless transformed from an obscure national security into a cable news star, with invites from Morning Joe, Rachel Maddow, Meet the Press, and the liberal comedian Samantha Bee, among many others. His testimony received coverage from the gamut of major news outlets, and even earned him a fawning profile from CNN. From out of the blue, Watts had become the star witness of Russiagate, and one of corporate media's favorite pundits. ..."
"... Dr. Strangelove ..."
"... It was not until this summer, however, that the influence operation Watts helped establish reached critical capacity. He had approached one of Washington's most respected think tanks, the German Marshall Fund, and secured support for an initiative called the Alliance for Securing Democracy. The new initiative became responsible for a daily blacklist of subversive, "pro-Russian" media outlets, targeting them with the backing of a who's who of national security honchos, from Bill Kristol to former CIA director and ex-Hillary Clinton surrogate Michael Morrell, along with favorable promotion from some of the country's most respected news organizations. ..."
Nov 13, 2017 | www.truthdig.com

Nearly a year after the presidential election, the scandal over accusations of Russian political interference in the 2016 election has gone beyond Donald Trump and reached into the nebulous world of online media. On November 1, Congress held hearings on "Extremist Content and Russian Disinformation Online." The proceedings saw executives from Facebook, Twitter and Youtube subjected to tongue-lashings from lawmakers like Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley, who howled about Russian online trolls "spread[ing] stories about abuse of black Americans by law enforcement."

In perhaps the most chilling moment of the hearings, and the most overlooked, Clint Watts, a former U.S. Army officer who had branded himself an expert on Russian meddling, appeared before a nearly empty Senate chamber. Watts conjured up a stark landscape of American carnage, with shadowy Russian operatives stage managing the chaos.

"Civil wars don't start with gunshots, they start with words," he proclaimed. "America's war with itself has already begun. We all must act now on the social media battlefield to quell information rebellions that can quickly lead to violent confrontations and easily transform us into the Divided States of America."

Next, Watts suggested a government-imposed campaign of media censorship: "Stopping the false information artillery barrage landing on social media users comes only when those outlets distributing bogus stories are silenced: silence the guns and the barrage will end."

The censorious overtone of Watts' testimony was unmistakable. He demanded that government news inquisitors drive dissident media off the internet and warned that Americans would spear one another with bayonets if they failed to act. And not one member of Congress rose to object. In fact, many echoed his call for media suppression in the House and Senate hearings, with Democrats like Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Rep. Jackie Speier agreeing the most vehemently. The spectacle perfectly illustrated the madness of Russiagate, with liberal lawmakers springboarding off the fear of Russian meddling to demand that Americans be forbidden from consuming the wrong kinds of media -- including content that amplified the message of progressive causes like Black Lives Matter.

Details of exactly what transpired vis a vis Russia and the U.S. in social media in 2016 are still emerging. This year, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence published a declassified version of the intelligence community's report on "Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent U.S. Elections," written by CIA, FBI and NSA, with its central conclusion that Russian efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election represent the most recent expression of Moscow's longstanding desire to undermine the U.S.-led liberal democratic order."

To be sure, there is ample evidence that Russian-linked trolls have attempted to exploit wedge issues on social media platforms. But the impact of these schemes on real-world events appears to have been exaggerated. According to Facebook's data , 56 percent of Russian-linked ads appeared after the 2016 presidential election, and another 25 percent "were never shown to anyone." The ads were said to have "reached" over 100 million people, but that assumes that Facebook users did not scroll through or otherwise ignore them, as they do with most ads. Content emanating from "Russia-linked" sources on YouTube, meanwhile, managed to rack up hit totals in the hundreds , not exactly a viral smash.

Facebook posts traced to the infamous Internet Research Agency troll factory in Russia amounted to only 0.0004 percent of total content that appeared on the social network. (Some of these posts targeted "animal lovers with memes of adorable puppies," while another hawked an LGBT-themed " Buff Bernie coloring book for Berniacs.") According to its " deliberately broad" review , Twitter found that only 0.74 percent of its election-related tweets were "Russian-linked." Google, for its part, documented a grand total of $4,700 of "Russian-linked ad spending" during the 2016 election cycle. While some have argued that the Russian-linked ads were micro-targeted, and could have shifted key electoral voting blocs, these ads appeared in a media climate awash in a multi-billion dollar deluge of political ad spending from both established parties and dark money super PACs.

However, a blitz of feverish corporate media coverage and tension-filled congressional hearings has convinced a whopping 82 percent of Democrats that "Russian-backed" social media content played a central role in swinging the 2016 election. Russian meddling has even earned comparisons by lawmakers to Pearl Harbor, to "acts of war," and by Hillary Clinton to the attacks of 9/11 . And in an inadvertent way, these overblown comparisons were apt.

As during the aftermath of 9/11, the fallout from Russiagate has spawned a multimillion-dollar industry of pundits and self-styled experts eager to exploit the frenetic atmosphere for publicity and profits. Many of these figures have emerged out of the swamp that flowed from the war on terror and are gravitating toward the growing Russia fearmongering industrial complex in search of new opportunities. Few of these characters have become as prominent as Clint Watts.

So who is Watts, and how did he emerge seemingly from nowhere to become the star congressional witness on Russian meddling?

Dubious Expertise, Impressive Salesmanship

A former U.S. Army officer who spent years in obscurity at a defense industry funded think tank called the Foreign Policy Research Institute (FPRI), Watts has become a go-to source for cable news producers and print journalists on the subject of Russian bots, always available with a comment that reinforces the sense that America is under sustained cyborg attack. This September, his employers at FPRI hailed him as "the leading expert on developments related to Russian-backed efforts to not only influence the 2016 presidential election, but also to inflame racial and cultural divisions within the U.S. and across Europe."

Watts boasts an impressive-looking bio that is replete with fancy sounding fellowships at national security-oriented outfits, including George Washington University's Center Cyber and Homeland Security. His bio also indicates that he served on an FBI Joint Terror Task Force.

Though Watts is best known for his punditry on Russian interference, it's fair to say he is as much an expert on Russian affairs as Harvey Weinstein is a trusted voice on feminism. Indeed, Watts appears to speak no Russian, has no record of reporting or scholarship from inside Russia, and has produced little to no work of any discernible academic value on Russian affairs.

Whether or not he has the substance to support his claims of expertise, Watts has proven a talented salesman, catering to popular fears about Russian interference while he plies credulous lawmakers with ease.

Before Congress, a String of Deceptions

Back on March 30, as the narrative of Russian meddling gathered momentum, Watts made his first appearance before the Senate Select Intelligence Committee.

Seated at the front of a hearing room packed with reporters, Watts introduced Congress to concepts of Russian meddling that were novel at the time, but which have become part of Beltway newspeak. His testimony turned out to be a signal moment in Russiagate, helping transition the narrative of the scandal from Russia-Trump collusion to the wider issue of online influence.

In the widely publicized testimony, Watts explained to the panel of senators that he first noticed the pernicious presence of Russian social media bots after he co-authored an article in 2014 in Foreign Affairs titled, " The Good and The Bad of Ahrar al Sham ." The article urged the US to arm a group of Syrian Salafi insurgents known for its human rights abuses , sectarianism and off-and-on alliances with Al Qaeda. Watts and his co-authors insisted that Ahrar al-Sham was the best proxy force for wreaking havoc on the Syrian government weakening its allies in Iran and Russia. Right below the headline, Watts and his co-authors celebrated Ahrar al-Sham as "an Al Qaeda linked group worth befriending."

Watts rehashed the same argument at FPRI a year later, urging the U.S. government to harness jihadist terror as a weapon against Russia. "The U.S. at a minimum, through covert or semi-covert platforms, should take advantage and amplify these free alternative [jihadist] narratives to provide Russia some payback for recent years' aggression," he wrote. In another paper, Watts asked , "Why shouldn't the U.S. redirect some of the jihadi hatred towards those with the dirtiest hands in the Syrian conflict: Russia and Iran?" Watts did not specify whether the theater of covert warfare should be limited to the Syrian battlefield, or if he sought to encourage jihadists to carry out terrorist acts inside Russia and Iran.

The premise of these op-eds should have raised serious concerns about Watts and his colleagues, and even questions about their sanity. They had marketed themselves as national security experts, yet they were lobbying the US to "befriend" the allies of Al Qaeda, the group that brought down the Twin Towers. (Ahrar al-Sham was founded by Abu Khalid al-Suri, a Madrid bombing suspect who was named by Spanish investigators as Osama bin-Laden's courier.) Anyone cynical enough to put such ideas into public circulation should have expected a backlash. But when the inevitable wave of criticism came, Watts dismissed it all as a Russian bot attack.

Addressing the Senate panel, Watts said that those who took to social media to mock and criticize his Foreign Affairs article were, in fact, Russian bots. He provided no evidence to support the claim, and a look at his single tweet promoting the article shows that he was criticized only once (by @Navsteva, a Twitter user known for defending the Syrian government against regime change proponents, not an automated bot). Nevertheless, Watts painted the incident as proof that Russia had revived a Cold War information warfare strategy of "Active Measures," which was supposedly aimed at "crumbl[ing] democracies from the inside out [by] creating political divisions."

Next, Watts introduced his signature theme, claiming that Russia manipulated civil rights protests to exploit divisions in American society. Declaring that "pro-Russian" outlets were spreading "chaos in Black Lives Matter protests" by deploying active measures, Watts did not bother to say what those measures were. In fact, the only piece of proof he offered (in a Daily Beast transcript of his testimony) was a single link to an RT article that factually documented a squabble between Black Lives Matter protesters and white supremacists -- an incident that had been widely covered by other outlets, from the Houston Chronicle to the Washington Post . Watts did not explain how this one report by RT sowed any chaos, or whether it had any effect at all on actual events.

Watts then moved to the main course of his testimony, focusing on how Trump employed Russian "active measures" to attack his opponents. Watts told the Senate panel that the Russian-backed news outlets RT and Sputnik had produced a false report on the U.S. airbase in Incirlik, Turkey being "overrun by terrorists." He presented the Russian stories as the anchor for a massive influence operation that featured swarms of Russian bots across social media. And he claimed that then-Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort invoked the incident to deflect from negative media coverage, suggesting that Trump was coordinating strategy with the Kremlin. In reality, it was Watts who was spreading the fake news.

In the articles cited by Watts during his testimony, neither RT nor Sputnik made any reference to "terrorists" taking over Incirlik Airbase. Rather, these outlets compiled tweets by Turkish activists and sourced their coverage to a report by Hurriyet, one of Turkey's largest mainstream papers. In fact, the incident was reported by virtually every major Turkish news organization ( here , here , here and here ). What's more, the events appeared to have taken place approximately as RT and Sputnik reported it, with protesters readying to protect the airbase from a coup while Turkish police sealed the base's entrances and exits. A look at RT's coverage shows the network even downplayed the severity of the event, citing a tweet by a U.S.-based national security analysis group stating, "We are not finding any evidence of a coup or takeover." This stands entirely at odds with Watts' claim that RT exaggerated the incident to spark chaos.

Watts has pushed his bogus narrative of RT and Sputnik's Incirlik coverage in numerous outlets, including Politico . Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen echoed Watts' false account on the Senate floor while arguing for legislation to force RT out of the U.S. market on political grounds. And Jim Rutenberg, the New York Times' media correspondent, reproduced Watts' distorted account in a major feature on RT and Sputnik's "new theory of war." Almost no one, not one major media organization or public figure, has bothered to fact check these false claims, and few have questioned the agenda behind them.

Questions emailed to Watts via his employers at FPRI received no reply.

Another Watts Deception, This Time Discredited in Court

During his Senate testimony, Watts introduced a second, and even more distorted claim of Trump employing Russian "active measures" to attack his political foes. The details of the story are complex and difficult for a passive audience to absorb, which is probably why Watts has been able to get away with pushing it for so long.

Watts' testimony was the culmination of a mainstream media deception that forced an aspiring reporter out of his job, drove him to contemplate suicide, and ultimately prompted him to take matters into his own hands by suing his antagonists.

The episode began during a Trump rally at the height of the 2016 presidential campaign, when Trump read out an email purportedly from longtime Hillary Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal (the father of this writer), hoping to embarrass Clinton over Benghazi. The text of the email turned out to be part of a column written by the pro-Clinton Newsweek columnist Kurt Eichenwald, not an email by Blumenthal.

The source of Trump's falsehood appeared to have been a report by Bill Moran, then a reporter for Sputnik, the news service funded by the Russian government. Having confused Eichenwald's writing for a Blumenthal email, Moran scrubbed his erroneous article within 20 minutes. Somehow, Moran's retracted article had found its way onto the Trump campaign's radar, a not atypical event for a campaign that had relied on material from far-out sites like Infowars to undercut its opponents.

In his column at Newsweek, Eichenwald framed Moran's honest mistake as the leading edge of a secret Russian influence operation. With help from pro-Clinton elements, Eichenwald's column went viral, earning him slots on CNN and MSNBC, where he howled about the nefarious Russian-Trump-Wikileaks plot he believed he had just exposed. (Glenn Greenwald was perhaps the only reporter with a national platform to highlight Eichenwald's falsifications .) Moran was fired as a result of the fallout, and would have to spend the next several months fighting to correct the record.

When Moran appealed to Eichenwald for a public clarification, Eichenwald staunchly refused. Instead, he offered Moran a job at the New Republic in exchange for his silence and warned him, "If you go public, you'll regret it." (Eichenwald had no role at the New Republic or any clear ability to influence the magazine's hiring decisions.) Moran refused to cooperate, prompting Eichenwald to publish a follow-up piece painting himself as the victim of a Russian "active measures" campaign, and to cast Moran once again as a foreign agent.

When Watts revived Eichenwald's bogus version of events in his Senate testimony, Moran began to spiral into the depths of depression. He even entertained thoughts of suicide. But he ultimately decided to fight, filing a lawsuit against Newsweek's parent company for defamation and libel.

Representing himself in court, Moran elicited a settlement from Newsweek that forced the magazine to scrub all of Eichenwald's articles about him -- a tacit admission that they were false from top to bottom. This meant that the most consequential claim Watts made before the Senate was also a whopping lie.

The day after Watts' deception-laden appearance, he was nevertheless transformed from an obscure national security into a cable news star, with invites from Morning Joe, Rachel Maddow, Meet the Press, and the liberal comedian Samantha Bee, among many others. His testimony received coverage from the gamut of major news outlets, and even earned him a fawning profile from CNN. From out of the blue, Watts had become the star witness of Russiagate, and one of corporate media's favorite pundits.

FPRI, a Pro-War Think Tank Founded by White Supremacist Eugenicists

Before he emerged in the spotlight of Russiagate, Watts languished at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, earning little name recognition outside the insular world of national security pundits. Based in Philadelphia, the FPRI has been described by journalist Mark Ames as "one of the looniest (and spookiest) extreme-right think tanks since the early Cold War days, promoting 'winnable' nuclear war, maximum confrontation with Russia, and attacking anti-colonialism as dangerously unworkable."

Daniel Pipes, the arch-Islamophobe pundit and former FPRI fellow, offered a similar characterization of the think tank, albeit from an alternately opposed angle. "Put most baldly, we have always advocated an activist U.S. foreign policy," Pipes said in a 1991 address to FPRI. He added that the think tank's staff "is not shy about the use of force; were we members of Congress in January 1991, all of us would not only have voted with President Bush and Operation Desert Storm, we would have led the charge."

FPRI was co-founded by Robert Strausz-Hupé, a far-right Austrian emigre, with help from conservative corporations and covert funding from the CIA. From the campus of the University of Pennsylvania, Strausz-Hupé gathered a "Philadelphia School" of Cold War hardliners to develop a strategy for protracted war against the Soviet Union. His brain trust included FPRI co-founder Stefan Possony, an Austrian fascist who was a board member of the World Anti-Communist League, the international fascist organization described by journalists Scott Anderson and Jon Lee Anderson as a network of "those responsible for death squads, apartheid, torture, and the extermination of European Jewry." True to his fascist roots, Possony co-authored a racialist tract, " The Geography of Intellect ," that argued that blacks were biologically inferior and that the people of the global South were "genetically unpromising." Strausz-Hupé seized on Possony's racialist theories to inveigh against anti-colonial movements led by "populations incapable of rational thought."

While clamoring for a preemptive nuclear strike on the Soviet Union -- and acknowledging that their preferred strategy would cause mass casualties in American cities -- Strausz-Hupé and his band of hawks developed a monomaniacal obsession with Russian propaganda. By the time of the Cuban missile crisis, they were stricken with paranoia, arguing on the pages of the New York Times that filmmaker Stanley Kubrick was a Soviet useful idiot whose film, Dr. Strangelove , advanced "the principal Communist objectives to drive a wedge between the American people and their military leaders."

Ultimately, Strausz-Hupé's fanaticism cost him an ambassadorship, as Sen. William Fulbright scuttled his appointment to serve in Morocco on the grounds that his "hard line, no compromise" approach to communism could shatter the delicate balance of diplomacy. Today, he is remembered fondly on FPRI's website as "an intellectual and intellectual impresario, administrator, statesman, and visionary." His militaristic legacy continues thanks to the prolific presence -- and bellicose politics -- of Watts.

The Paranoid Style

This year, FPRI dedicated its annual gala to honoring Watts' success in mainstreaming the narrative of Russian online meddling. Since I first transcribed a Soundcloud recording of Watts' keynote address, the file has been mysteriously scrubbed from the internet. It is unclear what prompted the removal, however, it is easy to understand why Watts would not want his comments examined by a critical listener. His speech offered a window into a paranoid mindset with a tendency for overblown, unverifiable claims about Russian influence.

While much of the speech was a rehash of Watts' Senate testimony, he spent an unusual amount of time describing the threat he believed Russian intelligence agents posed to his own security. "If you speak up too much, you'll get knocked down," Watts said, claiming that think tank fellows who had been too vocal about Russian meddling had seen their laptops "burned up by malware."

"If someone rises up in prominence, they will suddenly be -- whoof! -- swiped down out of nowhere by some crazy disclosure from their email," Watts added, referring to unspecified Russian retaliatory measures. As usual, he didn't produce concrete evidence or offer any examples.

"Anybody remember the reporters that were outed after the election? Or maybe they tossed up a question to the Clinton campaign and they were gone the next day?" he asked his audience. "That's how it goes."

It was unclear which reporters Watts was referring to, or what incident he could have possibly been alluding to. He offered no details, only innuendo about the state of siege Kremlin actors had supposedly imposed on him and his freedom-fighting colleagues. He even predicted he'd be "hacked and cyber attacked when this recording comes out."

According to Watts, Russian "active measures" had singlehandedly augmented Republican opinion in support of the Kremlin. "It is the greatest success in influence operations in the history of the world," Watts confidently proclaimed. He contrasted Russia's success with his own failures as an American agent of influence working for the U.S. military, a saga in his career that remains largely unexamined.

Domestic Agent of Influence

"I worked in influence operations in counter-terrorism for 15 years," Watts boasted to his audience at FPRI. "We didn't break one or two percent [increase in the approval rating of US foreign policy] in fifteen years and we spent billions a year in tax dollars doing it. I was paid off of those programs. We had almost no success throughout the Middle East."

By Watts' own admission, he had been part of a secret propaganda campaign aimed at manipulating the opinions of Middle Easterners in favor of the hostile American military operating in their midst. And he failed massively, wasting "billions a year in tax dollars."

Given his penchant for deception, this may have been yet another tall tale aimed at burnishing his image as an internet era James Bond. But if the story was even partially true, Watts had inadvertently exposed a severe scandal that, in a fairer world, might have triggered congressional hearings.

Whatever took place, it appears that Watts and his Cold Warrior colleagues are now waging another expensive influence operation, this time directed against the American public. By deploying deceptions, half-truths and hyperbole with the full consent of Congress and in collaboration with the mainstream press, they have managed to convince a majority of Americans that Russia is "trying to knock us down and take us over," as Watts remarked at the FPRI's gala.

In just a matter of months, public consent for an unprecedented array of hostile measures against Russia, from sanctions and consular raids to arbitrary crackdowns on Russian-backed news organizations, has been assiduously manufactured.

It was not until this summer, however, that the influence operation Watts helped establish reached critical capacity. He had approached one of Washington's most respected think tanks, the German Marshall Fund, and secured support for an initiative called the Alliance for Securing Democracy. The new initiative became responsible for a daily blacklist of subversive, "pro-Russian" media outlets, targeting them with the backing of a who's who of national security honchos, from Bill Kristol to former CIA director and ex-Hillary Clinton surrogate Michael Morrell, along with favorable promotion from some of the country's most respected news organizations.

In the next installment of this investigation, we will see how a collection of cranks, counter-terror retreads and online vigilantes overseen by the German Marshall Fund have waged a search-and-destroy mission against dissident media under the guise of combating Russian "active measures," and how the mainstream press has enabled their censorious agenda.

Read part two here .

Max Blumenthal is a senior editor of the Grayzone Project at AlterNet, and the award-winning author of " Goliath ," " Republican Gomorrah ," and " The 51 Day War ." He is the co-host of the podcast, Moderate Rebels . Follow him on Twitter at @MaxBlumenthal .

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[Dec 09, 2017] The Year of the Headless [neo]Liberal Chicken by C.J. Hopkins

Notable quotes:
"... Fortunately, just in the nick of time, the ruling classes and their media mouthpieces rolled out the Russian Propaganda story. The Washington Post (whose owner's multimillion dollar deal with the CIA, of course, has absolutely no effect on the quality of its professional journalism) led the charge with this McCarthyite smear job , legitimizing the baseless allegations of some random website and a think tank staffed by charlatans like this "Russia expert," who appears not to speak a word of Russian or have any other "Russia expert" credentials, but is available both for television and Senate Intelligence Committee appearances. Numerous similar smear pieces followed. Liberals breathed a big sigh of relief that Hitler business had been getting kind of scary. How long can you go, after all, with Hitler stumbling around the White House before somebody has to go in there and shoot him? ..."
"... In any event, by January, the media were playing down the Hitler stuff and going balls-out on the "Russiagate" story. According to The Washington Post (which, let's remember, is a serious newspaper, as opposed to a propaganda organ of the so-called US "Intelligence Community"), not only had the Russians "hacked" the election, but they had hacked the Vermont power grid ! Editorialists at The New York Times were declaring that Trump " had been appointed by Putin ," and that the USA was now "at war" with Russia. This was also around the time when liberals first learned of the Trump-Russia Dossier , which detailed how Putin was blackmailing Trump with a video the FSB had shot of Trump and a bunch of Russian hookers peeing on a bed in a Moscow hotel in which Obama had allegedly slept. ..."
"... This nonsense was reported completely straight-faced, and thus liberals were forced to take it seriously. Imagine the cognitive dissonance they suffered. It was like that scene in 1984 when the Party abruptly switches enemies, and the war with Eurasia becomes the war with Eastasia. Suddenly, Trump wasn't Hitler anymore. Now he was a Russian sleeper agent who Putin had been blackmailing into destroying democracy with this incriminating "golden showers" video. ..."
"... C. J. Hopkins is an award-winning American playwright, novelist and satirist based in Berlin. His plays are published by Bloomsbury Publishing (UK) and Broadway Play Publishing (USA). His debut novel, ZONE 23 , is published by Snoggsworthy, Swaine & Cormorant. He can reached at cjhopkins.com or consentfactory.org . ..."
Dec 09, 2017 | www.unz.com

First came the overwhelming shock of Hillary Clinton's loss to Trump, a repulsive, word salad-babbling buffoon with absolutely no political experience who the media had been portraying to liberals as the Second Coming of Adolf Hitler. This was a candidate, let's recall, who jabbered about building a "beautiful wall" to protect us from the hordes of "Mexican rapists" and other "bad hombres" who were invading America, and who had boasted about grabbing women "by the pussy" like a prepubescent 6th grade boy. While he had served as a perfect foil for Clinton, and had provided hours of entertainment in a comic book villain kind of way, the prospect of a Donald Trump presidency was inconceivable in the minds of liberals. So, when it happened, it was like the Martians had invaded.

Mass hysteria gripped the nation. There was beaucoup wailing and gnashing of teeth. Liberals began exhibiting irrational and, in some cases, rather disturbing behaviors. Many degenerated into dissociative states and just sat there with their phones for hours obsessively reloading the popular vote count, which Clinton had won, on FiveThirtyEight. Others festooned themselves with safety pins and went out looking for defenseless minorities who they could "demonstrate solidarity" with. Owen Jones flew in from London to join his colleague Steven Thrasher, who was organizing a guerilla force to resist " the normalization of Trump " and the global race war he was about to launch, which "not all of us were going to get out of alive."

In the weeks immediately following the election, the mainstream media inundated liberals with pronouncements of the advent of an " Age of Darkness " and the " Triumph of White Supremacy " over the beneficent values of Globalism. Yes, it was pretty much the end of everything . America was facing nothing less than a descent into " racial Orwellianism ," " Zionist anti-Semitism ," and " the bottomless pit of Fascism " itself. Liberals, who by then had dispensed with the safety pins, immediately set about terrorizing their children with visions of the impending holocaust , which would be carried out by the genocidal, racist monsters who had voted for Trump.

At that point, the media had been hammering hard on the Trump-is-Hitler narrative for months, so they had to stick with that for a while. It had only been a few weeks, after all, since The Wall Street Journal , The New York Times , The Washington Post , The Guardian , and numerous other establishment publications , had explained how Trump was using special fascist code words like "global elites," "international banks," and "lobbyists" to signal his virulent hatred of the Jews to the millions of Americans who, according to the media, were secretly Hitler-loving fascists.

This initial post-election propaganda was understandably somewhat awkward, as the plan had been to be able to celebrate the "Triumph of Love over the Forces of Hate," and the demise of the latest Hitlerian bogeyman. But this was the risk the ruling classes took when they chose to go ahead and Hitlerize Trump, which they wouldn't have done if they'd thought for a moment that he had a chance of actually winning the election. That's the tricky thing about Hitlerizing people. You need to be able to kill them, eventually. If you don't, when they turn out not to be Hitler, your narrative kind of falls apart, and the people you've fear-mongered into a frenzy of frothing, self-righteous fake-Hitler-hatred end up feeling like a bunch of dupes who'll believe anything the government tells them. This is why, normally, you only Hitlerize foreign despots you can kill with impunity. This is Hitlerization 101 stuff, which the ruling classes ignored in this case, which the left poor liberals terrified that Trump was actually going to start building Trump-branded death camps and rounding up the Jews.

Fortunately, just in the nick of time, the ruling classes and their media mouthpieces rolled out the Russian Propaganda story. The Washington Post (whose owner's multimillion dollar deal with the CIA, of course, has absolutely no effect on the quality of its professional journalism) led the charge with this McCarthyite smear job , legitimizing the baseless allegations of some random website and a think tank staffed by charlatans like this "Russia expert," who appears not to speak a word of Russian or have any other "Russia expert" credentials, but is available both for television and Senate Intelligence Committee appearances. Numerous similar smear pieces followed. Liberals breathed a big sigh of relief that Hitler business had been getting kind of scary. How long can you go, after all, with Hitler stumbling around the White House before somebody has to go in there and shoot him?

In any event, by January, the media were playing down the Hitler stuff and going balls-out on the "Russiagate" story. According to The Washington Post (which, let's remember, is a serious newspaper, as opposed to a propaganda organ of the so-called US "Intelligence Community"), not only had the Russians "hacked" the election, but they had hacked the Vermont power grid ! Editorialists at The New York Times were declaring that Trump " had been appointed by Putin ," and that the USA was now "at war" with Russia. This was also around the time when liberals first learned of the Trump-Russia Dossier , which detailed how Putin was blackmailing Trump with a video the FSB had shot of Trump and a bunch of Russian hookers peeing on a bed in a Moscow hotel in which Obama had allegedly slept.

This nonsense was reported completely straight-faced, and thus liberals were forced to take it seriously. Imagine the cognitive dissonance they suffered. It was like that scene in 1984 when the Party abruptly switches enemies, and the war with Eurasia becomes the war with Eastasia. Suddenly, Trump wasn't Hitler anymore. Now he was a Russian sleeper agent who Putin had been blackmailing into destroying democracy with this incriminating "golden showers" video. Putin had presumably been "running" Trump since Trump's visit to Russia in 2013 to hobnob with "Russia-linked" Russian businessmen and attend the Miss Universe pageant in Moscow. During the ensuing partying, Trump must have gotten loaded on Diet Coke and gotten carried away with those Russian hookers. Now, Putin had him by the short hairs and was forcing him to staff his Manchurian cabinet with corporate CEOs and Goldman Sachs guys, who probably had also been videotaped by the FSB in Moscow hotels paying hookers to pee on furniture, or performing whatever other type of seditious, perverted kink they were into.

Before the poor liberals had time to process this, the ruling classes launched "the Resistance." You remember the Pussyhat People , don't you? And the global corporate PR campaign which accompanied their historic "Womens' March" on Washington? Do you remember liberals like Michael Moore shrieking for the feds to arrest Donald Trump ? Or publications like The New York Times , Salon , and many others, and even State Satirist Stephen Colbert accusing Trump and anyone who supported him of treason a crime, let's recall, that is punishable by death? Do you remember folks like William Kristol and Rob "the Meathead" Reiner demanding that the "deep state" launch a coup against Trump to rescue America from the Russian infiltrators?

Ironically, the roll-out of this "Russiagate" hysteria was so successful that it peaked too soon, and prematurely backlashed all over itself. By March, when Trump had not been arrested, nor otherwise removed from office, liberals, who by that time the corporate media had teased into an incoherent, throbbing state of anticipation were well, rather disappointed. By April, they were exhibiting all the hallmark symptoms of clinical psychosis. This mental breakdown was due to the fact that the media pundits and government spooks who had been telling them that Trump was Hitler, and then a Russian sleeper agent, were now telling them that he wasn't so bad , because he'd pointlessly bombed a Syrian airstrip, and dropped a $314 million Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb on some alleged "terrorist caves" in Afghanistan.

As if liberals' poor brains weren't rattled enough, the corporate media then switched back to, first, the Russian Propaganda narrative (which they expanded into a global threat), then, the Hitler stuff again, but this time Trump wasn't actually Hitler, because Putin was Hitler, or at least he was fomenting Hitlerism throughout the West with his legions of fascist hacker bots who were "influencing" unsuspecting consumers with their blitzkrieg of divisive "fake news" stories. Oh, yeah, and now Putin had also done Brexit , or Trump and Robert Mercer had, but they were working for Putin, who had also hacked the French election that he hadn't hacked , or whatever this was no time to worry about what had or hadn't actually happened. The peace and prosperity President Obama had reestablished throughout the West by incessantly bombing the Greater Middle East and bailing out his pals at the Wall Street banks was being torn asunder by Vladimir Putin, who at some point had apparently metamorphosized from a ruthless, former KGB autocrat into a white supremacist megalomaniac.

Right on cue, on the weekend of August 11-12 in Charlottesville, Virginia, where there had never been any history of racism , a "national gathering" of approximately five hundred tiki torch-bearing neo-Nazis, Ku Klux Klan types, and other white supremacists, many of them barking Nazi slogans, marched into the pages of history. Never before have so few fascists owed so much to the mainstream media, which showered them with overwrought coverage, triggering a national Nazi panic. Liberals poured into the streets, tearing down Confederate monuments, and otherwise signaling their total intolerance of the racism they had tolerated until a few days earlier. People named after Robert E. Lee , and horses named after General Lee's horse , went into hiding to until the panic subsided. This was wise, as by then the so-called anti-fascists were showing up in force at anything resembling a right-wing rally and stomping the living Hitler out of Nazis, and Trump supporters, and journalists, and well, anyone they didn't think looked quite right. This totally preemptively self-defensive, non-violent type of violent behavior, naturally, shocked and horrified liberals, who are strongly opposed to all forms of violence that aren't carried out by the US military, or the police, or someone else wearing a uniform. Unsure as to whom they were supposed to condemn, the Nazis or the Antifa terrorists, they turned for guidance to the corporate ruling classes, who informed them it was time to censor the Internet .

This made about as much sense as any of the other nonsense they'd been spoonfed so far, so liberals decided to get behind it, or at least look the other way while it happened. Facebook, Google, Amazon, Twitter (and all the other corporations that control the Internet, the media, Hollywood, the publishing industry, and every other means of representing "reality") surely have people's best interests at heart. Plus, they're only censoring the Nazis, and the terrorists, and the Russian "fake news" disseminators, and, OK, a lot of leftist publications, and award-winning journalists , and anyone else espousing "divisive," anti-American, or anti-corporate, "extremist" views.

Look, I know what you're probably thinking, but it isn't like liberals don't actually care about fundamental liberal values like freedom of the press and speech and all that. It's just that they desperately need the Democrats to take back the House and the Senate next year, so they can get on with impeaching Trump, and if they have to stand by while the corporations suppress a little leftist dissent, or, you know, transform the entire Internet into a massive, mind-numbing echo chamber of neo-McCarthyite corporate conformity well, sacrifices have to be made.

This can't go on forever, after all. This level of full-blown mass hysteria can only be sustained for so long. It's all fine and good to be able to whip people up into a frenzied mob, but at some point you need to have an endgame. The neoliberal ruling classes know this. Their endgame is actually fairly simple. Their plan is to (a) make an example of Trump to discourage any future billionaire idiots from screwing with their simulation of democracy, and (b) demonize anyone deviating from neoliberal ideology as a fascist, racist, or anti-Semite, or otherwise "abnormal" or "extremist." Their plan is not to incinerate the entire planet in a war with Russia. We're not on the brink of World War III, despite how many Twitter likes or Facebook shares it might get me to say that. Yes, eventually, they want to force Russia to return to the kind of "cooperation" it engaged in during the 1990s, when it was run by an incorrigible drunkard and the Goldman Sachs boys and their oligarch pals were looting the country for all it was worth but that has little to do with all this.

No, the corporate ruling classes' endgame here is to reestablish neoliberal "normality," so we can get back to the War on Terror (or whatever they'll be calling it by then), and put this neo-nationalist revolt against neoliberalism episode behind us. To do that, they will need to install some sort of hopey-changey, Obama-like messiah, or at least somebody who can play the part of POTUS like a normal person and not sit around the Oval Office gobbling McDonald's and retweeting racist memes by random British fascists.

The way things are going, that might take a while, but rest assured they'll get there eventually. Now that Robert Mueller has proved that Trump colluded with Vladimir Putin by obstructing an investigation by Comey into Michael Flynn's lying to the FBI about not colluding with the Russian ambassador on behalf of Israel at Kushner's behest, the dominoes are surely about to fall. Once they all have, and Donald Trump's head has been mounted on a spike on the White House lawn as a warning to any other potential usurpers, all this Russia and Nazi hysteria that has the poor liberals running around like headless chickens will disappear. Russia will go back to being Russia. The North American Nazi Menace, deprived of daily media coverage, will go back to being a fringe phenomenon. Liberals will go back to ignoring politics (except identity politics, naturally) and obediently serving the global capitalist ruling elites that are destroying the planet, and the lives of millions of human beings, in order to increase their profit margins. Sure, there'll be a brief emotional hangover, once the adrenaline rush wears off and they look back at their tweets and Facebook posts, which in hindsight might convey the impression that they spent the better part of a year parroting whatever insane propaganda the corporate media pumped out at them, and otherwise behaving like Good Americans but then, that's what the "delete" key is for.

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

anonymous , Disclaimer December 9, 2017 at 8:51 am GMT

"The way things are going, that might take a while, but rest assured they'll get there eventually. Now that Robert Mueller has proved that Trump colluded with Vladimir Putin by obstructing an investigation by Comey into Michael Flynn's lying to the FBI about not colluding with the Russian ambassador on behalf of Israel at Kushner's behest, the dominoes are surely about to fall."

Thanks, now I understand where Judge Napolitano is coming from.

[Dec 08, 2017] AMERICA-HYSTERICA

Notable quotes:
"... Pentagon "weaponised information" years ago: " Revealed: US spy operation that manipulates social media ".) ..."
"... The collapse of the Fusion GPS operation will unravel the whole construction. And it's coming . ( And don't forget Awan .) All this because the Dems fixed their nomination and then lost anyway. ..."
Dec 08, 2017 | turcopolier.typepad.com

AMERICA-HYSTERICA I. It's not working. 52% believe it's better to have Russia on "our side" than not ; 76% of Republicans and 51% of independents agree but only 29% of Democrats. (I presume Dems find it easier to believe that Trump won because Putindunnit than that he beat their candidate fair and square). It's not working in Europe either: another poll show large majorities in Germany, Poland, France and UK would like better relations with Russia . But the effluent is still pumped out: " weaponised information ". (As a readers' guide to this sort of thing, you won't go wrong assuming that whatever US/NATO accuse Russia of doing, they are actually doing. For example, the Pentagon "weaponised information" years ago: " Revealed: US spy operation that manipulates social media ".)

AMERICA-HYSTERICA II. " FBI and Justice Department officials have told congressional investigators in recent days that they have not been able to verify or corroborate the substantive allegations of collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign outlined in the Trump dossier. " The collapse of the Fusion GPS operation will unravel the whole construction. And it's coming . ( And don't forget Awan .) All this because the Dems fixed their nomination and then lost anyway.

