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Skepticism and critical thinking is not panacea, but can help to understand the world better

MSM fake news industry uses projection as the major weapon

MSM allegations of "fake news" and attempts to discredit the opponent as a projection of own misbehavior

News Anti Trump Hysteria Recommended Links Fake News scare and US NeoMcCartyism Whataboutism as a thought crime Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak
Demonization of Putin Hillary Clinton email scandal: Timeline and summary Who Shot down Malaysian flight MH17? Obama's Putin-did-it fiasco Media-Military-Industrial Complex Hillary "Warmonger" Clinton
Doublespeak Discrediting the opponent as favorite tactic of neoliberals The Guardian Slips Beyond the Reach of Embarrassment Freedom of speech played by Western MSM as three card monte Patterns of Propaganda The importance of controlling the narrative
MSM Sochi Bashing Rampage Cold War II "Fuck the EU": State Department neocons show EU its real place Neoconservatism as the USA version of Neoliberal ideology  Charlie Hebdo - more questions then answers New American Militarism
Swiftboating: Khan gambit against Trump at Democratic Convention Pussy Riot Provocation and "Deranged Pussy Worship Syndrome" Deception as an art form The Deep State National Security State Totalitarian Decisionism & Human Rights: The Re-emergence of Nazi Law
Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair US and British media are servants of security apparatus The attempt to secure global hegemony American Exceptionalism Co-opting of the Human Rights to embarrass governments who oppose neoliberalism Manipulation of the term "freedom of press"
Lewis Powell Memo Anatol Leiven on American Messianism Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism Edward Lucas as agent provocateur Groupthink Soft propaganda
Diplomacy by deception Democracy as a universal opener for access to natural resources Deconstructing neoliberalism's definition of 'freedom' The Real War on Reality Nation under attack meme Bullshit as MSM communication method
Neo-fascism Classic Hypocrisy of British Ruling Elite Is national security state in the USA gone rogue ? Big Uncle is Watching You What's the Matter with Kansas Media as a weapon of mass deception
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass The Good Soldier Svejk Nineteen Eighty-Four Propaganda Quotes Humor Etc
  For more and more Americans, the other side isn’t merely misguided in the extreme. It’s evil in the absolute, and virtue is measured by the starkness with which that evil is labeled and reviled. There are emotional satisfactions to this. There is also a terrible price.

, June 17, 2017

I’m O.K. — You’re Pure Evil - The New York Times

Liars always become very touchy when confronted with their falsehoods. They will inevitably attack there accusers with more lies to make them look bad. This is a fundamental reflex all liars respond to critics with. "I'm not lying, you are!" Those who want to believe the real liar love this response, because it gives them an excuse not to investigate if the accuser may be right. Then they can just turn on the accuser and blame them for false accusation – without the slightest proof, of course.

Comment at https://consortiumnews.com

The capacity to disseminate misinformation, in order to paint the opposition in wildly negative light, suppressing any rebuttal is now standard tactic of US MSM. It allows sharp polarization of  the electorate, the classic "divide and conquer" strategy.

Over the past decade in particular, the internet and social media have changed the game. They speed people to like-minded warriors and give them the impression of broader company or sturdier validation than really exist. The fervor of those in the anti-vaccine movement exemplifies this.

Admirers can now coalesce quickly (like was the case during Sanders run), but the same is true for the opposite side. The Web becomes worldwide Hyde Park, where everyone shows up with his/her personal opinions, convictions, and, of course,  truth.

But Web sites with  forums of likeminded people create echo camera effect, “create a whole new permission structure, a sense of social affirmation for what was once unthinkable...”   If words can inspire, then they can also incite or debase. As the result, people are  surrendering restraint and a socially important thing called tact. And this "verbal extremism" guarantees to widen the divisions between us. That’s true whether those words are spoken from the right or from the left, and the monetization of partisan combat spans the ideological spectrum.

George Orwell’s “Looking Back on the Spanish War,” said that for him, “history stopped in 1936,” because it was there, in Spain, that he discovered for the first time “newspaper reports which did not bear any relation to the facts.”

It was there that he sensed that “the very concept of objective truth,” ruined by propaganda. more modern form including "mathiness" -- miring the obvious in a miasma of charts and graphs

Another interesting effect of Web is that now it is not necessary to suppress somebody opinion expressed say in the article on the Web. now it is enough to remove it from Google and couple of other popular search engines.

Also valid, valuable opinions became diluted in tremendous amount of "junk" - irrelevant or clearly erroneous information generated on the Web.  If one read attentively Guardian forums (which are one of the most high quality forums on the Web), one can state that there is 5% or less commenters who really know the subject they are talking about; often better/deeper then the author of the article they discuss. But to find them one need to browse pages of irrelevant comments.

Discrediting the opponent as a favorite tactic of neoliberals

Whataboutism is a nickname MSM have given that dirty the tactic of discrediting the opponent, when the opponent questions the USA objectivity because it committed similar or worse crimes in the past. Which, of course, if nor deprive, but greatly diminish the USA status as an objective judge.

Neoliberal channels are ready to come up with numerous conspiracy theories, painting the opponent, especially Russia, as ruthless canning opportunists, devoid of any moral principles. But, unfortunately, this is true about the USA too.

The key idea of this cynical post-modern media strategy, perfected by neoliberal political technologists is to block/suppress/dilute all opposing views in the "neoliberal noise" (like air dominance in war the US MSM practice full airwave dominance). That's why Putin interview is edited in such a wya as to hide any substantial criticism of the US policy. And not only Putin. This  is a universal strategy of deciet.  Its goal of the US MSM is to confuse what’s true with what’s not, to the point that the truth vanishes. What it undeniable is that over the past year neoliberals created an artificial reality that matches or exceed the one that existed in the USSR. Along with demonization Russia they also greatly succeeded in demonization of Trump.

This color revolution that Clinton and their supporters in several intelligence agencies launched against Trump in election would be painfully familiar to one who observed , for example, Ukrainian Orange revolution. Templates are identical.  just the goals are different (in case of Orange revolution delegitimization of elections to the extent that new elections were called; in case of anti-Trump  color revolution the appointment of the Special Prosecutor (aka Grand Inquisitor) was the goal.

WJ , May 4, 2018 3:53:30 PM | 12

The detail of b's analysis that stands out to me as especially significant and brilliant is his demolition of the Guardian's reuse of the Merkel "quote."

This one detail tells us so much about how propaganda works, and about how it can be defeated. Successful propaganda both depends upon and seeks to accelerate the erasure of historical memory. This is because its truths are always changing to suit the immediate needs of the state. None of its truths can be understood historically.

B makes the connection between the documented but forgotten past "truth" of Merkel's quote and its present reincarnation in the Guardian, and this is really all he *needs* to do.

What b points out is something quite simple; yet the ability to do this very simple thing is becoming increasingly rare and its exercise increasingly difficult to achieve. It is for me the virtue that makes b's analysis uniquely indispensable.

Related to the above, consider the nature of the recently christened thought-crime, "whataboutism." The crime may be defined as follows:

"Whataboutism" is the attempt to understand a truth asserted by propaganda by way of relation to other truths it has asserted contemporaneous with or prior to this one. It is to ask, "What about this *other* truth? Does this *other* truth affect our understanding of *this* truth? And if so, how does it?"

Whataboutism seems to proclaim that each asserted truth stands on its own, and has no essential relation to any other past, present, or future asserted truth.

This is what must be done by free thinkers if they are to counter and reverse the collectivist nightmare of neoliberalism.

Try to avoid false trick of "shaming" under some artificial labels like communist or racist: Social justice relies on shaming tactics, usually by slandering an opponent with a label that does not really apply to him, in order to control his arguments and behavior. If you don’t care about being called a bigot, a racist, a sexist, a misogynist, a homophobe, etc., then there is not really much that they can do to you.

Do not self-censor: This does not mean you should go out of your way to be antagonistic or act like an ass, but the thought police have power only if you give power to them. Say what you want to say when you want to say it, and do it with a smile. Let the PC police froth and scream until they have an aneurism. neoliberals are generally weaklings. They avoid physical confrontation like they avoid logic, so why fear them?

Demand facts to back claims: neoliberals tend to argue on the basis of opinion rather than fact. Present facts to counter their claims, and demand facts and evidence in return. Opinions are irrelevant if the person is not willing to present supporting facts when asked.

Do not play the game of "unconscious bias": If social justice cultists can't counter your position with facts or logic, they will invariably turn to the old standby that you are limited in your insight because you have not lived in the shoes of a - (insert victim group here).  I agree.  In fact, I would point out that this reality of limited perception also applies to THEM as well.  They have not lived in my shoes, therefore they are in no position to claim I enjoy "privilege" while they do not.  This is why facts and evidence are so important, and why anecdotal evidence and personal feelings are irrelevant where cultural Marxism is concerned.

Let neoliberals know their fears and feelings do not matter: No one is entitled to have their feelings addressed by others. And, a person’s fears are ultimately unimportant. Whether the issue is the nonexistent “rape culture” or the contempt neoliberals feel over private gun ownership, their irrational fears are not our concern. Why should any individual relinquish his liberties in the name of placating frightened nobodies?

Demand that banksters respect your inherent individual rights: Banksters message is that there is no such thing as inherent rights or liberties and that all rights are arbitrary and subject to the whims of the group or the state. This is false. I have written extensively in the past on inherent rights, inborn psychological contents and natural law, referencing diverse luminaries, scientists and thinkers, including Thomas Aquinas, Carl Gustave Jung, Steven Pinker, etc., and I welcome readers to study my many articles on individualism.  Freedom is an inborn conception with universally understood aspects. Period. No group or collective is more important than individual liberty. No artificial society has preeminence over the individuals within that society. As long as a person is not directly impeding the life, liberty, prosperity and privacy of another person, he should be left alone.

Maintain your rights as long as they do not hurt other people: PC cultists will invariably argue that every person, whether he knows it or not, is indirectly harming others with his attitude, his beliefs, his refusal to associate, even his very breathing.  "We live in a society", they say, "and everything we do affects everyone else...".  Don’t take such accusations seriously; these people do not understand how freedom works.

Say, for instance, hypothetically, that I refuse to bake a gay wedding cake for a couple and I am accused of violating their rights in the name of preserving my own. I would immediately point out that no one is entitled to a gay wedding cake, baked by me or anyone else and I have every right to choose my associations based on whatever criteria I see fit. Now, a corrupt government entity may claim I do not have that right. But the fact is I do, and no one — not even government — can force me to bake a cake if I don’t want to. Also, I would point out that the gay couple in question has every right in a free society to bake their OWN damn cake or open their own cake shop to compete with mine. This is how freedom works. It is not based on collective entitlement; it is based on personal responsibility.

Refuse to deny the scientific fact of biological gender: Gender is first and foremost a genetic imperative. Society only partially determine gender roles; nature does the most. A man who chops up his body and takes hormone pills to look like a woman is not and will never be a woman. A woman who tapes down her breasts and gets a short haircut will never be a man. There is no such thing as “transgendered” people. No amount of social justice or wishful thinking will ever allow them to reverse their genetic proclivities. Their psychological and sexual leanings do not change their inborn biological reality.

By extension, we should refuse to play along with this nonsense. I will never refer to a man in a wig and dress as a “woman.” I will never refer to a woman with identity issues as “transgendered.” They are what nature made them, and we should not police our pronouns just to falsely reassure them that they can deny nature.

Deny both neoliberal idea of "greed is good" and the illusion of Utopian equality: "Greed is good" proved to be an effective instrument of destruction of the USA society in just 35 years. Now we have "Dis-united States of America." Not the "United States of America." Like traffic light regulation perform a vital fuinction and removing vital regulations inflict a heavy price of the society. Opposite is also true: too much regulations  also inflict a price.  There is no such thing as pure social equality. It was never achieved in societies that try it, such as early the USSR.  Society is not a homogeneous entity, it is an abstraction built around a group of unique individuals.  Individuals can be naturally gifted, or naturally challenged.  But there will always be some people who are more apt towards success than others and the success of the society depends of promoting such people to more important  roles. Financial remuneration actually can pray here secondary role, but different in status is unavoidable. Primates-related concept of 'alpha male" is a precursor to social differentiation in human societies. 

I have no problem whatsoever with the idea of equality of opportunity, which is exactly what we have in this country (except in the world of elitist finance which is purely driven by nepotism).  I do have a problem with the lie of universal equality through engineered means.

Standards of success should not be lowered in order to accommodate the least skilled people to facilitate artificial parity.  For example, I constantly hear the argument that more people with victim group status should be given greater representation in positions of influence and regard within our culture, from science and engineering, to media, to business CEO's, to politics, etc.  The key word here is "given", rather than "earned".  There is nothing wrong with one group of people excelling in a field more than another group, and there is nothing wrong with inequality when it comes to individual achievement.  We must begin refusing to reward people for mediocrity and punishing success simply because the winners are not part of a designated victim group.

If you are a man, embrace your role: I am a man and cannot claim to know what specific solutions women should take to counter cultural Marxism. I would love to read an article written on the subject by a woman in the Liberty Movement.  I will say that men in particular have a considerable task ahead in terms of their personal endeavors if they hope to repair the destruction of social justice.

For thousands of years, men have been the primary industrial force behind human progress. Today, they are relegated to cubicles and customer service, to video games and Web fantasies, to drug addictions and a lack of responsibility. If we have any chance of undoing the damage of cultural Marxism, modern men must take on their original roles as producers, inventors, entrepreneurs, protectors, builders and warriors once again. They should do this for their own benefit, and not for the validation of others.

You don’t have to prove to anyone you do "manly things", just go out and do them. Most importantly, become dangerous. Men are meant to be dangerous beings. That does not mean we are meant to be indiscriminately violent (just as women aren’t meant to be indiscriminately violent), but we are supposed to be threatening to those who would threaten us. Modern society has NOT removed the need for masculinity and I believe people will begin realizing this the more our culture sinks into economic despair. Train in martial arts, learn tactical firearms handling, go hunting and don’t take lip from people. In my opinion, every man should know how to kill things, even if he never plans on using those abilities.

