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Contents Bulletin Scripting in shell and Perl Network troubleshooting History Humor

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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Old News ;-)

[Oct 17, 2017] Google launches advanced Gmail security features for high-risk users

Notable quotes:
"... The program would include additional reviews and requests in the account recovery process to prevent fraudulent access by hackers who try to gain access by pretending they have been locked out. ..."
Oct 17, 2017 | www.msn.com

Alphabet's Google Inc said on Tuesday that it would roll out an advanced protection program in order to provide stronger security for some users such as government officials and journalists who are at a higher risk of being targeted by hackers.

The internet giant said that users of the program would have their account security continuously updated to deal with emerging threats.

The company said it would initially provide three defenses against security threats, which include blocking fraudulent account access and protection against phishing.

The program would include additional reviews and requests in the account recovery process to prevent fraudulent access by hackers who try to gain access by pretending they have been locked out.

... ... ...

[Oct 16, 2017] Intelligence Assessment of Russian Hacking or Collusion by Mike Whitney

Notable quotes:
"... If the Senate can 'assess,' so can I! I assess that Hollywood hottie Jenifer Lawrence is secretly in love with me! Although I can't prove this, all of my assessments point to this as being fact. ..."
Oct 14, 2017 | www.unz.com

Greg Bacon, Website October 14, 2017 at 9:59 am GMT

If the Senate can 'assess,' so can I! I assess that Hollywood hottie Jenifer Lawrence is secretly in love with me! Although I can't prove this, all of my assessments point to this as being fact.

liveload , October 13, 2017 7:07 PM

It just occurred to me that the perfect Halloween decoration this year would be a Russian flag. That is, unless someone comes out with a Zombie Putin, or Dracula Putin...

[Oct 16, 2017] Instead of blaming herself for selling herself to Wall Street and converting into yet another warmonger Hillary is still acusing the Kremlin. What a pathetic loser

It is so convenient to blame Russians ;-)
Notable quotes:
"... "We know Russian agents used Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and even Pinterest to place targeted attack ads and negative stories intended not to hurt just me but to fan the flames of division in our society. Russians posed as Americans pretending to be LGBT and gun rights activists, even Muslims, saying things they knew would cause distress." ..."
"... She said some of the basics of the Russian interference in the 2016 election had been known, but "we were in the dark about the weaponisation of social media". She cited new research from Columbia University showing that attack ads on Facebook paid for in roubles were seen by 10 million people in crucial swing states and had been shared up to 340m times. ..."
"... Clinton said the matter of whether Trump's campaign cooperated with Russian interference was a subject for congressional investigation. But she called for anyone found guilty of such cooperation with Moscow to be subject to civil and criminal law. "The Russians are still playing on anything and everything they can to turn Americans against each other," she said. ..."
"... "In addition to hacking our elections, they are hacking our discourse and our unity. We are in the middle of a global struggle between liberal democracy and a rising tide of illiberalism and authoritarianism. This is a kind of new cold war and it is just getting starting." ..."
Oct 16, 2017 | www.theguardian.com

Originally from: Cyber cold war is just getting started, claims Hillary Clinton

This power hungry woman are just plain vanilla incompetent: "The Russian campaign was leading to nationalism in Europe, democratic backsliding in Hungary and Poland, and a loss of faith in democracy, she said."

Democrats had urged her to be silent after her defeat to Trump but she was not going to go away, said Clinton. She vowed to play her part in an attempt to win back Democratic seats in the forthcoming midterm elections. She admitted she "just collapsed with real grief and disappointment" after her election defeat.

Clinton, who is touring the country to promote What Happened – her memoir reflecting on the election defeat, told the BBC's Andrew Marr: "Looking at the Brexit vote now, it was a precursor to some extent of what happened to us in the United States."

She decried the amount of fabricated information voters were given: "You know, the big lie is a very potent tool and we've somewhat kept it at bay in western democracies, partly because of the freedom of the press. There has to be some basic level of fact and evidence in all parts of our society."

She urged Britain to be cautious about striking a trade deal with Trump, saying he did not believe in free trade.

In other comments during the Cheltenham literary festival, she accused the Kremlin of waging an information war throughout the 2016 US election process. The tactics "were a clear and present danger to western democracy and it is right out of the Putin playbook", she said.

"We know Russian agents used Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and even Pinterest to place targeted attack ads and negative stories intended not to hurt just me but to fan the flames of division in our society. Russians posed as Americans pretending to be LGBT and gun rights activists, even Muslims, saying things they knew would cause distress."

She said some of the basics of the Russian interference in the 2016 election had been known, but "we were in the dark about the weaponisation of social media". She cited new research from Columbia University showing that attack ads on Facebook paid for in roubles were seen by 10 million people in crucial swing states and had been shared up to 340m times.

Clinton said the matter of whether Trump's campaign cooperated with Russian interference was a subject for congressional investigation. But she called for anyone found guilty of such cooperation with Moscow to be subject to civil and criminal law. "The Russians are still playing on anything and everything they can to turn Americans against each other," she said.

"In addition to hacking our elections, they are hacking our discourse and our unity. We are in the middle of a global struggle between liberal democracy and a rising tide of illiberalism and authoritarianism. This is a kind of new cold war and it is just getting starting."

The Russian campaign was leading to nationalism in Europe, democratic backsliding in Hungary and Poland, and a loss of faith in democracy, she said.

[Oct 16, 2017] Assange: It is not just her constant lying. It is not just that she throws off menacing glares and seethes thwarted entitlement. Something much darker rides along with it. A cold creepiness rarely seen

Lady Makbeth of the USA?
Oct 16, 2017 | www.theguardian.com
In an interview with the ABC's Four Corners program, to air on Monday night, Clinton alleges that Assange cooperated with the Russian president, Vladimir Putin , to disrupt the US election and damage her campaign for president.

"WikiLeaks is unfortunately now practically a fully owned subsidiary of Russian intelligence," Clinton told the ABC's Sarah Ferguson .

Describing Putin as a "dictator", Clinton said the damaging email leaks that crippled her 2016 candidacy were part of a coordinated operation against her, directed by the Russian government.

Our intelligence community and other observers of Russia and Putin have said he held a grudge against me because as secretary of state, I stood up against some of his actions, his authoritarianism," Clinton told the ABC.

"But it's much bigger than that. He wants to destabilise democracy, he wants to undermine America, he wants to go after the Atlantic alliance, and we consider Australia an extension of that."

WikiLeaks received thousands of hacked emails from accounts connected to the Democratic campaign allegedly stolen by Russian operatives. The emails were released during a four-month period in the lead-up to the US election.

Emails from the Clinton campaign chairman, John Podesta, were leaked on the same day – 7 October 2016 – the director of national intelligence and the secretary of homeland security released a statement concluding the Russian government had been attempting to interfere in the election.

It was also the day the Washington Post published the 2005 Access Hollywood recording of Donald Trump's lewd comments about sexually harassing women .

Clinton told the ABC she believed the email leak was coordinated to disrupt the influence of the Access Hollywood tape.

"WikiLeaks, which in the world in which we find ourselves promised hidden information, promised some kind of secret that might be of influence, was a very clever, diabolical response to the Hollywood Access tape," she said. "And I've no doubt in my mind that there was some communication if not coordination to drop those the first time in response to the Hollywood Access tape."

Clinton is promoting her election memoir, What Happened, in which she details her thoughts on her unsuccessful campaign for president .

In September she told David Remnick from the New Yorker that she believed the Australian founder of WikiLeaks may be "on the payroll of the Kremlin" .

"I think he is part nihilist, part anarchist, part exhibitionist, part opportunist, who is either actually on the payroll of the Kremlin or in some way supporting their propaganda objectives, because of his resentment toward the United States, toward Europe," she said.

"He's like a lot of the voices that we're hearing now, which are expressing appreciation for the macho authoritarianism of a Putin. And they claim to be acting in furtherance of transparency, except they never go after the Kremlin or people on that side of the political ledger."

Assange has denied the emails came from the Russian government or any other "state parties".

In response to Clinton's comments, Assange said on Twitter there was "something wrong with Hillary Clinton".

"It is not just her constant lying," he wrote. "It is not just that she throws off menacing glares and seethes thwarted entitlement.

"Something much darker rides along with it. A cold creepiness rarely seen."

Julian Assange 🔹 (@JulianAssange)

There's something wrong with Hillary Clinton. It is not just her constant lying. It is not just that she throws off menacing glares and seethes thwarted entitlement. Watch closely. Something much darker rides along with it. A cold creepiness rarely seen. https://t.co/JNw2dkXgdu

October 15, 2017

[Oct 15, 2017] Russiagate And The Decline Of Journalism – Ron Paul interviews Robert Parry

Oct 15, 2017 | www.antiwar.com

Nathan abu Nevada , October 12, 2017 11:00 PM

500 People shot in Las Vegas and 500 People missing in California fires at the same time all seems pretty bland compared to Stephanie Leigh Ruhle American combat journalist, and her highly captivating conspiracy theories that those Russian Thugs could possibly have had some how colluded with that Man Trump to defeat the First Woman US President in history Hillary.

This is not the death of the media, just the US media. RT is fantastic and does not make me yell violent obscenities at the TV like the CFR programming.

Watosh Nathan abu Nevada , October 14, 2017 8:45 AM

I watch RTon the internet every day and used to watch it on TV before Time warner dropped it, and I found it very reliable and objective. I recall when one of the top journalists there abby Martin severely criticized and denounced the Russian government for accepting Crimea back into Russia, yet she was not fired even though she often criticized that action.

Many programs had American journalists. And news involving Russia, while generally non-critical, usually was confined to presenting the Russian view on something, which is a legitimate thing to do if you are informing people.

I never heard anyone on RT who spread rumors or made unfounded accusations like I hear on MSNBC every day. and no one on RT denied that they were founded by the Russian government, they did not hide this from their listeners. Americans I believe are the most propagandized people on the earth because they believe the news they get is factually reported by an independent "free" press.

My fellow Americans while they brag about their independence nevertheless are easily stampeded into becoming a lynch mob.

Dennis Boylon Watosh , October 14, 2017 9:16 AM

Modern propaganda was invented in the US by Edward Bernays. It was copied by the Nazi's Joseph Goebbels who had every book Bernays ever wrote in his library.

liveload , October 13, 2017 7:07 PM

It just occurred to me that the perfect Halloween decoration this year would be a Russian flag. That is, unless someone comes out with a Zombie Putin, or Dracula Putin...

[Oct 15, 2017] Fake News and the New McCarthyism by John Buell

Dec 22, 2016 | www.commondreams.org

One of the most potent worries about the coming Trump presidency is concern about free speech. Trump's willingness to tolerate or even encourage violence against nonviolent critics of his agenda and personnel choices is alarming. The Washington Post recently carried a chilling cautionary tale about the fate of a young woman who challenged Trump's record on women's issues. Parallels with banana republic dictators tacitly encouraging or at least tolerating paramilitary forces seem not far- fetched. Though it is easy for the Washington Post to call attention to and criticize Trump's incitement to violence, the Post now practices its own more subtle efforts to police speech.

Behind the façade of a concern about fake news, the Post featured an article by Craig Timberg that cited -- without challenge -- an anonymous website, PropOrNot, listing numerous other sites purported to be purveyors of fake news. As Max Blumenthal reported for AlterNet , "the anonymous website argued that all of the named sites should be investigated by the federal government and potentially prosecuted under the Espionage Act as Russian spies. They were accused for wittingly or unwittingly spreading Russian propaganda."

This story especially caught my attention because one of the fingered websites -- Naked Capitalism -- has long been one of my favorite sources. In addition to meticulous coverage of finance, the site provides in depth analysis of both mainstream economics and contemporary and historic alternatives. All those upon whom economics 101 is being inflicted should consult entries by Philip Mirowski and Philip Pilkingotn. You will never think the same about simple supply and demand. Designating this site as a purveyor of fake -- even Russian supplied-- news while providing no evidence for the claim is surely libelous. Charges of Russian interference in our election -- thus far without any specific evidence beyond agency assertions -- should be investigated but ought not to become an occasion to harass domestic critics of US policy.

In any case, as numerous contributors to some of these libeled sites point out, the Post 's action is the digital equivalent of a McCarthyite blacklist. The Washington Post, which has "apologized" only by saying that it takes no responsibility for the factual accuracy of the claims made in Timberg's piece, is owned by Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos, who also does contractual work for the CIA.

At the same time as this was happening, Congressional Democrats were getting involved in the blame Russia game. Norman Solomon reports:

A week ago, when the House approved by a 390-30 margin and sent to the Senate the Intelligence Authorization Act for fiscal 2017, Schiff praised "important provisions aimed at countering Russia's destabilizing efforts -- including those targeting our elections." One of those "important provisions," Section 501 , sets up in the executive branch "an interagency committee to counter active measures by the Russian Federation to exert covert influence.

While lacking public accountability, the committee is mandated to ferret out such ambiguous phenomena as Russian "media manipulation" and "disinformation." Along the way, the committee could target an array of activists, political opponents or irksome journalists. In any event, its power to fulfill "such other duties as the president may designate" would be ready-made for abuse.

What seems to be a common thread among many of the blacklisted groups is antagonism toward those critics of neoliberalism or of Obama/Clinton foreign policy who are seen as derailing the Clinton campaign. Solomon rightly makes a Cold War analogy, citing Democratic President Truman's issuing a loyalty act in order to toss a bone to the emerging Cold Warriors only to have it blow up into the full fledged fury of McCarthyism. I would, however, add another historical angle. As such International Relations scholars as David Campbell and James DerDerian have argued, the rhetoric of foreign affairs serves to discipline and support domestic identity as much as to fend off actual military threat. The Cold War was born as much of domestic anxiety as of Soviet military threat. The end of World War II saw contentious efforts by unions and liberals to establish a full employment politics coupled with a wave of strikes almost unprecedented in our history. Even key national security documents at the height of the Cold War indicated more worry about the political appeal of communism than its military might. That a cadre of Democratic centrists would strive to establish a top-secret surveillance committee targeting Russian links to dissident movements is an effort to escape blame for a failed campaign. Seen in broader perspective, however, it is also an effort to validate a badly wounded neoliberal agenda by tying left opponents of that agenda to a reviled foreign power.

Fake news is a real problem as is the violence it can incite. At the very least such violence should be identified and its perpetrators punished. Libel laws should be enforced with regard to innocents targeted by such mega giants as Bezos and his journalistic toy. The problems of fake news are not going to be resolved by establishing a private corporate cop or censor for the internet nor by establishing one more secretive watchdog. The Washington Post and the CIA are both propagators of fake news. This is one more argument for both net neutrality and a more robust anti-trust enforcement. The best answer to fake news is a more diverse media. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License John Buell lives in Southwest Harbor, Maine and writes on labor and environmental issues. His most recent book, published by Palgrave in August 2011, is "Politics, Religion, and Culture in an Anxious Age" . He may be reached at jbuell@acadia.net .

[Oct 15, 2017] New McCarthyism Targets Trump by John V. Walsh

I thought the same way as John in January 2017. We both were definitely wrong. As were many people who voted for Trump in a hope to block ascendance of neocon warmonger Hillary Clinton to power. Now it is unclear whether Hillary Clinton would be so disastrous in foreign policy as Trump or slightly less so.
The period when Trump was at least formally ant-war is firmly in the past now and probably ended with inauguration. In April Trump folded to neocons and destroyed his anti-war credentials with Tomahawk salvo in Syria. Instead of fighting "the Washington swap" as he promised to his voters, he became a part of the swamp. In August Trump himself emerged as a bona-fide warmonger stoking the tension with North Korea. And in October he decertified Iran deal.
Notable quotes:
"... The implications of this move are, arguably, breathtaking. Trump treated Putin as his ally, not as a hated adversary. And he treated Obama and the bipartisan foreign policy elite of Washington as his adversaries, not his allies -- a move that makes perfect sense if Trump's desire is to rein in the War Party's New Cold War and to strive for a New Détente with Russia. ..."
"... If the main enemy is those who are stoking the New Cold War and risking worse, then Trump has placed himself squarely against these war hawks. And stop to consider for a moment who these folks are. Besides President Obama and Hillary Clinton, they represent a full-blown armchair army: neocons, liberal interventionists, the mainstream media, various Soros-funded "non-governmental organizations," virtually all the important think tanks, the leadership of both major parties, and the CIA and the other U.S. intelligence agencies. This array of Official Washington's power elite has been working 24/7 at demonizing Putin and stoking tensions with nuclear-armed Russia. Trump took on all of them on with his tweet! ..."
"... As Trump looks for new allies in pursuit of a New Détente and a relaxation of U.S.-Russian tensions, Putin is foremost among them. Thus, in the struggle for peace, Trump has drawn new lines, and they cross national borders. Not since Ronald Reagan embraced Mikhail Gorbachev or Richard Nixon went to China have we seen a development like this. In this new battle to reduce tensions between nuclear powers, Trump has shown considerable courage, taking on a wide range of attackers. ..."
Jan 04, 2017 | consortiumnews.com

... ... ...

When President Obama expelled Russian diplomats over the hysterical and unproven accusation of Russia "hacking the election," Russian President Vladimir Putin refused to be drawn into a petty squabble, saying he would delay any response until Donald Trump assumed office. Instead Putin invited American diplomats and their families in Moscow to join the official holiday celebrations in the Kremlin.

Then came the shock that shook Official Washington: President-elect Trump, in the form of a tweet heard round the world, wrote: "Great move on delay (by V. Putin) -- I always knew he was very smart!"

And just to be sure that everyone saw it, Trump "pinned" the tweet which means it is the first thing seen by viewers of his account. This was a first use of "pinning" for Trump. And to be doubly sure, he posted it on Instagram as well. This was no spontaneous midnight outburst but a very deliberate action taken on Friday noon, Dec. 30, the day after Obama had issued his retaliation order.

The implications of this move are, arguably, breathtaking. Trump treated Putin as his ally, not as a hated adversary. And he treated Obama and the bipartisan foreign policy elite of Washington as his adversaries, not his allies -- a move that makes perfect sense if Trump's desire is to rein in the War Party's New Cold War and to strive for a New Détente with Russia.

If the main enemy is those who are stoking the New Cold War and risking worse, then Trump has placed himself squarely against these war hawks. And stop to consider for a moment who these folks are. Besides President Obama and Hillary Clinton, they represent a full-blown armchair army: neocons, liberal interventionists, the mainstream media, various Soros-funded "non-governmental organizations," virtually all the important think tanks, the leadership of both major parties, and the CIA and the other U.S. intelligence agencies. This array of Official Washington's power elite has been working 24/7 at demonizing Putin and stoking tensions with nuclear-armed Russia. Trump took on all of them on with his tweet!

Putin as Ally Against the War Party

As Trump looks for new allies in pursuit of a New Détente and a relaxation of U.S.-Russian tensions, Putin is foremost among them. Thus, in the struggle for peace, Trump has drawn new lines, and they cross national borders. Not since Ronald Reagan embraced Mikhail Gorbachev or Richard Nixon went to China have we seen a development like this. In this new battle to reduce tensions between nuclear powers, Trump has shown considerable courage, taking on a wide range of attackers.

Later that afternoon, Maya Kosoff writing for Vanity Fair put out an article entitled "Twitter Melts Down over 'Treason' After Trump Praises Putin." The first batch of such tweets came from "journalists and other foreign policy experts," the next from Evan McMullin, the former CIA officer who tried to draw off Republican votes from Trump in the general election, who tweeted: "To be clear, @realDonaldTrump is siding with America's greatest adversary even as it attacks our democracy. Never grow desensitized to this."

Finally came the predictable rash of tweets calling Trump's words "treasonous" or "seditious." In response, Team Trump refused to issue a "clarification," saying instead that Trump's words spoke for themselves.

As stunning as Trump's tweet was in many ways, it was in other ways entirely predictable. Despite the mainstream media's scorn and Hillary Clinton's mocking him as Putin's "puppet," Trump has held firm to his promise that he will seek peace with Russia and look for areas of cooperation such as fighting terrorism.

So, even when Trump's Russia comments appeared to cost him politically, he stuck with them, suggesting that he believes that this détente is important. The rule of thumb is that if a politician says something that will win votes, you do not know whether it is conviction or opportunism. But if a politician says something that should lose her or him votes, then you can bet it is heartfelt.

Trump was bashed over his resistance to the New Cold War both during the Republican primaries when many GOP leaders were extremely hawkish on Russia and during the general election when the Clinton campaign sought to paint him as some sort of Manchurian Candidate. Even his vice presidential candidate Mike Pence staked out a more hawkish position than Trump.

Trump stood by his more dovish attitude though it presented few electoral advantages and many negatives. By that test, he appears to be sincere. So, his latest opening to Putin was entirely predictable.

A Choice of Peace or War

What is troubling, however, is that some Americans who favor peace hate Trump so much that they recoil from speaking out in his defense over his "treasonous" tweet though they may privately agree with it. Some progressives are uncomfortable with the mainstream's descent into crude McCarthyism but don't want to say anything favorable about Trump.

After all, a vote for President is either thumbs up or thumbs down -- nothing in between -- though voters may like or dislike some policy prescriptions of one candidate and other positions of another candidate. And progressives could list many reasons to not vote for Trump.

But a presidential administration is multi-issued -- not all or none. One can disagree with a president on some issues and agree on others. For instance, many progressives are outraged over Trump's harsh immigration policies but agree with him on scrapping the TPP trade deal.

In other words, there is no reason why those who claim to be for peace should not back Trump on his more peaceful approach toward Putin and Russia, even if they disdain his tough talk about fighting terrorism. That is the reality of politics.

What I've discovered is that many progressives -- as well as many on the Right -- who oppose endless war and disdain empire will tell you in whispers that they do support Trump's attempt at Détente 2.0, though they doubt he will succeed. In the meantime, they are keeping their heads down and staying quiet.

But clearly Trump's success depends on how much support he gets -- as weighed against how much grief he gets. By lacking the courage to defend Trump's "treasonous tweet," those who want to rein in the warmongers may be missing a rare opportunity. If those who agree with Trump on this issue stay silent, it may be a lost opportunity as well.

John V. Walsh, an anti-war activist, can be reached at John.Endwar@gmail.com

[Oct 15, 2017] A New McCarthyism in Hollywood by Stephen Galloway

Notable quotes:
"... Seventy years ago this week -- on March 21, 1947, to be exact -- President Truman issued an executive order that caught some of his most die-hard supporters by surprise. ..."
"... The order, wrote Robert Justin Goldstein in Prologue ..."
"... their summons sent waves of fear coursing through the industry, enough to paralyze even liberal supporters such as Humphrey Bogart, and certainly more conservative ones such as Gary Cooper. ..."
"... By the end of the hearings, 10 of the witnesses had been cited for contempt of court, and soon some of the top movie executives issued what became known as the Waldorf Statement, a two-page press release vowing that "We will forthwith discharge or suspend without compensation those in our employ, and we will not re-employ any of the ten until such time as he is acquitted or has purged himself of contempt and declares under oath that he is not a Communist." ..."
"... The Hollywood Ten would serve time in prison and emerge to find themselves banished from the studios, forced to scrimp and scrape and use "fronts" just to survive. More than a decade would pass before they were able to work freely again. ..."
"... I've often wondered whether McCarthyism could ever find a foothold in Hollywood or America again. I didn't think so, until now. That possibility was always present in the minds of the blacklisted, some of whom I came to know when I arrived in Los Angeles in the 1980s, among them Martin Ritt, the director of such pictures as Hud, The Spy Who Came in From the Cold and Norma Rae. ..."
"... Marty was blacklisted for several years and later made a movie about the experience, 1976's comedy-drama The Front ..."
"... Edge of the City ..."
"... Tom, Dick and Harry ..."
"... More than careers were hurt: friendships were sundered, relationships broken, families destroyed, lives ruined. Even those who weren't victims of the blacklist lived in constant fear that they might become victims, too. ..."
"... Because fear is the most contagious of diseases. It spreads with a will of its own, infecting innocent and guilty alike, poisoning the oppressor as well as the oppressed. Those who instill fear are often afraid. And the more they inflict fear on others, the more likely they are to feel it themselves. ..."
Mar 20, 2017 | www.hollywoodreporter.com
It's been 70 years since President Truman ordered his loyalty tests. Now Hollywood has a loyalty test of its own.

Seventy years ago this week -- on March 21, 1947, to be exact -- President Truman issued an executive order that caught some of his most die-hard supporters by surprise.

The order, wrote Robert Justin Goldstein in Prologue magazine, "required that all federal civil service employees be screened for 'loyalty.' [It] specified that one criterion would be a finding of 'membership in, affiliation with or sympathetic association' with any organization determined by the attorney general to be 'totalitarian, Fascist, Communist or subversive' or advocating or approving the forceful denial of constitutional rights to other persons or seeking 'to alter the form of Government of the United States by unconstitutional means.'"

Two and a half years before Sen. Joseph McCarthy raised his ugly head and alleged massive Communist infiltration of the government, the "red scare" was underway. It would have a devastating impact on Hollywood.

Months after Truman's order, several dozen members of the film industry were summoned to appear as witnesses before the House Un-American Activities Committee. Nineteen of them, known as the "Unfriendly Nineteen" -- a term coined by the then-red-baiting Hollywood Reporter -- were left-wingers, hostile to the committee. Billy Wilder mordantly quipped that "only two of them have talent. The rest are just unfriendly." But their summons sent waves of fear coursing through the industry, enough to paralyze even liberal supporters such as Humphrey Bogart, and certainly more conservative ones such as Gary Cooper.

By the end of the hearings, 10 of the witnesses had been cited for contempt of court, and soon some of the top movie executives issued what became known as the Waldorf Statement, a two-page press release vowing that "We will forthwith discharge or suspend without compensation those in our employ, and we will not re-employ any of the ten until such time as he is acquitted or has purged himself of contempt and declares under oath that he is not a Communist."

The Hollywood Ten would serve time in prison and emerge to find themselves banished from the studios, forced to scrimp and scrape and use "fronts" just to survive. More than a decade would pass before they were able to work freely again.

***

I've often wondered whether McCarthyism could ever find a foothold in Hollywood or America again. I didn't think so, until now. That possibility was always present in the minds of the blacklisted, some of whom I came to know when I arrived in Los Angeles in the 1980s, among them Martin Ritt, the director of such pictures as Hud, The Spy Who Came in From the Cold and Norma Rae.

Marty was blacklisted for several years and later made a movie about the experience, 1976's comedy-drama The Front , starring Woody Allen and Zero Mostel. He was a man of enormous integrity, who was blackballed without explanation, though he insisted he had never been a member of the Communist Party. Overnight, his work dried up and he was forced to return to his roots in the theater -- along with the racetrack, where he made his real money. He could have named names to get himself off the hook, but he didn't, in contrast to his close friend Elia Kazan, whose betrayal stung him to the quick.

Ritt was relatively lucky; he was allowed back into the Hollywood fold sooner than most, when he got to direct the low-budget feature Edge of the City (1957), the first of the 20-plus films he would make over the following three decades. Others were less fortunate. Paul Jarrico, a writer whom I also was privileged to meet and who'd been Oscar-nominated in his mid-20s for Tom, Dick and Harry (1941), fled to Paris, his career never to bounce back to the heights it had reached before.

More than careers were hurt: friendships were sundered, relationships broken, families destroyed, lives ruined. Even those who weren't victims of the blacklist lived in constant fear that they might become victims, too.

Because fear is the most contagious of diseases. It spreads with a will of its own, infecting innocent and guilty alike, poisoning the oppressor as well as the oppressed. Those who instill fear are often afraid. And the more they inflict fear on others, the more likely they are to feel it themselves.

[Oct 15, 2017] The New McCarthyism by Michael Rivero

Notable quotes:
"... in actuality the US Government was concerned that Hollywood was no longer as blindly supportive of government policy as it had been only a few years earlier at the height of WW2. In particular, J. Edgar Hoover had long held the opinion that the entertainment industry should be the propaganda arm for the government in peace time as well as war. ..."
"... However, as WW2 had ended, the defense establishment had lobbied for the creation of a "Cold" war against the Soviet Union, a war not actually to be fought, but constantly to be prepared for at huge cost to the taxpayers. This cost was the visible manifestation of the "Military Industrial Complex" President Eisenhower referred to in his farewell address, and many in Hollywood openly wondered just why so much more money had to be thrown into the war machine during a time of peace, and more to the point, just why we were supposed to be so afraid of the communists. ..."
"... In later years, FBI informants became permanent fixtures at movie studios, and spied for the FBI. ..."
"... While Senator Joseph McCarthy grabbed headlines with his shouts of "Communist", Hoover set about his self-appointed task of purging Hollywood of any he viewed as "disloyal" to the United States, which meant anyone unwilling to make the movies they were told to make, when and how they were told to make them. ..."
"... Stars such as Larry Parks were destroyed because they refused to "name names" of other actors who were party members. Actor Philip Loeb committed suicide. Edward G. Robinson, never a communist, was put on a "grey list," and spent the rest of his life making B movies (except for his final role opposite Charlton Heston in "Soylent Green"). Sam Jaffe, formerly a well-known actor and Oscar winner in 1950 was registered on the black list because he refused to cooperate with the committee. He spent the next 6 years working as a math teacher and living at his sister's until he was able to return to films in 1957. ..."
"... Of course, what was really involved was money. War is good for business. Business had been great during WW2 and the newly created "Cold War" was just a way to keep business good. The Military Industrial Complex NEEDED Hollywood to demonize the Soviets. Otherwise, too many people were going to ask why we were being told to be so afraid of them, and few in the government had a really convincing answer for that question. So, in order to perpetuate the Cold War, those in Hollywood who might sympathize with the designated villains had to be removed; their ruined lives a small price to pay for unending access to the taxpayers' wallets. ..."
"... But the Soviet Union has gone out of business. The word "communist" doesn't carry the same psychological impact it used to, so the war hawk smear squad has come up with a new one, "Anti-Semite." Like "Communist", "Anti-Semite" is used to ruin the lives of people who have not actually done anything wrong other than to challenge the war profiteers. It is a new word for an old trick, and I am amazed that they are still playing the same old game, but I guess the FBI can always find some dumb-assed idiot to fall for it and do their dirty work of wrecking a career for them. ..."
"... Charles Lindbergh the famous aviator commented in a speech in Des Moines in 1941... ..."
"... Our theaters soon became filled with plays portraying the glory of war. Newsreels lost all semblance of objectivity. Newspapers and magazines began to lose advertising if they carried anti-war articles. A smear campaign was instituted against individuals who opposed intervention. The terms "fifth columnist," "traitor," "Nazi," "anti-Semitic" were thrown ceaselessly at any one who dared to suggest that it was not to the best interests of the United States to enter the war. Men lost their jobs if they were frankly anti-war. Many others dared no longer speak. ..."
"... If there is a difference today it is that the American people are better educated. No longer dependent on the state schools, or controlled media, the public understands the tactics used to silence those who speak out. As a result, those who speak out are more and more not only accorded the sympathetic ear that their message deserves, but the effects of the smearing are far less ruinous than in times past. ..."
"... While people like Charlie Sheen, Willie Nelson, Sean Penn, and Marion Cotillard (and to step out of entertainment, former President Jimmy Carter) will be remembered and honored for their courage, history will lump the smear artists together with Stalin's "Useful idiots", little more than no-talent opportunists for whom ratting out someone was the fastest path to advancement. ..."
Oct 15, 2017 | www.whatreallyhappened.com

Back in the year 1947, the House Select Committee began an investigation into the Motion Picture Industry. Ostensibly the goal was to ferret out communists working in the film industry. But in actuality the US Government was concerned that Hollywood was no longer as blindly supportive of government policy as it had been only a few years earlier at the height of WW2. In particular, J. Edgar Hoover had long held the opinion that the entertainment industry should be the propaganda arm for the government in peace time as well as war.

However, as WW2 had ended, the defense establishment had lobbied for the creation of a "Cold" war against the Soviet Union, a war not actually to be fought, but constantly to be prepared for at huge cost to the taxpayers. This cost was the visible manifestation of the "Military Industrial Complex" President Eisenhower referred to in his farewell address, and many in Hollywood openly wondered just why so much more money had to be thrown into the war machine during a time of peace, and more to the point, just why we were supposed to be so afraid of the communists.

Hoover's desire to remake Hollywood into a gigantic propaganda machine had started at the end of WW1 when Hoover tried to persuade Charlie Chaplin to cease making films that portrayed authority figures as oafish buffoons. Chaplin refused, laughed at Hoover. Years later, as head of the FBI, Hoover was instrumental in having Charlie Chaplin's citizenship revoked in retaliation.

Hoover's mania with Hollywood was a seldom reported but constant factor in show business. The 1959 film, "The FBI Story" starring Air Force General Jimmy Stewart was reportedly directed by Mervyn LeRoy, but in actuality J. Edgar Hoover was personally supervising the film (and briefly appears in it, shown only from the back) to make certain the "correct" image of the FBI was shown.

In later years, FBI informants became permanent fixtures at movie studios, and spied for the FBI. When Disney Studios made "That Darned Cat", a pre-production copy of the screenplay "somehow" made its way to the FBI, which promptly sent Disney a memo expressing concern at how the FBI was to be portrayed.

[That Darned Cat]Click for full sized page. [That Darned Cat]Click for full sized page.

Likewise, when Paramount Pictures produced, "Skidoo", starring Jackie Gleason, it featured a single scene in which Gleason's character is seen fleeing a building marked, "FBI" carrying a file cabinet on his back. That one single scene prompted the following four page memo.

[Skidoo page 1]Click for full sized page. [Skidoo page 2]Click for full sized page.
[Skidoo page 3]Click for full sized page. [Skidoo page 4]Click for full sized page.

Along with "nudging" the film studios to portray certain things certain ways, the FBI did not hesitate to wreck the careers of those people it felt posed a dangerous threat to the government's public image. During the height of the FBI's COINTELPRO program, the FBI destroyed the career of actress Jean Seberg

Jean Seberg was considered a threat to the US Government because of her public support for civil rights at a time when the Civil Rights movement was starting to point out the racial bias in the draft system that placed a disproportionate percentage of black kids on the front lines of Vietnam. Seberg was also a supporter of the Black Panthers in their pre-militant days when their agenda was breakfasts for the ghetto kids, local control of school curriculum, and ending the draft.

Jean Seberg, a well known actress in the 60s, became pregnant and the FBI sent out letters to the gossip columnists identifying the baby's father as a Black Panther, in order to cheapen Seberg's image. Keep in mind that the 60s was an era in which sexual relations between blacks and whites was still considered taboo by most Americans.

The scans below are of the official FBI letter from Los Angeles to Washington D.C. asking permission for the scam.

[Seberg Letter Page 1]letter requesting permission for the smearing of Jean Seberg.

[Seberg Letter Page 2]page two of request for permission to smear of Jean Seberg

The text of the letter:

"Bureau permission is requested to publicize the pregnancy of Jean Seberg, well-known movie actress by (name deleted) Black Panther (BPP) (deleted) by advising Hollywood "Gossip-Columnists" in the Los Angeles area of the situation. It is felt that the possible publication of Seberg's plight could cause her embarrassment and serve to cheapen her image with the general public.

" 'It is proposed that the following letter from a fictitious person be sent to local columnists:

"I was just thinking about you and remembered I still owe you a favor. So ---- I was in Paris last week and ran into Jean Seberg, who was heavy with baby. I thought she and Romaine [sic] had gotten together again, but she confided the child belonged to (deleted) of the Black Panthers, one (deleted). The dear girl is getting around!

" 'Anyway, I thought you might get a scoop on the others. Be good and I'll see you soon.

'Love,
" 'Sol.,

"Usual precautions would be taken by the Los Angeles Division to preclude identification of the Bureau as the source of the letter if approval is granted."

Permission to use the fake letter was granted, but with the suggestion that the smear be delayed until Jean Seberg's pregnancy was in a very obvious condition.

[Seberg Letter Page 1] letter granting permission for the smearing of Jean Seberg.

The story was then run by Los Angeles Times propagandist Joyce Haber.

[Seberg Letter Page 2]Click for full size picture of the Haber Article that launched the smear.

The story was picked up by Newsweek and the international press. The shock of the story was so severe that Jean Seberg suffered a miscarriage. The funeral for the child was held with an open casket, so that the lie stood revealed in its most tragic form. Jean Seberg, her baby dead and her career shattered by this outright lie, attempted suicide several times, finally succeeding in a French Hotel.

[Seberg Letter Page 1] memo that accompanied copy of the Haber story sent to FBI files.

(The name which was redacted from the memo during the FOIA process is thought by many to have been Raymond Hewit, a Black Panther leader. His "outright lie" was far more direct. The FBI typed up a letter on official FBI stationary identifying Hewit as an informant and planted it where other Black Panthers would find it in the hopes that Hewit would then be killed.)

Following Seberg's death, the Los Angeles Times, the key instrument of her torment, issued a statement by the FBI.

"The days when the FBI used derogatory information to combat advocates of unpopular causes have long since passed. We are out of that business forever."

The Senate committee that looked into COINTELPRO disagreed, however.

"Cointelpro activities may continue today under the rubric of 'investigation.'

Finally, no single celebrity filled the government with more fear than did ex-Beatle John Lennon. Lennon's popularity, and hence his ability to influence popular opinion, coupled with his strong anti-war stance, made him a real threat in the event the United States decided it had to go to war. For this reason, Lennon was one of the most watched celebrities, and according to Lennon's youngest son, the victim of a government assassination plot.

[Lennon 1]Click for full sized page. [Lennon 2]Click for full sized page.
[Lennon 3]Click for full sized page. [Lennon 4]Click for full sized page.
[Lennon 5]Click for full sized page. [Lennon 6]Click for full sized page.
[Lennon 7]Click for full sized page. [Lennon 8]Click for full sized page.
[Lennon 9]Click for full sized page. [Lennon 10]Click for full sized page.

Having documented the FBI's willingness to destroy anyone they feel represents a threat to the government, let us return to the days of the House Select Committee on UnAmerican Activities.

While Senator Joseph McCarthy grabbed headlines with his shouts of "Communist", Hoover set about his self-appointed task of purging Hollywood of any he viewed as "disloyal" to the United States, which meant anyone unwilling to make the movies they were told to make, when and how they were told to make them. Senator McCarthy's screed of "Communist" provided Hoover with a bludgeon he could and did use with impunity on Hollywood's creative talents. Careers were ruined. Some 400 people, mostly innocent of any actual wrongdoing, were destroyed. Some, like Jean Seberg would later do, committed suicide. Ten men (the famous Hollywood Ten), Alvah Bessie, Herbert Biberman, Lester Cole, Ring Lardner jr., John Howard Lawson, Albert Maltz, Samuel Ornitz, Adrian Scott, Dalton Trumbo, and eminent director Edward Dmytryk were jailed for contempt of Congress.

Others punished for refusing to cooperate included Larry Adler, Stella Adler, Leonard Bernstein, Marc Blitzstein, Joseph Bromberg, Charlie Chaplin, Aaron Copland, Hanns Eisler, Carl Foreman, John Garfield, Howard Da Silva, Dashiell Hammett, E. Y. Harburg, Lillian Hellman, Burl Ives, Arthur Miller, Dorothy Parker, Philip Loeb, Joseph Losey, Anne Revere, Pete Seeger, Gale Sondergaard, Louis Untermeyer, Josh White, Clifford Odets, Michael Wilson, Paul Jarrico, Jeff Corey, John Randolph, Canada Lee, Orson Welles, Paul Green, Sidney Kingsley, Paul Robeson, Richard Wright and Abraham Polonsky. Lee Grant was registered on the black list because she refused to give evidence against her husband Arnold Manoff.

Stars such as Larry Parks were destroyed because they refused to "name names" of other actors who were party members. Actor Philip Loeb committed suicide. Edward G. Robinson, never a communist, was put on a "grey list," and spent the rest of his life making B movies (except for his final role opposite Charlton Heston in "Soylent Green"). Sam Jaffe, formerly a well-known actor and Oscar winner in 1950 was registered on the black list because he refused to cooperate with the committee. He spent the next 6 years working as a math teacher and living at his sister's until he was able to return to films in 1957.

Of course, what was really involved was money. War is good for business. Business had been great during WW2 and the newly created "Cold War" was just a way to keep business good. The Military Industrial Complex NEEDED Hollywood to demonize the Soviets. Otherwise, too many people were going to ask why we were being told to be so afraid of them, and few in the government had a really convincing answer for that question. So, in order to perpetuate the Cold War, those in Hollywood who might sympathize with the designated villains had to be removed; their ruined lives a small price to pay for unending access to the taxpayers' wallets.

But that was then and this is now.

Once again vast sums of money are being spent on a war, this time a hot one and getting hotter. Once again parties with a vested interest are out to smear and destroy anyone who dares ask if the wars are worth the sacrifice of our young people (not to mention the money), indeed if there really is any point at all to the wars aside from justifying the flow of money to defense contractors.

But the Soviet Union has gone out of business. The word "communist" doesn't carry the same psychological impact it used to, so the war hawk smear squad has come up with a new one, "Anti-Semite." Like "Communist", "Anti-Semite" is used to ruin the lives of people who have not actually done anything wrong other than to challenge the war profiteers. It is a new word for an old trick, and I am amazed that they are still playing the same old game, but I guess the FBI can always find some dumb-assed idiot to fall for it and do their dirty work of wrecking a career for them.

Of course, it really isn't that new a word. Oddly enough, Charles Lindbergh the famous aviator commented in a speech in Des Moines in 1941...

Our theaters soon became filled with plays portraying the glory of war. Newsreels lost all semblance of objectivity. Newspapers and magazines began to lose advertising if they carried anti-war articles. A smear campaign was instituted against individuals who opposed intervention. The terms "fifth columnist," "traitor," "Nazi," "anti-Semitic" were thrown ceaselessly at any one who dared to suggest that it was not to the best interests of the United States to enter the war. Men lost their jobs if they were frankly anti-war. Many others dared no longer speak.

Today we are seeing once again the heavy hand of the war profiteers trying to reshape the film industry into a tool to propagandize the public into a high war-fever such that they will gladly trade their own blood for gold to line the pockets of the defense establishment. And those individuals who have the courage to speak out are attacked, and once again they are smeared to silence them. In the 1940s it was "Communist", today it is "Anti-Semite", but aside from the particular label used, the methods, goals, and morality are little changed from the days of Joseph McCarthy.

If there is a difference today it is that the American people are better educated. No longer dependent on the state schools, or controlled media, the public understands the tactics used to silence those who speak out. As a result, those who speak out are more and more not only accorded the sympathetic ear that their message deserves, but the effects of the smearing are far less ruinous than in times past.

Thus, when we see people like Willie Nelson, Sean Penn, and Marion Cotillard speak out and survive, or when people like Tom Shadyac (or myself) voluntarily walk away from Hollywood because speaking the truth matters more to them, it sends a message that it is now permissible, indeed imperative to speak out. This is not to say that there are not risks. Rosie O'Donnell lost her spot on "The View", but the majority of Americans understand exactly why, and understand that Rosie sacrificed a great deal trying to get the truth out. Rosie is and will be remembered as a hero for truth long after her co-hosts on "The View" are properly forgotten.

In contrast, of course, we look back at those who aided the "Commie" witch-hunts of the 1940s with deserved contempt. No doubt many aided Hoover purely to rid themselves of competition, and then tried to lull themselves to sleep with the idea that in some way they had actually done something good for the nation by wrecking their neighbors' careers. I have no doubt strong liquor played a role in this grossest of self-deception. But if the informants and smear artists of the 1940s are remembered in a poor light, that should serve as a reminder to the informants and smear artists of today. It does not matter what you do with the rest of your life, aiding the new version of McCarthyism is how history will remember you. While people like Charlie Sheen, Willie Nelson, Sean Penn, and Marion Cotillard (and to step out of entertainment, former President Jimmy Carter) will be remembered and honored for their courage, history will lump the smear artists together with Stalin's "Useful idiots", little more than no-talent opportunists for whom ratting out someone was the fastest path to advancement.

They say that history repeats itself, and indeed that is the major thing wrong with history. We are seeing history repeat itself again. We have been down this path before, in the 1940s. Whether the word is "Communist" or "Anti-Semite", Hollywood is making the same mistake all over again. And Hollywood will have to live with that image in the coming decades.

[Oct 15, 2017] Could we reverse a hacked presidential election by Vinay Nayak and Samuel Breidbart

Those two "propaganda solders" from Yale release outright lies about "stealing information from 90,000 voting records in the state of Illinois alone. " as it this is a fact. Looks like those students learned quickly from their Yale "color revolution" teachers ;-)
The USA perfected election interference technique in dozen of color revolution in xUSSR republics and other areas of the globe. Actually the first color revolution was organized in 1974.
Now DemoRats (neoliberal Democrats of Clinton wing of the party) and elements of intelligence agencies and MS who support them simply can not quit... Now quitting involved potential significant PR damage... McCarthyism has its own internal dynamics. The danger for DemoRats (neoliberal Democrats of Clinton wing of the party) now is that if Russian were investigated why Israelis and Saudies (along with other Gulf monarchies) were not.
Please note that Yale is the main US educational institution that teaches foreign students color revolution theory and practice... See, for example Sott.net and Kerry Re-writes History of U.S. Support for Color Revolutions
Notable quotes:
"... Setting Trump aside, what if a foreign government succeeds in the future in electing an American president through active vote manipulation? ..."
Oct 15, 2017 | www.msn.com

In the past few weeks, we have learned that the Russian government reached more than 10 million Americans with a misinformation campaign on Facebook, and that hackers targeted 21 state election systems , stealing information from 90,000 voting records in the state of Illinois alone. These are just the latest of many revelations about Russia's unprecedented interference in the election.

It is cold comfort that we have no evidence so far that Moscow actually manipulated vote tallies to change the election's outcome.

But what if it emerges that Russian operatives were successful on that front as well? Setting Trump aside, what if a foreign government succeeds in the future in electing an American president through active vote manipulation?

The Constitution offers no clear way to remedy such a disaster.

Any evidence that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia raises its own set of important issues -- now being assiduously investigated by special counsel Robert Mueller. But the disturbing scenario in which hackers manipulate election results, conceivably rendering the true vote tally unrecoverable, would pose a unique threat to a foundational principle of our democracy: rule by the consent of the governed. We would in no sense have a government "by the people."

Although such a constitutional crisis now seems all too plausible, we have yet to seriously consider provisions that might protect our democracy -- measures that could allow us to reverse such a result.

... ... ...

Vinay Nayak and Samuel Breidbart are students at Yale Law School.

[Oct 15, 2017] The Mysterious World of Social Media Manipulation by Samuel Earle

When people stop to trust MSM, rumor mill emerges as a substitute. Neoliberal MSM lost people trust. Now what ?
Notable quotes:
"... But social media manipulation did not begin or end with the election. As early as 2011, the US government hired a public relations firm to develop a " persona management tool " that would develop and control fake profiles on social media for political purposes. ..."
"... The British parent company of Cambridge Analytica, Strategic Communications Laboratories (SCL), has been a client of the government for years, working with the Department of Defense, and The Washington Post ..."
"... There is also growing awareness of hundreds of thousands of so-called "sleeper" bots: Accounts that have tweeted only once or twice for Trump, and which now sit silently, waiting for a trigger -- a key political moment -- to spread disinformation and drown out opposing views. ..."
Oct 15, 2017 | www.msn.com

Now the focus is less on Trump's extensive personal social media following and more on the roles that Facebook and Twitter may have played in alleged Russian interference in the election. Congress is calling on Facebook and Twitter to disclose details about how they may have been used by Russia-linked entities to try to influence the election in favor of Trump.

But despite the much-publicized case in the U.S., the pervasiveness of these political strategies on social media, from the distribution of disinformation to organized attacks on opponents, the tactics remain largely unknown to the public, as invisible as they are invasive. Citizens are exposed to them the world over, often without ever realizing it.

Drawing on two recent reports by the Oxford Internet Institute (OII) and independent research, Newsweek has outlined the covert ways in which states and other political actors use social media to manipulate public opinion around the world, focusing on six illustrative examples: the U.S., Azerbaijan, Israel, China, Russia and the U.K.

It reveals how "Cyber-troops" -- the name given to this new political force by the OII -- are enlisted by states, militaries and parties to secure power and undermine opponents, through a combination of public funding, private contracts and volunteers, and how bots -- fake accounts that purport to be real people -- can produce as many as 1,000 social media posts a day.

By generating an illusion of support for an idea or candidate in this way, bots drive up actual support by sparking a bandwagon effect -- making something or someone seem normal and like a palatable, common-sense option. As the director of the OII, Philip Howard, argues : "If you use enough of them, of bots and people, and cleverly link them together, you are what's legitimate. You are creating truth."

On social media, the consensus goes to whoever has the strongest set of resources to make it.

The U.S.: Rise of the bots

America sees a wider range of actors attempting to shape and manipulate public opinion online than any country -- with governments, political parties, and individual organizations all involved.

In its report, the OII describes 2016's Trump vs. Hillary Clinton presidential contest as a " watershed moment " when social media manipulation was "at an all-time high."

Many of the forces at play have been well-reported: whether the hundreds of thousands of bots or the right-wing sites like Breitbart distributing divisive stories. In Michigan, in the days before the election, fake news was shared as widely as professional journalism . Meanwhile firms like Cambridge Analytica, self-described specialists in "election management," worked for Trump to target swing voters, mainly on Facebook.

While Hillary Clinton's campaign also engaged in such tactics, with big-data and pro-Clinton bots multiplying in number as her campaign progressed, Trump's team proved the most effective. Overall, pro-Trump bots generated five times as much activity at key moments of the campaign as pro-Clinton ones. These Twitter bots -- which often had zero followers -- copied each other's messages and sent out advertisements alongside political content. They regularly retweeted Dan Scavino, Trump's social media director.

One high-ranking Republican Party figure told OII that campaigning on social media was like "the Wild West." "Anything goes as long as your candidate is getting the most attention," he said. And it worked: A Harvard study concluded that overall Trump received 15 percent more media coverage than Clinton.

Targeted advertising to specific demographics was also central to Trump's strategy. Clinton spent two and a half times more than Trump on television adverts and had a 73% share of nationally focused digital ads.

But Trump's team, led by Cambridge Analytica for the final months, focused on sub-groups. In one famous example, an anti-Clinton ad that repeated her notorious speech from 1996 describing so-called "super-predators" was shown exclusively to African-American voters on Facebook in areas where the Republicans hoped to suppress the Democrat vote -- and again, it worked.

"It's well known that President Obama's campaign pioneered the use of microtargeting in 2012," a spokesperson for Cambridge Analytica tells Newsweek . "But big data and new ad tech are now revolutionizing communications and marketing, and Cambridge Analytica is at the forefront of this paradigm shift."

"Communication enhances democracy, not endangers it. We enable voters to have their concerns heard, and we help political candidates communicate their policy positions."

The firm argues that its partnership with American right-wing candidates -- first Ted Cruz and then Trump -- is purely circumstantial. "We work in politics, but we're not political," the spokesperson said.

The company is part-owned by the family of Robert Mercer, which was one of Trump's major donors, while Stephen K. Bannon sat on the company's board until he was appointed White House chief strategist (he was dismissed from his post seven months later). According to Bannon's March federal financial disclosure, he held shares worth as much as $5 million in the company . On October 11, it was also revealed that the House Intelligence Committee has asked the company to provide information for its ongoing probe into Russian interference.

But social media manipulation did not begin or end with the election. As early as 2011, the US government hired a public relations firm to develop a " persona management tool " that would develop and control fake profiles on social media for political purposes.

The British parent company of Cambridge Analytica, Strategic Communications Laboratories (SCL), has been a client of the government for years, working with the Department of Defense, and The Washington Post reports that it recently secured work with the State Department.

There is also growing awareness of hundreds of thousands of so-called "sleeper" bots: Accounts that have tweeted only once or twice for Trump, and which now sit silently, waiting for a trigger -- a key political moment -- to spread disinformation and drown out opposing views.

Emilio Ferrara, an Assistant Research Professor at the University of Southern California Computer Science department, even suggests the possibility of "a black-market for reusable political disinformation bots," ready to be utilitized wherever they are needed, the world over. These fears appeared to be confirmed by reports that the same bots used to back Trump were then deployed against eventual winner Emmanuel Macron in this year's French presidential election.