[Dec 05, 2017] Schizophrenic nonsense about Russia in Western MSM

So the anti-Russian campaign probably started after Sochi Olympics if nor earlier. Now we see just a new stage of it.
Notable quotes:
"... Western media, analysts and commentator spew the same inane nonsense regarding Russia. Either Putin is the new Hitler or he is just like Stalin or trying to become a new Tsar. Western experts accuse Putin of trying to revive the USSR one day only to accuse Putin re-establishing the Russian Empire the day afterwards. ..."
"... West media oscillates from Russia is about collapse to Russia is about to invade Europe and conquer the world! ..."
"... For nearly two hours, the Russian president reeled off a litany of resentments. The west had proclaimed victory in the cold war. It had cheated Moscow by expanding the EU and Nato right to Russia's borders. It had ignored international rules to pursue reckless policies in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. ..."
"... So far, the sanctions have acted as what one US official calls an "accelerant" to the unexpected plunge in oil prices, pushing Russia into a deep economic crisis. The rouble has tumbled, leaving Russia facing recession and spiralling inflation, challenging its ability to fund its costly stealth war in Ukraine (where the Kremlin insists there are no Russian soldiers on the ground, despite ample evidence to the contrary [Where is the evidence? Please state what the evidence is.]). ..."
"... I stopped reading the FT years ago . For the financial stuff it was quite good (!) and had a good level for people not accompli in such matters, but it always sucked ass * politically as it is generally to the far right of Ghengis Khan (my apologies to him as I am probably one of the descendents of the many beautiful ladies he porked – apparently 1 in 7 of us are). ..."
Jan 31, 2015 | marknesop.wordpress.com

Warren says:

Western media, analysts and commentator spew the same inane nonsense regarding Russia. Either Putin is the new Hitler or he is just like Stalin or trying to become a new Tsar. Western experts accuse Putin of trying to revive the USSR one day only to accuse Putin re-establishing the Russian Empire the day afterwards.

West media oscillates from Russia is about collapse to Russia is about to invade Europe and conquer the world!

Moscow Exile, February 3, 2015 at 11:02 am
From the above tweet kindly posted by Peter:

Extracts from the FT article: "Battle for Ukraine: How the west lost Putin"

It was past 10pm and the German chancellor was sitting in a Hilton hotel conference room in Brisbane, Australia. Her interlocutor was the implacable Vladimir Putin. For nearly two hours, the Russian president reeled off a litany of resentments. The west had proclaimed victory in the cold war. It had cheated Moscow by expanding the EU and Nato right to Russia's borders. It had ignored international rules to pursue reckless policies in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya.

The chancellor steered the conversation back to eastern Ukraine, where Russian-backed separatists were engaged in a bloody struggle against the western-backed government in Kiev, according to a person familiar with the meeting [WHO? No names, no pack drill?]. Since the crisis began, Ms Merkel [Why Ms? She is "Frau" and she is married. Does the journalist not know that? Does he think that Bundeskanzlerin Merkel wants to keep her marital status a secret? Fucking PC crap!] had worked hard to extract some sense from Mr Putin of what he wanted - something she could use to construct an agreement. When he finally offered a solution, she was shocked. Mr Putin declared Kiev should deal with the rebels the way he had dealt with Russia's breakaway Chechnya region: by buying them off with autonomy and money. A reasonable idea, perhaps, to an ex-KGB colonel. But for an East German pastor's daughter, with a deeply-ingrained sense of fairness, this was unacceptable.

Ms Merkel had asked her closest advisers to stay outside during the Brisbane meeting, on November 15 last year. "She wanted to be alone . . . to test whether she could get Putin to be more open about what he really wants",says someone briefed on the conversation [WHO?]. "But he wouldn't say what his strategy is, because he doesn't know".

For Moscow, too, something snapped. Weeks later, a Kremlin official [WHO?] dismissed the notion, often cited in diplomatic circles, that there had ever been a "special relationship" between the two leaders. "Putin and Merkel could never stand each other", he told the Financial Times. "Of course, they are professionals, so they tried to make the best of it for a long time. But that seems to have changed now."

The Merkel-Putin encounter in Australia marked a turning point. After a year of crisis, the west realised that it had been pursuing an illusion: for all its post-communist tribulations, Russia was always seen to be on an inexorable path of convergence with Europe and the west - what a senior German official [WHO?] calls the notion that "in the end, they'll all become like us".

So far, the sanctions have acted as what one US official calls an "accelerant" to the unexpected plunge in oil prices, pushing Russia into a deep economic crisis. The rouble has tumbled, leaving Russia facing recession and spiralling inflation, challenging its ability to fund its costly stealth war in Ukraine (where the Kremlin insists there are no Russian soldiers on the ground, despite ample evidence to the contrary [Where is the evidence? Please state what the evidence is.]).

According to a senior Washington official [WHO?], Mr Poroshenko, the oligarch elected Ukraine's president in May, was anxious to hold face-to-face meetings with Mr Putin. But he wanted other leaders in the room capable of holding Mr Putin to commitments. Ms Merkel was the obvious choice. "The administration's view is that she's the best interlocutor that we have in the west with Putin," says an ex-US diplomat [WHO?].

US President Barack Obama has held his own share of calls with Mr Putin, but he has largely taken a back seat. US insiders [WHO?] say the president feels Mr Putin was unresponsive to efforts to build a relationship. "Obama sees the world in win-win terms, Putin sees it in zero-sum terms", says the ex-diplomat. The two have a visible lack of chemistry. In Mr Obama's words, Mr Putin has a "kind of slouch, looking like the bored kid in the back of the classroom".

Diplomats suspect [WHICH DIPLOMATS?] Mr Putin is surrounded by yes-men afraid to give him the unvarnished truth. They suggest, for example, that he has been surprised by the strength of EU unity over sanctions.

She prepares meticulously, studying maps of eastern Ukraine and poring over them in meetings and phone calls with Mr Putin. "There are maps and charts, with roads and checkpoints", says a European diplomat [WHO?]. "She has these details. She knows about them."

In public, Ms Merkel has not said Mr Putin has lied, but she has in private [TO WHOM?]. "'He's lying', that's what she says to all the other leaders," says the EU diplomat.

A partygoer [WHO?] close to Ms Merkel recalls her saying little about the disaster. "The chancellor doesn't like to speak about something until she is sure of her facts. But she was shaken. It was horrendous."

"The Russians just weren't credible. They got beaten", says a senior Washington official [WHO?].

Asked why Mr Putin did not turn MH17 into an opportunity for reconciliation, a former senior Kremlin official [WHO?] said: "Because he was insulted. He acted emotionally. Because your side came out before anything was clear, accusing him of all sorts of things".

and on and on and on.

I've just got fed up of noting the unsubstantiated statements. And to make all this even more annoying,each time I cut and pasted, I received the following notification off FT:

"High quality global journalism requires investment. Please share this article with others using the link below, do not cut & paste the article."

High quality global journalism???

et Al , February 3, 2015 at 12:59 pm
I stopped reading the FT years ago. For the financial stuff it was quite good (!) and had a good level for people not accompli in such matters, but it always sucked ass* politically as it is generally to the far right of Ghengis Khan (my apologies to him as I am probably one of the descendents of the many beautiful ladies he porked – apparently 1 in 7 of us are).

The thing is, none of this should surprise us as established journalism has only got worse. Alternative media fortunately has grown on the back of this atrophy of the circle jerk club. What this goes to show is that the discerning news consumer now looks elsewhere for its news because the Pork Pie News Networks are so transparently bullshit in the extreme and even more unapologetic when they are caught with their pants down pretending to be milking grandma's cow in the middle of the night.

Fern, February 3, 2015 at 5:09 pm
If Putin became 'emotional' every time he was insulted by the west, he wouldn't have gotten out of bed since about 2003. Jeez, the crap these guys write.

[Dec 05, 2017] Conspiracy Theorists, Bloggers Compared To ISIS During Congressional Hearing by Paul Joseph Watson

So neo McCarthyism witch hunt that is rampant now is just more of the same.
Notable quotes:
"... The hearing, hosted by the House Foreign Relations Committee, was titled "Confronting Russia's Weaponization of Information," and accused Russian state broadcaster RT of weaponizing "conspiracy theories" to spread propaganda. ..."
"... One of the speakers giving testimony was former RT host Liz Wahl, who made a public spectacle of quitting Russian state media last year in an incident stage-managed by neo-con James Kirchick, himself a former employee of Radio Free Europe – a state media outlet. ..."
"... Remarking that the Internet provided a platform for "fringe voices and extremists," Wahl characterized people who challenge establishment narratives as a "cult". "They mobilize and they feel they're part of some enlightened fight against the establishment .they find a platform to voice their deranged views," said Wahl. ..."
"... Referring to comments made in January by US Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) chief Andrew Lack, who characterized RT as a threat on the same level as ISIS and Boko Haram, Wahl said the comparison was justified. ..."
"... Peter Pomerantsev, of the London-based Legatum Institute, followed up by claiming that conspiracy theories were no longer "fringe" and were now driving the success of Jean-Marie Le Pen in France, before lamenting the fact that conspiracy theories were challenging the "global order" and threatening to undermine global institutions. ..."
"... All three individuals that gave testimony are staunch critics of Russia, leading Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) to wish "we had at least one other person to balance out this in a way that perhaps could've compared our system to the Russian system, to find out where that truth is, just how bad that is." ..."
"... Without a doubt, RT puts out pro-Russian propaganda, but it also broadcasts truths about geopolitics and U.S. foreign policy that Americans will never see on mainstream corporate networks, precisely because those networks are also engaged in propaganda. ..."
"... As linguist Noam Chomsky said, "The idea that there should be a network reaching people, which does not repeat the US propaganda system, is intolerable" to the US establishment. ..."
"... I love it when .gov shows their hand. ..."
"... Let's not forget -- as reported here many times to the credit of ZH -- that the very term "conspiracy theorist" was coined by the CIA as a means of undermining anyone who would question the government. ..."
"... Websites of Mass Instruction (are internet sites that can educate and bring significant enlightenment to a large number of humans or cause great damage to the false government-scripted MSM narrativ ..."
"... Screw them, screw all of them. I am a blogger, I do my own analysis, and try to figure out what BS they are going to try and pull next based on the information I have available to me. It makes things so clear when they start speaking so hostilely about something you are involved in when you know are doing the right thing by speaking out. She is making it seem like there is some nefarious motive behind what we do. She is the one that is dangerous, not us. She is trying to curtail free speech for god sake. ..."
"... The US Propaganda Machine has just jumped the shark. ..."
"... It jumped the shark awhile ago. Like all corrupt governments, the government of the United States accuses others of behavior the US blatantly engages in itself. A few gems regarding our own "online troll army": http://www.wired.com/2011/07/darpa-wants-social-media-sensor-for-propaga... ..."
"... And let's not forget that the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 included a provision to repeal the ban on government propaganda being directed at American citizens: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Defense_Authorization_Act_for_Fisc... ..."
"... Turns out Uncle Sam is a sociopathic, hypocritical asshole. EDIT: Incidentally, folks, they always tell you what they're gonna do before they do it. This is a shot across the bow; they will be coming after the internet in one way or another at some point. It's too much of a threat for them to ignore it, and it's only a matter of time. ..."
"... The pejorative "conspiracy theorist" is meant to demean and ridicule skeptics of official stories. Most so-called "conspiracy theorists" are really skeptics, by definition. They're skeptical of what the government tells them. They're skeptical of the claim that drug companies are really only interested in helping humankind and have no desire to make money. They're skeptical that food corporations are telling them the truth about what's in their food. And they're also skeptical of anything coming out of Washington D.C., regardless of which party happens to be in power at the time. ..."
"... So let's get this straight... they believe that Russia is responsibility for ALLLLLLL the "conspiracy theories" on the Internet? LOL! How about the one where the NSA was spying on everyone and it turned out to be true? Is Russia responsible for that one too? ..."
"... Soon we will find out that Liz Wahl works for the CIA and was specifically planted at RT in order to create the current psyop. ..."
"... US propagandists are locked in a monologue mode, speaking to themselves and of themselves all the time. The Russians are simply a canvas on which US propagandists paint a projected picture of their inner selves. This is the US world order, wallowing in the denial of the most basic reality. Who could come with the fantasy that the US supports freedom of speech? ..."
Apr 16, 2015 | euobserver.com

Submitted by Paul Joseph Watson via PrisonPlanet.com,

Bloggers, conspiracy theorists and people who challenge establishment narratives on the Internet were all likened to ISIS terrorists during a chilling Congressional hearing which took place yesterday.

The hearing, hosted by the House Foreign Relations Committee, was titled "Confronting Russia's Weaponization of Information," and accused Russian state broadcaster RT of weaponizing "conspiracy theories" to spread propaganda.

One of the speakers giving testimony was former RT host Liz Wahl, who made a public spectacle of quitting Russian state media last year in an incident stage-managed by neo-con James Kirchick, himself a former employee of Radio Free Europe – a state media outlet.

Remarking that the Internet provided a platform for "fringe voices and extremists," Wahl characterized people who challenge establishment narratives as a "cult". "They mobilize and they feel they're part of some enlightened fight against the establishment .they find a platform to voice their deranged views," said Wahl.

Referring to comments made in January by US Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) chief Andrew Lack, who characterized RT as a threat on the same level as ISIS and Boko Haram, Wahl said the comparison was justified.

"By using the Internet to mobilize people that feel displaced, that feel like they've been on the outskirts of society, and give them a place where they can find a sense of belonging, and maybe make a difference in their own way, and it's a problem," she said.

Wahl went on to bemoan the fact that conspiracy theorists were "shaping the discussion online, on message boards, on Twitter, on social media," before asserting that the web had become a beacon of "disinformation, false theories, people that are just trying to make a name for themselves, bloggers or whatever, that have absolutely no accountability for the truth, that are able to rile up a mass amount of people online."

Committee Chairman Ed Royce then proceeded to accuse people on YouTube of using "raw violence" to advance conspiracy theories.

Peter Pomerantsev, of the London-based Legatum Institute, followed up by claiming that conspiracy theories were no longer "fringe" and were now driving the success of Jean-Marie Le Pen in France, before lamenting the fact that conspiracy theories were challenging the "global order" and threatening to undermine global institutions.

All three individuals that gave testimony are staunch critics of Russia, leading Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) to wish "we had at least one other person to balance out this in a way that perhaps could've compared our system to the Russian system, to find out where that truth is, just how bad that is."

Beyond the inflammatory rhetoric, the real story revolves around the fact that Washington was caught off guard by the rapid growth of RT, with Hillary Clinton and others having acknowledged the fact that the U.S. is "losing the information war," which is why they are now desperately trying to denigrate the Russian broadcaster.

Without a doubt, RT puts out pro-Russian propaganda, but it also broadcasts truths about geopolitics and U.S. foreign policy that Americans will never see on mainstream corporate networks, precisely because those networks are also engaged in propaganda.

There's no mystery behind why RT has become so big – telling the truth is popular – but because Washington finds it impossible to compete on that basis, it has been forced to resort to ad hominem attacks and ludicrous comparisons to ISIS in a desperate bid to level the playing field.

As linguist Noam Chomsky said, "The idea that there should be a network reaching people, which does not repeat the US propaganda system, is intolerable" to the US establishment.

_SILENCER

I love it when .gov shows their hand.

Fukushima Sam

You fucking bastards, you give me a version of events like "9/11" and the "Boston Marathon Bombing" that actually seem to jibe with reality and maybe then I'll stop being a "conspiracy theorist".

LetThemEatRand

Let's not forget -- as reported here many times to the credit of ZH -- that the very term "conspiracy theorist" was coined by the CIA as a means of undermining anyone who would question the government.

nmewn

It should also be pointed out that Bernanke is now "a blogger" at the Brookings Institute and one helluva "conspiracy theorist" in his own right...lol.

I guess some nutters are more equal than others ;-)

Supernova Born

Websites of Mass Instruction (are internet sites that can educate and bring significant enlightenment to a large number of humans or cause great damage to the false government-scripted MSM narrative)

clymer

Thanks RT for not thoroughly vetting that bitchy douche. Now if we could all go back to CNN like the nice little drones that we are... (Lauren Lyster ended up at CBS - WTF is with RT hand-picking these opportunists - reminds of ironically of Yuri Bezmenov speaking of hiring jouralists: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vLqHv0xgOlc -- they didn't learn from their own program)

Captain Debtcrash

Screw them, screw all of them. I am a blogger, I do my own analysis, and try to figure out what BS they are going to try and pull next based on the information I have available to me. It makes things so clear when they start speaking so hostilely about something you are involved in when you know are doing the right thing by speaking out. She is making it seem like there is some nefarious motive behind what we do. She is the one that is dangerous, not us. She is trying to curtail free speech for god sake.

http://www.debtcrash.report/

Bumpo

The US Propaganda Machine has just jumped the shark.

McMolotov

It jumped the shark awhile ago. Like all corrupt governments, the government of the United States accuses others of behavior the US blatantly engages in itself. A few gems regarding our own "online troll army": http://www.wired.com/2011/07/darpa-wants-social-media-sensor-for-propaga...

http://www.darpa.mil/Our_Work/I2O/Programs/Social_Media_in_Strategic_Com...

And let's not forget that the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 included a provision to repeal the ban on government propaganda being directed at American citizens: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Defense_Authorization_Act_for_Fisc...

Turns out Uncle Sam is a sociopathic, hypocritical asshole. EDIT: Incidentally, folks, they always tell you what they're gonna do before they do it. This is a shot across the bow; they will be coming after the internet in one way or another at some point. It's too much of a threat for them to ignore it, and it's only a matter of time.

BLOTTO

I've post previously...but always a good read.

'What is a "conspiracy theorist?

The pejorative "conspiracy theorist" is meant to demean and ridicule skeptics of official stories. Most so-called "conspiracy theorists" are really skeptics, by definition. They're skeptical of what the government tells them. They're skeptical of the claim that drug companies are really only interested in helping humankind and have no desire to make money. They're skeptical that food corporations are telling them the truth about what's in their food. And they're also skeptical of anything coming out of Washington D.C., regardless of which party happens to be in power at the time.

People who are not skeptics of "official stories" tend to be dull-minded. To believe everything these institutions tell you is a sign of mental retardation. To ask questions, on the other hand, is a sign of higher intelligence and wisdom.'

http://www.naturalnews.com/045172_conspiracy_theories_rational_thought_c...

philipat

It's hilarious watching in the land of the free as they try to find a way around the First Amendment to ban RT.......

Gaius Frakkin

So let's get this straight... they believe that Russia is responsibility for ALLLLLLL the "conspiracy theories" on the Internet? LOL! How about the one where the NSA was spying on everyone and it turned out to be true? Is Russia responsible for that one too?

So who are the REAL paranoid, deranged, scared out of their wits about losing power, conspiracy theorists?

Element

Like glib acceptance of any flaky old crap that drifts into your transom, you mean?

oh ... that's completely different ...

Right?

--

If people buy into nonsense and BS stories of their own volition, this is hardly going to be changed at the stroke of a pen of a legislative chamber all agreeing on some policy of state action to ban or else accept some aspect of public discourse.

cro_maat

Soon we will find out that Liz Wahl works for the CIA and was specifically planted at RT in order to create the current psyop.

TheFourthStooge-ing

US propagandists are locked in a monologue mode, speaking to themselves and of themselves all the time. The Russians are simply a canvas on which US propagandists paint a projected picture of their inner selves. This is the US world order, wallowing in the denial of the most basic reality. Who could come with the fantasy that the US supports freedom of speech?

Sorry, US citizens, your propaganda techniques are too old by now. Most people know them. Especially the Russians:

http://fortruss.blogspot.com/2015/04/chronicles-of-collapse-info-battles...

The translator of this Russian article notes that America throwing more resources into the info war is a sign of Russia's victories and America's agony in this theater of operations.

[Dec 05, 2017] EU mulls response to Russia's information war

So the current anti RT campaign is not an aberration. It is continuation of long time efforts...
Jan 09, 2015 | https://euobserver.com/foreign/127135

EU Observer: EU mulls response to Russia's information war

The Netherlands is funding a study on how the EU can fight back against Russia's "information war", in one of several counter-propaganda initiatives.

The Dutch-sponsored study was launched in the New Year by the European Endowment for Democracy (EED), a Brussels-based foundation.

But little happened until the Netherlands stepped in with the EED grant after a passenger plane, flight MH17, was shot down over east Ukraine killing 193 Dutch nationals and 105 other people.

Evidence indicates Russia-controlled rebels caused the disaster using a Russia-supplied rocket system.

But Russian state media have tried to sow suspicion the Ukrainian air force did it in order to prompt Western intervention in the conflict

Denmark, Estonia, Lithuania, and the UK are drafting an informal paper on how EU institutions and Nato can co-ordinate "strategic communications"

Its foreign ministry spokesman, Karlis Eihenbaums, told this website that around 15 EU states back the project and that the news broadcasts should be available in Russia if they can get past its "jamming system".

But Riga is trying to play down expectations of a quick result.

"I don't think we can come to an agreement among the 28 [EU leaders] to come up with a new TV station in Russian. Euronews is already doing news in Russian, so it'll be difficult to get an additional channel", Latvian PM Laimdota Straujuma told press in the Latvian capital on Wednesday (7 January).

Well-funded Russian broadcasters, such as RT, have hired big names, including former CNN anchor Larry King, and air programmes in English, French, German, and Spanish as well as Russian.

Their work is backed up by pseudo-NGOs.

Putting the Dutch grant in perspective, the British think-tank, Chatham House estimates the Russian "NGO" component alone is worth $100 million a year.

Western media have caught Russian media using fake pictures and fake witness accounts of alleged Ukrainian atrocities.

Eihenbaums noted that any EU news channel "must be attractive, but with accurate information it must not be a propaganda organ".

He cited RFE/RFL, a US-funded broadcaster, and the BBC as models because they do both Ukraine-critical and Russia-critical stories.
###

If you can't smell the excrement off that, then get thee to a medic!

Now, considering the piece above, try not to hold back a large guffaw for this one!

[Dec 05, 2017] One-Pager on Latest Developments in Russia (RF Sitrep 20150129)

Jan 31, 2015 | Russia Insider

HOW TO READ THE WESTERN MEDIA.

When they say Kiev forces have re-taken the airport, know that they have lost it.

When they say giving up South Stream was a defeat for Putin, know it was a brilliant counter-move.

When they say Russia is isolated (a stopped clock, here's The Economist in 1999!), know that it is expanding its influence and connections every day.

When they say Russians are turning against Putin, know that the opposite is true. When they speak of nation-building in the new Ukraine, know it's degenerating into armed thuggery (see video).

Know that when they speak of Kyrzbekistan, they're not just stenographers, they're incompetent stenographers.

Take what they say, turn it upside down, and you'll have a better take on reality.

THE MERKEL MYSTERY. I, like many, thought, when the Ukraine crisis began, that German Chancellor Merkel would prove to be key in settling it. This has not proved to be the case at all; in fact she often throws more fuel on the fire. I believe that Gilbert Doctorow may have the answer. In essence, he believes that Berlin dreams the "pre-WWI dream of Mitteleuropa" with cheap, docile workers in Poland, Ukraine and the others forever. Of course, it hasn't worked out very well, but that, he thinks, was the plan. There was no "End of History" after all; a rebirth of history it seems.

[Dec 03, 2017] Is Washington the Most Corrupt Government in History by Paul Craig Roberts

Looks like the credibility of the US establishment might collapse under weight of all lies that it perpetuated.
Americans and Russians should be natural partners in a multipolar world to widespread benefit. The current situation dominated by neo-McCarthyism witch hunt is tragic. Looks like the current neoliberal elite is truly evil, so there is not much hope for a change there. The American people are overall decent and generous, but their abysmal lack of (or even interest) in history and ignorance of the current events might be their undoing, I'm afraid.
Notable quotes:
"... The presstitutes never investigate real events. The presstitutes never question inconsistencies in official stories. They never tie together loose ends. They simply read over and over the script handed to them until the official story that controls the explanation is driven into the public's head. ..."
Dec 03, 2017 | www.unz.com

Robert Mueller, a former director of the FBI who is working as a special prosecutor "investigating" a contrived hoax designed by the military/security complex and the DNC to destroy the Trump presidency, has yet to produce a scrap of evidence that Russiagate is anything but orchestrated fake news. As William Binney and other top experts have said, if there is evidence of Russiagate, the NSA would have it. No investigation would be necessary. So where is the evidence?

It is a revelation of how corrupt Washington is that a fake scandal is being investigated while a real scandal is not. The fake scandal is Trump's Russiagate. The real scandal is Hillary Clinton's uranium sale to Russia. No evidence for the former exists. Voluminous evidence for Hillary's scandal lies in plain view. http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2017/10/25/hillary-clinton-and-real-russian-collusion.html

Why are the clearly false charges against Trump being investigated and the clearly true charges against Hillary not being investigated? The answer is that Hillary with her hostility toward Russia and her denunciation of Russian President Putin as the "New Hitler" is not a threat to the budget and power of the US military/security complex, while Trump's aim of normalizing relations with Russia would deprive the military/security complex of the "enemy" it requires to justify its massive budget and power.

Why hasn't President Trump ordered the Justice Department to investigate Hillary? Is the answer that Trump is afraid the military/security complex will assassinate him? Why hasn't the Justice Department undertaken the investigation on its own? Is the answer that Trump's government is allied with his enemies?

How corrupt does Mueller have to be to agree to lead a fake investigation designed to overthrow the democratic election of the President of the United States? Why doesn't Trump have Mueller and Comey arrested for sedition and conspiring to overthrow the president of the United States?

Why instead is Mueller expanding his investigation beyond his mandate and bringing charges against Manafort and others for decade-old under-reporting of income? Why instead is Congress harassing journalist Randy Credico for interviewing Julian Assange? How does an interview become part of the House Intelligence (sic) Committee's investigation into "Russian active measures directed at the 2016 U.S. election?" There were no such active measures, but the uranium sale was real.

Why haven't the media conglomerates that have produced presstitutes instead of journalists been broken up? Why can presstitutes lie 24/7, but a man can't make a pass at a woman?

Once you begin asking questions, there is no end of them.

The failure of the US and European media is extreme.

The presstitutes never investigate real events. The presstitutes never question inconsistencies in official stories. They never tie together loose ends. They simply read over and over the script handed to them until the official story that controls the explanation is driven into the public's head.

Consider, for example, the Obama regime's claim to have murdered Osama bin Laden in his "compound" in Abbottabad, Pakistan, next to a Pakistani military base. The official story had to be changed several times. The Obama regime claim that Obama and top government officials had watched the raid via cameras on the SEALs' helmets had to be abandoned. There was no reason to withhold the filmed evidence, and of course there was no such evidence, so the initial claim to have watched the killing became a "miscommunication." The staged photo of the top government officials watching the alleged live filming was never explained. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1382859/Osama-bin-Laden-dead-Photo-Obama-watching-Al-Qaeda-leader-die-live-TV.html

The entire story never made any sense: Osama, unarmed and defended only by his unarmed wife, was murdered in cold blood by a SEAL. What in the world for? Why murder rather than capture the "terrorist mastermind" from whom endless information could have been gained? Why forgo the political fanfare of parading Osama bin Laden before the world as a captive of the American superpower?

Why were no photographs taken? Why was Osama's body dumped in the ocean. In other words, why was all the evidence destroyed and nothing saved to back up the story?

Why the fake story of Osama being given a sea burial from an aircraft carrier? Why was no media interested that the ship's crew wrote home that no such burial took place?

Why was there no presstitute interest in the fact that the SEAL unit, from which the SEALs on the alleged raid on bin Laden's compound were drawn, was loaded against regulations in one 50-year old Vietnam era helicopter and shot down in Afghanistan, with all lives lost? Why was there no presstitute interest in the parents of the SEALs complaints about inappropriate procedures that cost their sons' lives and about fears expressed to them by sons that something was wrong and they felt endangered? http://www.wnd.com/2013/07/navy-seals-father-obama-sent-my-son-to-his-death/
and https://www.military1.com/navy/article/403494-navy-seals-parents-sue-biden-panetta-over-sons-deaths/ and http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/05/08/families-of-seal-team-6-to-reveal-why-they-think-the-govt-is-as-much-responsible-for-the-death-of-their-sons-as-the-taliban

Did the SEAL unit have to be wiped out because the members were asking one another, "who was on that raid?" "Were you on the bin Laden raid?" When in fact no one was on the raid.

Why wasn't Congress interested?

Why was the live Pakistani TV interview with an eye witness of the alleged raid on bin Laden's compound not reported in the US media? The witness contradicted every aspect of the official story. And this was immediately after the event. There was no time for anyone to concoct an elaborate counter-story or motive to do so. Here is the interview: https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2013/11/15/pakistan-samaa-tv-interview-eyewitness-alleged-osama-bin-laden-killing/ and here is a verified translation that confirms the accuracy of the English subscripts: https://www.opednews.com/populum/page.php?f=Pakistan-TV-Report-Contrad-by-paul-craig-roberts-110806-879.html

Osama bin Laden had been dead for a decade prior to the false claim that Navy SEALs murdered him in Pakistan in May 2011. Here are the obituraries from December 2001: https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2013/11/20/bin-ladens-obituary-notice/ and this one from Fox News: http://www.foxnews.com/story/2001/12/26/report-bin-laden-already-dead.html

Here is bin Laden's last confirmed interview. He says he had nothing to do with 9/11. Why would a terrorist leader who succeed in humiliating "the world's only superpower" fail to boost his movement by claiming credit?
https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2012/11/26/the-osama-bin-laden-myth-2/

See also:

https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2014/11/07/another-fake-bin-laden-story-paul-craig-roberts/

http://www.globalresearch.ca/pentagon-orders-purge-of-osama-bin-ladens-death-files-from-data-bank/5342055

http://themindrenewed.com/interviews/2013/334-int-32

https://www.opednews.com/populum/page.php?f=Creating-Evidence-Where-Th-by-paul-craig-roberts-110805-618.html

https://www.opednews.com/populum/page.php?f=Pakistan-TV-Report-Contrad

Think about this. The bin Laden story, including 9/11, is fake from start to finish, but it is inscribed into encyclopedias, history books, and the public's consciousness.

And this is just one example of the institutionalized mass lies concocted by Washington and the presstitutes and turned into truth. Washington's self-serving control over explanations has removed Americans from reality and made them slaves to fake news.

So, how does democracy function when voters have no reliable information and, instead, are led into the agendas of the rulers by orchestrated events and fake news?

Where is there any evidence that the United States is a functioning democracy?

[Nov 30, 2017] The US Aristocracy's Smear-Russia Campaign Big Brother At Work

The USA has been honing an information age art of war -- through fake news, disinformation, leaks, and trolling -- for more than a decade. How can free societies protect themselves?"
Notable quotes:
"... These mere speculations, with slimy inferences of evil, with no real facts that back them up, were the front-cover 'news', in TIME. The facts were thin, but the speculations were thick, and the only thing really clear from it was that almost all of America's billionaires and centi-millionaires want Trump ousted, and want Vice President Mike Pence to become America's President as soon as possible -- before Trump's term is up. Democratic ones certainly do, and many of the Republican ones apparently do as well. Perhaps Trump isn't hostile enough toward Russia to suit their fancy. At least Pence would be predictable -- predictably horrible, in precisely the way that the controllers of the 'news'media overwhelmingly desire. ..."
Nov 30, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Eric Zuesse via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

Billionaires, both liberal and conservative ones, own, and their corporations advertise in and their 'charities' donate to, America's mainstream (and also many 'alternative news') media.

They do this not so as to profit directly from the national 'news'media (a money-losing business, in itself), but so as to control the 'news' that the voting public (right and left) are exposed to and thus will accept as being "mainstream" and will reject all else as being "fringe" or even 'fake news', even if what's actually fake is, in fact, the billionaires' own mainstream 'news', such as their 'news'media had most famously 'reported' about 'Saddam's WMD' (but the'news'media never changed after that scandal -- even after having pumped uncritically that blatant lie to the public).

Have America's numerous foreign coups and outright military invasions (including Iraq 2003) been the result of fake-news that was published by the mainstream 'news'media, or only by some of the 'alternative news' sites that mirror what the mainstream ones have been 'reporting' (passing along the Government's lies just like the mainstream ones do)? Obviously, the catastrophic fake news -- the fake news that 'justified' America's invading and destroying Iraq, Libya, and many other countries -- was all published in the mainstream 'news'media. That's where to go for the really dangerous lies: it's the mainstream 'news'media. If those media, and their Government (whose lies they stenographically report to the public) will now censor the Internet, such as is increasingly happening not only in the US but in its allies including the European Union , then the only 'information' that the public will have access to, at all, will be the billionaires' lies. Have we already almost reached 1984 , finally, in 2017?

Two typical examples of this coordinated mass-deception-operation happened to be showing at the top of the magazine-pile at an office recently and struck my attention there, because of the ordinariness of the propaganda that was being pumped.

One of them was the cover of TIME magazine, dated "July 24, 2017" and with the cover headlined "RED HANDED: The Russia Scandal Hits Home" , overprinting onto the face of Donald Trump Jr., as their menacing-looking cover-image. That cover-story, as published inside, was titled "How Donald Trump Jr.'s Emails Have Cranked Up the Heat on His Family" , and it used such phrases as "potentially treasonous" and "Russia is the one country that could physically destroy America" (as if it weren't also the case that US is the one country that could physically destroy Russia, and very much the case also that possession of the weaponry isn't any indication of being evil, such as this particular propagandist was implicitly assuming). Hillary Clinton's V.P. running-mate was reported to be "saying that these fresh revelations move the Russia investigation into the realms of 'perjury, false statements and even, potentially, treason.'"

These mere speculations, with slimy inferences of evil, with no real facts that back them up, were the front-cover 'news', in TIME. The facts were thin, but the speculations were thick, and the only thing really clear from it was that almost all of America's billionaires and centi-millionaires want Trump ousted, and want Vice President Mike Pence to become America's President as soon as possible -- before Trump's term is up. Democratic ones certainly do, and many of the Republican ones apparently do as well. Perhaps Trump isn't hostile enough toward Russia to suit their fancy. At least Pence would be predictable -- predictably horrible, in precisely the way that the controllers of the 'news'media overwhelmingly desire.

The other example was the cover of The New Republic magazine, dated "December 2017" and it simply headlined in its center, "HOW TO ATTACK A DEMOCRACY ", and the opening page of the article inside was bannered "WEAKEN FROM WITHIN" and below that in the printed edition (the December physical issue of the magazine) was:

"Russian manipulation of American social media in the 2016 presidential election took the United States by surprise. But Moscow has been honing an information-age art of war -- through fake news, disinformation, leaks, and trolling -- for more than a decade. How can these societies protect themselves?"

The online version of that article (which was dated 2 November 2017) opened almost the same: "Moscow has been honing an information age art of war -- through fake news, disinformation, leaks, and trolling -- for more than a decade. How can free societies protect themselves?"

The unspoken assumption in this article is that the US CIA hasn't been doing the same thing -- and doing it even worse than the old (and thankfully expired) KGB ever did. (And the CIA, even after the end of communism as its supposed enemy until 1991, still does far worse to other countries than Russia's FSB does or ever did.)

Underlying both the TIME article and the TNR article are unstated speculations about the American situation, which are based upon thin facts such as that "at least $100,000 in ads purchased through 470 phony Facebook pages and accounts" were "using Facebook to incite anti-black hatred and anti-Muslim prejudice and fear while provoking extremism" , and that supposedly somehow (they never say how) such puny expenses threw the multi-billion-dollar 2017 US Presidential election to Trump. How is a case such as that, to be viewed by an intelligent reader as constituting anything but propaganda for the weapons-making firms such as Lockheed Martin, who benefit from such international anti-Russia hate-spewing to NATO countries, which are those firms' major markets (other than Saudi Arabia, and the other fundamentalist-Sunni kingdoms that together constitute the Gulf Cooperation Council or "GCC" nations, which hate Shiite Iran as much as the US regime hates Russia)?

Also among the underlying and unstated speculations in the background here is the older mass-media allegation about Russia's allegedly having spied and swayed the US election by 'hacking' it, which is likewise being pumped by Democrats and other opponents of Mr. Trump, alleging that 'Russia hacked the election' .

And, so, for an example of the flimsiness of those allegations, one of the two main 'authorities' who are the source of that, the Bush and Obama Administration's James Clapper, was headlined at Politico on 7 July 2017, "Clapper: No evidence others besides Russia hacked US election" . Mr. Clapper happens to be a military-industrial-complex revolving-door 'intelligence' 'professional' whom, on 10 February 2011, even Politico was reporting to be "backing away from comments he made Thursday calling Egypt's branch of the Muslim Brotherhood movement 'largely secular'," and who had also covered-up George W. Bush's lies about 'WMD in Iraq' so as to protect the liars. On 29 October 2003, the New York Times stenographically passed along his deception about the non-existent WMD by headlining, "WEAPONS SEARCH; Iraqis Removed Arms Material, US Aide Says" and reported, "The official, James R. Clapper Jr., a retired lieutenant general, said satellite imagery showing a heavy flow of traffic from Iraq into Syria, just before the American invasion in March, led him to believe that illicit weapons material 'unquestionably' had been moved out of Iraq." No evidence ever existed that Saddam Hussein still had any WMD after the U.N. monitors (UNSCOM) destroyed the last of them in 1998; but Clapper 'unquestionably' 'knew' to the contrary -- though no evidence was ever made available to the contrary of UNSCOM's reports, and lots of evidence existed that Bush simply lied about the entire matter .

The other main source for the allegation that 'Russia hacked the election' is the Obama Administration's John Brennan, whom Glenn Greenwald exposed as a fraud back on 7 January 2013, headlining "John Brennan's extremism and dishonesty rewarded with CIA Director nomination" .

Both of the official 'experts' who are promoting the Russiagate charges, are longtime, and repeatedly, exposed liars - but that's the best they can do, always assuming that the public don't know that these people are propagandists for the military-industrial complex , not real 'public servants' at all.