Resist neoliberal brainwashing of your children: It’s simple, if you don’t want your kids propagandized, if you truly want them to be free from collectivist conditioning, then you will make the sacrifice and extract them from public schooling. With the introduction of Common Core into U.S. schools in particular, there is no other recourse but home schooling to prevent the brainwashing of cultural Marxism. If you do not do this, you are relying on the hope that your children will escape with their critical thinking abilities intact. Some do, and some don’t. Others turn into mindless social justice zombies. You can give them an advantage by removing them from a poisonous environment, and that is what matters.

The insane lie that neoliberals seem to have conned themselves and others into believing is that their “activism” is somehow anti-establishment. In fact, social justice is constantly coddled and supported by the establishment.

From politicians to judges to media pundits to the blogosphere, the overwhelming majority of people in positions of traditional power (even in supposedly conservative circles) have been more than happy to become the enforcers of the neoliberal agenda (including "fake democratization" agenda). There is no establishment for the army of enforces of political correctness to fight; the establishment bias works vastly more in favor of their ideology than any other. Neoliberals ARE the establishment.


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Old News ;-)

[Aug 20, 2019] Trumponomics on the march: Israeli and EU farmers say thank you to Trump .

Notable quotes:
"... "The sentiment out in farm country is getting grimmer by the day," said John Heisdorffer, the chairman of the American Soybean Association. "Our patience is waning, our finances are suffering and the stress from months of living with the consequences of these tariffs is mounting. ..."
"... The Republican senator Chuck Grassley, who represents Iowa, a state heavily reliant on agriculture, has called for a quick resolution to the dispute. "Americans understand the need to hold China accountable, but they also need to know that the administration understands the economic pain they would feel in a prolonged trade war," Grassley said in a statement. ..."
May 14, 2019 | www.theguardian.com

American farmers are likely to feel the pain first. Soybean exports to China collapsed last year when the trade war began, and agricultural exports will be hit harder when, or if, the new tariffs are imposed. Farmers are also suffering from extensive flooding that has delayed planting.

"The sentiment out in farm country is getting grimmer by the day," said John Heisdorffer, the chairman of the American Soybean Association. "Our patience is waning, our finances are suffering and the stress from months of living with the consequences of these tariffs is mounting."

The new round of tariffs will hit other parts of the US food industry, with beans, lentils, honey, flour, corn and oats all on the list of goods that will be taxed.

... ... ...

The Republican senator Chuck Grassley, who represents Iowa, a state heavily reliant on agriculture, has called for a quick resolution to the dispute. "Americans understand the need to hold China accountable, but they also need to know that the administration understands the economic pain they would feel in a prolonged trade war," Grassley said in a statement.

[Aug 20, 2019] They just can't get enough of that Novichok

I never suspected that UK authorities will be such obvious idiots. This is a clear sign of complete degeneration of the UK elite.
Aug 15, 2019 | telegraph.co.uk

A new victim's been discovered!

'Second officer was poisoned with Novichok in Salisbury incident, police reveal', ,

"Counter Terrorism Detectives, who are investigating the nerve agent attack in 2018, have confirmed that traces of Novichok have been found in a blood sample which was taken at the time from a second police officer.

The officer from Wiltshire Police, who does not wish to be identified , was involved in the response to the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal.

The Telegraph understands the male officer displayed signs at the time of the incident that indicated exposure to a very small amount of Novichok .

He received appropriate medical treatment at the time and returned to duties shortly afterwards.

A police spokesman told the Telegraph the officer was part of the initial response.

Forensic examination of the officer's blood sample, taken in March 2018, has since been carried out by scientists at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory.

The forensic test – which uses a different method to that used to assess the clinical effects of nerve agent poisoning – has now given detectives confirmation that traces of Novichok were present.

The officer, the fourth person to be confirmed through forensic testing as a victim of the initial Salisbury attack, has been informed and continues to receive support from Wiltshire Police along with other officers and staff affected by the events in Salisbury and Amesbury last year."

Well, now that number depends on Gina Haspel's report about the dead ducks and sick children poisoned by the Novichoked bread the Skripals had been tossing to the ducks, doesn't it? But Officer Nick Baily was allegedly #5.

"The spokesman said: "some of the other police officers that attended the scene may have been exposed, but it is possible to find forensic traces [of Novichok] in blood that have no health implications at the time". [snip]

"The UK expelled 23 Russian diplomats and the US expelled 60 more in retaliation for poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in March last year, blaming the Russian military intelligence service, the GRU, for the botched assassination attempt."

From the link above:

'British authorities are confident they know "everything worth knowing" about the assassination attempt on Sergei Skripal, including a trail right up to Vladimir Putin."


"The Russian intelligence agency behind the Salisbury nerve agent attack has been dismantled in the UK [<Moscow spins webb of lies] and will remain out of action for years to come, according to government sources.

The threat posed by the GRU, which carried out the attempted assassination of Skripal last March, has been severely curtailed as a result of the counter-terror investigation that exposed the agents who carried out the attack.'

"Counter-terror police working with the intelligence services were able to piece together the plot to murder Colonel Skripal, a former GRU officer who had sold secrets to MI6, using CCTV, including footage from the streets close to the Col Skripal's home in Salisbury, and from passenger flight manifests and immigration data at the time of the attempted hit."

(with photos of GRU Boris and Natasha)

'Novichok Sickened 2nd British Officer, Police Say', August 15, 2019 , nytimes.com, Anna Schaverien

"Another officer, Detective Sgt. Nick Bailey, became critically ill after going to Mr. Skripal's home to investigate the attack. Mr. Skripal, a former colonel in Russia's military intelligence, and his daughter, Yulia, had been found unconscious and slumped on a bench.

Sergeant Bailey, who made contact with the nerve agent through the house's door handle, made a full recovery. Last Sunday, he ran a marathon to raise money for the intensive-care unit at the hospital where he was treated.

Two other people, Dawn Sturgess and Charlie Rowley, also suffered high levels of exposure to Novichok as a result of the poisoning. They were accidentally exposed to residue in Amesbury, a town near Salisbury, months after the initial episode .

Both were critically sickened on July 1 when Ms. Sturgess sprayed a substance that she thought was [Nina Ricci l'air du Novichoque ] perfume onto her wrist from a bottle that Mr. Rowley, her boyfriend, had found. Investigators believe the vial was used to transport the Novichok that poisoned the Skripals. Mr. Rowley survived, but Ms. Sturgess died .

In the wake of the attack, tensions escalated to their highest pitch in decades between Britain and Russia, which London blamed for the poisoning. Moscow denied any involvement." [snip]

"The European Union placed economic sanctions on the two suspects and two senior Russian military intelligence officials in January. And this month President Trump signed an executive order imposing new sanctions on Russia over the episode."

From the Aug. 1 NYT : 'Mr. Trump has been reluctant to take punitive actions against Russia, instead seeking better relations with Moscow despite its well-documented interference in the 2016 election.

But in recent weeks, lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have criticized his administration's delay in taking what they have called legally mandated action to follow up on sanctions imposed last August.' [snip]

On Monday, the top Democrat and Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee sent a joint letter to the White House threatening new congressional action to force the administration's hand.

"Failure by the administration to respond to Russia's unabashed aggression is unacceptable and would necessitate that Congress take corrective action," wrote the members, Eliot L. Engel, Democrat of New York, and Michael McCaul, Republican of Texas.

The law provided the administration with numerous sanctions to choose from. The executive order released by the White House on Thursday banned loans or other assistance to Russia by international financial institutions and prohibited most loans from American banks to Russia's government."

"They are suspected groundlessly," the Kremlin's spokesman told reporters when the European Union imposed travel bans and asset freezes on the suspects. " We have still not heard any evidence ."

A year after the poisoning, and after 13,000 hours of cleaning, the British government announced that the decontamination of the former Skripal home was complete. But the investigation into the attack continues.

"There are parts of the picture that we are continuing to piece together," the Metropolitan Police statement said."

All of which begs the question: what new sanctions will the US and UK levy on Russia? Of course we'll never know where Sergei and Yulia are, will we?

And sure we remember when they raised a new roof because some of that Novichok gel (or was it a spray?) on the Skripal's front door knob migrated upstairs into the attic or something

This may have been my favorite story, though: ' Public toilet in Salisbury 'may have been used by Russian agents to prepare deadly Novichok', themirror.co./uk.com , Aug. 4, 2018

"A public toilet may be where Russian agents mixed deadly Novichok used to try and assassinate ex-spy Sergei Skripal , according to reports .

It is thought Met Police counter terror cops are investigating the likelihood that the assassins smuggled the components to the nerve agent into the country then mixed it in a public toilet in Salisbury.

Forensic teams have discovered low-level contamination in toilets in the city's Queen Elizabeth Gardens."

But I'll turn it over to BBC news : 'BBC to dramatise Salisbury Novichok poisoning', 17 May 2019 , bbc.com/news

"The new drama is being written by Adam Patterson and Declan Lawn who said in a joint statement: "We feel extremely privileged to be telling this story.

"Extensive, meticulous research is at the heart of how we like to work and we've been overwhelmed by the generosity of the people of Salisbury who have opened up to us over the past few months and continue to do so."

Piers Wenger, controller of BBC Drama, added: "The poisonings in Salisbury shocked the nation and had a huge impact on an unsuspecting community.

"This drama will capture the bravery, resilience and personal experience of the local people who faced a situation of unimaginable horror, so close to home."

Casting for the drama is yet to be announced."

An historical bonus from the good Ambassador: ' Pure: Ten Points I Just Can't Believe About the Official Skripal Narrative', March 7, 2109, Craig Murray, craigmurray .org; a few snippets:

"I still do not know what happened in the Skripal saga, which perhaps might more respectfully be termed the Sturgess saga. I cannot believe the Russian account of Boshirov and Petrov, because if those were their real identities, those identities would have been firmly established and displayed by now. But that does not mean they attempted to kill the Skripals, and there are many key elements to the official British account which are also simply incredible.

Governments play dark games, and a dark game was played out in Salisbury which involved at least the British state, Russian agents (possibly on behalf of the state), Orbis Intelligence and the BBC. Anybody who believes it is simple to identify the "good guys" and the "bad guys" in this situation is a fool. When it comes to state actors and the intelligence services, frequently there are no "good guys", as I personally witnessed from the inside over torture, extraordinary rendition and the illegal invasion of Iraq. But in the face of a massive media campaign to validate the British government story about the Skripals, here are ten of the things I do not believe in the official account:

3) Nursing Care

The very first person to discover the Skripals ill on a park bench in Salisbury just happened to be the Chief Nurse of the British Army , who chanced to be walking past them on her way back from a birthday party. How lucky was that? The odds are about the same as the chance of my vacuum cleaner breaking down just before James Dyson knocks at my door to ask for directions. There are very few people indeed in the UK trained to give nursing care to victims of chemical weapon attack, and of all the people who might have walked past, it just happened to be the most senior of them!

The government is always trying to get good publicity for its armed forces, and you would think that the heroic role of its off-duty personnel in saving random poisoned Russian double agents they just happened to chance across, would have been proclaimed as a triumph for the British military. Yet it was kept secret for ten months. We were not told about the involvement of Colonel Alison McCourt until January of this year, when it came out by accident. Swollen with maternal pride, Col. McCourt nominated her daughter for an award from the local radio station for her role in helping give first aid to the Skripals, and young Abigail revealed her mother's identity on local radio – and the fact her mother was there "with her" administering first aid."

6) Mark Urban/Pablo Miller

The BBC's "Diplomatic Editor" is a regular conduit for the security services. He fronted much of the BBC's original coverage of the Skripal story. Yet he concealed from the viewers the fact that he had been in regular contact with Sergei Skripal for months before the alleged poisoning, and had held several meetings with Skripal.

This is extraordinary behaviour. It was the biggest news story in the world, and news organisations, including the BBC, were scrambling to fill in the Skripals' back story. Yet the journalist who had the inside info on the world's biggest news story, and was actually reporting on it, kept that knowledge to himself. Why? Urban was not only passing up a career defining opportunity, it was unethical of him to continually report on the story without revealing to the viewers his extensive contacts with Skripal.

The British government had two immediate reactions to the Skripal incident. Within the first 48 hours, it blamed Russia, and it slapped a D(SMA) notice banning all media mention of Skripal's MI6 handler, Pablo Miller. By yet another one of those extraordinary coincidences, Miller and Urban know each other well, having both been officers together in the Royal Tank Regiment, of the same rank and joining the Regiment the same year."

Conclusion

I do not know what happened in Salisbury. Plainly spy games were being played between Russia and the UK, quite likely linked to the Skripals and/or the NATO chemical weapons exercise then taking place on Salisbury Plain yet another one of those astonishing coincidences."

Weird how literally every one of thes poisioning incidents keep happening less than 10 miles from the uk's largest and most notorious deadly chemical weapons factory. The fascist uk regime should really stop murdering its own people with chemical weapons https://t.co/zvIXrJ57eK

-- Handsome Man of Steel (@HandsomeSteel) August 16, 2019

(cross-posted from Café Babylon

MrWebster on Mon, 08/19/2019 - 2:44pm

Novichok is all these things

At first Novichok described as thee most deadilest chemical weapon in the world. It immediate kills anybody exposed to it and any unprotected first responders.

It failed to immediately kill to anybody exposed to it.
Seems more like a bad flu instead.

Novichok degrades almost immediately.
Norvichock can stay around for months in a perfume bottle.

Only Russians can and did make it.
For a few bucks, university chem majors made a batch.

wendy davis on Mon, 08/19/2019 - 4:52pm
arrrrr, matey!

@MrWebster

the nerve agent is a chimera in time, too! you can even pull it out of a hat, like a wabbit!

thanks for the great chuckle-worthy additions, Mr.Webster. ; )

p.s. it did kill dawn sturgess, as far as we've been told, but iirc, there were extenuating circumstances given her addiction history. i love it that officer bailey ran a marathon recently, too.

and the saga continues....will it ever end?

At first Novichok described as thee most deadilest chemical weapon in the world. It immediate kills anybody exposed to it and any unprotected first responders.

It failed to immediately kill to anybody exposed to it.
Seems more like a bad flu instead.

Novichok degrades almost immediately.
Norvichock can stay around for months in a perfume bottle.

Only Russians can and did make it.
For a few bucks, university chem majors made a batch.