[Oct 14, 2017] The people who came up with the Russian hacking story were not stupid. The logical weakness of the claim was never relevant. Unlike Dubya in Iraq, they got what they wanted. Mission accomplished by Mike Whitney

Anybody who subscript of NYT, or WaPo after this fiasco is simply paying money for state propaganda.
Notable quotes:
"... Committee Chairman Senator Richard Burr (R-N.C.) admitted as much in a press conference last Wednesday when he said: "We feel very confident that the ICA's accuracy is going to be supported by our committee. " ..."
"... Burr's statement is an example of "confirmation bias" which is the tendency to interpret information in a way that confirms one's own preexisting beliefs. In this case, Burr and his co-chair, Senator Mark Warner have already accepted the findings of a hastily slapped-together Intelligence report that was the work of "hand-picked" analysts who were likely chosen to produce conclusions that jibed with a particular political agenda. ..."
"... This is the basic claim of Russia meddling that has yet to be proved. As you can see, the charge is mixed with liberal doses of mind-reading mumbo-jumbo that reveal the authors' lack of objectivity. There's a considerable amount of speculation about Putin's motives and preferences which are based on pure conjecture. It's a bit shocking that professional analysts -- who are charged with providing our leaders with rock-solid intelligence related to matters of national security -- would indulge in this type of opinionated blather and psycho-babble. ..."
"... The ICA reads more like the text from a morning talk show than an Intelligence report. And what is it about this report that Burr finds so persuasive? It's beyond me. The report's greatest strength seems to be that no one has ever read it. If they had, they'd realize that it's nonsense. ..."
"... How can the committee conduct "100 interviews, comprising 250 hours of testimony and resulting in 4,000 pages of transcripts" without producing a shred of evidence that Russia meddled in the elections? How is that possible? The Committee's job is to prove its case not to merely pour over the minutia related to the investigation. No one really cares how many people testified or how much paperwork was involved. What people want is proof that Russia interfered with the elections or that members of the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow. That's the whole point of this exercise. And, on the collusion matter, at least we have something new to report. In a rare moment of candor, Burr blurted out this gem: "There are concerns that we continue to pursue. Collusion? The committee continues to look into all evidence to see if there was any hint of collusion. Now, I'm not going to even discuss any initial findings because we haven't any." ..."
"... Let's cut to the chase: The committee is not getting to the bottom of the Russia hacking matter, because they don't want to get to the bottom of it. It's that simple. ..."
"... Brennan not only helped select the hand-picked analysts who authored the ICA, he also clearly has an animus towards Russia due to his frustrated attempt to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al Assad which was thwarted by Putin. In other words, Brennan has a motive to mislead the Committee. He's biased. He has an ax to grind. In contrast, Assange has firsthand knowledge of what actually transpired with the DNC emails because he was the recipient of those emails. Has Assange been contacted by the Committee or asked to testify via Skype? ..."
"... It should be obvious by now that the real intention of the briefing was not to provide the public with more information, facts or evidence of Russian hacking, but to use the prestigious setting as a platform for disseminating more disinformation aimed at vilifying an emerging rival (Russia) that has blocked Washington's aggression in Ukraine and Syria, and threatens to unite the most populous and prosperous region in the world (Eurasia) into one massive free trade zone spanning from Lisbon to Vladivostok. Reasonable people must now consider the possibility that the Russia hacking narrative is an Information Operation (IO) devoid of any real substance which is designed to poison the publics perception of Russia. It is a domestic propaganda campaign that fits perfectly with the "Full Spectrum Dominance" theory of weaponizing media in a way that best achieves one's geopolitical objectives. The American people are again being manipulated so that powerful elites can lead the country to war. ..."
"... If the Senate can 'assess,' so can I! I assess that Hollywood hottie Jenifer Lawrence is secretly in love with me! Although I can't prove this, all of my assessments point to this as being fact. ..."
"... This report is as bogus as the "9/11 Commission Report". Both commissions members were hand-picked by those guys that have a vested interest in the right outcome. ..."
"... In the end, Robert Mueller, an Obama/Clinton/Comey/Brennan stooge, will produce some "evidence" about so-called Russian meddling as far-fetched this may be. And the fawning media will go for it. The American public will get the report, which it deserves. ..."
"... But what is missing is that this "Russian Hacking" story was not nonsense, it worked. After Trump was elected, the establishment panicked and went into full attack mode. The headlines were screaming, thought went out the window, it looked like Trump was going to be hounded out of office by force majeure. Then Trump buckled, and shot those missiles at the Syrian air base, and we are back on track throwing away trillions of dollars on endless pointless winless foreign wars in places of zero strategic interest to us. ..."
"... Having served its purpose, the Russian 'hacking' stories are tapering off, being continued more out of momentum and habit than true focused intent. Oh sure, the corporate press still publicly despises Trump, but the intensity is gone. They are just going through the motions, it is no longer important, just political theater. ..."
"... The people who came up with the Russian hacking story were not stupid. The logical weakness of the claim was never relevant. Unlike Dubya in Iraq, they got what they wanted. Mission accomplished. ..."
"... The inaptly named Intelligence Community just never busts out. However much it has gotten flat out wrong and however much it has flat out missed over the years, however much its blunders and mistakes have cost us and our victims in treasure and blood, it just never busts out. There is always an excuse. The closest the Borg ever came to any gesture towards accountability was the Church committee post Watergate, ancient history, lessons purposefully buried and lost to the legions of bureaucrats blundering their way through the last 40 years. ..."
"... Good article on something everyone who is well researched and truth seeking already knows; the Russian Collusion story is a hatchet job by incompetent political hacks. The only power they USED to have is an obsessive never give up faith in the power of lying. ..."
"... So what ? Truth is no longer an issue in USA politics: Christopher Lasch, 'The Culture of Narcissism, American Life in an Age of Diminishing Expectations', 1979, 1980, London ..."
"... Even today there was another AP hit piece about those 201 Russian Twitter handles, and zero perspective about the kind of math that renders 201 out of 24 billion a speck of dust. You really have to depend on a dumbed down population to get them to buy this stuff. ..."
"... If all we hear are endless allusions to what are just opinions, meetings, plans, criticism, etc what is being investigated? This is literally suggesting that some in Washington and US media are not mature enough, smart enough, or sane enough to be taken seriously. How are they planning to recover the basic level of rationality after this fiasco? ..."
Oct 14, 2017 | www.unz.com

Originally from: The Senate Intelligence Committee Finds No Evidence of Russian Hacking or Collusion

The Senate Intelligence Committee has made it clear that it is not conducting an open and independent investigation of alleged Russian hacking, but making a determined effort to support a theory that was presented in the January 6, 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment. Committee Chairman Senator Richard Burr (R-N.C.) admitted as much in a press conference last Wednesday when he said: "We feel very confident that the ICA's accuracy is going to be supported by our committee. "

Burr's statement is an example of "confirmation bias" which is the tendency to interpret information in a way that confirms one's own preexisting beliefs. In this case, Burr and his co-chair, Senator Mark Warner have already accepted the findings of a hastily slapped-together Intelligence report that was the work of "hand-picked" analysts who were likely chosen to produce conclusions that jibed with a particular political agenda. In other words, the intelligence was fixed to fit the policy. Burr of course has tried to conceal his prejudice by pointing to the number of witnesses the Committee has interviewed and the volume of work that's been produced. This is from an article at The Nation:

Since January 23, the committee and its staff have conducted more than 100 interviews, comprising 250 hours of testimony and resulting in 4,000 pages of transcripts, and reviewed more than 100,000 documents relevant to Russiagate. The staff, said Warner, has collectively spent a total of 57 hours per day, seven days a week, since the committee opened its inquiry, going through documents and transcripts, interviewing witnesses, and analyzing both classified and unclassified material.

It all sounds very impressive, but if the goal is merely to lend credibility to unverified assumptions, then what's the point? Let's take a look at a few excerpts from the report and see whether Burr and Warner are justified in "feeling confident" in the ICA's accuracy. From the Intelligence Community Assessment:

We assess Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election. Russia's goals were to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency. We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump. We have high confidence in these judgments.

This is the basic claim of Russia meddling that has yet to be proved. As you can see, the charge is mixed with liberal doses of mind-reading mumbo-jumbo that reveal the authors' lack of objectivity. There's a considerable amount of speculation about Putin's motives and preferences which are based on pure conjecture. It's a bit shocking that professional analysts -- who are charged with providing our leaders with rock-solid intelligence related to matters of national security -- would indulge in this type of opinionated blather and psycho-babble. It's also shocking that Burr and Warner think this gibberish should be taken seriously.

Here's more from the ICA:

Putin most likely wanted to discredit Secretary Clinton because he has publicly blamed her since 2011 for inciting mass protests against his regime in late 2011 and early 2012, and because he holds a grudge for comments he almost certainly saw as disparaging him.

More mind-reading, more groundless speculation, more guessing what Putin thinks or doesn't think. The ICA reads more like the text from a morning talk show than an Intelligence report. And what is it about this report that Burr finds so persuasive? It's beyond me. The report's greatest strength seems to be that no one has ever read it. If they had, they'd realize that it's nonsense. Also, it would have been better if the ICA's authors had avoided the amateur psychoanalysis and stuck to the point, Russia hacking. Dabbling in the former seriously impacts the report's credibility.

To their credit, however, Burr and Warner have questioned all of the analysts who contributed to the report. Check out this excerpt from The Nation:

"We have interviewed everybody who had a hand or a voice in the creation of the ICA," said Burr. "We've spent nine times the amount of time that the IC [intelligence community] spent putting the ICA together. We have reviewed all the supporting evidence that went into it and, in addition to that, the things that went on the cutting-room floor that they may not have found appropriate for the ICA, but we may have found relevant to our investigation." Burr added that the committee's review included "highly classified intelligence reporting," and they've interviewed every official in the Obama administration who had anything to do with putting it together. ("Democrats and Republicans in Congress Agree: Russia Did It", The Nation)

That's great, but where' the beef? How can the committee conduct "100 interviews, comprising 250 hours of testimony and resulting in 4,000 pages of transcripts" without producing a shred of evidence that Russia meddled in the elections? How is that possible? The Committee's job is to prove its case not to merely pour over the minutia related to the investigation. No one really cares how many people testified or how much paperwork was involved. What people want is proof that Russia interfered with the elections or that members of the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow. That's the whole point of this exercise. And, on the collusion matter, at least we have something new to report. In a rare moment of candor, Burr blurted out this gem: "There are concerns that we continue to pursue. Collusion? The committee continues to look into all evidence to see if there was any hint of collusion. Now, I'm not going to even discuss any initial findings because we haven't any."

Think about that. After "100 interviews, 250 hours of testimony, and 4000 transcript pages" there's not the slightest hint of collusion. It's mindboggling. Why isn't this front page news? Why haven't the New York Times or Washington Post run this in their headlines, after all, they've hyped every other part of this story?

Could it be that Burr's admission doesn't mesh with the media's "Russia did it" narrative so they decided to scrub the story altogether?

But it's not just collusion we're talking about here, there's also the broader issue of Russia meddling. And what was striking about the press conference is that –after all the interviews, all the testimony, and all the stacks of transcripts– the Committee has come up with nothing; no eyewitness testimony supporting the original claims, no smoking gun, no proof of domestic espionage, no evidence of Russian complicity, nothing. One big goose egg.

So here's a question for critical minded readers:

If the Senate Intelligence Committee has not found any proof that Russia hacked the 2016 elections, then why do senators' Burr and Warner still believe the ICA is reliable? It doesn't really make sense, does it? Don't they require evidence to draw their conclusions? And doesn't the burden of truth fall on the prosecution (or the investigators in this case)? Isn't a man innocent until proven guilty or doesn't that rule apply to Russia?

Let's cut to the chase: The committee is not getting to the bottom of the Russia hacking matter, because they don't want to get to the bottom of it. It's that simple. That's why they have excluded any witnesses that may upset their preconceived theory of what happened. Why, for example, would the committee chose to interview former CIA Director John Brennan rather than WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange? Brennan not only helped select the hand-picked analysts who authored the ICA, he also clearly has an animus towards Russia due to his frustrated attempt to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al Assad which was thwarted by Putin. In other words, Brennan has a motive to mislead the Committee. He's biased. He has an ax to grind. In contrast, Assange has firsthand knowledge of what actually transpired with the DNC emails because he was the recipient of those emails. Has Assange been contacted by the Committee or asked to testify via Skype?

Don't bet on it.

What about former UK ambassador Craig Murray, a WikiLeaks colleague, who has repeatedly admitted that he knows the source of the DNC emails. Murray hasn't been asked to testify nor has he even been contacted by the FBI on the matter. Apparently, the FBI has no interest in a credible witness who can disprove the politically-motivated theory expounded in the ICA.

Then there's 30-year CIA analyst Ray McGovern and his group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS). McGovern has done extensive research on the topic and has produced solid evidence that the DNC emails were "leaked" by an insider, not "hacked" by a foreign government. McGovern's work squares with Assange and Murray's claim that Russia did not hack the 2016 elections. Has McGovern been invited to testify?

How about Skip Folden, retired IBM Program Manager and Information Technology expert, whose excellent report titled "Non-Existent Foundation for Russian Hacking Charge" also disproves the hacking theory, as does The Nation's Patrick Lawrence whose riveting article at The Nation titled "A New Report Raises Big Questions About Last Year's DNC Hack" which thoroughly obliterates the central claims of the ICA.

Finally, there's California Congressman Dana Rohrabacher who met with Assange in August at the Ecuadorian embassy in London and who was assured that Assange would provide hard evidence (in the form of "a computer drive or other data-storage device") that the Russians were not involved in the DNC email scandal.

Wouldn't you think that senate investigators would want to talk to a trusted colleague and credible witness like Rohrabacher who said he could produce solid proof that the scandal, that has dominated the headlines and roiled Washington for the better part of a year, was bogus?

Apparently not. Apparently Burr and his colleagues would rather avoid any witness or evidence that conflicts with their increasingly-threadbare thesis.

So what conclusions can we draw from the Committee's behavior? Are Burr and Warner really conducting an open and independent investigation of alleged Russia hacking or is this just a witch hunt?

It should be obvious by now that the real intention of the briefing was not to provide the public with more information, facts or evidence of Russian hacking, but to use the prestigious setting as a platform for disseminating more disinformation aimed at vilifying an emerging rival (Russia) that has blocked Washington's aggression in Ukraine and Syria, and threatens to unite the most populous and prosperous region in the world (Eurasia) into one massive free trade zone spanning from Lisbon to Vladivostok. Reasonable people must now consider the possibility that the Russia hacking narrative is an Information Operation (IO) devoid of any real substance which is designed to poison the publics perception of Russia. It is a domestic propaganda campaign that fits perfectly with the "Full Spectrum Dominance" theory of weaponizing media in a way that best achieves one's geopolitical objectives. The American people are again being manipulated so that powerful elites can lead the country to war.

Beckow > , October 13, 2017 at 11:00 pm GMT

Where is this going? At some point in the next few years there will be a 'damning' report that will regurgitate what has already been endlessly publicised: VIP's meet each other (the horror!), somehow DNC emails got published, Facebook sold ads to 'Russia-linked' users, and Pokemon Go, whatever. That will be described in sinister terms and RT will be thrown in. How dare RT not to have the same views as CNN?

But what then? Let's even say that Trump is removed – he is at this point so emasculated that keeping him in the White House is the most stabilising thing the establishment could do. Is Congress going to declare a war on Russia? Or more sanctions? Are they going to ban RT? Break diplomatic relations? None of that makes sense because any of those moves would be more costly than beneficial, some dramatically so. Therefore nothing will happen.

All that will remain is permanent bitterness towards Russia, and vice-versa. And much reduced ability to do what the West has done for 75 years: heavy interference and media campaigns inside foreign countries to influence elections. If 'meddling' is so bad, the biggest meddlers – by far – will be less able to meddle. So how is this hysteria helping?

Sanity in public life is a precious thing. Once abandoned, all kinds of strange things start happening. Yeah, Pokemon GO – Putin was personally naming the characters to 'sow division'. It sounds like something Stalin would accuse his 'cosmopolitan' enemies of doing. This is really embarrassing.

utu > , October 14, 2017 at 4:35 am GMT

Incorrect parsing of reality. It was not about getting Trump but it was about making Trump administration to severe relations with Russia. It began with having Gen. Flynn fired. This mission was accomplished. We have now worse relations with Russia than at the end of Obama administration.

Greg Bacon > , Website October 14, 2017 at 9:59 am GMT

If the Senate can 'assess,' so can I! I assess that Hollywood hottie Jenifer Lawrence is secretly in love with me! Although I can't prove this, all of my assessments point to this as being fact.

jacques sheete > , October 14, 2017 at 11:45 am GMT

@Johnny Rico

I have been convinced of the ridiculousness of the Russian-hacking/collusion narrative/scandal since it was created in 2016.

I, too, smelled a rat and figured that it was all BS right from the get go. So much so that I haven't followed it a bit. In fact it's so ridiculous on its face, that I have not and probably will not, waste time reading the article even though MW is a good guy, an unimpeachable source, a true journalist, and a fine writer.

Bless you, Mr Whitney, for having the energy to document what is no doubt a pack of lies from the usual suspects.

I stumbled on this yesterday, and it suggests, to no one's surprise, that it's always deja vu all over again. You'd think our "high IQ" masters would show a little originality once in a while, and that we, "Low IQ" as we are, would finally learn that it's all BS from the get-go.

Note the date.:

THESE books all belong to that literature of Katzenjammer which now flourishes so amazingly in the United States t hey all embody attempts to find out what is the matter with the Republic. I wish I could add that one or another of them solves the problem, or at least contributes something to its illumination , but that would be going somewhat beyond the facts.

-H.L. Mencken, Autopsy (4 Reviews), , September 1927 , pp. 123-125 – PDF

http://www.unz.org/Pub/AmMercury-1927sep-00123

jacques sheete > , October 14, 2017 at 12:21 pm GMT

@Thorfinnsson

This makes me suspect that Mike Whitney is a censorious coward on the model of Razib Khan (thankfully expelled from unz.com) or even worse Paul Craig Roberts (who prohibits comments entirely).

While I agree with you about the latter two, and have written them off accordingly, along with Mercer, who I suspect "edits" (really, "purges" ) her comments too, I highly doubt that MW falls into the same categories as those mentioned. At least MW doesn't use the word, "insouciant" 3 or 4 times in every article!

If I am wrong and this article is simply strangely unpopular please let me know and I will apologize.

The article isn't so much unpopular as the subject is wearying. It's the same crud all over again,obviously false, and I suspect virtually everyone knows it. It's utterly boring and I give MW a lot of credit for having the persistence to even face the mindless mess, let alone think and write about it. He really is to be admired for that.

I've always thought it was a distraction as usual from other much more more important things but utu has a better take on it.

it was about making Trump administration to severe relations with Russia. It began with having Gen. Flynn fired. This mission was accomplished. We have now worse relations with Russia than at the end of Obama administration. [ed note:And Flynn is gone too.]

I think that's a "Bingo!" and I also think you better formulate an apology and plan on getting on yer knees to deliver it!

PS: I'm curious as to why you think this is of much interest at all. (Aside from utu's take.)

Michael Kenny > , October 14, 2017 at 1:24 pm GMT

We don't know who this author really is but, once again, what's interesting is that so many people are still so scared of an investigation which is supposedly producing "no evidence" (leaving aside Trump Junior's evidence, of course). If all this was a load of nonsense, why make such a fuss about it? If there's nothing to this, an "effort to support a theory", however "determined" will come up with nothing. The frantic attempts to kill off Russiagate suggest that those who are making such attempts know, or believe, that there actually is something to it which has not yet come to light. Probably something pretty dirty by the sound of it. What if some part of the US intelligence services took part in the manipulation of the election, either in collusion with the Russians or posing as Russians, and Putin can prove it? That would certainly explain the plethora of retired intelligence agents who are so assiduously defending a foreign government. If Putin really is innocent, the common sense way to prove it is to let Russiagate take its natural course.

Captain Nemo > , October 14, 2017 at 1:30 pm GMT

Reasonable people must now consider the possibility that the Russia hacking narrative is an Information Operation (IO) devoid of any real substance which is designed to poison the publics perception of Russia.

Really? Only "now"?! I thought it was pretty much clear from the beginning.

Ludwig Watzal > , Website October 14, 2017 at 1:59 pm GMT

This report is as bogus as the "9/11 Commission Report". Both commissions members were hand-picked by those guys that have a vested interest in the right outcome.

In the end, Robert Mueller, an Obama/Clinton/Comey/Brennan stooge, will produce some "evidence" about so-called Russian meddling as far-fetched this may be. And the fawning media will go for it. The American public will get the report, which it deserves.

TG > , October 14, 2017 at 2:33 pm GMT

Indeed, well said. But what is missing is that this "Russian Hacking" story was not nonsense, it worked. After Trump was elected, the establishment panicked and went into full attack mode. The headlines were screaming, thought went out the window, it looked like Trump was going to be hounded out of office by force majeure. Then Trump buckled, and shot those missiles at the Syrian air base, and we are back on track throwing away trillions of dollars on endless pointless winless foreign wars in places of zero strategic interest to us.

Having served its purpose, the Russian 'hacking' stories are tapering off, being continued more out of momentum and habit than true focused intent. Oh sure, the corporate press still publicly despises Trump, but the intensity is gone. They are just going through the motions, it is no longer important, just political theater.

The people who came up with the Russian hacking story were not stupid. The logical weakness of the claim was never relevant. Unlike Dubya in Iraq, they got what they wanted. Mission accomplished.

Flavius > , October 14, 2017 at 2:37 pm GMT

Mike – good article. The inaptly named Intelligence Community just never busts out. However much it has gotten flat out wrong and however much it has flat out missed over the years, however much its blunders and mistakes have cost us and our victims in treasure and blood, it just never busts out. There is always an excuse. The closest the Borg ever came to any gesture towards accountability was the Church committee post Watergate, ancient history, lessons purposefully buried and lost to the legions of bureaucrats blundering their way through the last 40 years.

If it can be gotten wrong, the Borg will get it wrong; it will be gotten wrong at the worst possible time; it will move on to get it wrong again. These are three things that you can absolutely count on.

Joe Hide > , October 14, 2017 at 2:47 pm GMT

Good article on something everyone who is well researched and truth seeking already knows; the Russian Collusion story is a hatchet job by incompetent political hacks. The only power they USED to have is an obsessive never give up faith in the power of lying.

jilles dykstra > , October 14, 2017 at 3:15 pm GMT

So what ? Truth is no longer an issue in USA politics: Christopher Lasch, 'The Culture of Narcissism, American Life in an Age of Diminishing Expectations', 1979, 1980, London

Pericles > , October 14, 2017 at 6:42 pm GMT

@Mike Whitney Russia collusion does lack credibility, but you're still doing us a great service by following the twists and turns of this beheaded snake. The details are worth reading about, even if there isn't much to argue about regarding the conclusion. So thanks for that.

Biff > , October 14, 2017 at 7:36 pm GMT

Even today there was another AP hit piece about those 201 Russian Twitter handles, and zero perspective about the kind of math that renders 201 out of 24 billion a speck of dust. You really have to depend on a dumbed down population to get them to buy this stuff.

Beckow > , October 14, 2017 at 7:49 pm GMT

@Michael Kenny

"If Putin really is innocent, the common sense way to prove it is to let Russiagate take its natural course."

Innocent of what? What is it exactly that Russia supposedly did? Let me list a few things that are still perfectly legal in our world (that would include US, I hope):

None of the above is either unusual or illegal. It might not look good to some people, but it is what international life has consisted for at least 200 years. If you call that 'meddling', you just might be too naive for the world as it is.

What is the 'natural course' for the investigation? If all we hear are endless allusions to what are just opinions, meetings, plans, criticism, etc what is being investigated? This is literally suggesting that some in Washington and US media are not mature enough, smart enough, or sane enough to be taken seriously. How are they planning to recover the basic level of rationality after this fiasco?

Putin named Pokemon GO characters after BLM victims to stir up racial hatreds in US. How does one answer that? Where would you even start dealing with people who are capable of this level of nonsense?

[Oct 13, 2017] Sympathy for the Corporatocracy by C. J. Hopkins

Highly recommended!
Biting satire...
Notable quotes:
"... The Tonight Show ..."
"... Now, despite what the Russian propagandists will tell you, this recent outbreak of fascistic behavior has nothing whatsoever to do with these people's frustration with neoliberalism or the supranational Corporatocracy that has been expanding its global empire with total impunity for twenty-five years. And it definitely has nothing at all to do with supranational political unions, or the supersession of national sovereignty by corporate-concocted "free trade" agreements, or the relentless privatization of everything, or the fear that a lot of people have that their cultures are being gradually erased and replaced with a globalized, corporate-friendly, multicultural, market-based culture, which is merely a simulation of culture, and which contains no actual cultural values (because exchange value is its only operative value), but which sells the empty signifiers of their eviscerated cultural values back to them so they can wear their "identities" like designer brands as they hunch together in silence at Starbucks posting pictures of themselves on Facebook. ..."
"... No, this discontent with the political establishment, corporate elites, and the mainstream media has nothing to do with any of that. It's not like global Capitalism, following the collapse of the U.S.S.R. (its last external ideological adversary), has been restructuring the entire planet in accordance with its geopolitical interests, or doing away with national sovereignty, and other nationalistic concepts that no longer serve a useful purpose in a world where a single ideological system (one backed by the most fearsome military in history) reigns completely unopposed. If that were the case, well, it might behoove us to question whether this outbreak of Nazism, racism, and other forms of "hate," was somehow connected to that historical development and maybe even try to articulate some sort of leftist analysis of that. ..."
"... a world where a single ideology rules the planet unopposed from without ..."
"... Brexit is about Britons who want their country back, a movement indeed getting stronger and stronger in EU member states, but ignored by the ruling 'elites'. ..."
"... A lot of these so called "revolutions" are fomented by the elite only to be subverted and perverted by them in the end. They've had a lot of practice co-opting revolutions and independence movements. ..."
"... "Independence" is now so fashionable (as was Communism among the "elite" back in the '30s), that they are even teaching and fostering independence to kids in kindergarten here in the US. That strikes me as most amusing. Imagine "learning" independence in state run brainwashing factories. ..."
Oct 13, 2017 | www.unz.com

Well all right, let's review what happened, or at least the official version of what happened. Not Hillary Clinton's version of what happened, which Jeffrey St. Clair so incisively skewered , but the Corporatocracy's version of what happened, which overlaps with but is even more ridiculous than Clinton's ridiculous version. To do that, we need to harken back to the peaceful Summer of 2016, (a/k/a the "Summer of Fear" ), when the United States of America was still a shiny city upon a hill whose beacon light guided freedom-loving people, the Nazis were still just a bunch of ass clowns meeting in each other's mother's garages, and Russia was, well Russia was Russia.

Back then, as I'm sure you'll recall, Western democracy, was still primarily being menaced by the lone wolf terrorists, for absolutely no conceivable reason, apart from the terrorists' fanatical desire to brutally murder all non-believers. The global Russo-Nazi Axis had not yet reared its ugly head. President Obama, who, during his tenure, had single-handedly restored America to the peaceful, prosperous, progressive paradise it had been before George W. Bush screwed it up, was on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon slow jamming home the TPP . The Wall Street banks had risen from the ashes of the 2008 financial crisis, and were buying back all the foreclosed homes of the people they had fleeced with subprime mortgages. American workers were enjoying the freedom and flexibility of the new gig economy. Electioneering in the United States was underway, but it was early days. It was already clear that Donald Trump was literally the Second Coming of Hitler , but no one was terribly worried about him yet. The Republican Party was in a shambles. Neither Trump nor any of the other contenders had any chance of winning in November. Nor did Sanders, who had been defeated, fair and square, in the Democratic primaries, mostly because of his racist statements and crazy, quasi-Communist ideas. Basically, everything was hunky dory. Yes, it was going to be terribly sad to have to bid farewell to Obama, who had bailed out all those bankrupt Americans the Wall Street banks had taken to the cleaners, ended all of Bush and Cheney's wars, closed down Guantanamo, and just generally served as a multicultural messiah figure to affluent consumers throughout the free world, but Hope-and-Change was going to continue. The talking heads were all in agreement Hillary Clinton was going to be President, and there was nothing anyone could do about it.

Little did we know at the time that an epidemic of Russo-Nazism had been festering just beneath the surface of freedom-loving Western societies like some neo-fascist sebaceous cyst. Apparently, millions of theretofore more or less normal citizens throughout the West had been infected with a virulent strain of Russo-Nazi-engineered virus, because they simultaneously began exhibiting the hallmark symptoms of what we now know as White Supremacist Behavioral Disorder, or Fascist Oppositional Disorder (the folks who update the DSM are still arguing over the official name). It started with the Brexit referendum, spread to America with the election of Trump, and there have been a rash of outbreaks in Europe, like the one we're currently experiencing in Germany . These fascistic symptoms have mostly manifest as people refusing to vote as instructed, and expressing oppressive views on the Internet, but there have also been more serious crimes, including several assaults and murders perpetrated by white supremacists (which, of course, never happened when Obama was President, because the Nazis hadn't been "emboldened" yet).

Now, despite what the Russian propagandists will tell you, this recent outbreak of fascistic behavior has nothing whatsoever to do with these people's frustration with neoliberalism or the supranational Corporatocracy that has been expanding its global empire with total impunity for twenty-five years. And it definitely has nothing at all to do with supranational political unions, or the supersession of national sovereignty by corporate-concocted "free trade" agreements, or the relentless privatization of everything, or the fear that a lot of people have that their cultures are being gradually erased and replaced with a globalized, corporate-friendly, multicultural, market-based culture, which is merely a simulation of culture, and which contains no actual cultural values (because exchange value is its only operative value), but which sells the empty signifiers of their eviscerated cultural values back to them so they can wear their "identities" like designer brands as they hunch together in silence at Starbucks posting pictures of themselves on Facebook.

No, this discontent with the political establishment, corporate elites, and the mainstream media has nothing to do with any of that. It's not like global Capitalism, following the collapse of the U.S.S.R. (its last external ideological adversary), has been restructuring the entire planet in accordance with its geopolitical interests, or doing away with national sovereignty, and other nationalistic concepts that no longer serve a useful purpose in a world where a single ideological system (one backed by the most fearsome military in history) reigns completely unopposed. If that were the case, well, it might behoove us to question whether this outbreak of Nazism, racism, and other forms of "hate," was somehow connected to that historical development and maybe even try to articulate some sort of leftist analysis of that.

This hypothetical leftist analysis might want to focus on how Capitalism is fundamentally opposed to Despotism, and is essentially a value-decoding machine which renders everything and everyone it touches essentially valueless interchangeable commodities whose worth is determined by market forces, rather than by societies and cultures, or religions, or other despotic systems (wherein values are established and enforced arbitrarily, by the despot, the church, or the ruling party, or by a group of people who share an affinity and decide they want to live a certain way). This is where it would get sort of tricky, because it (i.e., this hypothetical analysis) would have to delve into the history of Capitalism, and how it evolved out of medieval Despotism, and how it has been decoding despotic values for something like five hundred years. This historical delving (which would probably be too long for people to read on their phones) would demonstrate how Capitalism has been an essentially progressive force in terms of getting us out of Despotism (which, for most folks, wasn't very much fun) by fomenting bourgeois revolutions and imposing some semblance of democracy on societies. It would follow Capitalism's inexorable advance all the way up to the Twentieth Century, in which its final external ideological adversary, fake Communism, suddenly imploded, delivering us to the world we now live in a world where a single ideology rules the planet unopposed from without , and where any opposition to that global ideology can only be internal, or insurgent, in nature (e.g, terrorism, extremism, and so on). Being a hypothetical leftist analysis, it would, at this point, need to stress that, despite the fact that Capitalism helped deliver us from Despotism, and improved the state of society generally (compared to most societies that preceded it), we nonetheless would like to transcend it, or evolve out of it toward some type of society where people, and everything else, including the biosphere we live in, are not interchangeable, valueless commodities exchanged by members of a global corporatocracy who have no essential values, or beliefs, or principles, other than the worship of money. After having covered all that, we might want to offer more a nuanced view of the current neo-nationalist reaction to the Corporatocracy's ongoing efforts to restructure and privatize the rest of the planet. Not that we would support this reaction, or in any way refrain from calling neo-nationalism what it is (i.e., reactionary, despotic, and doomed), but this nuanced view we'd hypothetically offer, by analyzing the larger sociopolitical and historical forces at play, might help us to see the way forward more clearly, and who knows, maybe eventually propose some kind of credible leftist alternative to the "global neoliberalism vs. neo-nationalism" double bind we appear to be hopelessly stuck in at the moment.

Luckily, we don't have to do that (i.e., articulate such a leftist analysis of any such larger historical forces). Because there is no corporatocracy not really. That's just a fake word the Russians made up and are spreading around on the Internet to distract us while the Nazis take over. No, the logical explanation for Trump, Brexit, and anything else that threatens the expansion of global Capitalism, and the freedom, democracy, and prosperity it offers, is that millions of people across the world, all at once, for no apparent reason, woke up one day full-blown fascists and started looking around for repulsive demagogues to swear fanatical allegiance to. Yes, that makes a lot more sense than all that complicated stuff about history and hegemonic ideological systems, which is probably just Russian propaganda anyway, in which case there is absolutely no reason to read any boring year-old pieces, like this one in The European Financial Review , or this report by Corporate Watch , from way back in the year 2000, about the rise of global corporate power.

So, apologies for wasting your time with all that pseudo-Marxian gobbledygook. Let's just pretend this never happened, and get back to more important matters, like statistically proving that Donald Trump got elected President because of racism, misogyny, transphobia, xenophobia, or some other type of behavioral disorder, and pulling down Confederate statues, or kneeling during the National Anthem, or whatever happens to be trending this week. Oh, yeah, and debating punching Nazis, or people wearing MAGA hats. We definitely need to sort all that out before we can move ahead with helping the Corporatocracy remove Trump from office, or at least ensure he remains surrounded by their loyal generals, CEOs, and Goldman Sachs guys until the next election. Whatever we do, let's not get distracted by that stuff I just distracted you with. I know, it's tempting, but, given what's at stake, we need to maintain our laser focus on issues related to identity politics, or else well, you know, the Nazis win.

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

jilles dykstra, October 13, 2017 at 3:15 pm GMT

Yesterday evening on RT a USA lady, as usual forgot the name, spoke about the USA. In a matter of fact tone she said things like 'they (Deep State) have got him (Trump) in the box'.

They, Deep State again, are now wondering if they will continue to try to control the world, or if they should stop the attempt, and retreat into the USA.
Also as matter of fact she said 'the CIA has always been the instrument of Deep State, from Kenndy to Nine Eleven'.

Another statement was 'no president ever was in control'.

How USA citizens continue to believe they live in a democracy, I cannot understand.

Yesterday the intentions of the new Dutch government were made public, alas most Dutch also dot not see that the Netherlands since 2005 no longer is a democracy, just a province of Brussels.

You can fool all people .

Che Guava, October 13, 2017 at 4:22 pm GMT

@jilles dykstra

Jilles,

I am thinking you take the article too literally.

jacques sheete, October 13, 2017 at 4:30 pm GMT

Brexit is about Britons who want their country back, a movement indeed getting stronger and stronger in EU member states, but ignored by the ruling 'elites'.

No doubt many do want their country back, but what concerns me is that all of a sudden we have the concept of "independence" plastered all over the place. Such concepts don't get promoted unless the ruling elites see ways to turn those sentiments to their favor.

A lot of these so called "revolutions" are fomented by the elite only to be subverted and perverted by them in the end. They've had a lot of practice co-opting revolutions and independence movements. (And everything else.)

"Independence" is now so fashionable (as was Communism among the "elite" back in the '30s), that they are even teaching and fostering independence to kids in kindergarten here in the US. That strikes me as most amusing. Imagine "learning" independence in state run brainwashing factories.

Does anyone else smell a rat or two?

Anon-og , October 13, 2017 at 5:16 pm GMT

"Now, despite what the Russian propagandists will tell you, this recent outbreak of fascistic behavior has nothing whatsoever to do with these people's frustration with neoliberalism or the supranational Corporatocracy that has been expanding its global empire with total impunity for twenty-five years. And it definitely has nothing at all to do with supranational political unions, or the supersession of national sovereignty by corporate-concocted "free trade" agreements, or the relentless privatization of everything, or the fear that a lot of people have that their cultures are being gradually erased and replaced with a globalized, corporate-friendly, multicultural, market-based culture, which is merely a simulation of culture, and which contains no actual cultural values (because exchange value is its only operative value), but which sells the empty signifiers of their eviscerated cultural values back to them so they can wear their "identities" like designer brands as they hunch together in silence at Starbucks posting pictures of themselves on Facebook."

Very impressed with this article, never really paid attention to CJ's articles but that is now changing!

[Oct 13, 2017] Lunatic Russia-Hating in Washington Is 70 Years Old by John Helmer

Why he calls its lunatic. It's pretty rations. Russia now represent an obstacle for global neoliberal empire and being the weakest link in Russia-China alliance it is only logical to attack it first
Notable quotes:
"... Russia-hating was an American upper-class phenomenon, cultivated in the offices, cocktail parties, clubs, and mansions of the deep state, as it emerged out of World War II. It needed a new enemy to thrive; it fastened on Russia (aka the Soviet Union) as the enemy. ..."
"... McCarthyism was an American lower-class phenomenon. It focused on the loyalty or disloyalty of the upper-class deep-staters. That wasn't the same thing as Russia-hating; Wall Street bankers, Boston lawyers, homosexuals, Jews, communists, were all the enemy. As the Senator from Wisconsin characterized it himself in 1952, "McCarthyism is Americanism with its sleeves rolled." He implied – without a middle-class tie; certainly not an upper-class bow-tie. ..."
"... In covering the period from 1946 to 1975, Herken's research does repeat much of the history of the Cold War which has been told elsewhere. It starts on February 22, 1946, the date of the "Long Telegram", No. 511 -- Kennan's despatch from the US Embassy in Moscow to the State Department, setting out his strategy of so-called containment and much more besides. Read it in the declassified original . Most of the war-fighting and other war crimes which the telegram set in motion under Kennan's 1948 rubrics, "organized political warfare" and "preventive direct action", are reported in Herken's book; so too are Kennan's frequent funks, failures of conviction, reversals of judgment, and pleas for help. ..."
"... "Interestingly enough, the term "Russophobia" was first used by Fyodor Tyutchev (1803 -- 1873), famous Russian poet, diplomat and politician in reference to growing Western hostilities against Russia on the "eve" of the Crimean War (1854-56) between the Russian Empire and an alliance of France, Britain, the Ottoman Empire, and Sardinia. ..."
"... Historians elaborate that the so-called "Russophobia campaign" actually started as early as the 1820s -- instigated by Britain -- following Russia's glorious victory over Napoleonic France in 1812-13. ..."
"... "British hostility towards Russia had recurred periodically ever since the late eighteenth century. In had become increasingly apparent, albeit in a gradual and evolutionary fashion, in the years after Waterloo Fear of Russia's aims in Europe and Asia surfaced as early as 1817," American historian Edward M. Spiers wrote in his book "Radical General: Sir George de Lacy Evans, 1787-1870." ..."
Oct 12, 2017 | russia-insider.com
Joseph Alsop (lead image, centre) and George Kennan (right) started the kind of Russia-hating in Washington which, today, President Vladimir Putin, like the businessmen around him, think of as a novelty that cannot last for long.

Alsop was a fake news fabricator, and such a narcissist as to give the bow-ties he wore a bad name. Kennan was a psychopath who alternated bouts of aggression to prove himself with bouts of depression over his cowardice. For them, Russia was a suitable target. The Washington Post was the newspaper which gave their lunacy public asylum. This, according to a fresh history by a university professor from California, started in 1947, long before the arrival in Washington of the anti-communist phobia known after the name of Senator Joseph McCarthy.

Russia-hating was an American upper-class phenomenon, cultivated in the offices, cocktail parties, clubs, and mansions of the deep state, as it emerged out of World War II. It needed a new enemy to thrive; it fastened on Russia (aka the Soviet Union) as the enemy.

McCarthyism was an American lower-class phenomenon. It focused on the loyalty or disloyalty of the upper-class deep-staters. That wasn't the same thing as Russia-hating; Wall Street bankers, Boston lawyers, homosexuals, Jews, communists, were all the enemy. As the Senator from Wisconsin characterized it himself in 1952, "McCarthyism is Americanism with its sleeves rolled." He implied – without a middle-class tie; certainly not an upper-class bow-tie.

Russia was not an enemy which united the two American lunacies, for they hated each other much more than they hated the Russians. The Soviet Politburo understood this better then than the Kremlin does now.

Gregg Herken's The Georgetown Set , is so named because it records the activities of Alsop, Kennan and several other State Department, Central Intelligence Agency and White House officials who lived as neighbours in the Georgetown district of the capital city, together with Katharine (Kay) and Philip Graham, proprietor managers of the Washington Post. The district – once a chartered city of Maryland and river port, which was absorbed into the federal District of Columbia in 1871 -- was expensive, relatively speaking then; more so now. The richest of the set, including Alsop, had town houses in Georgetown, and rural retreats in Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut.

They were a set because because, as Herken said succinctly to an interviewer , "they got together every Sunday for supper and, basically, they ran the country from those meetings." As the book elaborates, they thought they were running the world. With a longer time lapse in which to view the evidence, they were also losing it.

Newspapers exposed in the book for collaborating in all the deceits, failures and war crimes of the history have reacted by calling Herken's effort a "provincial corner". The New Yorker opined that the Russia-hating and Russia war-making which Herken retells are dead and gone. "The guests at the Sunday soirées no doubt felt that they were in the cockpit of history. But the United States is a democracy, not a Wasp Ascendancy There was once an atmosphere of willingness that made a system of bribes and information exchanges seem, to the people involved, simply a way of working together for a common cause in a climate of public opinion that, unfortunately, required secrecy. No one got rich from the arrangement. People just lost track of what was inside their bubble and what was outside, as people tend to do. Vietnam was the reality check. 'I've Seen the Best of It' was the title Alsop gave to his memoirs. Things hadn't been the same since, he felt. He was right about that, and we should be thankful." In the New York media business these days it's possible to publish a selfie of pulling your own leg.

The Washington Post has deflected the indictment against itself by describing Herken's work as "a very strange book (A) a rehash of the history of the Cold War as experienced in certain Washington circles and (B) an almost obsessive recapitulation of the life and journalism of Joseph Alsop." Alsop is dismissed as unworthy of a history at all because he was "utterly repellent: arrogant, patronizing, imperious, uninterested in anyone except himself."

That's the truth about Alsop. The truth about the Washington Post is buried in this line by the Post's books editor about the hand that fed him: "it must be very hard for people who did not live through the '50s and '60s to understand how obsessed the American people were with the threat from Moscow." That line appeared in print on November 7, 2014. It was already history, that's to say, a misjudgment. How monumentally mistaken is obvious now.

In covering the period from 1946 to 1975, Herken's research does repeat much of the history of the Cold War which has been told elsewhere. It starts on February 22, 1946, the date of the "Long Telegram", No. 511 -- Kennan's despatch from the US Embassy in Moscow to the State Department, setting out his strategy of so-called containment and much more besides. Read it in the declassified original . Most of the war-fighting and other war crimes which the telegram set in motion under Kennan's 1948 rubrics, "organized political warfare" and "preventive direct action", are reported in Herken's book; so too are Kennan's frequent funks, failures of conviction, reversals of judgment, and pleas for help.

The book ends on December 30, 1974, the date of Alsop's last column. Alsop concluded with the line: "I have never known the American people to be really badly wrong, if only they were correctly and fully informed."

Herken shows how self-deluded and professionally delusional that was -- not because of Alsop's character but because of his sources. Herken documents that they ran upwards from foot-soldiers (also lubricious sailors) to presidents and cabinet secretaries. Herken doesn't think the same of Kennan, who gets to walk off stage, aged 101, sounding more sceptical of overthrowing Saddam Hussein than he ever was in his prime and in power to direct schemes of what we call state terrorism today.


Left to right: Kennan died in 2005, aged 101; Alsop died in 1989 aged 78; Frank Wisner died in 1965 aged 56. The deeper Herken gets into the private papers, the more he refers to his subjects by their diminutives and nicknames – Joe, Oppie, Beetle, Dickie, the Crocodile, Wig, Jack, Wiz, Soozle, Vangie, et al.

What is fresh about the sources is that Herken has had access to the private notes, letters and diaries of the Alsop family; the Kennan diaries and letters; and the private papers of Frank Wisner, the first director of covert operations against Russia. Wisner went mad and killed himself, as did Graham. There's no doubt about the suicide outcome of their madness.

In the case of the mad ex-Defence Secretary James Forrestal his fatal jump from the window of the Navy hospital in Bethesda, Maryland, in May 1949 might have been a homicidal push. Herken concludes that Forrestal's death was "the first senior-ranking American casualty of the Cold War." Herken thinks of their madness as anomalies. The history shows they were normalities.

Missing from this history is any reference to official documents, now declassified; press reporting of the time; or interviews with veterans of the same events but on other sides – Russian and Soviet; British; German; French; Polish; Vietnamese; Chinese. This isn't so much a fatal flaw in Herken's (right) book as the reason why his history is repeating itself today. Call this a variation on Karl's Marx's apothegm that history starts as tragedy and repeats itself as farce. Herken's blindness to this is as revealing as the Washington Post's madness, not yet as suicidal as its former proprietor's, today.

So mesmerized is Herken by the moneyed backgrounds of his subjects and sources, and by the amount of black cash from the US Government they spent on operations, he forgets to report what they did to fill their own pockets. The claim by the New Yorker that "no one got rich from the arrangement" – Alsop's fake news fabrications – is false, but Herken touches only in passing on how they made (or kept) their money. Alsop's column, for example, was sold to 200 newspapers, and at one time claimed a readership of 25 million. His family inheritance is recorded, but not its annual revenue value. Alsop's payola included silk shirts from Alfred Kohlberg, a textile importer from China who backed Chiang Kai-shek against Mao Tse-tung, as did Alsop. Alsop's patrons included Convair (General Dynamics), the company building the US Air Force Atlas missile for procurement of which Alsop reported fictions about Soviet missile strength.

In the US power which Alsop, Kennan and Wisner believed without hesitation, Herken is not less a believer. "Anything could be achieved", Herken quotes a New York Times reporter quoting Wisner. When the US force multiple changed, however, and US allies or agents were outgunned, outspent, outnumbered, or outwitted, they were unable to acknowledge miscalculation, attributing defeat instead to the superior force or guile of their adversaries, especially the Russians.

This is madness, and there is good reason for recognizing the symptoms again. In 1958, when Herken says Wisner's paranoid manias were becoming obvious to his friends and colleagues, "Frank put forward a theory that the careless comment which had gotten George Kennan kicked out of the Soviet Union was evidence the Soviets had succeeded in an area where the CIA's own scientists had failed: mind control. Some agency hands alleged that Wisner attributed his own increasingly bizarre behaviour to the Kremlin's sly manipulation."

A cell from the comic "Is This Tomorrow? America Under Communism"(1947). Test your mind, read more: https://archive.org/details/IsThisTomorrowAmericaUnderCommunismCatecheticalGuild

From Washington in 1958, fast forward to Washington in 2017; for mind control and sly manipulation, read Russian hacking and cyber warfare. From Wisner's and Kennan's balloon drops of leaflets and broadcasts by Radio Free Europe, fast forward to Russia Today Television and Russian infiltrations of Twitter, Google, the Democratic National Committee, and the Trump organization.

It stands to reason (ahem!) that if you think what the US Government and its journalists were doing then was mad, you are might conclude that what they is doing now is just as mad – and not very different. When the incumbent president and his Secretary of State publicly call for IQ tests on each other, all reason has failed. "The nation," as Alsop had written, "had simply taken leave of all sense of proportion." That was in March 1954.

If you fast forward to now, there's one difference. Today the lunatic Russia warfighters don't retire. They also don't fade away. Today's sleek successors to mad Wisner and mad Graham sleep easily in their beds a-nights. For what they've done and do, they wouldn't dream of taking shotguns to their heads.

Herken retells the story of the campaign Alsop waged against McCarthyism at the State Department, against McCarthy himself, and the vulnerability Alsop himself presented until the Boston lawyer Joseph Welch put an end to McCarthy on June 9, 1954 : "Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last?" Welch famously said. "Have you left no sense of decency?" The recurring history reveals why, even if there are plenty of people to say the same thing today to the Washington Post, New York Times, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, the madness will continue repeating itself.

Source: Dances With Bears

Tommy Jensen , October 12, 2017 8:47 AM

..and what happened exactly 70 years ago? You said it, not me.....you said Israel!

Slick Tommy Jensen , October 12, 2017 6:52 PM

Wisner has a son named Frank, who is a pro-Kosovo Albanian/anti-Serb/anti-Russian fiend. Kennan later became a responsibly more calming voice on Russia. Concerning the Capitol Hill establishment -

https://www.strategic-cultu...

Be hard pressed to find a better article on the subject.

Carlo - , October 12, 2017 11:18 AM

Nonetheless, I remember that Kennan was a strong opponent against NATO expansion in the 90's, after the collapse of the USSR. I think there were good reasons to make an alliance against the spread of communism, but after this ended in Europe, of course, NATO should have dissolved just like the Warsaw Pact.

Kjell Hasthi Edward Mercer , October 13, 2017 2:35 PM

Wages are low in Estonia compared to Sweden. So the Swedish corporations will move some factories to Estonia to make more money. That is the "powerhouse". The Estonians will not see much to the money. But they get what is wages in Estonia of course.

Koroviev,Behemoth&Woland LLP , October 13, 2017 8:39 AM

Why did the Warburg Brothers and Jacob Schiff finance the Bolsheviks when the rest of America was instructed to hate the Russians?

Just another one of those unexplained oddities of history.

Gonzogal , October 12, 2017 4:25 PM

It is MUCH older than 70 years!

"The Cold War, I would remind readers, started in November 1917 when the Bolsheviks took power in Russia Undiscouraged and terrified of a socialist revolution in Russia, the so-called Entente [Great Britain and France] tossed fat rolls of banknotes to anyone who said he would fight the Soviets. The Entente sent its own forces to the four distant corners of Russia to do the job themselves. This was the 'Allied' intervention which continued until the beginning of 1921 in the west and until 1922 in Eastern Siberia," ~ Professor Michael Jabara Carley of the University of Montreal

"Interestingly enough, the term "Russophobia" was first used by Fyodor Tyutchev (1803 -- 1873), famous Russian poet, diplomat and politician in reference to growing Western hostilities against Russia on the "eve" of the Crimean War (1854-56) between the Russian Empire and an alliance of France, Britain, the Ottoman Empire, and Sardinia.

Historians elaborate that the so-called "Russophobia campaign" actually started as early as the 1820s -- instigated by Britain -- following Russia's glorious victory over Napoleonic France in 1812-13.

"British hostility towards Russia had recurred periodically ever since the late eighteenth century. In had become increasingly apparent, albeit in a gradual and evolutionary fashion, in the years after Waterloo Fear of Russia's aims in Europe and Asia surfaced as early as 1817," American historian Edward M. Spiers wrote in his book "Radical General: Sir George de Lacy Evans, 1787-1870."

"Britons were especially concerned about their dominance in Central Asia and the "Russian threat" to their hegemonic ambitions in the region. According British diplomat Sir Martin Ewans, in the 1820s-30s London deemed that it would be "unwise" to allow the Russian Empire to extend its influence over Caucasus, Persia and Afghanistan. "That Russophobia existed is undeniable," Sir Ewans remarked in his book "Conflict in Afghanistan: Studies in Asymmetric Warfare."

"Remarkably, in the 1860s, Russian ethnologist, philosopher and historian Nikolai Danilevsky slammed the Western propaganda machine for spreading distorted information and blatant lies about the "Russian threat" and imaginary "expansionist ambitions" of the Russian Empire in his book "Russia and Europe." https://sputniknews.com/pol...

Tommy Jensen Gonzogal , October 13, 2017 5:05 AM

Its incredible one country can sit half the planet away "not allowing" another country "to spread its influence" to its neighbours. When this is the case, this country´s culture is pervercy and sick.

[Oct 12, 2017] Wheres the Beef The Senate Intel Committee and Russia by Mike Whitney

Neocons already poisoned the well of US-Russian cooperation. They already unleashes witch hunt in best McCarthyism traditions. What else do they want ? Why they continue to waive this dead chicken?
Notable quotes:
"... people want is proof that Russia interfered with the elections or that members of the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow. That's the whole point of this exercise. And, on the collusion matter, at least we have something new to report. In a rare moment of candor, Burr blurted out this gem: ..."
"... Think about that. After "100 interviews, 250 hours of testimony, and 4000 transcript pages" there's not the slightest hint of collusion. It's mindboggling. Why isn't this front page news? Why haven't the New York Times or Washington Post run this in their headlines, after all, they've hyped every other part of this story? ..."
"... Let's cut to the chase: The committee is not getting to the bottom of the Russia hacking matter, because they don't want to get to the bottom of it. It's that simple. ..."
"... That's why they have excluded any witnesses that may upset their preconceived theory of what happened. Why, for example, would the committee chose to interview former CIA Director John Brennan rather than WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange? Brennan not only helped select the hand-picked analysts who authored the ICA, he also clearly has an animus towards Russia due to his frustrated attempt to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al Assad which was thwarted by Putin. In other words, Brennan has a motive to mislead the Committee. He's biased. He has an ax to grind. In contrast, Assange has firsthand knowledge of what actually transpired with the DNC emails because he was the recipient of those emails. Has Assange been contacted by the Committee or asked to testify via Skype? ..."
"... It should be obvious by now that the real intention of the briefing was not to provide the public with more information, facts or evidence of Russian hacking, but to use the prestigious setting as a platform for disseminating more disinformation aimed at vilifying an emerging rival (Russia) that has blocked Washington's aggression in Ukraine and Syria, and threatens to unite the most populous and prosperous region in the world (Eurasia) into one massive free trade zone spanning from Lisbon to Vladivostok. ..."
"... Reasonable people must now consider the possibility that the Russia hacking narrative is an Information Operation (IO) devoid of any real substance which is designed to poison the publics perception of Russia. It is a domestic propaganda campaign that fits perfectly with the "Full Spectrum Dominance" theory of weaponizing media in a way that best achieves one's geopolitical objectives. The American people are again being manipulated so that powerful elites can lead the country to war. ..."
Oct 12, 2017 | www.counterpunch.org
The Senate Intelligence Committee has made it clear that it is not conducting an open and independent investigation of alleged Russian hacking, but making a determined effort to support a theory that was presented in the January 6, 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment. Committee Chairman Senator Richard Burr (R-N.C.) admitted as much in a press conference last Wednesday when he said:

We feel very confident that the ICA's accuracy is going to be supported by our committee.

Burr's statement is an example of "confirmation bias" which is the tendency to interpret information in a way that confirms one's own preexisting beliefs. In this case, Burr and his co-chair, Senator Mark Warner have already accepted the findings of a hastily slapped-together Intelligence report that was the work of "hand-picked" analysts who were likely chosen to produce conclusions that jibed with a particular political agenda. In other words, the intelligence was fixed to fit the policy. Burr of course has tried to conceal his prejudice by pointing to the number of witnesses the Committee has interviewed and the volume of work that's been produced. This is from an article at The Nation:

Since January 23, the committee and its staff have conducted more than 100 interviews, comprising 250 hours of testimony and resulting in 4,000 pages of transcripts, and reviewed more than 100,000 documents relevant to Russiagate. The staff, said Warner, has collectively spent a total of 57 hours per day, seven days a week, since the committee opened its inquiry, going through documents and transcripts, interviewing witnesses, and analyzing both classified and unclassified material.

It all sounds very impressive, but if the goal is merely to lend credibility to unverified assumptions, then what's the point?

Let's take a look at a few excerpts from the report and see whether Burr and Warner are justified in "feeling confident" in the ICA's accuracy.

From the Intelligence Community Assessment:

We assess Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election. Russia's goals were to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency. We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump. We have high confidence in these judgments.

This is the basic claim of Russia meddling that has yet to be proved. As you can see, the charge is mixed with liberal doses of mind-reading mumbo-jumbo that reveal the authors' lack of objectivity. There's a considerable amount of speculation about Putin's motives and preferences which are based on pure conjecture. It's a bit shocking that professional analysts– who are charged with providing our leaders with rock-solid intelligence related to matters of national security– would indulge in this type of opinionated blather and psycho-babble. It's also shocking that Burr and Warner think this gibberish should be taken seriously.

Here's more from the ICA:

Putin most likely wanted to discredit Secretary Clinton because he has publicly blamed her since 2011 for inciting mass protests against his regime in late 2011 and early 2012, and because he holds a grudge for comments he almost certainly saw as disparaging him.

More mind-reading, more groundless speculation, more guessing what Putin thinks or doesn't think. The ICA reads more like the text from a morning talk show than an Intelligence report. And what is it about this report that Burr finds so persuasive? It's beyond me. The report's greatest strength seems to be that no one has ever read it. If they had, they'd realize that it's nonsense. Also, it would have been better if the ICA's authors had avoided the amateur psychoanalysis and stuck to the point, Russia hacking. Dabbling in the former seriously impacts the report's credibility.

To their credit, however, Burr and Warner have questioned all of the analysts who contributed to the report. Check out this excerpt from The Nation:

"We have interviewed everybody who had a hand or a voice in the creation of the ICA," said Burr. "We've spent nine times the amount of time that the IC [intelligence community] spent putting the ICA together. We have reviewed all the supporting evidence that went into it and, in addition to that, the things that went on the cutting-room floor that they may not have found appropriate for the ICA, but we may have found relevant to our investigation." Burr added that the committee's review included "highly classified intelligence reporting," and they've interviewed every official in the Obama administration who had anything to do with putting it together. ("Democrats and Republicans in Congress Agree: Russia Did It", The Nation)

That's great, but where' the beef? How can the committee conduct "100 interviews, comprising 250 hours of testimony and resulting in 4,000 pages of transcripts" without producing a shred of evidence that Russia meddled in the elections? How is that possible? The Committee's job is to prove its case not to merely pour over the minutia related to the investigation. No one really cares how many people testified or how much paperwork was involved. What people want is proof that Russia interfered with the elections or that members of the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow. That's the whole point of this exercise. And, on the collusion matter, at least we have something new to report. In a rare moment of candor, Burr blurted out this gem:

"There are concerns that we continue to pursue. Collusion? The committee continues to look into all evidence to see if there was any hint of collusion. Now, I'm not going to even discuss any initial findings because we haven't any."