This isn't to say that Trump isn't also a liar -- just that the 'news' in America is full of conflicting lies -- and that they constantly are coming from the fake 'news'media that are the mainstream ones who are now trying to censor out, and ultimately to obliterate, the few small news-operations (some of which, unlike any of the mainstream ones, actually are good, and authentic journalistic operations, no mere PR hackery) that are constantly exposing the fraudulence of the mainstream ones, which want to impose their dictatorship -- the mainstream lies -- even more rigorously than they already do. After all, the mainstream Western media still haven't yet reported US President Obama's bloody racist-fascist coup that in February 2014 replaced the democratically elected President of Ukraine (and his supporters in the legislature) by a racist-fascist or ideologically nazi regime that's rabidly hostile toward its neighboring nation of Russia . Even now -- nearly four years after the event. It's already solidly documented history , but the mainstream US-and-allied press still hasn't reported it.

The fake-news masters are certainly the mainstream 'news'media themselves - and they, and the billionaires and centi-millionaires who own and control them, are the real megaphones by which the US dictatorship constantly fools the American people (and the publics in its allied nations), to keep in line, for the aristocracy .

VWAndy , Nov 30, 2017 12:07 AM

The lies just keep getting bigger.

Skateboarder -> VWAndy , Nov 30, 2017 12:17 AM

"Us vs. them," the tune for the culling.

Slippery Slope -> Skateboarder , Nov 30, 2017 12:55 AM

Many of the Jewish Oligarchs in Russia and throughout the World, really hate Russia, I think it has to do with the Slavs conquest of the Khazars.

In that Putin rebuilt Russia and stopped them from thieving, irks them all the more.

jeff montanye -> Skateboarder , Nov 30, 2017 1:28 AM

if russia hacked the election why didn't the dnc ask, beg the fbi to examine the dnc email servers and prove it in detail? instead the dnc put forward the highly questionable crowdstrike and guccifer 2.0 materials.

why hasn't evidence from the vaunted national security agency, as shown by snowden to record everything, been presented to demonstrate russian hacking?

how can the fbi still maintain it never investigated the seth rich murder? even if seymour hersh is right and it wasn't connected to rich's very probable theft of dnc email data and its transmission to wikileaks, it certainly could have been and merited checking out. either the fbi is lying or incompetent (or both).

i sent a request to judicial watch (potentially explosive materials about the clinton lynch "tarmac" meeting to be released today) asking them to file freedom of information suits on the first and third paragraphs above. we must break out of the horrible zionist takeover of the u.s. that is explained in detail in chris bollyn's new book and video, the war on terror; the plot to rule the middle east . it is also the plot to rule the u.s.a.

https://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=chris+bollyn+war+on...

07564111 -> jeff montanye , Nov 30, 2017 1:38 AM

US Aristocracy = Joos In Charge

Kassandra -> jeff montanye , Nov 30, 2017 3:55 AM

Good on you.

In these days of internet, where we can actually know (or suspect) what is going on, why do the lies continue? When we all KNOW IT IS ALL A LIE!

Blue Steel 309 -> VWAndy , Nov 30, 2017 12:57 AM

The Soviets collapsed under the weight of their own lies, not the economy or cold war arms race.

We are next. Is this being orchestrated or just part of the sinusoidal process of this civilization?

[Nov 30, 2017] WaPo Reporter Caught On Hidden Camera Being A Bit Too Honest; Admits No Evidence Of Trump-Russia Collusion Zero Hedge

Notable quotes:
"... That said , what is explosive about this particular undercover sting is just how different Entous' private views on the Trump-Russia investigation are from the constant stream of narrative-building collusion headlines that flood the Washington Post's homepage each and every day. ..."
"... Of course, rather than focus on the blatant media bias that has once again been exposed by Project Veritas, the mainstream media rushed to the defense of the Washington Post by focusing instead on the foiled attempt of one of O'Keefe's journalists to plant a fake story at WaPo to see if they would simply run it with no questions asked or actually do their jobs. Apparently CNN thought the foiled plot had put O'Keefe "on the defensive"... ..."
Nov 30, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com

WaPo Reporter Caught On Hidden Camera Being A Bit Too Honest; Admits "No Evidence" Of Trump-Russia Collusion Tyler Durden Nov 29, 2017 9:00 PM 0 SHARES CNN and New York Times , Project Veritas has now set their sights on the Washington Post. In a candid conversation with an undercover Project Veritas journalist, the Post's National Security Director, Adam Entous, put himself in danger of being a bit too honest, at least by his employer's standards, by admitting that "there's no evidence of [Trump-Russia collusion] that I've seen so far." Entous goes on to admit that "it's a fucking crap shoot" and that he has no idea how Mueller's investigation might turn out.

Entous : "Our reporting has not taken us to a plcae where I would be able to say with any confidence that the result of it is going to be the president being guilty of being in cahoots with the Russians. There's no evidence of that that I've seen so far."

PV Journalist : "There has to be something, right?"

Entous "Maybe, maybe not. It could just be lower-level people being manipulated or manipulating, but it's very hard to, it's really...It's a fucking black box."

"We've seen a lot of flirtation, if you will, between them but nothing that, in my opinion, would rank as actual collusion. Now that doesn't mean that it doesn't exist, it just means we haven't found it yet. Or maybe it doesn't exist."

"I mean it's a fucking crap shoot. I literally have no prediction whatsoever as to what would happen, and I do all the stuff for the Post on this so..."

Today we show you our second undercover video within @washingtonpost this time exposing Nat'l Security Director Adam Entous who ADMITS that the Russia story is a "f*cking crap shoot" and "maybe it doesn't exist at all." pic.twitter.com/qeEfk9oCKA

-- James O'Keefe (@JamesOKeefeIII) November 29, 2017

Of course, on the surface, Entous' opinions are not that explosive and likely mimic the views held by many Americans...namely that despite 1.5 years of investigations no one has presented any actual, tangible evidence of Trump-Russia collusion.

That said , what is explosive about this particular undercover sting is just how different Entous' private views on the Trump-Russia investigation are from the constant stream of narrative-building collusion headlines that flood the Washington Post's homepage each and every day.

Like this one...

Or this one if you prefer...

Of course, rather than focus on the blatant media bias that has once again been exposed by Project Veritas, the mainstream media rushed to the defense of the Washington Post by focusing instead on the foiled attempt of one of O'Keefe's journalists to plant a fake story at WaPo to see if they would simply run it with no questions asked or actually do their jobs. Apparently CNN thought the foiled plot had put O'Keefe "on the defensive"...

...but O'Keefe seemed to not be all that defensive in his response below...which presumably means we'll all be treated to many more undercover stings in the years to come.

MSM want to destroy @Project_Veritas . They see us as their enemy. When we expose them, they are lose their power. We have a stone lodged between Goliath's eyes. They want me to kneel down & apologize. I will not. We will keep pushing, we will expose the truth. - @JamesOKeefeIII pic.twitter.com/vbBVxXtBD6

-- Project Veritas (@Project_Veritas) November 29, 2017

Finally, here is the latest Project Veritas video for your viewing pleasure:

greenskeeper carl -> Bernie Madolf , Nov 29, 2017 9:12 PM

Apparently his WaPo thing didn't really work, but they can't all be winners. His exposing of those DNC operatives during the campaign was brilliant. To this day I do not understand why they were allowed to just get fired or resign from all their postings without an indictment.

nope-1004 -> greenskeeper carl , Nov 29, 2017 9:14 PM

Honest on hidden camera, full of shit in the MSM.

So it is with all .gov media outlets.

[Nov 30, 2017] State Department Condemns Designation Of Media As Foreign Agents (only applies to Russia)

State Department is actually has dual function -- one is to be an intelligence agency. And as such it is fully responsible for the current anti-Russian witch hunt. So the level of hypocrisy is simply staggering. But not surprising: way too many neocons infiltrated the agency under Hillary Clinton and her predecessor.
The problem with responding to this move is that the USA is still the global superpower and technological leader in many areas, including semiconductors. So Russians need to be very careful not to overstep the boundaries and slip into tip for tat mode.
The huge advantage of the USA is that it conducts its propaganda campaign against Russia mostly via private newspapers that have foreign correspondents in Russia as well as fifth column of Russian neoliberals and their news outlets. Which are closely working with the US sponsored NGO. Same is true for GB. Actually after reading Guardian correspondents coverage from Russia it is unclear whether Guardian is a branch on MI6 or not ;-). I don not remember the name of a person who was expelled from Russia for collecting information from the transmitter masked as a "stone" in Moscow park.
Some minor measures directly against "foreign financed" domestic new outlets actually could be more effective that sweeping registration of (mostly ineffective and unpopular) US government channels as "foreign agents".
Notable quotes:
"... Today the U.S. State Department hit the ball of hypocrisy out of the park. It remarked that "legislation that allows .. to label media outlets as 'foreign agents' ... presents yet another threat to free media". It noted that "freedom of expression -- including speech and media ... is a universal human rights obligation". ..."
"... The whole issue started with the notable liar James Clapper under the Obama administration. He and other 'intelligence' people found that RT ..."
"... The Russian government had warned several times that the application of FARA against RT ..."
"... "We could do with having a USIA on steroids to fight this information war [with Russia] a lot more aggressively than we're doing right now," Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told members of the Senate Armed Services Committee. ..."
"... "[Russia Today] was very active in promoting a particular point of view, disparaging our system, our alleged hypocrisy about human rights," he said. "Whatever crack, fissure they could find in our tapestry, they would exploit it," via the state-owned news network. ..."
"... Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Jan 6 2017 - Annex I, originally published on 11 December 2012 by the Open Source Center ..."
"... RT aired a documentary about the Occupy Wall Street movement on 1, 2, and 4 November. RT framed the movement as a fight against "the ruling class" and described the current US political system as corrupt and dominated by corporations. ..."
"... RT's reports often characterize the United States as a "surveillance state" and allege widespread infringements of civil liberties, police brutality, and drone use. ..."
"... RT has also focused on criticism of the US economic system, US currency policy, alleged Wall Street greed, and the US national debt. ..."
"... RT is a leading media voice opposing Western intervention in the Syrian conflict and blaming the West for waging "information wars" against the Syrian Government. ..."
"... It is so embarrassing to live in a country where the government issues nothing but lies and hypocrisy. I realize that to the players it's all a game and maybe funny but to this citizen and probably others this game is putting our lives in danger,,, and we don't find that 'funny'. ..."
"... "And at that moment, we will have to repeat that the Iraqi people, the Syrian people, the Lebanese people, all the elites and all the leaders and peoples of the region should reflect, weigh and return to the question of the identity of the creators, supporters, advocates and promoters of ISIS, that enabled them to commit these terrorist massacres [US, UK, France, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar ], and the identity of those who have stood against ISIS, fought them, offered martyrs in this fight [Iran, Syria, Irak, Hezbollah, Russia] and inflicted a defeat on ISIS and all those who stand behind them. This is a discussion to be held with depth and strength so that the (Muslim) believers do not become victims twice of the same ills." ..."
"... After I have been writing about the fact that the Western hemisphere as a whole is no longer democratic and that the CIA and the NSA dictate the policies of the US regime and its vassals, my cell phone started to turn itself off and on frequently and now my Mac is turning itself on in the middle of the night and the hard drive indicator lights turn red - what they have never done before. Every option to "wake up on call" is disabled. For WiFi (turned off - no Wifi here) and Bluetooth. The Mac is only connected to the power outlet. ..."
"... The so called 'State Department' that has already a disturbing history of cooperation with Fascists throughout its existence, is now totally unhinged. It's actions make it clear beyond any doubt that the US is no longer and has likely not been since 2000 (or 1964, depending on view point) what goes for a 'democratic republic'. ..."
"... Illegal wars and toppling of democratically elected socialist governments for the Safety and Happiness of the American people? That must be it. ..."
"... Behind the persona, Trump may be far smarter than Obama or Clinton, and perhaps more dangerous as far as keeping the US empire alive, depending on which way he goes. I am starting think he won't create any new wars though, just let the neo-con establishment do their thing within a limit, to build up leverage and pressure against countries that he may well try and strike some sort of deal with in the future. ..."
"... Trump is difficult to fathom but has too much morgue to be a good leader. When compared to Putin or even Rouhani, he is far too impulsive. ..."
"... RT is reporting that US Congressional authorities have withdrawn RT Network accreditaton. RT correspondents have been directed to turn in their credentials to the Congressional authorities. This effectively blacklists RT reporters from covering Congress; without credentials, they can't attend hearings, press conferences, etc. ..."
"... Trump's persona is like an inversion layer in air or water. An inversion layer in air can create mirages, and in water, submarines can, or used to be able to hide under inversion layers. Pat Lang put in a comment at his blog, of a study of Trump that showed him change, or his public image change over the years, starting back in the eighties, as he developed the persona. He mentions Stallone in his book as somebody he respects as Stallone had the ability to deliver a product that a large percentage of Americans liked and wanted. I think the persona is somewhat based on Stallone's fictional characters. ..."
"... Maybe even worse, the US PTB seem to have ZERO faith/confidence/belief in the "rightness" and resilience of our own system (certainly with cause), which makes them twitchy (re unstable) as a whole. Like a loaded gun in a shaky hand pointed at humanity. ..."
"... To think there are so many people that watch TV for fake intrigue and ignore the real world machinations all around them.....sigh ..."
"... To be honest, with Americans I prefer the conservatives, red necks and all the other nutjobs over Clintonists because while some of the former are hypocrites, none of them are as sickeningly hypocritical as the Clintonists and their führer. ..."
"... Best analysis of USA policy since WW2. Monetary Imperialism by Michael Hudson If you think it is just about military weapons and bombings then you are seeing only the tip of the iceberg. There is a reason USA is initiating all those wars and coups. https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/11/29/monetary-imperialism/ ..."
"... US and most of the west is a perpetual caricature of itself; at every moment it is the mockery and the contradiction of what it is pretending to be. A good word for this is Orwellian. ..."
"... Truth has been sacrificed for Propaganda since Bernay showed in WWI that Americans are helpless against it. Some combination of Fear, Nationalism and a Calvinistic God is all you need to get support for War, as well as some way to control the MSM to stay online with the message ..."
"... It strikes me that Calvinism is not much different than Zionism and Islamism in terms of violence, intolerance and basically an unloving God so War Propaganda is just as effective in Israel and the Islamic world as in the West. ..."
"... I'm calling them the Worst Generation. Too early? Too late? Thanks b and all. Carthage must be rebuilt. ..."
"... i would think the land of the free and brave weren't such chicken shits when it came to info, but obviously i am wrong here and thus the chicken shit designation of the crumbling us empire... ..."
"... 1. US perfected propaganda to the extent Goebbels would be proud of them. Thousands of PhDs/psychologists craft fake news presentation and masses manipulation, and it works. Just ask most of the Westerners, who believe that Assad or Iranians are evil, that Russia is a threat to the Worlds Peace, etc. ..."
"... 2. If Russia doesn't respond, US thinks they got away without repercussions and escalate, and then escalate some more. They will do that anyway now, but at the same time harming their own interests. ..."
"... An anecdote I read one time. A Soviet journalist in the cold war era goes to the US for a while to work with US journalists. The actual story is a bit longer, but the ending is along these lines. The Soviet journalist says to the US journalists "It is very good. Americans believe your propaganda, whereas our people don't believe ours. ..."
"... Now the situation is reversed, where US propaganda is not believed, and all Russia has to do is print the facts or ensure US propaganda gets broadcast within Russia. Russia seems to be doing both and it is driving the US nuts. ..."
Nov 30, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org
State Department Condemns* Designation Of Media As Foreign Agents (*only applies to Russia)

UPDATED below
---

Today the U.S. State Department hit the ball of hypocrisy out of the park. It remarked that "legislation that allows .. to label media outlets as 'foreign agents' ... presents yet another threat to free media". It noted that "freedom of expression -- including speech and media ... is a universal human rights obligation".

The remark came after the U.S. Department of Justice required the Russian outlet RT America to register as a 'foreign agent' under the Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA). RT registered as ordered on November 13.

But the State Department statement was NOT in response to the DOJ requirement against RT . The State Department reacted to a new Russian law that was issued in response to the demand against RT . The new Russian law is a mirror to the U.S. FARA law. It demands that foreign media which are active in Russia register as 'foreign agents'. The EU poodles followed the State Department nonsense with an equally dumb statement.)

With its criticism of the Russian version of the FARA law while ignoring the U.S. FARA action against RT, the State Department confirmed the allegations of hypocrisy RT and other media have raised against the U.S. government.

The whole issue started with the notable liar James Clapper under the Obama administration. He and other 'intelligence' people found that RT was too truthful in its reporting to be allowed to inform the U.S. public. Publication of criticism of the U.S. government based on verifiable facts is seen as an unfriendly act which must be punished.

Congress and the U.S. Justice Department under the Trump administration followed up on that. FARA is originally NOT directed against foreign media. The Trump Justice Department circumvented the spirit of the law to apply it to RT .

The Russian government had warned several times that the application of FARA against RT would be followed up on with a similar requirement against U.S. media in Russia. The Trump administration ignored those warnings. It now condemns the Russian move.

Here is timeline of the relevant events:

Clapper calls for U.S. Information Agency 'on steroids' to counter Russian propaganda - Washington Times, Jan 5 2017

"We could do with having a USIA on steroids to fight this information war [with Russia] a lot more aggressively than we're doing right now," Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told members of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
...
"[Russia Today] was very active in promoting a particular point of view, disparaging our system, our alleged hypocrisy about human rights," he said. "Whatever crack, fissure they could find in our tapestry, they would exploit it," via the state-owned news network.

Intelligence Report on Russian Hacking - Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Jan 6 2017 - Annex I, originally published on 11 December 2012 by the Open Source Center

RT America TV , a Kremlin-financed channel operated from within the United States, has substantially expanded its repertoire of programming that highlights criticism of alleged US shortcomings in democracy and civil liberties
...
RT aired a documentary about the Occupy Wall Street movement on 1, 2, and 4 November. RT framed the movement as a fight against "the ruling class" and described the current US political system as corrupt and dominated by corporations.
...
RT's reports often characterize the United States as a "surveillance state" and allege widespread infringements of civil liberties, police brutality, and drone use.
...
RT has also focused on criticism of the US economic system, US currency policy, alleged Wall Street greed, and the US national debt.
...
RT is a leading media voice opposing Western intervention in the Syrian conflict and blaming the West for waging "information wars" against the Syrian Government.

Cicilline Introduces Bipartisan Bill to Close Russia Today Loophole - Congress, June 7 2017

U.S. Congressman David N. Cicilline (D-RI), who serves as co-chair of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee (DPCC), and U.S. Congressman Matthew Gaetz (R-FL) today introduced legislation to close a loophole in foreign agent registration requirements that Russia Today exploited extensively during last year's presidential election.

Justice Dept Asks Russia's RT to Register as Foreign Agent - Newsmax, September 13 2017

RT said late Monday that the company that supplies all the services for its RT America channel was told by the DOJ in a letter that it is obligated to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act , an act aimed at lobbyists and lawyers representing foreign political interests.

...

FARA specifically exempts US and foreign news organizations, and the DOJ focus on the company that supplies services for RT might be a way around that stipulation.

Russia to amend law to classify U.S. media 'foreign agents' - Reuters, Nov 10 2017

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia's parliament warned on Friday some U.S. and other foreign media could be declared "foreign agents" and obliged to regularly declare full details of their funding, finances and staffing.
...
Russian lawmakers said the move was retaliation for a demand by the U.S. Department of Justice that Kremlin-backed TV station RT register in the United States as a "foreign agent", something Moscow has said it regards as an unfriendly act.

Russia's RT America registers as 'foreign agent' in U.S. - Reuters, Nov 13 2017

MOSCOW/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Kremlin-backed television station RT America registered Monday with the U.S. Department of Justice as a "foreign agent" in the United States, the outlet's editor in chief said and the Department of Justice confirmed later in the day.

Russia warns U.S. media of possible foreign agent status - AP, Nov 16 2017

MOSCOW – Russia's Justice Ministry has warned several U.S. government-funded news outlets they could be designated as foreign agents under a new bill that has yet to be fully approved.

The bill , endorsed by Russia's lower house on Wednesday, comes in response to U.S. demands that Russian state-funded RT TV register as a foreign agent. It needs to be approved by the upper house and signed by President Vladimir Putin to become law.

Russian president Putin signs foreign agent media law to match U.S. action - USA Today, Nov 25 2017

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into law Saturday a new bill designating international media outlets as foreign agents in retaliation for a similar measure taken by the U.S. Department of Justice against the state-funded RT television

EU Criticizes Russia's 'Foreign Agents' Media Law - RFLRF, Nov 26 2017

BRUSSELS -- The European Union has criticized legislation signed by President Vladimir Putin that empowers Russia's government to designate media outlets receiving funding from abroad as "foreign agents" and impose sanctions against them.

...

Maja Kocijancic, the spokesperson of the European Commission for Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, said in a November 26 statement that the "legislation goes against Russia's human rights obligations and commitments."

Russia's Restrictive Media-Focused Legislation - U.S. State Department - Nov 28 2017

New Russian legislation that allows the Ministry of Justice to label media outlets as "foreign agents" and to monitor or block certain internet activity presents yet another threat to free media in Russia. Freedom of expression -- including speech and media which a government may find inconvenient -- is a universal human rights obligation Russia has pledged to uphold.


link

With a few words less the statement by the State Department would have gained universality. It would have made perfect sense. See here for a corrected version:


bigger

Unfortunately the State Department's spokesperson added some verbose lamenting about one specific country. It thereby exposed itself to the very criticism the U.S. government strives to suppress.

---
UPDATE - Nov 30 0:50am

As consequence of the FARA designation of RT 's U.S. production company RT is now losing access to the Congressional Gallery. Congress Gallery access is in turn required to get White House press credentials. RT is now likely to lose those too.

Meanwhile a consultative Congress commission is pressing to designate the Chinese news-agency XINHUA as 'foreign agent'. It also wants all staff of XINHUA to register as such. That would make it nearly impossible for freelancer and others who work for multiple media to continue with their XINHUA gigs.

Posted by b on November 29, 2017 at 01:27 PM | Permalink

NewYorker | Nov 29, 2017 1:44:58 PM | 1

Yeah. Whatever. This is how Russia is supposed to respond. If the US does something, Russia is should respond immediately. Not several months or a year down the road. Stop waiting for the spoiled brat to get it. They never will.
ken | Nov 29, 2017 2:30:17 PM | 2
It is so embarrassing to live in a country where the government issues nothing but lies and hypocrisy. I realize that to the players it's all a game and maybe funny but to this citizen and probably others this game is putting our lives in danger,,, and we don't find that 'funny'.
james | Nov 29, 2017 2:32:14 PM | 3
thanks b... well, once again american hypocrisy is on public display... i guess someone is hoping that ignorance and a short memory will rule the day..
karlof1 | Nov 29, 2017 2:42:13 PM | 4
Ditto ken @2.

Speaking of hypocrisy, on 20 Nov 2017, one day after the Arab League Confab--which now ought to become known as the Zionist-Arab League -- Nasrallah gave a speech calling out all those nations that supported Daesh, particularly the Outlaw US Empire. Video of the speech in French with English subs and a very partial transcript are here, http://sayed7asan.blogspot.com/ with a longer partial transcript available at The Saker's blog.

Excerpt:

"Of course, we will also need real festivities to celebrate the victory because it will be a great victory, a victory against the organization representing the greatest danger (for all) that soiled more than anyone the religion of Muhammad b. Abdillah, peace and blessings be upon him and his family, since 1,400 years. This will be the victory of humanistic and moral values against horrific bestiality, cruelty and violence. A victory that will have a huge impact on the cultural, religious, humanitarian, military, security, political levels, as well as on the very image (of Islam and Muslims) and at all levels.

"And at that moment, we will have to repeat that the Iraqi people, the Syrian people, the Lebanese people, all the elites and all the leaders and peoples of the region should reflect, weigh and return to the question of the identity of the creators, supporters, advocates and promoters of ISIS, that enabled them to commit these terrorist massacres [US, UK, France, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar ], and the identity of those who have stood against ISIS, fought them, offered martyrs in this fight [Iran, Syria, Irak, Hezbollah, Russia] and inflicted a defeat on ISIS and all those who stand behind them. This is a discussion to be held with depth and strength so that the (Muslim) believers do not become victims twice of the same ills."

notheonly1 | Nov 29, 2017 3:08:39 PM | 5
Once again, how much longer will people deny that what was formerly know as US government has turned into a Fascist regime - with the dictating done by Plutocrats whose names are not even known, in spite of everybody being surveilled. Just not the owners of the Nazi Sicherheits Agentur.

After I have been writing about the fact that the Western hemisphere as a whole is no longer democratic and that the CIA and the NSA dictate the policies of the US regime and its vassals, my cell phone started to turn itself off and on frequently and now my Mac is turning itself on in the middle of the night and the hard drive indicator lights turn red - what they have never done before. Every option to "wake up on call" is disabled. For WiFi (turned off - no Wifi here) and Bluetooth. The Mac is only connected to the power outlet.

Please let me know if anybody else has the same experience with their hardware. Also, I can no longer send emails on all accounts, but I do receive junk.

------

The so called 'State Department' that has already a disturbing history of cooperation with Fascists throughout its existence, is now totally unhinged. It's actions make it clear beyond any doubt that the US is no longer and has likely not been since 2000 (or 1964, depending on view point) what goes for a 'democratic republic'.

The paymasters don't even bother any longer that the public is waking up based on their Fascist activities and actions. They don't give the proverbial F about people finding out and understanding what is actually happening in the Nazi High Five regimes. What are people going to do? Demonstrate against Fascism? Concerting a total consumer boycott - the antonym of 'go shopping'? Writing letters to misrepresentatives?

It certainly looks like the shit has piled up behind the fan like never before and the so called "happy holidays" seem to be the perfect time to flip the switch to "ON".

Sad, that through the incessant propaganda and Nationalism force fed to the lesser mentally gifted part of the population for centuries now, the people are no longer capable to do what the Declaration of Independence provides them to do (theoretically):

That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

The authors of these 'goddamn pieces of papers' must have already used Orwellian lingo, since it appears that this paragraph only refers to regime change in other Nations, just not in the US.

Illegal wars and toppling of democratically elected socialist governments for the Safety and Happiness of the American people? That must be it.

Maybe one can call in at the regime department and tell them about psychological projection? The number is 1-800-FUC-KYOU. Yes, it's almost the same number Obama had chosen for criticism of the ACA - 1-800-381-2596. That is what these parasites think about "the people".

Now what? Following the advice of some people to not only see the negative shit on Earth? Sure, the genocide on the Palestinians and the Yemenis (plus countless other 'obstacles') is actually a good thing, correct? Because those who are exterminated now, won't have to experience worse down the line.

Apologies for the sarcasm, but this is getting out of public hands faster than the Ludicrous Speed of the "We Brake For Nobody"-Imperial Starship.

karlof1 | Nov 29, 2017 3:13:20 PM | 6
Trump's as naked as the ape he actually is. Weird way to go about cultivating better relations with Russia. As with Obama previously, much of what Trump campaigned on is being reversed, the opposite of his orated intent being implemented instead. A commentator at Sputnik was shocked that I lumped Trump together with the criminals Clinton and Obama, wanting an explanation why I did so. Obviously, that person isn't paying attention, and I told him so.

Even supposedly impartial international organizations continue to abet the Outlaw US Empire's Big Lies: "A press freedom watchdog, Reporters Without Borders, has asked the Swiss Press Club to cancel a panel discussion on the 'true agenda' of the controversial White Helmets group. But the club's director won't budge, noting that such demands are typically made by oppressive regimes." Kudos for foreign agent RT for providing the report, https://www.rt.com/news/411116-reporters-white-helmets-censorship/ Activist Post tells us that the presentation's by Vanessa Beeley, with Bradon Turbeville adding this observation: "Rather than attend the event to ask questions and present its side of the argument, RWB responded with insults and hid away under the guise of boycotting the panel. Pouting in the corner and refusing to take part in the discussion, however, did not stop the discussion from taking place." Lots of additional info and many links here, https://www.activistpost.com/2017/11/despite-western-funded-ngos-boycott-vanessa-beeley-exposes-white-helmets-at-swiss-press-club.html

Peter AU 1 | Nov 29, 2017 3:56:48 PM | 7
karlof1 @6

Behind the persona, Trump may be far smarter than Obama or Clinton, and perhaps more dangerous as far as keeping the US empire alive, depending on which way he goes. I am starting think he won't create any new wars though, just let the neo-con establishment do their thing within a limit, to build up leverage and pressure against countries that he may well try and strike some sort of deal with in the future.

Tony B. | Nov 29, 2017 4:19:07 PM | 8
The state dept. is in its usual snit because Russia has just exposed the major CIA spy and pot stirring organs in Russia.
Perimetr | Nov 29, 2017 4:30:48 PM | 10
I don't give a damn what the Federal government wants me to see or hear, but obviously this is being done for the "benefit" of the majority of the public who will not look very far to get "informed" about current/world events. I don't see any end to this fascist process here in the "land of the free"; how long before they just shut down the net or limit it to approved websites?

Obviously this won't be one of them.

CarlD | Nov 29, 2017 4:39:12 PM | 11
@7

Beyond the personae and the relative intelligence of Clinton vs Obama vs Trump, one must admit that times are different. Both China and Russia are on the rise. China is now a formidable rival in economic terms and is rising militarily. And fast. Russia is recuperating from Gorbachev's treason and getting stronger by the day and is nowa World player to be reckoned with.

There is one thing that must be solved and that is the money exchange system through which gates most countries must pass to obtain their dues. China and Russia are working on it. Once this is complete, US sanctions will work no more. Even new internets are being created that will bypass the US controlled one.

There is not much anybody can do against the realignment of the globe. The Unipolar model is gone because the US could not manage it. Greed, U.S. greed, and exceptionalism killed it.

North Korea just proves that the US power and influence have limits. I presume, I may be wrong, that once KJU has a good enough number of warheads and rockets, he will want the US to vacate South Korea. Both the Russians and Chinese will love that. He will want sanctions lifted and see normal relations resume between NOKO and China and Russia.

There is no point for him to rock the boat if he does not pursue greater aims.

Trump is difficult to fathom but has too much morgue to be a good leader. When compared to Putin or even Rouhani, he is far too impulsive. But I guess deep down we would like the outcome to be better than the circumstances would lead us to expect. The US will remain a Zionist puppet for as long as Israel exists. If it is down to Israel's will, America will pass, but Zion will prevail. Jared is now the transmission belt in the Saudi, Israel, US triad. Which means that Israel has a personal ambassador to Trump. Because of the internal opposition to Trump, he must look for an external happening that will remove him from public scrutiny. He wont tackle Kim but he might believe Iran is gamer as he has allies in the endeavor.

Nobody will win this war but Israel may lose more than expected.

Ort | Nov 29, 2017 4:43:37 PM | 12
Another line just got crossed. I dislike the phrase "breaking news"-- it's a fraternal twin to "breaking wind"-- but RT is reporting that US Congressional authorities have withdrawn RT Network accreditaton. RT correspondents have been directed to turn in their credentials to the Congressional authorities. This effectively blacklists RT reporters from covering Congress; without credentials, they can't attend hearings, press conferences, etc.

Sorry to not provide a link, but this is so recent it isn't even on YouTube yet. It will be interesting to see whether the Western civil-liberties and "media-watchdog" organizations, including the ACLU, react to this draconian development, much less vociferously protest it. In any case, I doubt if we'll see the rest of the Congressional press corps stage a walkout in sympathy and solidarity with their silenced and censored RT colleagues.

Peter AU 1 | Nov 29, 2017 5:01:38 PM | 13
CarlD 11

Agree on China Russia ect, though I am starting to believe Trump is not impulsive, rather, he runs very well thought out stratagies. The impulsiveness is part of the persona. I run onto an analysis of how Trump opertes the persona within a narrow band, and he uses it to gain attention and then direct attention to where he wants it.
I think this video is worth watching - the first half deals mainly with Trump's persona. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lWA5pOmSDgQ

Trump's persona is like an inversion layer in air or water. An inversion layer in air can create mirages, and in water, submarines can, or used to be able to hide under inversion layers. Pat Lang put in a comment at his blog, of a study of Trump that showed him change, or his public image change over the years, starting back in the eighties, as he developed the persona. He mentions Stallone in his book as somebody he respects as Stallone had the ability to deliver a product that a large percentage of Americans liked and wanted. I think the persona is somewhat based on Stallone's fictional characters.

james | Nov 29, 2017 5:11:42 PM | 17
rt reporting it now - https://www.rt.com/usa/411361-rt-congress-credentials-withdrawal/ the usa apparatus must be really freaking out that their is an alternative view on all of their bullshit~!
SlapHappy | Nov 29, 2017 5:19:49 PM | 18
Perimetr: Censoring the Internet is what the Net Neutrality debate is all about. If they repeal Net Neutrality, we can expect sites like Moon of Alabama to just spool and spool but never load, whereas CNN and Fox will load immediately.
Perimetr | Nov 29, 2017 5:59:24 PM | 19
RE SlapHappy. That makes sense. I already see that happening with RT on my iPhone. So now we will need Radio Free Russia to be set up in where, Mexico?
SPYRIDON POLITIS | Nov 29, 2017 6:29:44 PM | 20
There is not much new in the heavy-handed methods employed by the Empire - they have always employed intimidation, false flags, fake news, bribery and corruption, even assassination -but up till now went to some pains to cloak their actions in a mantle of morality. They usually attempted to swing public opinion behind their endeavours. What is frightening lately, is their brashness and total disregard for the public's opinion. Because they know that short of armed revolt, they have little to fear. The presstitute media shall whitewash their hypocrisy and all their crimes, and at election time they will once more own all the candidates.
notheonly1 | Nov 29, 2017 7:37:23 PM | 22
SlapHappy | Nov 29, 2017 5:19:49 PM | 18

Happening on google/youtube excessively. Stuff like the Jimmy Dore show, or any other critical outlet does not load, or takes forever respectively. Doggie videos and those showing stupid people doing stupid stuff - load instantly. It will be interesting to see, whence net neutrality is neutered, how the owners of the country will deal with the backlash of billions in lost revenue from online commerce.

Because people that can't get what they want when they don't shop, are unlikely to shop online any longer. The stench of censorship will keep those online consumers away - if not alone for endless loading times due to not being able to pay $ 800 per month for high speed internet.

khudre | Nov 29, 2017 7:47:01 PM | 24
First time US legalized targeting of media as "terrorists" thanks to neocon John Bolton and his zionist cohorts. Being labeled foreign agent is getting off easy http://la.indymedia.org/news/2006/07/168921.html
ritzl | Nov 29, 2017 8:16:26 PM | 26
Are shortwave radios going to make a comeback? RT World Service?

It's tough to make out what the US endgame is in all this. It's probably even tougher to make out if the PTB in the US know what the endgame is. Open-ended, freestyle, ante-upping (by the US) devolution of any and all rational forms of coexistence, imo, with zero good outcomes.

Maybe even worse, the US PTB seem to have ZERO faith/confidence/belief in the "rightness" and resilience of our own system (certainly with cause), which makes them twitchy (re unstable) as a whole. Like a loaded gun in a shaky hand pointed at humanity.

Aw hell...

psychohistorian | Nov 29, 2017 8:48:23 PM | 29
@ b for his opening line

Today the U.S. State Department hit the ball of hypocrisy out of the park. After the park come the state/region/nation/world/universe. See how far yet they have to expand their hypocrisy.....why they are just getting warmed up......is China news next? To think there are so many people that watch TV for fake intrigue and ignore the real world machinations all around them.....sigh

Yeah, Right | Nov 29, 2017 9:08:25 PM | 31
Would be interesting to read the transcript of the next State Department Press Briefing, which the State spokesmodel must be dreading - talk about being handed an impossible brief......

Those briefings normally start with Matt Lee from Associated Press asking the first question, but I suspect that this time he'll start by turning to the RT reporter who is sitting in the back of the room and saying something along the lines of "No, please, you go first.....".

Ghost Ship | Nov 29, 2017 9:47:59 PM | 32
OT

While people are distracted by what is happening between Washington and Moscow, an election is being stolen and Clintonists will do nothing about it because Clinton and Obama made the thief, Juan Orlando Hernández, president of Honduras.

Back in 2009:

a cadre of military officers, businessmen, and right-wing politicians, including Hernández, overthrew the leftist President Manuel Zelaya
with encouragement and assistance from Hillary Clinton and the State Department.

Contrary to what the New Yorker goes on to say " after he vowed to run for re-election" Zelaya tried to organise a referendum to change the constitution to allow him to run a second time which many Clintonists attacked as being anti-democratic. Juan Orlando Hernández then packed the Supreme Court with his own supporters and had the constitution changed without a word of complaint from the State Department under Obama or any of the Clintonists who'd accused Zelaya of being anti-democratic.

Over the next few days I expect to see those same Clintonists accusing Trump of being anti-democratic for failing to object to Juan Orlando Hernández stealing the election but ignoring or excusing the responsibility Hillary Clinton has for what has happened just like they claim that Hillary Clinton has no responsibility for restoring slavery to Libya.

To be honest, with Americans I prefer the conservatives, red necks and all the other nutjobs over Clintonists because while some of the former are hypocrites, none of them are as sickeningly hypocritical as the Clintonists and their führer.

mauisurfer | Nov 29, 2017 10:49:48 PM | 39
Best analysis of USA policy since WW2. Monetary Imperialism by Michael Hudson If you think it is just about military weapons and bombings then you are seeing only the tip of the iceberg. There is a reason USA is initiating all those wars and coups. https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/11/29/monetary-imperialism/
Pft | Nov 29, 2017 10:53:32 PM | 40
US and most of the west is a perpetual caricature of itself; at every moment it is the mockery and the contradiction of what it is pretending to be. A good word for this is Orwellian.