Alligator Ed on Mon, 08/19/2019 - 2:54pm
The tweet says it all

Just so happens, etc.

Another well-researched article. Thanks.

Now where can I find l'air du Novichoque ? This could ultimately shorten my Christmans shopping list next year.

wendy davis on Mon, 08/19/2019 - 5:20pm
who on earth is on your

@Alligator Ed

xmas list, santa gator? looks like ya gotta either keep your eyes peeled for knock-offs, or head to the soviet union... light bulb! maybe they left a few bottles hidden in the roof of that bog in the salisbury park!

wendy davis on Mon, 08/19/2019 - 5:19pm
and all those bad pennies...

@travelerxxx

are addin' up to a fistful of dollars and pound notes by now, aren't they? i'd call it humiliating, myownself.

i did dig out more from craig murray on pablo miller, orbus, et.al., cuz i'd needed a refresher: Where They Tell You Not to Look , april 30, 2019 lots of tweets, plus this great aaron maté interview w/ luke harding.

by the by, i finally heard from Rosette Sewali, Producer & Membership Relations Manager after i'd asked TRNN why is might be that neither sharmini piries nor paul jay have been there since june 13; she wrote back:

'Thanks for your email. Paul and Sharmini have been on leave since early June. Updates will be available when we have more information .'

??????

'At the very beginning of the of the Skripal incident, the security services blocked by D(SMA) notice any media mention of Pablo Miller and told the media not to look at Orbis and the Steele dossier on Trump, acting immediately to get out their message via trusties in the BBC and Guardian. Gordon Corera, "BBC Security Correspondent", did not name the source who told him to say this, but helpfully illustrated his tweet with a nice picture of MI6 Headquarters.

'MI6's most important media conduit (after Frank Gardner) is Luke Harding of the Guardian.'
..................
'Given that the Steele dossier is demonstrably in large degree nonsense, it seems to me more probable the idea was to silence Skripal to close the danger that he would reveal his part in the concoction of this fraud. Remember he had sold out Russian agents to the British for cash and was a man of elastic loyalties. It is also worth noting that Luke Harding has a bestselling book currently on sale, in large part predicated on the truth of the Steele Dossier.

Steele, MI6 and the elements of the CIA which are out to get Trump, all would have a powerful motive to have the Skripal loose end tied.
Rule number one of real investigative journalism: look where they tell you not to look .'

[Aug 20, 2019] How the British Government subjected thousands of people to chemical and biological warfare trials during Cold War

Notable quotes:
"... The research reveals, for the first time, that around 4600 kilos of the chemical, zinc cadmium sulphide (now thought to be potentially carcinogenic, on account of its cadmium content) were dispersed from ships, aircraft and moving lorries between 1953 and 1964. ..."
"... Professor Schmidt's investigation – published on 9 July as a book, Secret Science – has revealed that commuters on the London underground were also used as guinea pigs on a substantially larger scale than previously thought. ..."
"... The new research reveals, for the first time, that in another British imperial possession, Nigeria, a location was found for chemical warfare field trials. In an area called Obanaghoro in southern Nigeria, four British Cold War scientific missions spent a total of around 15 months dispersing, and assessing the effects of, large quantities of experimental nerve gas weapons. The advantage of the location was that it permitted field trials to be carried out in a tropical environment – and, of course, that it was not in Britain or Australia. ..."
"... Ulf Schmidt's book, Secret Science, is published today on 9 July, by Oxford University Press. ..."
Aug 11, 2019 | independent.co.uk

Substantial quantities were also dispersed across parts of the English Channel and the North Sea. It's not known the extent to which coastal towns in England and France were affected.

The research reveals, for the first time, that around 4600 kilos of the chemical, zinc cadmium sulphide (now thought to be potentially carcinogenic, on account of its cadmium content) were dispersed from ships, aircraft and moving lorries between 1953 and 1964.

Read more

Professor Schmidt's investigation – published on 9 July as a book, Secret Science – has revealed that commuters on the London underground were also used as guinea pigs on a substantially larger scale than previously thought.

The new research has discovered that a hitherto unknown biological warfare field trial was carried out in the capital's tube system in May 1964.

The secret operation – carried out by scientists from the government's chemical and biological warfare research centre at Porton Down, Wiltshire - involved the release of large quantities of bacteria called Bacillus globigii. The scientists were keen to discover whether 'long distance travel of aerosols' in the tube network 'was due to transportation within trains' or through the tube's air ventilation systems.

At the time, the government thought that Bacillus globigii bacteria were harmless – but they are today regarded as a cause of food poisoning, eye infections, and even septicaemia. It is not known whether the authorities attempted to properly test the bacterium before releasing it into the tube system. An earlier series of tube field trials, in July 1963, has been known to historians for many years.

However, the new research has now revealed that some of the British scientists involved had grave misgivings about the field trials that had been carried out. Indeed some had long felt that it was not politically advisable to conduct large-scale trials in Britain with live bacterial agents.

One particular test – involving live plague bacteria – was carried out off the west coast of Scotland in 1952. It's long been known that a fishing vessel inadvertently passed through the cloud of bacteria and that the authorities were very worried that the fishermen might contract the disease.

The plague bacteria field trials, though at sea, took place only a few miles from the Isle of Lewis which had a population of several thousand.

The government scientists, carrying out the trials, banked on the fact that the prevailing wind normally blew away from the coast. If, however, the wind had changed direction, thousands of Hebrideans would have been at risk from plague infection, says Professor Schmidt.

Equipment for the isolation of patients in a germ free atmosphere, which was developed at Porton Down in collaboration with the Institute of Child Health (Getty)

Following the fishing vessel incident, the scientists were eager to carry out any further potentially very hazardous field trials outside the UK. Prime Minister Churchill therefore approved a plan to carry out tests in a British overseas territory, the Bahamas.

New research shows that the government scientists took the view that the Bahamas was the best place "on the surface of the globe" to carry out tests "without restrictions".

In 1954, the British government sent Cold War biological warfare scientists to an area of sea near an uninhabited island in the Bahamas to release clouds of dangerous Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis viruses. These organisms were capable of causing, in humans, high fever, long term fatigue, headaches and occasionally death.

The new research reveals, for the first time, that in another British imperial possession, Nigeria, a location was found for chemical warfare field trials. In an area called Obanaghoro in southern Nigeria, four British Cold War scientific missions spent a total of around 15 months dispersing, and assessing the effects of, large quantities of experimental nerve gas weapons. The advantage of the location was that it permitted field trials to be carried out in a tropical environment – and, of course, that it was not in Britain or Australia.

The extent that local people (including locally employed field trial personnel) were affected by the nerve agents is not known.

Historians have so far been unable to find out who did the particularly hazardous work of 'hand-charging' the nerve agent artillery shells, mortar bombs and aircraft cluster bombs. Likewise they have not been able to discover the extent to which local Nigerian soils were contaminated or whether nearby villages and schools were affected by any of the toxic clouds that would have been blown across the countryside.

"The government records I've been looking at are conspicuously silent on all this," said Ulf Schmidt.

"Officials had clearly good reasons as to why the kind of experiments undertaken in Nigeria were strictly prohibited on the British mainland, which is why the files and photographic records surrounding Britain's post-war nerve agent testing in Africa were regarded as particularly sensitive," he said.

Professor Schmidt's research has also revealed the vast scale of Cold War chemical warfare tests carried out on 'volunteer' British service personnel here in the UK – involving numbers of people much greater than previously thought.

His investigation now suggests that up to 30,000 secret chemical warfare substance experiments were carried out, mainly at Porton Down, on more than 14,000 British soldiers between 1945 and 1989. He believes that, in most cases, the servicemen were not given sufficient information to allow them to give properly informed consent.

Ulf Schmidt's book, Secret Science, is published today on 9 July, by Oxford University Press.

Spreading diseases: 'Harmless' proxies

Aircraft, lorries and ships spread 4,600kg of cadmium sulphide in one decade

Zinc Cadmium Sulfide ultra-fine particles

. This inorganic compound was used by Cold War scientists in the UK and the US as a supposedly harmless proxy to simulate the behaviour, in the lower atmosphere and on the ground, of biological warfare substances. However it is still not known whether particles of ZCS that may have become embedded in people's lungs for decades could ultimately cause disease.

Bacillus globigii . This bacterium was used as a supposedly harmless proxy to simulate the behaviour, in terms of dispersal and penetration, of biological warfare aerosols. Although not considered harmful when it was used in Cold War field trials, it is now known to be capable of causing fevers, food poisoning (occasionally resulting in death), peritonitis and septicaemia .

Pasteurella pestis (now known as Yersina pestis) . Clouds of this highly infections bacterium were dispersed only over areas of sea – but nevertheless very near to Lewis, a Scottish Island with thousands of inhabitants. In order not to infect the islands, it appears that the scientists relied entirely on the wind not changing direction and speed. This bacterium is the one that has caused plague epidemics worldwide in the past (including those of the medieval world's Black Death).

Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis. Clouds of this virus were dispersed over an area of sea close to an uninhabited island in the Bahamas. The virus debilitates or kills horses and donkeys and can also cause severe fever and even death in humans. Mosquitos spread the virus further by biting equines.

G-series nerve agents. Clouds of this chemical warfare weapon were dispersed during field trials in a small part of southern Nigeria, some miles north of the town of Warri. G-series nerve agents were first developed by the Nazis before and during World War Two. The group includes substances like sarin and attacks the human nervous system, causing loss of bodily function and normally death. Survivors are likely to suffer long-term neurological damage and psychiatric disorders.

[Aug 19, 2019] Now where can I find l'air du Novichoque ? This could ultimately shorten my Christmas shopping list the next year

These idiots just keep digging themselves deeper and deeper into that hole they're in. It's almost embarrassing, even if I didn't wish them the worst.
Aug 19, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

[Aug 18, 2019] It's unusual to have a neck fracture in prison suiside

Aug 18, 2019 | off-guardian.org

Francesca Judicial hangings were/are designed to snap the neck bones, causing death to come quickly .That is why the victims body weight, slackness of rope, height of drop are carefully calibrated .
Some judicial hangings don't end with a broken neck
Suicide hangings are one thing .if the suicide has the choice, they can leap or kick off from a height, and access a rope Even this does not always end in neck snapping and pretty instant death, but asphyxiation .People generally don't have the physics at their fingertips.
Jail suicides are another , and most often end in aspyxiation .There just isn't the height , or the ligature .

"Zhongxue Hua, the Bergen County medical examiner in New Jersey, said a neck fracture was atypical in a suicide but warned not to jump to conclusions.

"It's unusual to have a neck fracture," Hua said. "But the first question to address is when did it occur.

"If Epstein's neck fracture was fresh, Hua said, then "at a minimum, it's a very unusual suicide."

https://www.france24.com/en/20190816-usa-jeffrey-epstein-autopsy-neck-fractures-forensic-expert-suicide-sex-trafficking
I'd be very interested to view the autopsies of a decent number of jail suicides . I'd bet that broken neck bones don't show up very often .Unless of course there's an assistant who brings downward pressure on the body while its tight in its noose.

A broken neck is a quick death, strangulation or asphyxiation leaves tell tale signs such as blood shot eyes and burst capillaries

Even if this was the freakiest suicide, the "coincidences " surrounding it are not convincing for such a high profile prisoner

[Aug 18, 2019] The best way to get at some semblance of the truth is to follow the money. Epstein seems to have appeared virtually out of nowhere as a made man. Wexner appears to have gifted him a $56 million heavily bugged mansion. What does this tell us?

Aug 18, 2019 | off-guardian.org

mark It seems obvious that Epstein was murdered, but in reality this is just a side issue.
The MSM will happily carry on sending people down rabbit holes for ever, and ignoring the real questions.
They would like nothing more than to turn this into another JFK, where people speculate endlessly, generating more heat than light. Just what motivated Epstein? Money? Vice? Paedo sex? Spying and blackmailing for Israel? All of the above? Where did his loyalties lie? Was he just a hired hand, an intelligence operative, another Christopher Steele? Or was he more of a gun for hire, an Erik Prince, serving Mossad, the CIA, the Zionist Lobby, or whoever would pay him? Or was he more of his own boss, running his own organisation in his own interests? What about Ghislaine Maxwell? Was she just Epstein's pimp and loyal lieutenant, carrying out his orders? Or was she his Mossad handler, calling the shots, with Epstein as front man?

The best way to get at some semblance of the truth is to follow the money. Epstein seems to have appeared virtually out of nowhere as a made man. Wexner appears to have gifted him a $56 million heavily bugged mansion. What does this tell us?

Surprisingly, Maxwell has not gone to ground as expected. She made an exhibition of herself in LA a few days ago, ostentatiously eating a burger in public with a little dog in tow, reading a book about the CIA.

I think the stage is being set for an Oprah or Anderson Cooper style interview, presenting herself as the victim. Now that Epstein is dead, it will be in the interests of a lot of people to load everything on to his deceased shoulders. "I loved Jeffrey .but he was a monster ..he made me do terrible things ..I was frightened of him ..I'm a victim too."

This will probably be coordinated with a smear campaign against the victims, trying to dig up dirt about things like drugs, any criminal or mental health history, and any other issues.

One interesting detail to emerge from the search of Epstein's property is that he had a painting of Bill Clinton in drag, wearing a blue dress, like that of Monica Lewinsky, on his toilet wall. This is probably a case of gloating over the entrapment of Clinton. This somewhat grubby little episode occurred around the time of the Oslo peace deal, when Peres, Barak and Co. were under some pressure to negotiate seriously with the Palestinians, and facing criticism over settlements. Clinton was also under pressure from Zionist interests to release the Jewish/ Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard, imprisoned for treason/ espionage. This is reminiscent of the transvestite J. Edgar Hoover, who was being blackmailed by Meyer Lansky with photographs of him and Claude Tolson wearing dresses.

Dershowitz is another highly dubious character whose involvement warrants serious scrutiny. He previously defended OJ Simson and Spectre. He will probably spearhead a campaign to discredit the witnesses.

Fortunately, this can't be buried completely, even if Maxwell and others escape prosecution. There are a number of outstanding civil claims which will generate even more publicity than would otherwise be the case.

[Aug 18, 2019] Quigley's book ( Tragedy and hope), outlines how the transnational financiers and the elites hold the masses in utter contempt.