Think about that. After "100 interviews, 250 hours of testimony, and 4000 transcript pages" there's not the slightest hint of collusion. It's mindboggling. Why isn't this front page news? Why haven't the New York Times or Washington Post run this in their headlines, after all, they've hyped every other part of this story?

Could it be that Burr's admission doesn't mesh with the media's "Russia did it" narrative so they decided to scrub the story altogether?

But it's not just collusion we're talking about here, there's also the broader issue of Russia meddling. And what was striking about the press conference is that –after all the interviews, all the testimony, and all the stacks of transcripts– the Committee has come up with nothing; no eyewitness testimony supporting the original claims, no smoking gun, no proof of domestic espionage, no evidence of Russian complicity, nothing. One big goose egg.

So here's a question for critical minded readers:

If the Senate Intelligence Committee has not found any proof that Russia hacked the 2016 elections, then why do senators' Burr and Warner still believe the ICA is reliable? It doesn't really make sense, does it? Don't they require evidence to draw their conclusions? And doesn't the burden of truth fall on the prosecution (or the investigators in this case)? Isn't a man innocent until proven guilty or doesn't that rule apply to Russia?

Let's cut to the chase: The committee is not getting to the bottom of the Russia hacking matter, because they don't want to get to the bottom of it. It's that simple.

That's why they have excluded any witnesses that may upset their preconceived theory of what happened. Why, for example, would the committee chose to interview former CIA Director John Brennan rather than WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange? Brennan not only helped select the hand-picked analysts who authored the ICA, he also clearly has an animus towards Russia due to his frustrated attempt to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al Assad which was thwarted by Putin. In other words, Brennan has a motive to mislead the Committee. He's biased. He has an ax to grind. In contrast, Assange has firsthand knowledge of what actually transpired with the DNC emails because he was the recipient of those emails. Has Assange been contacted by the Committee or asked to testify via Skype?

Don't bet on it.

What about former UK ambassador Craig Murray, a WikiLeaks colleague, who has repeatedly admitted that he knows the source of the DNC emails. Murray hasn't been asked to testify nor has he even been contacted by the FBI on the matter. Apparently, the FBI has no interest in a credible witness who can disprove the politically-motivated theory expounded in the ICA.

Then there's 30-year CIA analyst Ray McGovern and his group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS). McGovern has done extensive research on the topic and has produced solid evidence that the DNC emails were "leaked" by an insider, not "hacked" by a foreign government. McGovern's work squares with Assange and Murray's claim that Russia did not hack the 2016 elections. Has McGovern been invited to testify?

How about Skip Folden, retired IBM Program Manager and Information Technology expert, whose excellent report titled "Non-Existent Foundation for Russian Hacking Charge" also disproves the hacking theory, as does The Nation's Patrick Lawrence whose riveting article at The Nation titled "A New Report Raises Big Questions About Last Year's DNC Hack" which thoroughly obliterates the central claims of the ICA.

Finally, there's California Congressman Dana Rohrabacher who met with Assange in August at the Ecuadorian embassy in London and who was assured that Assange would provide hard evidence (in the form of "a computer drive or other data-storage device") that the Russians were not involved in the DNC email scandal.

Wouldn't you think that senate investigators would want to talk to a trusted colleague and credible witness like Rohrabacher who said he could produce solid proof that the scandal, that has dominated the headlines and roiled Washington for the better part of a year, was bogus?

Apparently not. Apparently Burr and his colleagues would rather avoid any witness or evidence that conflicts with their increasingly-threadbare thesis.

So what conclusions can we draw from the Committee's behavior? Are Burr and Warner really conducting an open and independent investigation of alleged Russia hacking or is this just a witch hunt?

It should be obvious by now that the real intention of the briefing was not to provide the public with more information, facts or evidence of Russian hacking, but to use the prestigious setting as a platform for disseminating more disinformation aimed at vilifying an emerging rival (Russia) that has blocked Washington's aggression in Ukraine and Syria, and threatens to unite the most populous and prosperous region in the world (Eurasia) into one massive free trade zone spanning from Lisbon to Vladivostok.

Reasonable people must now consider the possibility that the Russia hacking narrative is an Information Operation (IO) devoid of any real substance which is designed to poison the publics perception of Russia. It is a domestic propaganda campaign that fits perfectly with the "Full Spectrum Dominance" theory of weaponizing media in a way that best achieves one's geopolitical objectives. The American people are again being manipulated so that powerful elites can lead the country to war.

[Oct 11, 2017] Russia witch hunt is a tactic used by the ruling elite, and in particular the Democratic Party, to avoid facing a very unpleasant reality: that their unpopularity is the outcome of their policies of deindustrialization and the assault against working class

Highly recommended!
Chris Hedges, who is doubtless a courageous journalist and an intelligent commentator, suggests that if we are to discuss the anti-Russia campaign realistically, as baseless in fact, and as contrived for an effect and to further/protect some particular interests, we can hardly avoid the question: Who or what interest is served by the anti-Russia campaign?
An interesting observation "The Democratic Party doesn't actually function as a political party. It's about perpetual mass mobilization and a hyperventilating public relations arm, all paid for by corporate donors. The base of the party has no real say in the leadership or the policies of the party, as Bernie Sanders and his followers found out."
The other relevant observation is that there is no American left. It was destroyed as a political movement. The USA is a right wing country.
Notable quotes:
"... This obsession with Russia is a tactic used by the ruling elite, and in particular the Democratic Party, to avoid facing a very unpleasant reality: that their unpopularity is the outcome of their policies of deindustrialization and the assault against working men and women and poor people of color. ..."
"... It is the result of the slashing of basic government services, including, of course, welfare, that Clinton gutted; deregulation, a decaying infrastructure, including public schools, and the de facto tax boycott by corporations. It is the result of the transformation of the country into an oligarchy. The nativist revolt on the right, and the aborted insurgency within the Democratic Party, makes sense when you see what they have done to the country. ..."
"... The Democratic Party, in particular, is driving this whole Russia witch-hunt. It cannot face its complicity in the destruction of our civil liberties -- and remember, Barack Obama's assault on civil liberties was worse than those carried out by George W. Bush -- and the destruction of our economy and our democratic institutions. ..."
"... Politicians like the Clintons, Pelosi and Schumer are creations of Wall Street. That is why they are so virulent about pushing back against the Sanders wing of the Democratic Party. ..."
"... The Democratic Party doesn't actually function as a political party. It's about perpetual mass mobilization and a hyperventilating public relations arm, all paid for by corporate donors. The base of the party has no real say in the leadership or the policies of the party, as Bernie Sanders and his followers found out. They are props in the sterile political theater. ..."
"... These party elites, consumed by greed, myopia and a deep cynicism, have a death grip on the political process. They're not going to let it go, even if it all implodes. ..."
"... The whole exercise was farcical. The White House would leak some bogus story to Judy Miller or Michael Gordon, and then go on the talk shows to say, 'as the Times reported .' It gave these lies the veneer of independence and reputable journalism. This was a massive institutional failing, and one the paper has never faced. ..."
"... The media's anti-Russia narrative has been embraced by large portions of what presents itself as the "left." ..."
"... Well, don't get me started on the American left. First of all, there is no American left -- not a left that has any kind of seriousness, that understands political or revolutionary theories, that's steeped in economic study, that understands how systems of power work, especially corporate and imperial power. The left is caught up in the same kind of cults of personality that plague the rest of society. It focuses on Trump, as if Trump is the central problem. Trump is a product, a symptom of a failed system and dysfunctional democracy, not the disease. ..."
"... For good measure, they purged the liberal class -- look at what they did to Henry Wallace -- so that Cold War "liberals" equated capitalism with democracy, and imperialism with freedom and liberty. I lived in Switzerland and France. There are still residues of a militant left in Europe, which gives Europeans something to build upon. But here we almost have to begin from scratch. ..."
"... The corporate elites we have to overthrow already hold power. And unless we build a broad, popular resistance movement, which takes a lot of patient organizing among working men and women, we are going to be steadily ground down. ..."
"... The corporate state has made it very hard to make a living if you hold fast to this radical critique. You will never get tenure. You probably won't get academic appointments. You won't win prizes. You won't get grants. ..."
"... The elite schools, and I have taught as a visiting professor at a few of them, such as Princeton and Columbia, replicate the structure and goals of corporations. If you want to even get through a doctoral committee, much less a tenure committee, you must play it really, really safe. You must not challenge the corporate-friendly stance that permeates the institution and is imposed through corporate donations and the dictates of wealthy alumni. Half of the members of most of these trustee boards should be in prison! ..."
"... Speculation in the 17th century in Britain was a crime. Speculators were hanged. And today they run the economy and the country. They have used the capturing of wealth to destroy the intellectual, cultural and artistic life in the country and snuff out our democracy. There is a word for these people: traitors. ..."
Oct 11, 2017 | www.unz.com

Originally from: The elites "have no credibility left" by Chris Hedges

But the whole idea that the Russians swung the election to Trump is absurd. It's really premised on the unproven claim that Russia gave the Podesta emails to WikiLeaks, and the release of these emails turned tens, or hundreds of thousands, of Clinton supporters towards Trump. This doesn't make any sense. Either that, or, according to the director of national intelligence, RT America, where I have a show, got everyone to vote for the Green Party.

This obsession with Russia is a tactic used by the ruling elite, and in particular the Democratic Party, to avoid facing a very unpleasant reality: that their unpopularity is the outcome of their policies of deindustrialization and the assault against working men and women and poor people of color. It is the result of disastrous trade agreements like NAFTA that abolished good-paying union jobs and shipped them to places like Mexico, where workers without benefits are paid $3.00 an hour. It is the result of the explosion of a system of mass incarceration, begun by Bill Clinton with the 1994 omnibus crime bill, and the tripling and quadrupling of prison sentences. It is the result of the slashing of basic government services, including, of course, welfare, that Clinton gutted; deregulation, a decaying infrastructure, including public schools, and the de facto tax boycott by corporations. It is the result of the transformation of the country into an oligarchy. The nativist revolt on the right, and the aborted insurgency within the Democratic Party, makes sense when you see what they have done to the country.

Police forces have been turned into quasi-military entities that terrorize marginal communities, where people have been stripped of all of their rights and can be shot with impunity; in fact over three are killed a day. The state shoots and locks up poor people of color as a form of social control. They are quite willing to employ the same form of social control on any other segment of the population that becomes restive.

The Democratic Party, in particular, is driving this whole Russia witch-hunt. It cannot face its complicity in the destruction of our civil liberties -- and remember, Barack Obama's assault on civil liberties was worse than those carried out by George W. Bush -- and the destruction of our economy and our democratic institutions.

Politicians like the Clintons, Pelosi and Schumer are creations of Wall Street. That is why they are so virulent about pushing back against the Sanders wing of the Democratic Party. Without Wall Street money, they would not hold political power. The Democratic Party doesn't actually function as a political party. It's about perpetual mass mobilization and a hyperventilating public relations arm, all paid for by corporate donors. The base of the party has no real say in the leadership or the policies of the party, as Bernie Sanders and his followers found out. They are props in the sterile political theater.

These party elites, consumed by greed, myopia and a deep cynicism, have a death grip on the political process. They're not going to let it go, even if it all implodes.

... ... ...

DN: Let's come back to this question of the Russian hacking news story. You raised the ability to generate a story, which has absolutely no factual foundation, nothing but assertions by various intelligence agencies, presented as an assessment that is beyond question. What is your evaluation of this?

CH: The commercial broadcast networks, and that includes CNN and MSNBC, are not in the business of journalism. They hardly do any. Their celebrity correspondents are courtiers to the elite. They speculate about and amplify court gossip, which is all the accusations about Russia, and they repeat what they are told to repeat. They sacrifice journalism and truth for ratings and profit. These cable news shows are one of many revenue streams in a corporate structure. They compete against other revenue streams. The head of CNN, Jeff Zucker, who helped create the fictional persona of Donald Trump on "Celebrity Apprentice," has turned politics on CNN into a 24-hour reality show. All nuance, ambiguity, meaning and depth, along with verifiable fact, are sacrificed for salacious entertainment. Lying, racism, bigotry and conspiracy theories are given platforms and considered newsworthy, often espoused by people whose sole quality is that they are unhinged. It is news as burlesque.

I was on the investigative team at the New York Times during the lead-up to the Iraq War. I was based in Paris and covered Al Qaeda in Europe and the Middle East. Lewis Scooter Libby, Dick Cheney, Richard Perle and maybe somebody in an intelligence agency, would confirm whatever story the administration was attempting to pitch. Journalistic rules at the Times say you can't go with a one-source story. But if you have three or four supposedly independent sources confirming the same narrative, then you can go with it, which is how they did it. The paper did not break any rules taught at Columbia journalism school, but everything they wrote was a lie.

The whole exercise was farcical. The White House would leak some bogus story to Judy Miller or Michael Gordon, and then go on the talk shows to say, 'as the Times reported .' It gave these lies the veneer of independence and reputable journalism. This was a massive institutional failing, and one the paper has never faced.

DN: The CIA pitches the story, and then the Times gets the verification from those who pitch it to them.

CH: It's not always pitched. And not much of this came from the CIA. The CIA wasn't buying the "weapons of mass destruction" hysteria.

DN: It goes the other way too?

CH: Sure. Because if you're trying to have access to a senior official, you'll constantly be putting in requests, and those officials will decide when they want to see you. And when they want to see you, it's usually because they have something to sell you.

DN: The media's anti-Russia narrative has been embraced by large portions of what presents itself as the "left."

CH: Well, don't get me started on the American left. First of all, there is no American left -- not a left that has any kind of seriousness, that understands political or revolutionary theories, that's steeped in economic study, that understands how systems of power work, especially corporate and imperial power. The left is caught up in the same kind of cults of personality that plague the rest of society. It focuses on Trump, as if Trump is the central problem. Trump is a product, a symptom of a failed system and dysfunctional democracy, not the disease.

If you attempt to debate most of those on the supposedly left, they reduce discussion to this cartoonish vision of politics.

The serious left in this country was decimated. It started with the suppression of radical movements under Woodrow Wilson, then the "Red Scares" in the 1920s, when they virtually destroyed our labor movement and our radical press, and then all of the purges in the 1950s. For good measure, they purged the liberal class -- look at what they did to Henry Wallace -- so that Cold War "liberals" equated capitalism with democracy, and imperialism with freedom and liberty. I lived in Switzerland and France. There are still residues of a militant left in Europe, which gives Europeans something to build upon. But here we almost have to begin from scratch.

I've battled continuously with Antifa and the Black Bloc. I think they're kind of poster children for what I would consider phenomenal political immaturity. Resistance is not a form of personal catharsis. We are not fighting the rise of fascism in the 1930s. The corporate elites we have to overthrow already hold power. And unless we build a broad, popular resistance movement, which takes a lot of patient organizing among working men and women, we are going to be steadily ground down.

So Trump's not the problem. But just that sentence alone is going to kill most discussions with people who consider themselves part of the left.

The corporate state has made it very hard to make a living if you hold fast to this radical critique. You will never get tenure. You probably won't get academic appointments. You won't win prizes. You won't get grants. The New York Times , if they review your book, will turn it over to a dutiful mandarin like George Packer to trash it -- as he did with my last book. The elite schools, and I have taught as a visiting professor at a few of them, such as Princeton and Columbia, replicate the structure and goals of corporations. If you want to even get through a doctoral committee, much less a tenure committee, you must play it really, really safe. You must not challenge the corporate-friendly stance that permeates the institution and is imposed through corporate donations and the dictates of wealthy alumni. Half of the members of most of these trustee boards should be in prison!

Speculation in the 17th century in Britain was a crime. Speculators were hanged. And today they run the economy and the country. They have used the capturing of wealth to destroy the intellectual, cultural and artistic life in the country and snuff out our democracy. There is a word for these people: traitors.

[Oct 11, 2017] The Sordid Double Life of Washingtons Most Powerful Ambassador

Something about real foreign influence in Washington corridors of power ... Bankrolling think tanks is pretty slick idea.
Notable quotes:
"... Close with CIA Director Mike Pompeo and other top national security officials, Otaiba has bankrolled nearly every major think tank in Washington. ..."
"... The diplomat has worked tirelessly for nearly two decades to push Washington's defense and foreign policy establishment to adopt MBZ's hawkish ideas on Iran, the Muslim Brotherhood, and other contentious policy areas. Otaiba has been a leading voice in Washington for the war in Yemen, where the UAE operates torture warehouses and funds death squads. The conflict has left more than 10,000 dead and countless more starving and stricken with a cholera epidemic of historic proportions. ..."
Oct 11, 2017 | theintercept.com

Otaiba has become one of the most powerful and well-connected men in Washington, reportedly in touch with Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump's son-in-law and adviser, on a weekly basis. His spending on galas, hospital wings, dinner parties, and birthday bashes has become legendary. Close with CIA Director Mike Pompeo and other top national security officials, Otaiba has bankrolled nearly every major think tank in Washington.

The Emirati envoy's cachet stems in part from his close relationship with Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, who is widely considered to be the effective ruler of the UAE. The crown prince of Abu Dhabi, he is known in the region and in Washington by his initials MBZ. Since 2000, Otaiba has reported directly to MBZ as his head of international affairs, and then as the ambassador in Washington. "Before I was introduced to him, the way he was described to me was the guy MBZ trusts most on foreign issues and one of the smartest people in the UAE," said Kristofer Harrison, a former Bush administration official who worked closely with Otaiba.

The diplomat has worked tirelessly for nearly two decades to push Washington's defense and foreign policy establishment to adopt MBZ's hawkish ideas on Iran, the Muslim Brotherhood, and other contentious policy areas. Otaiba has been a leading voice in Washington for the war in Yemen, where the UAE operates torture warehouses and funds death squads. The conflict has left more than 10,000 dead and countless more starving and stricken with a cholera epidemic of historic proportions.

A fixture among Washington society, Otaiba spent much of the last decade carefully constructing the image of an enlightened Persian Gulf diplomat -- forward-thinking on women's rights, secularism, and embracing the modern world. On International Women's Day this year, he published an open letter to his young daughter to drive the point home.

Otaiba's homeland, meanwhile, does not often live up to such values. The UAE has some of the most draconian sex crime laws of any place in the world. Just last week, a man and a woman were arrested for having a conversation in a car while being unrelated and unmarried. This week, two defendants were spared prison time for the crime of " indecent attire ," but fined and deported nonetheless.

[Oct 11, 2017] An Al Jazeera Reporter Went Undercover with the Pro-Israel Lobby In Washington

Oct 11, 2017 | theintercept.com

Swisher wouldn't confirm or deny the identity of the American operative, but he said that with the American political class focused on foreign intervention in the affairs of the United States, now is an appropriate time to run the follow-up investigation. "I hear the U.S. is having problems with foreign interference these days, so I see no reason why the U.S. establishment won't take our findings in America as seriously as the British did, unless of course Israel is somehow off limits from that debate," he said.

[Oct 11, 2017] A documentary focused on Israeli influence in the US, the existence of which has previously been suspected but had yet to be made public.

Notable quotes:
"... Is not all this noise about Rooskies has one and only one goal – to divert attention from the "gorilla" and her "struggle for survival" in the Middle East and in the US Congress? https://theintercept.com/2017/10/09/an-al-jazeera-reporter-went-undercover-with-the-pro-israel-lobby-in-washington/ ..."
Oct 11, 2017 | www.unz.com

Anon , Disclaimer October 11, 2017 at 4:33 pm GMT

@Johnny F. Ive

They need Russia to be an enemy to justify their actions and the Europeans want to use the US to threaten Russia. Its a shame this can't be generalized against all foreign agents of influence. The US Mainstream Media is basically an arm of the Hasbara. Their guest from think tanks are foreign agents of influence. Its not fun watching a bunch of foreigners and their domestic owned Americans run the US Empire into the ground.

Is not all this noise about Rooskies has one and only one goal – to divert attention from the "gorilla" and her "struggle for survival" in the Middle East and in the US Congress? https://theintercept.com/2017/10/09/an-al-jazeera-reporter-went-undercover-with-the-pro-israel-lobby-in-washington/

" a documentary focused on Israeli influence in the U.S., the existence of which has previously been suspected but had yet to be made public. The four-part series, "The Lobby," dug into the Israeli embassy in London, as well as several other pro-Israel lobby groups, and their campaign to "take down" British Foreign Office Minister Sir Alan Duncan.

The investigation led to the resignation of a top Israeli official in London, as well as a high-profile complaint that Al Jazeera had broken broadcasting regulations in the United Kingdom. One of the complaints charged the investigation with anti-Semitism, but the government board ruled that imputing such a motive to a film critical of Israel would be akin to calling a series on gang violence racist.

Ofcom received complaints about the series from pro-Israel British activists and a former Israel embassy employee. It dismissed all charges, which included anti-Semitism, bias, unfair editing, and the infringement of privacy. It ruled that as per the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance's guidance: "It did not consider that such a critical analysis of the actions of a foreign state constituted anti-Semitism, particularly as the overall focus of the programme was to examine whether the State of Israel was acting in a manner that would be expected of other democratic nations."

[Oct 10, 2017] Sputnik and RT are too small, especially Sputnik. They are forced to be on the defensive all the time and have no ability to created successful memes or "fake news" that would put the western MSM on the defensive

Notable quotes:
"... According to SimilarWeb, it only gets a total of 2.5 million monthly visitors from the US. That's almost an Unz.com like level of visitorship even though Ron's budget and attention of social media/advertising crap is many orders of magnitude lower than Sputniks. Russian taxpayers don't deserve this. ..."
"... What was made clear by Mr. Lincoln and his Civil War was that the WASP Elites, the Yankee rich and powerful, saw the 1st Amendment as meaning all speech they supported would be actively promoted by Government while all speech they opposed would be shut down. ..."
"... It is also hypocritical in that countries like Israel that interfere regularly in American politics are exempt from FARA registration because no one dares to take such a step, while Russia is fair game. ..."
"... Without Russia the US Army would have no real reason to exist, ..."
"... the US Army is a large political force with many bases, half a million people, and a huge budget. ..."
"... The big corps are using their bought government to eliminate competition to their concentrated domestic media oligarchy. They can buy up all the domestic outlets, those outside have to be banned. It is ludicrous to blame foreigners for all your ills, when the vast majority of your country is itself made up of foreigners and their descendants, except for the tiny remainder of American Indians. Which identifies properly another way to identify the enemy destroying your nation: look in the mirror first. ..."
"... I think the big issue is that money runs the show. Big media, which is where many people still get their information is just rotten at the core. How to fix it? I don't know – maybe the internet (which is still relatively young) will be the new frontier for bring truth to the masses. ..."
"... "Russiagate" has been a farce from the very beginning, an attempt by that fat-ass witch to divert attention from the 30K emails–which is where the REAL scandal lies!! And where do we stand on that issue anyway? I won't hold my breath waiting. ..."
"... Propaganda? Our political class is going to protect us from Propaganda? Our bureaucracies, the Pentagon, the CIA, the FBI, are going to protect us from Propaganda? If it doesn't jibe with what our media organs of record are putting out, they're going to stamp it Propaganda? Don't make me laugh! The Propaganda is that those clowns wouldn't call a pig a duck for a dime's worth of advantage. ..."
"... This action on the part of the Sessions DOJ is hypocritical in light of the fact that we routinely undermine governments and institutions in Ukraine and Russia via our NGO's and in any nation whose foreign policy is deemed an impediment to the goals Israel and their American vassal state. ..."
"... Every banned political speech has always been banned because it was deemed 'subversive' or 'divisive'. Or the new 20th century term 'propaganda'. This has been the case for thousands of years, the censors always say that. No censor ever just banned free expression or said that it has to be banned because it is true. The banning is also often done by admin harassment, 'foreign agent' label, cutting access, etc.. ..."
"... So the latest hysteria about banning RT/Sputnik is squarely in the mainstream of censorship. It meets all the usual criteria: foreign influence, trying to stir up discord, undermining the system (that would be 'democracy' in US). And the methods are also the usual one: registration, harassment, restriction on distribution, etc ..."
Oct 10, 2017 | www.unz.com

Anatoly Karlin , Website October 10, 2017 at 1:00 pm GMT

To be quite frank I hope that the US declares RT/Sputnik foreign agents (or bans them outright).

1. They are more interested in Putin hagiography and idiotic conspiracy theories than intelligent propaganda anyway.

2. They are ineffective, especially Sputnik. According to SimilarWeb, it only gets a total of 2.5 million monthly visitors from the US. That's almost an Unz.com like level of visitorship even though Ron's budget and attention of social media/advertising crap is many orders of magnitude lower than Sputniks. Russian taxpayers don't deserve this.

3. Gives Russia a great excuse to kick out dishonest Western journalists (about 75% of them).

Andrei Martyanov , Website October 10, 2017 at 1:08 pm GMT

@Der Mann ohne Eigenschaften

The Europeans don't want to have American military bases there.

Not true. Some Europeans may not want that, but many others are perfectly content with the state of the affairs. As per Eastern Europe–majority of them want US military bases.

Jake , October 10, 2017 at 1:10 pm GMT

What was made clear by Mr. Lincoln and his Civil War was that the WASP Elites, the Yankee rich and powerful, saw the 1st Amendment as meaning all speech they supported would be actively promoted by Government while all speech they opposed would be shut down.

That was in keeping with the culture's source: Anglo-Saxon Puritanism. Puritans spouted Free Speech all day and all of the night, and if you dared speak against Cromwell or the Revolution, you paid dearly.

Hypocrisy about free speech is deep in the WASP DNA.

Angles and Saxons were Germanic tribes. WASP culture is Germanic. Germanics have always seen Slavs as inferior peoples they should war against perpetually, to steal their best land and make serfs of the survivors. This obsession with screwing with Russia is simply the contemporary manifestation of that part of the problem of unrestrained Germanic culture.

iffen , October 10, 2017 at 1:17 pm GMT

we are allowed to air views that are essentially banned on the mainstream media to include critique of maladroit policies in places like Syria and Afghanistan and biting critiques of the war on terror.

It is also hypocritical in that countries like Israel that interfere regularly in American politics are exempt from FARA registration because no one dares to take such a step, while Russia is fair game.

Almost! Almost made it!

Jake , October 10, 2017 at 1:20 pm GMT

@Anonymous

I don't trust Russia any more than you do. I have even less, much less, trust, for the UK, Germany, France, the EU, as well as America's Democrats and Neocons.

JoaoAlfaiate , October 10, 2017 at 1:22 pm GMT

Russia: White and Christian, sounds like an ideal ally for the United States.

John Fitzgerald , October 10, 2017 at 1:40 pm GMT

If the Feds are going to make RT register as a foreign agent due to foreign funding, where does it stop? On the same basis, all nationally owned news outlets must be forced to register, e.g., BBC, Al Jezeera, etc. And what about nominally non-government owned news entities that a home government renders financial assistance, eg, the London Times, if it needed government loans to survive? Would it be a British foreign agent?

And what about the New York Times, which in its perilous financial state appears to be substantially supported by loans from a Mexican National, Carlos Slim who in turn must be assumed to work hand-in-hand with the Mexican government, since most of his wealth comes from Mexican government-granted franchises.

Should the New York Times be registered as a Mexican foreign agent (its news coverage and editorials regarding immigration certainly would be evidence it is acting in that capacity)?

Wade , October 10, 2017 at 2:04 pm GMT

OT If anyone wants to catch a nice laid back interview with Phil Geraldi they can do so here:

A lengthy discussion about his sacking at TAC and AIPAC is had with Ryan Dawson. Both put in nice plugs for unz.com. I was really happy to see Phil being interviewed by Ryan. I hope they do this again sometime.

I came to Unz for Steve Sailer but Geraldi is slowly becoming my favorite author here. Thanks for sticking with things Phil. You're doing great work.

Sam Shama , October 10, 2017 at 2:05 pm GMT

@Priss Factor Priss, your comments are really funny. "Clown Streicher is a 'gypsy nazi'" Is Anglin a violent fruitboy like Streicher?

SolontoCroesus , October 10, 2017 at 2:12 pm GMT

@Jake

That was in keeping with the culture's source: Anglo-Saxon Puritanism. Puritans spouted Free Speech all dan and all of the night, and if you dared speak against Cromwell or the Revolution, you paid dearly.

Hypocrisy about free speech is deep in the WASP DNA.

Angles and Saxons were Germanic tribes. WASP culture is Germanic. Germanics have always seen Slavs as inferior peoples they should war against perpetually, to steal their best land and make serfs of the survivors. This obsession with screwing with Russia is simply the contemporary manifestation of that part of the problem of unrestrained Germanic culture.

What of King Arthur? How did Britain go from Arthur to Cromwell? What role Henry VIII, and Dutch banking/ Bank of England?

How did Russia go from Tolstoy to Trotsky? What role Jacob Schiff and atheist Bolshevism/Communism?

How did Germany go from Wagner to Merkel( after a brief Hitler Interruptus )? What role Rothschild, Marx/Zinoviev and Zionism?

FDR and Churchill were determined to keep organizationally strong Germany and resource-rich Russia -- Christian Russia -- from uniting; Cromwell's England and Morgenthau's USA wanted to control German skill and Russian resources; their heirs want the same today.

Arthur's Britain and Wagner's Germany are natural allies of Tolstoy's Russia (and also of Virgil's Italy and Ferdowsi's Persia, btw).

Toss over this White nonsense, it tells no story, moves no souls.

... ... ...

RobinG , October 10, 2017 at 2:21 pm GMT

"Sputnik ..has been under investigation due to the accusations made by a fired broadcaster named Andrew Feinberg."

The amazing thing is that Feinberg ever had the job. In this painful interview, he readily admits to little knowledge and less interest in the particulars of Ukrainian/Crimean/Russian history, politics and recent events. Despite this inadequacy, he's managed to use his dismissal for self-promotion.

Talking to ex-Sputnik employee Andrew Feinberg about "Russian propaganda"

anon , Disclaimer October 10, 2017 at 2:36 pm GMT

And on the flip side maybe all the Jewish/Israeli news organizations will register too, maybe even AIPAC. Foreign is foreign and fighting wars for foreign interests is no virtue.

It's no wonder we are able to make so many new frands and they just moving into the west everywhere. Spending taxpayer money in foreign countries is helping the US taxpayer. I guess moving a quarter of the population that said foreign country can't take care of and dumping them on the US taxpayer and their children is our gift. Then give them jobs here too.

This lovely idea was signed initially during the Clinton admin with the UN, and put into place during the Bush admin. Dems just hate corps except when they are their own. (Hegelian Dialectic at play everywhere) 20 Rillion in Debt. Millennium Challenge Corporation

MCC forms partnerships with some of the world's poorest countries, but only those committed to: good governance, economic freedom, and investments in their citizens."

https://www.mcc.gov/about

Anon , Disclaimer October 10, 2017 at 2:41 pm GMT

@Wade Interesting interview. Kind of disappointed not to see any evidence of Christianity in Giraldi's home, or at least not in that camera shot. Maybe his naïveté in approaching the issue, which brought on the artillary barrage, is due to his being oblivious to the larger spiritual, civilizational, battle going on. Forest/trees.

"Accumulating knowledge is a form of avarice and lends itself to another version of the Midas story man is so avid for knowledge that everything that he touches turns to facts; his faith becomes theology; his love becomes lechery; his wisdom becomes science; pursuing meaning, he ignores truth." -Malcolm Muggeridge

Don Bacon , October 10, 2017 at 2:46 pm GMT

@Johnny F. Ive

Without Russia the US Army would have no real reason to exist, Canada and Mexico being benign, because we all know that the US taxpayers are on the hook to defend Europe against the nasty powerful Russians which (mainly) defeated Germany in the last big one, and the US Army is a large political force with many bases, half a million people, and a huge budget.

Talha , October 10, 2017 at 2:47 pm GMT

@Andrei Martyanov

As per Eastern Europe–majority of them want US military bases.

"Let's you and him fight!" Peace.

Fran Macadam , October 10, 2017 at 3:17 pm GMT

The big corps are using their bought government to eliminate competition to their concentrated domestic media oligarchy. They can buy up all the domestic outlets, those outside have to be banned. It is ludicrous to blame foreigners for all your ills, when the vast majority of your country is itself made up of foreigners and their descendants, except for the tiny remainder of American Indians. Which identifies properly another way to identify the enemy destroying your nation: look in the mirror first.

RobinG , October 10, 2017 at 3:25 pm GMT

@Wade Thank you for posting. Not only is this a great interview with Phil, it's (for me) a much appreciated introduction to Ryan Dawson.

Fran Macadam , Website October 10, 2017 at 3:28 pm GMT

@Anatoly Karlin What you hope for is not in the interest of those of us who believe in free and unfettered discourse, which principle is one of the core reasons to believe in ideals that are supposed to define America.

It's fine to question foreign funded media, but it's against everything we are supposed to stand for to ban them.

As the famous jurist wrote, the answer to bad speech is more speech.

Let's debate what's said by foreigners, and their advocates, whether Russian, British, Israeli or any other. Our own government is not famous for truthfulness to the public, either. Let our own government answer them, if they question it, and let us determine where the truth lies, instead of being lied to.

John Jeremiah Smith , October 10, 2017 at 3:42 pm GMT

I watch programs on RT fairly frequently, and moreso with the arrival of the current crop of sitcoms, mindlessly insane 'dramas', firemen and cops shows, etc. Lotsa good stuff on RT. If you read the credits, you will find that most of the specials and magazines are not Russian productions. It's a good place to learn that much of the rest of world journalism bears no resemblance to the propaganda machines of the US networks.

US TV and radio production is a vast web of fabrications designed for social control, to manipulate public opinion, and to reinforce the will of the wealthy and powerful. The US government is corrupt throughout; the purpose of US media is to turn the public eye away from that corruption.

The Alarmist , October 10, 2017 at 3:49 pm GMT

@Der Mann ohne Eigenschaften A decade or so ago, when we still had a number of US bases in Germany, my German colleagues and neighbors used to ask why most of the GIs never left the base and only used Dollars for most of their commerce, again mostly on base, though a few merchants took Dollars on a rather good exchange basis that a local could arbitrage if he was paying attention. I experienced some of that a few decades ago myself when on TDY in Europe. The US might want bases there, but a non-trivial number of the troops can't be bothered to wander outside the gates very often, and may as well be in Nebraska or South Dakota for all their interest in being there.

As for the Europeans, a lot of the local merchants did want the bases there, and a lot of the locals welcomed the Amis. There were also places where the Amis represented a big payoff for the smallest things; you would be surprised how productive egg-layers Portuguese chickens were after you ran over one and found yourself compensating the farmer for all the eggs it would have laid in its life.

Anon , Disclaimer October 10, 2017 at 3:55 pm GMT

I'm not sure why it is but we always seem to be on the Muslims side, everywhere to the detriment of our own societies.

"Russia may be tightening its grip on Crimea, with little resistance to date, but they have yet to face the Crimean Tatar factor.

There are 266,000 Crimean Tatars in Crimea, over 13% of the local population. They are Sunni Muslim, traditionally pro-Ukrainian, and much better organized than the local Ukrainians, who make up 23% of the population."

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/05/tartar-ukraine-sunni-muslims-threat-russian-rule-crimea

"For more than a year, Chechens, Muslims from southwestern Russia, have been fighting on both sides of Ukraine's struggle against Russian occupation.

The undeniably frank reason one anti-Russia militiaman recently gave The New York Times? "We always fight the Russians."

The Chechens have had a long and tense relationship with Russia's central government, alternatively fighting for independence and courting special favor from the rulers in Moscow. When Russia annexed the Ukrainian territory of Crimea in March 2014, it once again gave Chechens a reason to push back against Russian overreach"

http://dailycaller.com/2015/07/22/russian-muslims-traveling-to-fight-against-russias-ukraine-invasion/

We have plenty of Muslims in Congress to represent their people. I'm sure our alphabet agencies have plenty too. According to Wikipedia almost no one likes Russia.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-Russian_sentiment

"Widespread ethnic cleansing accompanied the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina (1992–95), as large numbers of Bosnian Muslims (Bosniaks) and Bosnian Croats were forced to flee their homes and were expelled by Bosnian Serbs;[1] and some Bosnian Croats also carried out similar campaign against Bosniaks and Serbs. Also, Bosnian Muslims conducted similar acts against Croats, especially in Central Bosnia.[2]"

https://search.yahoo.com/search?ei=UTF-8&fr=crmas&p=ethnic+cleansing+in+bosnia

Fought for these in Afghanistan. Ex president made a home at the UN.
"The Afghan Northern Alliance, officially known as the United Islamic Front for the Salvation of Afghanistan (Persian: جبهه متحد اسلامی ملی برای نجات افغانستان‎‎ Jabha-yi Muttahid-i Islāmi-yi Millī barāyi Nijāt-i Afghānistān), was a military front that came to formation in late 1996 after the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (Taliban) took over Kabul. The United Front was assembled by key leaders of the Islamic State of Afghanistan, particularly president Burhanuddin Rabbani and former Defense Minister Ahmad Shah Massoud. Initially it included mostly Tajiks but by 2000, leaders of other ethnic groups had joined the Northern Alliance. This included Abdul Rashid Dostum, Mohammad Mohaqiq, Abdul Qadir, Asif Mohseni and others."

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

"The Afghan-Bosnian Mujahideen Network in Europe By Evan F. Kohlman" http://www.aina.org/reports/tabmnie.pdf Wow it just goes on.

Talha , October 10, 2017 at 4:01 pm GMT

@Fran Macadam

Hey Fran,

I like what you're bringing to the table here. I think the big issue is that money runs the show. Big media, which is where many people still get their information is just rotten at the core. How to fix it? I don't know – maybe the internet (which is still relatively young) will be the new frontier for bring truth to the masses.

But that is also a big IF – since there is so much on the internet which is just trash and lacks any sort of serious vetting. Peace.

Paranam Kid , October 10, 2017 at 4:03 pm GMT

@animalogic

The huge lumbering predator, as it's strength slowly, slowly fades lashes out at the flies & mozzies that encircle it .

That is a nice succinct way of describing the failing Empire

anonymous , Disclaimer October 10, 2017 at 4:16 pm GMT

"Russiagate" has been a farce from the very beginning, an attempt by that fat-ass witch to divert attention from the 30K emails–which is where the REAL scandal lies!! And where do we stand on that issue anyway? I won't hold my breath waiting.

iffen , October 10, 2017 at 4:23 pm GMT

@Talha will be the new frontier for bring truth to the masses

Whose truth?

Plus, there is a difference between discourse and propaganda.

The 88s here are not confounded so much by not being allowed free discourse as they are whinging about the fact that their propaganda and motivated opinion pieces are not carried 24/7 by every available outlet.

RobinG , October 10, 2017 at 4:37 pm GMT

@Talha Hi Talha,

Here's an articulate source. Until the web gets outright censored, beyond the select eliminating and demonetizing that's happening now. See also Ryan Dawson's interview of Phil at comment #28.

War for Oil? (((Whose oil?)))

RobinG , October 10, 2017 at 4:42 pm GMT

@iffen Thanks for volunteering to give us a review. I just watched a minute. (((Don't know how I missed this.)))

Decades of Deception

Reality Checker , October 10, 2017 at 4:51 pm GMT

@Anonymous I don't trust Russia one bit . . .

And why is that? Because your government and their MSM sycophants have brainwashed you to think that way? It's time people like you that have this inherent distrust of Russia get a grip and start using some critical thinking skills. I know that's really hard but give it a try, o.k.?

Talha , October 10, 2017 at 5:01 pm GMT

@iffen will be the new frontier for bring truth to the masses

Whose truth? Plus, there is a difference between discourse and propaganda. The 88s here are not confounded so much by not being allowed free discourse as they are whinging about the fact that their propaganda and motivated opinion pieces are not carried 24/7 by every available outlet.

Whose truth?

I'll just be happy to get facts at this point. Most can't be bothered to get that part straight. The MSM dropped the baton big time. Now people all over the internet are picking it up – the problem I see is information glut. How does one sift through the incredible amount of information.

Peace.

Sloopyjoe , October 10, 2017 at 5:58 pm GMT

Sputnik and RT are targeted in order to keep the "Boogey Man" alive by the following parties:

1) Globalist Banksters – They desperately need continued wars to distract the global peasants from the banker-caused multi-hundred trillion $ coming derivatives time-bomb and to keep their drug wash flow going. Also, its getting more and more difficult to keep under wraps the Dual-Financing of the "Official" Govts and "Deep State (SSP)" Govts. "Gotta keep those Kabbalistic Blood Sacrifices going or our Invisible Sky Daddy will be mad at us and won't let us on the Space Ship".

2) Big Pharma Slime (Vaccines/Viruses), GMO Sickos, Trans-Humanist Psychos, and Fascist Neo-Cons – "Just trying to get that Agenda21 Borg World going". 500 million micro-chipped global population is the goal.

3) The MIC – "We need more wars so we can keep force feeding our over-priced pieces of crap to our satellite colonies" and multi-trillion $ financial redirect to the SSP.

4) Israel – Russia and Iran (Persia) are the perennial enemies of the Talmudic Terrorists for kicking the Fake Jewish Khazarians/AshkeNAZIs out of their Western Asian homelands around 1250 AD. The psychotic and retarded (613 Talmudic Commandments, REALLY?) Clan Circumcision has a thing for blood feuds. Did you lose another Dolphin-Class Submarine?

5) The dying USSA Empire of Tampons and associated prostitute Politicos – Former colonies are fleeing East faster than Barry from his wife Michael er, I meant Michelle. Petro-Dollar going poof. USSA economy heading for the big flush regardless of the jiggered Plunge Protection Team numbers. "Must keep distracting our willfully-gullible peasant masses with more False Flags and Wars else they wise up and HANG US ALL".

And lastly

6) Hillawi Bin-Gazi Dykehar – Former candidate with continued delusional desires for Puppet Pres. of the USSA and current Jihadi commandante of Al-Shiksa. Al-Shiksa was last seen campaigning at Costco. This terrorist group is populated by fat ill-tempered donut-bumping Psycho Wenches and Cucked Eunuchs. Their battle cry is rumored to be "We love chocolate cake!!!" or "Damn those Weiner Tapes!!!". Sorry, my Shiksanese is not up to speed.

Did I miss anybody? Thanks for viewing.

polskijoe , October 10, 2017 at 6:15 pm GMT

RT talks about mass immigration problems, shows more inside of Israel including their nasty policies, questions neocons and liberals. For an English speaking forum that is rare. The comment section.. sometimes its okay, sometimes bad.

You will find conservative/traditional posters majority. Go to BBC, CNN, etc its liberal/"progressive" dominated. In the West Neocons and Liberals dominate the media. RT obviously has an agenda, probably divide. Sometimes comments get deleted.

nsa , October 10, 2017 at 6:22 pm GMT

A "reporter" named Feinberg turns out to be a traitorous rat actually working for the DOJ (Dept of Joostice). Who woulda thunk?

Flavius , October 10, 2017 at 7:01 pm GMT

Propaganda? Our political class is going to protect us from Propaganda? Our bureaucracies, the Pentagon, the CIA, the FBI, are going to protect us from Propaganda? If it doesn't jibe with what our media organs of record are putting out, they're going to stamp it Propaganda? Don't make me laugh! The Propaganda is that those clowns wouldn't call a pig a duck for a dime's worth of advantage.

"The Russians tried to influence our election" taken at face value and removed from the context of 65 years of American Foreign Policy is probably the most pernicious little bit of self serving swamp propaganda that I've ever seen. It appears to be the factoid that the Uniparty and its legions have chosen upon which to make their last stand and to hell with the American people.

utu , October 10, 2017 at 7:15 pm GMT

@Anatoly Karlin

To be quite frank I hope that the US declares RT/Sputnik foreign agents (or bans them outright). – I hope you wrote this thoughtlessly because you were exasperated or upset or something. You should perhaps take it back. There is no question that Russia is better off with RT and Sputnik than w/o them. Any child understands it.

Vidi , October 10, 2017 at 9:02 pm GMT

This assault on the First Amendment shows that the driving force behind the neocons is not American. A real American would tend to value the Constitution more.

KenH , October 10, 2017 at 9:09 pm GMT

As Priss Factor mentioned, RT and Sputnik do tend to be left of center on many issues, but they do appear to be sincere and independent leftists in contrast to the American prog establishment which has become just a dog and pony show controlled and directed by Jewish billionaires like Soros. RT especially is no friend of white nationalism although they have given figures on the racialist right air time on occasion.

I do find they are more objective in foreign policy matters whereas the U.S. media , including, FOX, all sing from the same song sheet on foreign policy matters and only differ slightly in degree. But they rarely seem to criticize Israel.

This action on the part of the Sessions DOJ is hypocritical in light of the fact that we routinely undermine governments and institutions in Ukraine and Russia via our NGO's and in any nation whose foreign policy is deemed an impediment to the goals Israel and their American vassal state.

Beckow , October 10, 2017 at 9:32 pm GMT

Every banned political speech has always been banned because it was deemed 'subversive' or 'divisive'. Or the new 20th century term 'propaganda'. This has been the case for thousands of years, the censors always say that. No censor ever just banned free expression or said that it has to be banned because it is true. The banning is also often done by admin harassment, 'foreign agent' label, cutting access, etc..

So the latest hysteria about banning RT/Sputnik is squarely in the mainstream of censorship. It meets all the usual criteria: foreign influence, trying to stir up discord, undermining the system (that would be 'democracy' in US). And the methods are also the usual one: registration, harassment, restriction on distribution, etc

It is a minor issue and mainly matters symbolically. But it is going to give US democracy and freedom of speech reputation a black eye. How does recover once speech is banned because it is causing 'division in the society'? The problem is that the ruling class simply doesn't understand what classical liberal values are – they talk a lot, they 'lawyer' a lot, but have no understanding of what a free society looks like.

Priss Factor , Website October 10, 2017 at 10:17 pm GMT

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D5854-qAqkM

Vinteuil , October 10, 2017 at 11:12 pm GMT

@Anatoly Karlin Never even knew Sputnik existed. RT I knew about – but it's got about the same profile as Al Jazeera in the USA: i.e., next to none.

Avery , October 10, 2017 at 11:45 pm GMT

@Anatoly Karlin

{3. Gives Russia a great excuse to kick out dishonest Western journalists (about 75% of them).}

Interesting perspective.

Seamus Padraig , October 10, 2017 at 11:55 pm GMT

At least the Russians have a sense of humor about the whole thing. Here's their new ad campaign for RT UK: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1438856412889207&set=a.117074591734069.21731.100002945854869&type=3&theater

[Oct 10, 2017] Sputnik and RT Under Investigation

FARA was a powerful tool against attempts to stage a color revolution in the particular county. But it can't save decaying neolineraim. which by now probably exceeed useful shelf life. The only thing that is keeping it afoot is there is no political force capable to provide viable alternative. That's it. Bastard neoliberalism of Trump is essentially the acceptance of the defeat.
The charge "Intended to discredit the United States government and its institutions" is too broad change and if applied indiscriminately no other entity other then government controlled press can operate in the country.
As a short term measure it definitely will be effective (although it increase popularity of RT.uk or RT.ca) as this essentially shut down both in the USA. RT can operate much like Guardian . But in a longer term, blacklisting RT (Sputnik is not that important) is a sign of weakness, not strength.
But eventually the boomerang might return and not necessary for entities like "Voice of America" (which after the collapse of the USA became a zombie for the xUSSR audiences). While influence of Voice of America on foreign audience now is minuscule and this is mostly money wasted due to decline of neoliberal ideology (and with it prestige and influence of the USA) , they can now be shut down with impunity, by any foreign government inclined to do so.
So in a way, the US actions engager crown jewels of its propaganda machine. also any such action is a sign of weakness not strength by definition. It just signify that the tratment of neoliberalism in RT can't be fought by directly.
And not only Voice of America but also similar, potentially more effective propaganda entities. In effect that is the acceptable of the fact that neoliberal MSM are losing grip on the population and require coercive measures against competitors.
Notable quotes:
"... The apparent line of inquiry that the Bureau is pursuing is that both are agencies of the Russian government and that both have been spreading disinformation ..."
"... This alleged action would make them, in the DOJ view, a propaganda arm of a foreign government rather than a news service. It also makes them subject to Department of the Treasury oversight under the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938. ..."
"... Feinberg, the former Sputnik White House correspondent, reportedly took with him a thumb drive containing some thousands of internal business files when he left his office. ..."
"... News organizations are normally considered to be exempt from the requirements of FARA. ..."
"... The DOJ is in effect saying that RT and Sputnik are nothing more than propaganda organs and do not qualify as journalism. I would have to disagree if one goes by the standards of contemporary journalism in the United States. ..."
"... they have been as often as not leading propaganda organs for Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party, pushing a particular agenda and denigrating Donald Trump. They differ little from the admittedly biased television news reporting provided by Fox News and MSNBC. ..."
"... Regarding Sputnik, Feinberg claimed inter alia ..."
"... Voice of America ..."
Oct 10, 2017 | www.unz.com

Somehow everything keeps coming back around to Russia. In one of its recent initiatives, the Justice Department (DOJ) appears to be attacking the First Amendment as part of the apparent bipartisan program to make Vladimir Putin the fall guy for everything that goes wrong in Washington. In the past month, the DOJ has revealed that the FBI is investigating Russian owned news outlets Sputnik News and RT International and has sent letters to the latter demanding that one of its business affiliates register as a foreign agent by October 17 th . The apparent line of inquiry that the Bureau is pursuing is that both are agencies of the Russian government and that both have been spreading disinformation that is intended to discredit the United States government and its institutions.

This alleged action would make them, in the DOJ view, a propaganda arm of a foreign government rather than a news service. It also makes them subject to Department of the Treasury oversight under the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938.

Sputnik , which is owned by a Russian government media group headed by Putin consigliere Dimitri Kiselyov, has been under investigation due to the accusations made by a fired broadcaster named Andrew Feinberg. Feinberg, the former Sputnik White House correspondent, reportedly took with him a thumb drive containing some thousands of internal business files when he left his office. He has been interviewed by the FBI, has turned over his documents, and has claimed that much of the direction over what the network covered came from Moscow.

RT America , more television oriented than Sputnik, operates through two business entities : RTTV America and RTTV Studios. The Department of Justice has refused to identify which of the businesses has been targeted by a letter calling for registration under FARA, but it is believed to be RTTV America, which provides both operational support of the broadcasting as well as the production facilities. Both companies are actually owned by Russian-American businessman Alex Yazlovsky, though the funding for them presumably comes from the Russian government.

I have noticed very little pushback in the U.S. mainstream and alternative media regarding the Department of Justice moves, presumably because there is a broad consensus that the Russians have been interfering in our "democracy" and have had it coming. If that assumption on my part is correct, the silence over the issue reflects a certain naïvete while also constituting a near perfect example of a pervasive tunnel vision that obscures the significant collateral damage that might be forthcoming.

News organizations are normally considered to be exempt from the requirements of FARA. The Department of Justice action against the two Russian major media outlets is unprecedented insofar as I could determine. Even Qatar owned al-Jazeera, which was so vilified during the early stages of the Afghan War that it had its Kabul offices bombed by the U.S., did not have to register under FARA, was permitted to operate freely, and was even allowed to buy a television channel license for its American operations.

The DOJ is in effect saying that RT and Sputnik are nothing more than propaganda organs and do not qualify as journalism. I would have to disagree if one goes by the standards of contemporary journalism in the United States. America's self-described "newspapers of record" the New York Times and the Washington Post pretend that they have a lock on stories that are "true." The Post has adopted the slogan "Democracy Dies in Darkness" while the Times proclaims "The truth is more important now than ever," but anyone who has read either paper regularly for the past year knows perfectly well that they have been as often as not leading propaganda organs for Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party, pushing a particular agenda and denigrating Donald Trump. They differ little from the admittedly biased television news reporting provided by Fox News and MSNBC.

What exactly did the Russians do? According to last January's report signed off on by the FBI, CIA and NSA, which may have motivated the DOJ to take action, RT and Sputnik "consistently cast President-elect Trump as the target of unfair coverage from traditional U.S. media outlets that they claimed were subservient to a corrupt political establishment." Well, they certainly got that one right and did better in their reporting of what was going on among the American public than either the Washington Post or New York Times .

Regarding Sputnik, Feinberg claimed inter alia that he was "pushed" to ask questions at White House press briefings suggesting that Syria's Bashar al-Assad was not responsible for some of the chemical attacks that had taken place. One wonders at Feinberg's reluctance as Sputnik and RT were not the only ones expressing skepticism over the claims of Syrian involvement, which have been widely debunked. And why is expressing a credible alternative view on an event in Syria even regarded as propaganda damaging to the American public?

There is a difficult to distinguish line between FARA restricted "trying to influence opinion" using what is regarded a fake news and propaganda and legitimate journalism reporting stories where the "facts" have been challenged. Even real journalists choose to cover stories selectively, inevitably producing a certain narrative for the viewer, listener or reader. All news services do that to a greater or lesser extent.

I have considerable personal experience of RT in particular and, to a lesser extent, with Sputnik. I also know many others who have been interviewed by one or both. No one who has done so has ever been coached or urged to follow a particular line or support a specific position insofar as I know. Nor do I know anyone who has actually been paid to appear. Most of us who are interviewed are appreciative of the fact that we are allowed to air views that are essentially banned on the mainstream media to include critique of maladroit policies in places like Syria and Afghanistan and biting critiques of the war on terror.

Sputnik, in my opinion, does, however, lean heavily towards stories that are critical of the United States and its policies, while RT has a global reach and is much more balanced in what it covers. For sure, it too criticizes U.S. policies and is protective of the Russian government, but it does not substantially differ from other national news services that I have had done interviews for. I find as much uniquely generated negative reporting about the U.S. (usually linked to violence or guns) on BBC World News, France24 and Deutsche Welle as I do on RT International . To describe it as part of an "influence campaign" driven by a "state-run propaganda machine" has a kernel of truth but it is nevertheless a bit of a stretch since one could make the same claims about any government financed news service, including Voice of America . Governments only get into broadcasting to promote their points of view, not to inform the public.

There is a serious problem in the threats to use FARA as it could advance the ongoing erosion of freedom of the press in the United States by establishing the precedent that a foreign news services that is critical of the U.S. will no longer be tolerated. It is also hypocritical in that countries like Israel that interfere regularly in American politics are exempt from FARA registration because no one dares to take such a step, while Russia is fair game.

Going after news outlets also invites retaliation against U.S. media operating in Russia and, eventually, elsewhere. Currently Western media reports from Russia pretty much without being censored or pressured to avoid certain stories. I would note a recent series that appeared on CBS featuring the repulsive Stephen Colbert spending a week in Russia which mercilessly lampooned both the country and its government. No one arrested him or made him stop filming. No one claimed that he was trying to undermine the Russian government or discredit the country's institutions, even though that is precisely what he was doing.