Truth has been sacrificed for Propaganda since Bernay showed in WWI that Americans are helpless against it. Some combination of Fear, Nationalism and a Calvinistic God is all you need to get support for War, as well as some way to control the MSM to stay online with the message

It strikes me that Calvinism is not much different than Zionism and Islamism in terms of violence, intolerance and basically an unloving God so War Propaganda is just as effective in Israel and the Islamic world as in the West.

failure of imagination | Nov 29, 2017 11:03:32 PM | 42
Full Spectrum Quicksand. Grasping for national interests and not looking too confident. When I watch it on TV at other's places ( I just don't get TV...) I noticed it next to PornPerPay in the guide for a reason , tho not a fair one. They've had a CFR member on staff, so my Mockingbird tinfoil strainer gets going finer. I don't hear them being accused of wrong stories so, it's sour gripes. The couple of times RT came into a conversation was about Redacted Tonite.

I'm calling them the Worst Generation. Too early? Too late? Thanks b and all. Carthage must be rebuilt.

james | Nov 29, 2017 11:15:00 PM | 44
@41 forest.. thanks.. if that is what toivo thinks, then all i got to say to that is fascinating! i see it exactly the opposite.. it is the usa that is constantly lying... i would think the land of the free and brave weren't such chicken shits when it came to info, but obviously i am wrong here and thus the chicken shit designation of the crumbling us empire...
james | Nov 29, 2017 11:28:27 PM | 45
cluborlov - always fun! - why kremlin trolls always win!
http://cluborlov.blogspot.ca/2017/11/why-kremlin-trolls-always-win.html
b | Nov 30, 2017 1:01:45 AM | 51
@all - I updated the post with RT's loss of Congress Gallery credentials because it has now been put under FARA. Following from that RT will also lose White House credentials. Additionally a congress commission now wants to put The Chinese Xinhua agency under FARA and also all individually staff that works for Xinhua.
Anon | Nov 30, 2017 3:00:47 AM | 60
The hypocrisy is disgusting, meanwhhile the real censorship against media in Russia gets attacked in a campaing in the US. Russia Hysteria: US Congress Revokes RT's Capitol Hill Press Credentials https://www.reddit.com/r/TheNewsFeed/comments/7gh9eu/russia_hysteria_us_congress_revokes_rts_capitol/
Harry | Nov 30, 2017 3:37:25 AM | 62
Interesting times of the media war. US removed RT credentials to access Congress, I'm sure they will follow up with banning RT from the White House too. Russia will probably ban US media from Kremlin and other institutions in the mirror law. Whats next? US ban on Russian-linked media from US networks/satellites like they did with Iran? Will they dare to apply similar treatment to China? Interesting times indeed.

@ ToivoS | 34

why ban US propagated bullshit

Two reasons:

1. US perfected propaganda to the extent Goebbels would be proud of them. Thousands of PhDs/psychologists craft fake news presentation and masses manipulation, and it works. Just ask most of the Westerners, who believe that Assad or Iranians are evil, that Russia is a threat to the Worlds Peace, etc.

2. If Russia doesn't respond, US thinks they got away without repercussions and escalate, and then escalate some more. They will do that anyway now, but at the same time harming their own interests. How they will affect Russia's presidential elections, etc. if they are as confined as RT, but are losing even more because they have many more channels? They shot one bullet at Russia and got a ricochet of 10 bullets :)

Peter AU 1 | Nov 30, 2017 4:29:35 AM | 65
Harry | Nov 30, 2017 3:37:25 AM | 62

An anecdote I read one time. A Soviet journalist in the cold war era goes to the US for a while to work with US journalists. The actual story is a bit longer, but the ending is along these lines. The Soviet journalist says to the US journalists "It is very good. Americans believe your propaganda, whereas our people don't believe ours.

Now the situation is reversed, where US propaganda is not believed, and all Russia has to do is print the facts or ensure US propaganda gets broadcast within Russia. Russia seems to be doing both and it is driving the US nuts.

[Nov 30, 2017] WaPo Reporter Caught On Hidden Camera Being A Bit Too Honest; Admits No Evidence Of Trump-Russia Collusion Zero Hedge

Nov 30, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com

WaPo Reporter Caught On Hidden Camera Being A Bit Too Honest; Admits "No Evidence" Of Trump-Russia Collusion Tyler Durden Nov 29, 2017 9:00 PM 0 SHARES CNN and New York Times , Project Veritas has now set their sights on the Washington Post. In a candid conversation with an undercover Project Veritas journalist, the Post's National Security Director, Adam Entous, put himself in danger of being a bit too honest, at least by his employer's standards, by admitting that "there's no evidence of [Trump-Russia collusion] that I've seen so far." Entous goes on to admit that "it's a fucking crap shoot" and that he has no idea how Mueller's investigation might turn out.

Entous : "Our reporting has not taken us to a plcae where I would be able to say with any confidence that the result of it is going to be the president being guilty of being in cahoots with the Russians. There's no evidence of that that I've seen so far."

PV Journalist : "There has to be something, right?"

Entous "Maybe, maybe not. It could just be lower-level people being manipulated or manipulating, but it's very hard to, it's really...It's a fucking black box."

"We've seen a lot of flirtation, if you will, between them but nothing that, in my opinion, would rank as actual collusion. Now that doesn't mean that it doesn't exist, it just means we haven't found it yet. Or maybe it doesn't exist."

"I mean it's a fucking crap shoot. I literally have no prediction whatsoever as to what would happen, and I do all the stuff for the Post on this so..."

Today we show you our second undercover video within @washingtonpost this time exposing Nat'l Security Director Adam Entous who ADMITS that the Russia story is a "f*cking crap shoot" and "maybe it doesn't exist at all." pic.twitter.com/qeEfk9oCKA

-- James O'Keefe (@JamesOKeefeIII) November 29, 2017

Of course, on the surface, Entous' opinions are not that explosive and likely mimic the views held by many Americans...namely that despite 1.5 years of investigations no one has presented any actual, tangible evidence of Trump-Russia collusion.

That said , what is explosive about this particular undercover sting is just how different Entous' private views on the Trump-Russia investigation are from the constant stream of narrative-building collusion headlines that flood the Washington Post's homepage each and every day.

Like this one...

Or this one if you prefer...

Of course, rather than focus on the blatant media bias that has once again been exposed by Project Veritas, the mainstream media rushed to the defense of the Washington Post by focusing instead on the foiled attempt of one of O'Keefe's journalists to plant a fake story at WaPo to see if they would simply run it with no questions asked or actually do their jobs. Apparently CNN thought the foiled plot had put O'Keefe "on the defensive"...

...but O'Keefe seemed to not be all that defensive in his response below...which presumably means we'll all be treated to many more undercover stings in the years to come.

MSM want to destroy @Project_Veritas . They see us as their enemy. When we expose them, they are lose their power. We have a stone lodged between Goliath's eyes. They want me to kneel down & apologize. I will not. We will keep pushing, we will expose the truth. - @JamesOKeefeIII pic.twitter.com/vbBVxXtBD6

-- Project Veritas (@Project_Veritas) November 29, 2017

Finally, here is the latest Project Veritas video for your viewing pleasure:

greenskeeper carl -> Bernie Madolf , Nov 29, 2017 9:12 PM

Apparently his WaPo thing didn't really work, but they can't all be winners. His exposing of those DNC operatives during the campaign was brilliant. To this day I do not understand why they were allowed to just get fired or resign from all their postings without an indictment.

nope-1004 -> greenskeeper carl , Nov 29, 2017 9:14 PM

Honest on hidden camera, full of shit in the MSM.

So it is with all .gov media outlets.

[Nov 30, 2017] The US Aristocracy's Smear-Russia Campaign Big Brother At Work

The USA has been honing an information age art of war -- through fake news, disinformation, leaks, and trolling -- for more than a decade. How can free societies protect themselves?"
Nov 30, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Eric Zuesse via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

Billionaires, both liberal and conservative ones, own, and their corporations advertise in and their 'charities' donate to, America's mainstream (and also many 'alternative news') media.

They do this not so as to profit directly from the national 'news'media (a money-losing business, in itself), but so as to control the 'news' that the voting public (right and left) are exposed to and thus will accept as being "mainstream" and will reject all else as being "fringe" or even 'fake news', even if what's actually fake is, in fact, the billionaires' own mainstream 'news', such as their 'news'media had most famously 'reported' about 'Saddam's WMD' (but the'news'media never changed after that scandal -- even after having pumped uncritically that blatant lie to the public).

Have America's numerous foreign coups and outright military invasions (including Iraq 2003) been the result of fake-news that was published by the mainstream 'news'media, or only by some of the 'alternative news' sites that mirror what the mainstream ones have been 'reporting' (passing along the Government's lies just like the mainstream ones do)? Obviously, the catastrophic fake news -- the fake news that 'justified' America's invading and destroying Iraq, Libya, and many other countries -- was all published in the mainstream 'news'media. That's where to go for the really dangerous lies: it's the mainstream 'news'media. If those media, and their Government (whose lies they stenographically report to the public) will now censor the Internet, such as is increasingly happening not only in the US but in its allies including the European Union , then the only 'information' that the public will have access to, at all, will be the billionaires' lies. Have we already almost reached 1984 , finally, in 2017?

Two typical examples of this coordinated mass-deception-operation happened to be showing at the top of the magazine-pile at an office recently and struck my attention there, because of the ordinariness of the propaganda that was being pumped.

One of them was the cover of TIME magazine, dated "July 24, 2017" and with the cover headlined "RED HANDED: The Russia Scandal Hits Home" , overprinting onto the face of Donald Trump Jr., as their menacing-looking cover-image. That cover-story, as published inside, was titled "How Donald Trump Jr.'s Emails Have Cranked Up the Heat on His Family" , and it used such phrases as "potentially treasonous" and "Russia is the one country that could physically destroy America" (as if it weren't also the case that US is the one country that could physically destroy Russia, and very much the case also that possession of the weaponry isn't any indication of being evil, such as this particular propagandist was implicitly assuming). Hillary Clinton's V.P. running-mate was reported to be "saying that these fresh revelations move the Russia investigation into the realms of 'perjury, false statements and even, potentially, treason.'"

These mere speculations, with slimy inferences of evil, with no real facts that back them up, were the front-cover 'news', in TIME. The facts were thin, but the speculations were thick, and the only thing really clear from it was that almost all of America's billionaires and centi-millionaires want Trump ousted, and want Vice President Mike Pence to become America's President as soon as possible -- before Trump's term is up. Democratic ones certainly do, and many of the Republican ones apparently do as well. Perhaps Trump isn't hostile enough toward Russia to suit their fancy. At least Pence would be predictable -- predictably horrible, in precisely the way that the controllers of the 'news'media overwhelmingly desire.

The other example was the cover of The New Republic magazine, dated "December 2017" and it simply headlined in its center, "HOW TO ATTACK A DEMOCRACY ", and the opening page of the article inside was bannered "WEAKEN FROM WITHIN" and below that in the printed edition (the December physical issue of the magazine) was:

"Russian manipulation of American social media in the 2016 presidential election took the United States by surprise. But Moscow has been honing an information-age art of war -- through fake news, disinformation, leaks, and trolling -- for more than a decade. How can these societies protect themselves?"

The online version of that article (which was dated 2 November 2017) opened almost the same: "Moscow has been honing an information age art of war -- through fake news, disinformation, leaks, and trolling -- for more than a decade. How can free societies protect themselves?"

The unspoken assumption in this article is that the US CIA hasn't been doing the same thing -- and doing it even worse than the old (and thankfully expired) KGB ever did. (And the CIA, even after the end of communism as its supposed enemy until 1991, still does far worse to other countries than Russia's FSB does or ever did.)

Underlying both the TIME article and the TNR article are unstated speculations about the American situation, which are based upon thin facts such as that "at least $100,000 in ads purchased through 470 phony Facebook pages and accounts" were "using Facebook to incite anti-black hatred and anti-Muslim prejudice and fear while provoking extremism" , and that supposedly somehow (they never say how) such puny expenses threw the multi-billion-dollar 2017 US Presidential election to Trump. How is a case such as that, to be viewed by an intelligent reader as constituting anything but propaganda for the weapons-making firms such as Lockheed Martin, who benefit from such international anti-Russia hate-spewing to NATO countries, which are those firms' major markets (other than Saudi Arabia, and the other fundamentalist-Sunni kingdoms that together constitute the Gulf Cooperation Council or "GCC" nations, which hate Shiite Iran as much as the US regime hates Russia)?

Also among the underlying and unstated speculations in the background here is the older mass-media allegation about Russia's allegedly having spied and swayed the US election by 'hacking' it, which is likewise being pumped by Democrats and other opponents of Mr. Trump, alleging that 'Russia hacked the election' .

And, so, for an example of the flimsiness of those allegations, one of the two main 'authorities' who are the source of that, the Bush and Obama Administration's James Clapper, was headlined at Politico on 7 July 2017, "Clapper: No evidence others besides Russia hacked US election" . Mr. Clapper happens to be a military-industrial-complex revolving-door 'intelligence' 'professional' whom, on 10 February 2011, even Politico was reporting to be "backing away from comments he made Thursday calling Egypt's branch of the Muslim Brotherhood movement 'largely secular'," and who had also covered-up George W. Bush's lies about 'WMD in Iraq' so as to protect the liars. On 29 October 2003, the New York Times stenographically passed along his deception about the non-existent WMD by headlining, "WEAPONS SEARCH; Iraqis Removed Arms Material, US Aide Says" and reported, "The official, James R. Clapper Jr., a retired lieutenant general, said satellite imagery showing a heavy flow of traffic from Iraq into Syria, just before the American invasion in March, led him to believe that illicit weapons material 'unquestionably' had been moved out of Iraq." No evidence ever existed that Saddam Hussein still had any WMD after the U.N. monitors (UNSCOM) destroyed the last of them in 1998; but Clapper 'unquestionably' 'knew' to the contrary -- though no evidence was ever made available to the contrary of UNSCOM's reports, and lots of evidence existed that Bush simply lied about the entire matter .

The other main source for the allegation that 'Russia hacked the election' is the Obama Administration's John Brennan, whom Glenn Greenwald exposed as a fraud back on 7 January 2013, headlining "John Brennan's extremism and dishonesty rewarded with CIA Director nomination" .

Both of the official 'experts' who are promoting the Russiagate charges, are longtime, and repeatedly, exposed liars - but that's the best they can do, always assuming that the public don't know that these people are propagandists for the military-industrial complex , not real 'public servants' at all.

This isn't to say that Trump isn't also a liar -- just that the 'news' in America is full of conflicting lies -- and that they constantly are coming from the fake 'news'media that are the mainstream ones who are now trying to censor out, and ultimately to obliterate, the few small news-operations (some of which, unlike any of the mainstream ones, actually are good, and authentic journalistic operations, no mere PR hackery) that are constantly exposing the fraudulence of the mainstream ones, which want to impose their dictatorship -- the mainstream lies -- even more rigorously than they already do. After all, the mainstream Western media still haven't yet reported US President Obama's bloody racist-fascist coup that in February 2014 replaced the democratically elected President of Ukraine (and his supporters in the legislature) by a racist-fascist or ideologically nazi regime that's rabidly hostile toward its neighboring nation of Russia . Even now -- nearly four years after the event. It's already solidly documented history , but the mainstream US-and-allied press still hasn't reported it.

The fake-news masters are certainly the mainstream 'news'media themselves - and they, and the billionaires and centi-millionaires who own and control them, are the real megaphones by which the US dictatorship constantly fools the American people (and the publics in its allied nations), to keep in line, for the aristocracy .

VWAndy , Nov 30, 2017 12:07 AM

The lies just keep getting bigger.

Skateboarder -> VWAndy , Nov 30, 2017 12:17 AM

"Us vs. them," the tune for the culling.

Slippery Slope -> Skateboarder , Nov 30, 2017 12:55 AM

Many of the Jewish Oligarchs in Russia and throughout the World, really hate Russia, I think it has to do with the Slavs conquest of the Khazars.

In that Putin rebuilt Russia and stopped them from thieving, irks them all the more.

jeff montanye -> Skateboarder , Nov 30, 2017 1:28 AM

if russia hacked the election why didn't the dnc ask, beg the fbi to examine the dnc email servers and prove it in detail? instead the dnc put forward the highly questionable crowdstrike and guccifer 2.0 materials.

why hasn't evidence from the vaunted national security agency, as shown by snowden to record everything, been presented to demonstrate russian hacking?

how can the fbi still maintain it never investigated the seth rich murder? even if seymour hersh is right and it wasn't connected to rich's very probable theft of dnc email data and its transmission to wikileaks, it certainly could have been and merited checking out. either the fbi is lying or incompetent (or both).

i sent a request to judicial watch (potentially explosive materials about the clinton lynch "tarmac" meeting to be released today) asking them to file freedom of information suits on the first and third paragraphs above. we must break out of the horrible zionist takeover of the u.s. that is explained in detail in chris bollyn's new book and video, the war on terror; the plot to rule the middle east . it is also the plot to rule the u.s.a.

https://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=chris+bollyn+war+on...

07564111 -> jeff montanye , Nov 30, 2017 1:38 AM

US Aristocracy = Joos In Charge

Kassandra -> jeff montanye , Nov 30, 2017 3:55 AM

Good on you.

In these days of internet, where we can actually know (or suspect) what is going on, why do the lies continue? When we all KNOW IT IS ALL A LIE!

Blue Steel 309 -> VWAndy , Nov 30, 2017 12:57 AM

The Soviets collapsed under the weight of their own lies, not the economy or cold war arms race.

We are next. Is this being orchestrated or just part of the sinusoidal process of this civilization?

[Nov 28, 2017] The Duplicitous Superpower by Ted Galen Carpenter

Highly recommended!
At some point quantity of duplicity turns into quality. and affect international relations. Economic decline can speed this process up. The US elite has way too easy life since 1991. And that destroyed the tiny patina of self-restraint that it has during Cold War with negative (hugely negative) consequences first of all for the US population. Empire building is a costly project even if it supported by the dominance of neoliberal ideology and technological advances in computers and telecommunication. . The idea of "full spectrum dominance" was a disaster. But the realization of this came too late and at huge cost for the world and for the US population. Russia decimated its own elite twice in the last century. In might be the time for the USA to follow the Russia example and do it once in XXI century. If we thing about Hillary Clinton Jon McCain, Joe Biden, Niki Haley, as member of the US elite it is clear that "something is rotten in the state of Denmark).
Notable quotes:
"... How Washington's chronic deceit -- especially towards Russia -- has sabotaged U.S. foreign policy. ..."
"... Unfortunately, North Korean leaders have abundant reasons to be wary of such U.S. enticements. Trump's transparent attempt to renege on Washington's commitment to the deal with Iran known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) -- which the United States and other major powers signed in 2015 to curb Tehran's nuclear program -- certainly does not increase Pyongyang's incentive to sign a similar agreement. His decision to decertify Iran's compliance with the JCPOA, even when the United Nations confirms that Tehran is adhering to its obligations, appears more than a little disingenuous. ..."
"... There seems to be no limit to Washington's desire to crowd Russia. NATO has even added the Baltic republics, which had been part of the Soviet Union itself. In early 2008, President George W. Bush unsuccessfully tried to admit Georgia and Ukraine, which would have engineered yet another alliance move eastward. By that time, Vladimir Putin and other Russian leaders were beyond furious. ..."
"... The timing of Bush's attempted ploy could scarcely have been worse. It came on the heels of Russia's resentment at another example of U.S. duplicity. In 1999, Moscow had reluctantly accepted a UN mandate to cover NATO's military intervention against Serbia, a long-standing Russian client. The alliance airstrikes and subsequent moves to detach and occupy Serbia's restless province of Kosovo for the ostensible reason of protecting innocent civilians from atrocities was the same "humanitarian" justification that the West would use subsequently in Libya. ..."
"... Nine years after the initial Kosovo intervention, the United States adopted an evasive policy move, showing utter contempt for Russia's wishes and interests in the process. Kosovo wanted to declare its formal independence from Serbia, but it was clear that such a move would face a certain Russian (and probable Chinese) veto in the UN Security Council. Washington and an ad-hoc coalition of European Union countries brazenly bypassed the Council and approved Pristina's independence declaration. It was an extremely controversial move. Not even all EU members were on board with the policy, since some of them (e.g., Spain) had secessionist problems of their own. ..."
"... Russia's leaders protested vehemently and warned that the West's unauthorized action established a dangerous, destabilizing international precedent. Washington rebuffed their complaints, arguing that the Kosovo situation was unique. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs R. Nicholas Burns made that point explicitly in a February 2008 State Department briefing. Both the illogic and the hubris of that position were breathtaking. ..."
"... This -- in the context of the long history of US and EU deceit and duplicity in their dealings with Russia is why Russia is supporting Catalan separatism (e.g. RT en Español's constant attacks on Spain and promotion of the separatists). The US and the EU effectively gave Russia permission to do this back in the 1990s. We set a precedent for their actions in Catalonia -- and, more famously, in Ukraine. ..."
"... One could scarcely ask for a better summary of why the Cold War seems, sadly, to be reheating as well as why Democratic attempts to blame it on Russian meddling are a equally sad evasion of their share of bipartisan responsibility for creating this mess. Reinhold Niebuhr's prayer for, "the courage to change the things I can," is painfully appropriate. ..."
"... "No one forced any eastern European country to join NATO and the EU – decisions that indicate these countries feared a Russian revival after the collapse of the USSR. Russia always believed that these countries were in their near abroad or backyard." ..."
"... Putin is a rationally calculating man. He has made his strategic objectives well known. They are economic. He sees Russia as the great linchpin of the pan-Eurasian One Belt/One Road (OB/OR) initiative proposed by China as well as the AIIB. In that construct, Europe and East Asia are Russia's customers and bilateral trading partners. Military conquest would wreck that vision and Putin knows it. ..."
"... He's been remarkably restrained when egged on by Big Mouth Nikki Haley, Mad Dog Mattis or that other Pentagon nutcase Phillip Breedlove (former Supreme Commander of NATO) who have gone out of their way to demonize Russia. Unfortunately, with those Pentagon hacks whispering in Trump's ear, too much war-mongering is never enough. ..."
"... U.S. foreign policy is an unmitigated disaster. The War Machine Hammer wrecks everything that it touches while sending the befuddled taxpayers the bill. ..."
"... When you meet individual Americans, they are frequently so nice and level-headed that you are perplexed trying to imagine where their leaders come from. And while we're on that subject, America does not actually have a foreign policy, as such. Its foreign policy is to bend every other living soul on the planet to the service of America. ..."
Nov 28, 2017 | www.theamericanconservative.com

How Washington's chronic deceit -- especially towards Russia -- has sabotaged U.S. foreign policy.

For any country, the foundation of successful diplomacy is a reputation for credibility and reliability. Governments are wary of concluding agreements with a negotiating partner that violates existing commitments and has a record of duplicity. Recent U.S. administrations have ignored that principle, and their actions have backfired majorly, damaging American foreign policy in the process.

The consequences of previous deceit are most evident in the ongoing effort to achieve a diplomatic solution to the North Korean nuclear crisis. During his recent trip to East Asia, President Trump urged Kim Jong-un's regime to "come to the negotiating table" and "do the right thing" -- relinquish the country's nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs. Presumably, that concession would lead to a lifting (or at least an easing) of international economic sanctions and a more normal relationship between Pyongyang and the international community.

Unfortunately, North Korean leaders have abundant reasons to be wary of such U.S. enticements. Trump's transparent attempt to renege on Washington's commitment to the deal with Iran known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) -- which the United States and other major powers signed in 2015 to curb Tehran's nuclear program -- certainly does not increase Pyongyang's incentive to sign a similar agreement. His decision to decertify Iran's compliance with the JCPOA, even when the United Nations confirms that Tehran is adhering to its obligations, appears more than a little disingenuous.

North Korea is likely focused on another incident that raises even greater doubts about U.S. credibility. Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi capitulated on the nuclear issue in December of 2003, abandoning his country's nuclear program and reiterating a commitment to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. In exchange, the United States and its allies lifted economic sanctions and welcomed Libya back into the community of respectable nations. Barely seven years later, though, Washington and its NATO partners double-crossed Qaddafi, launching airstrikes and cruise missile attacks to assist rebels in their campaign to overthrow the Libyan strongman. North Korea and other powers took notice of Qaddafi's fate, making the already difficult task of getting a de-nuclearization agreement with Pyongyang nearly impossible.

The Libya intervention sullied America's reputation in another way. Washington and its NATO allies prevailed on the UN Security Council to pass a resolution endorsing a military intervention to protect innocent civilians. Russia and China refrained from vetoing that resolution after Washington's assurances that military action would be limited in scope and solely for humanitarian purposes. Once the assault began, it quickly became evident that the resolution was merely a fig leaf for another U.S.-led regime-change war.

Beijing, and especially Moscow, understandably felt duped. Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates succinctly described Russia's reaction, both short-term and long-term:

The Russians later firmly believed they had been deceived on Libya. They had been persuaded to abstain at the UN on the grounds that the resolution provided for a humanitarian mission to prevent the slaughter of civilians. Yet as the list of bombing targets steadily grew, it became obvious that very few targets were off-limits, and that NATO was intent on getting rid of Qaddafi. Convinced they had been tricked, the Russians would subsequently block any such future resolutions, including against President Bashar al-Assad in Syria.

The Libya episode was hardly the first time the Russians concluded that U.S. leaders had cynically misled them . Moscow asserts that when East Germany unraveled in 1990, both U.S. Secretary of State James Baker and West German Foreign Minister Hans Dietrich Genscher offered verbal assurances that, if Russia accepted a unified Germany within NATO, the alliance would not expand beyond Germany's eastern border. The official U.S. position that there was nothing in writing affirming such a limitation is correct -- and the clarity, extent, and duration of any verbal commitment to refrain from enlargement are certainly matters of intense controversy . But invoking a "you didn't get it in writing" dodge does not inspire another government's trust.

There seems to be no limit to Washington's desire to crowd Russia. NATO has even added the Baltic republics, which had been part of the Soviet Union itself. In early 2008, President George W. Bush unsuccessfully tried to admit Georgia and Ukraine, which would have engineered yet another alliance move eastward. By that time, Vladimir Putin and other Russian leaders were beyond furious.

The timing of Bush's attempted ploy could scarcely have been worse. It came on the heels of Russia's resentment at another example of U.S. duplicity. In 1999, Moscow had reluctantly accepted a UN mandate to cover NATO's military intervention against Serbia, a long-standing Russian client. The alliance airstrikes and subsequent moves to detach and occupy Serbia's restless province of Kosovo for the ostensible reason of protecting innocent civilians from atrocities was the same "humanitarian" justification that the West would use subsequently in Libya.

Nine years after the initial Kosovo intervention, the United States adopted an evasive policy move, showing utter contempt for Russia's wishes and interests in the process. Kosovo wanted to declare its formal independence from Serbia, but it was clear that such a move would face a certain Russian (and probable Chinese) veto in the UN Security Council. Washington and an ad-hoc coalition of European Union countries brazenly bypassed the Council and approved Pristina's independence declaration. It was an extremely controversial move. Not even all EU members were on board with the policy, since some of them (e.g., Spain) had secessionist problems of their own.

Russia's leaders protested vehemently and warned that the West's unauthorized action established a dangerous, destabilizing international precedent. Washington rebuffed their complaints, arguing that the Kosovo situation was unique. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs R. Nicholas Burns made that point explicitly in a February 2008 State Department briefing. Both the illogic and the hubris of that position were breathtaking.

It is painful for any American to admit that the United States has acquired a well-deserved reputation for duplicity in its foreign policy. But the evidence for that proposition is quite substantial. Indeed, disingenuous U.S. behavior regarding NATO expansion and the resolution of Kosovo's political status may be the single most important factor for the poisoned bilateral relationship with Moscow. The U.S. track record of duplicity and betrayal is one reason why prospects for resolving the North Korean nuclear issue through diplomacy are so bleak.

Actions have consequences, and Washington's reputation for disingenuous behavior has complicated America's own foreign policy objectives. This is a textbook example of a great power shooting itself in the foot.

Ted Galen Carpenter, a senior fellow in defense and foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute, is the author of 10 books, the contributing editor of 10 books, and the author of more than 700 articles and policy studies on international affairs.

Magdi , says: November 28, 2017 at 5:46 am

you are dead ON! I have been saying this since IRAQ
fiasco (not one Iraqi onboard on 9/11) we should have invaded egypt and saudi arabia. how the foolish american public(sheep) just buys the american propaganda is beyond me.. don't blame the Russians one spittle!!
Herbert Heebert , says: November 28, 2017 at 7:47 am
A few points:

1. I think North Korea might also be looking at the example of Ukraine, and Russia's clear violation of the Budapest Memorandum.

2. It's silly to put so much weight on Baker's verbal assurance re: NATO expansion.

3. I would suggest Mr. Carpenter make a list of Russia's betrayals. But I have the impression he is not interested.

Viriato , says: November 28, 2017 at 9:25 am
Excellent piece. The US really has destroyed its credibility over the years.

This points Ted Galen Carpenter makes in this piece go a long way toward explaining Russia's destabilizing behavior in recent years.

One point in particular jumped out at me:

"Kosovo wanted to declare its formal independence from Serbia, but it was clear that such a move would face a certain Russian (and probable Chinese) veto in the UN Security Council. Washington and an ad-hoc coalition of European Union countries brazenly bypassed the Council and approved Pristina's independence declaration. It was an extremely controversial move. Not even all EU members were on board with the policy, since some of them (e.g., Spain) had secessionist problems of their own. Russia's leaders protested vehemently and warned that the West's unauthorized action established a dangerous, destabilizing international precedent. Washington rebuffed their complaints, arguing that the Kosovo situation was unique."

This -- in the context of the long history of US and EU deceit and duplicity in their dealings with Russia is why Russia is supporting Catalan separatism (e.g. RT en Español's constant attacks on Spain and promotion of the separatists). The US and the EU effectively gave Russia permission to do this back in the 1990s. We set a precedent for their actions in Catalonia -- and, more famously, in Ukraine.

This

craigsummers , says: November 28, 2017 at 10:09 am
Mr. Carpenter

You have made a reasonable case that the US and Europe have not always been reliable, but the expansion of NATO is not one of them. No one forced any eastern European country to join NATO and the EU – decisions that indicate these countries feared a Russian revival after the collapse of the USSR. Russia always believed that these countries were in their near abroad or backyard.

The idea of a "sphere of influence" is a cold war relic which Russia invoked with the Medvedev Doctrine in 2008. This is currently on display in Ukraine. Russia is aggressively denying Ukraine their sovereignty. Who could possibly blame former Soviet Block countries for hightailing it to NATO during a lull in Russian aggression?

DOD , says: November 28, 2017 at 10:23 am
One could scarcely ask for a better summary of why the Cold War seems, sadly, to be reheating as well as why Democratic attempts to blame it on Russian meddling are a equally sad evasion of their share of bipartisan responsibility for creating this mess. Reinhold Niebuhr's prayer for, "the courage to change the things I can," is painfully appropriate.
Michael Kenny , says: November 28, 2017 at 12:12 pm
The whole weakness of the author's argument is a classic American one: very few Americans seem to be able to get their heads around the fact that the Soviet Union ceased to exist 26 years ago! They are still totally locked into their cold war mentality. He thus unquestioningly accepts Putin's pre-1789 "sphere of influence" theory in which there are "superior" and "inferior" races, with only the superior races being entitled to have a sovereign state and the inferior races being forced to submit to being ruled by foreigners. Mr Carpenter really needs to put his cold war mentality aside and come into the 21st century!

Most seriously of all, Mr Carpenter offers no solution for improving relations between the US and Russia. Saying that past US actions were wrong, even if true, says nothing about the present and offers nothing for the future. At best, Mr Carpenter's article is empty moralising.

And the unspoken, but perfectly obvious, subtext, namely that the US should "atone for its sins" by capitulating to Putin, is morally reprehensible and politically unrealistic. Since, by Mr Carpenter's own account, the problem is caused by US wrongdoing, isn't it for the US to put things right (for example, by getting Putin out of Ukraine) and not simply make a mess in someone else's country and then run for home with its tail between its legs? Who gave Americans the right to give away other people's countries?

Will Harrington , says: November 28, 2017 at 12:58 pm
Herbert Heevert

The one problem with your argument if, you are an american as I am, is that Russia is not acting in our names. If the US government, supposedly a government of, by, and for the people breaks its word, then you and I are foresworn oathbreakers as well because the government is (theoretically, at least) acting on OUR authority.

Will Harrington , says: November 28, 2017 at 1:15 pm
Craig Summers

Really?! "Russia always believed that these countries were in their near abroad or backyard."

I think that if you look at a map or a globe, you will find that this is not a belief but a fact. How you could overlook this, I don't know.

"The idea of a "sphere of influence" is a cold war relic "

If you are going to try and use history to influence opinion, it is best to check your facts. This is a very old concept.What do you think the Great Game between Imperial Russia and the British Empire in Central Asia was about? For that matter, what we call the Byzantine Commonwealth was a clearly attempt by the Romaoi to establish a political, cultural, and religious sphere of influence to support the power of the Empire, much as the United States has been doing over the past several decades.

NoldorElf , says: November 28, 2017 at 1:31 pm
You could make the case that Iraq too in 2003 is another reason why the Russians and the North Koreans distrust the US.

At this point, it is fairly certain that the Bush Administration knew that Saddam was not building nuclear weapons of mass destruction, which is what Bush strongly implied in his ramp up to the war.

One other takeaway that the North Koreans mag have from the 2003 Iraq invasion is that the US will lie any way to get what it wants.

Not saying that Russia or North Korea are perfect. Far from it. But the US needs to take a hard look in the mirror.

Jeeves , says: November 28, 2017 at 1:42 pm
What Craigsummers said.

And, Mr. Carpenter, when you have time off from your job as Russian apologist, learn the meaning of "verbal." It's not a synonym for "oral."

SteveM , says: November 28, 2017 at 1:49 pm
Re: craigsummers, "No one forced any eastern European country to join NATO and the EU – decisions that indicate these countries feared a Russian revival after the collapse of the USSR. Russia always believed that these countries were in their near abroad or backyard."

Except both here and abroad, the Global Cop Elites in Washington shape the strategy space through propaganda, fear-mongering and subversion. Moreover, the Eastern European countries are happy to join NATO when it's the American taxpayers who foot a large percentage of the bill.

Standard U.S. MO: create the threat, inflate the threat, send in the War Machine at massive cost to sustain the threat.

Rather than being broadened, NATO should have been ratcheted back after the fall of the Soviet Union, and the U.S. military presence in Europe massively reduced. Then normalized relations between Europe and Russia would have been designed and developed by Europe and Russia. Not the 800 pound Gorilla Global Cop that is good at little more than breaking things. (And perversely, after flushing TRILLIONS of tax dollars down the toilet, duping Americans to wildly applaud the "Warrior-Heroes" for a job well done.)

b. , says: November 28, 2017 at 2:33 pm
The 2008 war between Georgia and Russia was, per observers at the time, in Russian word and thought directly linked to the Balkan 's precedent.

The subtext here – of nation states, sovereignty, separatism and secessionist movements – is even more relevant with respect to US-China relationships. Since WW2 and that brief, transient monopoly on nuclear weapons, US foreign policy has eroded the Peace of Westphalia while attempting to erect an "international order" of convenience on top if it.

Both China and Russia know that nothing will stop the expansionism of US "national interests". In response to the doctrinal aspirations of the Soviets, the US has committed itself to an ideology that is just a greedy and relentless. In retrospect, it is hard to tell how many decades ago the Cold War stopped being about opposition to Soviet ideology, and instead became about "projecting" – in every sense of the word – an equally globalist US ideology.

We are the redcoats now. Now wonder the neocons and neolibs are shouting "Russia!" at every opportunity.

Janek , says: November 28, 2017 at 2:45 pm
I am amazed how many masochistic conservatives are in USA conservative circles especially in the CATO institute. Mr. T. G. Carpenter, as is clear from not only this and other articles, is a staunch defender of Yalta and proponent of Yalta 2 after the Cold War ended. As far as I remember Libya was the hatchet job of the Europeans especially the French and British. B. Obama at first didn't want to attack Libya but gave in after lobbying by the French, British and the neoliberal/neo-conservative lobby and supporters of the Arab Spring in the USA. America lost credibility after and only since the conservatives neoliberals and neocons manipulated USA and the West's foreign politics for thirty plus years. USA is still a democratic country so it is easy to blame everything on the US. In today's Putin's Russia similar critics of the Russian politics wouldn't be so "easy".

The Central Europe doesn't want Russia's sphere of influence precisely because of centuries of Russian occupation and atrocities in there especially after WW2, brutal and bloody invasion of Hungary, Czechoslovakia, the Cuban Crisis, Afghanistan, Chechnya etc. Now you have infiltration by Russia of the American electoral process and political system and some conservatives still can't connect the dots and see what is going on. I wonder why the western conservatives and US in particular are such great supporters of Russia. If Russia should be allowed to keep her sphere of influence after the Cold War then what was the reason to fight the Cold War in the first place. Wouldn't it be easier to surrender to Russia right after WW2.

SteveM , says: November 28, 2017 at 2:45 pm
One other observation about Russia that should be made but isn't is that the Russia-phobes can't point to an actual motive for Russian military aggression. There is no "Putin Plan" for conquest and domination by Russia like in Das Kapital or Hitler's Mein Kampf . What strategic value would Russia see from overrunning Poland and then having to perpetually suppress 35 million resistors? Or retaking the Baltic states that have only minority ethnic Russian populations?

Putin is a rationally calculating man. He has made his strategic objectives well known. They are economic. He sees Russia as the great linchpin of the pan-Eurasian One Belt/One Road (OB/OR) initiative proposed by China as well as the AIIB. In that construct, Europe and East Asia are Russia's customers and bilateral trading partners. Military conquest would wreck that vision and Putin knows it.