Aug 18, 2019 | off-guardian.org

John Deehan

Professors Antony C Sutton, Carol Quigley and Guido Preparata wrote some very insightful books demonstrating how so much of what is accepted as official history is false. Quigley's book ( Tragedy and hope), outlines how the transnational financiers and the elites hold the masses in utter contempt. Moreover, Sutton demonstrates the fabricated fight between left and right is a mere distraction to enable them to progress with their plans for humanity. Furthermore, Preparata illustrates in his book, Conjuring Hitler, the notion that masses opinions count for nothing with the elites and the puppet politicians in terms of foreign policy.

As Sutton's research discovered, the transnational financiers financed both Communism, Fascism and Nazism and came to some rather disturbing conclusions about their intentions.

Quigley summed it up " the powers of financial capitalism had a far- reaching aim nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole.

This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements and conferences.

The apex of the system was to be the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations Each central bank sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world." Tragedy and Hope.

[Aug 18, 2019] Leaked FBI interview of one of the guards.

Aug 18, 2019 | off-guardian.org

Badger Down

Comparing Epstein with Jacob Rubenstein's murder of Lee Harvey Oswald is sheer antisemitism.
Tim Jenkins
Chuckle, still no mention of the Brothers Awan, so if we're gonna' indulge in distraction @TheZBlog . . .

Leaked FBI interview of one of the guards.

FBI: Where were you when you discovered Epstein was dead?

Guard #1: I was in his cell.

FBI: Before that. Before you knew he was dead.

Guard #1: I was in his cell strangling him.

FBI: I see. How about you, where were you?

Guard #2: I was making sure the camera was off.

FBI: Are you sure it was off?

Guard #2: Oh yeah, it was unplugged.

FBI: OK, well, I think we need to work on this story a bit more, but otherwise, good job fellas.

[Aug 18, 2019] The debate over whether Jeffrey Epstein committed suicide or not is a pseudo-debate meant to keep people spinning their wheels over nothing

Death thus becomes a reward of escape from truth, consequences and responsibility; a blind defiance set against honesty and justice.
Aug 18, 2019 | off-guardian.org

It attracts attention and will do so for many days to come. There are even some usually astute people suggesting that he may not be dead but might have been secretly whisked off somewhere and replaced with a dead look-alike.

Now, who would profit from suggesting something as insane as this?

The speculation runs rampant and feeds the spectacle. Whether he was allowed to kill himself or was killed makes little difference.

It's akin to asking who pulled the trigger that killed President Kennedy. That's a debate that was intended to go nowhere, as it has, after it became apparent that Lee Harvey Oswald surely did not kill JFK. John Kennedy's murder in broad daylight in public view is the paradigmatic event of modern times. It is obvious to anyone that gives minimal study to the issue that it was organized and carried out by elements within the national security state, notably the CIA.

Their message was meant to be unequivocal and clear: We can kill him and we can kill you; we are in full control; beware. Then they went on to kill others, including RFK and MLK. It takes little intelligence to see this obvious fact, unless you wish not to or are totally lost in the neighborhood of make-believe.

As it was with Jack Ruby killing Lee Harvey Oswald, so it is with Epstein. There will be no trial. Nothing is really hidden except the essential truth. Guess, debate, wonder, watch, read to your sad heart's content. You will have gotten nowhere unless you step outside the frame of the reigning narrative.


nottheonly1

Those of us who oppose these criminals – and there are growing numbers all over the world – must avoid being sucked into the establishment narratives and the counter-narratives they spawn or create. We must refuse to get involved in pseudo-debates that are meant to lead nowhere. We must reject the language created to confuse.

To arrive at this conclusion is an attest of the deepest truth a mind can grasp. If I could only talk to someone as astute as You. This is not flattery, but the mere realization, that there is nobody in my surroundings that possesses Your ability to make such a point.

That there are now so few people that can have this insight is the result of the absence of philosophy from our lives. It is philosophy who opens the mind and therefore it had to be removed from society. People are well advised to look into it, to overcome this barrage of fabricated narratives.

Tim Hall
We have little or no true understanding to the degree that propaganda has been scientifically applied (estimated number engaged on this insidious activity 50,000 in 1991, under the all powerful Tavistock Institute) over 73 years to brainwashing and misdirecting the populations perception of reality – your article reflects this fact. CIA, Deep State et al are simply agents of a far bigger entity who's accumulated power and reach, built up assiduously over centuries, has now reached an unassailable level of control over the world which it intends to effectively own.

I suggest all readers refer to the following link to appreciate the futility of humanity's current position in regard to it's ability to resist the coming onslaught to its survival.

https://www.cia.gov/library/abbottabad-compound/4A/4A92FD2FB4DAE3F773DB0B7742CF0F65_Coleman.-.CONSPIRATORS.HIERARCHY.-.THE.STORY.OF.THE.COMMITTEE.OF.300.R.pdf

Edward, this sentiment is laudable, but they hold such a grip on mass psychological control that such sentiments represent chaff on the wind.

If revolutionary change is to come, we must learn to tell a new story in language so beautiful, illuminating, and heart-rending that no one will listen to the lying words of child molesters, mass murderers, and those who hate and persecute truth-tellers.

mark
In Britain, the post mortem, by a Home Office pathologist, would establish the physical cause of death.
Sometimes this is delayed in waiting for toxicology results.
Probably "Suspension" (Hanging.)
Any separate injuries or existing medical conditions would be noted in the post mortem report.

In the absence of any police criminal investigation, it would then be for a Coroner's Inquest, almost certainly sitting with a jury, to give a verdict.

Suicide, accidental death, misadventure, unlawful killing, open verdict.

It is for the Coroner's Court to examine the evidence and arrive at a verdict.
If there is doubt or uncertainty, there is the option of an Open Verdict.
Hanging could lead to a verdict of accident or misadventure in certain circumstances.
There was a case where a group of youths saw that someone had left a noose hanging from a tree in a park. One of them, larking around, put his head in the noose and accidentally hanged himself.

The US system seems to short circuit the decision making process of the Coroner's Court.
This appears to be no more than an opinion by the medical examiner, sometimes misleadingly referred to as the Coroner.
There seems to be no equivalent to the Coroner's Court.

William H Booby
He killed himself and the proof is the BBC said it, anyone who disagrees wears a tinfoil hat

[Aug 17, 2019] Where are they now? Who knows? Who asks?

Aug 17, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

Sophie Siebert , August 14, 2019 at 13:30

I'm experiencing a virulent case of deja vu here, that usually leads to hopelessness. I, like many readers, eagerly devoured the news of the Scripals – every contradiction, reframing, new bit of evidence. It's fair to say I was obsessed. Where are they now? Who knows? Who asks? I expect the same here. Another step on our downward path, to be preempted by yet another.

The best one can say is that with every one of these "incidents" we all become a little less sure of our old assumptions, more skeptical. Leading where?

[Aug 16, 2019] One of the ways the Deep State undermines conspiracy theories is to plant evidence purporting to support the theory, but easily disproved by easily available information

Notable quotes:
"... Even more importantly, we should all be troubled by efforts to shut down content and discussions labeled "false and misleading" on major social media platforms . ..."
"... Conspiracies can be found out by many different ways e.g. documents uncovered, discrepancies, evidence that contradicts what has been claimed etc. ..."
"... "A two decade old CT, like 9/11, or worse, one six decades old (the JFK assassination), are false because they would have involved too many people–someone would have blown the whistle, if only on their deathbed." ..."
"... "If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. ..."
"... The old adage 'two men can keep a secret, if one of them is dead' applies here. ..."
"... This co-ordinated and global media attack on the 'Conspiracy Theorist' is co-ordinated and Global for good reason. ..."
"... The determination of international deepstate to make illegal any question or recognition of it under guise of 'Conspiracy theorist=domestic terrorist/anti-semite/anti-Zionist/BDS/trump supporting white supremacist(etc)'- conflating those ULTRA memes with growing awareness of the Anglo/Yankee/zionist PSYOPS underway globally, mean we are entering a choke point in progression of reason, truth and beauty. ..."
"... The danger of the conspiracy theorist to the present world order, is that most of the BIG ones, the nasty ones, are true. And CIA operation Mockingbirds' job (Quote) 'is to Guard against the illicit Transformation of Probability into Certainty," that they are . ..."
"... Ultimately, the average conspiracy theorist has a better grasp of how the world works than the average liberal. ..."
"... The reality is that the ruling class and its public servants really do have a parasitic and predatory relationship to the vast majority of humanity ..."
"... I like Michael Moore's response when asked if he believed the conspiracy theories which were floating about at the time: "Just the ones that are true" ..."
"... A conspiracy theory, like any theory is as strong as the evidence put forward to support it. ..."
"... One of the ways they will do this is to plant "evidence" purporting to support the theory, but easily disproved by easily available information. Unfortunately,it is a sad fact that far too many "conspiracy theorists" readily accept and share along with genuine evidence, this planted "evidence" to the wider internet, thereby undermining the solid evidence of a conspiracy, by associating it with the easily disprovable nonsense. ..."
"... For example, after the attack on the WTC Kissinger was appointed to the head the 9/11 commission (before stepping down). ..."
"... 'Conspiracy theorists' would have thought – why are neocons appointing a mass-murdering neocon to investigate an event that might have involved neocons (raising obvious credibility issues) – whereas those who regard conspiracy theorists as dribbling fruitcakes would have welcomed the appointment of the nobel peace prize winner. ..."
OffGuardian

Noam Chomsky has pointed out , the more educated we are, the more we are a target for state-corporate propaganda. Even journalists outside the mainstream may internalize establishment values and prejudices. Which brings us to Parramore's embrace of the term "conspiracy theory." Once a neutral and little-used phrase, "conspiracy theory" was infamously weaponized in 1967 by a memo from the CIA to its station chiefs worldwide.

Troubled by growing mass disbelief in the "lone nut" theory of President Kennedy's assassination, and concerned that "[c]onspiracy theories have frequently thrown suspicion on our organization," the agency directed its officers to "discuss the publicity problem with friendly and elite contacts (especially politicians and editors)" and to "employ propaganda assets to answer and refute the attacks of the critics. Book reviews and feature articles are particularly appropriate for this purpose."

As Kevin Ryan writes , and various analyses have shown :

In the 45 years before the CIA memo came out, the phrase 'conspiracy theory' appeared in the Washington Post and New York Times only 50 times, or about once per year. In the 45 years after the CIA memo, the phrase appeared 2,630 times, or about once per week."
While it turns out that Parramore knows something about this hugely successful propaganda drive, she chose in her NBC piece to deploy the phrase as the government has come to define it, i.e., as "something that requires no consideration because it is obviously not true." This embeds a fallacy in her argument which only spreads as she goes on. Likewise, the authors of the studies she cites, who attempt to connect belief in "conspiracy theories" to "narcissistic personality traits," are not immune to efforts to manipulate the wider culture. Studies are only as good as the assumptions from which they proceed; in this case, the assumption was provided by an interested Federal agency. And what of their suggested diagnosis?

The DSM-5's criteria for narcissism include "a pervasive pattern of grandiosity a need for admiration and lack of empathy." My experience in talking to writers and advocates who -- to mention a few of the subjects Parramore cites -- seek justice in the cases of the political murders of the Sixties , have profound concerns about vaccine safety , or reject the official conspiracy theory of 9/11 , does not align with that characterization.

On the contrary, most of the people I know who hold these varied (and not always shared) views are deeply empathic, courageously humble, and resigned to a life on the margins of official discourse, even as they doggedly seek to publicize what they have learned. A number of them have arrived at their views through painful, direct experience, like the loss of a friend or the illness of a child, but far from having a "negative view of humanity," as Parramore writes, most hold a deep and abiding faith in the power of regular people to see injustice and peacefully oppose it. In that regard, they share a great deal in common with writers like Parramore: ultimately, we all want what's best for our children, and none of us want a world ruled by unaccountable political-economic interests. If we want to achieve that world, then we should work together to promote speech that is free from personal attacks on all sides. Even more importantly, we should all be troubled by efforts to shut down content and discussions labeled "false and misleading" on major social media platforms.

Who will decide what is false and what is true? ... ... ...

President Kennedy said:

a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people."
Perhaps we should take a closer look at ideas that so frighten the powers-that-be. Far from inviting our ridicule, the people who insist that we look in these forbidden places may one day deserve our thanks.
John Kirby is a documentary filmmaker. His latest project, Four Died Trying, examines what John Kennedy, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy were doing in the last years of their lives which may have led to their deaths.

George
I am responding to an earlier comment you made because, for some reason, I cannot reply to it in the proper place.

"The old adage 'two men can keep a secret, if one of them is dead' applies here."

Wrong: secrets can be uncovered even if both of them are dead.

"The conspiracies we know about are exposed because someone talks, or a computer gets hacked."

Conspiracies can be found out by many different ways e.g. documents uncovered, discrepancies, evidence that contradicts what has been claimed etc.

"A two decade old CT, like 9/11, or worse, one six decades old (the JFK assassination), are false because they would have involved too many people–someone would have blown the whistle, if only on their deathbed."

Always a bad sign when you start to repeat "would have". Lots of presumption here.

"No new facts have emerged because the only people who knew anything are long dead, taking the reasons to their graves .."

New facts can emerge all the time even regarding the most ancient of events.

" .or in the case of 9/11, because there was no great conspiracy, beyond the one reported."

So you now have godlike omniscience?

"A propensity for subscribing to conspiracy theories, is, sad to say, indicative of mental inadequacy "

There's no point in going much further here. You now devolve into psychobabble which, as always, is based on the dogmatic assertion that you are right. (cf. the formerly mentioned godlike omniscience)

Ragnar
"If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie.

It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State." These words are attributed to Joseph Goebbels.

-So, George, it would hardly make a difference whether the State is Marxist or Capitalist. It's either power or truth. They are inherently different and can not be reconciled. Ultimately, there is no bridge possible.

However, so-called "common" goals are of a lower order and cooperation here is possible, temporarily. These relationships are unstable and prone to breaking up precisely because they're ultimately not common at all. The principle are different and the personalities too. Ships Passing In The Night, like. -See?