And then there is the issue of the "threat" posed by news media outlets like RT and Sputnik. Even combined the two services have limited access to the U.S. market, with a 2014 study suggesting that they have only 2.8 million actual weekly viewers . RT did not make the cut and is not included on the list of 100 most popular television channels in the U.S. and it has far less market penetration than other foreign news services like the BBC. It can be found on only a limited number of cable networks in a few, mostly urban areas. It does better in Europe, but its profile in the U.S. market is miniscule. As even bad news is good news in terms of selling a product, it probably did receive higher ratings when the intelligence agency report slamming it came out on it in January. Everyone probably wanted to learn what RT was all about.

So it seems to me that the United States' moves against RT and Sputnik are little more than lashing out at a problem that is not really a problem in a bid to again promote the Russian "threat" to explain the ongoing dysfunction that prevails in America's democratic process. One keeps reading or hearing how the American government has "indisputable" proof of Moscow's intentions to subvert democracy in the U.S. as well as in Europe but the actual evidence is still elusive. Will Russiagate end with a bang or a whimper? No one seems to know.

Priss Factor > , Website October 10, 2017 at 4:52 am GMT

The irony is RT news is pretty much dominated by Progs and Leftists. It's not Russian Nationalist or Conservative. But it features the kinds of Progs who do question and challenge Globalist Oligarchs of the West.

Johnny F. Ive > , October 10, 2017 at 5:43 am GMT

They need Russia to be an enemy to justify their actions and the Europeans want to use the US to threaten Russia. Its a shame this can't be generalized against all foreign agents of influence. The US Mainstream Media is basically an arm of the Hasbara. Their guest from think tanks are foreign agents of influence. Its not fun watching a bunch of foreigners and their domestic owned Americans run the US Empire into the ground.

Backwoods Bob > , October 10, 2017 at 5:59 am GMT

As psychopaths lose their grip over the target, they change from cool, calm, lie-to-your face con men to pathetic, shrieking cartoons of themselves.

The shredders were working overtime, bleach bit, hammers, cell phones wiped, people bumped off, closing up all of the criminal gangster operations of the government before Trump got in.

They can't get rid of him, not suing for re-counts, not getting him declared incompetent, not stage-managed riots of Soros stooges, not a fake dossier with Russian whores peeing on the Donald's bed, not screeching about Russia

Eventually, if our Republic is worth a shit at all, these crimes will finally be acknowledged and the hysteria over Russia will subside.

Ronald Thomas West > , Website October 10, 2017 at 6:26 am GMT

What the Russians appear to have clearly recognized is how to take advantage of the corrupt nature of the western 'mainstream' press, an institution which has been co-opted by western intelligence agencies for a very long time.

The Russian method? It could not be more simple; report the actual facts in the geopolitical contest and when this is inconvenient, practice lies by omission

Depending on the geopolitical reality of the day, for instance whether the paranoid ego-maniac Sultan Erdogan of Turkey is behaving well or not, the stories by western dissident journalists that will withstand a close scrutiny are run in Russian or Russia friendly media outlets. The result? Odds are 100:1 you'll get more reliable information from Russian state TV or Russian sponsored websites than from ABC, CBS, CNN or NBC

https://ronaldthomaswest.com/2016/12/03/propaganda-spy-vs-spy/

My take from 10 or so months ago. I don't really think much has changed except for the 'Russia hacked the election' story is clearly more false than ever; with narcissism queen Julian Assange holding the story hostage:

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

Verymuchalive > , October 10, 2017 at 6:46 am GMT

Russia has been remarkably restrained in its counteractions. But retaliate fully it will. China is getting its retaliation in first, with plans for an oil futures market, trading in yuan, in Shanghai already near completion. The days of the Petro-dollar seem numbered. Will American hegemony collapse with a bang or a whimper? No one seems to know.
Either way, ten years from now, " Russiagate ", a fake scandal, will be almost completely forgotten, rather like major real scandals earlier this century like Enron. The latter seems to have been pushed right down the memory hole.

exiled off mainstreet > , October 10, 2017 at 7:51 am GMT

This is further evidence that the yankee regime walks and talks like a fascist duck. Its deep state and its media acolytes, Carlos Slim's New York Times, CIA contractor Bezos' Washington Post, PBS, the corporate parasite broadcast system, CNN, the Clinton News Network, NBC, home of professional lesbian deepstate lackey Rachel Maddow, CBS and ABC (along with government owned satellite state medias like BBC, CBC and Australia's ABC are quintessential propaganda outlets. While the Russian outlets are naturally pro-Russian, they are less openly propagandistic than the US-controlled propaganda press, which is on the side of barbarism in its attitudes toward the middle east and NATO issues.

LondonBob > , October 10, 2017 at 8:10 am GMT

I actually find the quality of guests on RT to be far superior to what the British news channels offer, embarrassingly so really as these guests seem easy enough to find whilst the likes of the BBC believe the ill informed opinions of journalists is only of interest. RT UK is also a lot more politically balanced with most of the media seemingly having ditched the old ethos that they should at least make some vague attempt at balance. RT's coverage of the migrant crisis was in stark contrast to the British media's cheer leading. In addition in the past few years Palestine has completely disappeared from British screens however RT still covers the occupation as well as matters such as the USS Liberty.

Anyway this does seem like part and parcel of the attempt to increasingly suppress the press and free speech in the West, whether that is driven by lefty ideologues, zionists, an unthinking security apparatus or a military with no purpose.

[Oct 10, 2017] MoA - Russia Interfered! - By Purchasing Anti-Trump Ads

Notable quotes:
"... Russia is for and against Trump, and is thus destroying American democracy! We have always been at war with Eurasia! Freedom is slavery! ..."
"... The dangerous projection from the US elites where anyone and anything can be turned into something "evil" through the mere suggestion of any connection to Russia is no longer shocking--but that makes it no less disturbing and insidious. ..."
"... the whole thing is quite laughable, if it wasn't taken so seriously by so many doorknobs... ..."
"... b you are right to continue to focus on this issue. The Russia hysteria is beginning to burn itself out. However the msn and the Democrats are now beginning to focus on Google, Twitter and Facebook instead. Hillary last week gave a talk at Stanford calling for those companies to censure false news reports. If her plan was put into effect one of its targets would obviously be MoA along with hundreds of other outlets on both the left and the right that challenge the usual deep state "news" promoted by the mainstream news monopolies. ..."
"... Identifying all of the ways in which it was rigged is still open to debate, but we know for sure that during the primary the DNC manipulated the schedule for "Super Tuesday" so as to pad Clinton's lead with meaningless red states which would never turn out for her in the general, that numerous states also executed suspect purges of their voter roles in precincts leaning heavily toward Bernie Sanders, and that Clinton fraudulently secured the electoral votes of some 400 so-called "super delegates" in order to create the illusion she had popular support. ..."
"... Furthermore, we know that the DNC itself promoted Trump because they wrongly believed that he would be easier to beat in the general election. If anyone really adulterated our democracy during this election, it was the DNC and, as usual, the corporate media apparatus. But as with any large-scale CYA operation, the first order of business is to distract attention away from the domestic perpetrators by hyping up an external threat and projecting all manner of crimes to this shadowy enemy. ..."
"... If one looks at the recent history of which bills pass in congress, and how close the votes lie, it is very easy to see the BIG LIE that these people represent anything other than the corporate interests that pay them the most money. ..."
"... Trump is a symptom, not the disease. Hillary was the same, and I fully expect the next bunch of politicians to show even more stark symptoms. To expect the MSM to do other than purvey the lies and obfuscate and distract is simply an illogical and fallacious expectation - an expectation that money will never allow to be met. ..."
"... This entire Russiagate thing is a distraction, canard, red herring - pick your noun for falsity. It's purpose is to obfuscate other things the corporations and governments are doing elsewhere. Caveat emptor ..."
Oct 10, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

After the ludicrous "Russian hacking" claims have died down for lack of evidence, the attention was moved to even more ludicrous claims of "Russian ads influenced the elections". Some readers are upset that continue to debunk the nonsense the media spreads around this. But lies should not stand without response. If only to blame the reporters and media who push this dreck.

As evidence is also lacking for any "Russian interference" claims the media outlets have started to push deceiving headlines. These make claims that are not covered at all by the content of the related pieces. The headlines are effective because less than 20% of the viewers ever read beyond them.

On the NYT Homepage today we find another one of these: Google Finds Russia Bought Ads to Interfere in Election .

Google has found no ads that "Russia", the state or nation, has bought. There is also no evidence that the ads in question interfered in any way with the election. There is evidence that any of the ads in questions aimed to achieve that. The opener of the piece repeats the false headline claims. But now we have "Russian agents", not "Russia", which allegedly did something.

Google has found evidence that Russian agents bought ads on its wide-ranging networks in an effort to interfere with the 2016 presidential campaign.

The term "Russian agents" is not defined at all. Where these "secret agents" or Public Relation professionals in Washington DC hired by some Russian entity?

Using accounts believed to be connected to the Russian government, the agents purchased $4,700 worth of search ads and more traditional display ads, according to a person familiar with the company's inquiry ...

"Accounts believed to be connected to the Russian government." Believed by whom? And how is "connected" defined? Isn't any citizen "connected" to his or her government?

Those believed , connected accounts bought a whopping $4,700 of ads? Googles 2016 revenue was $89,000,000,000. The total campaign expenditures in 2016 were some $6,000,000,000. The Clinton campaign spent some $480,000 on social network ads alone. But something "Russian" spending $4,700 was "interference"?

But wait. There is more:

Google found a separate $53,000 worth of ads with political material that were purchased from Russian internet addresses, building addresses or with Russian currency. It is not clear whether any of those were connected to the Russian government, and they may have been purchased by Russian citizens, the person said.

So now we are on to something. A full $53,000 worth of ads. But ....

The messages of those ads spanned the political spectrum. One account spent $7,000 on ads to promote a documentary called "You've Been Trumped," a film about Donald J. Trump's efforts to build a golf course in Scotland along an environmentally sensitive coastline. Another spent $36,000 on ads questioning whether President Barack Obama needed to resign. Yet another bought ads to promote political merchandise for Mr. Obama.

The film is anti-Trump. Obama not resigning would have been anti-Trump. Selling Obama merchandise may have been good business, but is certainly not pro-Trump. So at least $43,000 of a total of $53,000 mentioned above was spent by believed , connected "Russians" on ads that promoted anti-Trump material. How does that fit with the claims that "Russia" wished to get Trump elected? Putin pushed the wrong button?

The allegedly "Russian" Facebook ads were just a click-bait scheme by some people trying to make money. The allegedly "Russian" Goggle ads were of a volume that is unlikely to have made any difference in anything. They were also anti-Trump.

Clinton lost because people on all sides had learned to dislike her policies throughout the years. She was unelectable. Her party was and is acting against the interest of the common people. No claim of anything "Russian" can change those facts.

Yul | Oct 10, 2017 11:59:10 AM | 1

But, But, But
It is OK when the US of A ( via NED, USAID aka CIA covert ops) does it in Iran, some African countries, South American and even in Western Europe circa the '60's, to elect puppets
steven t johnson | Oct 10, 2017 12:24:54 PM | 2
Clinton won the election. Trump winning the Electoral College doesn't change that. If anybody has been repudiated by popular vote, it is Trump. It wasn't a huge win because the Democratic Party platform of how great the economy is is not going to win big for the good and simply reason it's BS. And black voters weren't going to turn out for a white candidate. If winning the election is a moral endorsement and losing is conviction of sin, then it is Clinton who was the angel and Trump who was the devil in the judgment of the American people. Seeing Clinton supporters as demons serving evil just means you hate the American people.

Either the Trumpists are getting exactly what they wanted, which exposes them as shameful. Or they got blindly picked the biggest liar because, stupid. It's a lose/lose situation. Since the Electoral College has made the election moot, what is the point of savaging Clinton except a desperate effort to apologize for Trump?

WorldBLee | Oct 10, 2017 12:33:02 PM | 3
Russia is for and against Trump, and is thus destroying American democracy! We have always been at war with Eurasia! Freedom is slavery!

The dangerous projection from the US elites where anyone and anything can be turned into something "evil" through the mere suggestion of any connection to Russia is no longer shocking--but that makes it no less disturbing and insidious.

anon | Oct 10, 2017 12:40:38 PM | 4
if the Dems wanted to campaign for the NEXT election rather than the LAST one, they could try opposing Trump on an actual issue... but I don't see Clinton doing squat for Puerto Rico, EPA standards, Black Lives, health care, Yemen, education, etc. The truth is, she and her party don't oppose Trump on anything except who won the last election and which country to threaten next.

I stopped listening to Amy Goodman over a year ago when I got sick of hearing nothing but this partisan BS, though once in a while I turn it on for a few minutes, and Goodman is STILL going on and on about Trump v Clinton! but today I got to hear Julian Assange tell her off, so it was worth it.

james | Oct 10, 2017 12:41:08 PM | 5
thanks b.. this highlights the pettiness of the american press, and people like steven @2 as well..

the whole thing is quite laughable, if it wasn't taken so seriously by so many doorknobs...

ToivoS | Oct 10, 2017 1:07:57 PM | 6
b you are right to continue to focus on this issue. The Russia hysteria is beginning to burn itself out. However the msn and the Democrats are now beginning to focus on Google, Twitter and Facebook instead. Hillary last week gave a talk at Stanford calling for those companies to censure false news reports. If her plan was put into effect one of its targets would obviously be MoA along with hundreds of other outlets on both the left and the right that challenge the usual deep state "news" promoted by the mainstream news monopolies.

Johnson #2. You obviously do not understand the US constitution. It was crafted to distribute political power to all of the States, not to just those with the largest populations. That was done deliberately and carefully in order to get the 13 former colonies to agree to joining a united states. That is why we have the electoral college and why each of the states have exactly two US senators irrespective of their population. So you want to abolish the electoral college? Well then change the US constitution. Of course keep in mind that the constitution has a rule for that process too -- it requires that 2/3 of the states agree. Good luck with trying that! Well you loyal Hillary sycophants should just go back and continue to cry in your beers like the pathetic losers that you all are.

SlapHappy | Oct 10, 2017 1:12:19 PM | 7
The 2016 election, as with every federal election since at least 2000, was rigged.

Identifying all of the ways in which it was rigged is still open to debate, but we know for sure that during the primary the DNC manipulated the schedule for "Super Tuesday" so as to pad Clinton's lead with meaningless red states which would never turn out for her in the general, that numerous states also executed suspect purges of their voter roles in precincts leaning heavily toward Bernie Sanders, and that Clinton fraudulently secured the electoral votes of some 400 so-called "super delegates" in order to create the illusion she had popular support.

Furthermore, we know that the DNC itself promoted Trump because they wrongly believed that he would be easier to beat in the general election. If anyone really adulterated our democracy during this election, it was the DNC and, as usual, the corporate media apparatus. But as with any large-scale CYA operation, the first order of business is to distract attention away from the domestic perpetrators by hyping up an external threat and projecting all manner of crimes to this shadowy enemy.

It's been the same tired song and dance in this country since forever, and I don't think it'll ever change, especially not with almost universal control of the government, media, finance, and industry by the money-printing fifth column.

/div
/div
Oilman2 | Oct 10, 2017 1:50:54 PM | 9
If one looks at the recent history of which bills pass in congress, and how close the votes lie, it is very easy to see the BIG LIE that these people represent anything other than the corporate interests that pay them the most money.

The 'differences' they postulate and promulgate across media are of things inconsequential, or of things that can never be wholly resolved with laws and regulations. When important things arise, they are locked away in committee or alleged 'deadlock'. What bills do pass are always, not sometimes, but always those that enrich their own pockets in some way.

Those that believe in either cause, Democrat or Republican, are avoiding the truth staring them in the face. They prefer the old reality we lived in where news could be controlled via 5 or 6 media outlets. They prefer The Matrix to the reality of where we exist today.

The truth is slowly oozing out, even as these parasitic creatures shovel and shove it back under rocks and into overflowing waste bins. The result of this is apathy in extremis. This will continue until a disaster or collapse of some part of the existing system forces people to act for change.

Trump is a symptom, not the disease. Hillary was the same, and I fully expect the next bunch of politicians to show even more stark symptoms. To expect the MSM to do other than purvey the lies and obfuscate and distract is simply an illogical and fallacious expectation - an expectation that money will never allow to be met.

This entire Russiagate thing is a distraction, canard, red herring - pick your noun for falsity. It's purpose is to obfuscate other things the corporations and governments are doing elsewhere. Caveat emptor

[Oct 10, 2017] DECAMERON NEO-CON RESET

Oct 10, 2017 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Last week saw the Senate Intelligence Committee going after Russia's influence in the "free market places of ideas": Twitter, Facebook, etc. Senators fulminated over Twitter's failure to appreciate the magnitude of the danger of Russia's interference in free elections. Cartoonists lampooned Russia with caricatures of the famous Russian military parades showing the Facebook and Twitter logos as displays in the parade along with tanks and missiles.

Suddenly the Senate was all atwitter over, well, Twitter. Who's feeding this sudden awareness?

The recently created Alliance for Securing Democracy, housed (at least for now) at the German Marshall Fund--USA is one of the core anti-Putin, anti-Russia operations that merits keeping an eye on, especially as it impacts Congressional hearings, resolutions, and media. It's an alliance of hard core neo-cons who were in the thick of promoting the 2003 Iraq war and the "axis of evil" attacks on Iran-Iraq-North Korea during Bush 43 administration, with the hillary-cons.

They're determined to turn up the heat against Moscow, not just in the United States, but to spread the Cold War mania to Europe through its GMF network.

For now, the Alliance's money seems to be limited, but it is a clear move to migrate the "Never Trump" Republicans into alliance with the Democratic Party, even further polluting and destroying that party on the foreign policy front.

With a network of some 2 dozen operatives in the USA and Europe (including former Assistant Secretary of Defense under Obama, Derek Chollet) the Alliance for Securing Democray blog is churning out steady stream of articles about Russian interference in elections (including big focus on the latest German elections) and demanding that Congress take action to further investigate/stop Russian interference in said elections. They claim to be monitoring 600 Russian twitter accounts that they think are threatening democracy.

A significant part of the apparatus comes from the group, Foreign Policy Initiative which went belly up in August, 2017, when it ceased operations. According to The Nation, FPI's demise was largely due to the dropping off of funds in 2017 after the Trump election. The FPI was led by William Kristol and Robert Kagan. These "never Trump'ers" were apparently an albatross after the 2016 elections for some Republican and conservative deep pockets who always want to keep a path open to the White House, no matter who they preferred.

Now Kristol has a new home on the Advisory Board of the Alliance for Securing Democracy along with Michael Chertoff, and the anti-Putin ex-Ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul. Also on the Board is Jake Sullivan, a top Hillary operative at the State Dept. Chertoff recently landed a Wall Street Journal article on September 6 th , headlined, Congress Can Help Prevent Election Hacking. I expect there will be a lot of Congressional action on this front if the "Alliance for Securing Democracy" has its way.

Securing democracy? The crowd that brought us Iraq in 2003, Libya in 2011?

Investigative journalist Glenn Greenwald did an impressive first expose of this outfit in July of this year, identifying the alliance between the war party neo-cons and the Democratic Party, but there's a lot more to watch in its continuing operations to promote its Cold War agenda, especially in Congress.

james , 08 October 2017 at 07:13 PM

these neo con bloodsuckers are becoming irrelevant.. sure, they continue to suck on the blood of a number of countries, but it is going to come to an end. if fact, it looks like the end is in motion at present.. they want their war where-ever, and the corporations are all in tow on this.. meanwhile ordinary people can see it for what it is..

i saw an article in fox news from kagan.. what was interesting were the comments in response to his drivel... it gave me hope that people who are crazy enough to even read something on fox news, can see bullshit when they see it and are willing to call it as such.. people aren't beholden to the western msm as much as some would like to think..

tpcelt , 08 October 2017 at 09:40 PM
How can ordinary people, like me, be informed and make sound decisions? Common sense with a strong bu****t meter helps. But there's so much going on and cross currents.
1664RM , 08 October 2017 at 10:03 PM
Are sure you have the title correct? 'Reset'

- Personally I don't think there has ever been a 'reset'.

It's the same as it ever was - they are still there operating in plain sight & pulling the strings & levers of power in both the US Senate & Congress, of course the influence of the AIPAC 'bloc' cannot be overlooked.

HRC was their candidate, as was BHO, as was Bush the younger, as was WJC et al.

PNAC is alive & well, the plan is still to destroy any nation which can independently produce/supply hydrocarbons outside of the control of the US/Saudi hydrocarbon cartel, or act as a third party transit corridor to China or Europe.

These nations typically fall foul of 'coloured revolutions', or ethinc minorities within them - normally Sunni Muslims suddenly become the victims of 'ethnic cleansing' by State Govt forces, no proof of this (pictures, moving images etc is ever provided by the MSM). The issue is presented to the world as an 'uman rights issue. Often local Sunni extremists (sometime in neighbouring states) then wage 'Jihad' & thus the state in question is totally destroyed & 'Balkanised in the process.

Coupled with this is the ongoing operation to isolate Russian geopolitical & economic influence over Festung Europa whilst drawing an ever more 'Balkanized 'Europa' into more reliance on US influenced sources of hydrocarbons.

Simultaneous to this is the encirclement of Russia on 3 sides with THAAD style weapons & conventional military forces to create a preemptive Nuclear/Conventional Strike Scenario a reality.

In the Asia Pacific region its also a similar plan directed against China.

All of this is directly linked to maintaining the economic hegemony of the US 'Empire' into the 21st Century.

Its not that simple to work out or follow.

Just my vacant ramblings this fine Monday morning 'downunder' feel free to rip it apart as you wish.

Linda , 08 October 2017 at 11:08 PM
And now Possibly Iran in 2017
1664RM -> Linda... , 09 October 2017 at 10:16 AM
Myanmar - shaping up to become a new hydrocarbon overland transit route from the Gulf for China (avoiding the Malacca Straights maritime chokepoint) in exchange for an invitation into the OBOR Project - Well it was until -

All of a sudden the Royhingas have been murdered en masse & driven into exile into neighbouring Bangladesh (incidentally has anybody actually seen ANY pictorial moving footage evidence of ANY of this?)

Bangladesh ... where the 'jihad' to avenge the Royhinga pogrom will be launched into Myanmar ... has just 'accepted' an offer from the Kingdom of Saudi to construct hundreds of new Mosques & Madrassas ... the perfect breeding ground to hatch a new generation of Jihadis in SE Asia. Bangladesh will be in a perfect geographic position to threaten neighbouring Indian provinces too. India has the largest Muslim population outside of the Muslim world. There several million Bangladeshi migrant workers inside The Gulf states working for a pittance ... who knows what some of them are up too.

Catlonia ... is/was setting itself up as a major LNG entry point into the EU from North Africa ... primarily Algeria, since the predicted US 'Shale Boom' has not actually materialised in sufficient volume to 'wean' the EU away from Russian Gas supplies.

Syria & now the likely formation of this quasi Kurdish state straddling the Shia Crescent ... it really IS all about the Gas ... how can the Syrian state access its hydrocarbons & move them abroad to the foreign market if somebody else has been encouraged to create a quasi state right on top of them?

The Phillipines ... the southern half of the Island chain is predominantly Muslim & since Duterte began making friendly overtures to regional players i.e. China they now have a full blown 'insurgency' in the south despite plenty of US Military hardware in the very local region (or is id direcly BECAUSE of the proximity of US Military forces?).

The Ukraine ... I could go on ....

Pacifica Advocate -> 1664RM ... , 09 October 2017 at 12:36 PM
>>>The Ukraine ... I could go on ....

Nah. You couldn't've, because you were running on empty why you started your screed.

>>>The Phillipines ... the southern half of the Island chain is predominantly Muslim & since Duterte began making friendly overtures to regional players i.e. China they now have a full blown 'insurgency' in the south ...

A) Mindanao is the locus of the insurgency, and it has been that way ever since Spain annexed it into its "The Philippines" administrative region.

B) The Muslim population of Mindanao is hardly the "southern half" of the Philippines; at best, they are the "Southern sixteenth."

C) The Muslim portion of the "Southern Half of the Island Chain" makes up a total of about 6% of the total population of the Philippines. How you jump from there to "the southern half of the Island chain is predominantly Muslim" is beyond me. That's simply factually false.

D) Duterte's overtures towards China have been overwhelmingly supported by the local population, a vast number of whom have relatives who are overseas laborers working in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Canton/Guangdong, etc. In fact, the local Muslims in Mindanao were trained by the US, and those currently financed by the Saudis (and, in the 70s, trained by the U.S.) are staunchly opposed to Duterte's campaign to open up the Philippines to Chinese investment.

Long-story-short: you're wrong on pretty much everything I am in a position to criticize you on, and I suspect the rest of your screed can be similarly debunked.

Serge -> Pacifica Advocate... , 09 October 2017 at 11:15 PM

Pacifica Advocate,

Yep, the usual economic determinism mumbo jumbo from this guy, an epidemic in amateur and professional poli sci circles conducting analysis on US geopolitical actions since 2003. Cast aside the wide scope of history into the dustbin and focus on the US as some omnipotent robot machine that runs on plundered oil. If the Colonel is reading this, what got me hooked on SST was a comment of his back in 2014 in which he shot down that economic determinism crap as it related to Iraq

Tim B. , 08 October 2017 at 11:24 PM
This is a great read from the left wing Nation magazine. https://www.thenation.com/article/russiagate-is-more-fiction-than-fact/
The Porkchop Express , 09 October 2017 at 01:00 AM
It is just beyond belief that the majority of these clowns continue to be treated as if they have a shred of credibility left or that their ideas carry ANY weight when it comes to their outrageously incompetent foreign policy decisions/actions. That their ideological ideas have any value at all, particularly when there has been no admission of a mistake or a reorientation of their ideas, is just astounding. To be wrong so repeatedly and so publicly should have engendered a least some, however small, sense of shame or humility.

On the other hand, it says something about our polity, too, that we continue to tolerate this bullshit.

semiconscious -> The Porkchop Express... , 09 October 2017 at 09:20 AM
'On the other hand, it says something about our polity, too, that we continue to tolerate this bullshit.'

absolutely. that these clowns, along with the various members of the pundit class (friedman, krugman) who, after being repeatedly wrong about any number of things, continue to be provided their bully pulpits tells you all you really need to know...

Yeah, Right , 09 October 2017 at 06:50 AM
Every time I read about William Kristol's latest career move I am reminded of those old Hammer Horror movies with Christopher Lee.

The dude comes to a grisly end in every movie, yet there he is in the next one, back from the grave and - inevitably - none the wiser for the experience.

Ol' Dracula never once stops to think: Ya' know what, these always end badly. Maybe I should sit this one out?

Neither does Kristol, apparently.

LeaNder , 09 October 2017 at 08:57 AM
Good article by Glenn, he is one of the best.
Matthew , 09 October 2017 at 09:42 AM
I just finished Simon Montefiore's two books on Stalin (Young Stalin and The Court of the Red Czar).

With every passing day, the Neo-Cons and their fellow travelers are introducing the Soviet method into American politics: Denunciations, Conspiracies, and the Never-Ending Search for Wreckers.

LeaNder , 09 October 2017 at 11:37 AM
Jacob Heilbrunn, via, I know, I know, the NYT. But, Heilbrunn, JULY 5, 2014

WASHINGTON -- AFTER nearly a decade in the political wilderness, the neoconservative movement is back, using the turmoil in Iraq and Ukraine to claim that it is President Obama, not the movement's interventionist foreign policy that dominated early George W. Bush-era Washington, that bears responsibility for the current round of global crises.

Does anyone remember the curious renaissance of the neocons? Quite a time before the election officially started or heated up?

Iraq, looked at in hindsight with the appropriate and needed distance in time, may not have been that wrong after all? At least once there was someone else to blame? The appropriate public period of repentance seemed to be over. New servants available, that might escape the probling public eye?

Now the Americans may not have chosen the right "cherry blossom king" (Tyler) in their opinion, or backed the right horse in the race. But does that matter? Strictly, hadn't the winner delivered the new meme variant quite dutifully?

One has to keep open to twists of fate, seize the day, I would assume Trump knows that too. Let's see. ...

******

Yes, now I remember a tale in Boccaccio's The Decameron, Sixth Day, Tenth Tale, Friar Cipolla and a Feather of the Angel Gabriel. Which might fit. One of my favorites really.

http://sites.fas.harvard.edu/~chaucer/special/authors/boccaccio/boc-6-10.html

SmoothieX12 , 09 October 2017 at 04:29 PM
I just finished Simon Montefiore's two books on Stalin (Young Stalin and The Court of the Red Czar).

Judging by the "level" of Western historic narrative (granted with some notable exceptions) on Russian/Soviet history of the 20th Century, I would be very cautious when reading anything from Great Britain, especially from people with Montefiore's background. Not to mention people who praise him--from WSJ, NYT etc. Western awareness of actual, real Russian history is extremely low.

Joseph Moroco , 09 October 2017 at 05:43 PM
This is the first I've heard of the German Marshall Fund other than on The Ministry of Information, I mean NPR, they are occasionally mentioned as providing money for some of the propaganda uh, programming. I thought it was a fund to thank us for lending Les Boches a helping hand after we were done bombing them to smithereens.

Here is a link to Der Spiegel that is a tribute to the founder, but is also a history of the GMF. http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/founder-of-german-marshall-fund-guido-goldman-retires-a-834696.html

It appears to be Neocon safe space. Can there be too many.

Virginia Slim , 09 October 2017 at 05:43 PM
Forgive me, but "Alliance for Securing Democracy" sounds like a Münzenberg-era front organization.

[Oct 10, 2017] Facebook must 'follow the money' to uncover extent of Russian meddling by Diana Pilipenko

Oct 10, 2017 | www.theguardian.com

Robzview2 -> BaronVonAmericano , 9 Oct 2017 21:51

100% with you my rational thinking brother. I have another post here somewhere, Facebook excecs had to be asked 3 times before they "found" these alleged Russian election changing ads- just writing that makes me laugh- and stated that approximately 56% of these ads only ran after the election. I mean we no those evil Russians are ultra cunning and highly sophisticated but even so that takes some doing.
Principleagentprob -> Cato1836 , 9 Oct 2017 19:50
And the NSA, GCHQ, CIA does not have trolls apparently despite their massive budgets? Bear in mind lefty news outlets are favourite covers for western security services. An example of this is Kim Philby who while ostensibly working for MI6 was posted to the middle east working for the Sunday edition. You know before the collapse of the Soviet Union. Indeed the wall to wall anti-Russian propaganda and the extremely close relationship between the Clinton campaign and the US media indicates the trolls are running mainstream media in the US and the UK.
It's the sense of entitlement that gets me, candidates throw as much questionable campaign contributions at an election (such as Singer) and believe the electorate has a duty to vote for them, and if the dont then the it must of been because of the opposition corruption and the stupidity of the lower orders rather than incompetence or policy failure such as representing wall St. rather than main St. on their part.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/jul/28/kim-philby-david-astor-observer

Robzview2 -> Cato1836 , 9 Oct 2017 18:49
I'll do that English course when I have time, at the moment - and for the foreseeable- future I'm flat out ridiculing the Russia-gate nonsense and the fools who are eager to champion any old nonsense, no matter how ludicrous and continue to do so even when it is comprehensively demolished.
anonym101 , 9 Oct 2017 18:48
There is tonnes of more proof that refugee numbers in Europe and the illegal bombing of Libya and arming of 'rebels' in Syria are connected, yet everyone avoids that question.
There is also video proof that McCain and Nuland had incited the violent overthrow of the elected government in Ukraine a few years ago. Before accusing me of being a Russian troll, I am Hungarian.
multilis , 9 Oct 2017 18:45
Hilary Clinton election spending $581m. Donald Trump election spending $340 million according to https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/dec/09/trump-and-clintons-final-campaign-spending-revealed

Facebook spending by "russia" $100,000, unclear that was russian government.

Presidential salary of Bill Clinton $400,000/year. Clinton's at start had little net worth according to them, now they have estimated net worth of $110 million+, much of it comes from speeches, including to groups in places like Saudi Arabia.

Clinton foundation charity received donations from foreign governments and individuals, including millions from some in saudi arabia. Not possible to see exact amounts.

US spending in ukraine over 20 years according to politfacts.com: About $2.4 billion went to programs promoting peace and security, which could include military assistance, border security, human trafficking issues, international narcotics abatement and law enforcement interdiction, Thompson said. More money went to categories with the objectives of "governing justly and democratically" ($800 million), "investing in people" ($400 million), economic growth ($1.1 billion), and humanitarian assistance ($300 million).... of course not all money by CIA may be disclosed here.

I suspect Russia, US, and many other countries do spend on influencing other countries, small potatoes though compared to how much Hillary and Trump spent, and those hundreds of millions of dollars given to Hillary and Trump were probably partially to influence/bribe them for later government decisions.

Principleagentprob , 9 Oct 2017 18:41
Are you not embarrassed writing this?
McCarthy is dead, the 50s are over, the Soviet Union no longer exists, The Billion Dollar Brain and Dr Strangelove was not advice on how to run a successful US foreign policy, nobody believes this nonsense anymore.

Quite honestly it is articles like this make me wish the Guardian would hurry up and go bankrupt, although I hope your more reputable Journalists (such as Larry Elliot) continue their journalism in another form. You are dragging a paper with a proud history from Manchester radicalism into the mud and besmirching real journalists trying to carry out real journalism.

To quote another 'article' in the Guardian (I use the word loosely) that does not have comments "Russian operatives spent thousands of dollars on Google ads, source claims". Really $1000s of Dollars, there are pet food ad campaigns that spend more than this.
Is the Guardian world news just run out of somebody else's office?

Yes, lets follow the money, using facts who made campaign contributions to the Democratic and Republican party.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/politics/2016-election/campaign-finance /

Hilary Clinton campaign $1.4Bn
Trump $957.6 M

And who contributed a little more than $1000s to the democratic campaign?

https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/politics/superpac-donors-2016 /

https://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/list.php

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/us/elections/top-presidential-donors-campaign-money.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/wall-street-is-putting-money-behind-these-presidential-candidates_us_55b143e7e4b08f57d5d414ad

Yes, there is a conspiracy all right, it's the old one of the plutocrats conspiring against the poor. To ensure their man or woman would represent wall street not the electorate such as by ensuring Sanders was blocked by the super delegates. Then trying to ensure the more finance friendly candidate became president, such as by google working closely with the Clinton campaign. And no this is not misogyny as Bill Clinton was Americas worst domestic president in history. 3 strikes and you're out, workfare mass incarceration of black people, deregulation of finance. George W gets the crown as worst US president in foreign affairs due to Iraq.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/oct/31/the-podesta-emails-show-who-runs-america-and-how-they-do-it

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2015/04/08/hillary-clinton-hires-google-executive-to-be-chief-technology-officer /

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/hillary-clinton-was-paid-millions-by-tech-industry-for-speeches/2015/05/18/f149d598-fd86-11e4-805c-c3f407e5a9e9_story.html

https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2017/08/zuckerberg-hires-clintons-chief-strategist

Yes, lets follow the money.

And the Russians according to evidence free speculation spent $1000s and were successful? You are aware that $1.4bn is larger than $1000s? The US are obviously not very good at advertising or capatalism or democracy, and if you want a cost-effective ad campaign go to Russia, as nobody in history has run such a cost effective ad campaign where 1000s can be more effective than Bns.

Quite frankly I am insulted this article is being presented in what used to be a reputable newspaper.

Robzview2 , 9 Oct 2017 18:31
For a good laugh go to Consotiumnews. com, read the article headed The mystery of the Russiagate puppies. There is a lot there but essentially Clinton's desperate losers would have us believe that a page set up for puppy lovers was Trojan horse to start slipping in anti Clinton stuff. Those evil evil Rooskies, is there no end to their perfidy! puppies! is nothing sacred?! A line that got a laugh for me is:' if some fact, like the puppies page doesn't seem to fit the sinister conspiracy theory you simply pound it into place until it does
technotherapy , 9 Oct 2017 18:25
If we can only fully understand something by following the money Diana, why does your organisation, the Center for American Progress Action Fund - which Politico says 'openly runs political advocacy campaigns, and plays a central role in the Democratic Party's infrastructure' - refuse to disclose who its donors are?
Robzview2 -> Sutir Comed , 9 Oct 2017 18:17
There's a mountain of pig flop, most of the alleged "evidence" has collapsed under relatively mild scrutiny. Remember the "hacked" voting machines and electric utility computer system? not only not the evil Russians, just didn't happen at all and there are other tissue thin bits of "evidence". No convincing any of Clinton's sore loser bleaters of course but I assume you are aware that 25% of the alleged Russian ads were not viewed by anyone and that many were not run til AFTER the election. Is there no end to those devilish Rooskies that they can impact an election result AFTERWARDS!
GriseldaLamington -> Sutir Comed , 9 Oct 2017 17:51
It wasn't the entire US intelligence community - it was hand picked representatives from four agencies. By the way, how are you going with all those weapons of mass destruction that the entire US intelligence community was so sure of?
GriseldaLamington , 9 Oct 2017 16:45
Let me get this straight. The USA, which holds the modern record for interfering in other people's elections, for engineering coups, for doing dodgy deals with cocaine and heroin merchants to fund death squads, which BOASTED (on the front cover of Time no less) of fixing the 1996 election in Russia, has now got it's tits in a tangle because some maybe, might be, could possibly be if you hold them edge on against a red light, Russians bought some Facebook ads. Seriously?

Those whom the gods would destroy they first make mad

Robert Furst , 9 Oct 2017 16:36
In previous elections China has been linked to helping Democrats I don't see anyone complaining, perhaps because the Democrats won. The USA, under a Democratic Preisdent spent nearly $100 million dollars on an attempt to affect the election of an ally Israel in a vain attempt to get rid of Netanyahu as Prime Minister. Welcome to politics.
freeandfair -> Landish , 9 Oct 2017 16:20
> So, it's not Facebook's problem that they are aiding and abetting treason?

So, if the let's say an entity connected to the US government pays for an article/ advert that could be linked to some protests or a controversial issue in a foreign country, then the entity who sold the media space is guilty of treason?
Be careful what you wish for.

The reason you don't even see how wrong you points to the fact that the US is a semi-totalitarian state already.

jackrousseau , 9 Oct 2017 16:14
So wait, I'm trying to follow the logic of continuing to beat the Russia drum after it's so clearly jumped the shark. Let me see if I understand...

What you're now telling me is that Clinton and her cadre of policy wonks and election experts had the entire media behind them (including the owners of Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) and spent $1,200,000,000 to win the election.

Nevertheless, they still lost against *Donald Trump*. ...Because...because the Russians "hacked the election" with $150,000 and a few online trolls. Is this what it's come to? Say it ain't so.

Also, why isn't the actual content of these election-changing ads being disclosed? What did they say? What propaganda did "The Russians" use that was so effective on the American public?

So far I've only seen that the Russians supported BLM and created various "blacktivist", feminist, and LGBTI accounts promoting the same brand of identity politics peddled by The Guardian for clicks. https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/sep/30/blacktivist-facebook-account-russia-us-election

I mean, did "The Russians" promote any ideas that were actually *more* offensive than what the Guardian publishes on a daily basis? I'd like to see the Russian identity politics ads to compare...

BaronVonAmericano -> Durangotang , 9 Oct 2017 16:08
The only trolls are the ones claiming that unproven allegations of Russians buying a handful of ads on facebook are somehow more important than the fact that both our political parties are owned and operated by private corporate interests.
freeandfair , 9 Oct 2017 16:05
> Only through this method can we fully understand the Russian corporate hydra behind the ad buys

Lol. I am here with my popcorn to be entertained. Bring it on.

American politicians spend billions on their campaigns , but, sure, facebook has to investigate those few allegedly Russian linked ads. They are just a drop in a sea of political propagandizing and manipulation that goes on daily.

Also, how does this align with the freedom of speech? The way I look at it - as long as information is truthful, it doesn't matter what source it is coming from, friendly or unfriendly. Going after the source just because you don't like what being said seems to be the old method of killing the messenger.

And who is the author of this article? "Diana Pilipenko is a principal investigator for the Moscow Project at the Center for American Progress Action Fund."

It figures. Someone who works for whatever "Center for American Progress Action Fund" is. She is basically a lobbyist.

furryandrew -> Gunsarecivilrights , 9 Oct 2017 15:55
Whats truly laughable is this whole "was Russia involved" witch-hunt particularly in light of all the US involvement in swinging Latin American elections etc for DECADES! We are basically encouraging the people who live in glass houses to throw as many stones as possible and get away with it!

Much as I don't like Trump that whole "was Russia involved in the Hillary-wikileaks" was also purely a diversionary tactic. Don't talk about the content talk about who might have provided it. Personally I don't care whether it was North Korea who dug it up, what should have been THE story was the appalling corrupt stuff that was in those shocking leaks, and it surely would have been front-page news for months had the target been Sanders or Trump and not Wall Streets chosen favourite! IMHO we the public are being taken for mugs!

WalterCronkiteBot , 9 Oct 2017 15:03
During the Cold War you had "Team B" looking for non-existent nefarious Russian schemes. It was staffed by the now infamous Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz.

At least they looked into matters of import such as nuclear missiles and submarines, this is more like "Team Z".

Ironically the people devoting the most effort to investigating Russiagate are Wolofowitz/Rumsfeld's brothers in arms from the Iraq days, like Bill Kristol.

TheWindsOfWinter93 -> EAlbee , 9 Oct 2017 14:32
The FSB chief and Putin must be having a right laugh. Western journos who are still sore over HRC losing the American Presidential Election are making for the best unpaid shills to extol Russian intelligence and political power.
TheWindsOfWinter93 , 9 Oct 2017 14:30
It seems to me that pundits like the one that wrote this risible article are doing far more to promote KGB and Russian propaganda around the world and in the West than the Russians themselves, through their screaming of "BIG BAD RUSSIAN BEAR!!!!!" from every soap box they can find.

Putin should invite them to the Kremlin and decorate them for service to the Motherland. Even CIA couldn't dream of such mythologising by the mass media.

kasprowy , 9 Oct 2017 14:12
"Some have argued that $150,000 is an insignificant fraction of the total spent on political ads in 2016 ..."

0.00153% to be exact. Same proportion of total voters who voted for anybody would be 2000 people. Or 0.115 cents per voter. Yeah, this is a big news story.

I cannot resist another analogy. A Super Bowl commercial (and we all know what big fans of the NFL the Left is) goes for $5 million per 30 seconds. The amount mentioned in this article would buy a 900 millisecond ad (that's 0.9 seconds for those who missed it). Need some good subliminal flash advertising to get your money's worth.

Pete green , 9 Oct 2017 13:53
Let me know when the investigation reveals that the $150,000 spent on Facebook ads by the Russians starts to be significant compared to the $9.8 billion spent on the campaign adverts.

Clinton vastly outspent Trump and still lost because she was a deplorable candidate.

http://adage.com/article/media/2016-political-broadcast-tv-spend-20-cable-52/307346 /

Romka Stomka -> Supermind , 9 Oct 2017 13:48
The ads could have been easily paid by pro-Ukrainians living in Russia,to try and put Russia in the spotlight.
LiviaDrusilla , 9 Oct 2017 13:30

Some have argued that $150,000 is an insignificant fraction of the total spent on political ads

And they would be correct. Out of the $7 billion or so spent on the American elections, it's a piddling amount. However, you are clinging to it for dear life because, almost a year on, you can't accept that Clinton was a horrible candidate, so much so that even someone as obscene as Trump could beat her (and yes I know she got more votes thank you very much).

You're really coming across as desperate now. Not a good look.

Supermind , 9 Oct 2017 13:29
Most of these ads look more like click bait than any kind active measures campaign. As usual, there is no evidence that the ads are in anyway connected to the Russian government. Even if they were, $150,000 worth of ads are insignificant in an election where over $1billion was spent on digital advertising. American elites should spend more time pondering how their policy failures contributed to Trump's election and less chasing the chimera of Russian interference.
JJ139 , 9 Oct 2017 13:22
This whole Russian meddling is getting more and more absurd. Clinton spent billions on advertising and lost. Some supposed Russian investors spent thousands on puppy photo sites as part of a cunning plan to suck Americans in. Russia is behind black lives matter, Russia is behind taking the knee at american football matches, Russia is behind the Catalan referendum, Russia is behind Brexit, Russia is probably behind the Dove advert. And anyone who finds the whole farrago of mudslinging at Russia is obviously a Putinbot from a troll farm somewhere in St Petersburg. The lunatics have very definitely taken over the asylum in America.
Laplace_Transforms , 9 Oct 2017 13:12
Roy Greenslade wrote an excellent column today on fake news. The hysteria regarding Russian involvement in US politics could well be a prime example of which Roy writes. The Nation, in an article titled Russiagate Is More Fiction Than Fact details exactly how this tale of innuendo, supposition but very little evidence has been pushed. The Nation examines in detail the Facebook accusations, and records:

Then there is Facebook's disclosure that fake accounts "likely operated out of Russia" paid $100,000 for 3,000 ads starting in June 2015. The New York Times editorial board described it as "further evidence of what amounted to unprecedented foreign invasion of American democracy." A $100,000 Facebook ad buy seems unlikely to have had much impact in a $6.8 billion election. According to Facebook, "the vast majority of ads didn't specifically reference the US presidential election, voting or a particular candidate" but rather focused "on amplifying divisive social and political messages across the ideological spectrum -- touching on topics from LGBT matters to race issues to immigration to gun rights." Facebook also says the majority of ads, 56 percent, were seen "after the election." The ads have not been released publicly. But by all indications, if they were used to try to elect Trump, their sponsors took a very curious route.

The ads are commonly described as "Russian disinformation," but in the most extensive reporting on the story to date, The Washington Post adds multiple qualifiers in noting that the ads "appear to have come from accounts associated with the Internet Research Agency," itself a Kremlin-linked firm (emphasis added).

The Post also reveals that an initial Facebook review of the suspected Russian accounts found that they "had clear financial motives, which suggested that they weren't working for a foreign government." Furthermore, "the security team did not find clear evidence of Russian disinformation or ad purchases by Russian-linked accounts." But Russiagate logic requires a unique response to absent evidence: "The sophistication of the Russian tactics caught Facebook off-guard."

Would it be too much to ask for actual evidence of Russian interference, rather than this leap to conviction?

[Oct 09, 2017] SHOCKING!!! Google discovers ads placed on its site from Russia, proving America's democracy was hacked by

Oct 09, 2017 | theduran.com

It was only a matter of time before Google and its subsidiaries (most notably
YouTube) would jump on the "Russia hacked the election" narrative concocted by

Hillary Clinton and John Podesta.

Executive Chairman of Alphabet, Inc., (Google's parent company), Eric Schmidt
was after all advising the Hillary Clinton campaign.

What took Schmidt and Google execs so long to join in on the never ending
litigation of the US presidential election, that Hillary lost almost one year ago?

Via The Daily Caller...

Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google's parent company
Alphabet, wanted to be "head outside advisor" to the Hillary
Clinton campaign, according to Clinton campaign chairman
John Podesta in an email released by WikiLeaks.

WikiLeaks has continued to reveal Schmidt's cozy relationship with
the Clinton campaign. In a previously leaked email,
a memo showed that Schmidt was working directly with the Clinton
campaign on setting up various backend features to their website.

[Oct 09, 2017] A Visit to Russia Can Relations Be Improved

The official US doctrine is and has been containment of Russia. that excludes any friendship. The best that can be done is to avoid WWIII. And due to Putin patience that might be possible. After Putin is gone, who knows. If nationalist come to power, the neocon might really feel the depth of Russian anger at the US imperial policies.
Bunch of neocons travel to Moscow to test waters for rapprochement. After then pissed Russia and launched neo-McCarthyism campaign for the last two years... such a great diplomats.
Those neocons completely poisoned the well and now want to drink clean water. No way.
Notable quotes:
"... President Vladimir Putin's recent hint that the Kremlin could cut another 155 people from the number permitted to work at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow. ..."
"... because Mr. Putin does not seem to feel real pressure from U.S. sanctions, he is unlikely to be disposed to offer major concessions to the United States simply to reach agreement, especially in the runup to Russia's 2018 presidential elections ..."
"... Keep pretending that Russia has hacked your elections. There is zero interest from the US side in improving relations and we know this quite well here. There is no question that the fat defense and intelligence budgets and all the extra power that the spooks now got is a direct outcome of destroyed Russia-US relations. The democrats sour grapes and election rigging cover up with Russiagate is also undeniable. Keep living the lie ..."
"... It is sad that the media, the Democratic party, and the "deep state" are all working together to try to keep the phony Trump-Russia collusion story alive - but it has almost run its course and less and less people believe it. ..."
"... The US doctrine is and has been containment of Russia. That is a very foolish and self defeating way in the 21st century. The West would have been better off when the bankers did not have such controls and the American congress grew real courage and paid down the national debt. ..."
"... I don't know to what degree the author of this article and those he went with have real influence on either side, but we, the American public, have yet to be presented with any real proof that Russia (and specifically its government, directly) actually did anything significant with regard to the election. To the degree that we've been shown any evidence, it appears completely inconsequential, extremely minor dabbling at most. The latest is that "Russia" (nebulously defined) spent $100,000 on Facebook ads... Meanwhile the Clinton campaign spent $1 BILLION. This is a joke. ..."
"... The situation in Ukraine is a million times more of a significant obstacle to improved relations. ..."
"... Russia and US have all the reasons to be adversaries. Because US seeks global domination but will never be able to achieve it as long as Russia exists as subject of global politics. US invests huge resources into making harm to Russia in every possible way. And it been this way at least since Truman administration. ..."
"... NATO cannot save a non-existent failed state. There are at least three different and geographically separate Ukraines. Catholic Galicia has nothing to do with the rest of the country. And the East wants to separate. It is another case of former Yugoslavia. ..."
"... trump was given a choice by the deep state of you either work with us or else... so he has become a puppet of the swamp ..."
"... Swamp Puppet! That's catchy! ..."
www.theamericanconservative.com
Russian officials were largely dismissive of U.S. and European economic sanctions, which some indirectly credit with significantly strengthening Russia's agricultural sector -- to such an extent that they claimed Russian products may fiercely compete in Europe if and when the European Union eases it sanctions and Russia lifts its protectionist counter-sanctions. Indeed, the U.S. Department of State itself asserted in 2016 that a loss of "at most 1 percent of GDP can be potentially explained by sanctions" as opposed to declining global energy prices. The combination of "at most" and "potentially" in this sentence suggests that there is little empirical evidence that sanctions have caused real damage to Russia's economy. Moreover, since U.S. sanctions could account for only a small part of this -- because Europe's economic relationship with Russia is far larger than America's -- there is no reason to think that new U.S. sanctions, which have yet to be fully implemented, will make a material difference at the macroeconomic level. (The State Department did find that sanctioned companies appeared to lose significant revenue and assets.) Still, some officials did privately admit that the sanctions undermine Russia's investment climate, especially among foreign investors.

At the same time, however, some officials reacted quite strongly to the Trump administration's decision to close Russia's consulate in San Francisco, the latest move in an escalating diplomatic spat that began with the Obama administration's expulsion of thirty-five Russian diplomats and seizure of two diplomatic properties in December, following a widely publicized intelligence community report on Russia's election interference.

Even in this area, however, our interlocutors seemed to prefer curtailing the dispute over extending it -- notwithstanding President Vladimir Putin's recent hint that the Kremlin could cut another 155 people from the number permitted to work at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow.

Yet containing this battle between the State Department and Russian Foreign Ministry bureaucracies may well be the easiest step in working toward a functional U.S.-Russia relationship. Far more important and more challenging will be addressing Russia's election interference, which has poisoned the relationship to an extent that Russian officials -- who describe the matter strictly as a U.S. partisan slugfest brought on by sour-grapes Democrats -- did not seem to appreciate....

... Russia's diplomatic, economic, military and security officials will each seek to pursue their own objectives, sometimes contradicting one another. Also, because Mr. Putin does not seem to feel real pressure from U.S. sanctions, he is unlikely to be disposed to offer major concessions to the United States simply to reach agreement, especially in the runup to Russia's 2018 presidential elections .

Thus "getting to yes" on these or other issues will take persistence and creativity.

Paul J. Saunders, associate publisher of the National Interest, is executive director of the Center for the National Interest.

pavel , October 7, 2017 3:36 AM

Keep pretending that Russia has hacked your elections. There is zero interest from the US side in improving relations and we know this quite well here. There is no question that the fat defense and intelligence budgets and all the extra power that the spooks now got is a direct outcome of destroyed Russia-US relations. The democrats sour grapes and election rigging cover up with Russiagate is also undeniable. Keep living the lie

dannyboy116 -> pavel , October 7, 2017 9:52 AM

I agree with you that Russia probably did not hack the US elections. Julian Assange, head of WikiLeaks, has made it quite clear that he received the Clinton campaign emails from elsewhere. (and he has a 100% history of being truthful with regard to what he releases) But I would say to Russia to not give up on better relations with America. It is true that the "deep state" and the Military Industrial Complex make a lot of money from "bad relations" with Russia, but I think Trump understands that improving relations will be good for both sides and potentially save a lot of money for America's citizens. Give it some time.....

sergey_hv -> dannyboy116 , October 7, 2017 2:34 PM

It's not the time he needs, but an adequate congress and fewer idiots of Russophobes who rule the US foreign policy, twisting Trump's hands.

pavel -> dannyboy116 , October 7, 2017 3:49 PM

Wow, good to hear a sober voice! I have felt some backlash personally in the commercial world, and it really feels nasty (basically just like racism), especially since I feel like 1/2 American, having lived in the US for 11 years. So this has gone very deep even in private sector.

Not too sure about good prospects coming up soon. I'm following both the foreign and domestic policies of the current government in Washington and its a bit scary - Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela, NK, China, Iran - all are becoming enemies, sanctions reintroduced, and all the ultra-right wing stuff home like getting rid of health insurance, removing all regulations, now 20% poverty rate in CA, I don't recognize the country I used to live a couple decades ago!

dannyboy116 -> pavel , October 9, 2017 7:38 PM

It is sad that the media, the Democratic party, and the "deep state" are all working together to try to keep the phony Trump-Russia collusion story alive - but it has almost run its course and less and less people believe it. It is now looking like it was the Obama Admin's justice department that actually paid for the phony "Trump Dossier" that was used as an excuse to wiretap the Trump campaign. Once that story blows up (Senator Grassley has subpoenaed the background docs) I think you will see a rapid improvement in relations.

KlingOn2K -> pavel , October 8, 2017 9:46 PM

pavel , Russia made its choices. The onus is not on the US to pacify Russia with any standard of proof that it may find convincing. Its up to the US authorities to interpret the Russian actions as being either confrontational or friendly. Russia has no say over it.

cvxxx -> KlingOn2K , October 9, 2017 3:38 PM

The US doctrine is and has been containment of Russia. That is a very foolish and self defeating way in the 21st century. The West would have been better off when the bankers did not have such controls and the American congress grew real courage and paid down the national debt.

bscook111 , October 7, 2017 10:57 AM

It is testimony to the gross malfeasance of American media and pols (both sides but especially Ds like both idiotic Clintons) that America has no working relationship with Russia. The good news, once again in time Trump will be proved right.