In the gangster movies, a mob boss often says that he hates bloodshed because it's bad for business. That's Putin. He's been remarkably restrained when egged on by Big Mouth Nikki Haley, Mad Dog Mattis or that other Pentagon nutcase Phillip Breedlove (former Supreme Commander of NATO) who have gone out of their way to demonize Russia. Unfortunately, with those Pentagon hacks whispering in Trump's ear, too much war-mongering is never enough.

U.S. foreign policy is an unmitigated disaster. The War Machine Hammer wrecks everything that it touches while sending the befuddled taxpayers the bill.

Mark , says: November 28, 2017 at 3:00 pm
"And, Mr. Carpenter, when you have time off from your job as Russian apologist, learn the meaning of "verbal." It's not a synonym for "oral."

I imagine you thought you were being funny; and you were, just not in the way you foresaw. In fact, verbal is a synonym for oral; to wit, "spoken rather than written; oral. "a verbal agreement". Synonyms: oral, spoken, stated, said, verbalized, expressed."

Of course anyone who attempts to portray the United States as duplicitous and sneaky (those are synonyms!)is immediately branded a "Russian apologist". As if there are certain countries which automatically have no rights, and can be assumed to be lying every time they speak. Except they're not, and the verbal agreement that NATO would not advance further east in exchange for Russian cooperation has been acknowledged by western principals who were present.

As SteveM implies, NATO's reason for being evaporated with the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact, and was dead as a dodo with the breakup of the Soviet Union. Everything since has been a rationalization for keeping it going, including regular demonizations of imaginary enemies until they become real enemies. You can't just 'join NATO' because it's the in-crowd, you know. No, there are actually criteria, one of which is the premise that your acceptance materially enhances the security of the alliance. Pretty comical imagining Montenegro in that context, isn't it?

When you meet individual Americans, they are frequently so nice and level-headed that you are perplexed trying to imagine where their leaders come from. And while we're on that subject, America does not actually have a foreign policy, as such. Its foreign policy is to bend every other living soul on the planet to the service of America.

[Nov 28, 2017] Blowback CNN Pushes Plan To Ban The Term 'Fake News' by Paul Joseph Watson

Notable quotes:
"... In a CNN opinion piece written by Hossein Derakhshan and Claire Wardle, who are affiliated with the globalist Council of Europe, the authors argue that the term "fake news" has "become meaningless" and lost its power because politicians (primarily Donald Trump) have hijacked it as a way to "undermine" the media establishment. ..."
"... The authors decry the fact that many people now believe the mainstream media peddles "fabricated stories" and that information monopolies are being challenged by the ability for "anyone in the world" to have a platform. ..."
"... Of course, the real reason media elites want to clamp down on the term "fake news" is because its original intention, to smear and discredit opponents of Hillary Clinton, right of center media outlets, and people who distrust the mainstream media, has completely backfired. ..."
"... This was illustrated yet again by Donald Trump's tweet earlier today when he suggested that a "fake news trophy" should be awarded to the network that has been responsible for the most inaccurate reporting. ..."
"... The Podesta emails also revealed how mainstream journalists were completely in bed with the Clinton campaign and even ran stories by them before publication. ..."
"... The "fake news" narrative has completely backfired on the political establishment and the media because it has acted as a boomerang, showing the mainstream media to be the most consistently dishonest entity of all. ..."
"... Is it any wonder therefore that the political class is now so keen to retire the term altogether? ..."
Nov 28, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Paul Joseph Watson via InfoWars.com

CNN is now pushing an effort to "ban the term fake news" after the slogan became synonymous with CNN itself thanks to President Donald Trump.

In a CNN opinion piece written by Hossein Derakhshan and Claire Wardle, who are affiliated with the globalist Council of Europe, the authors argue that the term "fake news" has "become meaningless" and lost its power because politicians (primarily Donald Trump) have hijacked it as a way to "undermine" the media establishment.

The authors decry the fact that many people now believe the mainstream media peddles "fabricated stories" and that information monopolies are being challenged by the ability for "anyone in the world" to have a platform.

Remember when the mainstream media & the Hillary campaign invented the term "fake news" in an effort to discredit alternative & right of center media outlets?

Yeah, that went well. pic.twitter.com/HJPpIQEr4j

-- Paul Joseph Watson (@PrisonPlanet) November 27, 2017

Complaining that "less powerful agents can harm large institutions or established individuals," Derakhshan and Wardle warn that trust in institutions is declining and that only through intervention at the level of "public education" (ie indoctrination) can this be reversed.

Of course, the real reason media elites want to clamp down on the term "fake news" is because its original intention, to smear and discredit opponents of Hillary Clinton, right of center media outlets, and people who distrust the mainstream media, has completely backfired.

This was illustrated yet again by Donald Trump's tweet earlier today when he suggested that a "fake news trophy" should be awarded to the network that has been responsible for the most inaccurate reporting.

We should have a contest as to which of the Networks, plus CNN and not including Fox, is the most dishonest, corrupt and/or distorted in its political coverage of your favorite President (me). They are all bad. Winner to receive the FAKE NEWS TROPHY!

-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 27, 2017

"Fake news" was one of many excuses trotted out after November last year to push the narrative that President Trump's election was somehow illegitimate.

In reality, a major Stanford University study found that "even the most widely circulated fake news stories were seen by only a small fraction of Americans," and that the most widely believed fake news stories were those that benefited Hillary Clinton.

Fake news had virtually no impact on the election, but the establishment media weaponized the term as part of an agenda to silence and censor voices of dissent, including media platforms, that had opposed Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign.

In addition, mainstream media news coverage in the weeks leading up to the election was 91% negative towards Trump, according to a study by the Media Research Center.

The Podesta emails also revealed how mainstream journalists were completely in bed with the Clinton campaign and even ran stories by them before publication.

The "fake news" narrative has completely backfired on the political establishment and the media because it has acted as a boomerang, showing the mainstream media to be the most consistently dishonest entity of all.

Is it any wonder therefore that the political class is now so keen to retire the term altogether?

[Nov 18, 2017] How Americas Deep State Operates To Control The Message by Philip Giraldi

Notable quotes:
"... The recent exchanges over the Russia-US relationship exhibit perfectly how the Deep State operates to control the message. ..."
"... Beyond twisting narratives, Russiagate is also producing potentially dangerous collateral damage to free speech, as one of the objectives of those in the Deep State is to rein in the current internet driven relatively free access to information. In its most recent manifestations, an anonymous group produced a phony list of 200 websites that were "guilty" of serving up Russian propaganda, a George Soros funded think tank identified thousands of individuals who are alleged to be "useful idiots" for Moscow, and legitimate Russian media outlets will be required to register as foreign agents. ..."
"... Hegemonic Empire always attacks those nations who are perceived to be weaker than the Empire. ..."
"... Never in my long life have I ever seen such twistedness in the mainstream media. In the days of Nixon and Watergate, there was a media agenda. But it was based in truth. This crap we get now is complete Deep State party line. ..."
"... I wonder if there ever was a time in history where the media in a country was so full of fabrication and propaganda. If there was, I would be interested in hearing how they had a downfall. It seems the media in this country can be so completely covered in deceit and lies and false claims, yet somehow not be accountable for it. ..."
"... The whole Russiagate bullshite has once again destroyed the credibility of the intel agencies and the media. Really old idiots are in charge of these things. ..."
Nov 18, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Philip Giraldi via The Strategic Culture Foundation

It is not possible to overstate the power of certain constituencies and corporate lobbies in the United States.

These pressure groups, joined by powerful government agencies, many of which have secret agendas that focus on national security, constitute what is increasingly being recognized as "Deep State America." Deep State is the widespread belief that there exists in many countries an entrenched and largely hidden infrastructure that really controls the national narrative and runs things. It explains why, for example, a country like the United States is perpetually at war even though the wars have been disastrous failures ever since Korea and have not made the nation more secure.

To be sure, certain constituencies have benefitted from global instability and conflict, to include defense industries, big government in general, and the national security state . They all work together and hand-in-hand with the corporate media to sustain the narrative that the United States is perpetually under threat, even though it is not.

The recent exchanges over the Russia-US relationship exhibit perfectly how the Deep State operates to control the message. American President Donald Trump briefly met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Vietnam. Putin reportedly told Trump that Russia "absolutely had not meddled" in the 2016 US election and Trump then told reporters that he believed the Russian leader meant what he said, "which is good." As détente with Russia is not considered desirable by the Deep State, there was an immediate explosion of a contrary narrative, namely that Trump believes a Russian "enemy" and does not trust what his own intelligence agencies have told him about 2016 because he is being "played" by Putin.

This story was repeated both on television news and in all the mainstream newspapers without exception, eventually forcing Trump to recant and say that he does believe in US intelligence.

Not a single major media outlet in the US reported that it just might be possible that Putin was telling the truth and that the intelligence community, which has been wrong many times over the past twenty years, might have to look again at what it considers to be evidence. No journalist had the courage to point out that the claims of the Washington national security team have been remarkably devoid of anything credible to support the conclusions about what the Russian government might or might not have been up to. That is what a good journalist is supposed to do and it has nothing to do with whether or not one admires or loathes either Putin or Trump.

That the relationship between Moscow and Washington should be regarded as important given the capability of either country to incinerate the planet would appear to be a given, but the Washington-New York Establishment, which is euphemism for Deep State, is actually more concerned with maintaining its own power by marginalizing Donald Trump and maintaining the perception that Vladimir Putin is the enemy head of state of a Russia that is out to cripple American democracy.

Beyond twisting narratives, Russiagate is also producing potentially dangerous collateral damage to free speech, as one of the objectives of those in the Deep State is to rein in the current internet driven relatively free access to information. In its most recent manifestations, an anonymous group produced a phony list of 200 websites that were "guilty" of serving up Russian propaganda, a George Soros funded think tank identified thousands of individuals who are alleged to be "useful idiots" for Moscow, and legitimate Russian media outlets will be required to register as foreign agents.

Driven by Russophobia over the 2016 election, a group of leading social media corporations including Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Twitter have been experimenting with ways to self-censor their product to keep out foreign generated or "hate" content.

They even have a label for it: "cyberhate" . Congress is also toying with legislation that will make certain viewpoints unacceptable or even illegal, including a so-called Anti-Semitism Awareness Act that would potentially penalize anyone who criticizes Israel and could serve as a model for banning other undesirable speech. "Defamatory speech" could even eventually include any criticism of the government or political leaders, as is now the case in Turkey, which is the country where the "Deep State" was invented.

serotonindumptruck , Nov 17, 2017 8:14 PM

Fear is the order of the day. Be very, very afraid of that militarily-weak nation on the other side of the world, who poses no legitimate and imminent threat to the US. Hegemonic Empire always attacks those nations who are perceived to be weaker than the Empire. It represents the death knell of Empire, and is typically the final stage of economic and political collapse.

Publicus_Reanimated , Nov 17, 2017 9:07 PM

Howard Beale: "We deal in illusions, man. None of it is true! But you people sit there day after day, night after night, all ages, colors, creeds. We're all you know. You're beginning to believe the illusions we're spinning here. You're beginning to think that the tube is reality and that your own lives are unreal. You do whatever the tube tells you. You dress like the tube, you eat like the tube, you raise your children like the tube. You even think like the tube. This is mass madness. You maniacs. In God's name, you people are the real thing. We are the illusion. So turn off your television sets. Turn them off now. Turn them off right now. Turn them off and leave them off. Turn them off right in the middle of this sentence I am speaking to you now. Turn them off!"

-- Network

If you are too young to have heard of this movie, now you know.

Cherubim , Nov 17, 2017 9:53 PM

Never in my long life have I ever seen such twistedness in the mainstream media. In the days of Nixon and Watergate, there was a media agenda. But it was based in truth. This crap we get now is complete Deep State party line.

I wonder if there ever was a time in history where the media in a country was so full of fabrication and propaganda. If there was, I would be interested in hearing how they had a downfall. It seems the media in this country can be so completely covered in deceit and lies and false claims, yet somehow not be accountable for it.

The only thing in history that I know that would compare to this is the Pravda in the old Soviet days of Brezhnev. And I'm not sure how that came finally tumbling down.

wide angle tree , Nov 17, 2017 9:55 PM

The whole Russiagate bullshite has once again destroyed the credibility of the intel agencies and the media. Really old idiots are in charge of these things.

[Nov 16, 2017] Russian Interference Now Being Blamed For Swaying Vote In Favor Of Brexit

Nov 16, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com

Was Brexit also Putin's fault?

The simmering anti-Russia hysteria that has emerged in the UK recently has finally boiled over, and it appears last night's story in the Times of London claiming that a swarm of Twitter bots reportedly created by a troll farm possibly linked to Russian intelligene (sound familiar?) posted more than 45,000 messages about Brexit in 48 hours during last year's referendum to try and "so discord" among the public was the grain of rice that tipped the scale.

Details that will sound familiar to anybody who's been following the ongoing hysteria surrounding the multiple investigations into Russian influence in the US election, the suspicious twitter accounts shared messages that promoted both the 'Remain' and 'Leave' campaigns, purportedly a "sophisticated" ploy to confuse and bewilder voters.

Most of the tweets seen by this newspaper encouraged people to vote for Brexit, an outcome which Russia would have regarded as destabilising for the European Union. A number were pro-Remain, however, suggesting that the Russian goal may have been simply to sow division.

"This is the most significant evidence yet of interference by Russian-backed social media accounts around the Brexit referendum," said Damian Collins, the Tory MP who chairs the digital, culture, media and sport select committee.

"The content published and promoted by these accounts is clearly designed to increase tensions throughout the country and undermine our democratic process. I fear that this may well be just the tip of the iceberg."

According to the Times, more than 150,000 accounts based in Russia, which had previously confined their posts to subjects such as the Ukrainian conflict, switched attention to Brexit in the days leading up to last year's vote, according to research for an upcoming paper by data scientists at Swansea University and the University of California, Berkeley.

In other words, after months of tweeting about pro-Russian forces in Ukraine, these bots started firing off messages amplifying the voice of the 'Leave' campaign into the void.

The researchers said Russian activity spiked on June 23, the day of the referendum, and on June 24 when the result was announced. From posting fewer than 1,000 tweets a day before June 13, the suspicious accounts posted 39,000 tweets on June 24 before dropping off almost entirely.

The Swansea and Berkeley paper says that a "massive number of Russian-related tweets was created a few days before the voting day, reached its peak during the voting and the result and then dropped immediately afterwards". Tho Pham, one of the paper's authors, said that "the main conclusion is that bots were used on purpose and had influence".

Of course, the Times report neglected to explain the Swansea researchers methodology. Facebook, Twitter and Google used the inadequate standard of having one's browser language set to Russian. It's unclear whether these researchers something that, like browser language, can be easily changed or mimicked by other groups.

On Monday, Theresa May accused Moscow of using fake news to "sow discord" and of meddling directly in elections. Her remarks followed a brief, impromptu meeting between President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin at an Asian economic summit in Vietnam.

In what appeared to be an attempt to deflect attention away from a challenge to her leadership, UK Prime Minister Theresa May blasted Russia Monday evening, using her speech at the Lord Mayor's Banquet to accuse them of interfering in foreign elections.

May accused Moscow of attempting to "weaponize information" as part of a "sustained campaign of cyberespionage and disruption." Russia's actions were "threatening the international order," she said.

"We know what you are doing. And you will not succeed. Because you underestimate the resilience of our democracies, the enduring attraction of free and open societies, and the commitment of Western nations to the alliances that bind us," May said.

May listed off a litany of ills she ascribed to Russia since its annexation of Crimea, including fomenting conflict in eastern Ukraine, violating the airspace of European countries, and hacking the Danish ministry of defense and the German Parliament. Russia has also been accused of interfering in elections in the US, the Brexit referendum in the UK, and the independence vote in Catalonia.

Following May's speech, reports emerged that individuals working on behalf of the Kremlin tried to set up meetings with conservative MPs, including Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson.

Last night, one of the UK's cyber-defense chiefs adding to the anti-Russia sentiment by accusing Russian intelligence of attacking Britain's media, telecommunications and energy sectors over the past year.

Ciaran Martin, chief executive of GCHQ's National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), echoed May's claim that Russia was "seeking to undermine the international system."

Of course, there were at least two prominent British polls who decided to question the dubious accusations of interference.

Jeremy Corbyn wants to "see more evidence" that Russia is trying to undermine Western democracy, his spokesman said Wednesday.

And of course, as we noted yesterday, Nigel Farage pointed out during a speech at the European Parliament that financier George Soros has spent billions of dollars to push his political agenda across Europe, the US and the UK.

"How many of you have taken money from Open Society?" He asked his peers, referring to Soros's Open Society foundation.

While the Russian hysteria has been raging for a year in the US now, in the UK, it's only just beginning. In time, we will see of May's government will continue to use Vladimir Putin as a boogeyman on which they can blame their failure to successfully negotiate amenable Brexit terms for the UK.

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MusicIsYou , Nov 16, 2017 3:34 AM

Britain never was part of the EU. But most people are too concerned about Iphones and big dicks to think about much else.

Billy the Poet -> MusicIsYou , Nov 16, 2017 3:36 AM

If the premise is that Putin is the greatest living proponent of national sovereignty and individual liberty then what's the problem?

Shemp 4 Victory -> Billy the Poet , Nov 16, 2017 3:56 AM

"Russian Interference" Now Being Blamed For Democracy

Dank fur Kopf , Nov 16, 2017 3:35 AM

They might as well come out with alfoil hats while claiming 'Russia did it'.

That's how we're all seeing it.

Billy the Poet -> Dank fur Kopf , Nov 16, 2017 3:39 AM

They say "Putin ate my homework," with all the earnestness of a recalcitrant second grade scholar.

Lore , Nov 16, 2017 3:38 AM

This is bloody ridiculous. FOR GOD'S SAKE, GROW UP.

MusicIsYou , Nov 16, 2017 3:38 AM

The only Brits really care about is tea time, big dicks, and making sure their socialist buddies don't one up them.

JDLLDJ -> MusicIsYou , Nov 16, 2017 3:48 AM

I can see you are not English... You need to add orderly queue to that list haha

JDLLDJ , Nov 16, 2017 3:42 AM

I wondered when this would get to our shores... I think that governments are totally undermining themselves with the Russian hacking lies.. They are essentially saying that a few bots can control a country entirely.. Its totally stupid to think they could.

I dont have twitter, facebook or any of the other false realities some people choose to live in.. But yet i voted out.. So who influenced me? Nobody, we are an island culture, we will always lean towards independence.

Oh well, let them blame who they want, it changes little. Just makes politicians seem uneeded, lets replace them with bots!!

OutaTime43 , Nov 16, 2017 3:48 AM

Putin is the master spy. He controls the world. Really getting sick of this crap. They can't admit that their people are turning to nationalism and sovereignty over globalism.

JPMorgan , Nov 16, 2017 3:50 AM

Total BS.

The city areas like London voted to stay, and a good number of rural Britain and pensioners voted to leave.

No Russian conspiracy.

Bondosaurus Rex , Nov 16, 2017 3:52 AM

Brexit was about protecting the City Of London tax haven. Nothing more.

Britain is still turning into a third world shithole just like Europe is.

The Square Mile did not want Eurocretins encroaching. Putin is merely a distraction.

Volaille de Bresse , Nov 16, 2017 3:53 AM

I couldn't get a hard-on last night... Must be THE RUSSIANS!!

[Nov 16, 2017] McCarthyism Redux: Attacks on the Russian Media by John Wight

Notable quotes:
"... In 2017 we are witnessing the rebirth of McCarthyism across the West in response to Russia's recovery from the demise of the Soviet Union and the failed attempt to turn the country into a wholly owned subsidiary of Washington via the imposition of free market economic shock treatment thereafter. ..."
Nov 16, 2017 | www.counterpunch.org

In 2017 we are witnessing the rebirth of McCarthyism across the West in response to Russia's recovery from the demise of the Soviet Union and the failed attempt to turn the country into a wholly owned subsidiary of Washington via the imposition of free market economic shock treatment thereafter.

In the process critical thinking and reason has been sacrificed on the altar of Pavlovian conditioning and unreason, resulting in the embrace of hysterical Russophobic nostrums by a liberal political and media class for whom Russia can only ever exist as a vanquished foe or a foe that needs to be vanquished. More

[Nov 16, 2017] 'I'm not a Russian troll I'm a security guard from Glasgow'

Nov 16, 2017 | marknesop.wordpress.com

Moscow Exile , November 15, 2017 at 11:28 am

Cortes rumbled?

'I'm not a Russian troll – I'm a security guard from Glasgow'

"The whole issue of anonymous trolls, false personas and automated Twitter accounts is fraught with difficulty, but thanks to the work of James Patrick (among a few others) the public is now becoming aware of the problem of online propaganda, some of it clearly directed (via payments) by Putin's government " -- Peter Jukes, CEO of ByLine, told The Scotsman

"Byline" claims to be the most visited crowdfunded journalism website in the UK.

Moscow Exile , November 15, 2017 at 11:34 am
See: Scot to be kidding: 'Russian troll' turns out to be Glasgow security guard

Reminds me of when years back some smart-arse on the laughable "Comment Is Free" in the Grauniad, having repeatedly stated that I was a Russian troll, congratulated me on my use of English, saying it was quite good for a Russian.

Jen , November 15, 2017 at 3:56 pm
Apparently not the firsht time a Scot was convincing in the role of a Rooshian:

http://vignette3.wikia.nocookie.net/tomclancy/images/c/cc/Sean_Connery_The_Hunt_for_Red_October.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20150714000007

[Nov 16, 2017] McCarthyism Inc: Introducing the Counter-Terror 'Experts' Hyping Russian Threats and Undermining Our Civil Liberties

Nov 16, 2017 | marknesop.wordpress.com

et Al , November 15, 2017 at 12:11 pm

Alernet via Antiwar.com: McCarthyism Inc: Introducing the Counter-Terror 'Experts' Hyping Russian Threats and Undermining Our Civil Liberties

Revelations about Russia's use of social media in the 2016 elections are being used as a pretext for suppressing dissent by some dubious characters.

By Max Blumenthal / AlterNet

November 10, 2017, 2:26 PM GMT

However, an investigation by AlterNet's Grayzone Project has yielded a series of disturbing findings at odds with the established depiction. The researchers behind the ASD's "dashboard" are no Russia experts, but rather a collection of cranks, counterterror retreads, online harassers and paranoiacs operating with support from some of the most prominent figures operating within the American national security apparatus .
####

Plenty more at the link.

Northern Star , November 15, 2017 at 3:54 pm
So why does this fuckin' cnt not have to register as an agent of a Foreign government???

"II. What, Exactly, Does FARA Require / Prohibit?
It's complicated. But in a nutshell, FARA requires individuals acting within the United States as agents of "foreign principals" to, in plain English, "register with the Department of Justice and file forms outlining its agreements with, income from, and expenditures on behalf of the foreign principal. These forms are public records and must be supplemented every six months." An "agent of a foreign principal," in turn, is defined as

any person who acts as an agent, representative, employee, or servant, or any person who acts in any other capacity at the order, request, or under the direction or control, of a foreign principal or of a person any of whose activities are directly or indirectly supervised, directed, controlled, financed, or subsidized in whole or in major part by a foreign principal, and who directly or through any other person -- (i) engages within the United States in political activities for or in the interests of such foreign principal; (ii) acts within the United States as a public relations counsel, publicity agent, information-service employee or political consultant for or in the interests of such foreign principal; (iii) within the United States solicits, collects, disburses, or dispenses contributions, loans, money, or other things of value for or in the interest of such foreign principal; or (iv) within the United States represents the interests of such foreign principal before any agency or official of the Government of the United States. . . .
Moreover, the statute defines "foreign principal" not just to include a foreign government itself, but also foreign political parties, a person or organization outside the United States (except U.S. citizens), and any entity organized under the laws of a foreign country or having its principal place of business in a foreign country. So, in a world in which individuals were receiving financial or other enticements from Russian corporations, oligarchs, or the Russian government itself, in order to "engage[] within the United States in political activities for or in the interests of such foreign principal," that seems to fall within the heartland of what FARA covers."

Indeed, a separate statute, 18 U.S.C. § 219, goes one important step further, making it a crime for any individual who is an "officer or employee or person acting for or on behalf of the United States, or any department, agency, or branch of Government thereof, including the District of Columbia, in any official function," to be or to act as an agent of a foreign principal under FARA.

******In other words, for a private citizen, FARA's entire impact is in requiring disclosure. But for public officials, § 219 actually prohibits such individuals from acting as foreign agents." *****

Thus, whereas a private citizen need only apprise the Justice Department if they are receiving funds from foreign principals to influence U.S. policy, public officials may not receive such funds, period–and face felony charges if they do. (N.B.: There's an interesting question about whether transition officials might qualify as "public officials" for purposes of § 219. I'm skeptical, but at least in Flynn's case, there's still the issue of whether he was continuing to serve as an agent of a foreign power on and after January 20, when he became the National Security Advisor.)

https://www.justsecurity.org/39493/primer-foreign-agents-registration-act/

Northern Star , November 15, 2017 at 3:59 pm
As for AIPAC itself..in case you are wondering:

https://www.globalresearch.ca/should-aipac-register-as-a-foreign-agent/5601653

[Nov 11, 2017] Trump Points To Falsehoods In Russian Hacking Claims - Media Still Ignore Them

Possibly all of the Russia-gate allegations, which have been taken on faith by Democratic partisans and members of the anti-Trump Resistance, trace back to claims paid for or generated by Democrats. If for a moment one could remove the often justified hatred many people feel toward Trump, it would be impossible to avoid the impression that the scandal may have been devised by the DNC and the Clinton camp in league with Obama's intelligence chiefs to serve political and geopolitical aims. In other words this is a sophisticated false flag operation.
Even more alarmingly (what really smells like a part on intelligence agencies coup d'état against Trump ) is the basis for much of the Jan. 6 intelligence "assessment" by those "hand-picked" analysts from three U.S. intelligence agencies - the CIA, the FBI and the NSA - not all 17 agencies that Hillary Clinton continues to insist were involved. (Obama's intelligence chiefs, DNI Clapper and CIA Director John Brennan, publicly admitted that only three agencies took part and The New York Times printed a correction saving so.)
Notable quotes:
"... Well its three . And one is Brennan . And one is whatever. I mean, give me a break. They're political hacks . So you look at it, and then you have Brennan, you have Clapper and you have Comey . Comey's proven now to be a liar and he's proven to be a leaker. So you look at that. ..."
"... Trump gets it. He knows the weak points of the propaganda claims of "Russian hacking": Podesta and the fake Steele dossier, the DNC server, the lack of any FBI investigation of the alleged hack, the NYT's long false insistence on the '17 agencies' assessment, the "political hacks" who fitted their claims to the Obama/Clinton narrative. ..."
"... But neither the Washington Post nor the NY Times or others mention the crucial points Trump spelled out in their write-ups of the gaggle. There is no word on the DNC servers in them. Instead they create a claim of "Putin says and Trump just believes him". The do not name the facts and questions Trump listed to support his position. Taking up the valid questions Trump asked would of course require the news outlets to finally delve into them. We can't have that. ..."
"... Trump is not the brightest bulb and he is not well informed. I dislike nearly all of his policies. But he understands that the "Russian hacking" narrative is false and is carried by lunatic political hacks who want to push the U.S. back into a cold, or maybe even hot war with Russia, China, Iran and probably everyone else. ..."
"... I guess it could be that the DNC really was hacked, but maybe they faked the hack story, fed the story to Crowdstrike, then paid Crowdstrike a lot of money to fabricate a fairytale about Russian hacking... ..."
"... This Russian fairytale would be the bedrock of Hillary's campaign, and it gave her a reason to badmouth trump who intended to get along with Putin, which deeply offended the neocon Bolsheviks who've been running things since 9/11 ..."
"... If the hacking really happened, it's maybe more likely to have been the US NSA that did the hacking... that might explain why the DNC and Hillary were not alarmed by the hacking --if it happened-- and did nothing about it, and continued to write incriminating emails... ..."
"... Russia gate is Really Hillary Gate... And that's just the beginning as we consider the DNC lid coming off via Donna Brazile and the Uranium scandal. Mueller has been gatekeeper for the Deep State for OKC bombing, 911,...other False Flag...and now today's Intrigues. ..."
"... Back when Trump looked like he was in the running in the US presidential election, I wondered how one man, even if he was genuine, could without the backing of US intelligence, take down the deepstate/borg/whatever. Putin pulled Russia out of the nineties with key backing from patriotic intelligence and military leadership, but Trump even if genuine would be on his own. Just ordered 'Art of the deal' to try and understand Trump a bit more. Looks like he has just destroyed a big chunk of deep state financing so will be interesting to see how long he can stay alive. ..."
"... well, Mueller declined to find 9/11 evidence against bin laden... or maybe we should say, "he declined to manufacture evidence"... for some unkown reason... ..."
"... Can we just face the facts here that there is a coordinated effort by these elite to get Trump dethroned? What reason for this? Simple...he's a threat. ..."
"... Mike Whitney posted a great piece this week suggesting Brennan, Obama's political 'hack', is behind this mess - "Brennan spearheaded the anti-Russia campaign from the get-go. As early as August 2016, Brennan was providing classified briefings to ranking members of Congress expressing his conviction that Moscow was helping Trump to win the election. The former Director offered no proof to back up his claims nor has he since then. It was also Brennan who gradually persuaded Clapper, Comey and Morrell to join his anti-Russia jihad, although all were reluctant participants at first. Were they won over by compelling secret evidence that has been been withheld from the public?" - http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/48172.htm ..."
"... These are but a few sources digging and reporting on these bogus charges against Putin. I'd like to believe the majority of the U.S. electorate isn't being fooled by the nonsense. I can't speak for those who choose to remain inside the brainwashing corporate media bubble, but for those of us who divorced ourselves from their propaganda long ago ain't buying nor ever did buy into the muh Russia crap. ..."
"... Meanwhile, USG declares RT and Sputnik to be foreign agents and must register as such -- and Trump had nothing to do with that?!? ..."
"... The media is now now in permanent psy op mode, colonizing the public's mind and jamming people's ability to reason, think critically and even tell fact from fiction. It is only a matter of time before overt repression becomes widespread (to protect our freedoms of course) and the last remnants of democracy give way to an Orwellian/Huxleyite dystopia. ..."
"... CNN covers the Binney/Pompeo meeting, and describes Binney in the headline as a "conspiracy theorist": http://www.cnn.com/2017/11/07/politics/mike-pompeo-william-binney-meeting/index.html ..."
Nov 11, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

Trump Points To Falsehoods In "Russian Hacking" Claims - Media Still Ignore Them

During the flight of his recent Asia tour U.S. President Donal Trump held a press gaggle on board of the plane. Part of it were questions and answers about the alleged "Russian hacking" of the U.S. election.

There is no public transcript available yet but the Washington Post's Mark Berman provided a screenshot of some relevant parts:

Mark Berman @markberman - 6:20 AM - 11 Nov 2017

Full comment from @realDonaldTrump again questioning the US intel community conclusion that Russia meddled last year

In the attached transcript Trump talks about his very short encounter with the Russian President Putin in Hanoi:

Q: When did you bring up the issue of election meddling? Did you ask him a question?

A: Every time he sees me he says he didn't do that and I really believe that when he tells me that, he means it. But he says, I didn't do that. I think he is very insulted by it, ...
...
He says that very strongly and he really seems to be insulted by it he says he didn't do it.

Q: Even if he didn't bring it up one-on-one, do you believe him?

A: I think that he is very, very strong on the fact that didn't do it. And then you look and you look what's going on with Podesta , and you look at what's going on with the server from the DNC and why didn't the FBI take it ? Why did they leave it? Why did a third party look at the server and not the FBI ? You look at all of this stuff, and you say, what's going on here? And you hear it's 17 agencies. Well its three . And one is Brennan . And one is whatever. I mean, give me a break. They're political hacks . So you look at it, and then you have Brennan, you have Clapper and you have Comey . Comey's proven now to be a liar and he's proven to be a leaker. So you look at that. And you have President Putin very strongly, vehemently say he has nothing to do with that. Now, you are not going to get into an argument, you are going to start talking about Syria and the Ukraine.

Trump gets it. He knows the weak points of the propaganda claims of "Russian hacking": Podesta and the fake Steele dossier, the DNC server, the lack of any FBI investigation of the alleged hack, the NYT's long false insistence on the '17 agencies' assessment, the "political hacks" who fitted their claims to the Obama/Clinton narrative.

But neither the Washington Post nor the NY Times or others mention the crucial points Trump spelled out in their write-ups of the gaggle. There is no word on the DNC servers in them. Instead they create a claim of "Putin says and Trump just believes him". The do not name the facts and questions Trump listed to support his position. Taking up the valid questions Trump asked would of course require the news outlets to finally delve into them. We can't have that.

Instead we get more "Russian influence" claptrap. Like this from the once honorable Wired which headlines:

Here's the first evidence Russia used Twitter to influence Brexit

Russian interference in Brexit through targeted social media propaganda can be revealed for the first time. A cache of posts from 2016, seen by WIRED, shows how a coordinated network of Russian-based Twitter accounts spread racial hatred in an attempt to disrupt politics in the UK and Europe.

Interesting, enthralling, complicate and sensational ...
... until you get down to paragraph 14(!):

Surprisingly, all the posts around Brexit in this small snapshot were posted after the June vote

"Russian agents" influenced the U.S. election by buying mostly irrelevant Facebook ads - 25% of which were never seen by anyone and 56% of which were posted AFTER the election

"Russian-based Twitter accounts" influenced the Brexit vote in the UK by tweeting affirmative AFTER the vote happened

Trump is not the brightest bulb and he is not well informed. I dislike nearly all of his policies. But he understands that the "Russian hacking" narrative is false and is carried by lunatic political hacks who want to push the U.S. back into a cold, or maybe even hot war with Russia, China, Iran and probably everyone else.

Tannenhouser | Nov 11, 2017 2:15:01 PM | 1

"Trump is not the brightest bulb and he is not well informed. I dislike nearly all of his policies. But he understands that the "Russian hacking" narrative is false and is carried by lunatic political hacks who want to push the U.S. back into a cold, or maybe even hot war with Russia, China, Iran and probably everyone else."

I couldn't agree more B. The distraction to cover up the DNC crimes and the 'pay to play' antics during HRC's tenure at SECState are part of this nonsense as well.

james | Nov 11, 2017 2:21:31 PM | 2
thanks b.. i 2nd @1 tannenhousers comment above..
wadosy | Nov 11, 2017 2:31:10 PM | 3
the term "hacked" implies that someone came in on the internet, right?

I guess it could be that the DNC really was hacked, but maybe they faked the hack story, fed the story to Crowdstrike, then paid Crowdstrike a lot of money to fabricate a fairytale about Russian hacking...

This Russian fairytale would be the bedrock of Hillary's campaign, and it gave her a reason to badmouth trump who intended to get along with Putin, which deeply offended the neocon Bolsheviks who've been running things since 9/11

If the hacking really happened, it's maybe more likely to have been the US NSA that did the hacking... that might explain why the DNC and Hillary were not alarmed by the hacking --if it happened-- and did nothing about it, and continued to write incriminating emails...

...they assumed the hackers were on their side

OK, then, if the hacking was a fairytale, made up by Debbie and Hillary, and reinforced by Crowdstrike, then what? Maybe it doesn't make any difference in the long run, if the DNC was hacked or not

Whatever happened, the emails got out, Assange strongly hints that Seth Rich was the leak, Seth Rich was murdered, and his murder was intended to be a warning to people like Donna Brazile, who, after Seth was murdered, started drawing her office blinds because she didn't want to be sniped... presumably by the people who murdered Seth Rich

broders | Nov 11, 2017 2:33:17 PM | 4
the real question is : what is j.sessions doing ? and if nothing , why trump doesn't fire him ?
Brad | Nov 11, 2017 2:55:42 PM | 5
Russia gate is Really Hillary Gate... And that's just the beginning as we consider the DNC lid coming off via Donna Brazile and the Uranium scandal. Mueller has been gatekeeper for the Deep State for OKC bombing, 911,...other False Flag...and now today's Intrigues.

Will Podesta and Hillary escape?...or get Prison? John McCain with ISIS and photo opp,.. Evil in your face 24. If certain people are not in Prison....Mueller could wear the label Satan's guardian. ..and it wouldn't be exaggeration

Peter AU 1 | Nov 11, 2017 3:00:44 PM | 6
Back when Trump looked like he was in the running in the US presidential election, I wondered how one man, even if he was genuine, could without the backing of US intelligence, take down the deepstate/borg/whatever. Putin pulled Russia out of the nineties with key backing from patriotic intelligence and military leadership, but Trump even if genuine would be on his own. Just ordered 'Art of the deal' to try and understand Trump a bit more. Looks like he has just destroyed a big chunk of deep state financing so will be interesting to see how long he can stay alive.
wadosy | Nov 11, 2017 3:05:39 PM | 7

well, Mueller declined to find 9/11 evidence against bin laden... or maybe we should say, "he declined to manufacture evidence"... for some unkown reason...

whatever, if seth rich's murder was an attempt to terrorize politicians and the media into parroting the party line --like the anthrax letters did after 9/11-- it worked

donna is still saying, "the Russians dun it".

NemesisCalling | Nov 11, 2017 3:07:36 PM | 8
b, it is so funny that everytime you allude to Trump being in the right against the teeming hordes or globalist, anti-Russia elites, you always offer the caveat: "but...he's a bastard and I hate him."

Can we just face the facts here that there is a coordinated effort by these elite to get Trump dethroned? What reason for this? Simple...he's a threat.

Enemy of my enemy anyone?

P.s. I view him as an opportunist. a chameleon. At the very least, perhaps he realizes the absolute absurdity of trying to keep the house of cards aloft in the ME. So far, no wars, and a de-escalation in Syria. Pundits are talking about 3+% growth in US for first time in decade. I dont't know...perhaps Donald can cut and run in time to salvage some of the US prosperity.