George
We all have common goals. Basically the goals of life and health. And these are hardly goals "of a lower order". If that was true then we must be living in a state of "postmodernist relativity" where anyone can decide arbitrarily what matters. And that would certainly lead to your ships-passing-in-the-night scenario i.e. the ultimate divide-and-rule vision.

As for power, the late Marxist writer Ellen Meiksins Wood noted that, in modern times, we have an unprecedented degree of political freedom. But the reason for that is that power no longer lies in politics. It lies in economics. What is the point of having formal rights when your livelihood is gone?

William HBonney

The old adage 'two men can keep a secret, if one of them is dead' applies here.

The conspiracies we know about are exposed because someone talks, or a computer gets hacked. A two decade old CT, like 9/11, or worse, one six decades old (the JFK assassination), are false because they would have involved too many people – someone would have blown the whistle, if only on their deathbed. No new facts have emerged because the only people who knew anything are long dead, taking the reasons to their graves, or in the case of 9/11, because there was no great conspiracy, beyond the one reported.

A propensity for subscribing to conspiracy theories, is, sad to say, indicative of mental inadequacy. Such people are unable to deal with the complexities of the world as it is, and therefore seek to make it a world of black and white, good and evil, heroes and villains. The internet, with its blurring of fantasy and fact enables them. This is why discussions like this get so polarised.

TFS

1. 9/11 and JFK are false because WILLIAM HBonney has declared it so.

Boom, thanks for watching kids.

2. In other news, some Conspiracy Theorists Imagined 747-E4Bs above Washington at the time of 9/11 and 25+second delay introduced into the Air Traffic Control System but the Official Conspiracy Account of 9/11 didn't discuss it because there was nothing to see.

3. In related news, HWB wack jobs go on one

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2019/07/no_author/new-york-fire-commissioners-call-for-new-9-11-investigation-about-pre-planted-explosives/

4. Corbett, goes off on one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HXYswf3lzU8

5. And again, Corbett goes even more mental. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mWLis-TVB2w

6. But it's ok kidz, because HWB wack jobs, like first responders, police, fire personnel architects, physicists, former military personnel, pilots, Nobel Peace Prixe winners, medical experts, etc etc all collectively asertained that the Official Conspiracy Theory of 9/11 is about as usefull as the Warren Commission Report.

7. HOWEVER, HWB THINKS YOU'RE A WACK JOB.

r. rebar
unless & until someone goes to jail -- there are no conspiracies & as silence is -- like any commodity -- only as good as the price paid to maintain it -- those who know have a real vested interest in not talking (it's not a secret if you tell someone)
roger morris
Ms Parramore is doing nothing more than her profession and tenure demands. Witting or un-witting. This co-ordinated and global media attack on the 'Conspiracy Theorist' is co-ordinated and Global for good reason.

It is the 'Great Wurlitzer' at full throat coinciding with extraordinary reductions in internet freedoms of information flow. The determination of international deepstate to make illegal any question or recognition of it under guise of 'Conspiracy theorist=domestic terrorist/anti-semite/anti-Zionist/BDS/trump supporting white supremacist(etc)'- conflating those ULTRA memes with growing awareness of the Anglo/Yankee/zionist PSYOPS underway globally, mean we are entering a choke point in progression of reason, truth and beauty.

A read of the Cass Sunstein/Cornelius Adrian Comstock Vermeule Paper describing 'Conspiracy theory' as a 'crippled Epistemology' and determining 'COINTELPRO' type strategies to counter the danger of their truth becoming certainty, will enlighten those in the dark of IIO methodology and expose Ms Parramore as a true MOCKINGBIRD.

The danger of the conspiracy theorist to the present world order, is that most of the BIG ones, the nasty ones, are true. And CIA operation Mockingbirds' job (Quote) 'is to Guard against the illicit Transformation of Probability into Certainty," that they are .

mathias alexand
Try this for conspiracy thinking

https://lorenzoae.wordpress.com/2016/05/31/part-2/

George
Good link. I like this bit:

"Ultimately, the average conspiracy theorist has a better grasp of how the world works than the average liberal. Even the most outlandish "conspiracy theory" in existence -- that people like George W. Bush and Queen Elizabeth are shape-shifting, extra-dimensional reptilians -- is closer to the truth than what liberals believe.

The reality is that the ruling class and its public servants really do have a parasitic and predatory relationship to the vast majority of humanity "

I've often felt there is a lot of (metaphorical!) truth in David Icke's ravings, although the reptile image is unfortunate in that actual reptiles are amongst the most sedate and peaceful creatures.

Molloy
Eichmann and today's useful idiots; Hannah Arendt

(start Arendt quote)

Despite all the efforts of the prosecution, everybody could see that this man was not a "monster," but it was difficult indeed not to suspect that he was a clown. And since this suspicion would have been fatal to the whole enterprise, and was also rather hard to sustain, in view of the sufferings he and his like had caused so many millions of people, his worst clowneries were hardly noticed. What could you do with a man who first declared, with great emphasis, that the one thing he had learned in an ill-spent life was that one should never take an oath ("Today no man, no judge could ever persuade me to make a sworn statement. I refuse it; I refuse it for moral reasons. Since my experience tells me that if one is loyal to his oath, one day he has to take the consequences, I have made up my mind once and for all that no judge in the world or other authority will ever be capable of making me swear an oath, to give sworn testimony.

I won't do it voluntarily and no one will be able to force me"), and then, after being told explicitly that if he wished to testify in his own defense he might "do so under oath or without an oath," declared without further ado that he would prefer to testify under oath? Or who, repeatedly and with a great show of feeling, assured the court, as he had assured the police examiner, that the worst thing he could do would be to try to escape his true responsibilities, to fight for his neck, to plead for mercy -- and then, upon instruction of his counsel, submitted a handwritten document that contained a plea for mercy?

As far as Eichmann was concerned, these were questions of changing moods, not of inconsistencies, and as long as he was capable of finding, either in his memory or on the spur of the moment, an elating stock phrase to go with them, he was quite content.
(end quote)

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/1963/02/16/eichmann-in-jerusalem-i

Molloy
Chomsky dealing with the indoctrinated. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lLcpcytUnWU&app=desktop Why it is important to call out the so-called 'Global Elite' facilitators on here.

And why it is essential to understand what Eichmann was facilitating (and the madness that morphed into the same apartheid bigotry in the 21st century).

Better understand than be hanged.

Gary Weglarz

I appreciate the article, but the sentence below is offered with no logical or rational support – it is simply an evidence free assertion:

("But Parramore and many journalists like her are neither assets of an intelligence service nor unthinking tools of big media; ) – really?

It is quite clear that if someone "is" (an asset of an intelligence service) that they will certainly not be broadcasting this fact to the world or to friends and family. And for someone to assert that "conspiracies" don't exist in the real world requires a level of credulity that most intelligent and rational people the least bit familiar with the historical record would find rather difficult to muster up. I dare say it would be much easier in fact to prove the assertion that our Western history is simply the "history of conspiracies" given the oligarchic control of Western populations for millennia. This is hardly "rocket science" as they say. We do have a rather well documented historical record to fall back on to show the endless scheming of Western oligarchy behind the backs of Western populations.

wardropper
I like Michael Moore's response when asked if he believed the conspiracy theories which were floating about at the time: "Just the ones that are true"
John Thatcher
A conspiracy theory, like any theory is as strong as the evidence put forward to support it. Often people offer as fact conspiracies that only as yet exist as theories,with greater or lesser amounts of evidence to support.I have no doubt that interested parties who are the accused in these theories, will mount efforts to discredit any theory mounted against them or those they represent.

One of the ways they will do this is to plant "evidence" purporting to support the theory, but easily disproved by easily available information. Unfortunately,it is a sad fact that far too many "conspiracy theorists" readily accept and share along with genuine evidence, this planted "evidence" to the wider internet, thereby undermining the solid evidence of a conspiracy, by associating it with the easily disprovable nonsense.

Harry Stotle

Isn't it high time we had a term to describe those who always accept the official version of events after controversial political incidents no matter how implausible this account might be?

For example, after the attack on the WTC Kissinger was appointed to the head the 9/11 commission (before stepping down).

'Conspiracy theorists' would have thought – why are neocons appointing a mass-murdering neocon to investigate an event that might have involved neocons (raising obvious credibility issues) – whereas those who regard conspiracy theorists as dribbling fruitcakes would have welcomed the appointment of the nobel peace prize winner.

Anyway, here's a clip of Henry – the believers in everything the government say would never have considered the objections raised in the film – such questions are tantamount to mental illness according to these 'progressives'.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/YcxjJDlbnC4?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

[Aug 16, 2019] Easily one of the best, well researched online resources for 9/11

Aug 16, 2019 | off-guardian.org

Mucho

Easily one of the best, well researched online resources for 9/11 is http://www.bollyn.com

Christopher Bollyn's work is crucial as it is mainly focused on the who was behind the attacks, rather than endless investigations into the physics of the event. Physics is an important part of the 9/11 puzzle, but the players involved are of far more importance.

Here is one of his presentations, condensing some of his work into a seminar:

Christopher Bollyn DC 9/11/2017 "The War on Terror among Truth Seekers"

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

[Aug 16, 2019] Ministry of truth materialized in XXI century in a neoliberal way by Kit Knightly

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Latest is the secretive Andy Pryce squandering millions of public money on the "Open Information Partnership" (OIP) which is the latest name-change for the Integrity Initiative and the Institute of Statecraft, just like al-Qaeda kept changing its name. ..."
"... In true Orwellian style, they splashed out on a conference for "defence of media freedom", when they are in the business of propaganda and closing alternative 'narratives' down. And the 'media' they would defend are, in fact, spies sent to foreign countries to foment trouble to further what they bizarrely perceive as 'British interests'. Just like the disgraceful White Helmets, also funded by the FO. ..."
"... "The Guardian is struggling for money" Surely, they would be enjoying some of the seemingly unlimited US defense and some of the mind control programmes budgets. ..."
Aug 16, 2019 | off-guardian.org

OffGuardian already covered the Global Media Freedom Conference, our article Hypocrisy Taints UK's Media Freedom Conference , was meant to be all there was to say. A quick note on the obvious hypocrisy of this event. But, in the writing, I started to see more than that. This event is actually creepy. Let's just look back at one of the four "main themes" of this conference:

Building trust in media and countering disinformation
"Countering disinformation"? Well, that's just another word for censorship. This is proven by their refusal to allow Sputnik or RT accreditation. They claim RT "spreads disinformation" and they "countered" that by barring them from attending. "Building trust"? In the post-Blair world of PR newspeak, "building trust" is just another way of saying "making people believe us" (the word usage is actually interesting, building trust not earning trust). The whole conference is shot through with this language that just feels off. Here is CNN's Christiane Amanpour :
Our job is to be truthful, not neutral we need to take a stand for the truth, and never to create a false moral or factual equivalence."
Being "truthful not neutral" is one of Amanpour's personal sayings , she obviously thinks it's clever. Of course, what it is is NewSpeak for "bias". Refusing to cover evidence of The White Helmets staging rescues, Israel arming ISIS or other inconvenient facts will be defended using this phrase – they will literally claim to only publish "the truth", to get around impartiality and then set about making up whatever "truth" is convenient. Oh, and if you don't know what "creating a false moral quivalence is", here I'll demonstrate: MSM: Putin is bad for shutting down critical media. OffG: But you're supporting RT being banned and Wikileaks being shut down. BBC: No. That's not the same. OffG: It seems the same. BBC: It's not. You're creating a false moral equivalence . Understand now? You "create a false moral equivalence" by pointing out mainstream media's double standards. Other ways you could mistakenly create a "false moral equivalence": Bringing up Gaza when the media talk about racism. Mentioning Saudi Arabia when the media preach about gay rights. Referencing the US coup in Venezuela when the media work themselves into a froth over Russia's "interference in our democracy" Talking about the invasion of Iraq. Ever. OR Pointing out that the BBC is state funded, just like RT. These are all no-longer flagrant examples of the media's double standards, and if you say they are , you're "creating a false moral equivalence" and the media won't have to allow you (or anyone who agrees with you) air time or column inches to disagree. Because they don't have a duty to be neutral or show both sides, they only have a duty to tell "the truth" as soon as the government has told them what that is. Prepare to see both those phrases – or variations there of – littering editorials in the Guardian and the Huffington Post in the coming months. Along with people bemoaning how "fake news outlets abuse the notion of impartiality" by "being even handed between liars the truth tellers". (I've been doing this site so long now, I have a Guardian-English dictionary in my head).

Equally dodgy-sounding buzz-phrases litter topics on the agenda. "Eastern Europe and Central Asia: building an integrated support system for journalists facing hostile environments" , this means pumping money into NGOs to fund media that will criticize our "enemies" in areas of strategic importance. It means flooding money into the anti-government press in Hungary, or Iran or (of course), Russia. That is ALL it means. I said in my earlier article I don't know what "media sustainability" even means, but I feel I can take a guess. It means "save the government mouthpieces". The Guardian is struggling for money, all print media are, TV news is getting lower viewing figures all the time. "Building media sustainability" is code for "pumping public money into traditional media that props up the government" or maybe "getting people to like our propaganda". But the worst offender on the list is, without a doubt "Navigating Disinformation"

https://www.youtube.com/embed/1vbSj1WQqUw?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

"Navigating Disinformation" was a 1 hour panel from the second day of the conference. You can watch it embedded above if you really feel the need. I already did, so you don't have to. The panel was chaired by Chrystia Freeland, the Canadian Foreign Minister. The members included the Latvian Foreign Minister, a representative of the US NGO Committee to Protect Journalists, and the Ukrainian Deputy Minister of Information

Have you guessed what "disinformation" they're going to be talking about? I'll give you a clue: It begins with R. Freeland, chairing the panel, kicks it off by claiming that "disinformation isn't for any particular aim" . This is a very common thing for establishment voices to repeat these days, which makes it all the more galling she seems to be pretending its is her original thought. The reason they have to claim that "disinformation" doesn't have a "specific aim" is very simple: They don't know what they're going to call "disinformation" yet. They can't afford to take a firm position, they need to keep their options open. They need to give themselves the ability to describe any single piece of information or political opinion as "disinformation." Left or right. Foreign or domestic. "Disinformation" is a weaponised term that is only as potent as it is vague. So, we're one minute in, and all "navigating disinformation" has done is hand the State an excuse to ignore, or even criminalise, practically anything it wants to. Good start. Interestingly, no one has actually said the word "Russia" at this point. They have talked about "malign actors" and "threats to democracy", but not specifically Russia. It is SO ingrained in these people that "propaganda"= " Russian propaganda" that they don't need to say it.