JoeS54 , October 7, 2017 10:09 PM

I don't know to what degree the author of this article and those he went with have real influence on either side, but we, the American public, have yet to be presented with any real proof that Russia (and specifically its government, directly) actually did anything significant with regard to the election. To the degree that we've been shown any evidence, it appears completely inconsequential, extremely minor dabbling at most. The latest is that "Russia" (nebulously defined) spent $100,000 on Facebook ads... Meanwhile the Clinton campaign spent $1 BILLION. This is a joke.

But apparently this group went over there and acted as if the American people are outraged. No, dishonest Democrat hacks and never-Trump Republicans inside the Beltway are obsessed with it, because they hate the outcome of the election and want to discredit Trump. But they've been fishing for a year and a half and can't find anything, despite furiously leaking every innuendo they can, that turns out to be a false smear against Trump and completely falls apart on inspection.

The situation in Ukraine is a million times more of a significant obstacle to improved relations.

... ... ...

Stalinist -> JoeS54 , October 7, 2017 10:31 PM

"If Russia can't be trusted to respect the borders of its neighbors, we can't have good relations."

Says who? Citizen of a country which invaded 100+ countries since 1890, including Russia twice? Learn how to respect borders and sovereignity or others yourself. Otherwise it is not going to end well for you.

JoeS54 -> Stalinist , October 7, 2017 10:41 PM

Given your namesake, I'm not sure what point you think you're making. My point is that now, today, the US and Russia have no reason to be adversaries. The past is the past. This is just practical reality. We have allies in Europe who are worried about Russian expansionism. Again, because of your namesake. If Russia makes moves to its west, relations cannot improve.

Stalinist -> JoeS54 , October 7, 2017 10:52 PM

"My point is that now, today, the US and Russia have no reason to be adversaries."

Russia and US have all the reasons to be adversaries. Because US seeks global domination but will never be able to achieve it as long as Russia exists as subject of global politics. US invests huge resources into making harm to Russia in every possible way. And it been this way at least since Truman administration.

'This is just practical reality."

Exactly. And reality is that US stirs up troubles all over the world, including sphere of vital interests of Russia like Ukraine.

"We have allies in Europe who are worried about Russian expansionism."

Russian expansionism? Oh please, there never was any at all. Its been EXACTLY Europe which hundreds of times tried to expand into Russia. The only way Russia expanded over centuries was by defeating and absorbing those who tried to conquer Russia first. If western degenerate elites will not learn this important lesson, of cource Russia will defeat and absorb the west. It will be civilizational self defense.
You better leave Russia alone, and stop meddling in its business.

" If Russia makes moves to its west, relations cannot improve."

Russia does not need any improvement in relations with the west. At all. Over centuries we learned that force is only language you barbarians do understand. You can not be reasoned with. That is why we will always keep you at the gunpoint. And out gun will always be bigger than yours.

JoeS54 -> Stalinist , October 7, 2017 10:59 PM

If you are, presumably, Russian, it doesn't sound as if your government shares your mindset. Which is good. I can tell you that the American people do not "seek global domination". And European nations basically have no military to speak of, so the idea that they would expand into Russia is ridiculous. You are very much stuck far in the past. In the modern world, with the threat of Islamic terrorism and the rising economic power of China, the US and Russia, as allies, would be an insurmountable bulwark. To the extent there would be "global domination", it would be mutual.

Stalinist -> JoeS54 , October 7, 2017 11:20 PM

"government shares your mindset."

As imperfect as our goverment is, it still orders of magnitude more intelligent and competent than yours. Especialy when it comes to geopolitics. Russia always plays chess, while your nations can`t handle checkers nowadays.

"American people do not "seek global domination""

Every people has government which it deserves. So do not try to shift blame to your government as if you are not responsible for it. You gave them mandate.

"European nations basically have no military to speak of"

Nice excuse to expand NATO east it was, wasn`t it? So much for this "Russian expansionism" B-S.

"so the idea that they would expand into Russia is ridiculous"

Sorry, but we are not buying that. NATO heavily expanded east breaking all past promises. NATO now tries to sиck in even Ukraine. So please, we are not going to just sit idle and watch how your goverments loom another 1812 or 1941.

" You are very much stuck far in the past"

Because we have memory. Do not take us for idlots who was born yesterday.

" In the modern world, with the threat of Islamic terrorism "

Which your goverment created and keeps massively supporting. Oh yes we know that better than you can imagine.

"rising economic power of China"

Nothing wrong with rising economic power of China.

", the US and Russia, as allies,"

US and Russia are not allies.

"To the extent the would be "global domination", it would be mutual."

Russia seeks no global domination. It just wants to be left completely alone on its backyard and mainland which has size of a planet.

JoeS54 -> Stalinist , October 7, 2017 11:24 PM

You have plenty of knowledge of history, but no wisdom. I did not say the US is blameless in the continued conflicts. What I said is that both governments have shown short sightedness, and are stuck in the past - and you provide an extreme example of someone stuck in the past.

You have also said numerous things that are not true, but it's not worth the time to argue. You should go out for a walk, breathe some fresh air and relax.

Stalinist -> JoeS54 , October 7, 2017 11:28 PM

"both governments have shown short sightedness"

Yes. Our government used to be naive enough to trust west and expect it to live up their promises. And yours by poking the Bear in every possible way. When you poking sleeping Bear with a short sight and shorter stick, do not complain whole situation exploding into your face.

"and are stuck in the past "

No. Only your government stuck in its past, past dreams about "the end of history" and unrestrained global domination. Russia exactly learned from the past and moved on, that is why your elites are panicking trying to hold on to their sweet illusions.

JoeS54 -> Stalinist , October 7, 2017 11:34 PM

If you had more wisdom and less hostility, you would see that what I'm saying is more favorable to you than you think. The ideal outcome, ultimately, would be for Russia to join NATO. Putin has voiced that idea himself, as have past US presidents. But the continual back and forth of spats been the US, Europe and Russia prevents it. I'm talking about a bigger, more positive vision of the future, and you can only see small bitterness about the past.

Sane people want peace and prosperity. You do not seem to be one of them.

Stalinist -> JoeS54 , October 7, 2017 11:40 PM

"The ideal outcome, ultimately, world be for Russia to join NATO."

The ideal outcome, ultimately, would be for NATO to join Russia. Perfectly without Russia making it the hard way.

"Putin has voiced that idea himself, as have past US presidents. "

Look up what does sarcasm means.

"more positive vision of the future"

Russia has only two allies, its army and fleet. - Tsar Alexander III.

Today its also RuASF and SRF. We do not need any more allies than that. You choose if you want to be or enemy. It was not Russia who started all this mess.

JoeS54 -> Stalinist , October 7, 2017 11:43 PM

I've seen Putin talk about this, on video. He was not being sarcastic. You are an extreme example of the mindset I'm criticizing, on both sides. The people of both of our countries are not served by it, at all. It's a useless waste of energy and resources.

Stalinist -> JoeS54 , October 7, 2017 11:47 PM

" He was not being sarcastic."

For any native Russian speaker who has even slightest idea on what happening during historic period he was talking about his sarcasm was clear and transparent. The very idea of "Russia joining NATO" is an insult.

" The people of both of our countries are not served by it, at all."

We had no choice but to arm ourselves. You however always had. Russia and the USSR used to lend you a hand with an olive branch many times. You choosen to spit on it.

JoeS54 Stalinist , October 7, 2017 11:49 PM

What is the ultimate outcome of your mindset? Nuclear war, wiping out both countries? You can't see any better solution?

Your namesake was a mass murderer, of his own people. I'm not sure why I'm arguing with you. If you actually cared about the Russian people, you would not use that name.

Stalinist -> JoeS54 , October 7, 2017 11:55 PM

" Nuclear war, wiping out both countries? "

We will not fire it first, but if it will ever come to this, Russia has all means it needs to win it.

"You can't see any better solution?"

Yes, accept the idea that we are simply not interested in playing your ball. And we are against you playing your ball on our lawn too. So figuratively speaking, we need you to get lost from our horizon and never come back without an invitation. Your "civilization" reminds me of jehovah`s whitness preachers annoying everybody with their nonsense. With the difference that you tend to kill those who not agree to listen to your gospel.

"Your namesake was a mass murderer, of his own people."

See? Jehova's whitness mode on again. Sorry but he was not any kind of mass murderer, he is ultimate hero for us Russians, and we do not need you to lecture us on our own history. We can figure it out ourselves.

JoeS54 -> KlingOn2K , October 9, 2017 12:35 AM

" Russia is attempting to subvert the process that stands at the very heart of the US democratic system"

Still waiting for any real evidence, much less actual proof. As the calendar flips by.

What we've been told so far is that Hillary's $1B campaign was apparently helpless against a few internet memes, which we're told were sponsored by the Russian government, without any proof.

WTF -> JoeS54 , October 9, 2017 12:51 AM

Proof? Its too inconvenient. Get on with the times. We don't need proof in the 21st century.

MAGA Big League , October 7, 2017 11:43 AM

Russia is not going to unilaterally apologize for perceived influence in the US election. Quite the contrary. Their tiny amount of influence will simply continue with tiny Facebook purchases and commenters as well as RT coverage etc. becoming a permanent fixture of US politics (if it wasn't before, which it likely was, but as long as Democrats were winning no one in the media cared).

It shouldn't be hard for a US politician to win an election going up against this small degree of influence which is probably less influential than that of other foreign countries in America (Israel, Saudi and China come to mind). Hillary Clinton, however, was just that awful of a candidate that she needed the whole system rigged for her just to get close. If even one world power center was against her she couldn't win. One wasn't and she didn't.

Meanwhile Donald Trump's foreign policy is dangerous without Russian rapprochement. We are antagonizing other rivals that in the past we have had to keep isolated from cooperating with Russia (Iran, China).

This is what the Russians are waiting for Washington to realize. No current American policy goal in the world can be achieved cheaply (less than an Iraq War level of engagement and cost) without a working relationship with Russia. Our strategy becomes a binary trade off- do we sacrifice our interests everywhere but Europe (Russia) or do we sacrifice them in Europe for everywhere else?

My sense is that the Trump policy is a natural consequence of the Asian continent becoming equal to Europe in economic might by 2020 (it already nearly is). We can no longer treat the rest of the globe as ancillary to our objectives in Europe (although that is certainly our habit now).

Whoever follows Trump will fall into this same strategic trap. Hemming in Russia is now quite painful for Washington to accomplish. Ham fisted half measures don't work and bringing to bear the full measure of our influence entails great sacrifice in areas equally or more important.

Primavera Allie Youpe , October 9, 2017 3:41 AM

None of the recent terror attacks in Europe and US have been traced to Iran. Please stop beating the war drum against this country, chances are you will lose again.

siberiankitten Allie Youpe , October 9, 2017 7:09 PM

Iran is a #1 perceived threat to Israel, and a sponsor to Hezbollah. Beyond Hezbollah support there is nothing that qualifies Iran as a sponsor of terrorism

VadimKharichkov Allie Youpe , October 9, 2017 4:11 AM

Allie, is your worldview formed solely by mainstream media? Have you tried independent media? You sure you get the other side's story? You know, you can't really claim you comprehend the situation without hearing both sides?

Edward Easterling Allie Youpe , October 8, 2017 2:26 PM

How is the Syrian government a "genocidal regime"?

Edward Easterling Allie Youpe , October 8, 2017 9:24 PM

I can't recall which one it was, but one of the chemical attacks has been proven to be carried out by rebels. Also, a chemical attack has been proven to be a hoax. Like I said, I can't recall all the details. If you are interested you are free to look them up.

Primavera Edward Easterling , October 9, 2017 3:42 AM

Ghouta attack I think

siberiankitten Primavera , October 9, 2017 7:11 PM

Read what Seymour Hersh and Theodore Postol had to say about this attack

Sascha Gruss , October 9, 2017 4:15 PM

Russia will never support the imperial ambitions of the USA. The current situation is a result of a long chain of anti-Russian decisions by the US. The USA tries to assault the Russian economy, its harming the people, destroying families and futures. No Russian citizen should forget that.

enoch arden -> timmay timmy , October 8, 2017 9:43 AM

NATO cannot save a non-existent failed state. There are at least three different and geographically separate Ukraines. Catholic Galicia has nothing to do with the rest of the country. And the East wants to separate. It is another case of former Yugoslavia.

Stalinist -> timmay timmy , October 7, 2017 11:17 PM

"We have American and NATO boots on the Ground. "

I have bad news for ya http://freetexthost.com/m6b ... NATO can not stop Russia from doing whatever it wants.

" Our NATO training base we are setting up in Ukraine will ensure the Russians do not encroach. "

Adolf Hitler told something like that around 1944 when the Red Army was steam rolling his goons and his Ostwall. You are even more deluded than him if you believe that few twirpy little bases where your deуenerate men will get drunk and do local рrostitutes can scare RussiaLOL

"Any drain on the Russian economy such as supporting the Crimea is less money for the military."

Russian economy is booming since 2014. Russian reserves are growing. And Russian average living standards are higher than US has it. But whatever makes you sleep at nights, keep dwelling in russophrenic fantasies induced by your elites.

CB -> Stalinist , October 8, 2017 7:06 PM

You are deluded if you think living standards in Russia are higher than the USA. It's not even close. I guess you are spoon fed a steady diet of propaganda. The USA is by far the most professional military in the world, and this military constantly foils Russian plans at expansion.

Stalinist -> CB , October 8, 2017 7:17 PM

"You are deluded if you think living standards in Russia are higher than the USA. "

No, i just well informed. http://freetexthost.com/nyy...

"The USA is by far the most professional military in the world"

US has most expensive military in the world. And most inept. US never won any major war at all and can not even deal with cave dwellers in Afganistan for 16 long years.

"and this military constantly foils Russian plans at expansion."

Russia has no plans for expansion. And if it ever will get one, nobody on this planet can stop Russia from successfuly completing it.

CB -> Stalinist , October 9, 2017 9:19 AM

Misinformed. Not a verifiable source. The USA has won plenty of wars, including the war to topple the taliban in Afghanistan. Saying otherwise is nothing more than a talking point of Russian propaganda. I've seen you say in other posts Russia will eventually reclaim Kiev Rus, so which one is it? Try not contradicting yourself when debating educated people. You will lose credibility. Russia literally just expanded to take the Crimea. They tried to expand into Afghanistan, so you'd think you would have more respect for the USA effort there. Hightailed it out of there after those goat herders whooped that @ss huh?

WTF -> CB , October 9, 2017 12:08 PM

You won over the all powerful state of Grenada. Give you that.

Whooped the Taliban? After 16 years you're still stuck there and Trump adding more troops to America's longest war to date. How long more to beat the goat herders, in your honest opinion?

CB -> WTF , October 9, 2017 6:21 PM

Stuck there? We could leave anytime we wanted. If the taliban took control of the country again we could topple them again. Reconstructing a tribal society is not the same as fighting a war. The war was over before it started. Unfortunately some people from our side are benefiting from the status quo, and so allow it to persist. It is a drain on the country, but not to the point that I'd call it losing a war. Not even close. Would you rather be in some skyscraper in NYC or some cave in Baluchistan?

JoeS54 timmay timmy , October 7, 2017 11:08 PM

This guy is a nut. His name is proof enough. You shouldn't assume he speaks for Russia.

bakbaklazhan , October 7, 2017 9:30 AM

"President Donald Trump will succeed in overcoming political opposition"

trump was given a choice by the deep state of you either work with us or else... so he has become a puppet of the swamp

ScratInTheHat bakbaklazhan , October 7, 2017 9:51 AM

Swamp Puppet! That's catchy!

enoch arden -> PERICLES--- , October 7, 2017 4:18 PM

The development and production of new weapon systems is the most efficient way to advance the technology and, in this way, the economic productivity. All the technological breakthroughs which provided the current prosperity were financed by the governments with absolutely non-commercial purpose. Therefore, the fact that Russia finally started developing new weapon systems is quite promising for its future economic progress.

PERICLES--- enoch arden , October 7, 2017 4:47 PM

They are spending about 5% of GDP on their military, not counting intelligence agencies and secret police and the money going towards the "rebels" in Ukraine. For a nation with the domestic issues of Russia, it's quite a lot. Russia's oligarchs aren't spending that money because it's a good use of the budget, they're doing it because they need the military to distract the Russian public abroad and crush opposition at home. It's a sign of weakness, not strength.

enoch arden -> PERICLES--- , October 7, 2017 5:15 PM

You don't seem to disagree with my point. Developing new weapon system is much more useful for the economic development than production of consumer goods.

PERICLES--- enoch arden , October 7, 2017 6:07 PM

Who's buying? Russia's list of allies is small, many of their new weapon systems are quite pricey, and that's all technology the US had years ago. And when it comes to low quality, high quantity guns they are now competing with China.

enoch arden -> PERICLES--- , October 7, 2017 7:14 PM

I don't think you understand what you are talking about. Technological development is a strategic project, it is ridiculous to discuss it commercially. Private business would have never paid for the development of jet engines, laser, computer, nuclear reactor and internet. They are parasites using the technology developed on the taxpayers money for commercial purpose.

Concerning the customers: the US are still buying the Russian rockets. The Saudis and Turkey have recently bought anti-aircraft defence systems. Avoid discussing what is beyond you competence scope.

PERICLES--- enoch arden , October 7, 2017 8:06 PM

My, my, someone is feeling tense. Technological development is certainly helpful. It's less helpful, however, if your competitors are there a few years before you. No enterprise exists in a vacuum. If the primary strategic objective in Russia's development of technology is in order to sell it, they will have to arrive there ahead of the US and others. Given Russia's current situation, that seems... unlikely.

VadimKharichkov PERICLES--- , October 9, 2017 4:19 AM

Hmm... I once read a Stratfor's report on the subject I actually know - it was about business development in Islamic republics of Russia, and at the time I was one of the analysts in Investment Promotion Agency of Bashkortostan.

The report was strait idiotic - a crazy mince of facts and fiction. I'm pretty sure now these dudes are in business of making propaganda and have nothing to do with the truth but to turn it into half-truths.

bakbaklazhan -> KlingOn2K , October 7, 2017 9:30 AM

"Hacking the US elections was way below the belt and will not be readily forgotten."

ahahaha. any solid proof of that?

dannyboy116 -> bakbaklazhan , October 7, 2017 9:55 AM

There is no proof because it didn't happen. The US media was heavily invested in trying to get Hillary elected (they were even sending her debate questions in advance) - and needed a scapegoat (the terrible Russians) for her loss. I think the truth will eventually come out.

pavel -> dannyboy116 , October 7, 2017 3:58 PM

The truth has come out - besides having zero evidence of Russian government involvement, there was no internet transfer of data from the DNC servers, its was a local leak. As you probably know, DNC didn't allow FBI access to the servers, and instead hired a private firm to conclude that it was Russian hacking (the zero-evidence conclusions of this private firm were later used in intelligence agencie's reports). But nobody is listening to this, because Russiagate is just so beneficial to so many actors.

Drinas -> KlingOn2K , October 7, 2017 3:48 AM

"Hacking the election". Could you define what that means and present a single shred of evidence of it? Or we simply follow the Goebelsian "A lie you keep repeating becomes the truth.."

SurfaceUnits -> Drinas , October 7, 2017 12:01 PM

In the mid 70s, Vladimir Putin and the Russians began the systematic depopulation of Detroit so that 40 years later Donald J Trump would win Michigan. It's true, ask a Dimocrat.

KlingOn2K -> Drinas , October 8, 2017 2:36 AM

Maybe you might want to take a gander at this: https://www.nytimes.com/201...
But I guess when you're in total denial, any amount of "proof" will be insufficient. All I'd say to the Russians is, keep it going.

Drinas -> KlingOn2K , October 8, 2017 3:48 AM

bahaha That's the proof?! That's the best you can come up with? You fail to see that it is people like you because of your toxic hatred and dogmatism that jump on any crazy theory to support your hacking claims. The most probable underlying reason-excluding racist russophobia? You just can't fathom why Trump won. That's the side-effect of reading the coastal elites narratives instead of focusing on what has been happening on "fly-over country" for a couple of decades. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

CB -> Drinas , October 8, 2017 7:23 PM

Are you serious? You ask for proof, it is provided, and then you just go on pretending it wasn't? You do realize that with all the resources and technology at the disposal of our government, the notion of tracking the origins of certain content on the web is not at all far fetched. And why would any American patriot not be alarmed at the fact that the Russian government, the offspring of the USSR, our rival from the Cold War period, was involved in a concerted effort to target voters with information that was proven to be false. This is information warfare, and you would respond by rewarding the culprit. I hope you don't have kids. Maybe you Greeks ought to learn how to run your country before commenting on international affairs.

Drinas -> CB , October 9, 2017 3:56 AM

"You ask for proof, it is provided" Ahh..No, it wasn't. The only thing provided was a report by US intelligence services-the last entity one could call a neutral party to this-that basically said, "Trust us, we tell you the truth".

Again, until a shred of evidence is provided, the whole "russiagate" is BS of the first order. A fact that even mainstream commentators in the US reluctantly begin to accept. e.g.- "Russiagate Is More Fiction Than Fact" https://www.thenation.com/a...

As for Greece, thank you for your advice considering us running our country. If you adhered to the same principle of not being involved in the affairs of our nation-you helped install a junta in Greece in 1967, you still interfere in our politics-we would refrain from criticising your foreign policy that has a bad habit of sticking its dirty fingers everywhere.

CB -> Drinas , October 9, 2017 9:26 AM

I see you buy into the conspiracy theories. In terms of global development, peace and prosperity, Russia is not on the same page as the USA. One simply has more credibility than the other. This is for historical reasons which you needlessly discard. Either way, it is not just an intelligence report. Try browsing the web a bit. Finding Russian misinformation is not difficult at all. Facebook, a private entity with no dog in this fight, has verified Russian interference.

I'm sorry about the junta. A part of history I'm not familiar enough with. My understanding was this was part of the fight against communism. The ends don't justify the means, but our interests must be protected. Sometimes that means others go under the boot. We are able to do that because our house is in order, and we are the most powerful country there ever was. You may hate the fact, but it's the simple truth. No other nation has the same ability to project power. Intelligent minds wouldn't disagree.

Drinas -> CB , October 9, 2017 4:07 PM

Lol..You simply cherish raw power-just like the naz.s did for that matter. Of course the US is powerful, the most powerful country in terms of power projection. But being powerful does not make one right. Your founding fathers remembered that but you have long forgotten it, corrupted by power.
You actually believe your own megalomanic and delusional propaganda about being morally "exceptional" with a mandate to do as you like. You are as exceptional as the other empires before you were and headed to the same direction-decline and fall.

We Greeks have been around for a few millennia. We had our fair share of fights and helped destroy some empires as well-the Persians, the Ottomans. We also had the distinction of having our own empire twice-a feat very very few people can claim.

Today on your struggle with Russia no matter what the power balance might look (and it keeps shifting on Russia's favor), Russia is morally right. But even excluding morality and Russia and what not, and looking at the raw facts the fate of your Empire seems sealed.

A favorite metric of your money-obsessed society is GDP. In 1945 the US GDP was equal to almost 50% of the World GDP. In 1990 it was about 25%. Today it is close to 16% and in relation to the World GDP it keeps falling. Your military is in need of modernization but more importantly it simply cannot bare the costs of maintaining a global presence, much less engage in numerous conflicts.

But I think you already know those facts, that is why you shield your argument behind the "we are the most powerful blah, blah, blah".

As I said, all this is not knew, even the creation of scapegoats-Russia, N.Korea, Iran ,China etc are typical of every failing Empire, we 've seen this before.

I have a nice Greek term for you, it is a fundamental pillar of our way of viewing the world. It's called Hubris and the US is so full of it it can't see past its own nose.

CB -> Drinas , October 9, 2017 7:54 PM

I don't cherish power, just understand and respect it. And the USA is full of it, and admittedly full of hubris too. I wouldn't be quite so certain that the empire is over, but agreed overstretched. Adjustments are being made, though only time will tell if it is too little too late. Your reading of history is accurate, but history doesn't predict the future. It simply provides proper context for discussion. Your entire comment seems more ideological than logical. Where did I claim exceptionalism? I apologized about the junta, said it wasn't justified, but acknowledged the underlying dynamics. Your response was to compare me to the nazis? Wow. I will say this. You think Russia is "right". Good for you. I think it's quite a bit more complicated. I certainly think the socioeconomic and political systems in be USA are far superior to that of Russia, not inherently, but because of the institutions that have been created. Russia has chosen to emphasize nationalism versus the USA where individualism is still the prevailing ideological force. Nationalism was what the nazis promoted. Luckily I don't share your assessment about the global balance of power. The USA, land of the free and home of the brave, will continue to promote its interests abroad for quite some time to come.

Drinas -> KlingOn2K , October 8, 2017 4:34 PM

I don't know about "us Russians" because no matter how unfathomable it might seem to you, not everyone even mildly supportive of Russia is a Russian. I am Greek and I consider Russia a friendly state, with ties going back 1000 years, a state which is wrongfully demonized by the Western elites. You claim that everyone speaking vs Putin is targeted somehow. Obivously you have never been to Russia or spoke to Russians or have the vaguest clue of public discourse in Russia both online and on the street.

Oh, and in case you missed it, I asked for a single proof of "Russia hacking the election". Or anyone "hacking the election" for that matter. I did not ask any proof about Russia's internal politics or whether it conforms to your hypocritical and selective notions of democracy, ones that you care not apply to a host of tyranical nations you openly support.

Drinas -> KlingOn2K , October 7, 2017 9:34 AM

Oh, what a brilliant idea you got there..The one accused being responsible for providing evidence of his innocence while the accuser having no need to present evidence to support his case. Just relying on-"but it's Russia! It's evil and all that s..t!"

And neither Putin nor any Russian official ever made such an admission. Hillary lost because she was a terrible candidate whose own actions fueled a populist backlash against her and the Washington consensus policies she espoused.

kelly bako -> KlingOn2K , October 7, 2017 9:38 AM

So, you presume that russia is guilty because you don't have any proof of its innocence or culpability when it comes to assert if there were any interference in America's elections?

Andrew -> KlingOn2K , October 7, 2017 10:20 AM

When was it caught, doing what?

Mrm Penumathy -> KlingOn2K , October 7, 2017 1:02 PM

KingOn2K your assertion and the greatest press in the universe repeating continuously that Russians did it without providing any shred of evidence after more than one and half year of investigations (Sorry I forgot, they the press do mention that our $100 Billion + intelligence agencies say so the same guys who got us in the mess in Iraq good luck believing these guys). In the meanwhile we have an opioid epidemic and crumbling infrastructure.

KlingOn2K -> Mrm Penumathy , October 8, 2017 11:12 PM

Mrm Penumathy maybe, just maybe, it might dawn on Russia that the US is not in any way hinged to Russia. The status quo would do just fine. Apart from denials and raising a non-sequitur like Iraq the arguments for a reset don't look convincing. It is always amusing to see arguments on relative economic strengths coming from Russians when 68% of their exports come from oil !!

SurfaceUnits -> KlingOn2K , October 7, 2017 12:24 PM

The reason Hillarity was stumbling and falling during the campaign is because Vladimir Putin and the Russians spiked her GERITOL(R)(TM). It's true, ask a Dimocrat.

Midnight -> KlingOn2K , October 7, 2017 4:59 AM

In order to become a successful economy as the US needs to have 20 trillion foreign debt? The Russian economy is not so dependent on oil as it is told on CNN ..

Russia is not bad at earning rocket engines for the USA (rd180) and delivering American astronauts to the ISS ;) Economy of Russia - GDP rank 12th (nominal) / 6th (PPP) (2017) https://en.wikipedia.org/wi...

[Oct 09, 2017] After Nine Months, Only Stale Crumbs in Russia Inquiry by Scott Ritter

Highly recommended!
US Congress allowed to drag itself into this propaganda swamp by politized Intelligence community, which became a major political player, that can dictate Congress what to do and what not to do. Now it is not that easy to get out of this "intelligence swamp"
Notable quotes:
"... The 2017 ICA on Russia was conceived in an atmosphere of despair and denial, birthed by Democrats and Republicans alike who were stunned by Trump's surprise electoral victory in November 2016. To say that this issue was a political event would be a gross understatement; the 2017 Russian ICA will go down in history as one of the most politicized intelligence documents ever, regardless of the degree of accuracy eventually afforded its contents. The very fact that the document is given the sobriquet "Intelligence Community" is itself a political act, designed to impart a degree of scrutiny and community consensus that simply did not exist when it came to the production of that document, or the classified reports that it was derived from. ..."
"... This was a report prepared by handpicked analysts ..."
"... iven the firestorm of political intrigue and controversy initiated by the publication of this document, the notion of a "general consensus" regarding the level of trust imparted to it by the Senate Select Intelligence Committee does not engender confidence. ..."
"... It was this document that spawned the issue of "collusion." While Sens. Burr and Warner can state that "collusion" is still an open issue, the fact of the matter is that, in this regard, Trump and his campaign advisors have already been found guilty in the court of public opinion, especially among those members of the public and the media who were vehemently opposed to his candidacy and ultimate victory. ..."
"... One need only review the comments of the various Democratic members of the Senate Select Committee, their counterparts serving on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, as well as the various experts and pundits in the media, to underscore the degree to which prejudice has "worked its evil" when it comes to the issue of collusion and the Trump campaign in this regard. ..."
"... purchase of advertisements on various social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter, by the Russians or their proxies. With regard to these advertisements, Senator Burr painted a dire picture. "It seems," he declared, "that the overall theme of the Russian involvement in the US elections was to create chaos at every level." ..."
"... No one wants to be told that they have been victims of a con; this is especially true when dealing with the sacred trust imparted to the American citizenry by the Constitution of the United States regarding the free and fair election of those who will represent us in higher office. American politics, for better or worse, is about the personal connection a given candidate has with the voter, a gut feeling that this person shares common values and beliefs. ..."
"... the percentage of Americans that participate in national elections is low. Those that do tend to be people who care enough about one or more issues to actually get out and vote. To categorize these dedicated citizens as brain-dead dupes who are susceptible to social media-based click advertisements is an insult to American democracy. ..."
"... There is a world of difference between Russian intelligence services allegedly hacking politically sensitive emails and selectively releasing them for the sole purpose of undermining a given Presidential candidate's electoral prospects, and mimicking social media-based advertisements addressing issues that are already at play in an election. The Russians didn't invent the ongoing debate in the United States over gun control (i.e., the "Second Amendment" issue), race relations (the police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri) or immigration ("The Wall"). ..."
"... These were, and remain, core issues that are at the heart of the American domestic political discourse, regardless of where one stands. You either know the issues, or you don't; it is an insult to the American voter to suggest that they are so malleable that $100,000 of targeted social media-based advertisements can swing their vote, even if 10 million of them viewed it. ..."
Oct 09, 2017 | www.theamericanconservative.com

The 'briefing' is just another exercise in preferred narrative boosting.

The co-chairmen of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence held a press briefing Thursday on the status of their ongoing investigation into Russian meddling in the American electoral process. Content-wise, the press briefing and the question and answer session were an exercise in information futility -- they provided little substance and nothing new. The investigation was still ongoing, the senators explained, and there was still work to be done.

Nine months into the Committee's work, the best Sens. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.), could offer was that there was "general consensus" among committee members and their staff that they trust the findings of the Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA) of January 2017, which gave high confidence to the charge that Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election. The issue of possible collusion between Russia and members of the campaign of Donald Trump, however, "is still open."

Frankly speaking, this isn't good enough.

The 2017 ICA on Russia was conceived in an atmosphere of despair and denial, birthed by Democrats and Republicans alike who were stunned by Trump's surprise electoral victory in November 2016. To say that this issue was a political event would be a gross understatement; the 2017 Russian ICA will go down in history as one of the most politicized intelligence documents ever, regardless of the degree of accuracy eventually afforded its contents. The very fact that the document is given the sobriquet "Intelligence Community" is itself a political act, designed to impart a degree of scrutiny and community consensus that simply did not exist when it came to the production of that document, or the classified reports that it was derived from.

This was a report prepared by handpicked analysts from three of the Intelligence Community's sixteen agencies (the CIA, NSA, and FBI) who operated outside of the National Intelligence Council (the venue for the production of Intelligence Community products such as the Russian ICA), and void of the direction and supervision of a dedicated National Intelligence Officer. Overcoming this deficient family tree represents a high hurdle, even before the issue of the credibility of the sources and methods used to underpin the ICA's findings are discussed. Given the firestorm of political intrigue and controversy initiated by the publication of this document, the notion of a "general consensus" regarding the level of trust imparted to it by the Senate Select Intelligence Committee does not engender confidence.

It was this document that spawned the issue of "collusion." While Sens. Burr and Warner can state that "collusion" is still an open issue, the fact of the matter is that, in this regard, Trump and his campaign advisors have already been found guilty in the court of public opinion, especially among those members of the public and the media who were vehemently opposed to his candidacy and ultimate victory. Insofar as the committee's investigation serves as a legitimate search for truth, it does so as a post-conviction appeal. However, as the distinguished Supreme Court Justice Joseph McKenna noted in his opinion in Berger v. United States (1921):

The remedy by appeal is inadequate. It comes after the trial, and, if prejudice exist, it has worked its evil and a judgment of it in a reviewing tribunal is precarious. It goes there fortified by presumptions, and nothing can be more elusive of estimate or decision than a disposition of a mind in which there is a personal ingredient.

One need only review the comments of the various Democratic members of the Senate Select Committee, their counterparts serving on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, as well as the various experts and pundits in the media, to underscore the degree to which prejudice has "worked its evil" when it comes to the issue of collusion and the Trump campaign in this regard.

The two senators proceeded to touch on a new angle recently introduced into their investigation, that of the purchase of advertisements on various social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter, by the Russians or their proxies. With regard to these advertisements, Senator Burr painted a dire picture. "It seems," he declared, "that the overall theme of the Russian involvement in the US elections was to create chaos at every level."

No one wants to be told that they have been victims of a con; this is especially true when dealing with the sacred trust imparted to the American citizenry by the Constitution of the United States regarding the free and fair election of those who will represent us in higher office. American politics, for better or worse, is about the personal connection a given candidate has with the voter, a gut feeling that this person shares common values and beliefs.

Nevertheless, the percentage of Americans that participate in national elections is low. Those that do tend to be people who care enough about one or more issues to actually get out and vote. To categorize these dedicated citizens as brain-dead dupes who are susceptible to social media-based click advertisements is an insult to American democracy.

There is a world of difference between Russian intelligence services allegedly hacking politically sensitive emails and selectively releasing them for the sole purpose of undermining a given Presidential candidate's electoral prospects, and mimicking social media-based advertisements addressing issues that are already at play in an election. The Russians didn't invent the ongoing debate in the United States over gun control (i.e., the "Second Amendment" issue), race relations (the police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri) or immigration ("The Wall").

These were, and remain, core issues that are at the heart of the American domestic political discourse, regardless of where one stands. You either know the issues, or you don't; it is an insult to the American voter to suggest that they are so malleable that $100,000 of targeted social media-based advertisements can swing their vote, even if 10 million of them viewed it.

The take away from the press briefing given by Senator's Burr and Warner was two-fold: One, the Russians meddled, and two, we don't know if Trump colluded with the Russians. The fact that America is nine months into this investigation with little more to show now than what could have been said at the start is, in and of itself, an American political tragedy. The Trump administration has been hobbled by the inertia of this and other investigations derived from the question of Russian meddling. That this process may yet vindicate President Trump isn't justification for the process itself; in such a case the delay will have hurt more than the truth. As William Penn, the founder of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, so eloquently noted:

Delays have been more injurious than direct Injustice. They too often starve those they dare not deny. The very Winner is made a Loser, because he pays twice for his own; like those who purchase Estates Mortgaged before to the full value.

Our law says that to delay Justice is Injustice. Not to have a Right, and not to come of it, differs little. Refuse or Dispatch is the Duty of a Good Officer.

Senators Burr and Warner, together with their fellow members of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and their respective staffs, would do well to heed those words.

Scott Ritter is a former Marine Corps intelligence officer who served in the former Soviet Union implementing arms control treaties, in the Persian Gulf during Operation Desert Storm, and in Iraq overseeing the disarmament of WMD. He is the author of "Deal of the Century: How Iran Blocked the West's Road to War" (Clarity Press, 2017).

[Oct 09, 2017] Imran Awan's Wife Accuses Him of Fraud

Oct 09, 2017 | dailycaller.com

The indicted husband-and-wife team of former IT aides to Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz sat directly across from each other at the defendants' table in federal court Friday in Washington, D.C., but refused to look at each other.

Even as they are co-defendants in a U.S. case, Imran Awan's own wife, Hina Alvi, has become the latest person to accuse him of fraud, filing papers against him in Pakistani court, according to Pakistani news channel ARY.

The couple were in U.S. court to face bank fraud charges related to sending money to Pakistan around the time they learned they were under investigation for abuses related to their work managing IT for members of Congress. Awan was arrested at Dulles Airport in July attempting to board a flight to Pakistan.

Wasserman Schultz, former chair of the Democratic National Committee, and other House Democrats have vigorously defended Awan, claiming the Capitol Police might be drumming up charges out of Islamaphobia .

Alvi was arraigned Friday on four felony counts, and Awan, who has already been arraigned, requested that his GPS monitoring bracelet be taken off -- citing the fact that his wife was in America as the reason he was not a flight risk.

Yet the couple entered and left the court separately, have different lawyers, and Awan's lawyer told the judge that the husband and wife are staying "in a one-bedroom apartment and then also a house."

Pakistani legal papers published by the news channel show Alvi recently accused Awan of illegally marrying another woman, and of fraud. "My husband Imran Awan son of Muhammad Ashraf Awan, committed fraud along with offence of polygamy," she charges in the papers.

Hina's U.S. lawyer, Nikki Lotze, did not dispute the account. "I don't see how that's newsworthy," Lotze told The Daily Caller News Foundation. The Pakistani legal petition named as the second wife is a woman who records show told Virginia police she felt like Awan was keeping her "like a slave."

Awan, his wife and two brothers -- all previously on the payroll of House Democrats -- became subjects of a Capitol Police investigation last year after investigators concluded they were submitting falsified invoices for equipment and had transferred "massive" data off a House server. After he was banned from the House network, Awan left a laptop with the username RepDWS in a Capitol Hill phone booth.

Although The Washington Post has reported that investigators found that Awan and his relatives made unauthorized access to a congressional server 5,400 times, Wasserman Schultz has said concern about the matter was the stuff of the "right-wing media circus fringe."

Awan and Alvi have been charged with bank fraud involving moving money to Pakistan, but they have not been charged with crimes related to their work, and the other family members have not been charged at all. Awan's attorney used Friday's hearing to argue that he "very strongly" wanted to block prosecutors from using evidence they found in the Capitol Hill phone booth.

The Pakistani legal motion filed by Alvi states: "A few months ago I got apprised of the fact that my husband has contracted second marriage secretly, fraudulently and without my consent with Mst. Sumaira Shehzadi Alias Sumaira Siddique Daughter of Muhammad Akram r/o Township, Lahore. The second marriage of my husband is illegal, unlawful and without justification."

"The court has recorded the testimonies of the applicant and other witnesses," the Pakistani news outlet reported.

... ... ...

The Awan family had access to the full digital files of 45 House members and their staffs, but Democrats have said they don't believe he would abuse that access, despite a host of financial red flags, including financial ties to an Iranian fugitive and money sent to a Pakistani police officer.

In a civil case this year, Awan's stepmother Samina Gilani accused Abid Awan, who was also on the House payroll, of stealing a $50,000 life insurance policy, and said Awan used his employment in Congress to intimidate people.

"Imran Awan introduces himself as someone from US Congress or someone from federal agencies," she charged. He "threatened that he is very powerful and if I ever call the police [he] will do harm to me and my family members back in Pakistan and one of my cousins here in Baltimore."

[Oct 09, 2017] SHOCKING!!! Google discovers ads placed on its site from Russia, proving America s democracy was hacked

Oct 09, 2017 | theduran.com

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[Oct 08, 2017] There is a Coup Underway Against President Trump

Oct 08, 2017 | steemit.com

2 months ago sgtreport 65 in politics by Harley Schlanger, LaRouchePac, SGTreport.com:

In a desperate attempt to defend its collapsing "Russiagate" narrative, the Washington Post launched an attack on The Nation magazine for its August 9 article by Patrick Lawrence, "A New Report Raises Big Questions About Last Year's DNC Hack." Lawrence's article, in the most prestigious left/progressive magazine in the U.S., broke the attempted media blackout of the memo sent by the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) on July 24 to President Trump, which effectively refutes the claims of Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election, allegedly through "hacking" Democratic National Committee (DNC) emails and releasing them to Wikileaks. Despite more than twelve months of non-stop charges against the Russians, and claims of Trump's collusion with Russia, not a shred of hard evidence has yet been presented to back these allegations, which are at the heart of the coup plot being run against the President.

The Nation article was followed by a prominent story in Bloomberg News and one in Salon magazine, which both reported on the Nation article, and the VIPS memo, and how it challenges the narrative that Trump owes his election victory to Putin and Russia. That story was concocted by leading figures in British intelligence, and leaked to the U.S. media by corrupt elements of Obama's intelligence team, led by the trio of Brennan, Clapper and Comey, as part of the "regime change" against Trump they launched after his November 2016 election victory. Brennan set up a task force to look into the Russian meddling charges after a former British Ambassador to Moscow, Sir Andrew Wood, delivered a fraudulent dossier, prepared by an "ex"-MI6 operative, to Brennan, through anti-Trump Senator John McCain.

The attack on The Nation was posted on the Post's "Eric Wemple Blog" on August 15, and is a blatant attempt to force The Nation's editors to not merely repudiate the Lawrence article, but to join the campaign against Trump's desire for cooperation with Russia. Wemple's attempt to dismiss the authoritative report of the VIPS has no substance, and is written to bludgeon the magazine's editors to adopt the talking points of the coup plotters. As such, it presents the same weak, sophistical argument presented by the DNC, which released a statement on the VIPS memo which simply reasserted the conclusion reached by "U.S. intelligence agencies" of Russian interference, adding, "Any suggestion otherwise is false, and is just another conspiracy theory like those pushed by Trump and his administration."

Such dangerous silliness was countered by Salon's Danielle Ryan, who wrote on August 15, "For the media and mainstream liberals to dismiss information presented in The Nation as lacking in evidence would be breathtakingly ironic, given how little evidence they required to build a narrative" against Trump and Putin. She concluded that if the VIPS memo is right, "those who pushed the Russia hacking narrative with little evidence have a lot to answer for."

[Oct 04, 2017] The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity Whose Bright Idea Was RussiaGate by Paul Craig Roberts

Notable quotes:
"... The answer to the question in the title of this article is that Russiagate was created by CIA director John Brennan. The CIA started what is called Russiagate in order to prevent Trump from being able to normalize relations with Russia. The CIA and the military/security complex need an enemy in order to justify their huge budgets and unaccountable power. Russia has been assigned that role. The Democrats joined in as a way of attacking Trump. They hoped to have him tarnished as cooperating with Russia to steal the presidential election from Hillary and to have him impeached. I don't think the Democrats have considered the consequence of further worsening the relations between the US and Russia. ..."
"... The neoconservative ideology of US world hegemony requires the principal goal of US foreign policy to be to prevent the rise of other countries that can serve as a restraint on US unilateralism. This is the main basis for the hostility of US foreign policy toward Russia, and of course there also is the material interests of the military/security complex. ..."
"... Washington is fully aware that there was no Russian interference in the presidential election or in the state elections. The military/security complex, the neoconservatives, and the Democratic Party are merely using the accusations to serve their own agendas. ..."
"... These selfish agendas are a dire threat to life on earth ..."
"... Reprinted with permission from PaulCraigRoberts.org . ..."
Oct 03, 2017 | ronpaulinstitute.org

The answer to the question in the title of this article is that Russiagate was created by CIA director John Brennan. The CIA started what is called Russiagate in order to prevent Trump from being able to normalize relations with Russia. The CIA and the military/security complex need an enemy in order to justify their huge budgets and unaccountable power. Russia has been assigned that role. The Democrats joined in as a way of attacking Trump. They hoped to have him tarnished as cooperating with Russia to steal the presidential election from Hillary and to have him impeached. I don't think the Democrats have considered the consequence of further worsening the relations between the US and Russia.

Public Russia bashing pre-dates Trump. It has been going on privately in neoconservative circles for years, but appeared publicly during the Obama regime when Russia blocked Washington's plans to invade Syria and to bomb Iran.

Russia bashing became more intense when Washington's coup in Ukraine failed to deliver Crimea. Washington had intended for the new Ukrainian regime to evict the Russians from their naval base on the Black Sea. This goal was frustrated when Crimea voted to rejoin Russia.

The neoconservative ideology of US world hegemony requires the principal goal of US foreign policy to be to prevent the rise of other countries that can serve as a restraint on US unilateralism. This is the main basis for the hostility of US foreign policy toward Russia, and of course there also is the material interests of the military/security complex.

Russia bashing is much larger than merely Russiagate. The danger lies in Washington convincing Russia that Washington is planning a surprise attack on Russia. With US and NATO bases on Russia's borders, efforts to arm Ukraine and to include Ukraine and Georgia in NATO provide more evidence that Washington is surrounding Russia for attack. There is nothing more reckless and irresponsible than convincing a nuclear power that you are going to attack.

Washington is fully aware that there was no Russian interference in the presidential election or in the state elections. The military/security complex, the neoconservatives, and the Democratic Party are merely using the accusations to serve their own agendas.

These selfish agendas are a dire threat to life on earth .

Reprinted with permission from PaulCraigRoberts.org .

[Oct 03, 2017] Are You Ready to Die by Paul Craig Roberts

Notable quotes:
"... Greenwald explains that the US media is so conditioned by the National Security State to see Russian President Putin lurking behind and masterminding attacks on America that it is "now religious dogma" -- a requirement -- to find Russian perfidy everywhere. The result Greenwald correctly says is that "an incredibly reckless, anything-goes climate prevails when it comes to claims about Russia. Media outlets will publish literally any official assertion as Truth without the slightest regard for evidentiary standards." ..."
"... In other words, the United States no longer has a media . It has a propaganda ministry for the military/security complex, the neoconservatives, and the Israel Lobby. And the idiot Americans sit in front of the TV and absorb the propaganda, and they read the New York Times and think that they are sophisticated and in the know. ..."
"... Russia knows that Washington knows that the accusations against Russia are false. ..."
"... This is a serious question, not only for Russia but for the entire world. All previous false accusations from the Clinton regime criminals, the Bush/Cheney regime criminals, and the Obama regime criminals ended in military attacks on the falsely demonized targets. Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea would be within reason to wonder if the false news propaganda attack on them is a prelude to military attack. ..."
"... What is the point of US security agencies such as Homeland Security, CIA, FBI, NSA constantly filling the propaganda machine known as the American Media with lies about Russia? Russia must wonder as well. Russia knows that they are lies. Russia knows that it does no good to refute the lies because the West has a Propaganda Ministry instead of a media. Russia knows that Washington told lies about the Taliban, Saddam Hussein, Gaddafi, Assad, Iran. What does Russia conclude from the constant stream of lies about Russia that flow out of Washington and are presented as truth by the Western presstitutes? ..."
"... I have written many times that provoking nuclear powers such as Russia and China is the most extreme form of recklessness and irresponsibility. ..."
Oct 02, 2017 | www.unz.com

Glenn Greenwald of The Intercept exposes the fake news put out by the US Department of Homeland Security (an euphemistic name for a Big Brother operation that spies on US citizens) that Russia hacked 21 US state elections, news that was instantly spread around the world by the presstitute media. The propagandists running Homeland Security were contradicted by the state governments, forcing Homeland Security to retract its fake news claims. https://theintercept.com/2017/09/28/yet-another-major-russia-story-falls-apart-is-skepticism-permissible-yet/

The unasked/unanswered question is why did Homeland Security put out a FAKE NEWS story?

Greenwald explains that the US media is so conditioned by the National Security State to see Russian President Putin lurking behind and masterminding attacks on America that it is "now religious dogma" -- a requirement -- to find Russian perfidy everywhere. The result Greenwald correctly says is that "an incredibly reckless, anything-goes climate prevails when it comes to claims about Russia. Media outlets will publish literally any official assertion as Truth without the slightest regard for evidentiary standards."

In other words, the United States no longer has a media . It has a propaganda ministry for the military/security complex, the neoconservatives, and the Israel Lobby. And the idiot Americans sit in front of the TV and absorb the propaganda, and they read the New York Times and think that they are sophisticated and in the know.

What Greenwald doesn't address is the effect of the massive amount of fake news on Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea. Russia knows that Washington knows that the accusations against Russia are false. So why is Washington making false accusations against Russia?

This is a serious question, not only for Russia but for the entire world. All previous false accusations from the Clinton regime criminals, the Bush/Cheney regime criminals, and the Obama regime criminals ended in military attacks on the falsely demonized targets. Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea would be within reason to wonder if the false news propaganda attack on them is a prelude to military attack.

Iran and North Korea cannot attack the US and its European vassals, but Russia and China can. I have written about the Operational Command of the Russian armed forces conclusion that Washington is preparing a surprise nuclear attack on Russia. Instead of reassuring the Russians that no such planning is in the works, Washington has instead pushed further the fake news Russiagate story with the false report that Russia had hacked the elections of 21 states.

What is the point of US security agencies such as Homeland Security, CIA, FBI, NSA constantly filling the propaganda machine known as the American Media with lies about Russia? Russia must wonder as well. Russia knows that they are lies. Russia knows that it does no good to refute the lies because the West has a Propaganda Ministry instead of a media. Russia knows that Washington told lies about the Taliban, Saddam Hussein, Gaddafi, Assad, Iran. What does Russia conclude from the constant stream of lies about Russia that flow out of Washington and are presented as truth by the Western presstitutes?

If you were the Russian government, would you conclude that your country was the next to be attacked militarily by Washington? If you were the Russian government, you would know that Washington/NATO cannot possibly attack Russia except by surprise nuclear strike. Knowing this, if you were the Russian government, would you sit there and wait on the strike? Imagine yourself the Russian government listening day in, day out, to endless wild improbable charges against Russia. What can Russia possibly conclude other than this is preparation of Western peoples for a nuclear attack on Russia?

Russia is not going to be hung like Saddan Hussein or murdered like Gaddafi.

I have written many times that provoking nuclear powers such as Russia and China is the most extreme form of recklessness and irresponsibility. The crazed morons in Washington are risking the life of the planet. The presstitutes are worse than the whores that they are. They never question the path to war; they only amplify it. Washington's craven, cowardly, moronic vassal states in UK, Germany, France, Italy, Netherlands, Belgium, Poland, and the rest of the EU/NATO idiots are, by their cooperation with Washington, begging for their own destruction.

Nowhere in the West is there a sign of intelligence.

Will Washington follow Adolf Hitler's folly and march into Russia?

[Oct 03, 2017] Russian Ads On Facebook A Click-Bait Campaign

Highly recommended!
This is particular dirty campaign to implicate Trump and delegitimize his victory is a part of color revolution against Trump.
The other noble purpose is to find a scapegoat for the current problems, especially in Democratic Party, and to preserve Clinton neoliberals rule over the party for a few more futile years.
Notable quotes:
"... Congress is investigating 3,000 suspicious ads which were run on Facebook. These were claimed to have been bought by "Russia" to influence the U.S. presidential election in favor of Trump. ..."
"... The mini-ads were bought to promote click-bait pages and sites. These pages and sites were created and then promoted to sell further advertisement. The media though, has still not understood the issue. ..."
"... A few thousand users will come and look at a page. Some will 'like' the puppy pictures or the rant against LGBT and further spread the page. Some will click the promoted Google ads. Money then flows into the pockets of the page creator. One can automatize, rinse and repeat this scheme forever. Each such page is a small effort for a small revenue. But the scheme is highly scale-able and parts of it can be automatized. ..."
"... This is, in essence, the same business model traditional media publishers use. One creates "news" and controversies to attract readers. The attention of the readers is then sold to advertisers. The business is no longer a limited to a few rich oligarchic. One no longer needs reporters or a printing press to join in. Anyone can now take part in it. ..."
"... We learned after the election that some youths in Macedonia created whole "news"-websites filled with highly attractive but fake partisan stories. They were not interested in the veracity or political direction of their content. Their only interest was to attract viewers. They made thousands of dollars by selling advertisements on their sites: ..."
"... The teen said his monthly revenue was in the four figures, a considerable sum in a country where the average monthly pay is 360 euros ($383). As he navigated his site's statistics, he dropped nuggets of journalism advice. ..."
"... After the mystery of "Russian" $3 ads for "adorable puppies" pages on Facebook has been solved, Congress and the New York Times will have to move on. There next subject is probably the "Russian influence campaign" on Youtube. ..."
"... Russian Car Crash Compilations have for years attracted millions of viewers. The "Russians" want to increase road rage on U.S. highways. This again will - according to expert Clinton Watts - "amplify divisive political issues across the political spectrum". ..."
"... "Russian interference" in Western faux democracies is just more Fake News that distracts from the real issues. And all those real issues come down to this: the need to reign in the oligarchs. This is very easy to do via progressive taxation (with no loopholes). ..."
"... The two words that the establishment fears most: Progressive Taxation . ..."
"... Great article. I especially like the tactful way that modern clickbait farming is obliquely tied to the MSM business model. Facebook and Google have a lot to answer for. ..."
"... Russia gate, since it is unnecessarily mentally exhausting and intellectually futile, it is namely pure provocation and as such it should be ignored and not proliferated even in its criticism making a fakes news a real news by sole fact of mentioning it on the respectable independent sites. ..."
"... The whole digital media and ad business that have built the Google and Facebook media juggernauts is all a giant scam. Smart advertisers like P&G are recognizing it for what it is and will slowly pullback. It is only a matter of time before others catch on and these companies will bleed ad revenues. ..."
Oct 03, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

Congress is investigating 3,000 suspicious ads which were run on Facebook. These were claimed to have been bought by "Russia" to influence the U.S. presidential election in favor of Trump.

It now turns out that these Facebook ads had nothing to do with the election. The mini-ads were bought to promote click-bait pages and sites. These pages and sites were created and then promoted to sell further advertisement. The media though, has still not understood the issue.

On September 6 the NYT asserted :

Providing new evidence of Russian interference in the 2016 election, Facebook disclosed on Wednesday that it had identified more than $100,000 worth of divisive ads on hot-button issues purchased by a shadowy Russian company linked to the Kremlin.
...
The disclosure adds to the evidence of the broad scope of the Russian influence campaign, which American intelligence agencies concluded was designed to damage Hillary Clinton and boost Donald J. Trump during the election.

Like any Congress investigation the current one concerned with Facebook ads is leaking like a sieve. What oozes out makes little sense.

If "Russia" aimed to make Congress and U.S. media a laughing stock it surely achieved that.