PavewayIV | Nov 11, 2017 3:22:45 PM | 9
I'm almost inclined to think Trump is letting this Russian hack thing play out on purpose despite his Tweets to the contrary. Preventing the feds from 'investigating' it wouldn't make it go away, it would just cement the notion of guilt and a cover-up into the anti-Trump, anti-Russian segment of the public. More importantly, the similarly-inclined political/government leaders (pro-Hillary, DNC, politicized FBI and intel, neocons, deep state, whatever...) and MSM slowly expose themselves for what they are. They get too confident in the big lie actually working and go into a feeding frenzy. Trump trolls them on Twitter and they go insane.

When you want to catch sharks, you don't chase them around the ocean to hunt them. You chum the waters and wait for them to come to you. Trump isn't the one chumming the waters here - he's letting the sharks do that themselves.

I scratched my head like everyone else trying to figure out Trump's earlier incomprehensible hiring/firing volley his first few months. Maybe that was just a bit of theatre. Trump might not understand the 'little people' too much, but he does understand his opponent psychopaths (corporate, banking or government/intel) and how to use their basic flaws against them. 'Draining the swamp' sells well, but letting his opponents stick their necks out far enough before Trump's own Night of the Long Knives would (to me) be a far more effective strategy towards his ends. And probably much safer for him than Kennedy's approach.

Kind of worrying that one has to rely on outsider psychopaths to cull other psychopath's well-entrenched herds within the US government. Does that ever turn out well?

Laguerre | Nov 11, 2017 3:30:12 PM | 10
Was anything Trump did really illegal? It hasn't been demonstrated yet. The US does much the same in Russia.
h | Nov 11, 2017 3:31:16 PM | 11
Only the most strident partisans hold tightly to the Russian interference nonsense.

Those who simply want to deal in facts bother ourselves to self inform using multiple sources who have been trying to make sense of the dastardly twists and turns in this muh Russia whodunit scandal. The DNC emails, dossier, collusion the whole escapade, from the beginning, could be seen as being built on nothing more than quicksand.

Mike Whitney posted a great piece this week suggesting Brennan, Obama's political 'hack', is behind this mess - "Brennan spearheaded the anti-Russia campaign from the get-go. As early as August 2016, Brennan was providing classified briefings to ranking members of Congress expressing his conviction that Moscow was helping Trump to win the election. The former Director offered no proof to back up his claims nor has he since then. It was also Brennan who gradually persuaded Clapper, Comey and Morrell to join his anti-Russia jihad, although all were reluctant participants at first. Were they won over by compelling secret evidence that has been been withheld from the public?" - http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/48172.htm

Then you have Joe Lauria's outstanding piece which lived less than 24 hours at HuffPo before being disappeared - http://raymcgovern.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/CLEANOn-The-Origins-of-Russia-gate-_-HuffPost.pdf

And then you have the Intercept's piece on Binney's meeting with CIA's Pompeo with Ray McGovern providing a lot more detail and an interview with his favorite news outlet RT - http://raymcgovern.com/

Oh, and about Binney's meeting with Pompeo? Trump requested Pompeo meet with him. He did. But Pompeo, as of today, remains steadfast in supporting the ICA crap report Obama's political intel hacks put out.

These are but a few sources digging and reporting on these bogus charges against Putin. I'd like to believe the majority of the U.S. electorate isn't being fooled by the nonsense. I can't speak for those who choose to remain inside the brainwashing corporate media bubble, but for those of us who divorced ourselves from their propaganda long ago ain't buying nor ever did buy into the muh Russia crap.

wadosy | Nov 11, 2017 3:36:47 PM | 12
we got to wonder why donna brazile made such a fuss about Seth Rich. She's being way too cagey for comfort but even if we leave seth rich out of it, none of it make any sense

... ... ...

Muslim Dude | Nov 11, 2017 3:42:36 PM | 13
According to journalist, Liz Crokin and others online, Trump is pulling the biggest sting operation in history.

https://www.lizcrokin.com/hillaryclinton/mueller-president-trump-pulling-biggest-sting-history/

Also from a Youtube video I saw earlier there are claims this is what is happening.

1. Obama regime was chronically corrupt including sell of Uranium to Russia for bribes. Elements of the US military and intelligence were disgusted by this and approached Trump BEFORE the elections as a figure who could help them.

2. Trump decided to work with them and during his election campaign he deliberately made constant exaggerated claims of his supposed friendship with Putin, this was bait for the Democrats to smear him as a Putin-lover, Putin puppet.

3. Once elected, the whole "Trump is a Putin puppet" was allowed to run so that a huge demand for some sort of investigation in to Trump and his Russia links could be built. Only this investigation would in fact be used to target the Democrats and Clinton including for their corruption over the Uranium sales with the Russians.

4. This was apparently (according to these claims) the game plan from the beginning and Mueller is apparently going to work to convict Hillary Clinton and other senior Democrats.

I don't know how true this is, but it does answer a lot of questions and anomalies and also ties in with B's thesis that we are essentially seeing a quasi-military government in D.C. under Trump.

psychohistorian | Nov 11, 2017 3:49:19 PM | 14
@ PavewayIV who ended his comment with: "Kind of worrying that one has to rely on outsider psychopaths to cull other psychopath's well-entrenched herds within the US government. Does that ever turn out well? "

Yep! And we add our textual white noise to the rearranging of the deck chairs on the top deck of the good ship Humanity as it careens over the falls/into the shoals/pick-your-metaphor

PavewayIV | Nov 11, 2017 4:30:10 PM | 15
psychohistorian@14 - Captain to crew: "I will not have this ship go down looking like a garbage scow. Deck chairs will be arranged in a neat and orderly manner at all times!"
Augustin L | Nov 11, 2017 4:32:46 PM | 16
The orange Chump is using diversionary tactics. Will the mafia Front goy thief disclose his extensive exposure/links to Russian and foreign banks ?

The same media you're decrying here is also ignoring this week's paradise papers revelations about Wilbur Ross, Trump's commerce secretary and business links with Russian Israeli mobsters and oligarchs like Mogilevich. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IMhzkvWuXEM

There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what is not true. The other is to refuse to believe what is true. Can't fix stupid sociopathy. I pity deplorable goyims, They deserve their plight...

renfro | Nov 11, 2017 5:10:26 PM | 17
Please someone end this idiot circus! Russia hacked THE ELECTION ...hacked THE ELECTION ??? For the love of gawd..the ELECTION, meaning the voting was hacked.....it was NOT. Nothing has focused on Russian 'hacking' of VOTES. Russia 'if' they hacked, at best hacked some emails and info used to expose Hillary. And posted negative info on the net. So, so what? How many leakers weren't doing that?

I have had it with the Dems, they have IQs somewhere below that of cabbages. But I guess there are a certain number of citizens that will believe anything if it is repeated enough by their herd leaders.

notheonly1 | Nov 11, 2017 5:31:12 PM | 18
All this pathetic, lousy street theater resembling staging can only serve one important reason: Distraction. What is it that people need to be distracted from? That the US has turned openly into a military dictatorship? That the extermination proceedings are speeding up?

Hitler used gas chambers, as did the US after the war. While the first was a psychopathic dictator, the latter is a psychopathic society. It has spend trillions in research and design of lethal weapons and systems to exterminate any 'enemy'.

With all the technological progress, people do no longer need to be dragged to a gas chamber. The gas chamber will come to them. Sprayed into the atmosphere and making its way into earth's life systems.

Trump, Dump, Busch, Koch, Clinton, Reagan, Nixon - plutocratic hand puppets. It is not the people who decide where and when the ship sinks. It will be sunken for them - with all the useless eaters on board.

Jack Oliver | Nov 11, 2017 6:03:23 PM | 19
Trump is too stupid to realize that the very reason the election was rigged in his favour was - the derailment of ANY ZIO/US/Russia relations !! Their top priority ( as always) has been to keep Russia and Germany apart ! Russia's 'resources' and German 'innovation' is a match made in heaven - would spell the end of the US economy !
karlof1 | Nov 11, 2017 6:27:43 PM | 20
Not only did the Propaganda System refuse to correctly report as b details, but nowhere has it mentioned the defeat of Daesh, as Pepe Escobar discloses: "This is History in the making.

"And right on cue, VIRTUALLY NOTHING about this REAL ON THE GROUND VICTORY OF A REAL WAR ON TERROR is being covered by Western corporate media.

"No wonder. Because this was the work of Damascus, Russia, Hezbollah, Iran advisers, Baghdad and the PMUs – actually the "4+1" - and not the US-led "coalition" that includes Wahhabi mongrels House of Saud and UAE - that totally smashes to bits the monochord Washington narrative.

"So History in the making must be silenced." [Emphasis in original.] http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/48186.htm

Meanwhile, USG declares RT and Sputnik to be foreign agents and must register as such -- and Trump had nothing to do with that?!?

Temporarily Sane | Nov 11, 2017 6:30:23 PM | 21
The war on Syria and the Russian "hacking" debacle has corrupted the entire western media. Not that it was ever squeaky clean - far from it - but it was at least somewhat independent from the dominant establishment. There were pauses between the outrageous lies and blatant fact twisting and it did not overtly shill for neoliberal political parties and work overtime pushing massive amounts of propaganda on the public 24/7/365 and relentlessly demonize, in the most crude fashion imaginable, the leaders of some of the the world's most powerful countries and any sovereign nation that values its independence and freedom from Western exploitation.

The media is now now in permanent psy op mode, colonizing the public's mind and jamming people's ability to reason, think critically and even tell fact from fiction. It is only a matter of time before overt repression becomes widespread (to protect our freedoms of course) and the last remnants of democracy give way to an Orwellian/Huxleyite dystopia.

jayc | Nov 11, 2017 6:32:58 PM | 22
CNN covers the Binney/Pompeo meeting, and describes Binney in the headline as a "conspiracy theorist": http://www.cnn.com/2017/11/07/politics/mike-pompeo-william-binney-meeting/index.html
Peter AU 1 | Nov 11, 2017 6:37:08 PM | 23
karlof1 20

If by chance Trump or anyone is genuine about taking down the deep state, they cannot do it by running around in a pathetic attempt trying to fix small issues. They would have to leave the machine to carry on as normal and go for its foundations. I thought about this months ago, and now looking at the latest events, this could be what is happening.

gut bugs galore | Nov 11, 2017 6:52:35 PM | 24
Meanwhile a revolution threatening the federation of Australia is taking place in Canberra utilizing a formless and compliant press corps and a fake issue of dual citizenship. Chaos is a disease agent which has jumped out of the Middle Eastern laboratory into all western nations.
Krollchem | Nov 11, 2017 7:13:34 PM | 25
Educational Youtube videos on how the world works at "Rules for rulers"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rStL7niR7gs
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ig_qpNfXHIU

[Nov 11, 2017] On The Origins of Russia-gate by Joe Lauria

Notable quotes:
"... As Russia-gate continues to buffet the Trump administration, we now know that the "scandal" started with Democrats funding the original dubious allegations of Russian interference, notes Joe Lauria. ..."
"... Voice of America reported ..."
"... How I Lost By Hillary Clinton ..."
Nov 11, 2017 | kickthemallout.com

As Russia-gate continues to buffet the Trump administration, we now know that the "scandal" started with Democrats funding the original dubious allegations of Russian interference, notes Joe Lauria.

By Joe Lauria

The two sources that originated the allegations claiming that Russia meddled in the 2016 election -- without providing convincing evidence -- were both paid for by the Democratic National Committee, and in one instance also by the Clinton campaign: the Steele dossier and the CrowdStrike analysis of the DNC servers. Think about that for a minute.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

We have long known that the DNC did not allow the FBI to examine its computer server for clues about who may have hacked it – or even if it was hacked – and instead turned to CrowdStrike, a private company co-founded by a virulently anti-Putin Russian. Within a day, CrowdStrike blamed Russia on dubious evidence.

And, it has now been disclosed that the Clinton campaign and the DNC paid for opposition research memos written by former British MI6 intelligence agent Christopher Steele using hearsay accusations from anonymous Russian sources to claim that the Russian government was blackmailing and bribing Donald Trump in a scheme that presupposed that Russian President Vladimir Putin foresaw Trump's presidency years ago when no one else did.

Since then, the U.S. intelligence community has struggled to corroborate Steele's allegations, but those suspicions still colored the thinking of President Obama's intelligence chiefs who, according to Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, "hand-picked" the analysts who produced the Jan. 6 "assessment" claiming that Russia interfered in the U.S. election.

In other words, possibly all of the Russia-gate allegations, which have been taken on faith by Democratic partisans and members of the anti-Trump Resistance, trace back to claims paid for or generated by Democrats.

If for a moment one could remove the sometimes justified hatred that many people feel toward Trump, it would be impossible to avoid the impression that the scandal may have been cooked up by the DNC and the Clinton camp in league with Obama's intelligence chiefs to serve political and geopolitical aims.

Absent new evidence based on forensic or documentary proof, we could be looking at a partisan concoction devised in the midst of a bitter general election campaign, a manufactured "scandal" that also has fueled a dangerous New Cold War against Russia; a case of a dirty political "oppo" serving American ruling interests in reestablishing the dominance over Russia that they enjoyed in the 1990s, as well as feeding the voracious budgetary appetite of the Military-Industrial Complex.

Though lacking independent evidence of the core Russia-gate allegations, the "scandal" continues to expand into wild exaggerations about the impact of a tiny number of social media pages suspected of having links to Russia but that apparently carried very few specific campaign messages. ( Some pages reportedly were devoted to photos of puppies. )

'Cash for Trash'

Based on what is now known, Wall Street buccaneer Paul Singer paid for GPS Fusion, a Washington-based research firm, to do opposition research on Trump during the Republican primaries, but dropped the effort in May 2016 when it became clear Trump would be the GOP nominee. GPS Fusion has strongly denied that it hired Steele for this work or that the research had anything to do with Russia.

Couple walking along the Kremlin, Dec. 7, 2016. (Photo by Robert Parry)

Then, in April 2016 the DNC and the Clinton campaign paid its Washington lawyer Marc Elias to hire Fusion GPS to unearth dirt connecting Trump to Russia. This was three months before the DNC blamed Russia for hacking its computers and supposedly giving its stolen emails to WikiLeaks to help Trump win the election.

"The Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee retained Fusion GPS to research any possible connections between Mr. Trump, his businesses, his campaign team and Russia, court filings revealed this week," The New York Times reported on Friday night.

So, linking Trump to Moscow as a way to bring Russia into the election story was the Democrats' aim from the start.

Fusion GPS then hired ex-MI6 intelligence agent Steele, it says for the first time, to dig up that dirt in Russia for the Democrats. Steele produced classic opposition research, not an intelligence assessment or conclusion, although it was written in a style and formatted to look like one.

It's important to realize that Steele was no longer working for an official intelligence agency, which would have imposed strict standards on his work and possibly disciplined him for injecting false information into the government's decision-making. Instead, he was working for a political party and a presidential candidate looking for dirt that would hurt their opponent, what the Clintons used to call "cash for trash" when they were the targets.

Had Steele been doing legitimate intelligence work for his government, he would have taken a far different approach. Intelligence professionals are not supposed to just give their bosses what their bosses want to hear. So, Steele would have verified his information. And it would have gone through a process of further verification by other intelligence analysts in his and perhaps other intelligence agencies. For instance, in the U.S., a National Intelligence Estimate requires vetting by all 17 intelligence agencies and incorporates dissenting opinions.

Instead Steele was producing a piece of purely political research and had different motivations. The first might well have been money, as he was being paid specifically for this project, not as part of his work on a government salary presumably serving all of society. Secondly, to continue being paid for each subsequent memo that he produced he would have been incentivized to please his clients or at least give them enough so they would come back for more.

Dubious Stuff

Opposition research is about getting dirt to be used in a mud-slinging political campaign, in which wild charges against candidates are the norm. This "oppo" is full of unvetted rumor and innuendo with enough facts mixed in to make it seem credible. There was so much dubious stuff in Steele's memos that the FBI was unable to confirm its most salacious allegations and apparently refuted several key points.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper (right) talks with President Barack Obama
in the Oval Office, with John Brennan and other national security aides present.
(Photo credit: Office of Director of National Intelligence)

Perhaps more significantly, the corporate news media, which was largely partial to Clinton, did not report the fantastic allegations after people close to the Clinton campaign began circulating the lurid stories before the election with the hope that the material would pop up in the news. To their credit, established media outlets recognized this as ammunition against a political opponent, not a serious document.

Despite this circumspection, the Steele dossier was shared with the FBI at some point in the summer of 2016 and apparently became the basis for the FBI to seek Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrants against members of Trump's campaign. More alarmingly, it may have formed the basis for much of the Jan. 6 intelligence "assessment" by those "hand-picked" analysts from three U.S. intelligence agencies – the CIA, the FBI and the NSA – not all 17 agencies that Hillary Clinton continues to insist were involved. (Obama's intelligence chiefs, DNI Clapper and CIA Director John Brennan, publicly admitted that only three agencies took part and The New York Times printed a correction saying so.)

If in fact the Steele memos were a primary basis for the Russia collusion allegations against Trump, then there may be no credible evidence at all. It could be that because the three agencies knew the dossier was dodgy that there was no substantive proof in the Jan. 6 "assessment." Even so, a summary of the Steele allegations were included in a secret appendix that then-FBI Director James Comey described to then-President-elect Trump just two weeks before his inauguration.

Five days later, after the fact of Comey's briefing was leaked to the press, the Steele dossier was published in full by the sensationalist website BuzzFeed behind the excuse that the allegations' inclusion in the classified annex of a U.S. intelligence report justified the dossier's publication regardless of doubts about its accuracy.

Russian Fingerprints

The other source of blame about Russian meddling came from the private company CrowdStrike because the DNC blocked the FBI from examining its server after a suspected hack. Within a day, CrowdStrike claimed to find Russian "fingerprints" in the metadata of a DNC opposition research document, which had been revealed by an Internet site called DCLeaks, showing Cyrillic letters and the name of the first Soviet intelligence chief. That supposedly implicated Russia.

Dmitri Alperovitch, the Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer of CrowdStrike Inc.,
leading its Intelligence, Technology and CrowdStrike Labs teams.

CrowdStrike also claimed that the alleged Russian intelligence operation was extremely sophisticated and skilled in concealing its external penetration of the server. But CrowdStrike's conclusion about Russian "fingerprints" resulted from clues that would have been left behind by extremely sloppy hackers or inserted intentionally to implicate the Russians.

CrowdStrike's credibility was further undermined when Voice of America reported on March 23, 2017, that the same software the company says it used to blame Russia for the hack wrongly concluded that Moscow also had hacked Ukrainian government howitzers on the battlefield in eastern Ukraine.

"An influential British think tank and Ukraine's military are disputing a report that the U.S. cyber-security firm CrowdStrike has used to buttress its claims of Russian hacking in the presidential election," VOA reported. Dimitri Alperovitch, a CrowdStrike co-founder, is also a senior fellow at the anti-Russian Atlantic Council think tank in Washington.

More speculation about the alleged election hack was raised with WikiLeaks' Vault 7 release, which revealed that the CIA is not beyond covering up its own hacks by leaving clues implicating others. Plus, there's the fact that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has declared again and again that WikiLeaks did not get the Democratic emails from the Russians. Buttressing Assange's denials of a Russian role, WikiLeaks associate Craig Murray, a former British ambassador to Uzbekistan, said he met a person connected to the leak during a trip to Washington last year.

And, William Binney, maybe the best mathematician to ever work at the National Security Agency, and former CIA analyst Ray McGovern have published a technical analysis of one set of Democratic email metadata showing that a transatlantic "hack" would have been impossible and that the evidence points to a likely leak by a disgruntled Democratic insider. Binney has further stated that if it were a "hack," the NSA would have been able to detect it and make the evidence known.

Fueling Neo-McCarthyism

Despite these doubts, which the U.S. mainstream media has largely ignored, Russia-gate has grown into something much more than an election story. It has unleashed a neo-McCarthyite attack on Americans who are accused of being dupes of Russia if they dare question the evidence of the Kremlin's guilt.

The Washington Post building in downtown Washington, D.C.
(Photo credit: Washington Post)

Just weeks after last November's election, The Washington Post published a front-page story touting a blacklist from an anonymous group, called PropOrNot, that alleged that 200 news sites, including Consortiumnews.com and other leading independent news sources, were either willful Russian propagandists or "useful idiots."

Last week, a new list emerged with the names of over 2,000 people, mostly Westerners, who have appeared on RT, the Russian government-financed English-language news channel. The list was part of a report entitled, "The Kremlin's Platform for 'Useful Idiots' in the West," put out by an outfit called European Values, with a long list of European funders.

Included on the list of "useful idiots" absurdly are CIA-friendly Washington Post columnist David Ignatius; David Brock, Hillary Clinton's opposition research chief; and U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres.

The report stated: "Many people in Europe and the US, including politicians and other persons of influence, continue to exhibit troubling naïveté about RT's political agenda, buying into the network's marketing ploy that it is simply an outlet for independent voices marginalised by the mainstream Western press. These 'useful idiots' remain oblivious to RT's intentions and boost its legitimacy by granting interviews on its shows and newscasts."

The intent of these lists is clear: to shut down dissenting voices who question Western foreign policy and who are usually excluded from Western corporate media. RT is often willing to provide a platform for a wider range of viewpoints, both from the left and right. American ruling interests fend off critical viewpoints by first suppressing them in corporate media and now condemning them as propaganda when they emerge on RT.

Geopolitical Risks

More ominously, the anti-Russia mania has increased chances of direct conflict between the two nuclear superpowers. The Russia-bashing rhetoric not only served the Clinton campaign, though ultimately to ill effect, but it has pushed a longstanding U.S.-led geopolitical agenda to regain control over Russia, an advantage that the U.S. enjoyed during the Yeltsin years in the 1990s.

Time magazine cover recounting how the U.S. enabled Boris Yeltsin's reelection as Russian president in 1996.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Wall Street rushed in behind Boris Yeltsin and Russian oligarchs to asset strip virtually the entire country, impoverishing the population. Amid widespread accounts of this grotesque corruption, Washington intervened in Russian politics to help get Yeltsin re-elected in 1996. The political rise of Vladimir Putin after Yeltsin resigned on New Year's Eve 1999 reversed this course, restoring Russian sovereignty over its economy and politics.

That inflamed Hillary Clinton and other American hawks whose desire was to install another Yeltsin-like figure and resume U.S. exploitation of Russia's vast natural and financial resources. To advance that cause, U.S. presidents have supported the eastward expansion of NATO and have deployed 30,000 troops on Russia's border.

In 2014, the Obama administration helped orchestrate a coup that toppled the elected government of Ukraine and installed a fiercely anti-Russian regime. The U.S. also undertook the risky policy of aiding jihadists to overthrow a secular Russian ally in Syria. The consequences have brought the world closer to nuclear annihilation than at any time since the Cuban missile crisis in 1962.

In this context, the Democratic Party-led Russia-gate offensive was intended not only to explain away Clinton's defeat but to stop Trump -- possibly via impeachment or by inflicting severe political damage -- because he had talked, insincerely it is turning out, about detente with Russia. That did not fit in well with the plan at all.

Joe Lauria is a veteran foreign-affairs journalist. He has written for the Boston Globe, the Sunday Times of London and the Wall Street Journal among other newspapers. He is the author of How I Lost By Hillary Clinton published by OR Books in June 2017. He can be reached at joelauria@gmail.com and followed on Twitter at @unjoe .

[Nov 11, 2017] Is Hillary Just the "Fall Guy" for the Intel Agencies and their Moneybags Bosses by Mike Whitney

See Wikipedia article CIA influence on public opinion . The role on Brennan probably deserves a special prosecutor and/or a Congressional commettee similar to Church Committee
The question arise: "Was hacking DNC another CIA false flag operation with the specific goal to poison US-Russian relations and using Hillary Clinton as a patsy?"
According fo church committee report: "Approximately 50 of the [Agency] assets are individual American journalists or employees of U.S. media organizations. Of these, fewer than half are "accredited" by U.S. media organizations ... The remaining individuals are non-accredited freelance contributors and media representatives abroad ... More than a dozen United States news organizations and commercial publishing houses formerly provided cover for CIA agents abroad. A few of these organizations were unaware that they provided this cover. [7] "
"Journalist Carl Bernstein , writing in an October 1977 article in the magazine Rolling Stone , claims that the Church Committee report "covered up" CIA relations with news media, and names a number of journalists whom he says worked with the CIA. [10] Like the Church Committee report, however, Bernstein does not refer to any Operation Mockingbird."
Notable quotes:
"... "Russian meddling" became the perfect rallying cry for the CIA's broader information operation (IO) that was designed to poison public opinion against "Russian aggression" and to reign in Trump's plans to normalize relations with Moscow. ..."
"... Clinton became the "fall guy" in a darker, deep-state propaganda campaign for which she is only partially responsible. ..."
"... the Steele dossier was shared with the FBI at some point in the summer of 2016 and apparently became the basis for the FBI to seek Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrants against members of Trump's campaign. ..."
"... More alarmingly, it may have formed the basis for much of the Jan. 6 intelligence "assessment" by those "hand-picked" analysts from three U.S. intelligence agencies -- the CIA, the FBI and the NSA -- not all 17 agencies that Hillary Clinton continues to insist were involved ..."
"... The article proves that the nation's premier law enforcement agency was using parts of a discredited "raw intelligence" report that was paid for by the DNC and was clearly commissioned as a part of a smear campaign -- to spy on members of the opposition party. Clearly, one could easily make the case that the FBI was abusing its extraordinary police-state powers to subvert the democratic process. ..."
"... The FBI, under James Comey, also attempted to use agent Steele for future research but abandoned the idea after parts of the dossier began to surface in the media making it politically impossible to maintain the relationship. ..."
"... The fact that the FBI was willing to build its investigation on the sensational and unverified claims in the DNC-bought-and-paid-for dossier, suggests that the real motive was not to reveal collusion between Trump and Moscow or even to uncover evidence related to the hacking claims. The real goal was to vilify Russia and derail Trump's efforts at détente. ..."
"... Steele's July report helped to prop up the threadbare "hacking" storyline that was further reinforced by the dubious cyber-forensic analysis of DNC servers performed by CrowdStrike, "a private company co-founded by a virulently anti-Putin Russian." ..."
"... Russia-gate is entirely a Democratic Party invention. Both sources of information (Crowdstrike and Steele) were chosen by members of the Democratic hierarchy (through their intermediaries) to create stories that coincided with their political objectives. Due to the obvious bias of the people who funded the operations, neither the methods nor the information can be trusted. But that's just part of the story. The bigger story relates to the role played by the nation's premier intelligence and law enforcement agencies. And that's where we see signs of institutional corruption on a truly colossal scale. ..."
"... Nov. 18: Arizona Sen. John McCain and a former assistant, David Kramer, are told about the existence of the dossier by an associate of Steele's, former British diplomat Sir Andrew Wood. Kramer travels to London later that month to meet with Steele and find out more about the dossier. Steele forwards a copy of the dossier to Fusion, Kramer and McCain. ..."
"... This is a damning admission that the Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA) that was released on January 6, and was supposed to provide rock-solid proof of Russia hacking and collusion, was built (at least, in part) on the thin gruel and specious allegations found in the sketchy "Trump dossier". Former CIA Director John Brennan has refuted this claim, but there's significant circumstantial evidence to suggest that it is true. ..."
"... On December 9, 2016, The Washington Post reported that the CIA determined that Russian hacking was conducted to boost Trump and hurt Clinton during the presidential campaign. This same theory that was propounded in the ICA report just a month later. It appears that Brennan and his "hand-picked" intelligence analysts decided to carefully comb the dossier cherry-picking the most credible allegations to weave into their dubious intelligence Assessment. So even though large sections of the dossier were scrapped, the report itself was used as the foundation for the ICA. ..."
"... It's clear that Brennan had no "information or intelligence" that would lead a reasonable man to think that anyone in Trump's entourage was colluding with Russian officials or agents. The whole story is spun from whole cloth. The disturbing implication however is that Brennan, who was an outspoken supporter of Hillary and equally harsh critic of Trump, was using the CIA's intrusive surveillance powers to spy on a rival political party in the heat of a presidential campaign. If that is not a flagrant example of subverting democracy, then what is? ..."
"... It all started with Brennan, he's the ringleader in this dodgy caper. But Brennan was not operating as a free agent pursuing his own malign political agenda, but as a strong-arm facilitator for the powerful foreign policy establishment which includes leaders from Big Oil, Wall Street, and the giant weapons manufacturers. These are the corporate mandarins who pull Brennan's chain and give Brennan his marching orders. This is how power trickles down in America. ..."
"... So while the moneytrail may lead back to the DNC and Hillary's Campaign, the roots of Russia-gate extend far beyond the politicians to the highest-ranking members of the permanent state. ..."
Nov 11, 2017 | www.unz.com

For nearly a year, Hillary Clinton failed to admit that her campaign and the Democratic National Committee had provided funding for the notorious dossier that alleged Trump colluded with Russia to win the 2016 presidential election. Then, two weeks ago, the Washington Post published a blockbuster article that proved that Clinton had been misleading the public about her Campaign's role in producing the report.

Following the article's publication, Clinton went into hiding for more than a week during which time she huddled with her political advisors to settle on a strategy for dealing with the crisis.

"Russian meddling" became the perfect rallying cry for the CIA's broader information operation (IO) that was designed to poison public opinion against "Russian aggression" and to reign in Trump's plans to normalize relations with Moscow.

The fact that the CIA had essentially extracted a credible narrative from sections of the notorious dossier, left Hillary with no other option except to play-along even after the votes had been counted. As a result, Clinton became the "fall guy" in a darker, deep-state propaganda campaign for which she is only partially responsible. Here's a little background from Joe Lauria's "must read" article "The Democratic Money Behind Russia-gate":

" the Steele dossier was shared with the FBI at some point in the summer of 2016 and apparently became the basis for the FBI to seek Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrants against members of Trump's campaign.

More alarmingly, it may have formed the basis for much of the Jan. 6 intelligence "assessment" by those "hand-picked" analysts from three U.S. intelligence agencies -- the CIA, the FBI and the NSA -- not all 17 agencies that Hillary Clinton continues to insist were involved .

If in fact the Steele memos were a primary basis for the Russia collusion allegations against Trump, then there may be no credible evidence at all." (Consortium News)

So, were "the Steele memos the primary basis for the Russia collusion allegations against Trump"? This is the pivotal question that still remains largely unanswered. As Lauria notes, the FBI did in fact use the "salacious and unverified" dossier to obtain at least one FISA warrant. This is from The Hill:

"The FBI used the dossier alleging Russian ties to President Trump's campaign associates to help convince a judge to grant a warrant to secretly monitor former campaign aide Carter Page, CNN reports.

FBI Director James Comey has cited the dossier in some of his briefings with lawmakers in recent weeks as one of the information sources used by his bureau to bolster its probe, U.S. officials briefed on the investigation told CNN." ("FBI used Trump dossier to help get warrant to monitor ex-aide: report", The Hill)

The article proves that the nation's premier law enforcement agency was using parts of a discredited "raw intelligence" report that was paid for by the DNC and was clearly commissioned as a part of a smear campaign -- to spy on members of the opposition party. Clearly, one could easily make the case that the FBI was abusing its extraordinary police-state powers to subvert the democratic process.

The FBI, under James Comey, also attempted to use agent Steele for future research but abandoned the idea after parts of the dossier began to surface in the media making it politically impossible to maintain the relationship. This is from a February article in the Washington Post:

"The former British spy who authored a controversial dossier on behalf of Donald Trump's political opponents alleging ties between Trump and Russia reached an agreement with the FBI a few weeks before the election for the bureau to pay him to continue his work, according to several people familiar with the arrangement. The agreement to compensate former MI6 agent Christopher Steele came as U.S. intelligence agencies reached a consensus that the Russians had interfered in the presidential election by orchestrating hacks of Democratic Party email accounts ..

Ultimately, the FBI did not pay Steele. Communications between the bureau and the former spy were interrupted as Steele's now-famous dossier became the subject of news stories, congressional inquiries and presidential denials, according to the people familiar with the arrangement, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter." ("FBI once planned to pay former British spy who authored controversial Trump dossier", Washington Post)

The fact that the FBI was willing to build its investigation on the sensational and unverified claims in the DNC-bought-and-paid-for dossier, suggests that the real motive was not to reveal collusion between Trump and Moscow or even to uncover evidence related to the hacking claims. The real goal was to vilify Russia and derail Trump's efforts at détente.

It's also worth noting , that Steele's earliest report implausibly alleges that the "Russian authorities had been cultivating and supporting US presidential candidate Trump for at least 5 years." (No one had any idea that Trump would run for president 5 years ago.) The report also details perverted sexual acts involving Trump and urinating prostitutes in a hotel in Moscow. (All fake, of course) The point we are trying to make, is that Steele's first report focused on corruption, perversion and blackmail, whereas, his second installment completely changed direction to cyber-espionage operations on foreign targets.

Why?

It was because, on July 22, 2016, just days before the Democratic National Convention, WikiLeaks published 20,000 emails hacked from DNC computers revealing the corrupt inner-workings of the Democratic establishment. In response, Steele decided to craft a story that would support the Dems plan to blame the Russians for the moral cesspit they-alone had created. In other words, his report was a way of "passing the buck".

Steele's July report helped to prop up the threadbare "hacking" storyline that was further reinforced by the dubious cyber-forensic analysis of DNC servers performed by CrowdStrike, "a private company co-founded by a virulently anti-Putin Russian."

The hacking theme was also aided by the deluge of unsourced, evidence-lite articles cropping up in the media, like this gem in the Washington Post:

"Russian government hackers penetrated the computer network of the Democratic National Committee and gained access to the entire database of opposition research on GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump, according to committee officials and security experts who responded to the breach.

The intruders so thoroughly compromised the DNC's system that they also were able to read all email and chat traffic, said DNC officials and the security experts.

The intrusion into the DNC was one of several targeting American political organizations. The networks of presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were also targeted by Russian spies " ("Russian government hackers penetrated DNC, stole opposition research on Trump", Washington Post)

What's remarkable about the above excerpt is that it follows the same basic approach to propaganda as nearly all the other pieces on the topic. Unlike the lead-up to the Iraq War, where journalists at the New York Times made every effort to create a believable storyline that included references to aluminum tubes, Niger uranium, mobile weapons labs, etc. The media no longer tries to support their narrative with evidence or eyewitnesses. The major media now simply tells people what they want them to think and leave it at that. Even so, it doesn't require much critical thinking to see the holes in the Russia hacking story. One merely needs to suspend judgment long enough to see that main claims all emerge from (Democratic) sources who have every reason to mislead the public. Here's an excerpt from Joe Lauria's article that sums it up perfectly:

"The two sources that originated the allegations claiming that Russia meddled in the 2016 election were both paid for by the Democratic National Committee, and in one instance also by the Clinton campaign: the Steele dossier and the CrowdStrike analysis of the DNC servers.

Think about that for a minute .

In other words, possibly all of the Russia-gate allegations, which have been taken on faith by Democratic partisans and members of the anti-Trump Resistance, trace back to claims paid for or generated by Democrats.

If for a moment one could remove the sometimes justified hatred that many people feel toward Trump, it would be impossible to avoid the impression that the scandal may have been cooked up by the DNC and the Clinton camp in league with Obama's intelligence chiefs to serve political and geopolitical aims." ("The Democratic Money Behind Russia-gate", Consortium News)

Russia-gate is entirely a Democratic Party invention. Both sources of information (Crowdstrike and Steele) were chosen by members of the Democratic hierarchy (through their intermediaries) to create stories that coincided with their political objectives. Due to the obvious bias of the people who funded the operations, neither the methods nor the information can be trusted. But that's just part of the story. The bigger story relates to the role played by the nation's premier intelligence and law enforcement agencies. And that's where we see signs of institutional corruption on a truly colossal scale.

As we noted earlier, the Clinton smear campaign would probably have ended after the votes were counted had not the intel agencies, particularly the CIA, decided the hacking story could be used to inflict more damage on Russia. It wasn't Clinton's decision to gather more information for the dossier, but others whose motives have remained largely concealed. Who are they?

According to a timeline in the Daily Caller:

November: The contract between the Democrats, Fusion and Steele ends along with the presidential campaign.

Nov. 18: Arizona Sen. John McCain and a former assistant, David Kramer, are told about the existence of the dossier by an associate of Steele's, former British diplomat Sir Andrew Wood. Kramer travels to London later that month to meet with Steele and find out more about the dossier. Steele forwards a copy of the dossier to Fusion, Kramer and McCain.

Dec. 9: McCain provides a copy of the dossier to then-FBI Director James Comey during a meeting at the latter's office.

Dec. 13: Steele writes the final memo of the dossier. It alleges that a Russian tech executive used his companies to hack into the DNC's email systems. The executive, Aleksej Gubarev, denied the allegations after the dossier was published by BuzzFeed on Jan. 10, 2017. He is suing both BuzzFeed and Steele.

Jan. 6: Comey and other intelligence community officials brief then-President-elect Trump on some of the allegations made in the dossier.

Jan. 10: CNN reports that the briefing of Trump took place four days earlier. Citing that reporting as justification, BuzzFeed publishes the dossier. (The Daily Mail)

John McCain? Is that who we're talking about? Was it McCain who paid former M16 agent Christopher Steele to add another report to the dossier? Why?

Is it that hard to imagine that a Russophobic foreign policy wonk like McCain -- who has expressed his vehement hatred for Vladimir Putin on the floor of the senate -- would hire a mud-slinging free agent like Steele to craft a story that would further demonize Russia, discourage Trump from normalizing relations with Moscow, and reinforce the theory that the Kremlin meddled in the 2016 elections?