The idea that NATO as an entity, or the individual members thereof, could also use "disinformation" has not just been dismissed it was literally never even contemplated. Next Freeland turns to Edgars Rinkēvičs, her Latvian colleague, and jokes about always meeting at NATO functions. The Latvians know "more than most" about disinformation, she says. Rinkēvičs says disinformation is nothing new, but that the methods of spreading it are changing then immediately calls for regulation of social media. Nobody disagrees. Then he talks about the "illegal annexation of Crimea", and claims the West should outlaw "paid propaganda" like RT and Sputnik. Nobody disagrees. Then he says that Latvia "protected" their elections from "interference" by "close cooperation between government agencies and social media companies". Everyone nods along. If you don't find this terrifying, you're not paying attention. They don't say it, they probably don't even realise they mean it, but when they talk about "close cooperation with social media networks", they mean government censorship of social media. When they say "protecting" their elections they're talking about rigging them. It only gets worse. The next step in the Latvian master plan is to bolster "traditional media".

The problems with traditional media, he says, are that journalists aren't paid enough, and don't keep up to date with all the "new tricks". His solution is to "promote financing" for traditional media, and to open more schools like the "Baltic Centre of Media Excellence", which is apparently a totally real thing .

It's a training centre which teaches young journalists about "media literacy" and "critical thinking". You can read their depressingly predictable list of "donors" here . I truly wish I was joking. Next up is Courtney Radsch from CPJ – a US-backed NGO, who notionally "protect journalists", but more accurately spread pro-US propaganda. (Their token effort to "defend" RT and Sputnik when they were barred from the conference was contemptible).

She talks for a long time without saying much at all. Her revolutionary idea is that disinformation could be countered if everyone told the truth. Inspiring. Beata Balogova, Journalist and Editor from Slovakia, gets the ship back on course – immediately suggesting politicians should not endorse "propaganda" platforms. She shares an anecdote about "a prominent Slovakian politician" who gave exclusive interviews to a site that is "dubiously financed, we assume from Russia". They assume from Russia. Everyone nods.

It's like they don't even hear themselves.

Then she moves on to Hungary. Apparently, Orban has "created a propaganda machine" and produced "antisemitic George Soros posters". No evidence is produced to back-up either of these claims. She thinks advertisers should be pressured into not giving money to "fake news sites". She calls for "international pressure", but never explains exactly what that means. The stand-out maniac on this panel is Emine Dzhaparova, the Ukrainian First Deputy Minister of Information Policy. (She works for the Ministry of Information – nicknamed the Ministry of Truth, which was formed in 2014 to "counter lies about Ukraine". Even The Guardian thought that sounded dodgy.)

She talks very fast and, without any sense of irony, spills out a story that shoots straight through "disinformation" and becomes "incoherent rambling". She claims that Russian citizens are so brainwashed you'll never be able to talk to them, and that Russian "cognitive influence" is "toxic like radiation." Is this paranoid, quasi-xenophobic nonsense countered? No. Her fellow panelists nod and chuckle. On top of that, she just lies. She lies over and over and over again. She claims Russia is locking up Crimean Tartars "just for being muslims", nobody questions her. She says the war in Ukraine has killed 13,000 people, but doesn't mention that her side is responsible for over 80% of civilian deaths.

She says only 30% of Crimeans voted in the referendum, and that they were "forced". A fact not supported by any polls done by either side in the last four years, and any referenda held on the peninsula any time in the last last 30 year. It's simply a lie. Nobody asks her about the journalists killed in Ukraine since their glorious Maidan Revolution . Nobody questions the fact that she works for something called the "Ministry of Information". Nobody does anything but nod and smile as the "countering disinformation" panel becomes just a platform for spreading total lies.

When everyone on the panel has had their ten minutes on the soapbox, Freeland asks for recommendations for countering this "threat" – here's the list:

  1. Work to distinguish "free speech" from "propaganda", when you find propaganda there must be a "strong reaction".
  2. Pressure advertisers to abandon platforms who spread misinformation.
  3. Regulate social media.
  4. Educate journalists at special schools.
  5. Start up a "Ministry of Information" and have state run media that isn't controlled, like in Ukraine.

This is the Global Conference on Media Freedom and all these six people want to talk about is how to control what can be said, and who can say it. They single only four countries out for criticism: Hungary, Nicaragua, Venezuela and Russia .and Russia takes up easily 90% of that. They mention only two media outlets by name: RT and Sputnik. This wasn't a panel on disinformation, it was a public attack forum – a month's worth of 2 minutes of hate. These aren't just shills on this stage, they are solid gold idiots, brainwashed to the point of total delusion.

They are the dangerous glassy eyes of a Deep State that never questions itself, never examines itself, and will do anything it wants, to anyone it wants whilst happily patting itself on the back for its superior morality. They don't know, they don't care. They're true believers. Terrifyingly dead inside. Talking about state censorship and re-education camps under a big sign that says "Freedom". And that's just one talk. Just one panel in a 2 day itinerary filled to the brim with similarly soul-dead servants of authority. Truly, perfectly Orwellian.


Jonathan Jarvis

https://southfront.org/countering-russian-disinformation-or-new-wave-of-freedom-of-speech-suppression/

Read and be appalled at what America is up to .keep for further reference. We are in danger.

Tim Jenkins
It would serve Ms. Amanpour well, to relax, rewind & review her own interview with Sergei Lavrov:-

Then she might see why Larry King could stomach the appalling corporate dictatorship, even to the core of False & Fake recording of 'our' "History of the National Security State" , No More

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8H7aKGOpSwE

Amanpour was forced to laugh uncontrollably, when confronted with Lavrov's humorous interpretations of various legal aspects of decency & his Judgement of others' politicians and 'Pussy Riots' >>> if you haven't seen it, it is to be recommended, the whole interview, if nothing else but to study the body language and micro-facial expressions, coz' a belly up laugh is not something anybody can easily control or even feign that first spark of cognition in her mind, as she digests Lavrov's response :- hilarious

Einstein
A GE won't solve matters since we have a Government of Occupation behind a parliament of puppets.

Latest is the secretive Andy Pryce squandering millions of public money on the "Open Information Partnership" (OIP) which is the latest name-change for the Integrity Initiative and the Institute of Statecraft, just like al-Qaeda kept changing its name.

In true Orwellian style, they splashed out on a conference for "defence of media freedom", when they are in the business of propaganda and closing alternative 'narratives' down. And the 'media' they would defend are, in fact, spies sent to foreign countries to foment trouble to further what they bizarrely perceive as 'British interests'. Just like the disgraceful White Helmets, also funded by the FO.

Pryce's ventriloquist's dummy in parliament, the pompous Alan Duncan, announced another £10 million of public money for this odious brainwashing programme.

Tim Jenkins
That panel should be nailed & plastered over, permanently:-

and as wall paper, 'Abstracts of New Law' should be pasted onto a collage of historic extracts from the Guardian, in offices that issue journalistic licenses, comprised of 'Untouchables' :-

A professional habitat, to damp any further 'Freeland' amplification & resonance,

of negative energy from professional incompetence.

Francis Lee
Apropos of the redoubtable Ms Freeland, Canada's Foreign Secretary.

The records now being opened by the Polish government in Warsaw reveal that Freeland's maternal grandfather Michael (Mikhailo) Chomiak was a Nazi collaborator from the beginning to the end of the war. He was given a powerful post, money, home and car by the German Army in Cracow, then the capital of the German administration of the Galician region. His principal job was editor in chief and publisher of a newspaper the Nazis created. His printing plant and other assets had been stolen from a Jewish newspaper publisher, who was then sent to die in the Belzec concentration camp. During the German Army's winning phase of the war, Chomiak celebrated in print the Wehrmacht's "success" at killing thousands of US Army troops. As the German Army was forced into retreat by the Soviet counter-offensive, Chomiak was taken by the Germans to Vienna, where he continued to publish his Nazi propaganda, at the same time informing for the Germans on other Ukrainians. They included fellow Galician Stepan Bandera, whose racism against Russians Freeland has celebrated in print, and whom the current regime in Kiev has turned into a national hero.

Those Ukrainian 'Refugees' admitted to Canada in 1945 were almost certainly members of the 14th Waffen SS Division Galizia 1. These Ukie collaboraters – not to be confused with the other Ukie Nazi outfit – Stepan Bandera's Ukrainian Insurgent Army -were held responsible for the massacre of many Poles in the Lviv area the most infamous being carried out in the Polish village of Huta Pienacka. In the massacre, the village was destroyed and between 500] and 1,000 of the inhabitants were killed. According to Polish accounts, civilians were locked in barns that were set on fire while those attempting to flee were killed. That's about par for the course.
Canada's response was as follows:

The Canadian Deschênes Commission was set up to investigate alleged war crimes committed by the collaborators

Memorial to SS-Galizien division in Chervone, Lviv Oblast, western Ukraine

The Canadian "Commission of Inquiry on War Crimes" of October 1986, by the Honourable Justice Jules Deschênesconcluded that in relation to membership in the Galicia Division:

''The Galicia Division (14. Waffen grenadier division der SS [gal.1]) should not be indicted as a group. The members of Galicia Division were individually screened for security purposes before admission to Canada. Charges of war crimes of Galicia Division have never been substantiated, either in 1950 when they were first preferred, or in 1984 when they were renewed, or before this Commission. Further, in the absence of evidence of participation or knowledge of specific war crimes, mere membership in the Galicia Division is insufficient to justify prosecution.''

However, the Commission's conclusion failed to acknowledge or heed the International Military Tribunal's verdict at the Nuremberg Trials, in which the entire Waffen-SSorganisation was declared a "criminal organization" guilty of war crimes. Also, the Deschênes Commission in its conclusion only referenced the division as 14. Waffen-Grenadier-Division der SS (Galizische Nr.1), thus in legal terms, only acknowledging the formation's activity after its name change in August 1944, while the massacre of Poles in Huta Pieniacka, Pidkamin and Palikrowy occurred when the division was called SS Freiwilligen Division "Galizien". Nevertheless, a subsequent review by Canada's Minister of Justice again confirmed that members of the Division were not implicated in war crimes.

Yes, the west looks after its Nazis and even makes them and their descendants political figureheads.

mark
Most of these people are so smugly and complacently convinced of their own moral superiority that they just can't see the hypocrisy and doublethink involved in the event.
Mikalina
Eva Bartlett gives a wider perspective:
https://www.globalresearch.ca/londons-media-freedom-conference-smacks-irony-critics-barred-no-mention-jailed-assange/5683808
Harry Stotle
Freedom-lover, Cunt, will be furious when he hears about this!

Apparently Steve Bell is doubleplusbad for alluding to the fact Netanyahu has got his hand shoved deep into Tom Watson's arse – the Guardian pulled Bell's most recent ouvre which suggests the media's antisemitism trope might not be quite as politically untainted as the likes of Freedland, Cohen and Viner would have you believe.
https://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/guardian-cartoonist-steve-bell-specious-charge-of-antisemitism-in-email-to-all-paper-1.486570

Meanwhile Owen Jones has taken to Twitter to rubbish allegations that a reign of terror exists at Guardian Towers – the socialist firebrand is quoted as saying 'journalists are free to say whatever they like, so long as it doesn't stray too far from Guardian-groupthink'.

Tutisicecream
Good analysis Kit, of the cognitive dissonant ping pong being played out by Nazi sympathisers such as Hunt and Freeland.

The echo chamber of deceit is amplified again by the selective use of information and the ignoring of relevant facts, such as the miss reporting yesterday by Reuters of the Italian Neo-Nazi haul of weapons by the police, having not Russian but Ukrainian links.

Not a word in the WMSM about this devious miss-reporting as the creation of fake news in action. But what would you expect?

Living as I do in Russia I can assure anyone reading this that the media freedom here is on a par with the West and somewhat better as there is no paranoia about a fictitious enemy – Russians understand that the West is going through an existential crisis (Brexit in the UK, Trump and the Clinton war of sameness in the US and Macron and Merkel in the EU). A crisis of Liberalism as the failed life-support of capitalism. But hey, why worry about the politics when there is bigger fish to fry. Such as who will pay me to dance?

The answer is clear from what Kit has writ. The government will pay the piper. How sweet.

I'd like to thank Kit for sitting through such a turgid masquerade and as I'm rather long in the tooth I do remember the old BBC schools of journalism in Yelsin's Russia. What I remember is that old devious Auntie Beeb was busy training would be hopefuls in the art of discretion regarding how the news is formed, or formulated.

In other words your audience. And it ain't the public

Steve Hayes
The British government's "Online Harms" White Paper has a whole section devoted to "disinformation" (ie, any facts, opinions, analyses, evaluations, critiques that are critical of the elite's actual disinformation). If these proposals become law, the government will have effective control over the Internet and we will be allowed access to their disinformation, shop and watch cute cat videos.
Question This
The liberal news media & hypocrisy, who would have ever thought you'd see those words in the same sentence. But what do you expect from professional liars, politicians & 'their' free press?

Can this shit show get any worse? Yes, The other day I wrote to my MP regards the SNP legislating against the truth, effectively making it compulsory to lie! Mr Blackford as much as called me a transphobic & seemed to go to great length publishing his neo-liberal ideological views in some scottish rag, on how right is wrong & fact is turned into fiction & asked only those that agreed with him contact him.

Tim Jenkins
"The science or logical consistency of true premise, cannot take place or bear fruit, when all communication and information is 'marketised and weaponised' to a mindset of possession and control." B.Steere
Mikalina
I saw, somewhere (but can't find it now) a law or a prospective law which goes under the guise of harassment of MPs to include action against constituents who 'pester' them.