Today the NYT says that the ads were posted "in disguise" by "the Russians" to promote variously themed Facebook pages:

There was "Defend the 2nd," a Facebook page for gun-rights supporters, festooned with firearms and tough rhetoric. There was a rainbow-hued page for gay rights activists, "LGBT United." There was even a Facebook group for animal lovers with memes of adorable puppies that spread across the site with the help of paid ads

No one has explained how these pages are supposed to be connected to a Russian "influence" campaign. It is unexplained how these are supposed to connected to the 2016 election. That is simply asserted because Facebook said, for unknown reasons, that these ads may have come from some Russian agency. How Facebook has determined that is not known.

With each detail that leaks from the "Russian ads" investigation the propaganda framework of "election manipulation" falls further apart:

Late Monday, Facebook said in a post that about 10 million people had seen the ads in question. About 44 percent of the ads were seen before the 2016 election and the rest after, the company said

The original story propagandized that "Russia" intended to influence the election in favor of Trump. But why then was the majority of the ads in questions run later after November 9? And how would an animal-lovers page with adorable puppy pictures help to achieve Trumps election victory?

More details via the Wall Street Journal:

Roughly 25% of the ads were never shown to anyone. That's because advertising auctions are designed so that ads reach people based on relevance, and certain ads may not reach anyone as a result.
...
For 50% of the ads, less than $3 was spent; for 99% of the ads, less than $1,000 was spent.

Of the 3,000 ads Facebook originally claimed were "Russian" only 2,200 were ever viewed. Most of the advertisements were mini-ads which, for the price of a coffee, promoted private pages related to hobbies and a wide spectrum of controversial issues. The majority of the ads ran after the election.

All that "adds to the evidence of the broad scope of the Russian influence campaign ... designed to damage Hillary Clinton and boost Donald J. Trump during the election"?

No.

But the NYT still finds "experts" who believe in the "Russian influence" nonsense and find the most stupid reasons to justify their claims:

Clinton Watts, a former F.B.I. agent now at the Foreign Policy Research Institute in Philadelphia, said Russia had been entrepreneurial in trying to develop diverse channels of influence. Some, like the dogs page, may have been created without a specific goal and held in reserve for future use.

Puppy pictures for "future use"? Nonsense. Lunacy! The pages described and the ads leading to them are typical click-bait, not a political influence op.

The for-profit scheme runs as follows: One builds pages with "hot" stuff that attracts lots of viewers. One creates ad-space on these pages and fills it with Google ads. One promotes the spiked pages by buying $3 Facebook mini-ads for them.

A few thousand users will come and look at a page. Some will 'like' the puppy pictures or the rant against LGBT and further spread the page. Some will click the promoted Google ads. Money then flows into the pockets of the page creator. One can automatize, rinse and repeat this scheme forever. Each such page is a small effort for a small revenue. But the scheme is highly scale-able and parts of it can be automatized.

This is, in essence, the same business model traditional media publishers use. One creates "news" and controversies to attract readers. The attention of the readers is then sold to advertisers. The business is no longer a limited to a few rich oligarchic. One no longer needs reporters or a printing press to join in. Anyone can now take part in it.

We learned after the election that some youths in Macedonia created whole "news"-websites filled with highly attractive but fake partisan stories. They were not interested in the veracity or political direction of their content. Their only interest was to attract viewers. They made thousands of dollars by selling advertisements on their sites:

The teen said his monthly revenue was in the four figures, a considerable sum in a country where the average monthly pay is 360 euros ($383). As he navigated his site's statistics, he dropped nuggets of journalism advice.

"You have to write what people want to see, not what you want to show," he said, scrolling through The Political Insider's stories as a large banner read "ARREST HILLARY NOW."

The 3,000 Facebook ads Congress is investigating are part of a similar scheme. The mini-ads promoted pages with hot button issues and click-bait puppy pictures. These pages were themselves created to generate ad-clicks and revenue. As Facebook claims that "Russia" is behind them, we will likely find some Russian teens who simply repeated the scheme their Macedonian friends were running on.

With its "Russian influence" scare campaign the NYT follows the same business model. It is producing fake news which attracts viewers and readers who's attention is then sold to advertisers. Facebook is also profiting from this. Its current piecemeal release of vague information keeps its name in the news.

After the mystery of "Russian" $3 ads for "adorable puppies" pages on Facebook has been solved, Congress and the New York Times will have to move on. There next subject is probably the "Russian influence campaign" on Youtube.

Russian Car Crash Compilations have for years attracted millions of viewers. The "Russians" want to increase road rage on U.S. highways. This again will - according to expert Clinton Watts - "amplify divisive political issues across the political spectrum".

The car crash compilations, like the puppy pages, are another sign that Russia is waging war against the people of the United States!

You don't believe that? You should. Trust your experienced politician!

Samantha Power @SamanthaJPower - 3:45 PM - 3 Oct 2017

This gets more chilling daily : now we learn Russia targeted Americans on Facebook by "demographics, geography, gender & interests," across websites & devices, reached millions, kept going after Nov. An attack on all Americans, not just HRC campaign washingtonpost.com/business/econo

It indeed gets more chilling. It's fall. It also generates ad revenue.

Posted by b on October 3, 2017 at 02:09 PM | Permalink

nmb | Oct 3, 2017 2:20:52 PM | 1

As Shock Therapy failed miserably in the 90s, the neocon dynasty seeks now direct confrontation with Russia
Jackrabbit | Oct 3, 2017 2:32:24 PM | 2
"Russian interference" in Western faux democracies is just more Fake News that distracts from the real issues. And all those real issues come down to this: the need to reign in the oligarchs. This is very easy to do via progressive taxation (with no loopholes).

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

The two words that the establishment fears most: Progressive Taxation .

Taxi | Oct 3, 2017 2:32:34 PM | 3
Oh dear intrepidus, why are you still talking about MSM's favorite weapon of mass distraction?

Even though you make a fine point or two, at this stage, you're actually adding to the whirling stupidity by indulging it it yourself, methinks.

I'm so very, very over Russiagate and it's non-existent tentacles. Pfft!

Grieved | Oct 3, 2017 2:49:24 PM | 4
Thanks, b.

You're presenting a very good concept/meme to understand: Fake news is click bait for gain.

The same can be said for any sensationalism or shocking event - like the Kurdish referendum, like the Catalonia referendum, like the Vegas shooting - or like confrontational or dogmatic comments in threads about those events.

Everywhere we turn someone is trying to game us for some kind of gain. What matters is to step back from the front lines where our sense is accosted and offended, to step back from the automatic reflex, and to remember that someone triggered that reflex, deliberately, for their gain, not ours.

We have to reside in reason and equanimity, because the moment we indulge in our righteous anger or our strong convictions, the odds are extremely good that someone is playing us.

It's a wicked world, but in fact we live in an age when we can see its meta characteristics like never before.

Anon | Oct 3, 2017 2:49:39 PM | 5
Jesus Christ, every friggin day we hear about Russians and then the next the lies falls apart, STILL the stupid dumb liberal media keep coming up with new conspiracies spread them as fact, and then try justify them even when they get debunked!
These people are indeed lunatic.

What we see is the biggest psyop., propaganda disinformation campaig ever in the western media, far more powerful than "nuclear Iraq" of 2003.
Still, and this should be a warning, majority of people in EU/US believe this nonsense.

the pair | Oct 3, 2017 3:07:19 PM | 6
$3 ads on facebook seen by nobody:

"russian meddling! their puppies hate our freedom!"

pharmaceutical ads on every evening news show and boeing/lockheed sponsoring the "p"bs news hour?"

"nothing to see here! take off your tin foil hat you f_cking alex jones putinbot!!!!"

you'd think by now most americans would realize the actual threat is other americans. the rest of the world realized it long ago.

sejomoje | Oct 3, 2017 3:08:47 PM | 7
I lol'd. But seriously the next step is a false flag implicating Russia. They're getting nowhere assassinating Russian diplomats and shooting down Russian aircraft, both military and civilian. Even overthrowing governments who are Russia-friendly hasn't seem to provoke a response.

But I consider the domestic Russia buzz to be performance art, and I imagine it's become even grating to some of its participants. How could it not be, unless everyone is heavily medicated(a lot certainly are)? Anyway it's by design that the western media and the political classes they serve need a script, they're incapable of discussing actual issues. Independence has been made quaint.

karlof1 | Oct 3, 2017 3:10:42 PM | 8
Hi Grieved--

I posted this link at the Vegas thread, but the item's contents are valid here too, and speaks to the content of your above comment, https://sputniknews.com/viral/201710031057912410-google-facebook-youtube-vegas-fake-news/

somebody | Oct 3, 2017 3:11:44 PM | 9
The line between politics and product marketing has gone.

But no matter if "the Russians" influenced the US election or not - after all that is what most countries do to each other - the FBI is correct that to be able to target audiences according to demographics and individual traits is a powerful tool.

Like the double hoax of " The War of Worlds broadcast ".

The newspapers had a clear agenda. An editorial in The New York Times, headlined In the Terror by Radio, was used to censure the relatively new medium of radio, which was becoming a serious competitor in providing news and advertising. "Radio is new but it has adult responsibilities. It has not mastered itself or the material it uses," said the editorial leader comment on November 1 1938. In an excellent piece in Slate magazine in 2013, Jefferson Pooley (associate professor of media and communication at Muhlenberg College) and Michael J Socolow (associate professor of communication and journalism at the University of Maine) looked at the continuing popularity of the myth of mass panic and they took to task NPR's Radiolab programme about the incident and the Radiolab assertion that "The United States experienced a kind of mass hysteria that we've never seen before." Pooley and Socolow wrote: "How did the story of panicked listeners begin? Blame America's newspapers. ... AND IT'S NOT A GOOD IDEA TO COPY ORSON WELLES . . . In February 1949, Leonardo Paez and Eduardo Alcaraz produced a Spanish-language version of Welles's 1938 script for Radio Quito in Ecuador. The broadcast set off panic. Quito police and fire brigades rushed out of town to fight the supposed alien invasion force. After it was revealed that the broadcast was fiction, the panic transformed into a riot. The riot resulted in at least seven deaths, including those of Paez's girlfriend and nephew. The offices Radio Quito, and El Comercio, a local newspaper that had participated in the hoax by publishing false reports of unidentified flying objects in the days preceding the broadcast, were both burned to the ground.
ashley albanese | Oct 3, 2017 3:13:06 PM | 10
Jackrabbit 2
No - the two words the Capital system fears the most are SURPLUS VALUE , the control of the 'profit principle' for social not private ends .
Lea | Oct 3, 2017 3:42:35 PM | 11
Jesus Christ, every friggin day we hear about Russians and then the next the lies falls apart, STILL the stupid dumb liberal media keep coming up with new conspiracies spread them as fact, and then try justify them even when they get debunked!
These people are indeed lunatic.

The "Russiadunnit" thingy has turned into a business in the US. And when a new market is launched in the US, as people depend on it for their living and careers, it generally doesn't go away.
https://consortiumnews.com/2017/09/28/the-slimy-business-of-russia-gate/

OJS | Oct 3, 2017 3:45:59 PM | 12
god bless amerika

somebody | Oct 3, 2017 3:11:44 PM | 9
The American panic was a myth, the Equadorian panic in 1949 not so much. I listened to this Radiolab podcast about same ... the details of how they pulled it off in a one-radio station country pre-internet are interesting and valuable (they widely advertised a very popular music program which was then "interrupted" by the hoax to ensure near-universal audience (including the police and other authorities). Very very fews were "in on the joke" and it wasn't a joke. whole page on WooW: http://www.radiolab.org/story/91622-war-of-the-worlds/

specific could it happen again? http://www.radiolab.org/story/91624-could-it-happen-again-and-again/

c1ue | Oct 3, 2017 3:58:38 PM | 14
Great article. I especially like the tactful way that modern clickbait farming is obliquely tied to the MSM business model. Facebook and Google have a lot to answer for.
Christian Chuba | Oct 3, 2017 3:58:49 PM | 15
Russian Trolls outed as kids from Oregon: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/taibbi-latest-fake-news-panic-appears-to-be-fake-news-w506396
"Lankford shocked the world this week by revealing that "Russian Internet trolls" were stoking the NFL kneeling debate. ... Conservative outlets like Breitbart and Newsmax and Fox played up the "Russians stoked the kneeling controversy" angle because it was in their interest to suggest that domestic support for kneeling protests is less than what it appears....

The Post reported that Lankford's office had cited one of "Boston Antifa's" tweets. But the example offered read suspiciously like a young net-savvy American goofing on antifa stereotypes "More gender inclusivity with NFL fans and gluten free options at stadiums We're liking the new NFL #NewNFL #TakeAKnee #TakeTheKnee." ...

The group was most likely a pair of yahoos from Oregon named Alexis Esteb and Brandon Krebs. "

Christian Chuba | Oct 3, 2017 4:00:46 PM | 16
Pity Rolling Stone got caught up in that fake college rape allegation, they have actually done some solid reporting. Every MSM outlet has had multiple fake stories, so should RS be shunned for life for one bad story?
Kalen | Oct 3, 2017 4:03:18 PM | 17
It is time that sane part of independent media understood that there is no more need to rationally respond to psychotic delusions of Deep State puppets in Russia gate, since it is unnecessarily mentally exhausting and intellectually futile, it is namely pure provocation and as such it should be ignored and not proliferated even in its criticism making a fakes news a real news by sole fact of mentioning it on the respectable independent sites.

There are only two effective responses to provocation namely silence or violence, anything else plays the book of provocateurs.

Susan Sunflower | Oct 3, 2017 4:13:28 PM | 18
Now they're seriously undermining their claims of intentionality ... as well as their wildly inflated claims effect on outcome or even effective "undermining" ... again, compared to Citizens United and the long-count of 2000 ... negligible....

And still insisting that Hillary Clinton is Russia's Darth Vader against whom unlimited resources are marshalled because she must be stopped ... even though she damn near won... and the reasons she lost seems unrelated to such vagaries as the DNC e-mails or facebook campaigns (unless you believe she had a god-given right to each and every vote)

Don Bacon | Oct 3, 2017 4:13:47 PM | 19

Lucky for us that television "news" doesn't use this business model. /s
Pnyx | Oct 3, 2017 5:02:54 PM | 20
Why do you think this is important enough to make the effort to write another blog entry B? Everyone who wants to know that this is all fantasy knows by now.
Mina | Oct 3, 2017 5:05:12 PM | 21
https://mobile.twitter.com/dgaytandzhieva/status/913545591757697024
brian | Oct 3, 2017 5:09:39 PM | 22
'Congress is investigating 3,000 suspicious ads which were run on Facebook. These were claimed to have been bought by "Russia" to influence the U.S. presidential election in favor of Trump.

This is the same US congress that regularly marches off to Israel to receive orders

https://www.amazon.com/They-Dare-Speak-Out-Institutions/dp/155652482X

those who dont obey orders: http://www.unz.com/pgiraldi/how-i-got-fired/

Susan Sunflower | Oct 3, 2017 5:36:59 PM | 23
@ Posted by: Pnyx | Oct 3, 2017 5:02:54 PM | 20

This isn't about the "truth" (or lies) wrt Russian involvement, it's about the increasingly rapid failure of the Government/Establishment's narrative ...

Increasingly they can't even keep their accusations "alive" for more than a few days ... and some of their accusations (like the one here, that some "Russian" sites were created and not used, but to be held for use at some future date) become fairly ridiculous ... and the "remedy" to "Russians" creating clickbait sites for some future nefarious use, I think can only be banning all Russians from creating sites ... or maybe using facebook altogether ... all with no evidence of evil-doers actually doing evil...

It's rather like Jared Kushner's now THIRD previously undisclosed private e-mail account ... fool me once versus how disorganized/dumb/arrogant/crooked is this guy?

Lochearn | Oct 3, 2017 6:43:01 PM | 24
Sorry to be off topic but yesterday the Saker of the Vineyard published a couple of articles about Catalonia. The first was a diatribe, a nasty hatchet job on the Catalan people which included the following referring to the Catalan people:

"The Problems they have because with their corruption, inefficiency, mismanagement, inability and sometimes the simplest stupidity, are always the fault of others (read Spaniards here) which gives them "carte blanche" to keep going on with it."

"... They (the independistas) are NATIONAL SOCIALIST (aka NAZI) in their Ideology"

Then Saker published an article by Peter Koenig that was reasonable and what we have come to expect. Then he forbade all comments on either of the two articles. My comment was banned, which simply said in my opinion from working for fourteen years in Spain that the Catalans were extremely efficient in comparison with their Madrid counterparts.

ToivoS | Oct 3, 2017 7:32:04 PM | 25
I must admit that I became a fan of watching those Russian car crashes that were captured by the cams many russian drivers keep on their dash boards. Some of these were very funny. I was not aware that made me a victim of Putin propaganda. In any case, they are not that interesting anymore once they were commercialized. That was about 10 years ago.
Susan Sunflower | Oct 3, 2017 7:43:29 PM | 26
I'm waiting for the expose of the Russian mail-order bride business (Do they still exist?)
ab initio | Oct 3, 2017 8:29:04 PM | 27
Very good analysis.

The whole digital media and ad business that have built the Google and Facebook media juggernauts is all a giant scam. Smart advertisers like P&G are recognizing it for what it is and will slowly pullback. It is only a matter of time before others catch on and these companies will bleed ad revenues.

ben | Oct 3, 2017 8:30:46 PM | 28
Jackrabbit @ 2: Yep!!

And here is another part to the puzzle:

http://therealnews.com/t2/story:19516:Empire-Files%3A-The-Hidden-Purging-of-Millions-of-Voters

Chipnik | Oct 3, 2017 8:42:54 PM | 29
Your answer can be found ...right ...here:
http://preview.tinyurl.com/yc7kskox
james | Oct 3, 2017 8:44:05 PM | 30
OT - more from comedy central - daily USA press briefing from today...

"QUESTION: On Iran, would you and the State Department say, as Secretary Mattis said today, that staying in the JCPOA would be in the U.S. national interest?

MS NAUERT: Yeah.

QUESTION: Is this a position you share?

MS NAUERT: So I'm certainly familiar with what Secretary Mattis said on Capitol Hill today. Secretary Mattis, of course, one of many people who is providing expertise and counsel to the President on the issue of Iran and the JCPOA. The President is getting lots of information on that. We have about 12 days or so, I think, to make our determination for the next JCPOA guideline.

The administration looks at JCPOA as – the fault in the JCPOA as not looking at the totality of Iran's bad behavior. Secretary Tillerson talked about that at length at the UN General Assembly. So did the President as well. We know that Iran is responsible for terror attacks. We know that Iran arms the Houthi rebels in Yemen, which leads to a more miserable failed state, awful situation in Yemen, for example. We know what they're doing in Syria. Where you find the Iranian Government, you can often find terrible things happening in the world. This administration is very clear about highlighting that and will look at Iran in sort of its totality of all of its bad behaviors, not just the nuclear deal.

I don't want to get ahead of the discussions that are ongoing with this – within the administration, as it pertains to Iran. The President has said he's made he's decision, and so I don't want to speak on behalf of the President, and he'll just have to make that determination when he's ready to do so."

https://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/dpb/2017/10/274592.htm

[Oct 02, 2017] US Congressman says Julian Assange has absolute proof Russia did not meddle in US elections (Video)

Oct 02, 2017 | theduran.com

US Congressman says Julian Assange "has absolute proof" Russia did not meddle in US elections (Video) Julian Assange can prove hacks were not by Russia with 100% certainty.

by Alex Christoforou October 2, 2017, 11:50 1.2k Views Comments

[Oct 01, 2017] Google rumored to replace 2-factor with 'Advanced Protection' keys

www.theguardian.com

Last year's DNC hack that took over via the Gmail account of campaign chairman John Podesta provided a clear example of how important added protections are, but many people don't take advantage because they can seem complicated to setup. Just a few months many users were bombarded with a Google Drive-hosted phishing attack, and that won't be the last one.

[Oct 01, 2017] The Bombs Are Still Falling - MSNBC Urges Government Censorship Of Social Media To Protect Democracy

An interesting slide of opinions in this comment thread. Nobody mentions the term McCarthyism though.
Oct 01, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com

The segment started off with Geist introducing the latest reporting on the topic:

GEIST: Twitter says it has shut down more than two-hundred accounts that were tied to the same Russian operatives who bought political ads on Facebook. Of the 450 accounts released by Facebook as part of its investigation, Twitter was able to match 22 of them to its own site. The disclosure by Twitter followed a briefing by company officials to staffers of the Senate and House Intel committees yesterday. Following that meeting, the top Democrat on the Senate committee, Mark Warner, slammed Twitter for its presentation.

SEN. MARK WARNER [D-VA]: [playing clip] The presentation that the Twitter team made to the Senate Intel staff today was deeply disappointing. The notion that their work was basically derivative based upon accounts that Facebook had identified showed enormous lack of understanding from the Twitter team of how serious this issue is, the threat it poses to democratic institutions, and, again, begs many more questions than they offered.

(...)

GEIST: The top Democrat on the House Intel Committee, Adam Schiff, also weighed in on Twitters briefing to his committee, releasing a statement that read, in part: "... it is clear that Twitter has significant forensic work to do to understand the depth and breadth of Russian activity during the campaign. This additional analysis will require far more robust investigation into how Russian actors used their platform as a part of their active measures campaign..."

Without any perceptible degree of skepticism about the Democratic Congressmen's claims, Geist then teed up Nicolle Wallace, host of the MSNBC afternoon show Deadline: White House , to talk about social media and the 2016 election more generally:

GEIST: You do get the sense, Nicolle, that Facebook, Twitter, social media was totally clueless about what was happening on their sites during the 2016 campaign.

WALLACE: It's worse than that [...]. The social media companies are sort of like the worst stereotype of a Republican political organization. They're reactive, theyre opaque, they're defensive, they are very slow to understand the value of transparency. They're totally lawyered up, lobbied up. And they are as a culture, the hubris of thinking that they're all about the public good, when if you take a low-tech analogy, its basically like someone got mugged in your backyard and their position is: well, it's not our problem, I mean, we just bought the lot on which the house was built, not our problem.

Giant Meteor , Sep 30, 2017 7:01 PM

Lordy, it's a cookbook !

overbet -> Giant Meteor , Sep 30, 2017 7:06 PM

How about $10m fine for citing anonymous sources.

AlaricBalth -> overbet , Sep 30, 2017 7:30 PM

The MSM does not report news. They provide entertainment for their demographic base of couch riding spectators. Controversy, salaciousness and division increase the amount of eyeballs, which allow these channels of distraction to charge exorbitant fees to advertisers who are selling crap most don't need or want. It's all just "chewing gum" for the eyes.

AtATrESICI -> AlaricBalth , Sep 30, 2017 7:37 PM

But, Russia, Russia, Russia, Russia, Russia, Russia, Russia, Russia, Russia, Russia, Russia, Russia, Russia, Russia, Russia, Russia, Russia, Russia, Russia, Russia, Russia, Russia, Russia, Russia, Russia, Russia, Russia, Russia, Russia, Russia, Russia, Russia, Russia, Russia, Russia. OMG! What happened?

This shit is a sad fucking joke...

AtATrESICI -> AtATrESICI , Sep 30, 2017 7:51 PM

One more thing. Folks that are Russian hack the election people, believe the .gov story on 911 to the letter. That does not wash with me.

Paul Kersey -> AlaricBalth , Sep 30, 2017 7:41 PM

"This isn't new, this is the Kremlin playbook. They have been exacerbating racial tensions in the US [for years]... "

So it's the Russians that have caused racial tensions in the U.S., who knew? Racial voting patterns in this country are almost the same today as they were before the Civil War. In any Presidential election, for instance, 95% of blacks vote Democrat, regardless of who is running, and over 80% of Christian Fundamentalists vote Republican, regardless of who is running.

During this last Presidential election, if you flipped the State of Virginia with the State of Pennsylvania, the election turned on the Mason-Dixon line. Unless the Russians can be blamed for the racism this nation was born into, it's probably absurd to blame today's racial tensions on them.

Skeero , Sep 30, 2017 7:04 PM

"Black Lives Matter and targeting, specifically, ethnic groups [...] and allowing people to target, not only for Russian influence, but also target housing ads, employment ads."

Shame on them for trying to get people to get a job!

Blankone , Sep 30, 2017 7:07 PM

How long until they declare antifa is a Russian sponsored terrorist org.? I know it is not time yet but once the violence of antifa generates general rejection by the middle class due to fear - perhaps then they will throw them under the bus. And use antifa as justification for oppressive policies/laws.

Dickweed Wang , Sep 30, 2017 7:11 PM

Who the fuck watches shit like this anyway?

AriusArmenian , Sep 30, 2017 7:41 PM

Instead of America taking responsibility for its racial tensions it tries to find some foreign demon to make responsible.

Everything negative in America is now the fault of Russia, Iran, or others.

Very convenient.

Just destroy Russia, Iran, etc., then America will be perfect.

Destroy the world and everything will then be perfect.

If this is what is operating in the American unconscious psyche then the world is screwed.

xrxs , Sep 30, 2017 7:42 PM

Thinking about Chomsky's Manufacturing Consent really opened my eyes to what democratization of the media could do. Why are we having this conversation about 2016, and not 2008 or 2012? I have a number of theories about this. I think the endgame here is to create a Great Firewall for major social media platforms to keep people from finding out certain truths (I think you won't be hearing from Wikileaks, for example). It's a dark time, and I'm sad we're here.

GreatUncle , Sep 30, 2017 7:44 PM

Yaaaaaaaaawwwwwwn ... I don't do social media full stop.

So any government control mechanism actually fails and if anything with all the proactive advertising, fake news and now mostly junk content I know people who are dumping it prefering alternative forms of communication ... like talking to real people.

I never knew ... me dear old mum well retired now curses google and facebook with all the shit they come out with.

Mwhahahahaha ... it's spreading.

To the point just refuse to talk to people who use social media, let them keep their dumbed down universe to themselves.

Hikikomori , Sep 30, 2017 7:47 PM

Clearly, we have to destroy our democracy to save it.

TomGa , Sep 30, 2017 7:52 PM

MSNBC is a network of wackos. So are the ideas they promote as well as the usual suspects they interview. No one takes this network or the nonsense they spew seriously.

Disgruntled Goat , Sep 30, 2017 8:01 PM

Sure, lets invent another huge government bureaucracy in order to maintain the monopoly of a dying, legacy media dinosaur !!!!

Through censorship no less

Its fucking both pathetic and laughable.... the MSM is a Dead Media Walking....

You think Bezos wanted to buy WaPo to enhance its journalistic character? No fucking chance... he took it over in order to save a mouthpiece of the elite that was ready to go TU..... for a huge Qid Pro Quo I might add ( to wit, you may recall that shortly after Bezos took over WaPo, Amazon was suddenly given the ok to accept EBT, with not a peep of protest or a question from Congress. So now, we have welfare queens ordering online and getting wildly expensive Amazon Fresh deliveries IN THE FUCKING GHETTO.... ISNT THIS COUNTRY GREAT !!!!)

What cannot be controlled or co-opted by these fucks must somehow be "regulated" or eliminated.

WELL FUCK THAT!!! Keep stacking pms, lead and brass

[Sep 30, 2017] The Slimy Business of Russia-gate Comments to the article at Consortiumnews

Notable quotes:
"... Is it possible that the left is being played? Is it possible that the media who almost exclusively report what the establishment wants are being told to report BS? Is it disinfo campaign aimed at ruining the lefts chances of coming back to power? I know the public can easily be made to have their collective heads explode over anything but are journalists that brainwashed too? I'm starting to see a birther parallel here. ouch. Is that ironic or what? ..."
"... The influence on the election from the Russians to me is absurd to the naked eye. Israel has far more influence on American elections through AIPAC. Saudi Arabia has influence through money Sheldon Adelson and the Koch brothers have much more influence on American elections And the prime minister of Israel comes to our country and addresses Congress to criticize the presidents policy in Iran at the time – thats pretty outrageous. ..."
"... Our country is very much in the grip of a dictator: The dictator is money, the military-industrial-complex. ..."
"... This Democratic voters resentment against all this blame Russia nonsense is going to annihilate any chances the party of the people will have had to capturing the majority of seats in our governments congress, not to mention regaining the office of the presidency. ..."
"... It does not make an iota of difference which party is in power. The party of the People was in power, when Obama took office. Look what happened. They started more wars, finished off Libya as a Nation, started the destruction of Syria, started extermination in Yemen . . . . Obama set up more U.S. bases in Africa – the land of his ancestors to bring them back under control. And don't forget the Drone Wars of Obama. ..."
"... All this Russia Gate mess was started by Obama, and largely fueled by The Party of the People. If they come to power, they are going to double up on it. Dont we watch the likes of Adam Schiff On TV every day spitting out their lies and and hatred towards Russia! The party of Bill and Hillary are clamoring for more action – like setting up no Fly Zones – in Syria. They want to subjugate Russia. ..."
"... Mike K. in his post yesterday under Rise of New McCarthyism had this link to an interesting article on the Neocons. ..."
Sep 30, 2017 | consortiumnews.com

SteveK9 , September 28, 2017 at 5:30 pm

At some point, you would like to believe that this stuff is so over the top, it would be self-defeating. Are there any accurate polls of what the general public thinks of all this? If it weren't for the threat of a thermonuclear Armageddon, it would only mean more resources wasted on the war party and less for social security, etc. Russia is not going anywhere, and I believe is beyond our ability to harm it, unless said nuclear holocaust ensues. Our attempts to isolate Russia are doomed to fail.

Sam F , September 28, 2017 at 9:41 pm

Yes, the charade is doomed to fail to persuade, let alone hurt Russia, but will succeed in creating the foreign monster needed by tyrants to demand domestic power. In our modern witch hunts we all know that there are no witches – the whole performance is a declaration of tyranny over public information, a statement to the common man that he must follow his master the mass media, he must avow that he is the slave of the rich, and pretend that the declared enemy is his own. He must praise the flag betrayed by his masters the oligarchy.

hatedbyu , September 29, 2017 at 11:08 am

Is it possible that the left is being played? Is it possible that the media who almost exclusively report what the establishment wants are being told to report BS? Is it disinfo campaign aimed at ruining the lefts chances of coming back to power? I know the public can easily be made to have their collective heads explode over anything but are journalists that brainwashed too? I'm starting to see a birther parallel here. ouch. Is that ironic or what?

Abe , September 29, 2017 at 11:26 pm

During a discussion with The Nation concerning the documentary series The Putin Interviews, first broadcast in June 2017, Academy Award winning film producer Oliver Stone addressed the hacking allegations and questions of influence on the American election:

The influence on the election from the Russians to me is absurd to the naked eye. Israel has far more influence on American elections through AIPAC. Saudi Arabia has influence through money Sheldon Adelson and the Koch brothers have much more influence on American elections And the prime minister of Israel comes to our country and addresses Congress to criticize the presidents policy in Iran at the time – thats pretty outrageous.

Our country is very much in the grip of a dictator: The dictator is money, the military-industrial-complex. Its beyond absurd to have this kind of expenditure every year on military.

https://www.thenation.com/article/oliver-stone-talks-to-the-nation-about-his-new-documentary-the-putin-interviews/

Joe Tedesky , September 28, 2017 at 5:36 pm

If there is any comfort to be found in any of this, all this blaming Russia on everything and anything is getting all to outrageous as each day goes by. In other words the MSM overkill on this Russia-Gate silliness, is losing its credibility, with all this nonsense and coverage saying so.

eole , September 29, 2017 at 6:34 am

I wish you were right. Unfortunately, here in Europe, there are still a lot of countries which blindly follow whatever the USA think or do, particularly with NATO which would so like to step by mistake of course across the Baltic and Polish borders.

I must say that I admire the strength of Putins nerves. How long will it last? Also there are elections next year, and we can observe that Washington is arleady trying to plant seeds of revolution. I dont think it'll work. According to Xavier Moreau a French political observer living in Moscow, Putin enjoys a popularity that lots of foreign politicians would be envy!

Joe Tedesky , September 29, 2017 at 9:22 am

I wish eole, likeminded Europeans and us in the U.S. were to band together to protest, and petition, our governments to stop with all this warring madness. From the Donbass, to Deir Ezzor, and all the way across the globe to Seoul Korea, we the people for peace should stand arm and arm to defy this ugly monster whos only goal is to marginalize us citizens with their ultimate military strength towards having their ownership over all of the worlds precious natural resources. All this to make a few bankers rich. Joe

mike k , September 28, 2017 at 5:46 pm

Money controls everything. ETHICS DOESNT STAND A CHANCE IN COMPETITION WITH MONEY. $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ WELCOME TO THE WONDERLAND OF Capitalism, where you can have anything you want, if only you have the MOOLA! Souls for sale here – CHEAP!
Just sign here in blood, and have we got a deal for you….

Leslie F , September 28, 2017 at 7:51 pm

The only poll I know about was an internal Democratic Party poll showing that rank and file Democrats resented the incessant Russia did it mantra as not responsive to their concerns. I don't remember whether people believed it or not but they definitely through it was getting too much attention from Democratic leaders at the expense of more important issues.

Joe Tedesky , September 28, 2017 at 9:23 pm

This Democratic voters resentment against all this blame Russia nonsense is going to annihilate any chances the party of the people will have had to capturing the majority of seats in our governments congress, not to mention regaining the office of the presidency. It will serve the Democrates well, for allowing themselves for being used as a tool for the Shadow Government.

Dave P. , September 29, 2017 at 4:07 am

Joe – This Democratic voters resentment against all this blame Russia nonsense is going to annihilate any chances the party of the people will have had to capturing the majority of seats in our governments congress, not to mention regaining the office of the presidency.

It does not make an iota of difference which party is in power. The party of the People was in power, when Obama took office. Look what happened. They started more wars, finished off Libya as a Nation, started the destruction of Syria, started extermination in Yemen . . . . Obama set up more U.S. bases in Africa – the land of his ancestors to bring them back under control. And don't forget the Drone Wars of Obama.

All this Russia Gate mess was started by Obama, and largely fueled by The Party of the People. If they come to power, they are going to double up on it. Dont we watch the likes of Adam Schiff On TV every day spitting out their lies and and hatred towards Russia! The party of Bill and Hillary are clamoring for more action – like setting up no Fly Zones – in Syria. They want to subjugate Russia.

The way the things are in the country, of all the bad options available, Trump probably is the best to have – he can not make the case for more wars effectively, like the slick politician Obama did.

Mike K. in his post yesterday under Rise of New McCarthyism had this link to an interesting article on the Neocons.

http://www.voltairenet.org/article178638.html

Joe Tedesky , September 29, 2017 at 9:40 am

Dave you are right. The reason I mentioned the Democrates was because they were the last party that I can recall who did once stand for the we the people. My memory also can recall how even when at their best the Democrates weren't all that great to living up to their overrated motto. So what I was referring too in many ways doesnt exist, and some would say never did. These presidents we all find fault with, in my mind are only front people for our Shadow Government (look up YouTube of Kevin Shipp). In fact watching Trump turn over his staff, and his redo of his campaign promises, is like seeing the Shadow Government take over in real time. You and I Dave are most definitely living inside of the matrix. Thanks Dave for moving this conversation along in the right direction. Joe

Dave P. , September 29, 2017 at 11:53 am

Yes Joe. There was lot of good in that old Democratic Party of the 1960s and 70s – my wife and I took part in the McGoverns campaign. And in those days, in old main street type conservative Republicans, I found lot of good too. In fact, when I came to this country during mid 1960s, the city council of Ann Arbor was Republican, and they were good people. And now the city council of Ann Arbor is in Democratic Party hands – all Hillary supporters, and Russia bashers too.

I wonder what they are teaching in these schools now. This is what this very effective propaganda machine of this new age Edward Bernays is doing to the young minds and to the public at large.

Joe Tedesky , September 29, 2017 at 12:24 pm

Dave you bring up the 1972 McGovern presidential run, and the way that all went down. I quit voting after that all took a turn for the worst, and for the following next twenty years I stayed away from the voting booth. That no doubt wasnt a smart way of dealing with my disappointment, but at that time I thought it appropriate because I could see then that I didnt necessarily agree with the majority of my fellow countrymen and woman. No big deal, I just did what needed done to get my family food on the table. To be honest Dave, I still dont know why I vote. Although you are right the Democrates arent in anyway much better than the Republicans, and with that we all suffer. Joe

Laninya , September 28, 2017 at 5:57 pm

Quote: And right now, tens of millions of dollars are flowing to non-governmental organizations if they will buttress the thesis of Russian meddling in the U.S. democratic process no matter how sloppy the research or how absurd the findings.

Ha!ha! You know whats funny about this? Its that all the money poured into the NGOs in Russia in the past quarter century that was intended to, not just meddle in, but to shape the Russian political, social, and economic realities has, under Putins wise and delicate rule, been squeezed into an ineffectual state of presence. And because their attempts on the ground in real life have failed over there, a theatrical inversion of reality has to be created over here.

Ah!ha!ha! This is SUCH an amazing movie. And, better when wearing 3-D glasses! Cant wait to see how it ends.

Joe Tedesky , September 28, 2017 at 6:19 pm

Your right, Putin seems to out smart these clever American instigators every step of the way. I will now take a knee for injustices committed against Blacks, and Native-Americans (remember Dakota Access), and stay down on my knee a little while longer with the hope that my beloved USA may come to its senses, and that my country will finally wise up.

laninya , September 29, 2017 at 12:44 am

Joe,

I appreciate your taking a knee for injustices committed against certain of those who share this continent with us English-speaking peoples (who seem to have have claimed it as our own), as I have long appreciated the tone and substance of your comments on this site.

So, Im gonna quibble (in a friendly way) with you on the idea that Putin out smarts American instigators at every step. Ive been spying on that guy for about three years, now, and Id say its just that hes playing a different game. One the American players dont understand, and dont believe even exists or maybe theyve heard rumours of such a game, but they think its mythical.

See: our people -- yours and mine: your beloved USA and my Canada, heirs of the British Empire -- our people make war for fun and profit. Always have done. We rule the waves, and privateering is our game.

Putins people, on the other hand, have occupied the crossroads at the centre of the major overland trade routes (north-south as well as east-west) since ancient times, and, due to the geography and the demographics, have been fighting off invaders from all direction the whole time. Its a whole different game.

And, its a game VV Putin takes seriously, cause he has no other choice. After perestroika, after the Harvard boys [did] Russia ( ref: https://www.thenation.com/article/harvard-boys-do-russia/ ), that huge nation (11 time zones!) was on the brink of total collapse and dismemberment. For the stability, security and prosperity of (what was left of) his people and the 1000-year history of the nation, he just couldnt afford to make any mistakes or false steps.

For him and his team (Putin doesnt work alone by any stretch of the imagination), this isnt a pissing contest. Its the life of their nation.

Whole different game.

I hope our countries wise up, too. Were really blowing it.

Joe Tedesky , September 29, 2017 at 1:46 am

There are two things here I see as interesting, and possibly crucial, laninya.

One, is the U.S. and Canada by the standards of a countrys age are fairly young. In fact Russia got our countries beat by, probably would you say 4 fold? Anyway, our time at bat as being an Empire of somekind would even be shorter by the standards of empire time. So for America being stupid and young enough to be excused for at least this kind of uncontrolled blind patriotism we have seen of late in the U.S., added to the total absence of attentioned paid to all these American instigated wars, why us Americans are like distracted children in a playground, so our youth is our only plead. I could be wrong, but this collective mindset in our society here, makes me believe we need to do a lot of growing up in this nation, and the world will be happy to throw the U.S. a coming of age party if peace is the prize.

The second matter is, is that I agree that Russia by having a defense oriented military strategy is in better shape than like the U.S. having ourselves stretched out all over the global network we have wove. You see I dont trust big, and Im leery of to much technology as wellbut thats me. In fact, if a body existed like the UN who had some real juice were to laid down some enforceable laws, I would then hedge towards them making nations have their militaries situated more like the Russian Federation does.defensive. With the NFL in the news so much these days this Good Defense thinking should make sense to no matter who stands or kneels.

Lastly, the U.S. has already over spent itself on war, now the U.S. only needs to go on a frantic rampage of somekind.lets hope it just boils down to rhetorical saber rattlings, and the world laughs with us. Kim looks to be having a ball. I shouldnt have said that, but sometimes a little humor lightens the reality.oh its very American to laugh when we should be worried, but I digress..

Big isnt always better. You may look better in a $1,000. 00 suit than I do in my $10,000.00 suit, and oh by the way these clothes we have on are still suits.

Nice conversation laninya. Joe

Dave P. , September 29, 2017 at 4:19 am

Ianinya – An excellent analysis. Right on the mark. Putin is not a dictator as they malign him in the Media in The West. He is leading a team – very astute and shrewd team. For Russia it is an existential struggle – a fight they can not lose. They have been subjected to it during their entire History as you pointed out.

Americans – even our politicians and experts – do not have much understanding of other peoples history – they do not understand Russia.

laninya , September 29, 2017 at 12:48 pm

Dave,

Well, its interesting what a person can learn these days just sitting in a chair, poking at a few buttons on a keyboard. Never in the history of the world have ordinary people had so many resources at their disposal and so much information at their fingertips. Yet, your last sentence still seems accurate.

Why is that? In the US and Canada, we do have experts who are very knowledgable about other peoples history and culture, including Russias. But, for some reason or another, there are times when we just collectively choose to sideline and ignore them. In the US you have Stephen F. Cohen Jack Matlock, and Sharon Tennison, among others, who can speak intelligently about Russia. In Canada we have the voices of Patrick Armstrong, Paul Robinson, and the blogger Mark Chapman (The Kremlin Stooge). Armstrong and Robinson both come from a military background, both also publish easily accessible blogs.

I believe it was thanks to a commenter over at the Kremlin Stooge that I discovered a book, then newly available in English translation, titled Russia and Europe / The Slavic Worlds Political and Cultural Relations with the Gremanic-Roman West by Nikolai Danilevskii, originally published c.1868.

Let me show you a quote from that book. A hundred and fifty years ago, Danilevskii wrote this:
It is still in fashion among us to attribute everything to our unfamiliarity with Europe, and to its ignorance concerning Russia. Our press says nothing, at least until recently, but our enemies slander us. How would poor Europe learn the truth? It is shrouded in fog and befuddled. Risum teneatis, amici; or, as we say in Russian, it would make a chicken laugh, my friends. How could Europe -- which knows everything from the Sanskrit language to the Iroquois dialects, from the laws of motion of complex solar systems to the structures of microscopic organisms -- not know a thing about Russia? Such excuses -- ignorance, naivety, and gullibility, as if we are talking about an innocent schoolgirl -- are laughable coming from Europe, shrewd as a serpent.

Funny, eh?

Dave P. , September 29, 2017 at 8:37 pm

My comments have been in moderation for couple of hours, may be due to links to The Saker I put in. I am posting it again without the links.

laninya,

The last paragraph in your comments, quotation from Danilevsky is very interesting. Yes, you are right. There are quite a few people in academia and outside, like Stephen Cohen, Matlock, and others. Matlock has been trying to calm the waters with his appearances on RT, and a few other places, and also at the Valdai International discussion club forum. But these people have no power.

Just about all the power – finance, media, TV, entertainment industry, foreign policy, and to a large extent defense policy, in the U.S. is in the hands of the NeoCons, mostly Zionists, in complicity with Israel.

You wrote about the Harvard Boys doing all this financial engineering on Russia during 1990s under that charlatan Yeltsin, who was in U.S. hands. I really thought The West has finally finished Russia off – and that Russia can not recover in hundred years , as the media was proclaiming here. Putin and his team has resurrected Russia once again – it is almost a miracle. They – Russia – are not in good shape yet, but it seems like they can defend themselves.

As you wrote, Russia, being at the cross roads, has faced invasions, and dangers throughout its history – Genghis Khan, Tamerlane, under Tatar yoke for two centuries, nomads from the steppes and Central Asia, Turks from the South, and from Caucasus warrior tribes. From the West – Sweden, Poland, Lithuania, Germany, and France.

Russia has been under constant existential threat through out its history, and so is today under threat form U.S., and the rest of The West. Wests intervention in Syria for regime change, and then Iran as target is all aimed at Russia. Russia had no other recourse but help Syria against the Jihadis, armed and supported by The West.

But Syria still is not out of danger. There are some articles in the Saker today related to it and Kurdistan issue. In Syria , it seems like U.S., SDF, and ISIS are working in tandem to stop the advance of Syrian Army supported by Russia.

Laninya , September 30, 2017 at 12:15 am

Hey Dave,

Glad you tweaked to the Danilevskii quote. When I read it, I thought: wow! has time stood still?

Let me address what you said about power, though. You wrote:

But these people have no power. Just about all the power – finance, media, TV, entertainment industry, foreign policy, and to a large extent defense policy, in the U.S. is in the hands of the NeoCons, mostly Zionists, in complicity with Israel.

See, I dont go along with that cop out. The population at large has the power to make or break any of the entities listed above. If Neocons have power, its because people are buying what theyre selling. Stephen Cohen and Jack Matlock do not because few want to hear what they have to say right now.

As I said above, our Western economy was built on privateering. We know what butters our bread (plunder), yet we also want to present ourselves as being on the side of the angels. So we give power to the murders and thieves among us and then pretend were not responsible for what they do. I read that as being the shrewd as a serpent part of what Danilevskii was talking about.

As for the Saker, I frequent the Vineyard myself.

Thanks for the conversation.

Karl Sanchez , September 28, 2017 at 6:04 pm

Essentially, in other words, the CIAs having another recruiting drive to further undermine what little remains of honest, deeply investigative journalism within the Outlaw US Empire. The Big Black Hole gets dug deeper daily. The success of CIA brainwashing can be seen by the number of people denouncing those Taking a Knee.

MaDarby , September 28, 2017 at 7:56 pm

Clearly propaganda works. People rage against the empire and then swallow whole its fear mongering and demonizing of Russia ultimately siding with the Empire.

There are so many people journalists and persons loved by the left who have clearly now sided with the Empire big names who just cave in and say oh just one more election in our wonderful democracy please its pathetic. There is no such thing as democracy in an Empire.

Adrian Engler , September 29, 2017 at 9:14 am

what has been revealed by Republican government officials to be facts, like the intrusion of voting machines in 21 states

One should be very careful about such facts – much of it has been retracted, and usually the retraction receives much less attention than the original allegation. As far as Wisconsin is concerned, the allegations have already been retracted: https://www.apnews.com/10a0080e8fcb4908ae4a852e8c03194d Based on our external analysis, the WI IP address affected belongs to the WI Department of Workforce Development, not the Elections Commission, said the email from Juan Figueroa, with Homeland Securitys Office of Infrastructure Protection. So, while the attribution of the source of the probing to the Russian state is speculative, in the case of Wisconsin, the target was not even the elections commission, but the department of workforce development.

Of course, not everything has explicitly been retracted, but when we look at this pattern of allegations about Russia (like that they hacked the electric grid in Vermont) that are later retracted, that should rather lead people to be skeptical about all these allegations.

Constantine , September 29, 2017 at 1:44 pm

Your very mention of hacked e-mails reveals your extreme bias on the issue. In your view, it would be impossible to expect one or more individuals with integrity in the IT department of the DNC being horrified by the revelations and the dealings these revealed about the pre-selected candidate Clinton. Some people may have been genuinely outraged by the attempt of the DNC establishment hacks to undermine Sanders in violation of the partys own rules and proceed to leak this sensitive info to Wikileaks. But for people like you it had to be Russia.

If anything, the pitiful arguments and non-facts used to promote the fake Russia-gate scandal further reinforce the certainty that this was concocted to attack Trumps presidency. And what people like you fail to understand is that had a leftist candidate won the elections, one who would be sincerely interested to change the course of the US in numerous aspects of domestic and foreign policy, such an individual would face the same implacable hostility by the neoliberal establishment.

And it is the servile mentality of a large number of the US/western citizenry – to which part you obviously belong – that allows the same people who have spewing lies and fantastic narratives that serve the countrys corporate oligarchy to get away again and again and proceed to do so in every occasion it is required of them. There are no consequences for deliberately spreading falsehoods and it always works.

As for the threat of an armageddon, if you honestly believe that penalizing diplomacy with Russia (a fantastic achievement that was not seen during the Cold War) doesnt carry any dangers, you have an extremely limited perception of international politics.

Rob Roy , September 29, 2017 at 2:57 pm

Mr. Goldman, your comments on this site are entertaining and obfuscating at once. You say, as though speaking truth, …it did appear that the hacked e-mails and Trumps closing arguments in the election, were coordinated. What hacked emails? There were no hacked emails, though, like you, newspapers repeat that phrase to establish it as a given in peoples minds, cementing the propaganda at which point it is no longer questioned. Seeit worked with you. Hacking and leaking are entirely different processes. The emails were LEAKED from the DNC to Julian Assange/Wikileaks. Period. Provable. Fact. Ground zero is the leaked emailsproving Hilary wanted to discredit Sanders as an opponent, move forward on war with Iran and Russia (both would be as illegal as all our other wars in the past 70 years), strengthen her connections with the banking world, and become president. Since you say you want facts to prevail, let them.

Zachary Smith , September 28, 2017 at 7:15 pm

To say there is no proof of mischief is a conclusion that defies logic and fact. Firstly we have every right to investigate this issue, and secondly Trump operatives and Russian behavior created this investigation, not the other way around, and the evidence appears to be growing.

I think this person is a True Believer in what is the logical extension of the Cheney Doctrine. <and here I've been saying that the BushBots were all gone!) From the wiki:

If theres a 1% chance that Pakistani scientists are helping al-Qaeda build or develop a nuclear weapon, we have to treat it as a certainty in terms of our response. Its not about our analysis Its about our response.

In other words, the Bushies were going to do what they damned well pleased. Fast Forward to 2017. From the essay above:

The Times article also might have mentioned that Twitter has 974 million accounts. So, this alarm over 600 accounts is a bit disproportionate for a front-page story in the Times, dont you think?

As Mr. Golden says, it defies logic not to treat this as a genuine Threat To American Democracy. Approximately 1/10,000th of 1% of Twitter accounts are in on this scheme – Mr. Parry is clearly being a contrary stick-in-the-mud for denying evidence which is perfectly obvious to the most casual observer.

Seer , September 29, 2017 at 8:29 am

Do you type with a straight face? From your previous post: Trump operatives and Russian behavior created this investigation

anon , September 28, 2017 at 7:35 pm

More propaganda from the zionist scammer Golden:
1. The professional investigators did any usable internet tracing in 2016: routers do not have second thoughts; the investigators made serious and amateurish mistakes and false statements recently;
2. An abundance of caution was allowed in 2016 and is propaganda now;
3. It is absurd to say that statements of the lack of evidence defy logic and fact and then be unable to cite a single bit of evidence;
4. More zionist lies pretending that the US Mideast policy is not dictated by Israeli bribes;
5. More zionist lies that Russia and the US have conflicting, geo-political interests in the Middle East, that have nothing to do with Israel
6. Spare us the fantasy and stick to the facts or go preach to your zionist paymasters.

D5-5 , September 28, 2017 at 6:27 pm

right track wrong track polling with current sept figures

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/mood_of_america/right_direction_wrong_track_25

right track wrong track polling shows similar to above a year ago

https://realclearpolitics.com/epolls/other/direction_of_country-902.html

D5-5 , September 28, 2017 at 6:42 pm

Right track wrong track polling, links now waiting moderation, show in the 60 percentiles America on the wrong track in successive years. In pursuing this type of polling I find in similar sources, consistent over the past year, discontent with the government spending time on the Russia conspiracy instead of getting after health care and other issues considered more important. I also find 84% currently support the NFL athletes right to protest, but only 39% think taking a knee is acceptable. Also found a somewhat amusing reference to the Lingerie Football League, which Id never heard of, females playing football in skimpy outfits, and this (should I say body) states that the flag is too sacred to be protested. Well, the Russkies didnt get to these lingerie football players yet, I am relieved to report.

I found results in duck duck go under right track wrong track polling and do Americans believe in Russia-gate and do Americans support NFL players protesting.

Robert Golden , September 28, 2017 at 7:38 pm

I think 12% of Americans favored the R health care plan. They have spent 9 months on it, and havent given up. Two years pitching Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi as a complete fabrication, so what is your point again? Further, check your data on the Russian investigation again. I dont know anyone who doesnt support the investigation and Rachael Maddow is now #1 on cable news (from 3rd), and thats all she talks about.

D5-5 , September 28, 2017 at 8:12 pm

This comment appears to be typical of your thinking, Robert, and Im sorry to say it does no credit. You have taken what I said and twisted it. According to poll reports I was looking at earlier, and some of these are now waiting moderation 65% of Americans felt the emphasis on Russia-gate overdone and want the government to spend time on more important matters, such as health care, which you dismiss here as outright incorrect. In your previous reply to me you revealed what your certainty about fact rests on: in your own words that is hunch. Well, hunch wont do it for the critical thinking youre calling for, Robert, which I respectfully suggest you do more of. Your cred here is pretty low at the moment. I mean no malice by saying so.

Rob Roy , September 29, 2017 at 3:35 pm

R. Golden, Here are some facts: Healthcare for all citizens in this country would be half the cost for twice the care. Period. Read T.R. Reids book, investigating other countries with free health care for all. It is amusing that Fidel Castro once pointed out the Cuban education and health care systems compared to the US.
All citizens want healthcare for all, except those few who are made wealthy keeping the status quo (pharmaceuticals, insurance companies, those doctors in the AMA who are paid off for supporting certain markets in the medical fields and encouraging use of certain drugs, and paid-off politicians who lobby for these thieves and get funding for their elections). Why should those handful of money hungry men control our health system? You may be interested to learn that the people in the medical field who actually care about patients, the vast majority, want Medicare from birth forward.

Rob Roy , September 29, 2017 at 3:51 pm

R. Golden, Rachael Maddow has lost her creditability with her rants about Russia and pro-militarism, neither stance defendable. If shes now ranked 3rd, that is indicative of the low level of intelligence and critical thinking in the country. After all, Russia/Putin is innocent until proven otherwise (not by guesses, hunches, innuendos, suggestions, quotes by unnamed officials, and outright lies). After all, ALL our wars since WWII have been illegal and against international law, and are engaged with false flags. Should we support soldiers who are sent into battle to murder innocent civilians in sovereign lands? No. That would be insanity.

WC , September 28, 2017 at 6:53 pm

Bad enough on my safe space that I have Paul Craig Roberts harping on these same issues, now Parry joins the fray. I need to be reassured that there is no profit in a nuclear wasteland and even political sociopaths and the bankers that own them have an instinct for survival. In the back of my head I keep hearing George C. Scotts character in Strangelove saying, http://www.imdb.com/character/ch0003295/quotes

floyd gardner , September 28, 2017 at 8:26 pm

WaterCloset, a courtesy flush please?

WC , September 29, 2017 at 1:55 pm

Good one. :) But you cant flush the level of BS that has been fed to the public over the past number of years. Thats why Trump the plumber was elected, to drain the swamp etc.

So now what happens? 20+ trillion in debt with 100+ trillion in unfunded liabilities, let alone off-shoring all those jobs is a fairly good indicator the shit is backed up to the ceiling. If we are to believe Trump actually makes any decisions, what are his choices? QE4? Austerity to piss people off even more? Or start another war someplace to take peoples minds off the collapsing economy?