Does that mean that McCain may have told Steele (or his intermediaries) precisely what he wanted the final draft to say? It certainly seems probable. And here's something else to mull over. This is from the Business Insider:

Steele gave the dossier to Republican Sen. John McCain. McCain then gave it to the FBI director at the time, James Comey. Comey, along with the former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and former CIA Director John Brennan, briefed both President Barack Obama and then-President elect Trump on the dossier's allegations in January.

Intelligence officials purposefully omitted the dossier from the public intelligence report they released in January about Russia's election interference because they didn't want to reveal which details they had corroborated, according to CNN." ("Mueller reportedly interviewed the author of the Trump-Russia dossier -- here's what it alleges, and how it aligned with reality", Business Insider)

This is a damning admission that the Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA) that was released on January 6, and was supposed to provide rock-solid proof of Russia hacking and collusion, was built (at least, in part) on the thin gruel and specious allegations found in the sketchy "Trump dossier". Former CIA Director John Brennan has refuted this claim, but there's significant circumstantial evidence to suggest that it is true.

On December 9, 2016, The Washington Post reported that the CIA determined that Russian hacking was conducted to boost Trump and hurt Clinton during the presidential campaign. This same theory that was propounded in the ICA report just a month later. It appears that Brennan and his "hand-picked" intelligence analysts decided to carefully comb the dossier cherry-picking the most credible allegations to weave into their dubious intelligence Assessment. So even though large sections of the dossier were scrapped, the report itself was used as the foundation for the ICA.

Brennan spearheaded the anti-Russia campaign from the get-go. As early as August 2016, Brennan was providing classified briefings to ranking members of Congress expressing his conviction that Moscow was helping Trump to win the election. The former Director offered no proof to back up his claims nor has he since then. It was also Brennan who gradually persuaded Clapper, Comey and Morrell to join his anti-Russia jihad, although all were reluctant participants at first. Were they won over by compelling secret evidence that has been been withheld from the public?

Not likely. It's more probable that Brennan was merely able to convince them that the powerful foreign policy establishment required their cooperation on an issue that would have grave impact on Washington's imperial plan for Syria, Ukraine, Central Asia and beyond?

Some readers might remember when Brennan testified before Congress way-back on May 23 and boldly stated:

BRENNAN: "I encountered and am aware of information and intelligence that revealed contacts and interactions between Russian officials and U.S. persons involved in the Trump campaign that I was concerned about because of known Russian efforts to suborn such individuals and it raised questions in my mind, again, whether or not the Russians were able to gain the cooperation of those individuals."

It's clear that Brennan had no "information or intelligence" that would lead a reasonable man to think that anyone in Trump's entourage was colluding with Russian officials or agents. The whole story is spun from whole cloth. The disturbing implication however is that Brennan, who was an outspoken supporter of Hillary and equally harsh critic of Trump, was using the CIA's intrusive surveillance powers to spy on a rival political party in the heat of a presidential campaign. If that is not a flagrant example of subverting democracy, then what is? Here's a clip from the Washington Times:

"It was then-CIA Director John O. Brennan, a close confidant of Mr. Obama's, who provided the information -- what he termed the "basis" -- for the FBI to start the counterintelligence investigation last summer .Mr. Brennan told the House Intelligence Committee on May 23 that the intelligence community was picking up tidbits on Trump associates making contacts with Russians

But he said he believed the contacts were numerous enough to alert the FBI, which began its probe into Trump associates that same July, according to previous congressional testimony from then-FBI director James B. Comey." (The Washington Times)

It all started with Brennan, he's the ringleader in this dodgy caper. But Brennan was not operating as a free agent pursuing his own malign political agenda, but as a strong-arm facilitator for the powerful foreign policy establishment which includes leaders from Big Oil, Wall Street, and the giant weapons manufacturers. These are the corporate mandarins who pull Brennan's chain and give Brennan his marching orders. This is how power trickles down in America.

So while the moneytrail may lead back to the DNC and Hillary's Campaign, the roots of Russia-gate extend far beyond the politicians to the highest-ranking members of the permanent state.

[Nov 10, 2017] Steve Keen How I Sold Out To The Putin-Soros-Murdoch Conspiracy To Destroy Western Civilization Zero Hedge

Nov 10, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com

Nov 9, 2017 6:36 PM 0 SHARES Authored by Steve Keen via RT.com,

I was delighted to find myself in the Top Ten (alright; top 15) of the European Values list of 2,326 "Useful Idiots" appearing regularly on RT shows, and thus legitimizing Vladimir Putin's attempt to destroy Western civilization as we know it.

Why delighted? Because it completes the set of conspiracies to which I can now be accused of belonging. They include:

[Nov 08, 2017] The Plot to Scapegoat Russia How the CIA and the Deep State Have Conspired to Vilify Putin by Dan Kovalik

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Kovalik's historical excursion takes in the Soviet Union. Clearly, many of the U. S. military interventions described in this valuable book wouldn't have occurred if the Soviet Union still existed. Beyond that, Kovalik says, "the Soviet Union, did wield sizable political and ideological influence in the world for some time, due to the appeal of its socialist message as well as its critical role in winning [World War] II." ..."
"... Ultimately, Kovalik sides with Martin Luther King, who remarked that, 'The US is on the wrong side of the world-wide revolution' – and with Daniel Ellsberg's clarification: 'The US is not on the wrong side; it is the wrong side.'" ..."
Jun 09, 2017 | www.amazon.com

Review " A powerful contradiction to the present US narrative of the world . . . As shown here, fake news is thriving in Washington, DC."-- Oliver Stone , Academy Award winning director and screenwriter

" The Plot to Scapegoat Russia is a beautifully written, uncommonly coherent, and very compelling treatise on the issues facing America today... a troubling indictment of where we've been and where we're headed. Moreover, this book is profoundly important , and a timely retrospective review of American foreign policy misadventures since the advent of the Cold War." -- Phillip F. Nelson , author of LBJ: The Mastermind of the JFK Assassination and LBJ: From Mastermind to "The Colossus"

" The Plot to Scapegoat Russia underscores how the CIA's infiltration and shaping of the media, which began in the 1950s, successfully continues today. A very worthwhile account for anyone who wants to understand how 'reality' is manufactured, while 'real truth' is murdered and buried." -- Peter Janney , author of Mary's Mosaic: The CIA Conspiracy to Murder John F. Kennedy, Mary Pinchot Meyer, and Their Vision for World Peace

"At a time when the U.S. military budget is again soaring to enrich the oligarchs, this timely and thought-provoking book turns Orwellian 'double-think' on its head in a cogent analysis of what's really behind all the saber-rattling against Russia. In a scholarly but also deeply personal and fluidly written work , Dan Kovalik pulls no punches in dissecting the history of how America has justified its own imperialistic aims through the Cold War era and right up to the current anti-Putin hysteria." -- Dick Russell , New York Times bestselling author of Horsemen of the Apocalypse: The Men Who Are Destroying Life on Earth and What It Means to Our Children

" The Plot to Scapegoat Russia confronts the timeliest of subjects, the effort to resuscitate the Cold War by blaming Russian president Vladimir Putin for interfering in the 2016 presidential campaign on behalf of Donald Trump, an effort pursued by CIA and the Democratic Party working in tandem. Kovalik establishes... that not a scintilla of evidence has emerged to grant credibility to this self-serving fantasy... [and he] deftly eviscerates the mainstream press . Reading [this book] will be salutary, illuminating and more than instructive ." -- Joan Mellen , author of Faustian Bargains: Lyndon Johnson and Mac Wallace in the Robber Baron Culture of Texas

William T. Whitney Jr on May 28, 2017

Review of "The Plot to Scapegoat Russia"

Beating up on Russia; history tells why
By William T. Whitney Jr. .

Lawyer and human rights activist Dan Kovalik has written a valuable book. He looked at a recent U. S. political development in terms of history and then skewered it. His new book, "The Plot to Scapegoat Russia," looks at mounting assaults against Russia that increased during the Obama administration and that spokespersons for the Democratic Party, among others, are promoting.

The CIA, he claims, without going into specifics, is engaged in anti-Russian activities. For Kovalik, "the CIA is a nefarious, criminal organization which often misleads the American public and government into wars and misadventures."

Kovalik devotes much of his book to what he regards as precedents for the current dark turn in U.S. – Russian relations. Toward that end, he surveys the history of U.S. foreign interventions since World War II. He confirms that the United States government is indeed habituated to aggressive adventurism abroad. That's something many readers already know, but Kovalik contributes significantly by establishing that U.S. hostility against Russia ranks as a chapter in that long story.

But what's the motivation for military assaults and destabilizing projects? And, generally, why all the wars? The author's historical survey provides answers. He finds that the scenarios he describes are connected. Treating them as a whole, he gives them weight and thus provides an intellectual weapon for the anti-imperialist cause. Kovalik, putting history to work, moves from the issue of U.S.-Russian antagonism to the more over-arching problem of threats to human survival. That's his major contribution.

His highly-recommended book offers facts and analyses so encompassing as to belie its small size. The writing is clear, evocative, and eminently readable; his narrative is that of a story – teller. Along the way, as a side benefit, Kovalik recalls the causes and outrage that fired up activists who were his contemporaries.

He testifies to a new Cold War. Doing so, he argues that the anti-communist rational for the earlier Cold War was a cover for something else, a pretext. In his words: "the Cold War, at least from the vantage point of the US, had little to do with fighting 'Communism,' and more to do with making the world safe for corporate plunder." Once more Russia is an enemy of the United States, but now it's a capitalist country.

That's mysterious; explanation is in order. Readers, however, may be hungry to know about the "plot" advertised in the book's title. We recommend patience. History and its recurring patterns come first for this author. They enable him to account for U. S. – Russian relations that are contradictory and, most importantly, for the U.S. propensity for war-making. After that he tells about a plot.

Kovalik describes how, very early, reports of CIA machinations from former agents of the spy organization expanded his political awareness, as did a trip to Nicaragua. There he gained first-hand knowledge of CIA atrocities, of deaths and destruction at the hands of the Contras, anti- Sandinista paramilitaries backed by the CIA. His book goes on fully and dramatically to describe murders and chaos orchestrated by the United States and/or the CIA in El Salvador, Colombia, and in the South America of Operation Condor. Kovalic discusses the U.S. war in Vietnam, occupation and war in Korea, nuclear bombs dropped on Japan, nuclear testing and dying in the Marshall Islands, and the CIA's recruitment of the anti-Soviet Mujahedeen in Afghan¬istan. He recounts U. S. - instigated coups in Iran, 1953; Guatemala, 1954; and Chile, 1973.

These projects were about keeping "the world safe from the threat of Soviet totalitarianism" – in other words, anti-communism. But then the USSR disappeared, and the search was on for a new pretext. The Clinton administration evoked "humanitarian intervention," and continued the intrusions: in Ruanda, Democratic Republic of the Congo (on behalf of "US mining interests"), Yugoslavia, and Libya.

In Kovalik's telling, the U. S. government eventually settled upon the notion of "American exceptionalism," that is to say, "the belief that the US is a uniquely benign actor in the world, spreading peace and democracy." Thus armed, the U. S. military exported terror to Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Yemen (via its Saudi Arabian proxy), and Honduras, through a U. S. facilitated military coup. The book catalogues other episodes, other places. Along the way on his excursion, Kovalik contrasts U. S. pretensions and brutal deeds with the relatively benign nature of alleged Russian outrages.

Good relations with Russia, he says, would be "simply bad for business, in particular the business of war which so profoundly undergirds the US economy As of 2015, the US had at least 800 military bases in over 70 nations, while Britain, France and Russia had only 30 military bases combined." And, "under Obama alone, the US had Special Forces deployed in about 138 countries." Further, "The US's outsized military exists not only to ensure the US's quite unjust share of the world's riches, but also to ensure that those riches are not shared with the poor huddled masses in this country."

Kovalik highlights the disaster that overwhelmed Russia as a fledgling capitalist nation: life expectancy plummeted, the poverty rate was 75 percent, and investments fell by 80 percent. National pride was in the cellar, the more so after the United States backed away from Secretary of State Baker's 1991 promise that NATO would never move east, after the United States attacked Russia's ally Serbia, and after the United States, rejecting Russian priorities, attacked Iraq in 2003 and Libya in 2011.

The author rebuts U. S. claims that Russian democracy has failed and that Putin over-reached in Ukraine. He praises Putin's attempts to cooperate with the United States in Syria. The United States has abused peoples the world over, he insists, and suffers from a "severe democracy deficit."

By the time he is discussing current U. S. – Russian relations, readers have been primed never to expect U.S. imperialism to give Russia a break. The author's instructional course has taken effect, or should have done so. If readers aren't aware of what the U. S. government has been up to, the author is not to blame.

Kovalik condemns the Obama administration and particularly Secretary of State Hilary Clinton for intensifying the U. S. campaign against Russia. He extends his criticism to the Democratic Party and the media. The theme of anti – Russian scheming by the CIA comes up briefly in the book in connection with hacking attributed to Russia and with WikiLeaks revelations about the Democratic Party. Nothing is said about possible interaction between personnel of the Trump campaign and Russian officials.

Kovalik's historical excursion takes in the Soviet Union. Clearly, many of the U. S. military interventions described in this valuable book wouldn't have occurred if the Soviet Union still existed. Beyond that, Kovalik says, "the Soviet Union, did wield sizable political and ideological influence in the world for some time, due to the appeal of its socialist message as well as its critical role in winning [World War] II."

Kovalik acknowledges "periods of great repression." He adds, however, that "the Russian Revolution and the USSR delivered on many of their promises, and against great odds. . In any case, the goals of the Russian Revolution-equality, worker control of the economy, universal health care and social security- were laudable ones." And, "One of the reasons that the West continues to dance on the grave of the Soviet Union, and to emphasize the worst parts of that society and downplay its achievements, is to make sure that, as the world-wide economy worsens, and as the suffering of work¬ing people around the world deepens, they don't get any notions in their head to organize some new socialist revolution with such ideals."

Ultimately, Kovalik sides with Martin Luther King, who remarked that, 'The US is on the wrong side of the world-wide revolution' – and with Daniel Ellsberg's clarification: 'The US is not on the wrong side; it is the wrong side.'"

Drew Hunkins on May 30, 2017

Dissects the dangerous nonsense

The most important non-fiction work thus far of 2017 is upon us. Finally the book has arrived that cuts through all the hype, deceit, misinformation and disconcerting groupthink.

Kovalik structures TPTSR by starting at the most logical place -- the history of unilateral Washington aggression across the globe, from the overthrow of Mossadegh in Iran through the Washington intell agencies' orchestrated coups and proxy wars in Latin America.

This exposition of historical Washington empire building provides a solid foundation when he ultimately addresses why the predatory military-industrial-media-complex is incessantly fomenting this dangerous contemporary Russophobic campaign. The book nails it by presenting in a crystal clear manner the two exact reasons why the demonization of Moscow never seems to subside: 1.) The corporate and Washington military empire builders are deeply threatened by the potential loss of certain markets and a sovereign Russia that desires a say over the diplomatic and military maneuvers on its borders, especially its Western region. 2.) Most importantly, the MIC/national-security state absolutely MUST HAVE a villain (real or imagined, it doesn't matter) in order to justify the trillion dollar budget and careerism that seeps into every pore of the U.S. politico-economic system. This Pentagon system of pseudo economic Keynesianism could potentially lead to nuclear war. The giant house of cards could doom us all.

D. Gordon on June 1, 2017

This book is an amazing contribution. A veritable primer on U

This book is an amazing contribution. A veritable primer on U.S. foreign policy, this book is part memoir, part history, and part analysis of current events. Kovalik makes a compelling case that U.S. policies--not Russia--are the biggest danger to world peace and human rights. The book traces Kovalik's own awakening and transformation from his conservative religious-minded youth to one of our most trenchant critics of U.S. foreign policy writing today. And he does it in his own inimitable, witty, readable, and humane style.

[Nov 08, 2017] Can Putin Survive by George Friedman

It is interesting to access George Friedman after two and half years since it was made. Looks like he is a bad forcaster.
The Us plot to move Ukraine to the "Baltic states model" was the major geopolitical victory of the Obama administration. and the EU has similar goals, so we can talk about joint invasion into traditional Russian geopolitical space by the USA and EU.
Notable quotes:
"... This week, we revisit a Geopolitical Weekly first published in July 2014 that explored whether Russian President Vladimir Putin could hold on to power despite his miscalculations in Ukraine, a topic that returned to prominence with his recent temporary absence from public view . While Putin has since reappeared, the issues highlighted by his disappearing act persist. ..."
"... Ukraine is, of course, the place to start. The country is vital to Russia as a buffer against the West and as a route for delivering energy to Europe, which is the foundation of the Russian economy. ..."
"... Part of the reason Putin had replaced Boris Yeltsin in 2000 was Yeltsin's performance during the Kosovo war. Russia was allied with the Serbs and had not wanted NATO to launch a war against Serbia. Russian wishes were disregarded. The Russian views simply didn't matter to the West. Still, when the air war failed to force Belgrade's capitulation, the Russians negotiated a settlement that allowed U.S. and other NATO troops to enter and administer Kosovo. As part of that settlement, Russian troops were promised a significant part in peacekeeping in Kosovo. But the Russians were never allowed to take up that role, and Yeltsin proved unable to respond to the insult. ..."
"... Putin also replaced Yeltsin because of the disastrous state of the Russian economy. Though Russia had always been poor, there was a pervasive sense that it been a force to be reckoned with in international affairs. Under Yeltsin, however, Russia had become even poorer and was now held in contempt in international affairs. Putin had to deal with both issues. ..."
"... The breaking point came in Ukraine during the Orange Revolution of 2004. Yanukovich was elected president that year under dubious circumstances, but demonstrators forced him to submit to a second election. He lost, and a pro-Western government took office. At that time, Putin accused the CIA and other Western intelligence agencies of having organized the demonstrations. Fairly publicly, this was the point when Putin became convinced that the West intended to destroy the Russian Federation, sending it the way of the Soviet Union. ..."
"... The Ukrainian crisis has made things worse. Capital flight from Russia in the first six months stood at $76 billion, compared to $63 billion for all of 2013. Foreign direct investment fell 50 percent in the first half of 2014 compared to the same period in 2013. And all this happened in spite of oil prices remaining higher than $100 per barrel. ..."
"... The Politburo model is designed for a leader to build coalitions among factions. Putin has been very good at doing that, but then he has been very successful at all the things he has done until now. His ability to hold things together declines as trust in his abilities declines and various factions concerned about the consequences of remaining closely tied to a failing leader start to maneuver. Like Khrushchev, who was failing in economic and foreign policy, Putin could have his colleagues remove him. ..."
"... Ultimately, politicians who miscalculate and mismanage tend not to survive. Putin miscalculated in Ukraine, failing to anticipate the fall of an ally, failing to respond effectively and then stumbling badly in trying to recoup. His management of the economy has not been exemplary of late either, to say the least. He has colleagues who believe they could do a better job, and now there are important people in Europe who would be glad to see him go. He must reverse this tide rapidly, or he may be replaced. ..."
Mar 24, 2015 | Stratfor
Editor's Note: This week, we revisit a Geopolitical Weekly first published in July 2014 that explored whether Russian President Vladimir Putin could hold on to power despite his miscalculations in Ukraine, a topic that returned to prominence with his recent temporary absence from public view. While Putin has since reappeared, the issues highlighted by his disappearing act persist.

There is a general view that Vladimir Putin governs the Russian Federation as a dictator, that he has defeated and intimidated his opponents and that he has marshaled a powerful threat to surrounding countries. This is a reasonable view, but perhaps it should be re-evaluated in the context of recent events.

Ukraine and the Bid to Reverse Russia's Decline

Ukraine is, of course, the place to start. The country is vital to Russia as a buffer against the West and as a route for delivering energy to Europe, which is the foundation of the Russian economy. On Jan. 1, Ukraine's president was Viktor Yanukovich, generally regarded as favorably inclined to Russia. Given the complexity of Ukrainian society and politics, it would be unreasonable to say Ukraine under him was merely a Russian puppet. But it is fair to say that under Yanukovich and his supporters, fundamental Russian interests in Ukraine were secure.

This was extremely important to Putin. Part of the reason Putin had replaced Boris Yeltsin in 2000 was Yeltsin's performance during the Kosovo war. Russia was allied with the Serbs and had not wanted NATO to launch a war against Serbia. Russian wishes were disregarded. The Russian views simply didn't matter to the West. Still, when the air war failed to force Belgrade's capitulation, the Russians negotiated a settlement that allowed U.S. and other NATO troops to enter and administer Kosovo. As part of that settlement, Russian troops were promised a significant part in peacekeeping in Kosovo. But the Russians were never allowed to take up that role, and Yeltsin proved unable to respond to the insult.

Putin also replaced Yeltsin because of the disastrous state of the Russian economy. Though Russia had always been poor, there was a pervasive sense that it been a force to be reckoned with in international affairs. Under Yeltsin, however, Russia had become even poorer and was now held in contempt in international affairs. Putin had to deal with both issues. He took a long time before moving to recreate Russian power, though he said early on that the fall of the Soviet Union had been the greatest geopolitical disaster of the 20th century. This did not mean he wanted to resurrect the Soviet Union in its failed form, but rather that he wanted Russian power to be taken seriously again, and he wanted to protect and enhance Russian national interests.

The breaking point came in Ukraine during the Orange Revolution of 2004. Yanukovich was elected president that year under dubious circumstances, but demonstrators forced him to submit to a second election. He lost, and a pro-Western government took office. At that time, Putin accused the CIA and other Western intelligence agencies of having organized the demonstrations. Fairly publicly, this was the point when Putin became convinced that the West intended to destroy the Russian Federation, sending it the way of the Soviet Union. For him, Ukraine's importance to Russia was self-evident. He therefore believed that the CIA organized the demonstration to put Russia in a dangerous position, and that the only reason for this was the overarching desire to cripple or destroy Russia. Following the Kosovo affair, Putin publicly moved from suspicion to hostility to the West.

The Russians worked from 2004 to 2010 to undo the Orange Revolution. They worked to rebuild the Russian military, focus their intelligence apparatus and use whatever economic influence they had to reshape their relationship with Ukraine. If they couldn't control Ukraine, they did not want it to be controlled by the United States and Europe. This was, of course, not their only international interest, but it was the pivotal one.

Russia's invasion of Georgia had more to do with Ukraine than it had to do with the Caucasus. At the time, the United States was still bogged down in Iraq and Afghanistan. While Washington had no formal obligation to Georgia, there were close ties and implicit guarantees. The invasion of Georgia was designed to do two things. The first was to show the region that the Russian military, which had been in shambles in 2000, was able to act decisively in 2008. The second was to demonstrate to the region, and particularly to Kiev, that American guarantees, explicit or implicit, had no value. In 2010, Yanukovich was elected president of Ukraine, reversing the Orange Revolution and limiting Western influence in the country.

Recognizing the rift that was developing with Russia and the general trend against the United States in the region, the Obama administration tried to recreate older models of relationships when Hillary Clinton presented Putin with a "reset" button in 2009. But Washington wanted to restore the relationship in place during what Putin regarded as the "bad old days." He naturally had no interest in such a reset. Instead, he saw the United States as having adopted a defensive posture, and he intended to exploit his advantage.

One place he did so was in Europe, using EU dependence on Russian energy to grow closer to the Continent, particularly Germany. But his high point came during the Syrian affair, when the Obama administration threatened airstrikes after Damascus used chemical weapons only to back off from its threat. The Russians aggressively opposed Obama's move, proposing a process of negotiations instead. The Russians emerged from the crisis appearing decisive and capable, the United States indecisive and feckless. Russian power accordingly appeared on the rise, and in spite of a weakening economy, this boosted Putin's standing.

The Tide Turns Against Putin

Events in Ukraine this year, by contrast, have proved devastating to Putin. In January, Russia dominated Ukraine. By February, Yanukovich had fled the country and a pro-Western government had taken power. The general uprising against Kiev that Putin had been expecting in eastern Ukraine after Yanukovich's ouster never happened. Meanwhile, the Kiev government, with Western advisers, implanted itself more firmly. By July, the Russians controlled only small parts of Ukraine. These included Crimea, where the Russians had always held overwhelming military force by virtue of treaty, and a triangle of territory from Donetsk to Luhansk to Severodonetsk, where a small number of insurgents apparently supported by Russian special operations forces controlled a dozen or so towns.

If no Ukrainian uprising occurred, Putin's strategy was to allow the government in Kiev to unravel of its own accord and to split the United States from Europe by exploiting Russia's strong trade and energy ties with the Continent. And this is where the crash of the Malaysia Airlines jet is crucial. If it turns out - as appears to be the case - that Russia supplied air defense systems to the separatists and sent crews to man them (since operating those systems requires extensive training), Russia could be held responsible for shooting down the plane. And this means Moscow's ability to divide the Europeans from the Americans would decline. Putin then moves from being an effective, sophisticated ruler who ruthlessly uses power to being a dangerous incompetent supporting a hopeless insurrection with wholly inappropriate weapons. And the West, no matter how opposed some countries might be to a split with Putin, must come to grips with how effective and rational he really is.

Meanwhile, Putin must consider the fate of his predecessors. Nikita Khrushchev returned from vacation in October 1964 to find himself replaced by his protege, Leonid Brezhnev, and facing charges of, among other things, "harebrained scheming." Khrushchev had recently been humiliated in the Cuban missile crisis. This plus his failure to move the economy forward after about a decade in power saw his closest colleagues "retire" him. A massive setback in foreign affairs and economic failures had resulted in an apparently unassailable figure being deposed.

Russia's economic situation is nowhere near as catastrophic as it was under Khrushchev or Yeltsin, but it has deteriorated substantially recently, and perhaps more important, has failed to meet expectations. After recovering from the 2008 crisis, Russia has seen several years of declining gross domestic product growth rates, and its central bank is forecasting zero growth this year. Given current pressures, we would guess the Russian economy will slide into recession sometime in 2014. The debt levels of regional governments have doubled in the past four years, and several regions are close to bankruptcy. Moreover, some metals and mining firms are facing bankruptcy. The Ukrainian crisis has made things worse. Capital flight from Russia in the first six months stood at $76 billion, compared to $63 billion for all of 2013. Foreign direct investment fell 50 percent in the first half of 2014 compared to the same period in 2013. And all this happened in spite of oil prices remaining higher than $100 per barrel.

Putin's popularity at home soared after the successful Sochi Winter Olympics and after the Western media made him look like the aggressor in Crimea. He has, after all, built his reputation on being tough and aggressive. But as the reality of the situation in Ukraine becomes more obvious, the great victory will be seen as covering a retreat coming at a time of serious economic problems. For many leaders, the events in Ukraine would not represent such an immense challenge. But Putin has built his image on a tough foreign policy, and the economy meant his ratings were not very high before Ukraine.

Imagining Russia After Putin

In the sort of regime that Putin has helped craft, the democratic process may not be the key to understanding what will happen next. Putin has restored Soviet elements to the structure of the government, even using the term "Politburo" for his inner Cabinets. These are all men of his choosing, of course, and so one might assume they would be loyal to him. But in the Soviet-style Politburo, close colleagues were frequently the most feared.

The Politburo model is designed for a leader to build coalitions among factions. Putin has been very good at doing that, but then he has been very successful at all the things he has done until now. His ability to hold things together declines as trust in his abilities declines and various factions concerned about the consequences of remaining closely tied to a failing leader start to maneuver. Like Khrushchev, who was failing in economic and foreign policy, Putin could have his colleagues remove him.

It is difficult to know how a succession crisis would play out, given that the constitutional process of succession exists alongside the informal government Putin has created. From a democratic standpoint, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin are as popular as Putin is, and I suspect they both will become more popular in time. In a Soviet-style struggle, Chief of Staff Sergei Ivanov and Security Council Chief Nicolai Patryushev would be possible contenders. But there are others. Who, after all, expected the emergence of Mikhail Gorbachev?

Ultimately, politicians who miscalculate and mismanage tend not to survive. Putin miscalculated in Ukraine, failing to anticipate the fall of an ally, failing to respond effectively and then stumbling badly in trying to recoup. His management of the economy has not been exemplary of late either, to say the least. He has colleagues who believe they could do a better job, and now there are important people in Europe who would be glad to see him go. He must reverse this tide rapidly, or he may be replaced.

Putin is far from finished. But he has governed for 14 years counting the time Dmitri Medvedev was officially in charge, and that is a long time. He may well regain his footing, but as things stand at the moment, I would expect quiet thoughts to be stirring in his colleagues' minds. Putin himself must be re-examining his options daily. Retreating in the face of the West and accepting the status quo in Ukraine would be difficult, given that the Kosovo issue that helped propel him to power and given what he has said about Ukraine over the years. But the current situation cannot sustain itself. The wild card in this situation is that if Putin finds himself in serious political trouble, he might become more rather than less aggressive. Whether Putin is in real trouble is not something I can be certain of, but too many things have gone wrong for him lately for me not to consider the possibility. And as in any political crisis, more and more extreme options are contemplated if the situation deteriorates.

Those who think that Putin is both the most repressive and aggressive Russian leader imaginable should bear in mind that this is far from the case. Lenin, for example, was fearsome. But Stalin was much worse. There may similarly come a time when the world looks at the Putin era as a time of liberality. For if the struggle by Putin to survive, and by his challengers to displace him, becomes more intense, the willingness of all to become more brutal might well increase.

[Nov 08, 2017] More 'Fake News,' Alas, From the New York Times The American Conservative by Andrew J. Bacevich

Notable quotes:
"... Third, Manafort's efforts mattered bigly. In 2010, he helped Victor F. Yanukovych become president of Ukraine. An unquestionably nasty piece of work, Yanukovych was, according to Farkas, "Putin's man in Kiev." Yet like it or not, he came to power as the result of democratic election. In 2013, Yanukovych opted against joining the EU, which along with NATO, had, in Farkas's words, "experienced a burst of membership expansion" right up to Russia's own borders. ..."
"... In response to Yanukovych's action, "the Ukrainian people," that is, the enlightened ones, "took to the streets," forcing him to flee the country. Rather than bowing to the expressed will of the people, however, Russia's Vladimir Putin "instigated a separatist movement" in eastern Ukraine, thereby triggering "a war between Russia and Ukraine that continues to this day." ..."
"... To accept Farkas's account as truthful, one would necessarily conclude that as Manafort was hijacking history, the United States remained quietly on the sidelines, an innocent bystander sending prayers heavenward in hopes that freedom and democracy might everywhere prevail ..."
"... Furthermore, Russia was not alone in its meddling. The United States has been equally guilty. When "the Ukrainian people took to the streets," as Farkas puts it, the State Department and CIA were behind the scenes vigorously pulling strings. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland believed it was incumbent upon the United States to decide who should govern Ukraine. ("Yats is the guy," she said on a leaked call). Nuland would brook no interference from allies slow to follow Washington's lead. ("F–k the EU," she told the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine.) ..."
"... That Ukraine is, as Farkas correctly states, a torn country, did not give Nuland pause. Since the end of the Cold War, U.S. policymakers have assigned to themselves a magical ability to repair such tears and to make broken countries whole. The results of their labors are amply on display everywhere from Somalia and Haiti to Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya. Now add Ukraine to that sorry list. ..."
"... Even so, can't we at least assume Nuland's motives were morally superior to Putin's? After all, President Putin is clearly a thug whereas Nuland is an estimable product of the American foreign policy establishment. She's married to Robert Kagan, for heaven's sake. ..."
"... This is why we should disband politically oriented NGO's. In essence, a country is only a democracy if it is pro-U.S. Resistance is futile. Meddling at this level will only bring about more conflict, instability and military obligations will follow. It is good to be king but it is also quite expensive and ultimately ruinous. ..."
"... Imperialism rules other peoples against their will, necessitating for its survival the lessening of democratic accountability at home, too, since it lessens the importance of citizens' own concerns, also requiring for its warmaking security keeping voters in the dark. ..."
"... Make that, More 'Fake News,' Of Course From the New York Times. Saturated with Fake News of various manifestations, the NY Times and its rancid analog Washington Post on the other end of the Crony-Elite NY-DC axis are unreadable. ..."
"... Given a ham-fisted EU run by Elite hacks in Brussels that is white washing Europe's Christian legacy, mandating overbearing economic and social controls and absorbing millions of net negative migrants, the Czechs, Poles, Hungarians and Balts seem to be having second thoughts. BTW, The Russians will not and do not want to invade those countries. As the EU spins out of control and the One Belt One Road initiative develops, Russia only needs to ask them what direction they want to face in the future. ..."
"... So, having said that, on foreign policy they, all newspapers and the vast majority of magazines, are war-peddling neo-con supporters. ..."
"... Do not buy any major newspaper. Let them wither away and, it wasn't fake spun 'news' we have been getting only this year: fake agenda driven bull has been going on for decades. Go to the internet and overseas for news think what I said over and you will see ..."
"... All this social, economic and political mess is the result of deregulation in the economic, social, political spheres. The effects of those deregulations are now quite obvious in: economy, society, morality and politics that are already corrupted to the core, but the corruption is not stopping there, it is consuming everything else on its way. There is no end to it, and what is even more surprising is that people want even more of all kinds of deregulations etc. ..."
"... Wouldn't it be more logical to bring back responsibility, moral standards and decency to politics, society and economy etc? What I now see in media is the total lack of any ideas on how to correct the obvious, but instead everybody is spinning his/her lies to make them more believable to the yet unconverted. This is pure relativism and sophistry and it destroys not only the USA, but the West as well. ..."
"... If an opinion piece in NYT or other MSM blatantly distorts the facts, then it belongs to the category of "fake news." Which should probably be called "malicious rumors." So the defense of some commenters that you can blatantly lie in opinion pieces (the right NYT exercised to the full extent in this particular example and for which Bacevich criticized them) is wrong. Anti-Russian witch hunt in NYT and other MSM destroys the credibility of the USA version of neoliberalism as well as the USA foreign policy. Along with Trump election, I view it as a symptom of the crisis of neoliberalism for which the US elite is unable to find a more suitable answer than scapegoating. Also the fact that Nuland is married to neocon warmonger Kagan is a material fact. ..."
Nov 08, 2017 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Disregarding President Trump's insistent claim that the establishment press propagates "fake news" requires a constant effort -- especially when a prestigious outlet like the New York Times allows itself to be used for blatantly fraudulent purposes.

I cherish the First Amendment. Mark me down as favoring journalism that is loud, lively, and confrontational. When members of the media snooze -- falling for fictitious claims about Saddam's WMD program or Gaddafi's genocidal intentions, for example -- we all lose.

So the recent decision by Times editors to publish an op-ed regarding Paul Manafort's involvement in Ukraine is disturbing. That the Times is keen to bring down Donald Trump is no doubt the case. Yet if efforts to do so entail grotesque distortions of U.S. policy before Trump, then we are courting real trouble. Put simply, ousting Trump should not come at the cost of whitewashing the follies that contributed to Trump's rise in the first place.

The offending Times op-ed, the handiwork of Evelyn N. Farkas, appears under the title "With Manafort, It Really Is About Russia, Not Ukraine." During the Obama administration, Farkas served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia, Ukraine, Eurasia, and Mess Kit Repair. Okay, I added that last bit, but it does seem like quite an expansive charter for a mere deputy assistant secretary.

The story Farkas tells goes like this.

First, from the moment it achieved independence in 1991, Ukraine was a divided nation, "torn between Western Europe and Russia." Ukrainians in the country's western precincts wanted to join the European Union and NATO. Those further to east "oriented themselves toward Russia, which exerted maximum influence to keep Ukraine closely aligned." In one camp were enlightened Ukrainians. In the other camp, the unenlightened.

Second, Manafort's involvement in this intra-Ukrainian dispute was -- shockingly -- never about "advanc[ing] the interests of democracy, Western Europe or the United States." Manafort's motives were strictly venal. In what Farkas describes as a "standoff between democracy and autocracy," he threw in with the autocrats, thereby raking in millions.

Third, Manafort's efforts mattered bigly. In 2010, he helped Victor F. Yanukovych become president of Ukraine. An unquestionably nasty piece of work, Yanukovych was, according to Farkas, "Putin's man in Kiev." Yet like it or not, he came to power as the result of democratic election. In 2013, Yanukovych opted against joining the EU, which along with NATO, had, in Farkas's words, "experienced a burst of membership expansion" right up to Russia's own borders.

In response to Yanukovych's action, "the Ukrainian people," that is, the enlightened ones, "took to the streets," forcing him to flee the country. Rather than bowing to the expressed will of the people, however, Russia's Vladimir Putin "instigated a separatist movement" in eastern Ukraine, thereby triggering "a war between Russia and Ukraine that continues to this day."

To accept Farkas's account as truthful, one would necessarily conclude that as Manafort was hijacking history, the United States remained quietly on the sidelines, an innocent bystander sending prayers heavenward in hopes that freedom and democracy might everywhere prevail .

Such was hardly the case, however. One need not be a Putin apologist to note that the United States was itself engaged in a program of instigation, one that ultimately induced a hostile -- but arguably defensive -- Russian response.

In the wake of the Cold War, the EU and NATO did not experience a "burst" of expansion, a formulation suggesting joyous spontaneity. Rather, with Washington's enthusiastic support, the West embarked upon a deliberate eastward march at the Kremlin's expense, an undertaking made possible by (and intended to exploit) Russia's weakened state. In football, it's called piling on.

That this project worked to the benefit of Czechs, Poles, Hungarians, the Baltic Republics, and others is very much the case. On that score, it is to be applauded.

That at some point a resentful Russia would push back was all but certain. Indeed, more than a few Western observers had warned against such a response.

The proposed incorporation of Ukraine into NATO brought matters to a head. For Putin, this was an unacceptable prospect. He acted as would any U.S. president contemplating the absorption of a near neighbor into hostile bloc of nations. Indeed, he acted much as had Dwight D. Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy when they assessed the implications of Cuba joining the Soviet bloc.