I've found a link for the Jo Cox gang discussing it, though.
https://www.kcl.ac.uk/news/new-research-on-the-intimidation-and-harassment-of-mps-featured-in-inaugural-conference

Question This
I only emailed him once! That's hardly harassment. Anyway I sent it with proton-mail via vpn & used a false postcode using only my first name so unlikely my civil & sincere correspondence will see me locked up for insisting my inalienable rights of freedom of speech & beliefs are protected. But there again the state we live in, i may well be incarcerated for life, for such an outrageous expectation.
Where to?
"The Guardian is struggling for money" Surely, they would be enjoying some of the seemingly unlimited US defense and some of the mind control programmes budgets.
Harry Stotle
Its the brazen nature of the conference that is especially galling, but what do you expect when crooks and liars no longer feel they even have to pretend?

Nothing will change so long as politicians (or their shady backers) are never held to account for public assets diverted toward a rapacious off-shore economic system, or the fact millions of lives have been shattered by the 'war on terror' and its evil twin, 'humanatarian regime change' (while disingenuous Labour MPs wail about the 'horrors' of antisemitism rather than the fact their former leader is a key architect of the killings).

Kit remains a go-to voice when deconstructing claims made by political figures who clearly regard the MSM as a propaganda vehicle for promoting western imperialism – the self-satisfied smugness of cunts like Jeremy Cunt stand in stark contrast to a real journalist being tortured by the British authorities just a few short miles away.

It's a sligtly depressing thought but somebody has the unenviable task of monitoring just how far our politicians have drifted from the everyday concerns of the 'just about managing' and as I say Mr Knightly does a fine job in informing readers what the real of agenda of these media love-ins are actually about – it goes without saying a very lengthy barge pole is required when the Saudis are invited but not Russia.

Where to?
This Media Freedom Conference is surely a creepy theatre of the absurd.

It is a test of what they can get away with.

Mikalina
Yep. Any soviet TV watcher would recognise this immediately. Message? THIS is the reality – and you are powerless.
mark
When are they going to give us the Ministry of Truth we so desperately need?

[Aug 16, 2019] Lapdogs for the Government and intelligence agencies by Greg Maybury

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... We know our disinformation program is complete when almost everything the American public believes is false.' ..."
"... Using groundbreaking camera and lighting techniques, Riefenstahl produced a documentary that mesmerized Germans; as Pilger noted, her Triumph of the Will 'cast Adolf Hitler's spell'. She told the veteran Aussie journalist the "messages" of her films were dependent not on "orders from above", but on the "submissive void" of the public. ..."
"... All in all, Riefenstahl produced arguably for the rest of the world the most compelling historical footage of mass hysteria, blind obedience, nationalistic fervour, and existential menace, all key ingredients in anyone's totalitarian nightmare. That it also impressed a lot of very powerful, high profile people in the West on both sides of the pond is also axiomatic: These included bankers, financiers, industrialists, and sundry business elites without whose support Hitler might've at best ended up a footnote in the historical record after the ill-fated beer-hall putsch. (See here , and here .) ..."
"... The purpose of this propaganda barrage, as Sharon Bader has noted, has been to convince as many people as possible that it is in their interests to relinquish their own power as workers, consumers, and citizens, and 'forego their democratic right to restrain and regulate business activity. As a result the political agenda is now confined to policies aimed at furthering business interests.' ..."
Aug 16, 2019 | off-guardian.org

Lapdogs for the Government

Here was, of course, another surreal spectacle, this time courtesy of one of the Deep State's most dangerous, reviled, and divisive figures, a notable protagonist in the Russia-Gate conspiracy, and America's most senior diplomat no less.

Not only is it difficult to accept that the former CIA Director actually believes what he is saying, well might we ask, "Who can believe Mike Pompeo?"

And here's also someone whose manifest cynicism, hypocrisy, and chutzpah would embarrass the much-derided scribes and Pharisees of Biblical days.

We have Pompeo on record recently in a rare moment of honesty admitting – whilst laughing his ample ass off, as if recalling some "Boy's Own Adventure" from his misspent youth with a bunch of his mates down at the local pub – that under his watch as CIA Director:

We lied, cheated, we stole we had entire training courses.'

It may have been one of the few times in his wretched existence that Pompeo didn't speak with a forked tongue.

At all events, his candour aside, we can assume safely that this reactionary, monomaniacal, Christian Zionist 'end-timer' passed all the Company's "training courses" with flying colours.

According to Matthew Rosenberg of the New York Times, all this did not stop Pompeo however from name-checking Wikileaks when it served his own interests. Back in 2016 at the height of the election campaign, he had ' no compunction about pointing people toward emails stolen* by Russian hackers from the Democratic National Committee and then posted by WikiLeaks."

[NOTE: Rosenberg's omission of the word "allegedly" -- as in "emails allegedly stolen" -- is a dead giveaway of bias on his part (a journalistic Freudian slip perhaps?), with his employer being one of those MSM marques leading the charge with the "Russian Collusion" 'story'. For a more insightful view of the source of these emails and the skullduggery and thuggery that attended Russia-Gate, readers are encouraged to check this out.]

And this is of course The Company we're talking about, whose past and present relationship with the media might be summed up in two words: Operation Mockingbird (OpMock). Anyone vaguely familiar with the well-documented Grand Deception that was OpMock, arguably the CIA's most enduring, insidious, and successful psy-ops gambit, will know what we're talking about. (See here , here , here , and here .) At its most basic, this operation was all about propaganda and censorship, usually operating in tandem to ensure all the bases are covered.

After opining that the MSM is 'totally infiltrated' by the CIA and various other agencies, for his part former NSA whistleblower William Binney recently added , ' When it comes to national security, the media only talk about what the administration wants you to hear, and basically suppress any other statements about what's going on that the administration does not want get public. The media is basically the lapdogs for the government.'

Even the redoubtable William Casey , Ronald Reagan's CIA Director back in the day was reported to have said something along the following lines:

We know our disinformation program is complete when almost everything the American public believes is false.'

In order to provide a broader and deeper perspective, we should now consider the views of a few others on the subjects at hand, along with some history. In a 2013 piece musing on the modern significance of the practice, my compatriot John Pilger ecalled a time when he met Leni Riefenstahl back in 70s and asked her about her films that 'glorified the Nazis'.

Using groundbreaking camera and lighting techniques, Riefenstahl produced a documentary that mesmerized Germans; as Pilger noted, her Triumph of the Will 'cast Adolf Hitler's spell'. She told the veteran Aussie journalist the "messages" of her films were dependent not on "orders from above", but on the "submissive void" of the public.

All in all, Riefenstahl produced arguably for the rest of the world the most compelling historical footage of mass hysteria, blind obedience, nationalistic fervour, and existential menace, all key ingredients in anyone's totalitarian nightmare. That it also impressed a lot of very powerful, high profile people in the West on both sides of the pond is also axiomatic: These included bankers, financiers, industrialists, and sundry business elites without whose support Hitler might've at best ended up a footnote in the historical record after the ill-fated beer-hall putsch. (See here , and here .)

" Triumph " apparently still resonates today. To the surprise of few one imagines, such was the impact of the film -- as casually revealed in the excellent 2018 Alexis Bloom documentary Divide and Conquer: The Story of Roger Ailes -- it elicited no small amount of admiration from arguably the single most influential propagandist of recent times.

[Readers might wish to check out Russell Crowe's recent portrayal of Ailes in Stan's mini-series The Loudest Voice , in my view one the best performances of the man's career.]

In a recent piece unambiguously titled "Propaganda Is The Root Of All Our Problems", my other compatriot Caitlin Johnstone also had a few things to say about the subject, echoing Orwell when she observed it was all about "controlling the narrative".

Though I'd suggest the greater "root" problem is our easy propensity to ignore this reality, pretend it doesn't or won't affect us, or reject it as conspiratorial nonsense, in this, of course, she's correct. As she cogently observes,

I write about this stuff for a living, and even I don't have the time or energy to write about every single narrative control tool that the US-centralised empire has been implementing into its arsenal. There are too damn many of them emerging too damn fast, because they're just that damn crucial for maintaining existing power structures.'

The Discreet Use of Censorship and Uniformed Men

It is hardly surprising that those who hold power should seek to control the words and language people use' said Canadian author John Ralston Saul in his 1993 book Voltaire's Bastards–the Dictatorship of Reason in the West .

Fittingly, in a discussion encompassing amongst other things history, language, power, and dissent, he opined, ' Determining how individuals communicate is' an objective which represents for the power elites 'the best chance' [they] have to control what people think. This translates as: The more control 'we' have over what the proles think, the more 'we' can reduce the inherent risk for elites in democracy.

' Clumsy men', Saul went on to say, 'try to do this through power and fear. Heavy-handed men running heavy-handed systems attempt the same thing through police-enforced censorship. The more sophisticated the elites, the more they concentrate on creating intellectual systems which control expression through the communications structures. These systems require only the discreet use of censorship and uniformed men.'

In other words, along with assuming it is their right to take it in the first place, ' those who take power will always try to change the established language ', presumably to better facilitate their hold on it and/or legitimise their claim to it.

For Oliver Boyd-Barrett, democratic theory presupposes a public communications infrastructure that facilitates the free and open exchange of ideas.' Yet for the author of the recently published RussiaGate and Propaganda: Disinformation in the Age of Social Media , 'No such infrastructure exists.'

The mainstream media he says, is 'owned and controlled by a small number of large, multi-media and multi-industrial conglomerates' that lie at the very heart of US oligopoly capitalism and much of whose advertising revenue and content is furnished from other conglomerates:

The inability of mainstream media to sustain an information environment that can encompass histories, perspectives and vocabularies that are free of the shackles of US plutocratic self-regard is also well documented.'

Of course the word "inability" suggests the MSM view themselves as having some responsibility for maintaining such an egalitarian news and information environment. They don't of course, and in truth, probably never really have! A better word would be "unwilling", or even "refusal". The corporate media all but epitomise the " plutocratic self-regard" that is characteristic of "oligopoly capitalism".

Indeed, the MSM collectively functions as advertising, public relations/lobbying entities for Big Corp, in addition to acting as its Praetorian bodyguard , protecting their secrets, crimes, and lies from exposure. Like all other companies they are beholden to their shareholders (profits before truth and people), most of whom it can safely be assumed are no strangers to "self-regard", and could care less about " histories, perspectives and vocabularies" that run counter to their own interests.

It was Aussie social scientist Alex Carey who pioneered the study of nationalism , corporatism , and moreso for our purposes herein, the management (read: manipulation) of public opinion, though all three have important links (a story for another time). For Carey, the following conclusion was inescapable: 'It is arguable that the success of business propaganda in persuading us, for so long, that we are free from propaganda is one of the most significant propaganda achievements of the twentieth century.' This former farmer from Western Australia became one of the world's acknowledged experts on propaganda and the manipulation of the truth.

Prior to embarking on his academic career, Carey was a successful sheep grazier . By all accounts, he was a first-class judge of the animal from which he made his early living, leaving one to ponder if this expertise gave him a unique insight into his main area of research!

In any event, Carey in time sold the farm and travelled to the U.K. to study psychology, apparently a long-time ambition. From the late fifties until his death in 1988, he was a senior lecturer in psychology and industrial relations at the Sydney-based University of New South Wales, with his research being lauded by such luminaries as Noam Chomsky and John Pilger, both of whom have had a thing or three to say over the years about The Big Shill. In fact such was his admiration, Pilger described him as "a second Orwell", which in anyone's lingo is a big call.

Carey unfortunately died in 1988, interestingly the year that his more famous contemporaries Edward Herman and Chomsky's book Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media was published, the authors notably dedicating their book to him.

Though much of his work remained unpublished at the time of his death, a book of Carey's essays – Taking the Risk Out of Democracy: Corporate Propaganda Versus Freedom and Liberty -- was published posthumously in 1997. It remains a seminal work.

In fact, for anyone with an interest in how public opinion is moulded and our perceptions are managed and manipulated, in whose interests they are done so and to what end, it is as essential reading as any of the work of other more famous names. This tome came complete with a foreword by Chomsky, so enamoured was the latter of Carey's work.

For Carey, the three "most significant developments" in the political economy of the twentieth century were: the growth of democracy the growth of corporate power; and the growth of propaganda as a means of protecting corporate power against democracy.

Carey's main focus was on the following: advertising and publicity devoted to the creation of artificial wants; the public relations and propaganda industry whose principal goal is the diversion to meaningless pursuits and control of the public mind; and the degree to which academia and the professions are under assault from private power determined to narrow the spectrum of thinkable (sic) thought.

For Carey, it is an axiom of conventional wisdom that the use of propaganda as a means of social and ideological control is 'distinctive' of totalitarian regimes. Yet as he stresses: the most minimal exercise of common sense would suggest a different view: that propaganda is likely to play at least as important a part in democratic societies (where the existing distribution of power and privilege is vulnerable to quite limited changes in popular opinion) as in authoritarian societies (where it is not).' In this context, 'conventional wisdom" becomes conventional ignorance; as for "common sense", maybe not so much.

The purpose of this propaganda barrage, as Sharon Bader has noted, has been to convince as many people as possible that it is in their interests to relinquish their own power as workers, consumers, and citizens, and 'forego their democratic right to restrain and regulate business activity. As a result the political agenda is now confined to policies aimed at furthering business interests.'

An extreme example of this view playing itself right under our noses and over decades was the cruel fiction of the " trickle down effect " (TDE) -- aka the 'rising tide that would lift all yachts' -- of Reaganomics . One of several mantras that defined Reagan's overarching political shtick, the TDE was by any measure, decidedly more a torrent than a trickle, and said "torrent" was going up not down. This reality as we now know was not in Reagan's glossy economic brochure to be sure, and it may have been because the Gipper confused his prepositions and verbs.

Yet as the GFC of 2008 amply demonstrated, it culminated in a free-for all, dog eat dog, anything goes, everyman for himself form of cannibal (or anarcho) capitalism -- an updated, much improved version of the no-holds-barred mercenary mercantilism much reminiscent of the Gilded Age and the Robber Barons who 'infested' it, only one that doesn't just eat its young, it eats itself!

Making the World Safe for Plutocracy

In the increasingly dysfunctional, one-sided political economy we inhabit then, whether it's widgets or wars or anything in between, few people realise the degree to which our opinions, perceptions, emotions, and views are shaped and manipulated by propaganda (and its similarly 'evil twin' censorship ,) its most adept practitioners, and those elite, institutional, political, and corporate entities that seek out their expertise.