To quote Bachman Turner Overdrive – You Aint Seen Nothing Yet.

Danny Weil , September 28, 2017 at 7:17 pm

America is stumbling into a diystopic future with a clueless public and a corporate fascist government.

Zachary Smith , September 28, 2017 at 7:30 pm

The motivation of the neocon NYT is worth speculating about. Yes, they've been wanting to smash Muslim nations for israel for ages. What other possible motives might there be?

Why are these billionaires doubling down on Israeli Investments?

What do Bill Gates, Carlos Slim Helu, Mark Cuban, Donald Trump, and Warren Buffett all have in common?

Speculation – it might be as simple as money. Remember, Israel OWNS the US Congress, and has managed to put the fear of God into every last one of them. This unprecedented influence could easily be translated into some enormous financial benefits for those Rich Guys who suck up in the proper and approved manner. It would be as simple as slipping in some innocent-looking phrases into some of the boring legislation hardly anybody reads. You can bet that it would pass, and you can also bet that the Corporate Media will keep their yaps shut about it.

So thats another theory – plain and simple corruption midwifed by the thieving and murdering little shithole of an apartheid nation.

Zachary Smith , September 28, 2017 at 7:31 pm

http://blog.ourcrowd.com/why-are-these-billionaires-doubling-down-on-israeli-investments/

Zachary Smith , September 28, 2017 at 7:34 pm

I seem to have forgotten to mention that Carlos Slim is supposed to be a major stockholder of the neocon NYT.

Robert Golden , September 28, 2017 at 7:48 pm

Please do some reading. Your first stop should be the Koch Bros who own the largest track of Canadian Tar Sands, and are potentially going to be twice as rich, after Trump approved the Keystone Pipeline, from Canada through the middle of America all the way to the flooded and toxic plains, to Houston (final destination Asia). Youll find they already own most of the global warming denying Congress (not Israel), and their next extraction site will probably be the Grand Canyon. After you have read up on the Kochs, check out the Mercers.

Zachary Smith , September 28, 2017 at 8:24 pm

koch Bros
Canadian Tar Sands
Keystone Pipeline

Mercers

The connection of these places and people to the BS peddling by the NYT isnt entirely clear to me.

Brad Owen , September 29, 2017 at 9:21 am

The connection is that this modern Roman Empire is very big: the inheritors of the Roman Empire (France, Britain, Netherlands, Belgium, and so on) have been wanting to smash Muslim Empires for 1500 years, having lost their M.E. and N. African Provinces to them. Since the Zion project was hatched by Cecil Rhodes RoundTable Group in the19th century, the Israel Project is a project of the British Province of the modern Roman Empire, which ALSO commands considerable influence in its Western Provinces Canada and USA, hence: Koch Bros.,Canadian Tar Sands, Keystone Pipeline, Mercers. Of course Im talking about the integrated community of 1%er Oligarchs, NOT The People of these Provinces. Corbyn and Sanders (and whoever the Canadian and Israeli equivalents would be) can throw a gigantic Monkey Wrench into these imperial shenanigans

Brad Owen , September 29, 2017 at 9:26 am

Israel is a way of continuing the smashing process of Muslim Empires by the modern Roman Empire, and I forgot to say that Germany is also a very big part of the modern Roman Empire, which carried the name Holy Roman Empire up to Napoleonic times (which, BTW, ole Nappie himself became their model for a modern Fascist Roman Emperor, as his Generals and extremely regressive factions within the Catholic Church hatched the Synarchy Internationale Project mid-19th century).

hatedbyu , September 29, 2017 at 11:59 am

ok, you brought it up, so i will run with it..

bringing it around full circle.

modern roman empire. yes. agreement . but

only british monarchy. with allies, not partners. why is this important? if one looks at the history of the royal institute for international affairs, one can see that the crown had to figure out how to maintain control of their assets. fast forward to the american branch. its called the council on foreign relations. the number of members in our government over years and years is staggering. just keep that in mind.

there is ample evidence of british involvement in the us war of northern aggression. and not just because they traded with the south. did you know that the monarchys cousins, the russian crown, sent warships to california in defense of the union?

its my opinion that this act is what sealed the fate of the romanovs in 1917. payback. for whatever reason the british crown holds grudges. im irish. not sure what my ancestors did to piss them off but they havent let off on our people in a thousand years…

this anti russia thing started before obama although it was not as overt.

the orange color revolution happened in (wait for it….) ukraine under bush. and while not reported as a cia supported venture, i think we know what happened.

does anyone remember 8/8/08? opening day of the olympics in china. but a mini war was started in south ossetia. american media initially reported that russians had attacked un soldiers there.

the present anti russian hysteria started when putin checkmated the neo libs/neo cons when their attempt to destabilize syria failed. thats when i observed the overt media attacks begin.

funny thing. i have actually been to russia and ukraine. in 1979. it was the first time in my life that i had been outside of the usa. the government propaganda of the previous 60 years had made me think of all russians as evil bond villians. it was eye opening to finally meet real russians. understand they were just people like me. i was 16 and it was the first time i had the blinders lifted. a real learning moment.

so, i guess that makes me guilty of collusion. sorry to you hillary supporters.

Brad Owen , September 29, 2017 at 2:21 pm

Yes, hated, I agree with you on all points. Czar Alexander II was killed (he was Lincolns Ally against British and French plans to join battle with Davis against Lincoln. Lincoln was killed for the Greenback maneuver around British monetary control (a Venetian style of Empire via monetary control & manipulation). Lincolns war of agression was a war against the superpower British Empire and its puppet the Confederacy (Planter Oligarchs), Wall Street assets (J.P. Morgan & Co., money handlers for the Planters), and the Essex Country Junto (New England Blue Bloods in shipping for the Empires slave and Opium trade). The Planter oligarchy was crushed. The Wall Streeters lived on (Essex County Junto bluebloods tooour Axis of Evil against the Republic, and Independence from Empire). Lincolns GreenBacks was a typical example of the American Credit System of Political Economy (control of economy by a Sovereign Nation-States Government in the hands of We The People via House of Representatives, a deadly threat to the British-Style of Empire via a Venetian Monetary System manipulated & controlled by oligarchs. Russia always supported USA Revolution as a counter-balance to British Empire designs on Russia (enemy of my enemy is my friend),(and French Empire and Ottoman Empire too, as evidenced by Crimean War 1856).

Brad Owen , September 29, 2017 at 2:25 pm

British Crown is Princeps? (First among Equals)

Brad Owen , September 29, 2017 at 4:15 pm

Im of Welsh-Irish ancestry (Irish on my mothers side). Her grand father came over as a stow-a-way to flee the potato famine (neo liberal economics at its purestancestor of TINA Thatcherism and austerities, deficits, balanced budgets and suchlike wicked gaming with peoples lives (but Banks and MIIC are too big to fail of course). Lincoln would have just GreenBacked his way out of Depression and imminent economic collapse (a Credit System recognizing it is LABOR upon raw materials that is the SOURCE of ALL wealth, NOT Venetian Fondi in an oligarchs off-shore piggy bank). The grudge against the Celtic Fringe (Welsh and Scotts too) comes from the fact that we were on the the Islands first, by many Centuries before the Angels, Saxons, Jutes, Frisians showed up. This is just flawed human nature in action. I suppose the Picts can claim the same grievance against us Celts; American Indians too. The enemy is Oligarchy. It s class warfare, not Tribal warfare, and THEY are masters at divide-to-conquer, seeking out all useful flaws and weaknesses.

Nancy Gillard-Bartels , September 28, 2017 at 7:37 pm

As the rest of the world also sees the US fabrications, American may one day find itself under fire from many directions. No one likes a dirty player.

Louise , September 28, 2017 at 7:47 pm

While it may appear to become a nuisance after more than a year, it may also become very dangerous. It could be a serious effort to get the populace to condone an illegal war in Syria involving Russia. People dont pay much attention to Assad and the Syrians, but the Russians are already complaining about US forces working with ISIS. If those reports are true the plausible deniability will work if the people are preconditioned to disbelieve whatever comes from the Kremlin.

Common Tater , September 28, 2017 at 8:43 pm

Washington accuses others of nefarious tactics it employs itself. Now Washington accuses the Syrian Arab Army of colluding with the wahabist militants bent on genocide in Syria. This accusation alone informs the audience that Washington is in collusion with the wahabist militant gangs operating across the globe.
In the link you will see how the SDF seems to cut through wahabist gang territory like a hot knife through butter. Easily securing the region north of Deir es-Zor, and are currently cutting west across the desert as fast as those ubiquitous toyota trucks can carry them without showing any evidence of fighting, according to Russian surveillance.

Eva , September 28, 2017 at 8:32 pm

Slimy business has been going on too long….To anyone with an open ear, the door closes on 9/30/2017…

Sam F , September 29, 2017 at 7:18 am

Which door closes and why then? Q3 financials?

Gary Severson , September 28, 2017 at 9:14 pm

Russia is all about protecting its buffer zone & rightly so. The West plays the Great Game while an unwitting public buys the rationale for standing up to Russia, China, Iran etc. Why wouldnt the Russians use the Trump admin to shore up its borders to protect them from NATO expansion? Trump is surely engaged in laundering the Russian oligarchs money. How else could it be after the US did everyting it could to cause the collapse of the Soviet Union & let it be taken over by industries privatized by Yeltzin as a schill for America. As Putin has pointed out, the collapse of the SU was the worst thing that happened in the 20th cent.

Adrian Engler , September 29, 2017 at 10:17 am

As far as I know, Putin did not say that the collapse of the Soviet Union was the worst thing that happened (to Russia?) in the 20th century. That would hardly be plausible – even if the 90es were very bad for Russia, the Holocaust and Nazi Germanys attack on the Soviet Union with about 20 million Soviet victims was almost certainly worse. Also the crimes of Stalinism are certainly on a larger scale than the collapse of the Soviet Union.

What Putin said was: Above all, we should acknowledge that the collapse of the Soviet Union was a major geopolitical disaster of the century. As for the Russian nation, it became a genuine drama. Tens of millions of our co-citizens and co-patriots found themselves outside Russian territory. Moreover, the epidemic of disintegration infected Russia itself.

a major geopolitical disaster of the century does not necessaily mean the greatest geopolitical disaster of the century

As with some other statements (for example the canard that Putin allegedly praised Trump as a genius in December 2015), the basis of the claim is a translation problem. This question is discussed here: https://politics.stackexchange.com/questions/10457/what-is-the-basis-for-putin-describing-the-collapse-of-the-soviet-union-as-the/10549 Putin used a superlative form krupneyshaya. The meaning of this form is similar to the Italian grandissima and means very big. But it does not necessarily mean the biggest, although it could in some contexts.

hatedbyu , September 29, 2017 at 12:06 pm

i like your comment. well researched.

Constantine , September 29, 2017 at 2:02 pm

The crimes of Stalin did not leave the country – USSR or Russia – a moribund state. The population was increasing in the end of the 30s and the country was an industrialized power that could not be easily threatened by other forces, short of being hit by the most powerful army in the world (which is what happened). Russia by the late 90s was a post-apocalyptic gangland with a fast decreasing population and a swiftly unraveling state and society. That was a product of the collapse of the USSR and the ensuing neoliberal shock treatment.

Since the countrys descent into the abyss was stopped by Putin & Co, it goes without saying that this was the cause of the recent outburst of Putinophobia.

Lois Gagnon , September 28, 2017 at 9:39 pm

It all reeks of desperation on the part of the Empires power trippers. They know in the back of their minds that their criminal racket is faltering. Russiagate is the duct tape holding the house of cards together. At least until they can finish looting every last drop of profit from as many colonies (including this one) as they can.

Joe Tedesky , September 29, 2017 at 9:52 am

Well put.

aletho , September 28, 2017 at 10:26 pm

Sorry to say, the same phenomenon has been at work in climate science for quite some time.

Apparently its all about providing fodder for propaganda outlets and requiring conformity on the part of the white collar set.

Whether or not its convincing to the masses is not an issue.

Russiagate will be easier to fudge over the long term, and short of an upset in the power structure may prevail for some decades until revision finally takes place.

Hide Behind , September 28, 2017 at 11:46 pm

The original inveztigation was begun by a man since fired, N. Y. STAtes attorney General, and it had to do nothing at all about election interference by Russia proper,:It was about Trumps illegally laundering Russian Oligarchs stolen funds from Russia.
Trail led to and thru AGI bank of Germany and off shore banking in Bahamas. Same facilitys Clinton Foundation uses.
This got into a cluster fu.. when Feds and Congress intervened. As the Investigation also uncovered many a counts to politicly connected elected and appointed officials who like as Russia showed Mc Cains letters Doing for contributions from high ranking Russians during his run for Prez.
Same formula as used clear back to Arizona 5s embezzlement of Fed HUD and FHA funds and
original Clintons when in Arkansas of same embezzlement that got sidetracked into a Lie about a BJ in white house by girl.
Smoke and mirrors have hid many many a prominent and financial miscreants deeds in US.
Yet the brain washed still a t as if they live in a
Democracy, And like Little Ikemens salute the flag and let children never learn difference of indoctrinated Nationalism from Ideals of
patriotism.
Dumb As Rocks Spout, Support The Troop, But Not The War, As the volunteer troop slaughter hundreds of thousands and displace millions.
into eternal poverty by just following orders.
Go watch your military recruitment indoctrination and show your loyalty to permanent warfare as millions of Americans suffer from your as S ki

Hide Behind , September 29, 2017 at 1:47 am

I would like to recommend George Orwells collection of essays, All art is propaganda, it is not so much of a heavy read as it is time consuming as so many essays when finished invade ones mind that one pauses to assimilate and judge the content fully before beginning next.
As for slime:
It is said that government began in Mespotamia and it was quite a model for each following social order; That is until the Greeks invented politics and since them chaos reigns.
Politics defy treason and logic as well as natural physical laws.
For unlike in natures scheme of things pond slime sinks to the bottom. Whereas in politics the slime raises to the top.
Not of Orwell s caliber of writing, just my own observation of USA politi Al system.

Realist , September 29, 2017 at 2:53 am

This Spanish Inquisition being run by the Congress is getting to the point of absurdity. They ought to be prosecuted for trying to deliberately deceive the public, and simply for insulting the intelligence of everyone on the planet earth.

RT reports the following, they are usually spot on accurate with their reporting since Washington is always trying to debunk them:

Earlier this month, Facebook said that it had identified up to $150,000 in advertising, purchased between June 2015 and May 2017, that was connected to roughly 470 inauthentic accounts and pages that were likely operated out of Russia, Chief Security Officer Alex Stamos wrote. Stamos admitted that the vast majority of ads run by these accounts had nothing to do with the election, voting, or a particular candidate.

Google said it had failed to unearth any facts that would implicate Moscow in exploiting advertising to manipulate the election. Were always monitoring for abuse or violations of our policies and weve seen no evidence this type of ad campaign was run on our platforms, Google said last week, according to Reuters.

During the 2016 election, Twitter said they deleted thousands of tweets and accounts that attempted to suppress or otherwise interfere with the exercise of voting rights, including the right to have a vote counted, by circulating intentionally misleading information. This included tweets that told users they could cast their ballots by text or tweet, which is not true. Twitter also said that they shared the content of deleted tweets with investigators on Thursday. The company however noted that they did not find any of those accounts had obvious Russian origin. All these things were presented before Congress on Thursday.

So, Facebook, Google and Twitter all provide scant evidence, if any, that Russia or Russians directed any disinformation at the American voter to try to sabotage our democracy. If anything of the sort got through, it was certainly like a single tear drop in the deluge of mud-slinging that the American candidates and their two parties constantly cast at one another. Any sane person would realise nothing consequential was or really could be attempted against that torrent of genuine American-made bullcrap, so there was zero motive to do so, and we know that Putin is no fool to waste his time or resources. Yet, Adam Schiff presents his hideous visage, peanut brain and deceptive words on American network television yesterday and claims that its certain fact that the Russian government sabotaged our election by purchasing ads on Facebook and tweeting mean things about Hillary Clinton on Twitter. For good measure, he says Russia is also guilty of stirring up the whole Black lives matter campaign and the bruhaha about taking a knee during the national anthem played at sporting events. They wouldnt try making this stuff up even in Alices Wonderland. It would fail to get a laugh in the Onion, even on April 1st. These people are a national embarrassment for being so blatantly and shamelessly dishonest. These are the same knuckleheads who thought Baghdad Bob was the propaganda parody to end them all, and theyve gone him one better far better.

I eagerly hope to see examples of the handful of ads and tweets that the conspiracy freaks in the Congress have made the centerpiece of their case against Russia. But if they are nothing more than blurbs advertising their media productions (like watch Larry King, Ed Schultz or Tom Hartmann), I doubt we will ever will. Or, maybe they said something extremely provocative like watch RT and evaluate the facts for yourself. Wow, that would be tantamount to an act of war (in the minds of neocons), but still not enough to warrant a viewing by the American public which still might harbor some sane individuals.

GMC , September 29, 2017 at 3:50 am

Trust me – as an Amerikanska in Russia – I think some Russians are hating me when they hear me speak some English while from the other side –America – I no longer get e-mails from -- Anyone. I understand where the Russians are coming from because I see the demonization of their country coming from the Americans and their axis, but to see the Americans get sooo programmed in propaganda that they cant even listen to someone theyve known for decades -- is pretty disgusting , especially when some of them are/ used to be – rather intelligent. Spacibo Mr. Parry and commenters.

mike k , September 29, 2017 at 6:51 am

Why Americans ever put any stock in the self-serving propaganda put out by the wealthy owners of the major media is a mystery, until you consider all the false ideas about America that have already been shoveled into their heads by their long public education brainwashing and numbing experience. The basic idea promoted by our culture is just shut up and accept whatever garbage you are told, and you will get along fine (conform). Start asking a lot of challenging questions, and you are in for a lot of trouble. I know this from personal experience, I was always in a lot of trouble with the self-satisfied authorities in my life, including my parents and teachers. I am forever grateful that I stubbornly persisted in questioning authority, in spite of all the difficulties it has caused me.

mike k , September 29, 2017 at 7:03 am

The football players who are taking a knee during the playing of the national anthem, are experiencing the fury of those who clutch their societal group-think like a precious security blanket. Our public opinion manipulator in chief D. Trump is making it clear why it was said that patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels. Score one propaganda ploy for the scoundrel in chief.

Joe Tedesky , September 29, 2017 at 9:59 am

Yes all this nonsense while at the same time, once again I might add, the 1st Amendment takes a backseat to Private Ownership.now stand up damn it.

Sam F , September 29, 2017 at 10:19 am

Yes, the groupthink of mass media is accepted by most for personal security.
Mass media tell them the oligarchy line as what other people think so they dare not disagree.
Mass media say that all are unethical so why pay a price to be good citizens.
But it is very significant that the football players refused to display nationalism.

D5-5 , September 29, 2017 at 12:12 pm

It is also significant in signaling automatic (pavlovian) behavior, no questions asked, and right in line with my country right or wrong and blind obedience, attitudes historically is associated with autocracy and repression. I have yet to see any commentary on what the flag means, or possible contexts of meaning, including that it stands for the current governing system, as well as for historical considerations. Sorry to harp on this, but the scantily dressed females of the Lingerie Football League in stating the flag is too sacred evidently found no inconsistency in their salutes with serious faces while scantily clad. This seems to me akin to going to church in a bikini and somehow contradictory to sacred. But sacred in itself hearkens back to the 1690s and the Salem witch trials before separation of church and state became understood as more rational. Any kind of worship can be taken too far into mindlessness, which is contradictory to the ideals this country was founded on in terms of equality and the first amendment. Beware of the scoundrels indeed.

Lee , September 29, 2017 at 6:35 am

I have always wondered why you seldom get reflections of the illness in American society, after reading articles like this. Trump is mad, Hillary is evil, the MS media is corrupt and dishonest. But its American culture that is responsible for thisthese arent accidents or untypical. Self-honesty is the least common of all American characteristics. Hunting for excuses and boogeymen, one of the most common.

mike k , September 29, 2017 at 10:25 am

The tacit belief in our exceptionalism makes us immune to self-criticism. Another name for American Hubris. Our belief that we are Gods chosen ones explains in part our strange affinity with Israel.

Brad Owen , September 29, 2017 at 11:39 am

The American Culture was concocted with Malice Afore Thought by the Congress of Cultural Freedom (CCF) starting in the Post-War years: from EIR search box; Congress of cultural freedom; making the world safe for fascism, also from search box; Synarchy against America.

Clif , September 29, 2017 at 8:36 am

NPR is complicit, giving Mark Jacobson of Georgetown a platform on Sept. 28 All Things Considered to pontificate about how Americans are falling prey to Russian disinformation. This entire sequence has drained me of any faith in American Intelligence operations, and MSM.

napier , September 29, 2017 at 8:36 am

The researchers defined junk news as propaganda and ideologically extreme, hyperpartisan, or *conspiratorial political news and information*.

I face-palmed when I read this. The lack of self-awareness on the part of the researchers is truly amazing.

Adrian Engler , September 29, 2017 at 8:36 am

Often with such propagandistic allegations – be it WMD in Iraq or Russian meddling -, there are problems that go beyond the lack of evidence. People without access to secret information could not know, of course, whether these was a good basis for the allegations about WMD. Certainly, people should have demanded that some of the evidence is made public, but even if someone accepts that some things must remain secret, it simply did not make sense to use the presentation of Colin Powell before the UN as a basis for starting a war. It could have been a basis for intensifying the inspections – and at that time, after some pressure, the Iraqi government allowed inspections everywhere -, but it certainly was no basis for stopping the inspections and starting a war of aggression.

Similarly, it is clear that those who put forward allegations about Russian meddling (some are regularly retracted, some arent and their status remain unclear) have the burden of proof. But the problem is not just that evidence is lacking, but many of these allegations are not very plausible and make little sense.

The first problem is that many statements in US media presuppose a worldview of international politics as a kind of zero sum game and dont even ask the question whether such a worldview is appropriate and whether it is common in Russia. It is just assumed that Russia and the United States are enemies and that anything that is bad for the United States is good for Russia and anything that is bad for Russia is good for the United States. Of course, there are areas in international politics where the United States have conflicting positions, but such a worldview based on a zero-sum game is far from obvious. What exactly should be the advantage for Russia when internal divisions in the United States are increased? Is it plausible that the United States is more likely to take the Russian perspective more seriously or be ready for compromises if it has more severe internal divisions? Not necessarily, I would even think that the opposite is more likely. Probably, the proponents of this theory could come up with a story why in that case it would make sense for Russia to increase internal divisions in the United States, but mostly, this question is not even asked, and these stories look more like an ad-hoc justification for a preconceived story.

Then, ignoring the doubts whether it would really make sense from a strategic point of view for Russia to exacerbate internal divisions in the United States for a moment, what would someone who, indeed, has the goal to increase internal divisions in the United States do? At first sight, it might seem that supporting both sides in existing conflicts (e.g. for and against BLM, for and against gun rights, for and against NFL players kneeling down etc.) may make sense. But the problem is that such a line of reasoning ignores the question of effectiveness. As far as these matters are concerned, there are already many US citizens who passionately support one of the two sides, and there are US donors who are ready to support one of these sides. If, in addition to those passionate supporters of one side, someone who is interested in increasing the divisions also supports both sides, the effect relative to the resources that are needed is relatively small. This may not be a strong counter-argument if we were talking about a large rich country attempting to meddle in a small poor one, but that is hardly an adequate description of the relationship of Russia to the United States. Certainly, on the whole, the Russian state still has quite a lot of resources, but if it had the goal to increase internal divisions in the United States, adding a bit more to both sides of existing conflicts about which many Americans are so passionate that they are ready to use time and in some cases money to support one of the two sides would probably so ineffective that it would hardly make sense. Attempting to create new conflicts could theoretically make sense – then, we should see ads and social media campaigns about conflicts that are not very prominent in public discourse (I dont know about any evidence or even indications that this is actually done) -, but when there are just ads and social media messages from fake accounts for both sides of common existing conflicts, other explanations are more plausible. For instance, it can be that it only seems that they come from a common source because of some superficial features, but are in fact from opposing sides (i.e. people who want to support one of the sides in the conflict, not to increase the conflict by supporting both sides), or it could be that there is a common source, but that the common source is a commercial entity that conducts campaigns for both sides for money (and maybe there are some people who use Russian language settings or some parts of that business are in Russia).

mike k , September 29, 2017 at 10:29 am

To expect most American citizens to think rationally is to expect the impossible. Not only were they not taught to think critically; they were taught not to do that.

mike k , September 29, 2017 at 10:35 am

And because of that deficiency in the public, if we wish to effect some change in their thinking, we are reduced to employing the same emotion based methods that have proven so successful for the establishment and its propagandists. The simple truth has zero effect on the typical American Zombie – he is too dead sure that his conditioning trumps reality.

D5-5 , September 29, 2017 at 11:37 am

It is almost amusing, as with this mainstream analysis from CNN (Sept 26), that states the FB ads were meant to sew divisions and chaos in the electorate, with many of the messages at cross-purposes.

http://money.cnn.com/2017/09/26/media/facebook-russia-ads/index.html

The apparent goal of the ads, the sources who spoke with CNN said, was to amplify political discord and fuel an atmosphere of incivility and chaos around the 2016 presidential campaign, not necessarily to promote one candidate or cause over another.

This assessment is spoken with great seriousness and a recommendation that these ads be made accessible to the public. This MSM report also assumes that the Russia-bought accounts stem from official Russia or the Kremlin, with no further discussion. A CNN poll claims 54% of Americans believe Russia interfered via these FB ads. Further breakdown in that polling indicates the lions share comes from whites who believe this.

But as you point out, Adrian, the body politic is (and was during the election period) already riven and in a state of incivility (another claim of the purpose of these FB ads) as we could see by reviewing behaviors in the election itself, to include Trumps statements at his rallies and Hillary Clintons actions in consort with a corrupted DNC. Common sense would indicate these widely exposed rogue behaviors at the time would out-do a mere 100,000 spent on FB, as has already been pointed out, so the CNN report is in danger of desperate exaggeration.

As far back as 2014 surveys of that time indicates the American publics trust in MSM had plummeted to something like 40%, and although I cannot find current figures on this (in 2016 RT found that only 6% of Americans trust MSM, but thats RT) but especially given the fiasco of the 2016 election, plausibly, that sense of trust is not increasing much. So that, given the already fractious and uncivil state of the country in many respects what were seeing is a continuation of desperate efforts to use the Russia did it meme for various political and opportunistic purposes. Further, MSM besides in the employ of special interests, has a naturally in-built bias toward presentation of dramatic, simplistic viewpoints that incite emotionalism and nationalism.

As I noted yesterday, the NFL controversy currently includes, with a straight face, scantily dressed female football players of the Lingerie Football League claiming that the flag is too sacred to be protested as they stand there with their booties exposed in the wind clutching their chests with straight faces. This sort of high drama is surely could for MSM audiences and ratings.

As to why a lot of Americans dont think critically about these matters there are, again, the problems of survival, job-holding, paying rent, dealing with an outrageous health care scheme which treats them as profit opportunities, increasing police management, and rising inflation, let alone the morbidity and turn-off that considering politics has become.

Methinks the MSM furor now turning to FB in its puny weight to be taken seriously is getting more and more desperate–and ridiculous.

Dave P. , September 29, 2017 at 12:01 pm

D5-5 –

Your comments: As to why a lot of Americans dont think critically about these matters there are, again, the problems of survival, job-holding, paying rent, dealing with an outrageous health care scheme which treats them as profit opportunities, increasing police management, and rising inflation, let alone the morbidity and turn-off that considering politics has become.

You have summed up the state in which an average person lives here now.

hatedbyu , September 29, 2017 at 12:24 pm

ok, i have to say it.

everybody is stupid. all over the world. and yet.everybody is a genius. even though i partake in this complaining about how
stupid people are sometimes. its really not true. people are smart. just easily led.

i find that americans are just used to being propagandized. its a habit. that only some of us are starting to come out of. if the workings of propaganda and advertising were taught in school, at a young age, the world would be a better place. i think most of the commenters here at consortium news have probably made that jump from believing the media blindly. but we are still a minority. and to be honest, some views i see repeated here still seem to reflect this instinctive belief in doctrines put forth in the media. remember that its only been about 8 generations of people since we threw off the monarchy here. talk about indoctrination…thats really not a long time. the history of kings/queens as rulers takes up a much larger part of the history of human existence. one could even say its in our genes..epi-genetics…

modern propaganda is only 100 years old or so.

so a modern antidote should be thought of.

well hopefully figure it out.

D5-5 , September 29, 2017 at 12:31 pm

Dave, Im privileged in being able to spend so much time here in this forum and do some thinking. But out on the street I find a different situation than what were discussing here so often with (including myself) the tendency to talk of the American sheeple and stupidity and such. I find people in supermarket parking lots in a state of despair, asking me for a quarter, their misery plain on their faces. Im told 45 million Americans are on the verge of poverty and in poverty. Where I go, too, I find my community members trying to be civil, most of them, and theres not a whole lot of political talk at the cashier stands in the grocery stores. I despair that this beautiful country, which still has a great deal going for it, is knuckled under to the worst political system Ive seen in my lifetime going back decades. I do not understand that an opposition party could become so inept and corrupted into incompetence, and the ruling party in a state of incoherence and stupidity. And yet I can give all this sort of thing time and thinking, but how many can? I love this country and the people, and am very saddened at the travesty, and where we now stand in world opinion.

Stephen J. , September 29, 2017 at 1:32 pm

January 10, 2017
Blame It On Putin

There is endless wars and devastation around the world
Western war criminals have their war banners unfurled
Millions dead and many millions uprooted
And the financial system is corrupted and looted
Blame it on Putin

The war criminals are free and spreading bloody terror
And their dirty propaganda says Putin is an aggressor
These evil plotters of death and destruction
Should be in jail for their abominable actions
But, Blame it on Putin.

The American election is won by Donald Trump
Hillary Clinton loses and gets politically dumped
The media is frenzied and foaming at their mouths
They are crying and lying, these corporate louts
They Blame it on Putin

Hollywood, too, is getting in on the act
The B.S. merchants are able to twist facts
In their fantasy world of channel changers
They do not approve of a political stranger
They Blame it on Putin

The spymasters and their grovelling politicians
All agree that their democracy is lost in transmission
Their comfortable and controlled system is now in danger
And these powerful parasites are filled with anger
They Blame it on Putin

One loose canon talks and babbles of an act of war
Could nuclear hell be started by a warmongering whore?
If the madmen of the establishment get their way
Could we all be liquidated in the nuclear fray?
Blame it on Putin

There is no doubt that the ruling class
Are all worried about saving their ass
Could there be huge changes and still more coming?
Is the sick and depraved society finally crumbling?
Hey, Blame it on Putin
[more info at link below]
http://graysinfo.blogspot.ca/2017/01/blame-it-on-putin.html

Stephen J. , September 29, 2017 at 1:39 pm

March 3, 2017
Is Blaming Russia a Diversion, Designed to Hide the Treachery of Western War Criminals?
[much more info at link below]
http://graysinfo.blogspot.ca/2017/03/is-blaming-russia-diversion-designed-to.html

Dominic Pukallus , September 29, 2017 at 6:52 pm

Having just watched the episode of Oliver Stones excellent Untold History of the United States which deals with the earliest historical political period which I can remember from first hand experience, I found the revisiting of Ronald Reagan bald-faced lies delivered with absolute seeming sincerity to be truly frightening. He was either a truly underestimated first-rate actor, a complete psychopath, or he really was just a carefully picked figurehead. Perhaps it really was as intimated in the episode that it was more a Bush II/Cheney sort of thing, the first two options sort of meld into each other if the lies he repeated were done so knowingly and he just didnt seem to have the intellectual capacity for much of anything arduous like being an actual Machiavellian.

The most important thing about this was just how easy it was, at the time, to just take the edifice of lies at face value. I was in my teens at the time, but I did consider myself to be of a rather independent mindset and much of what was bandied by these Republican Party Reptiles (not a funny proposition at all really in the end despite ORourkess seductiveness) rang false. That did not stop them from acquiring the patina of Truth, albeit ever so superficial, due to the hypnotic authoritative method of their delivery. Im glad I properly discovered the work of Robert Parry even if it is belatedly, due to my own Sleep of Reason because of this saturation of falsehoods despite his tireless work along with other similar-minded people. I can sense some frustration here in his phrasing with the seeming lack of difference this tireless work seems to be making to the general perception but I am grateful for his lucidity, which contributes to mine. How long will such lucidity be allowed to be disseminated, one can only wonder.

Michael Eremia , September 29, 2017 at 7:12 pm

Another home-run by Robert Parry.

[Sep 30, 2017] Exposing The Slimy Business Of 'Russia-Gate' (What The Mainstream Media Doesn't Want You To Know) Zero Hedge

Notable quotes:
"... And right now, tens of millions of dollars are flowing to non-governmental organizations if they will buttress the thesis of Russian meddling in the U.S. democratic process no matter how sloppy the research or how absurd the findings. ..."
"... And, if you think the pillars of the U.S. mainstream media – The Washington Post, The New York Times, CNN and others – will apply some quality controls, you havent been paying attention for the past year or so. The MSM is just as unethical as the NGOs are. ..."
"... So, we are now in a phase of Russia-gate in which NGO scholars produce deeply biased reports and their nonsense is treated as front-page news and items for serious discussion across the MSM. ..."
"... The story, which fits neatly into the current U.S. propaganda meme that the Russian government somehow is undermining American democracy by stirring up dissent inside the U.S., quickly spread to other news outlets and became the latest proof of a Russian war against America. ..."
"... The vague wording doesn't even say the Russian government was involved but rather presents an unsupported claim that some Twitter accounts are suspected of being part of some network and that this network may have some ill-defined connection – or links – to Russia, a country of 144 million people. ..."
Sep 30, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com

As the U.S. government doles out tens of millions of dollars to 'combat Russian propaganda', one result is a slew of new 'studies' by 'scholars' and 'researchers' auditioning for the loot ...

The Field of Dreams slogan for Americas NGOs should be: If you pay for it, we will come.

And right now, tens of millions of dollars are flowing to non-governmental organizations if they will buttress the thesis of Russian meddling in the U.S. democratic process no matter how sloppy the research or how absurd the findings.

And, if you think the pillars of the U.S. mainstream media – The Washington Post, The New York Times, CNN and others – will apply some quality controls, you havent been paying attention for the past year or so. The MSM is just as unethical as the NGOs are.

So, we are now in a phase of Russia-gate in which NGO scholars produce deeply biased reports and their nonsense is treated as front-page news and items for serious discussion across the MSM.

Yet, there's even an implicit confession about how pathetic some of this scholarship is in the hazy phrasing that gets applied to the findings, although the weasel words will slip past most unsuspecting Americans and will be dropped for more definitive language when the narrative is summarized in the next days newspaper or in a cable-news crawl.

For example, a Times front-page story on Thursday reported that a network of Twitter accounts suspected of links to Russia seized on both sides of the [NFL players kneeling during the National Anthem] issue with hashtags, such as #boycottnfl, #standforouranthem and #takeaknee.

The story, which fits neatly into the current U.S. propaganda meme that the Russian government somehow is undermining American democracy by stirring up dissent inside the U.S., quickly spread to other news outlets and became the latest proof of a Russian war against America.

However, before we empty the nuclear silos and exterminate life on the planet, we might take a second to look at the Times phrasing a network of Twitter accounts suspected of links to Russia.

The vague wording doesn't even say the Russian government was involved but rather presents an unsupported claim that some Twitter accounts are suspected of being part of some network and that this network may have some ill-defined connection – or links – to Russia, a country of 144 million people.

Six Degrees from Kevin Bacon

Its like the old game of six degrees of separation from Kevin Bacon. Yes, perhaps we are all linked to Kevin Bacon somehow but that doesnt prove that we know Kevin Bacon or are part of a Kevin Bacon network that is executing a grand conspiracy to sow discontent by taking opposite sides of issues and then tweeting.

Yet that is the underlying absurdity of the Times article by Daisuke Wakabayashi and Scott Shane. Still, as silly as the article may be that doesn't mean its not dangerous. The Times high-profile treatment of these gauzy allegations represents a grave danger to the world by fueling a growing hysteria inside the United States about being at war with nuclear-armed Russia. At some point, someone might begin to take this alarmist rhetoric seriously.

Yes, I understand that lots of people hate President Trump and see Russia-gate as the golden ticket to his impeachment. But that doesnt justify making serious allegations with next to no proof, especially when the outcome could be thermonuclear war.

However, with all those millions of dollars sloshing around the NGO world and Western academia – all looking for some study to fund that makes Russia look bad – you are sure to get plenty of takers. And, we should now expect that new findings like these will fill in for the so-far evidence-free suspicions about Russia and Trump colluding to steal the presidency from Hillary Clinton.

If you read more deeply into the Times story, you get a taste of where Russia-gate is headed next and a clue as to who is behind it:

Since last month, researchers at the Alliance for Securing Democracy, a bipartisan initiative of the German Marshall Fund, a public policy research group in Washington, have been publicly tracking 600 Twitter accounts -- human users and suspected bots alike -- they have linked to Russian influence operations. Those were the accounts pushing the opposing messages on the N.F.L. and the national anthem.

Of 80 news stories promoted last week by those accounts, more than 25 percent had a primary theme of anti-Americanism, the researchers found. About 15 percent were critical of Hillary Clinton, falsely accusing her of funding left-wing antifa -- short for anti-fascist -- protesters, tying her to the lethal terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, in 2012 and discussing her daughter Chelseas use of Twitter. Eleven percent focused on wiretapping in the federal investigation into Paul Manafort, President Trumps former campaign chairman, with most of them treated the news as a vindication for President Trumps earlier wiretapping claims.

The Neocons, Again!

So, lets stop and unpack this Times reporting.

First, this Alliance for Securing Democracy is not some neutral truth-seeking organization but a neoconservative-dominated outfit that includes on its advisory board such neocon luminaries as Mike Chertoff, Bill Kristol and former Freedom House president David Kramer along with other anti-Russia hardliners such as former deputy CIA director Michael Morell and former House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers.

Neoconservative pundit William Kristol. (Photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

How many of these guys, do you think, were assuring us that Iraq was hiding WMDs back in 2003?

This group clearly has an ax to grind, a record of deception, and plenty of patrons in the Military-Industrial Complex who stand to make billions of dollars from the New Cold War.

The neocons also have been targeting Russia for regime change for years because they see Russian President Vladimir Putin as the chief obstacle to their goal of helping Israel achieve its desire for regime change in Syria and a chance to bomb-bomb-bomb Iran. Russia-gate has served the neocons well as a very convenient way to pull Democrats, liberals and even progressives into the neocon agenda because Russia-gate is sold as a powerful weapon for the anti-Trump Resistance.

The Times article also might have mentioned that Twitter has 974 million accounts. So, this alarm over 600 accounts is a bit disproportionate for a front-page story in the Times, dont you think?

And, theres the definitional problem of what constitutes anti-Americanism in a news article. And what does it mean to be linked to Russian influence operations? Does that include Americans who may not march in lockstep to the one-sided State Department narratives on the crises in Ukraine and Syria? Any deviation from Official Washingtons groupthink makes you a Moscow stooge.

And, is it a crime to be critical of Hillary Clinton or to note that the U.S. mainstream media was dismissive of Trumps claims about being wiretapped only for us to find out later that the FBI apparently was wiretapping his campaign manager?

However, such questions arent going to be asked amid what has become a massive Russia-gate groupthink, dominating not just Official Washington, but across much of Americas political landscape and throughout the European Union.

Why the Bias?

Beyond the obvious political motivations for this bias, we also have had the introduction of vast sums of money pouring in from the U.S. government, NATO and European institutions to support the business of combatting Russian propaganda.

President Obama in the Oval Office.

For example, last December, President Obama signed into law a $160 million funding mechanism entitled the Combating Foreign Propaganda and Disinformation Act. But that amounts to only a drop in the bucket considering already existing Western propaganda projects targeting Russia.

So, a scramble is on to develop seemingly academic models to prove what Western authorities want proven: that Russia is at fault for pretty much every bad thing that happens in the world, particularly the alienation of many working-class people from the Washington-Brussels elites.

The truth cannot be that establishment policies have led to massive income inequality and left the working class struggling to survive and thus are to blame for ugly political manifestations – from Trump to Brexit to the surprising support for Germanys far-right AfD party. No, it must be Russia! Russia! Russia! And theres a lot of money on the bed to prove that point.

Theres also the fact that the major Western news media is deeply invested in bashing Russia as well as in the related contempt for Trump and his followers. Those twin prejudices have annihilated all professional standards that would normally be applied to news judgments regarding these flawed studies.

On Thursday, The Washington Post ran its own banner-headlined story drawn from the same loose accusations made by that neocon-led Alliance for Securing Democracy, but instead the Post sourced the claims to Sen. James Lankford, R-Oklahoma. The headline read: Russian trolls are stoking NFL controversy, senator says.

The evidence cited by Lankfords office was one Twitter account calling itself Boston Antifa that gives its geolocation as Vladivostok, Russia, the Post reported.

By Thursday, Twitter had suspended the Boston Antifa account, so I couldnt send it a question, but earlier this month, Dan Glaun, a reporter for Masslive.com, reported that the people behind Boston Antifa were a pair of anti-leftist pranksters from Oregon who started Boston Antifa as a parody of actual anti-fascist groups.

In an email to me on Thursday, Glaun cited an interview that the Boston Antifa pranksters had done with right-wing radio talk show host Gavin McInnes last April.

And, by the way, there are apps that let you manipulate your geolocation data on Twitter. Or, you can choose to believe that the highly professional Russian intelligence agencies didnt notice that they were telegraphing their location as Vladivostok.

Mindless Russia Bashing

Another example of this mindless Russia bashing appeared just below the Posts story on Lankfords remarks. The Post sidebar cited a study from researchers at Oxford Universitys Project on Computational Propaganda asserting that junk news on Twitter flowed more heavily in a dozen [U.S.] battleground states than in the nation overall in the days immediately before and after the 2016 presidential election, suggesting that a coordinated effort targeted the most pivotal voters. Cue the spooky Boris and Natasha music!

Boris and Natasha, the evil spies from the Rocky and Bullwinkle shows.

Of course, any Americans living in battleground states could tell you that they are inundated with all kinds of election-related junk, including negative TV advertising, nasty radio messages, alarmist emails and annoying robo-calls at dinner time. Thats why theyre called battleground states, Sherlock.

But whats particularly offensive about this study is that it implies that the powers-that-be must do more to eliminate what these experts deem propaganda and junk news. If you read deeper into the story, you discover that the researchers applied a very subjective definition of what constitutes junk news, i.e., information that the researchers dont like even if it is truthful and newsworthy.

The Post article by Craig Timberg, who apparently is using Russia-gate to work himself off the business pages and onto the national staff, states that The researchers defined junk news as propaganda and ideologically extreme, hyperpartisan, or conspiratorial political news and information.

The researchers also categorized reports from Russia and ones from WikiLeaks – which published embarrassing posts about Democrat Hillary Clinton based on a hack of her campaign chairmans emails – as polarizing political content for the purpose of the analysis.

So, this study lumped together junk news with accurate and newsworthy information, i.e., WikiLeaks disclosure of genuine emails that contained such valid news as the contents of Clintons speeches to Wall Street banks (which she was trying to hide from voters) as well as evidence of the unethical tactics used by the Democratic National Committee to sabotage Sen. Bernie Sanderss campaign.

Also dumped into the researchers bin of vile disinformation were reports from Russia, as if everything that comes out of Russia is, ipso facto, junk news.

And, what, pray tell, is conspiratorial political news? I would argue that the past year of evidence-lite allegations about Russian meddling in the U.S. election accompanied by unsupported suspicions about collusion with the Trump campaign would constitute conspiratorial political news. Indeed, I would say that this Oxford research constitutes conspiratorial political news and that Timbergs article qualifies as junk news.

Predictable Outcome

Given the built-in ideological bias of this research, it probably wont surprise you that the reports author, Philip N. Howard, concludes that junk news originates from three main sources that the Oxford group has been tracking: Russian operatives, Trump supporters and activists part of the alt-right, according to the Post.

The Washington Post building in downtown Washington, D.C. (Photo credit: Washington Post)

I suppose that since part of the methodology was to define reports from Russia as junk news, the appearance of Russian operatives shouldnt be much of a surprise, but the whole process reeks of political bias.

Further skewing the results, the report separated out information from professional news organizations [and] political parties from some junk news source, according to the Post. In other words, the researchers believe that professional news organizations are inherently reliable and that outside-the-mainstream news is junk – despite the MSMs long record of getting major stories wrong.

The real junk is this sort of academic or NGO research that starts with a conclusion and packs a study in such a way as to guarantee the preordained conclusion. Or as the old saying goes, garbage in, garbage out.

Yet, its also clear that if you generate research that feeds the hungry beast of Russia-gate, you will find eager patrons doling out dollars and a very receptive audience in the mainstream media.

In a place like Washington, there are scores if not hundreds of reports generated every day and only a tiny fraction get the attention of the Times, Post, CNN, etc., let alone result in published articles. But studies that reinforce todays anti-Russia narrative are sure winners.

So, if youre setting up a new NGO or youre an obscure academic angling for a lucrative government grant as well as some flattering coverage in the MSM, the smart play is to join the new gold rush in decrying Russian propaganda.

[Sep 30, 2017] Yet Another Major Russia Story Falls Apart. Is Skepticism Permissible Yet by Glenn Greenwald

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... But what it does demonstrate is that an incredibly reckless, anything-goes climate prevails when it comes to claims about Russia. Media outlets will publish literally any official assertion as Truth without the slightest regard for evidentiary standards. ..."
"... Seeing Putin lurking behind and masterminding every western problem is now religious dogma – it explains otherwise-confounding developments, provides certainty to a complex world, and alleviates numerous factions of responsibility – so media outlets and their journalists are lavishly rewarded any time they publish accusatory stories about Russia (especially ones involving the U.S. election), even if they end up being debunked. ..."
"... A highly touted story yesterday from the New York Times – claiming that Russians used Twitter more widely known than before to manipulate U.S. politics – demonstrates this recklessness. The story is based on the claims of a new group formed just two months ago by a union of neocons and Democratic national security officials, led by long-time liars and propagandists such as Bill Kristol, former acting CIA chief Mike Morell, and Bush Homeland Security Secretary Mike Chertoff. I reported on the founding of this group, calling itself the Alliance for Securing Democracy, when it was unveiled (this is not to be confused with the latest new Russia group unveiled last week by Rob Reiner and David Frum and featuring a different former national security state official (former DNI James Clapper) – calling itself InvestigateRussia.org – featuring a video declaring that the U.S. is now "at war with Russia"). ..."
"... The Kristol/Morell/Chertoff group on which the Times based its article has a very simple tactic: they secretly decide which Twitter accounts are "Russia bots," meaning accounts that disseminate an "anti-American message" and are controlled by the Kremlin. They refuse to tell anyone which Twitter accounts they decided are Kremlin-loyal, nor will they identify their methodology for creating their lists or determining what constitutes "anti-Americanism." ..."
"... That's how the Russia narrative is constantly "reported," and it's the reason so many of the biggest stories have embarrassingly collapsed. It's because the Russia story of 2017 – not unlike the Iraq discourse of 2002 – is now driven by religious-like faith rather than rational faculties. ..."
"... No questioning of official claims is allowed. The evidentiary threshold which an assertion must overcome before being accepted is so low as to be non-existent. ..."
"... Regardless of your views on Russia, Trump and the rest, nobody can possibly regard this climate as healthy. ..."
Sep 28, 2017 | consortiumnews.com

Last Friday, most major media outlets touted a major story about Russian attempts to hack into U.S. voting systems, based exclusively on claims made by the Department of Homeland Security. "Russians attempted to hack elections systems in 21 states in the run-up to last year's presidential election, officials said Friday," began the USA Today story, similar to how most other outlets presented this extraordinary claim.

This official story was explosive for obvious reasons, and predictably triggered instant decrees – that of course went viral – declaring that the legitimacy of the outcome of the 2016 U.S. presidential election is now in doubt.

Virginia's Democratic Congressman Don Beyer, referring to the 21 targeted states, announced that this shows "Russia tried to hack their election":

MSNBC's Paul Revere for all matters relating to the Kremlin take-over, Rachel Maddow, was indignant that this wasn't told to us earlier and that we still aren't getting all the details. "What we have now figured out," Maddow gravely intoned as she showed the multi-colored maps she made, is that "Homeland Security knew at least by June that 21 states had been targeted by Russian hackers during the election. . .targeting their election infrastructure."

They were one small step away from demanding that the election results be nullified, indulging the sentiment expressed by #Resistance icon Carl Reiner the other day: "Is there anything more exciting that [sic] the possibility of Trump's election being invalidated & Hillary rightfully installed as our President?"

So what was wrong with this story? Just one small thing: it was false. The story began to fall apart yesterday when Associated Press reported that Wisconsin – one of the states included in the original report that, for obvious reasons, caused the most excitement – did not, in fact, have its election systems targeted by Russian hackers:

The spokesman for Homeland Security then tried to walk back that reversal, insisting that there was still evidence that some computer networks had been targeted, but could not say that they had anything to do with elections or voting. And, as AP noted: "Wisconsin's chief elections administrator, Michael Haas, had repeatedly said that Homeland Security assured the state it had not been targeted."

Then the story collapsed completely last night. The Secretary of State for another one of the named states, California, issued a scathing statement repudiating the claimed report:

Sometimes stories end up debunked. There's nothing particularly shocking about that. If this were an isolated incident, one could chalk it up to basic human error that has no broader meaning.

But this is no isolated incident. Quite the contrary: this has happened over and over and over again. Inflammatory claims about Russia get mindlessly hyped by media outlets, almost always based on nothing more than evidence-free claims from government officials, only to collapse under the slightest scrutiny, because they are entirely lacking in evidence.

The examples of such debacles when it comes to claims about Russia are too numerous to comprehensively chronicle. I wrote about this phenomenon many times and listed many of the examples, the last time in June when 3 CNN journalists "resigned" over a completely false story linking Trump adviser Anthony Scaramucci to investigations into a Russian investment fund which the network was forced to retract:

Remember that time the Washington Post claimed that Russia had hacked the U.S. electricity grid, causing politicians to denounce Putin for trying to deny heat to Americans in winter, only to have to issue multiple retractions because none of that ever happened? Or the time that the Post had to publish a massive editor's note after its reporters made claims about Russian infiltration of the internet and spreading of "Fake News" based on an anonymous group's McCarthyite blacklist that counted sites like the Drudge Report and various left-wing outlets as Kremlin agents?

Or that time when Slate claimed that Trump had created a secret server with a Russian bank, all based on evidence that every other media outlet which looked at it were too embarrassed to get near? Or the time the Guardian was forced to retract its report by Ben Jacobs – which went viral – that casually asserted that WikiLeaks has a long relationship with the Kremlin? Or the time that Fortune retracted suggestions that RT had hacked into and taken over C-SPAN's network? And then there's the huge market that was created – led by leading Democrats – that blindly ingested every conspiratorial, unhinged claim about Russia churned out by an army of crazed conspiracists such as Louise Mensch and Claude "TrueFactsStated" Taylor?

And now we have the Russia-hacked-the-voting-systems-of-21-states to add to this trash heap. Each time the stories go viral; each time they further shape the narrative; each time those who spread them say little to nothing when it is debunked.

None of this means that every Russia claim is false, nor does it disprove the accusation that Putin ordered the hacking of the DNC and John Podesta's email inboxes (a claim for which, just by the way, still no evidence has been presented by the U.S. government). Perhaps there were some states that were targeted, even though the key claims of this story, that attracted the most attention, have now been repudiated.

But what it does demonstrate is that an incredibly reckless, anything-goes climate prevails when it comes to claims about Russia. Media outlets will publish literally any official assertion as Truth without the slightest regard for evidentiary standards.

Seeing Putin lurking behind and masterminding every western problem is now religious dogma – it explains otherwise-confounding developments, provides certainty to a complex world, and alleviates numerous factions of responsibility – so media outlets and their journalists are lavishly rewarded any time they publish accusatory stories about Russia (especially ones involving the U.S. election), even if they end up being debunked.

A highly touted story yesterday from the New York Times – claiming that Russians used Twitter more widely known than before to manipulate U.S. politics – demonstrates this recklessness. The story is based on the claims of a new group formed just two months ago by a union of neocons and Democratic national security officials, led by long-time liars and propagandists such as Bill Kristol, former acting CIA chief Mike Morell, and Bush Homeland Security Secretary Mike Chertoff. I reported on the founding of this group, calling itself the Alliance for Securing Democracy, when it was unveiled (this is not to be confused with the latest new Russia group unveiled last week by Rob Reiner and David Frum and featuring a different former national security state official (former DNI James Clapper) – calling itself InvestigateRussia.org – featuring a video declaring that the U.S. is now "at war with Russia").

The Kristol/Morell/Chertoff group on which the Times based its article has a very simple tactic: they secretly decide which Twitter accounts are "Russia bots," meaning accounts that disseminate an "anti-American message" and are controlled by the Kremlin. They refuse to tell anyone which Twitter accounts they decided are Kremlin-loyal, nor will they identify their methodology for creating their lists or determining what constitutes "anti-Americanism."

They do it all in secret, and you're just supposed to trust them: Bill Kristol, Mike Chertoff and their national security state friends. And the New York Times is apparently fine with this demand, as evidenced by its uncritical acceptance yesterday of the claims of this group – a group formed by the nation's least trustworthy sources.

But no matter. It's a claim about nefarious Russian control. So it's instantly vested with credibility and authority, published by leading news outlets, and then blindly accepted as fact in most elite circles. From now on, it will simply be Fact – based on the New York Times article – that the Kremlin aggressively and effectively weaponized Twitter to manipulate public opinion and sow divisions during the election, even though the evidence for this new story is the secret, unverifiable assertions of a group filled with the most craven neocons and national security state liars.

That's how the Russia narrative is constantly "reported," and it's the reason so many of the biggest stories have embarrassingly collapsed. It's because the Russia story of 2017 – not unlike the Iraq discourse of 2002 – is now driven by religious-like faith rather than rational faculties.

No questioning of official claims is allowed. The evidentiary threshold which an assertion must overcome before being accepted is so low as to be non-existent. And the penalty for desiring to see evidence for official claims, or questioning the validity and persuasiveness of the evidence that is proffered, are accusations that impugn one's patriotism and loyalty (simply wanting to see evidence for official claims about Russia is proof, in many quarters, that one is a Kremlin agent or at least adores Putin – just as wanting to see evidence in 2002, or questioning the evidence presented for claims about Saddam, was viewed as proof that one harbored sympathy for the Iraqi dictator).

Regardless of your views on Russia, Trump and the rest, nobody can possibly regard this climate as healthy. Just look at how many major, incredibly inflammatory stories, from major media outlets, have collapsed. Is it not clear that there is something very wrong with how we are discussing and reporting on relations between these two nuclear-armed powers?