That doesn't justify or excuse Putin's meddling in Ukraine. Yet it suggests an explanation for Russian behavior other than the bitterness of an ex-KGB colonel still with his shorts in a knot over losing the Cold War. Russia has an obvious and compelling interest in who controls Ukraine, even if few in Washington or in the editorial offices of the New York Times will acknowledge that reality.

Furthermore, Russia was not alone in its meddling. The United States has been equally guilty. When "the Ukrainian people took to the streets," as Farkas puts it, the State Department and CIA were behind the scenes vigorously pulling strings. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland believed it was incumbent upon the United States to decide who should govern Ukraine. ("Yats is the guy," she said on a leaked call). Nuland would brook no interference from allies slow to follow Washington's lead. ("F–k the EU," she told the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine.)

That Ukraine is, as Farkas correctly states, a torn country, did not give Nuland pause. Since the end of the Cold War, U.S. policymakers have assigned to themselves a magical ability to repair such tears and to make broken countries whole. The results of their labors are amply on display everywhere from Somalia and Haiti to Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya. Now add Ukraine to that sorry list.

Even so, can't we at least assume Nuland's motives were morally superior to Putin's? After all, President Putin is clearly a thug whereas Nuland is an estimable product of the American foreign policy establishment. She's married to Robert Kagan, for heaven's sake.

Persuade yourself that the United States is all about democracy promotion, as Farkas appears to believe, and the answer to that question is clearly yes. Alas, the record of American statecraft stretching over decades provides an abundance of contrary evidence. In practice, the United States supports democracy only when it finds it convenient to do so. Should circumstances require, it unhesitatingly befriends despots, especially rich ones that pay cash while purchasing American weaponry.

Yanukovych was Putin's man, "and therefore, indirectly, so was Mr. Manafort," Farkas concludes. All that now remains is to determine "the extent to which Mr. Manafort was Putin's man in Washington." For Farkas, the self-evident answer to that question cannot come too soon.

As to whether Russia -- or any other great power -- might have legitimate security interests that the United States would do well to respect, that's not a matter worth bothering about. Thus does the imperative of ousting Trump eclipse the need to confront the pretensions and the hubris that helped make Trump possible.

Andrew Bacevich is writer-at-large at The American Conservative

John Fargo , says: November 7, 2017 at 11:17 pm

This is why the term "fake news" is so harmful and should not be used by media outlets. The use of "bad journalism" would be much more useful as it forces the claimants to justify their reasons for doing so.
"Fake news" is just a dog whistle.
William Dalton , says: November 8, 2017 at 12:02 am
Has it not occurred to the foreign policy establishment in Washington that it is more in America's national interests for Ukraine to remain in Moscow's orbit, so as to strengthen U.S.-Russian relations, not exacerbate tensions, rather than to pull them into the EU, or, God forbid, NATO? Isn't this what any of the seasoned experts at Foggy Bottom would tell you? Why aren't they doing so?
Tiktaalik , says: November 8, 2017 at 2:49 am
Two comments in order

1) Yanukovich won in 2004 as well and the election results were hijacked by 'Maidan'

2) Yanukovich wasn't Putin man back in 2010. As a matter of fact, he and his party actively promoted EU integration deal, until they read its actual conditions. After that they backtracked and rushed to Putin for a support.

So it was classical case of sitting on two chairs simultaneously.

JonB , says: November 8, 2017 at 5:39 am
Completely agree with John Fargo. "Fake News" should be reserved for deliberate falsehoods published knowingly. This NYT op-ed amounts to "an interpretation of history Bacevich doesn't agree with." I may not agree with it either – but it's not like claiming that the Vegas shooter was anti-Trump, or creating a Facebook account for a non-existent person or organization.
Nolan , says: November 8, 2017 at 6:42 am
Mr Fargo: Disagree. "Bad journalism" implies the author is lazy yet innocent in their way. "Fake news" is more about narrative control and manipulation of the reader through reinvention or exaggeration, et cetera. Calling articles and outlets fake news is more accurate and levies much more weight against the lies and deceit than simply accusing someone or thing of bad journalism.
Christian Chuba , says: November 8, 2017 at 6:54 am
This is why we should disband politically oriented NGO's. In essence, a country is only a democracy if it is pro-U.S. Resistance is futile. Meddling at this level will only bring about more conflict, instability and military obligations will follow. It is good to be king but it is also quite expensive and ultimately ruinous.
Fran Macadam , says: November 8, 2017 at 7:30 am
If it were all about democracy promotion, they wouldn't also be so anxious to negate an election here at home. Imperialism rules other peoples against their will, necessitating for its survival the lessening of democratic accountability at home, too, since it lessens the importance of citizens' own concerns, also requiring for its warmaking security keeping voters in the dark.
SteveM , says: November 8, 2017 at 7:36 am
Re: "More 'Fake News,' Alas, From the New York Times"

Make that, More 'Fake News,' Of Course From the New York Times. Saturated with Fake News of various manifestations, the NY Times and its rancid analog Washington Post on the other end of the Crony-Elite NY-DC axis are unreadable.

Re: "That this project worked to the benefit of Czechs, Poles, Hungarians, the Baltic Republics, and others is very much the case. On that score, it is to be applauded."

Given a ham-fisted EU run by Elite hacks in Brussels that is white washing Europe's Christian legacy, mandating overbearing economic and social controls and absorbing millions of net negative migrants, the Czechs, Poles, Hungarians and Balts seem to be having second thoughts. BTW, The Russians will not and do not want to invade those countries. As the EU spins out of control and the One Belt One Road initiative develops, Russia only needs to ask them what direction they want to face in the future.

Dee , says: November 8, 2017 at 8:08 am
How is it someone's "opinion" constitutes "fake News"? Trump did not win by policy issues, he rode the right-wing outrage at all things clinton/libtard better than anyone else. His policy positions were mostly promise everything to everyone, but his campaign was about Lock her up/ build the wall! After bashing Goldman Sachs during the election, once he won he promptly filled his cabinet with them and other mega donor types.
Mario Diana , says: November 8, 2017 at 9:30 am
@John Fargo – I'm in almost complete sympathy with Mr. Bacevich's essay, but you make an excellent point. "Bad journalism" is the better term. In fact, the only criticism I can make of your statement is that "dog whistle" is the wrong term. Everyone associates the term "fake news" with Donald Trump. (If it were possible, he no doubt would have trademarked it.) Using the term alienates the very people who need to hear criticisms like those in Mr. Bacevich's essay. They hear it, too; and upon hearing it, they stop listening.
Egypt Steve , says: November 8, 2017 at 11:34 am
Look, elite and non-elite self-delusion about the purity of U.S. motives abroad dates back to the Roosevelt administration at least -- and I mean the Teddy Roosevelt administration. I don't see how any of this amounts to a defense of charges of money-laundering against Manafort.
Janek , says: November 8, 2017 at 11:37 am
I disagree with John Fargo. The news that NYT, Washington Post, and other media outlets (not only liberal ) "produce" is the "Fake News". "Bad journalism" should be reserved and used in the sense Nolan explains. Besides the "Fake News" on the so called "left" in American politics in general is the problem of "double speak" and speaking with the "forked tongues". American "right" is the camp of the white flag.
Tom , says: November 8, 2017 at 12:20 pm
The op-ed page is for opinion pieces of writing and that is what this was an opinion. It isn't fake news because it isn't news.
SteveM , says: November 8, 2017 at 12:43 pm
Re: Janek:

Besides the "Fake News" on the so called "left" in American politics in general is the problem of "double speak" and speaking with the "forked tongues". American "right" is the camp of the white flag.

I've mentioned the various "flavors" of Fake News before. There is (1) the obvious – what is claimed as true is actually false. But also (2), what is claimed as important, actually isn't. And (3) what is important, is weakly or not reported at all.

An example of Type 2 is the WaPost reporting on its front page before the 2016 that Jared Kushner may have been greased into the Harvard MBA program. As if Ivy League greasing by monied Elites is unheard of. How was that front page news? And how about the acceptances of Chelsea Clinton (Stanford) and Malia Obama (Harvard)?

The cases of Type 3 Fake News are much more egregious. For example, the reasoned arguments and analysis by retired American intelligence officers and academics that the Syrian forces "chemical weapon attack" in April was almost certainly a false flag with staged recovery activity.

The NY Times and WaPost have consistently refused to acknowledge that those arguments and analysis even exist.

The linking of Russia to the DNC email leaks as factual by the Times, Post and NPR without a scintilla of published hard evidence is another example.

There are many more examples of Type 3 Fake News that could be demonstrated. Much of what claims to be journalism by the MSM is now Fake News trash.

Siarlys Jenkins , says: November 8, 2017 at 1:09 pm
Disregarding President Trump's insistent claim that the establishment press propagates "fake news" requires a constant effort -- especially when a prestigious outlet like the New York Times allows itself to be used for blatantly fraudulent purposes.

I agree in principal, although I note that President Trump and his team are as guilty of fake news as anyone, and the president himself appears to be positively delusional. I might at times disagree with Bacevich as to which news is fake.

I would also agree that there has been a great deal of "fake news" out of Ukraine, and what is really going on their is a former SSR with a bitterly divided population that each has about equal numbers, proponderance in some territories compared to others, and equally opportunistic leadership showing no great commitment to anything recognizable as "democracy."

Fayez Abedaziz , says: November 8, 2017 at 3:22 pm
Say, can we refrain from using the word 'journalism' when we refer to the American media? We should.

The internet and sources overseas, such as the Independent News paper/site out of Britain, have news that is not purposely spun as is by the neo-con American news papers and magazines. Not as much, anyway. Several points here, for example of what bad news (pun intended) the joke of American media is:

1- quit calling the main stream media liberal or left. They are liberal in a 'social issues sense,' that is, to be politically correct.

2- So, having said that, on foreign policy they, all newspapers and the vast majority of magazines, are war-peddling neo-con supporters.

3-They have agendas. Do we not remember how they, at the new york times, peddled the war against Iraq and how, when you look at the editorial page you feel that these people and the guests opinion writers are soulless people that have no concern for America's 'flyover' country?

4- Yeah, isn't that ironic that these people look down on America's middle class, blue collar workers and yes, it's troops, by that constant bashing of nations here and there and pushing for aggressive stands or even military attacks? Let the people at the major newspapers like this n.y.times rag tell us when they served in the U.S. military or their when their offspring did or when they're gonna join and volunteer for combat duty. Never mind, I've got the answer-none of 'em.

Do not buy any major newspaper. Let them wither away and, it wasn't fake spun 'news' we have been getting only this year: fake agenda driven bull has been going on for decades. Go to the internet and overseas for news think what I said over and you will see

Janek , says: November 8, 2017 at 3:39 pm
@SteveM

Not everybody has the time to analyze the deluge of all the "Fake News" and categorize it into classes and/or sub-classes you or somebody else proposes. Where all that leads? Soon we will have new sociopolitical discipline and experts on "fake-newsology" that will introduce another layer of pseudo-information that will have to be translated to the uninitiated and unwashed.

All this social, economic and political mess is the result of deregulation in the economic, social, political spheres. The effects of those deregulations are now quite obvious in: economy, society, morality and politics that are already corrupted to the core, but the corruption is not stopping there, it is consuming everything else on its way. There is no end to it, and what is even more surprising is that people want even more of all kinds of deregulations etc.

Wouldn't it be more logical to bring back responsibility, moral standards and decency to politics, society and economy etc? What I now see in media is the total lack of any ideas on how to correct the obvious, but instead everybody is spinning his/her lies to make them more believable to the yet unconverted. This is pure relativism and sophistry and it destroys not only the USA, but the West as well.

nikbez

If an opinion piece in NYT or other MSM blatantly distorts the facts, then it belongs to the category of "fake news." Which should probably be called "malicious rumors."

So the defense of some commenters that you can blatantly lie in opinion pieces (the right NYT exercised to the full extent in this particular example and for which Bacevich criticized them) is wrong.

Anti-Russian witch hunt in NYT and other MSM destroys the credibility of the USA version of neoliberalism as well as the USA foreign policy. Along with Trump election, I view it as a symptom of the crisis of neoliberalism for which the US elite is unable to find a more suitable answer than scapegoating.

Also the fact that Nuland is married to neocon warmonger Kagan is a material fact.

[Nov 08, 2017] Learning to Love McCarthyism by Robert Parry

Highly recommended!
Russiagate witch hunt is destroying CIA franchise in Facebook and Twitter, which were used by many Russians and Eastern Europeans in general.
One telling sign of the national security state is "demonizing enemies of the state" including using neo-McCarthyism methods, typically for Russiagate.
In the beginning, "Russiagate" was about alleged actions by Russian secret services. Evidence for these allegations has never emerged, and it seems that the Russiagate conspiracy theorists largely gave up on this part (they still sometimes write about it as if it was an established fact, but since the only thing in support of it they can adduce is the canard about the 17 intelligence services, it probably is not that interesting any more).
Now, they have dropped the mask, and the object of their hatred are openly all Russian people, as the new Undermensch. If these people and US MSM recognized the reality that they are now a particularly rabid part of the xenophobic far right in the United States
Notable quotes:
"... Buried in the story's "jump" is the acknowledgement that Milner's "companies sold those holdings several years ago." But such is the anti-Russia madness gripping the Establishment of Washington and New York that any contact with any Russian constitutes a scandal worthy of front-page coverage. On Monday, The Washington Post published a page-one article entitled, "9 in Trump's orbit had contacts with Russians." ..."
"... The anti-Russian madness has reached such extremes that even when you say something that's obviously true – but that RT, the Russian television network, also reported – you are attacked for spreading "Russian propaganda." ..."
"... We saw that when former Democratic National Committee chairwoman Donna Brazile disclosed in her new book that she considered the possibility of replacing Hillary Clinton on the Democratic ticket after Clinton's public fainting spell and worries about her health. ..."
"... In other words, the go-to excuse for everything these days is to blame the Russians and smear anyone who says anything – no matter how true – if it also was reported on RT. ..."
"... The CIA has an entire bureaucracy dedicated to propaganda and disinformation, with some of those efforts farmed out to newer entities such as the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) or paid for by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). NATO has a special command in Latvia that undertakes "strategic communications." ..."
"... Israel is another skilled player in this field, tapping into its supporters around the world to harass people who criticize the Zionist project. Indeed, since the 1980s, Israel has pioneered many of the tactics of computer spying and sabotage that were adopted and expanded by America's National Security Agency, explaining why the Obama administration teamed up with Israel in a scheme to plant malicious code into Iranian centrifuges to sabotage Iran's nuclear program. ..."
"... And, if you're really concerned about foreign interference in U.S. elections and policies, there's the remarkable influence of Israel and its perceived ability to effect the defeat of almost any politician who deviates from what the Israeli government wants, going back at least to the 1980s when Sen. Chuck Percy and Rep. Paul Findley were among the political casualties after pursuing contacts with the Palestinians. ..."
"... The answer seems to be the widespread hatred for President Trump combined with vested interests in favor of whipping up the New Cold War. That is a goal valued by both the Military-Industrial Complex, which sees trillions of dollars in strategic weapons systems in the future, and the neoconservatives, who view Russia as a threat to their "regime change" agendas for Syria and Iran. ..."
"... After all, if Russia and its independent-minded President Putin can be beaten back and beaten down, then a big obstacle to the neocon/Israeli goal of expanding the Mideast wars will be removed. ..."
"... Right now, the neocons are openly lusting for a "regime change" in Moscow despite the obvious risks that such turmoil in a nuclear-armed country might create, including the possibility that Putin would be succeeded not by some compliant Western client like the late Boris Yeltsin but by an extreme nationalist who might consider launching a nuclear strike to protect the honor of Mother Russia. ..."
"... The likely outcome from the anti-Russian show trials on Capitol Hill is that technology giants will bow to the bipartisan demand for new algorithms and other methods for stigmatizing, marginalizing and eliminating information that challenges the mainstream storylines in the cause of fighting "Russian propaganda." ..."
"... America's Stolen Narrative, ..."
"... witch hunt by congressional Democrats, working with the intelligence agencies and leading media outlets, to legitimize censorship and attack free speech on the Internet. ..."
"... The aim of this campaign is to claim that social conflict within the United States arises not from the scale of social inequality in America, greater than in any other country in the developed world, but rather from the actions of "outside agitators" working in the service of the Kremlin. ..."
"... The McCarthyite witch hunts of the 1950s sought to suppress left-wing thought and label all forms of dissent as illegitimate and treasonous. Those who led them worked to purge left-wing opinion from Hollywood, the trade unions and the universities. ..."
"... Likewise, the new McCarthyism is aimed at creating a political climate in which left-wing organizations and figures are demonized as agents of the Kremlin who are essentially engaged in treasonous activity deserving of criminal prosecution. ..."
"... Danny there was a time not to long ago, I would have said of how we are 'moving towards' to us becoming a police state, well instead replace that prediction of 'moving towards' to the stark reality to be described as 'that now we are', and there you will have it that we have finally arrived to becoming a full blown 'police state'. ..."
"... Thanks to Mr. Parry for this very fair and complete review of the latest attempts to generate a fake foreign enemy. The tyrant over a democracy must generate fake foreign enemies to pose falsely as a protector, so as to demand domestic power and accuse his opponents of disloyalty, as Aristotle and Plato warned thousands of years ago. ..."
"... The insanity of the entire "Russian hacking" narrative has been revealed over and over, including this past weekend when +/-100 Clinton loyalists published a screed on Medium saying Donna Brazile had been taken in by Russian propaganda. ..."
"... I have come to expect just about anything when it comes to Russia-Gate, but I was taken aback by the Hillary bots' accusation that videos of Hillary stumbling and others showing her apparently having a fit of some kind and also needing to be helped up the steps to someone's house -- which were taken by Americans and shown by Americans and seen by millions of shocked Americans -- were driven by Russia-Gate. ..."
"... Now, since the extremist xenophobic idea that contact with *any* Russians is a scandal has taken hold in the United States, people are probably not too eager to mention these contacts in these atmosphere of extreme xenophobic anti-Russian hatred in today's United States. Furthermore, people who have contact with large numbers of people probably really have difficulties remembering and listing these all. ..."
"... Their contacts are with Russian business and maybe the Russian mob, not the Russian state. There is really not question that Trump and his cronies are crooks, but they are crooks in the US and in all the other countries where they do business, not just Russia. I'm sure Mueller will be able to tie Trump directly to some of the sleeze. But there is no evidence that the Russian government is involved in any of it. "Russia-gate" implies Russian government involvement, not just random Russians. There is no evidence of that and moreover the logic is against. ..."
"... Mr. Cash . I think George Papadopoulis, Trump's young Aide, was an inside mole for neocon pro-Israel interests. Those interests needed to knock the unreliable President Trump out of the way to get the "system" back where it belonged – in their pocket. Papadopoulis, on his own, was rummaging around making Trump/Russian connections that finally ended with the the William (Richard?) Browder (well-known Washington DC neocon)/Natalia Veselnitskaya/Donald Trump, Jr. fiasco. The Trumps knew nothing of those negotiations, and young Trump left when he realized Natalia was only interested in Americans being allowed to adopt Russian children again and had no dirt on Hillary. ..."
"... It was never my impression that Cold War liberals opposed McCarthy or the anti-Communist witch hunt. Where they didn't gleefully join in, they watched quietly from the sidelines while the American left was eviscerated, jailed, driven from public life. Then the liberals stepped in when it was clear things were going a little too far and just as the steam had run out of McCarthy's slander machine. ..."
"... At that point figures like Adlai Stevenson, Hubert Humphrey and John F. Kennedy found the path clear for their brand of political stagecraft. They were imperialists to a man, something they proved abundantly when given the chance. Liberals supplanted the left in U.S. life- in the unions, the teaching profession, publishing and every other field where criticism of the Cold War and the enduring prevalence of worker solidarity across international lines threatened the new order. ..."
"... The book concludes that by equating dissent with disloyalty, promoting guilt by association, and personally commanding loyalty programs, ""Truman and his advisors employed all the political and programmatic techniques that in later years were to become associated with the broad phenomenon of McCarthyism."" ..."
"... Formed by Google in June 2015 with Eliot Higgins of the Atlantic Council's Bellingcat as a founding member, the "First Draft" coalition includes all the usual mainstream media "partners" in "regime change" war propaganda: the Washington Post, New York Times, CNN, the UK Guardian and Telegraph, BBC News, the Atlantic Council's Digital Forensics Research Lab and Kiev-based Stopfake. ..."
"... In the beginning, "Russiagate" was about alleged actions by Russian secret services. Evidence for these allegations has never emerged, and it seems that the Russiagate conspiracy theorists largely gave up on this part (they still sometimes write about it as if it was an established fact, but since the only thing in support of it they can adduce is the canard about the 17 intelligence services, it probably is not that interesting any more) ..."
"... Now, they have dropped the mask, and the object of their hatred are openly all Russian people, anyone who is "Russian linked" by ever having logged in to social networks from Russia or using Cyrillic letters. If these people and their media at least recognized the reality that they are now a particularly rabid part of the xenophobic far right in the United States ..."
"... The interview of Roger Waters on RT is one of the best I have seen in a long while. I wish some other artists get the courage to raise their voices. The link to the Roger Waters interview is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v7jcvfbLoIA This Roger Waters interview is worth watching. ..."
"... It would seem that everyone on the US telivision , newspaper and internet news has mastered the art of hand over mouth , gasp and looking horrified every time Russia is mentioned. It looks to me that the US is in the middle of another of it´s mid life crises. Panic reigns supreme every where. If it was not so sad it would be funny. i was born in the 1940s and remember the McCarthy witch hunts and the daily shower of people jumping out of windows as a result of it. ..."
"... In The Fifties (1993), American journalist and historian David Halberstam addressed the noxious effect of McCarthyism: "McCarthy's carnival like four year spree of accusation charges, and threats touched something deep in the American body politic, something that lasted long after his own recklessness, carelessness and boozing ended his career in shame." (page 53) ..."
"... Halberstam specifically discussed how readily the so-called "free" press acquiesced to McCarthy's masquerading: "The real scandal in all this was the behavior of the members of the Washington press corps, who, more often than not, knew better. They were delighted to be a part of his traveling road show, chronicling each charge and then moving on to the next town, instead of bothering to stay behind and follow up. They had little interest in reporting how careless McCarthy was or how little it all meant to him." (page 55) ..."
"... Why have they not investigated James Comey? Why has the MSM instead created a Russian Boogeyman? Why was he invited to testify about the Russian connection but never cross examined about his own influence? Why is the clearest reason for election meddling by James Comey not even spoken of by the MSM? This is because the MSM does not want to cover events as they happened but wants to recreate a alternate reality suitable to themselves which serves their interests and convinces us that the MSM has no part at all in downplaying the involvement of themselves in the election but wants to create a foreign enemy to blame. ..."
Nov 08, 2017 | consortiumnews.com

Special Report: Many American liberals who once denounced McCarthyism as evil are now learning to love the ugly tactic when it can be used to advance the Russia-gate "scandal" and silence dissent, reports Robert Parry.

The New York Times has finally detected some modern-day McCarthyism, but not in the anti-Russia hysteria that the newspaper has fueled for several years amid the smearing of American skeptics as "useful idiots" and the like. No, the Times editors are accusing a Long Island Republican of McCarthyism for linking his Democratic rival to "New York City special interest groups." As the Times laments, "It's the old guilt by association."

Yet, the Times sees no McCarthyism in the frenzy of Russia-bashing and guilt by association for any American who can be linked even indirectly to any Russian who might have some ill-defined links to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

On Monday, in the same edition that expressed editorial outrage over that Long Island political ad's McCarthyism, the Times ran two front-page articles under the headline: "A Complex Paper Trail: Blurring Kremlin's Ties to Key U.S. Businesses."

The two subheads read: " Shipping Firm Links Commerce Chief to Putin 'Cronies' " and " Millions in Facebook Shares Rooted in Russian Cash ." The latter story, which meshes nicely with the current U.S. political pressure on Facebook and Twitter to get in line behind the New Cold War against Russia, cites investments by Russian Yuri Milner that date back to the start of the decade.

Buried in the story's "jump" is the acknowledgement that Milner's "companies sold those holdings several years ago." But such is the anti-Russia madness gripping the Establishment of Washington and New York that any contact with any Russian constitutes a scandal worthy of front-page coverage. On Monday, The Washington Post published a page-one article entitled, "9 in Trump's orbit had contacts with Russians."

The anti-Russian madness has reached such extremes that even when you say something that's obviously true – but that RT, the Russian television network, also reported – you are attacked for spreading "Russian propaganda."

We saw that when former Democratic National Committee chairwoman Donna Brazile disclosed in her new book that she considered the possibility of replacing Hillary Clinton on the Democratic ticket after Clinton's public fainting spell and worries about her health.

Though there was a video of Clinton's collapse on Sept. 11, 2016, followed by her departure from the campaign trail to fight pneumonia – not to mention her earlier scare with blood clots – the response from a group of 100 Clinton supporters was to question Brazile's patriotism: "It is particularly troubling and puzzling that she would seemingly buy into false Russian-fueled propaganda, spread by both the Russians and our opponents about our candidate's health."

In other words, the go-to excuse for everything these days is to blame the Russians and smear anyone who says anything – no matter how true – if it also was reported on RT.

Pressing the Tech Companies

Just as Sen. Joe McCarthy liked to haul suspected "communists" and "fellow-travelers" before his committee in the 1950s, the New McCarthyism has its own witch-hunt hearings, such as last week's Senate grilling of executives from Facebook, Twitter and Google for supposedly allowing Russians to have input into the Internet's social networks. Executives from Facebook, Twitter and Google hauled before a Senate Judiciary subcommittee on crime and terrorism on Oct. 31, 2017. Trying to appease Congress and fend off threats of government regulation, the rich tech companies displayed their eagerness to eradicate any Russian taint.

Twitter's general counsel Sean J. Edgett told the Senate Judiciary subcommittee on crime and terrorism that Twitter adopted an "expansive approach to defining what qualifies as a Russian-linked account."

Edgett said the criteria included "whether the account was created in Russia, whether the user registered the account with a Russian phone carrier or a Russian email address, whether the user's display name contains Cyrillic characters, whether the user frequently Tweets in Russian, and whether the user has logged in from any Russian IP address, even a single time. We considered an account to be Russian-linked if it had even one of the relevant criteria."

The trouble with Twitter's methodology was that none of those criteria would connect an account to the Russian government, let alone Russian intelligence or some Kremlin-controlled "troll farm." But the criteria could capture individual Russians with no link to the Kremlin as well as people who weren't Russian at all, including, say, American or European visitors to Russia who logged onto Twitter through a Moscow hotel.

Also left unsaid is that Russians are not the only national group that uses the Cyrillic alphabet. It is considered a standard script for writing in Belarus, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Serbo-Croatia and Ukraine. So, for instance, a Ukrainian using the Cyrillic alphabet could end up falling into the category of "Russian-linked" even if he or she hated Putin.

Twitter's attorney also said the company conducted a separate analysis from information provided by unidentified "third party sources" who pointed toward accounts supposedly controlled by the St. Petersburg-based Internet Research Agency (IRA), totaling 2,752 accounts. The IRA is typically described in the U.S. press as a "troll farm" which employs tech-savvy employees who combat news and opinions that are hostile to Russia and the Russian government. But exactly how those specific accounts were traced back to this organization was not made clear.

And, to put that number in some perspective, Twitter claims 330 million active monthly users, which makes the 2,752 accounts less than 0.001 percent of the total.

The Trouble with 'Trolling'

While the Russia-gate investigation has sought to portray the IRA effort as exotic and somehow unique to Russia, the strategy is followed by any number of governments, political movements and corporations – sometimes using enthusiastic volunteers but often employing professionals skilled at challenging critical information or at least muddying the waters.

Those of us who operate on the Internet are familiar with harassment from "trolls" who may use access to "comment" sections to inject propaganda and disinformation to sow confusion, to cause disruption, or to discredit the site by promoting ugly opinions and nutty conspiracy theories.

As annoying as this "trolling" is, it's just a modern version of more traditional strategies used by powerful entities for generations – hiring public-relations specialists, lobbyists, lawyers and supposedly impartial "activists" to burnish images, fend off negative news and intimidate nosy investigators. In this competition, modern Russia is both a late-comer and a piker.

The U.S. government fields legions of publicists, propagandists, paid journalists, psy-ops specialists , contractors and non-governmental organizations to promote Washington's positions and undermine rivals through information warfare.

The CIA has an entire bureaucracy dedicated to propaganda and disinformation, with some of those efforts farmed out to newer entities such as the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) or paid for by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). NATO has a special command in Latvia that undertakes "strategic communications."

Israel is another skilled player in this field, tapping into its supporters around the world to harass people who criticize the Zionist project. Indeed, since the 1980s, Israel has pioneered many of the tactics of computer spying and sabotage that were adopted and expanded by America's National Security Agency, explaining why the Obama administration teamed up with Israel in a scheme to plant malicious code into Iranian centrifuges to sabotage Iran's nuclear program.

It's also ironic that the U.S. government touted social media as a great benefit in advancing so-called "color revolutions" aimed at "regime change" in troublesome countries. For instance, when the "green revolution" was underway in Iran in 2009 after the reelection of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Obama administration asked Twitter to postpone scheduled maintenance so the street protesters could continue using the platform to organize against Ahmadinejad and to distribute their side of the story to the outside world.

During the so-called Arab Spring in 2011, Facebook, Twitter and Skype won praise as a means of organizing mass demonstrations to destabilize governments in Tunisia, Egypt and Syria. Back then, the U.S. government denounced any attempts to throttle these social media platforms and the free flow of information that they permitted as proof of dictatorship.

Social media also was a favorite of the U.S. government in Ukraine in 2013-14 when the Maidan protests exploited these platforms to help destabilize and ultimately overthrow the elected government of Ukraine, the key event that launched the New Cold War with Russia.

Swinging the Social Media Club

The truth is that, in those instances, the U.S. governments and its agencies were eagerly exploiting the platforms to advance Washington's geopolitical agenda by disseminating American propaganda and deploying U.S.-funded non-governmental organizations, which taught activists how to use social media to advance "regime change" scenarios.

A White Helmets volunteer pointing to the aftermath of a military attack.

While these uprisings were sold to Western audiences as genuine outpourings of public anger – and there surely was some of that – the protests also benefited from U.S. funding and expertise. In particular, NED and USAID provided money, equipment and training for anti-government operatives challenging regimes in U.S. disfavor.

One of the most successful of these propaganda operations occurred in Syria where anti-government rebels operating in areas controlled by Al Qaeda and its fellow Islamic militants used social media to get their messaging to Western mainstream journalists who couldn't enter those sectors without fear of beheading.

Since the rebels' goal of overthrowing President Bashar al-Assad meshed with the objectives of the U.S. government and its allies in Israel, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states, Western journalists uncritically accepted the words and images provided by Al Qaeda's collaborators.

The success of this propaganda was so extraordinary that the White Helmets, a "civil defense" group that worked in Al Qaeda territory, became the go-to source for dramatic video and even was awarded the short-documentary Oscar for an info-mercial produced for Netflix – despite evidence that the White Helmets were staging some of the scenes for propaganda purposes.

Indeed, one argument for believing that Putin and the Kremlin might have "meddled" in last year's U.S. election is that they could have felt it was time to give the United States a taste of its own medicine.

After all, the United States intervened in the 1996 Russian election to ensure the continued rule of the corrupt and pliable Boris Yeltsin. And there were the U.S.-backed street protests in Moscow against the 2011 and 2012 elections in which Putin strengthened his political mandate. Those protests earned the "color" designation the "snow revolution."

However, whatever Russia may or may not have done before last year's U.S. election, the Russia-gate investigations have always sought to exaggerate the impact of that alleged "meddling" and molded the narrative to whatever weak evidence was available.

The original storyline was that Putin authorized the "hacking" of Democratic emails as part of a "disinformation" operation to undermine Hillary Clinton's candidacy and to help elect Donald Trump – although no hard evidence has been presented to establish that Putin gave such an order or that Russia "hacked" the emails. WikiLeaks has repeatedly denied getting the emails from Russia, which also denies any meddling.

Further, the emails were not "disinformation"; they were both real and, in many cases, newsworthy. The DNC emails provided evidence that the DNC unethically tilted the playing field in favor of Clinton and against Sen. Bernie Sanders, a point that Brazile also discovered in reviewing staffing and financing relationships that Clinton had with the DNC under the prior chairwoman, Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

The purloined emails of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta revealed the contents of Clinton's paid speeches to Wall Street (information that she was trying to hide from voters) and pay-to-play features of the Clinton Foundation.

A Manchurian Candidate?

Still, the original narrative was that Putin wanted his Manchurian Candidate (Trump) in the White House and took the extraordinary risk of infuriating the odds-on favorite (Clinton) by releasing the emails even though they appeared unlikely to prevent Clinton's victory. So, there was always that logical gap in the Russia-gate theory.

Since then, however, the U.S. mainstream narrative has shifted, in part, because the evidence of Russian election "meddling" was so shaky. Under intense congressional pressure to find something, Facebook reported $100,000 in allegedly "Russian-linked" ads purchased in 2015-17, but noted that only 44 percent were bought before the election. So, not only was the "Russian-linked" pebble tiny – compared to Facebook's annual revenue of $27 billion – but more than half of the pebble was tossed into this very large lake after Clinton had already lost.

So, the storyline was transformed into some vague Russian scheme to exacerbate social tensions in the United States by taking different sides of hot-button issues, such as police brutality against blacks. The New York Times reported that one of these "Russian-linked" pages featured photos of cute puppies , which the Times speculated must have had some evil purpose although it was hard to fathom. (Oh, those devious Russians!).

The estimate of how many Americans may have seen one of these "Russian-linked" ads also keeps growing, now up to as many as 126 million or about one-third of the U.S. population. Of course, the way the Internet works – with any item possibly going viral – you might as well say the ads could have reached billions of people.

Whenever I write an article or send out a Tweet, I too could be reaching 126 million or even billions of people, but the reality is that I'd be lucky if the number were in the thousands. But amid the Russia-gate frenzy, no exaggeration is too outlandish or too extreme.

Another odd element of Russia-gate is that the intensity of this investigation is disproportionate to the lack of interest shown toward far better documented cases of actual foreign-government interference in American elections and policymaking.

For instance, the major U.S. media long ignored the extremely well-documented case of Richard Nixon colluding with South Vietnamese officials to sabotage President Lyndon Johnson's Vietnam War peace talks to gain an advantage for Nixon in the 1968 election. That important chapter of history only gained The New York Times' seal of approval earlier this year after the Times had dismissed the earlier volumes of evidence as "rumors."

In the 1980 election, Ronald Reagan's team – especially his campaign director William Casey in collaboration with Israel and Iran – appeared to have gone behind President Jimmy Carter's back to undercut Carter's negotiations to free 52 American hostages then held in Iran and essentially doom Carter's reelection hopes.

There were a couple of dozen witnesses to that scheme who spoke with me and other investigative journalists – as well as documentary evidence showing that President Reagan did authorize secret arms shipments to Iran via Israel shortly after the hostages were freed during Reagan's inauguration on Jan. 20, 1981.

However, since Vice President (later President) George H.W. Bush, who was implicated in the scheme, was well-liked on both sides of the aisle and because Reagan had become a Republican icon, the October Surprise case of 1980 was pooh-poohed by the major media and dismissed by a congressional investigation in the early 1990s. Despite the extraordinary number of witnesses and supporting documents, Wikipedia listed the scandal as a "conspiracy theory."

Israeli Influence

And, if you're really concerned about foreign interference in U.S. elections and policies, there's the remarkable influence of Israel and its perceived ability to effect the defeat of almost any politician who deviates from what the Israeli government wants, going back at least to the 1980s when Sen. Chuck Percy and Rep. Paul Findley were among the political casualties after pursuing contacts with the Palestinians.

If anyone doubts how Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has continued to pull the strings of U.S. politicians, just watch one of his record-tying three addresses to joint sessions of Congress and count how often Republicans and Democrats jump to their feet in enthusiastic applause. (The only other foreign leader to get the joint-session honor three times was Great Britain's Prime Minister Winston Churchill.)

So, what makes Russia-gate different from the other cases? Did Putin conspire with Trump to extend a bloody war as Nixon did with the South Vietnamese leaders? Did Putin lengthen the captivity of U.S. hostages to give Trump a political edge? Did Putin manipulate U.S. policy in the Middle East to entice President George W. Bush to invade Iraq and set the region ablaze, as Israel's Netanyahu did? Is Putin even now pushing for wider Mideast wars, as Netanyahu is?

Indeed, one point that's never addressed in any serious way is why is the U.S. so angry with Russia while these other cases, in which U.S. interests were clearly damaged and American democracy compromised, were treated largely as non-stories.

Why is Russia-gate a big deal while the other cases weren't? Why are opposite rules in play now – with Democrats, many Republicans and the major news media flogging fragile "links," needling what little evidence there is, and assuming the worst rather than insisting that only perfect evidence and perfect witnesses be accepted as in the earlier cases?

The answer seems to be the widespread hatred for President Trump combined with vested interests in favor of whipping up the New Cold War. That is a goal valued by both the Military-Industrial Complex, which sees trillions of dollars in strategic weapons systems in the future, and the neoconservatives, who view Russia as a threat to their "regime change" agendas for Syria and Iran.

After all, if Russia and its independent-minded President Putin can be beaten back and beaten down, then a big obstacle to the neocon/Israeli goal of expanding the Mideast wars will be removed.

Right now, the neocons are openly lusting for a "regime change" in Moscow despite the obvious risks that such turmoil in a nuclear-armed country might create, including the possibility that Putin would be succeeded not by some compliant Western client like the late Boris Yeltsin but by an extreme nationalist who might consider la