[Sep 30, 2017] The Rise of the New McCarthyism by Robert Parry

Notable quotes:
"... A difference, however, from the McCarthyism of the 1950s is that this New McCarthyism has enlisted Democrats, liberals and even progressives in the cause because of their disgust with President Trump; the 1950s version was driven by Republicans and the Right with much of the Left on the receiving end, maligned by the likes of Sen. Joe McCarthy as un-American and as Communisms fellow travelers. ..."
"... The real winners in this New McCarthyism appear to be the neoconservatives who have leveraged the Democratic/liberal hatred of Trump to draw much of the Left into the political hysteria that sees the controversy over alleged Russian political meddling as an opportunity to get Trump. ..."
"... Already, under the guise of combating Russian propaganda and fake news, Google, Facebook and other tech giants have begun introducing algorithms to hunt down and marginalize news that challenges official U.S. government narratives on hot-button issues such as Ukraine and Syria. Again, no evidence is required, just the fact that Putin may have said something similar. ..."
"... The New McCarthyism with its Orwellian-style algorithms might seem like a clever way to neutralize (or maybe even help oust) Trump, but – long after Trump is gone – a structure for letting the neocons and the mainstream media monopolize American political debate might be a far greater threat to both democracy and peace. ..."
"... Americas Stolen Narrative, ..."
Sep 30, 2017 | consortiumnews.com

Special Report: As the New McCarthyism takes hold in America, the neocon Washington Post makes Russia the villain in virtually every bad thing that happens, with U.S. dissidents treated as fellow-travelers, writes Robert Parry.

Make no mistake about it: the United States has entered an era of a New McCarthyism that blames nearly every political problem on Russia and has begun targeting American citizens who dont go along with this New Cold War propaganda.

A difference, however, from the McCarthyism of the 1950s is that this New McCarthyism has enlisted Democrats, liberals and even progressives in the cause because of their disgust with President Trump; the 1950s version was driven by Republicans and the Right with much of the Left on the receiving end, maligned by the likes of Sen. Joe McCarthy as un-American and as Communisms fellow travelers.

The real winners in this New McCarthyism appear to be the neoconservatives who have leveraged the Democratic/liberal hatred of Trump to draw much of the Left into the political hysteria that sees the controversy over alleged Russian political meddling as an opportunity to get Trump.

Already, the neocons and their allies have exploited the anti-Russian frenzy to extract tens of millions of dollars more from the taxpayers for programs to combat Russian propaganda, i.e., funding of non-governmental organizations and scholars who target dissident Americans for challenging the justifications for this New Cold War.

The Washington Post, which for years has served as the flagship for neocon propaganda, is again charting the new course for America, much as it did in rallying U.S. public backing for the 2003 invasion of Iraq and in building sympathy for abortive regime change projects aimed at Syria and Iran. The Post has begun blaming almost every unpleasant development in the world on Russia! Russia! Russia!

For instance, a Post editorial on Tuesday shifted the blame for the anemic victory of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the surprising strength of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) from Merkels austerity policies, which have caused hardship for much of the working class, or from her open door for Mideast refugees, which has destabilized some working-class neighborhoods, to – you guessed it – Russia!

The evidence, as usual, is vague and self-interested, but sure to be swallowed by many Democrats and liberals, who hate Russia because they blame it for Trump, and by lots of Republicans and conservatives, who have a residual hatred for Russia left over from the Old Cold War.

The Post cited the Atlantic Councils Digital Forensic Research Lab, which has been pushing much of the hysteria about alleged Russian activities on the Internet. The Atlantic Council essentially is NATOs think tank and is financed with money from the U.S. government, Gulf oil states, military contractors, global financial institutions and many other sources which stand to gain directly or indirectly from the expanding U.S. military budget and NATO interventions.

Blaming Russia

In this New Cold War, the Russians get blamed for not only disrupting some neocon regime change projects, such as the proxy war in Syria, but also political developments in the West, such as Donald Trumps election and AfDs rise in Germany.

Russian President Vladimir Putin addresses UN General Assembly on Sept. 28, 2015. (UN Photo)

The Atlantic Councils digital lab claimed, according to the Post editorial, that In the final hours of the [German] campaign, online supporters of the AfD began warning their base of possible election fraud, and the online alarms were driven by anonymous troll accounts and boosted by a Russian-language bot-net."

Of course, the Post evinces no evidence tying any of this to the Russian government or to President Vladimir Putin. It is the nature of McCarthyism that actual evidence is not required, just heavy breathing and dark suspicions. For those of us who operate Web sites, trolls – some volunteers and some professionals – have become a common annoyance and they represent many political outlooks, not just Russian.

Plus, it is standard procedure these days for campaigns to issue last-minute alarms to their supporters about possible election fraud to raise doubts about the results should the outcome be disappointing.

The U.S. government has engaged in precisely this strategy around the world, having pro-U.S. parties not only complain about election fraud but to take to the streets in violent protests to impugn the legitimacy of election outcomes. That U.S. strategy has been applied to places such as Ukraine (the Orange Revolution in 2004); Iran (the Green Revolution in 2009); Russia (the Snow Revolution in 2011); and many other locations.

Pre-election alerts also have become a feature in U.S. elections, even in 2016 when both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton raised questions about the legitimacy of the balloting, albeit for different reasons.

Yet, instead of seeing the AfD maneuver as a typical ploy by a relatively minor party – and the German election outcome as an understandable reflection of voter discontent and weariness over Merkels three terms as Chancellor – the Atlantic Council and the Post see Russians under every bed and particularly Putin.

Loving to Hate Putin

In the world of neocon propaganda, Putin has become the great bête noire, since he has frustrated a variety of neocon schemes. He helped head off a major U.S. military strike against Syria in 2013; he aided President Obama in achieving the Iran nuclear agreement in 2014-15; Putin opposed and – to a degree – frustrated the neocon-supported coup in Ukraine in 2014; and he ultimately supplied the air power that defeated neocon-backed rebel forces in Syria in 2015-17.

President Barack Obama meets with President Vladimir Putin of Russia on the sidelines of the G20 Summit at Regnum Carya Resort in Antalya, Turkey, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015. National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice listens at left. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

So, the Post and the neocons want Putin gone – and they have used gauzy allegations about Russian meddling in the U.S. and other elections as the new propaganda theme to justify destabilizing Russia with economic sanctions and, if possible, engineering another regime change project in Moscow.

None of this is even secret. Carl Gershman, the neocon president of the U.S.-government-funded National Endowment for Democracy, publicly proclaimed the goal of ousting Putin in an op-ed in The Washington Post, writing: The United States has the power to contain and defeat this danger. The issue is whether we can summon the will to do so.

But the way neocon propaganda works is that the U.S. and its allies are always the victims of some nefarious enemy who must be thwarted to protect all that is good in the world. In other words, even as NED and other U.S.-funded operations take aim at Putin and Russia, Russia and Putin must be transformed into the aggressors.

Mr. Putin would like nothing better than to generate doubts, fog, cracks and uncertainty around the German pillar of Europe, the Post editorial said. He relishes infiltrating chaos and mischief into open societies. In this case, supporting the far-right AfD is extraordinarily cynical, given how many millions of Russians died to defeat the fascists seven decades ago.

Not to belabor the point but there is no credible evidence that Putin did any of this. There is a claim by the virulently anti-Russian Atlantic Council that some anonymous troll accounts promoted some AfD complaint about possible voter fraud and that it was picked up by a Russian-language bot-net. Even if that is true – and the Atlantic Council is far from an objective source – where is the link to Putin?

Not everything that happens in Russia, a nation of 144 million people, is ordered by Putin. But the Post would have you believe that it is. It is the centerpiece of this neocon conspiracy theory.

Silencing Dissent

Similarly, any American who questions this propaganda immediately is dismissed as a Kremlin stooge or a Russian propagandist, another ugly campaign spearheaded by the Post and the neocons. Again, no evidence is required, just some analysis that what youre saying somehow parallels something Putin has said.

The Washington Post building in downtown Washington, D.C. (Photo credit: Washington Post)

On Tuesday, in what amounted to a companion piece for the editorial, a Post article again pushed the unproven suspicions about Russian operatives buying $100,000 in Facebook ads from 2015 into 2017 to supposedly influence U.S. politics. Once again, no evidence required.

In the article, the Post also reminds its readers that Moscow has a history of focusing on social inequities in the U.S., which gets us back to the comparisons between the Old McCarthyism and the new.

Yes, its true that the Soviet Union denounced Americas racial segregation and cited that ugly feature of U.S. society in expressing solidarity with the American civil rights movement and national liberation struggles in Africa. Its also true that American Communists collaborated with the domestic civil rights movement to promote racial integration.

That was a key reason why J. Edgar Hoovers FBI targeted Martin Luther King Jr. and other African-American leaders – because of their association with known or suspected Communists. (Similarly, the Reagan administration resisted support for Nelson Mandela because his African National Congress accepted Communist support in its battle against South Africas Apartheid white-supremacist regime.)

Interestingly, one of the arguments from liberal national Democrats in opposing segregation in the 1960s was that the repression of American blacks undercut U.S. diplomatic efforts to develop allies in Africa. In other words, Soviet and Communist criticism of Americas segregation actually helped bring about the demise of that offensive system.

Yet, Kings association with alleged Communists remained a talking point of die-hard segregationists even after his assassination when they opposed creating a national holiday in his honor in the 1980s.

These parallels between the Old McCarthyism and the New McCarthyism are implicitly acknowledged in the Posts news article on Tuesday, which cites Putins criticism of police killings of unarmed American blacks as evidence that he is meddling in U.S. politics.

Since taking office, Putin has on occasion sought to spotlight racial tensions in the United States as a means of shaping perceptions of American society, the article states. Putin injected himself in 2014 into the race debate after protests broke out in Ferguson, Mo., over the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, an African American, by a white police officer.

'Do you believe that everything is perfect now from the point of view of democracy in the United States? Putin told CBSs 60 Minutes program. If everything was perfect, there wouldnt be the problem of Ferguson. There would be no abuse by the police. But our task is to see all these problems and respond properly."

The Posts speculative point seems to be that Putins response included having Russian operatives buy some ads on Facebook to exploit these racial tensions, but there is no evidence to support that conspiracy theory.

However, as this anti-Russia hysteria spreads, we may soon see Americans who also protest the police killing of unarmed black men denounced as Putins fellow-travelers, much as King and other civil rights leaders were smeared as Communist dupes.

Ignoring Reality

So, instead of Democrats and Chancellor Merkel looking in the mirror and seeing the real reasons why many white working-class voters are turning toward populist and extremist alternatives, they can simply blame Putin and continue a crackdown on Internet-based dissent as the work of Russian operatives.

Already, under the guise of combating Russian propaganda and fake news, Google, Facebook and other tech giants have begun introducing algorithms to hunt down and marginalize news that challenges official U.S. government narratives on hot-button issues such as Ukraine and Syria. Again, no evidence is required, just the fact that Putin may have said something similar.

As Democrats, liberals and even some progressives join in this Russia-gate hysteria – driven by their hatred of Donald Trump and his supposedly fascistic tendencies – they might want to consider whom theyve climbed into bed with and what these neocons have in mind for the future.

Arguably, if fascism or totalitarianism comes to the United States, it is more likely to arrive in the guise of protecting democracy from Russia or another foreign adversary than from a reality-TV clown like Donald Trump.

The New McCarthyism with its Orwellian-style algorithms might seem like a clever way to neutralize (or maybe even help oust) Trump, but – long after Trump is gone – a structure for letting the neocons and the mainstream media monopolize American political debate might be a far greater threat to both democracy and peace.

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

SteveK9 , September 26, 2017 at 5:46 pm

Its been going on since the arrival of the national security state after World War II. At least for decades there really was a contest between Capitalism and Communism, not that it excuses the lying and killing of millions. Now, its just a we rule the World habit. Is it really getting worse? Perhaps so.

Erik G , September 26, 2017 at 7:17 pm

I would say that the dominance of economic power over democratic institutions has been completely consolidated since WWII, accelerated under Reagan and after the collapse of the USSR, and has been completed since 911. The articles conclusion that letting mainstream media monopolize American political debate is a greater threat than Trump is quite an understatement, appropriate to new readers.

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

SteveK9 , September 26, 2017 at 7:49 pm

More even than economic power (banks?) it is the intelligence agencies (all revolving around the CIA) and the military-industrial complex. We could make progress in a lot of areas if we could simply stop waging war, overt or covert, but it doesnt seem possible, partly because the Deep State has become smart enough not to wage a war that requires a draft or kills too many Americans. Its OK to spend trillions though, especially since having the Worlds reserve currency allows us to create as much as we need.

Dave P. , September 27, 2017 at 11:41 am

SteveK9 – Your comments: Its OK to spend trillions though, especially since having the Worlds reserve currency allows us to create as much as we need.

That is how we suck the blood of the people of the World beyond the Wests borders – by printing unlimited money, using cheap labor, taking over and exploiting their resources.

The oppressed have also to pay to the oppressor for their own subjugation. That is how we maintain our grand life style – as they boast every day on TV channels and elsewhere – for the top 10%.

During the Soviet days, USSR was a hindrance to this Western Imperialism. And now again some how it turns out that Russia is again becoming the protector of the Oppressed – though they have themselves a kind of makeshift type of Capitalism at this stage.

Sam F , September 27, 2017 at 5:50 pm

The complete economic power of oligarchy (zionists/MIC/WallSt/corporations) over Congress, judiciary, federal agencies, and mass media, results in thedeep state structure. Doubtless there is further deep state gangsterism.

The US has been dominated by the economic power that arose in the 19th century, because the emerging middle class failed to see that this would corrupt democratic institutions if not severely regulated, and of course oligarchy soon controlled the press and excluded the issue from public debate.

Kiza , September 26, 2017 at 9:09 pm

I find it truly fascinating that the US Deep State has changed the narrative through its liberal MSM mouthpieces, since Zuckcrook $100K ad saga, that the Russian goal was not so much to elect President Swamp then to saw chaos and discord in US. Let us look at the hidden meaning of this:
1) the Deep State feels confident that President Swamp has been brought under control; only the quasi-liberal wing of the Deep State still wants to impeach him (fat chance now that he is well under control, if he ever was not yet another faux agent of change – YAFAOC)
2) the rulers are truly concerned about the forthcoming challenge to their rule, which would begin as unrest, chaos and possibly a civil war; ironically they are delivering a very powerful tool to Putin by establishing parallels between US sedition and Putins words; this means that, if he wanted, Putin could just state some obvious criticisms, a sore point of the US/Global system and this becomes a point of oppression in US; such oppression can ultimately have only one outcome for the oppressors.

In brief, it is always useful to monitor the official statements to deduce what is on the rulers minds. They do not appear terribly self confident with their Putin ate my homework stories. Putin is both the leader of the hated Eurasia and Putins face is morphing into the face of the internal enemy Emanuel Goldstein .

Peter Loeb , September 27, 2017 at 7:22 am

STEVEK9

An excellent comment, Stevek9.

To continue responding is to play by the McCarthyist rules. Do I want
to circulate Robert Parrys excellent article (for the most part)? There
would be a collective reply that :the Russians are coming and a
groupthink diversions from WHAT the issues really are (oppression of
blacks in the US -- the real point of the NFL -- discussions usually hidden
under Do you like Trump?Do you hate Russia?And thus not
addressed or an article in Consortium yesterday on the Palestine/
Israeli conflict which was responded to mainly in terms of what
the Russians are doing etc. etc.

I remember the McCarthy era. My Dad had to sign a loyalty
oath. There were other forms such as the Harry Trumans
the Attorney Generals list, The Truman Doctrine, domino
theories etc.

The late historian Gabriel Kolko discussed this in the subsection
Violence and Social Control of his major work MAIN CURRENTS
IN MODERN AMERICAN HISTORY (part of Chapter 5 of that work).

No one is talking about the raw courage of so many black players
(mostly) who suddenly step away from their roles as entertainers
of the American society to remind us all that the US is considering
the murder of unarmed blacks as patriotic…heroic.

Instead, the issue is President Donald Trump and I can guess
that , like Hitler and Mussolini, he loves it with a passion.

What a dirty shame that in the US blacks demonstrating for
justice, for life, are attacked by police funded by the US
via private organizations such as those of Israel which provide
their particular expertise in how to oppress minorities --
accompanied by junkets for US law enforcement officials
for training in the Israeli efficiency in murder, oppression,
and inhuman treatment of those Zionists consider inferior
if human at all.

Dont read the above if you fear that its all the
fault of the Russians.

In French one once said Le revolution se mange..
(The revolution eats itself (se))

-- –Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA

Susan Sunflower , September 27, 2017 at 12:12 pm

Yes, I think the Woodrow Wilson 14-point plan legacy of helping to keep most of Europe from going communist or trying to do so is overlooked For all of Wilsons lies, deals and broken promises, I think his inclusive idealistic promise to ordinary people that is still felt today (and may provide some of the origin of American accepted world leadership in anti-communism). European democratic socialism arose to quell the unrest, expectations and dissatisfaction of those same people after the fall of the empires. Remember all those Frank Capra movies in which Americanism was a non-communist path to egalitarian future. (yes, Capra was an anti-communist)

Counterpunch has an article -- link next comment

Susan Sunflower , September 27, 2017 at 12:12 pm

https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/09/26/world-war-i-continues-to-haunt-america/

Susan Sunflower , September 26, 2017 at 6:18 pm

Heres a fun fact

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security reversed course Tuesday and told Wisconsin officials that the Russian government did not scan the states voter registration system.

Homeland Security told state elections officials on Friday that Wisconsin was one of 21 states targeted by the Russians, raising concerns about the safety and security of the states election systems even though no data had been compromised. But in an email to the states deputy elections administrator that was provided to reporters at the Wisconsin Elections Commission meeting on Tuesday, Homeland Security said that initial notice was in error.

Based on our external analysis, the WI IP address affected belongs to the WI Department of Workforce Development, not the Elections Commission, said the email from Juan Figueroa, with Homeland Securitys Office of Infrastructure Protection.

It wasnt immediately known if Homeland Security made similar mistakes with any of the other 20 states. Figueroa did not immediately reply to an email seeking an explanation of how the mistake was made.

Dr. Ip , September 26, 2017 at 6:28 pm

Ive lived in Germany for over 30 years now, and what has been clear since the infamous Agenda 2010 introduced during the reign of the SPD government under Schroeder, and the reforms introduced by pseudo-Socialist governments in France, is that the same right wing forces that have captured the US, Poland, Hungary and are threatening France and Spain, have their roots (and subtle support) from the neoliberals preoccupied with wealth creation for the few and the destruction of the social net for the many.

Endless war – a perpetuum mobile cash machine – and the attempt to actually own the whole world, has led to a situation that is an updated version of the corporatist fascism of the 30s and 40s. Destruction of the Left is acceptable because it clears a path toward endless profit, and arousal of the Right is seen as profit-beneficial because the uneducated masses that comprise this sector are in love with the illusion of one day belonging to a group that will allow them to achieve wealth and power. Of course it never will. But the unleashing of their anger and violence against all those perceived as superior, especially in intelligence, allows them a catharsis of blood and death which eventually consumes them.

There is a wonderful drawing by Paul Weber entitled Deutsches Verhängnis 1931/1932 which illustrates this point superbly.
( http://www.weber-museum.de/werk/widerstand/ )

Annie , September 26, 2017 at 7:15 pm

People who are registered democrats often see the party as liberal, when in fact it is not. Under Bill Clintons administration the party was pushed even further to the right. I know many democrats who define themselves as progressive or liberals, and have bought into the nonsense that Russia rigged the US election. I never perceived these people as progressive, or liberal and most kept their mouths shut throughout the Obama administration, although he engaged in policies, and practices that no real progressive, or liberal would, or should find acceptable. If they were liberal or progressive in their thinking why would they be so vulnerable to propaganda? Why would they be so easily manipulated if they were truly progressive in their thinking, or not be able to see things from a broader perspective? To me many democrats simply hate Trump, and cant accept that their whining, war candidate lost. And how can you define yourself as progressive when you supported Hillary Clinton in the first place? We should be careful how we use the word liberal, or progressive. It was under the Obama administration that the new cold war really got underway.

Realist , September 27, 2017 at 8:43 am

What you are saying is so true, Annie, but far too many people allow these truths to be obscured by the stereotypes they would rather cling to. I look at Obama as the great betrayer of liberal or progressive causes. He was about as progressive as a Wall Street banker investing his yearly bonus on choice foreclosed properties, or Mitt Romney picking the bones of companies he buys to strip of assets.

Susan Sunflower , September 26, 2017 at 7:18 pm

Recommend Richard Wolfe on fire on RT tonight -- are we at the end of capitalism . cant find a link to youtube.. but while this new mccarthyism hysteria probably (not) the sort of death-throes ravings what one might hope for the reality is that we are past pablum, nostrums, teaks and fixes -- none of which are still operative
Wolfe here is in fine form .

D5-5 , September 26, 2017 at 7:50 pm

b who runs the Moon of Alabama site has a similar view to Parrys on the WAPOs view of the German election (and as always comments recommended):

http://www.moonofalabama.org/2017/09/the-russian-influence-story-falls-apart-a-new-fairy-tale-is-needed.html

[Sep 28, 2017] The Russia-Blamers Think Youre Stupid by Thomas L. Knapp

Notable quotes:
"... Lets assume for a moment that the basic claim is true, although so far the actual evidence indicates a tiny propaganda operation in the scale of things. If its true, the conclusion it points to is: American voters are morons who can be gamed into doing anything by anyone with the ability to buy ads on Facebook and Twitter. ..."
"... I didnt say that. Russian hackers didnt say that, at least in public. Thats what the propagators of the new Red Scare are claiming. ..."
"... If the American electorate is really as abjectly stupid as the blame the Russians crowd insists, it seems to me that instead of blaming the Russians, they should get to work on either making the electorate smarter or coming up with a system that doesnt leave important political decisions in the hands of the gullible. Just sayin ..."
Sep 28, 2017 | www.antiwar.com

Russian operatives used Facebook ads to exploit Americas racial and religious divisions, the Washington Post claims in a September 25 headline .

Over at The Daily Beast , Dean Obeidallah explains How Russian Hackers Used My Face to Sabotage Our Politics and Elect Trump.

And US Senator James Lankford (R-OK) thinks that the Russians and their troll farms (as opposed to Donald Trump and professional football players) are behind the current take a knee kerfuffle between Donald Trump and professional football players.

Because, you know, Americans never had rowdy disagreements with each other over race and religion until last year, and wouldnt be having them now if not for those dirty, no-good Russian hackers who stole the 2016 presidential election from the second most hated candidate in history, on behalf of the most hated candidate in history, operating through subterfuge to achieve the outcome that some of us predicted months in advance, long before anyone mentioned Russian hackers. *

Evidence? Who needs evidence? The people who hated the outcome and have been railing against it for nearly a year now have told us what happened, and why, and whodunit, and theyd never lie to us about something like that, would they? They lied about Saddam Hussein having weapons of mass destruction, and about illegal wiretapping by the NSA, and about a thousand other things, but THIS is DIFFERENT.

Keep in mind that when all the most wild and baseless accusations (e.g. that !THEM RUSSIANS! hacked the voting machines) are discarded, the basic claim remaining is this: By spreading fake news through social media, !THEM RUSSIANS! fooled a bunch of Americans into voting the wrong way.

Lets assume for a moment that the basic claim is true, although so far the actual evidence indicates a tiny propaganda operation in the scale of things. If its true, the conclusion it points to is: American voters are morons who can be gamed into doing anything by anyone with the ability to buy ads on Facebook and Twitter.

I didnt say that. Russian hackers didnt say that, at least in public. Thats what the propagators of the new Red Scare are claiming.

If the American electorate is really as abjectly stupid as the blame the Russians crowd insists, it seems to me that instead of blaming the Russians, they should get to work on either making the electorate smarter or coming up with a system that doesnt leave important political decisions in the hands of the gullible. Just sayin

*In May of 2016, I predicted that Donald Trump would carry every state Mitt Romney carried in 2012, plus Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida. I didnt predict Wisconsin and Iowa, but 48 of 50 states from six months out aint too shabby, is it?

Thomas L. Knapp is director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism . He lives and works in north central Florida. This article is reprinted with permission from William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism.

[Sep 26, 2017] More on Imran Awan by Philip Giraldi

Notable quotes:
"... There are many questions regarding the Awan case. One might reasonably ask how foreign-born IT specialists are selected and vetted prior to being significantly overpaid and allowed to work on computers in congressional offices. And the ability of those same individuals to keep working even after the relevant congressmen have been warned that their employee was under investigation has to be explained beyond Wasserman-Schultz's comment that Awan had not committed any crime, which may have been true but one would expect congressmen to err on the side of caution over an issue that could easily have national security ramifications. And how does a recently bankrupt and unemployed Imran Awan wind up with a high-priced Clinton-connected lawyer to defend himself? ..."
"... As the story involves possible espionage, fraud and even something new to consider regarding the theft of information from the DNC server, one might have expected the Fourth Estate to wake from its slumber and take notice. But perhaps not surprisingly there has been astonishingly little follow-up in the mainstream media about the Awan family, possibly because it involves some leading Democrats, though the Daily Caller ..."
"... In a surprise development, investigative journalists have also determined that Imran Awan retained as of the end of August a still-active secret, numeric email account on the House of Representatives server. E-mail accounts in Congress normally are labeled using the holder's name, so all active accounts are identity-linked as a security measure. In this case the numeric account was linked to the actual account of a House staffer who works on national security issues for Andre Carson, a Democrat from Indiana. Imran Awan clearly has been using the anonymous House of Representatives address as it was cited in a suit filed by a landlord seeking unpaid rent on an apartment rented for his second wife in Alexandria. ..."
"... The most significant recent development in the Awan case is, however, the decision made by Imran's wife Alvi to return to the United States at the end of this month. She has been charged as a co-conspirator relating to the bank fraud that her husband was also involved in, which potentially could result in some jail time. There are, however, reports that she has been interviewed several times in Pakistan by FBI agents and has apparently agreed to a plea bargain to tell all she knows about what went on with the Awan family. Some on Capitol Hill believe that what she knows could prove to be explosive, not only regarding the lax security practices in Congress but also in terms of Debbie Wasserman-Schultz's negligence in providing access to the DNC server. The actual whereabouts of the large quantity of stolen government documents might also be resolved. ..."
"... Something about this is strange. It is as if Imran Awan and his group were not really hired for IT purposes.It is perhaps noteworthy that Pakistani spooks have been intertwined with American events for years. For example, there was a Pakistani connection to 9/11. ..."
"... how can one leverage content in this day and age if there is no thorough knowledge of the tools behind any information system. Put congressmen and women to the test, how many have questions as use of data protocol, firewall, ports, delegated to "specialist", and loyal (the accent on loyal) collaborators without a notion of what they even delegate. If living in an area of specialization, the notion of minimal knowledge and comprehension might be at least a thorough understanding of man – machine correlations. ..."
"... Hillarious Hillary neither, did have a notion of any technicalities of tools applied to bid her interests. ..."
"... The phenomenon will worsen, the glue will thicken into further layers of ignorance. The Moore law? The more complex society, the bigger the ignorance of the elites. ..."
"... This is big. I would like to know, what are Awans credentials that qualified him for the IT position and who hired him? Someone had to vouchsafe for Awan and who is that person? Who approved his salary and why was there no review or audit? Apparently, someone, or some organization wanted to control a large block of the Congress. ..."
"... Audacity and chutzpah of Imran Awan's operation right away made me think of post-military service Israeli youth running various scams and intelligence gathering errands all over the world. ..."
Sep 26, 2017 | www.unz.com

I wrote an article on the strange case of Imran Awan about two months ago. To summarize it briefly, Awan, his two brothers and wife, naturalized U.S. citizens born in Pakistan living in the Washington DC area, found employment as IT administrators in the House of Representatives working for as many as 80 Democratic Party congressmen . Even though they may have had little actual training in IT, they insinuated themselves into the system and were paid in excess of $5 million over the course of ten years, chief-of-staff level pay, while frequently not even showing up for work. They even brought into the arrangement a frequent no-show Pakistani friend whose prior work history consisted of getting recently fired by McDonald's .

Along the way, their security files were never reviewed. They were involved in bankruptcies, bank fraud and other criminal activity, but their troublesome behavior was never noticed. They were on bad terms with their father and step-mother, which including forging a document to cheat their step-mother of an insurance payment and even holding her "captive" so she could not see their dying father. Their father even changed his last name to dissociate himself from them.

Imran Awan, the leader of the group, worked particularly for Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, who was, at the time, also the Chairman of the Democratic National Committee. Though he had no clearance and was not supposed to work with classified material, he and his family obtained password access to congressional files and Imran himself was able to enter Wasserman-Schultz's own personal iPad computer which linked to the server used by the Democratic National Committee.

As of February 2016, the Awans came under suspicion by the Capitol Hill Police for having set up an operation involving double billing as well as the possible theft and reselling of government owned computer equipment. It was also believed that they had somehow obtained entry to much of the House of Representatives' computer network as well as to other information in the individual offices' separate computer systems that they were in theory not allowed to access. It was also believed that Imran sent "massive" quantities of stolen government files to a remote personal server . It may have been located in his former residence in Lorton, Virginia. The police began an investigation and quietly alerted the congressmen involved that there might be a problem. Most stopped employing the Awan family members and associates, but Wasserman-Schultz kept Imran on the payroll until the day after he was actually arrested.

Imran was arrested on July 25 th at Dulles Airport as he was flying to Pakistan to join his wife Alvi, who had left the country with their children and many of their possessions in March. In January, they had also wired to Pakistan $283,000 that they had obtained fraudulently from the Congressional credit union. After his arrest, Imran was defended by lawyer Chris Gowen , a high-priced $1,000 an hour Washington attorney who has worked for the Clintons personally, the Clinton Foundation and the Clinton Global Initiative.

There are many questions regarding the Awan case. One might reasonably ask how foreign-born IT specialists are selected and vetted prior to being significantly overpaid and allowed to work on computers in congressional offices. And the ability of those same individuals to keep working even after the relevant congressmen have been warned that their employee was under investigation has to be explained beyond Wasserman-Schultz's comment that Awan had not committed any crime, which may have been true but one would expect congressmen to err on the side of caution over an issue that could easily have national security ramifications. And how does a recently bankrupt and unemployed Imran Awan wind up with a high-priced Clinton-connected lawyer to defend himself?

As the story involves possible espionage, fraud and even something new to consider regarding the theft of information from the DNC server, one might have expected the Fourth Estate to wake from its slumber and take notice. But perhaps not surprisingly there has been astonishingly little follow-up in the mainstream media about the Awan family, possibly because it involves some leading Democrats, though the Daily Caller and some other conservative sites have stayed on top of developments.

Since his arrest Imran Awan has had his passports confiscated by the court and has been released on bail on condition that he wear an ankle monitor at all times and not travel more than 50 miles from the Virginia home where he is staying with a relative. In early September, he sought to have the monitor removed and his passports returned so he could travel to Pakistan and visit his children. His plea was rejected. He is not yet scheduled for trial on the allegations of bank fraud and is apparently still under investigation by the Bureau relating to other possible charges, including possible espionage. His four accomplices are also still under investigation but have not been charged. They are on a watch list and will not be allowed to leave the United States while the inquiry is continuing.

It has also been learned that Imran had been on the receiving end of complaints filed with the Fairfax County Virginia police in 2015-6 by two women who resided in separate apartments in Alexandria that are reportedly paid for by Imran Awan. Both of the women complained of abuse and one is believed to be a "second wife" for Imran Awan, legal in Pakistan but illegal in the United States. Imran reportedly divorced his second wife shortly after his arrest.

In a surprise development, investigative journalists have also determined that Imran Awan retained as of the end of August a still-active secret, numeric email account on the House of Representatives server. E-mail accounts in Congress normally are labeled using the holder's name, so all active accounts are identity-linked as a security measure. In this case the numeric account was linked to the actual account of a House staffer who works on national security issues for Andre Carson, a Democrat from Indiana. Imran Awan clearly has been using the anonymous House of Representatives address as it was cited in a suit filed by a landlord seeking unpaid rent on an apartment rented for his second wife in Alexandria.

The most significant recent development in the Awan case is, however, the decision made by Imran's wife Alvi to return to the United States at the end of this month. She has been charged as a co-conspirator relating to the bank fraud that her husband was also involved in, which potentially could result in some jail time. There are, however, reports that she has been interviewed several times in Pakistan by FBI agents and has apparently agreed to a plea bargain to tell all she knows about what went on with the Awan family. Some on Capitol Hill believe that what she knows could prove to be explosive, not only regarding the lax security practices in Congress but also in terms of Debbie Wasserman-Schultz's negligence in providing access to the DNC server. The actual whereabouts of the large quantity of stolen government documents might also be resolved.

This story, which is still unfolding, continues to have the potential to blow wide open the complacent culture on Capitol Hill and it also might ruin the reputations of a number of leading Democrats. Stay tuned!

Buzz Mohawk > , September 26, 2017 at 5:35 am GMT

Something about this is strange. It is as if Imran Awan and his group were not really hired for IT purposes.It is perhaps noteworthy that Pakistani spooks have been intertwined with American events for years. For example, there was a Pakistani connection to 9/11.

There is a Pakistani connection to CIA and related sorts of things. One wonders what kind of work these Pakistanis were really doing for Wasserman-Schultz and others involved ! and what kind of things Debbie and the Americans she is connected to are involved in.

Ludwig Watzal > , Website September 26, 2017 at 8:48 am GMT

Of course, it could have the potential of a massive scandal, but If the inner circles of the Dems, especially the criminal machinations of the Clintons and their stooges are concerned, the mainstream media will keep mum. So far, they have always covered up their dubious and dirty tricks. The American political system within the Beltway is so rotten and corrupt that everybody will be affected if the slightest connection comes to the fore. Take the so-called Russian hacking as a case in point. It's all bogus, but the investigation continues by the Clinton stooge named Robert Mueller.

The Alarmist > , September 26, 2017 at 11:01 am GMT

@Ludwig Watzal

Mueller is not a Clinton stooge He's the stooge of the Clintons' puppet master.

Kiza > , September 26, 2017 at 1:01 pm GMT

The US establishment reminds me of a poorly knitted jumper with many threads sticking out. So it desperately prevents, using the intelligence services, the police and the media it controls, any investigation because if one would pull one thread successfully the whole thing would unravel in its full perverted glory of deprevity (the whole Demopublican establishment that is).

m___ > , September 26, 2017 at 7:54 am GMT

No surprises, the quality of politicians worldwide is embedded in the system. The question asked: how can a meritocracy apply extended family, friend and sex-mates, to the selection system consequently. Another, how can one leverage content in this day and age if there is no thorough knowledge of the tools behind any information system. Put congressmen and women to the test, how many have questions as use of data protocol, firewall, ports, delegated to "specialist", and loyal (the accent on loyal) collaborators without a notion of what they even delegate. If living in an area of specialization, the notion of minimal knowledge and comprehension might be at least a thorough understanding of man – machine correlations.

Hillarious Hillary neither, did have a notion of any technicalities of tools applied to bid her interests. "Boom", "Boom", "oBama", was using computers to play "drone of doom".

Politicians dress, groom, prepare and travel to public moments of extroversion, and that's it. Very busy critters, highly un-focused beyond anything deeper then egocentric looks and sway of an actor. It works, there is a public, "deplorable", "gens de rien" ignorance carrying them, complicit media and scientists, sustaining them. The phenomenon will worsen, the glue will thicken into further layers of ignorance. The Moore law? The more complex society, the bigger the ignorance of the elites.

A suggestive test: time employment over years in office would uproot the sterling conclusion that politicians, administrators of public affairs have simply no time and energy left to analyze anything beyond their public person's direct interests. Systemic, in all branches, our elites are simply not up to par. And that "works", in occurrence the state of affairs worldwide, in the long term, in depth.

Anon > , Disclaimer September 26, 2017 at 6:16 pm GMT

For those who are unfamiliar with US involvement in South Asia: Pakistan's military and intelligences services are funded by America (just as Egypt's are). Pakistani intelligence and army has long been a CIA stooge and that goes since the 80s and even before that. It was Pakistanis who were training the mujahideen to fight Russia in Afghanistan during the cold war. So no one is surprised when Pakistani ISI chief is here in US during the execution of 9/11. Throughout much of the world, 9/11 is seen as a plot of American government.

By the way, do you seriously think Pakistani army which survives on American funding would bite the hand that feeds it by secretly giving refuge to Osama Bin Laden? If that was truly the case, as government said during their s0-called raid in Pakistan that supposedly killed Osama, would the US government still be giving billions to Pakistan's army? Pakistan's army, like Egypt's army and Turkey's army, are supported by America as a way of subverting democracy in those countries. Unfotunately American public's general knowledge of what America funds and how it conducts itself with other countries is so low that it is impossible for the majority to have any kind of reality based understanding of what their taxes are paying for and how it does not support "freedom" but the opposite of it throughout the world

Boris M Garsky > , September 26, 2017 at 7:11 pm GMT

This is big. I would like to know, what are Awans credentials that qualified him for the IT position and who hired him? Someone had to vouchsafe for Awan and who is that person? Who approved his salary and why was there no review or audit? Apparently, someone, or some organization wanted to control a large block of the Congress. Was it Clinton, was it Intelligence, the Mossad, Rothschilds, Russia?

I would imagine that her calls were being monitored and her involvement known.

utu > , September 26, 2017 at 9:09 pm GMT

Audacity and chutzpah of Imran Awan's operation right away made me think of post-military service Israeli youth running various scams and intelligence gathering errands all over the world. Only people with a strong awareness of being the untouchable sacred cows and/or somebody with a strong back up of security services can behave like this.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidyin/2013/12/19/out-of-israel-into-the-world/#247ca203367d

Each year, 75,000 soldiers are discharged from the Israel Defense Force. A third of them then travel across Asia and South America, supporting businesses at home and abroad.

There are recruitment offices in Israel and job placement websites specifically for that. A lot of them."

[Sep 26, 2017] Is Foreign Propaganda Even Effective by Leon Hadar

Highly recommended!
I think the key to collapse of Soviet society and its satellites was the victory of neoliberal ideology over communism. It was pure luck for neoliberalism was that its triumphal march over the globe coincide with deep crisis of both communist ideology and the Soviet elite (nomenklatura) in the USSR. Hapless, mediocre Gorbachov, a third rate politician who became the leader of the USSR is a telling example here. Propaganda, especially "big troika" (BBC, Deutsche Welle and Voice of America), also played a very important role in this. Especially in Baltic countries and Ukraine.
Domestic fake new industry always has huge advantage over foreign one in the USA and other Western countries, because of general cultural dominance of the West.
The loss of effectiveness of neoliberal propaganda now is the same as the reason for loss of effectiveness of communist propaganda since 60th. In the first case it was the crisis of communist ideology, in the second is the crisis of neoliberal ideology. Everybody now understands that the neoliberal promises were fake, and "bait and switch" manuver that enriched the tiny percentage of population (top 1% and even more 0.01%).
When the society experience the crisis of ideology it became inoculated toward official propaganda -- it simply loses its bite.
Notable quotes:
"... As the The Economist notes, a 2015 survey of the top 94 cable channels in America by the research firm Nielsen found that RT did not even make it into the rankings, capturing only 0.04 percent of viewers, according to the Broadcast Audience Research Board. ..."
"... RT has claimed dominance on YouTube, an assertion that apparently caught the attention of the U.S. intelligence community, which noted that RT videos get 1 million views a day, far surpassing other outlets. ..."
"... Or as media-effects theorists explain the communication process, the intentions of the producer (Soviet Union) and the conventions of the content (communist propaganda) were interwoven in a strategy aimed at influencing the receiver (the American audience). But the majority of Americans, with the exception of a few hard-core ideologues, interpreted the content of the message as pitiful Soviet propaganda, assuming they even paid attention to it. ..."
"... There is no doubt that Moscow, which regarded President Harry Truman as its leading American political nemesis, was hoping that Progressive presidential candidate Henry Wallace would win the 1948 election -- and had tailored its propaganda effort in accordance with that goal. That pro-Wallace campaign took place at a time when the American Communist Party still maintained some influence in the United States, where many Americans still sympathized with the former World War II ally and a large number of Soviet spies were operating in the country. But then Wallace's Progressives ended up winning 2.5 percent of the vote, less than Strom Thurmond's Southern segregationist ticket. ..."
"... Yet we are supposed to believe that by employing RT, Sputnik, Facebook, Twitter, and a bunch of hackers, the Russians could help their American candidate "steal" the 2016 presidential election. Is there any evidence that those white blue-collar workers and rural voters in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Michigan -- the people who provided Trump with his margin of victory -- were even exposed to the reports distributed by RT and Sputnik, or by the memes constructed by Russian trolls or their posts on Facebook? ("Hey, did you watch RT last night?") ..."
"... Yet the assertion that a "silver bullet shot from a media gun" in the form of Russian propaganda was able "to penetrate a hapless audience" in the United States has been gaining more adherents in Washington and elsewhere. This conspiracy seems to correlate the intent of the Russian government and the content of their messages with the voting behavior of Americans. ..."
"... In a strange irony, those who are promoting this fallacious assertion may -- unlike their Russian scapegoat -- actually succeed in penetrating a hapless American audience. ..."
Sep 26, 2017 | www.theamericanconservative.com

The Russians can dish it out, but don't expect Americans to swallow everything.

During the Cold War, it became an article of faith among Western policymakers and journalists: One of the most effective ways to discredit the leaders of Communist countries would be to provide their citizens with information from the West. It was a view that was shared by Soviet Bloc regimes who were worried that listening to the Voice of America (VOA) or watching Western television shows would induce their people to take political action against the rulers.

So it was not surprising that government officials in East Germany, anxious that many TV stations from West Germany could be viewed by their citizens, employed numerous means!such as jamming the airwaves and even damaging TV antennas that were pointing west!in order to prevent the so-called "subversive" western broadcasts from reaching audiences over the wall.

After the Berlin Wall collapsed in 1989, communication researchers studying public attitudes in former East German areas assumed that they would discover that those who had access to West German television!and were therefore exposed to the West's political freedom and economic prosperity!were more politically energized and willing to challenge the communist regime than those who couldn't watch Western television.

But as Evgeny Morozov recalled in his Net Delusion: The Dark Side of Internet Freedom , a study conducted between 1966 and 1990 about incipient protests in the so-called "Valley of the Clueless"!an area in East Germany where the government successfully blocked Western television signals!raised questions about this conventional wisdom.

As it turns out, having access to West German television actually made life in East Germany more endurable. Far from radicalizing its citizens, it seemed to have made them more politically compliant. As one East German dissident quoted by Morozov lamented, "The whole people could leave the country and move to the West as a man at 8pm, via television."

Meanwhile, East German citizens who did not have access to Western German television were actually more critical of their regime, and more politically restless.

The study concluded that "in an ironic twist for Marxism, capitalist television seems to have performed the same narcotizing function in communist East Germany that Karl Marx had attributed to religious beliefs in capitalist society when he condemned religion as the 'opium of the people.'"

Morozov refers to the results of these and other studies to raise an interesting idea: Western politicians and pundits have predicted that the rise of the Internet, which provides free access to information to residents of the global village, would galvanize citizens in Russia and other countries to challenge their authoritarian regimes. In reality, Morozov contends that exposure to the Internet may have distracted Russian users from their political problems. The young men who should be leading the revolution are instead staying at home and watching online pornography. Trotsky, as we know, didn't tweet.

Yet the assumption that the content of the message is a "silver bullet shot from a media gun to penetrate a hapless audience," as communication theorists James Arthur Anderson and Timothy P. Meyer put it, remains popular among politicians and pundits today, despite ample evidence to the contrary.

Hence the common assertion that a presidential candidate who has raised a lots of money and can spend it on buying a lots of television commercials, has a clear advantage over rivals who cannot afford to dominate the media environment. But the loser in the 2016 presidential race spent about $141.7 million on ads, compared with $58.8 million for winner's campaign, according to NBC News . Candidate Trump also spent a fraction of what his Republican rivals had during the Republican primaries that he won.

Communication researchers like Anderson and Meyers are not suggesting that media messages don't have any effect on target audiences, but that it is quite difficult to sell ice to Eskimos. To put it in simple terms, media audiences are not hapless and passive. Although you can flood them with messages that are in line with your views and interests, audiences actively participate in the communication process. They will construct their own meaning from the content they consume, and in some cases they might actually disregard your message.

Imagine a multi-billionaire who decides to produce thousands of commercials celebrating the legacy of ISIS, runs them on primetime American television, and floods social media with messages praising the murderous terrorist group. If that happened, would Americans be rallying behind the flag of ISIS? One can imagine that the response from audiences would range from anger to dismissal to laughter.

In 2013 Al Jazeera Media Network purchased Current TV , which was once partially owned by former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, and launched an American news channel. Critics expressed concerns that the network, which is owned by the government of Qatar and has been critical of U.S. policies in the Middle East, would try to manipulate American audiences with their anti-Washington message.

Three years later, after hiring many star journalists and producing mostly straight news shows, Al Jazeera America CEO Al Anstey announced that the network would cease operations. Anstey cited the "economic landscape" which was another way of saying that its ratings were distressingly low. The relatively small number of viewers who watched Al Jazeera America 's programs considered them not anti-American but just, well, boring.

You don't have to be a marketing genius to figure out that in the age of the 24/7 media environment, foreign networks face prohibitive competition from American cable news networks like CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, social media, not to mention Netflix and yes, those online porno sites. Thus the chances that a foreign news organization would be able to attract large American audiences, and have any serious impact on their political views, remain very low.

That, indeed, has been the experience of not only the defunct Al Jazeera America , but also of other foreign news outlets that have tried to imitate the Qatar-based network by launching operations targeting American audiences. These networks have included CGTN (China Global Television Network), the English-language news channel run by Chinese state broadcaster China Central Television ; PressTV, a 24-hour English language news and documentary network affiliated with Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting ; or RT (formerly Russia Today), a Russian international television network funded by the Russian government that operates cable and satellite television channels directed to audiences outside of Russia.

After all, unless you are getting to paid to watch CTGN, PressTV, or RT -- or you are a news junkie with a lot of time on your hands -- why in the world would you be spending even one hour of the day watching these foreign networks?

Yet if you have been following the coverage and public debate over the alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, you get the impression that RT and another Russian media outlet, Sputnik (a news agency and radio broadcast service established by the Russian government-controlled news agency Rossiya Segodnya ), were central players in a conspiracy between the Trump presidential campaign and the Kremlin to deny the presidency to Hillary Clinton.

In fact, more than half of the much-cited January report on the Russian electoral interference released by U.S. intelligence agencies was devoted to warning of RT's growing influence in the United States and across the world, referring to the "rapid expansion" of the network's operations and budget to about $300 million a year, and citing the supposedly impressive audience numbers listed on the RT website.

According to America's spooks, the coordinated activities of RT and the online-media properties and social-media accounts that made up "Russia's state-run propaganda machine" have been employed by the Russian government to "undermine the U.S.-led liberal democratic order."

And in a long cover story in The New York Times Magazine this month, with the headline, " RT, Sputnik and Russia's New Theory of War, " Jim Rutenberg suggested that the Kremlin has "built one of the most powerful information weapons of the 21st century" and that it "may be impossible to stop."

But as the British Economist magazine reported early this year, while RT claims to reach 550 million people worldwide, with America and Britain supposedly being its most successful markets, its "audience" of 550 million refers to "the number of people who can access its channel, not those who actually watch it."

As the The Economist notes, a 2015 survey of the top 94 cable channels in America by the research firm Nielsen found that RT did not even make it into the rankings, capturing only 0.04 percent of viewers, according to the Broadcast Audience Research Board.

The Times' s Rutenberg argues that the RT's ratings "are almost beside the point." RT might not have amassed an audience that remotely rivals CNN's in conventional terms, "but in the new, 'democratized' media landscape, it doesn't need to" since "the network has come to form the hub of a new kind of state media operation: one that travels through the same diffuse online channels, chasing the same viral hits and memes, as the rest of the Twitter-and-Facebook-age media."

Traveling "through the same diffuse online channels" and "chasing the same viral hits and memes" sounds quite impressive. Indeed, RT has claimed dominance on YouTube, an assertion that apparently caught the attention of the U.S. intelligence community, which noted that RT videos get 1 million views a day, far surpassing other outlets.

But as The Economist points out, when it comes to Twitter and Facebook, RT's reach is narrower than that of other news networks. Its claim of YouTube success is mostly down to the network's practice of buying the rights to sensational footage -- for instance, Japan's 2011 tsunami -- and repackaging it with the company logo. It's not clear, however, how the dissemination of a footage of a natural disaster or of a dog playing the piano helps efforts to "undermine the U.S.-led liberal democratic order."

It is obvious that the Russian leaders have been investing a lot of resources in RT, Sputnik, and other media outlets, and that they employ them as propaganda tools aimed at promoting their government's viewpoints and interests around the world. From that perspective, these Russian media executives are heirs to the communist officials who had been in charge of the propaganda empire of the Soviet Union and its satellites during much of the 20th Century.

The worldwide communist propaganda machine did prove to be quite effective during the Great Depression and World War II, when it succeeded in tapping into the economic and social anxieties and anti-Nazi sentiments in the West and helped strengthen the power of the communist parties in Europe and, to some extent, in the United States.

But in the same way that Western German television programs failed to politically energize East Germans during the Cold War, much of the Soviet propaganda distributed by the Soviet Union at that time had very little impact on the American public and its political attitudes, as symbolized by the shrinking membership of the American Communist Party.

Or as media-effects theorists explain the communication process, the intentions of the producer (Soviet Union) and the conventions of the content (communist propaganda) were interwoven in a strategy aimed at influencing the receiver (the American audience). But the majority of Americans, with the exception of a few hard-core ideologues, interpreted the content of the message as pitiful Soviet propaganda, assuming they even paid attention to it.

Soviet propaganda may have scored limited success during the Cold War when it came to members of the large communist parties in France, Italy, and Japan, as well as exploited anti-American sentiments in some third-world countries. In these cases, the intentions of the producer and the convention of the message seemed to be in line with the interpretations of the receivers.

There is no doubt that Moscow, which regarded President Harry Truman as its leading American political nemesis, was hoping that Progressive presidential candidate Henry Wallace would win the 1948 election -- and had tailored its propaganda effort in accordance with that goal. That pro-Wallace campaign took place at a time when the American Communist Party still maintained some influence in the United States, where many Americans still sympathized with the former World War II ally and a large number of Soviet spies were operating in the country. But then Wallace's Progressives ended up winning 2.5 percent of the vote, less than Strom Thurmond's Southern segregationist ticket.

Yet we are supposed to believe that by employing RT, Sputnik, Facebook, Twitter, and a bunch of hackers, the Russians could help their American candidate "steal" the 2016 presidential election. Is there any evidence that those white blue-collar workers and rural voters in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Michigan -- the people who provided Trump with his margin of victory -- were even exposed to the reports distributed by RT and Sputnik, or by the memes constructed by Russian trolls or their posts on Facebook? ("Hey, did you watch RT last night?")

Yet the assertion that a "silver bullet shot from a media gun" in the form of Russian propaganda was able "to penetrate a hapless audience" in the United States has been gaining more adherents in Washington and elsewhere. This conspiracy seems to correlate the intent of the Russian government and the content of their messages with the voting behavior of Americans.

In a strange irony, those who are promoting this fallacious assertion may -- unlike their Russian scapegoat -- actually succeed in penetrating a hapless American audience.

Leon Hadar is a writer and author of the books Quagmire: America in the Middle East and Sandstorm: Policy Failure in the Middle East. His articles have appeared in the New York Times, The Washington Post, Washington Times, The Los Angeles Times, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, and the National Interest.

The Color of Celery , says: September 26, 2017 at 1:20 am

For an example of the success of propaganda, look at Breitbart. The messages online during the 2016 election were pervasive and insidious. I think this post underestimates the threat by focusing on traditional media instead of social interaction.

RT covered Assange during the election better than other outlets.

It's easy to see everything from a personal perspective and forget that we are very diverse. We don't live in an ABC, CBS, and NBC world anymore, with information controlled. Changes in thought and belief happen online now, in many, many different venues.

polistra , says: September 26, 2017 at 3:39 am
A government that has confidence in its own support doesn't need to fight foreign information. In the '30s and '40s the US government encouraged shortwave listening, and manufacturers made money by adding SW bands to their radios. We were going through a depression and then a war, but our government was CONFIDENT enough to encourage us to understand the world.

Since 1950 the government has been narrowing the focus of external input because it knows that it no longer has the natural consent of the governed. TV and the Web are intentional forms of jamming, filling our eyes and ears with internally produced nonsense to crowd out the external info.

Meddlesome , says: September 26, 2017 at 7:44 am
The ones you have to worry about are those much closer to home – "inside the tent".

Friends in the UK, Canada, and Europe are appalled at the distorting effect Israeli propaganda has on American news sources, and how unaware of it typical Americans seem to be.

Indeed, it is odd and more than a little worrying that all the concern about "foreign meddling" has so far failed to engage with Israel, which is hands down the best funded, most sophisticated and successful foreign meddler.

The FBI annually reports that Israel spies on us at the same level as Russia and China. But we have yet to fully register that Israeli spying includes systematic efforts to influence American elections and policies, efforts that dwarf those of Putin's Russia both in scale and impact.

Fran Macadam , says: September 26, 2017 at 9:24 am
I think that the corporate masters of propaganda media and politics in these United States, have, in the words of Edward G. Robinson's Rico in Little Caesar, "gotten to where you can dish it out, but you can't take it anymore."

It's counterfactual to conflate Soviet propaganda with the perspective of Russians today, unless Communism never really was the real point. In fact, it's our own leaders in media and politics who now increasingly issue dogmatic and insulting derogatory language, sounding more and more like late Soviet propagandists themselves.

Pelayo Viriato , says: September 26, 2017 at 10:20 am
@The Color of Celery:

So what? What's wrong with people being exposed to a broad array of points of view, trying to better understand the world and constantly challenging, refining, and reshaping their worldview in the process?

You're coming perilously close to suggesting that Americans who are critical of their government are dupes of hostile foreign powers ! an unfair, unhelpful, and undemocratic assertion.

ZGler , says: September 26, 2017 at 11:45 am
The problem with Russian trolls is that people don't know they are Russian trolls. They think they are their fellow Americans and neighbors on Facebook. The influence of foreign propaganda on Americans is not due to transparent media like Al Jazeera. It's due to propaganda disguised as your neighbor's opinion.
Mike Johnson , says: September 26, 2017 at 3:33 pm
this conversation cant be taken serious without a serious discussion on Israel, who by the way provides the perfect case and point of how effective foreign propaganda can be. They work through our media, school systems and even our churches. Just look at what happened to McGraw Hill for daring to show before and after maps of the Palestine over the years.

[Sep 26, 2017] Neocons and Hollywood Liberals Go to War on Russia

Notable quotes:
"... Anyway, the whole Russiagate thing will either explode into nothing or drift off into nothing. Why? Because there's no "there" there. ALL just fabricated hype. Too many people fall prey to surmises and suggestions and baseless conclusions. ..."
"... Read Robert Parry, and, please, interview him and others from consortiumnews.com , my best go to source for truth. Thanks for this interview with Max, a man I greatly admire. ..."
"... Fabr