It is now just over a hundred years since the practice of propaganda took a giant leap forward, then in the service of persuading palpably reluctant Americans that the war raging in Europe at the time was their war as well.

This was at a time when Americans had just voted their then-president Woodrow Wilson back into office for a second term, a victory largely achieved on the back of the promise he'd "keep us out of the War." Americans were very much in what was one of their most isolationist phases , and so Wilson's promise resonated with them.

But over time they were convinced of the need to become involved by a distinctly different appeal to their political sensibilities. This "appeal" also dampened the isolationist mood, one which it has to be said was not embraced by most of the political, banking, and business elites of the time, most of whom stood to lose big-time if the Germans won, and/or who were already profiting or benefitting from the business of war.

For a president who "kept us out of the war", this wasn't going to be an easy 'pitch'. In order to sell the war the president established the Committee on Public Information (aka the Creel Committee) for the purposes of publicising the rationale for the war and from there, garnering support for it from the general public.

Enter Edward Bernays , the nephew of Sigmund Freud, who's generally considered to be the father of modern public relations. In his film Rule from the Shadows: The Psychology of Power , Aaron Hawkins says Bernays was influenced by people such as Gustave le Bon , Walter Lippman , and Wilfred Trotter , as much, if not moreso, than his famous uncle.

Either way, Bernays 'combined their perspectives and synthesised them into an applied science', which he then 'branded' "public relations".

For its part the Creel committee struggled with its brief from the off; but Bernays worked with them to persuade Americans their involvement in the war was justified -- indeed necessary -- and to that end he devised the brilliantly inane slogan, "making the world safe for democracy" .

Thus was born arguably the first great propaganda catch-phrases of the modern era, and certainly one of the most portentous. The following sums up Bernays's unabashed mindset:

The conscious, intelligent manipulation of the organised habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.'

The rest is history (sort of), with Americans becoming more willing to not just support the war effort but encouraged to view the Germans and their allies as evil brutes threatening democracy and freedom and the 'American way of life', however that might've been viewed then. From a geopolitical and historical perspective, it was an asinine premise of course, but nonetheless an extraordinary example of how a few well chosen words tapped into the collective psyche of a country that was decidedly opposed to any U.S involvement in the war and turned that mindset completely on its head.

' [S]aving the world for democracy' (or some 'cover version' thereof) has since become America's positioning statement, 'patriotic' rallying cry, and the "Get-out-of-Jail Free" card for its war and its white collar criminal clique.

At all events it was by any measure, a stroke of genius on Bernays's part; by appealing to people's basic fears and desires, he could engineer consent on a mass scale. It goes without saying it changed the course of history in more ways than one. That the U.S. is to this day still using a not dissimilar meme to justify its "foreign entanglements" is testament to both its utility and durability.

The reality as we now know was markedly different of course. They have almost always been about power, empire, control, hegemony, resources, wealth, opportunity, profit, dispossession, keeping existing capitalist structures intact and well-defended, and crushing dissent and opposition.

The Bewildered Herd

It is instructive to note that the template for 'manufacturing consent' for war had already been forged by the British. And the Europeans did not 'sleepwalk' like some " bewildered herd ' into this conflagration.

For twenty years prior to the outbreak of the war in 1914, the then stewards of the British Empire had been diligently preparing the ground for what they viewed as a preordained clash with their rivals for empire the Germans.

To begin with, contrary to the opinion of the general populace over one hundred years later, it was not the much touted German aggression and militarism, nor their undoubted imperial ambitions, which precipitated its outbreak. The stewards of the British Empire were not about to let the Teutonic upstarts chow down on their imperial lunch as it were, and set about unilaterally and preemptively crushing Germany and with it any ambitions it had for creating its own imperial domain in competition with the Empire upon which Ol' Sol never set.

The "Great War" is worth noting here for other reasons. As documented so by Jim Macgregor and Gerry Docherty in their two books covering the period from 1890-1920, we learn much about propaganda, which attest to its extraordinary power, in particular its power to distort reality en masse in enduring and subversive ways.

In reality, the only thing "great" about World War One was the degree to which the masses fighting for Britain were conned via propaganda and censorship into believing this war was necessary, and the way the official narrative of the war was sustained for posterity via the very same means. "Great" maybe, but not in a good way!

In these seminal tomes -- World War One Hidden History: The Secret Origins of the First World War and its follow-up Prolonging the Agony: How the Anglo-American Establishment Deliberately Extended WWI by Three-And-A-Half Years -- Macgregor and Docherty provide a masterclass for us all of the power of propaganda in the service of firstly inciting, then deliberately sustaining a major war.

The horrendous carnage and destruction that resulted from it was of course unprecedented, the global effects of which linger on now well over one hundred years later.

Such was the enduring power of the propaganda that today most folks would have great difficulty in accepting the following; this is a short summary of historical realities revealed by Macgregor and Docherty that are at complete odds with the official narrative, the political discourse, and the school textbooks:

It was Great Britain (supported by France and Russia) and not Germany who was the principal aggressor in the events and actions that let to the outbreak of war; The British had for twenty years prior to 1914 viewed Germany as its most dangerous economic and imperial rival, and fully anticipated that a war was inevitable; In the U.K. and the U.S., various factions worked feverishly to ensure the war went on for as long as possible, and scuttled peacemaking efforts from the off; key truths about this most consequential of geopolitical conflicts have been concealed for well over one hundred years, with no sign the official record will change; very powerful forces (incl. a future US president) amongst U.S. political, media, and economic elites conspired to eventually convince an otherwise unwilling populace in America that U.S. entry onto the war was necessary; those same forces and many similar groups in the U.K. and Europe engaged in everything from war profiteering, destruction/forging of war records, false-flag ops, treason, conspiracy to wage aggressive war, and direct efforts to prolong the war by any means necessary, many of which will rock folks to their very core.

But peace was not on the agenda. When, by 1916, the military failures were so embarrassing and costly, some key players in the British government were willing to talk about peace. This could not be tolerated. The potential peacemakers had to be thrown under the bus. The unelected European leaders had one common bond: They would fight Germany until she was crushed.

Prolonging the Agony details how this secret cabal organised to this end the change of government without a single vote being cast. David Lloyd George was promoted to prime minister in Britain and Georges Clemenceau made prime minister in France. A new government, an inner-elite war cabinet thrust the Secret Elite leader, Lord Alfred Milner into power at the very inner-core of the decision-makers in British politics.

Democracy? They had no truck with democracy. The voting public had no say. The men entrusted with the task would keep going till the end and their place-men were backed by the media and the money-power, in Britain, France and America.

Propaganda Always Wins

But just as the pioneering adherents of propaganda back in the day might never have dreamt how sophisticated and all-encompassing the practice would become, nor would the citizenry at large have anticipated the extent to which the industry has facilitated an entrenched, rapacious plutocracy at the expense of our economic opportunity, our financial and material security, our physical, social and cultural environment, our values and attitudes, and increasingly, our basic democratic rights and freedoms.

We now live in the Age of the Big Shill -- cocooned in a submissive void no less -- an era where nothing can be taken on face value yet where time and attention constraints (to name just a few) force us to do so; [where] few people in public life can be taken at their word; where unchallenged perceptions become accepted reality; where 'open-book' history is now incontrovertible not-negotiable, upon pain of imprisonment fact; where education is about uniformity, function, form and conformity, all in the service of imposed neo-liberal ideologies embracing then prioritising individual -- albeit dubious -- freedoms.

More broadly, it's the "Roger Ailes" of this world -- acting on behalf of the power elites who after all are their paymasters -- who create the intellectual systems which control expression through the communications structures, whilst ensuring these systems require only 'the discreet use of censorship and uniformed men.'

They are the shapers and moulders of the discourse that passes for the accepted lingua franca of the increasingly globalised, interconnected, corporatised political economy of the planet. Throughout this process they 'will always try to change the established language.'

And we can no longer rely on our elected representatives to honestly represent us and our interests. Whether this decision making is taking place inside or outside the legislative process, these processes are well and truly in the grip of the banks and financial institutions and transnational organisations. In whose interests are they going to be more concerned with?

We saw this all just after the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) when the very people who brought the system to the brink, made billions off the dodge for their banks and millions for themselves, bankrupted hundreds of thousands of American families, were called upon by the U.S. government to fix up the mess, and to all intents given a blank cheque to so do.

That the U.S. is at even greater risk now of economic implosion is something few serious pundits would dispute, and a testament to the effectiveness of the snow-job perpetrated upon Americans regarding the causes, the impact, and the implications of the 2008 meltdown going forward.

In most cases, one accepts almost by definition such disconnects (read: hidden agendas) are the rule rather than the exception, hence the multi-billion foundation -- and global reach and impact -- of the propaganda business. This in itself is a key indicator as to why organisations place so much importance on this aspect of managing their affairs.

At the very least, once corporations saw how the psychology of persuasion could be leveraged to manipulate consumers and politicians saw the same with the citizenry and even its own workers, the growth of the industry was assured.

As Riefenstahl noted during her chinwag with Pilger after he asked if those embracing the "submissive void" included the liberal, educated bourgeoisie? " Everyone ," she said.

By way of underscoring her point, she added enigmatically: 'Propaganda always wins if you allow it'.

Greg Maybury is a freelance writer based in Perth, Australia. His main areas of interest are American history and politics in general, with a special focus on economic, national security, military, and geopolitical affairs. For 5 years he has regularly contributed to a diverse range of news and opinion sites, including OpEd News, The Greanville Post, Consortium News, Dandelion Salad, Global Research, Dissident Voice, OffGuardian, Contra Corner, International Policy Digest, the Hampton Institute, and others.


nottheonly1

This brilliant essay is proof of the reflective nature of the Universe. The worse the propaganda and oppression becomes, the greater the likelihood such an essay will be written.

Such is the sophistication and ubiquity of the narrative control techniques used today -- afforded increasingly by 'computational propaganda' via automated scripts, hacking, botnets, troll farms, and algorithms and the like, along with the barely veiled censorship and information gatekeeping practised by Google and Facebook and other tech behemoths -- it's become one of the most troubling aspects of the technological/social media revolution.

Very rarely can one experience such a degree of vindication. My moniker 'nottheonly1' has received more meaning with this precise depiction of the long history of the manipulation of the masses. Recent events have destroyed but all of my confidence that there might be a peaceful way out of this massive dilemma. Due to this sophistication in controlling the narrative, it has now become apparent that we have arrived at a moment in time where total lawlessness reigns. 'Lawlessness' in this case means the loss of common law and the use of code law to create ever new restrictions for free speech and liberty at large.

Over the last weeks, comments written on other discussion boards have unleashed a degree of character defamation and ridicule for the most obvious crimes perpetrated on the masses through propaganda. In this unholy union of constant propaganda via main stream 'media' with the character defamation by so called 'trolls' – which are actually virtual assassins of those who write the truth – the ability of the population, or parts thereof to connect with, or search for like minded people is utterly destroyed. This assault on the online community has devastating consequences. Those who have come into the cross hairs of the unintelligence agencies will but turn away from the internet. Leaving behind an ocean of online propaganda and fake information. Few are now the web sites on which it is possible to voice one's personal take on the status quo.

There is one word that describes these kind of activities precisely: traitor. Those who engage in the character defamation of commenters, or authors per se, are traitors to humanity. They betray the collective consciousness with their poisonous attacks of those who work for a sea change of the status quo. The owner class has all game pieces positioned. The fact that Julian Assange is not only a free man, but still without a Nobel price for peace, while war criminals are recipients, shows just how much the march into absolute totalitarianism has progressed. Bernays hated the masses and offered his 'services' to manipulate them often for free.

Even though there are more solutions than problems, the time has come where meaningful participation in the search for such solution has been made unbearable. It is therefore that a certain fatalism has developed – from resignation to the acceptance of the status quo as being inevitable. Ancient wisdom has created a proverb that states 'This too, will pass'. While that is a given, there are still enough Human Beings around that are determined to make a difference. To this group I count the author of this marvelous, albeit depressing essay. Thank you more that words can express. And thank you, OffGuardian for being one of the last remaining places where discourse is possible.

GMW
Really great post! Thanks. I'm part of the way through reading Alex Carey's book: "Taking the Risk Out of Democracy: Corporate Propaganda Versus Freedom and Liberty," referenced in this article. I've learned more about the obviously verifiable history of U.S. corporate propaganda in the first four chapters than I learned gaining a "minor" in history in 1974 (not surprisingly I can now clearly see). I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in just how pervasive, entrenched and long-standing are the propaganda systems shaping public perception, thought and behavior in America and the West.
Norcal
Wow Greg Maybury great essay, congratulations. This quote is brilliant, I've never see it before, "For Carey, the following conclusion was inescapable: 'It is arguable that the success of business propaganda in persuading us, for so long, that we are free from propaganda is one of the most significant propaganda achievements of the twentieth century.' "

Too, Rodger Ailes was the man credited with educating Nixon up as how to "use" the TV media, and Ailes never looked back as he manipulated media at will. Thank you!

nondimenticare
That is also one of the basic theses of Harold Pinter's Nobel Prize speech.
vexarb
I read in 'Guns, Germs and Steel' about Homo Sapiens and his domesticated animals. Apparently we got on best in places where we could find animals that are very like us: sheep, cattle, horses and other herd animals which instinctively follow their Leader. I think our cousins the chimpanzee are much the same; both species must have inherited this common trait from some pre-chimpanzee ancestor who had found great survival value in passing on the sheeple trait to their progeny. As have the sheep themselves.

By the way, has anybody observed sheeple behaviour in ants and bees? For instance, quietly following a Leader ant to their doom, or noisily ganging up to mob a worker bee that the Queen does not like?

Andy
Almost unbelievable that this was commisioned by the BBC 4 part series covering much of what is in Gregs essay. Some fabulous old footage too. https://topdocumentaryfilms.com/the-century-of-the-self/
S.R.Passerby
I'd say the elites are both for and against. Competing factions. It's clear that many are interested in overturning democracy, whilst others want to exploit it.

The average grunt on the street is in the fire, regardless of the pan chosen by the elites.

[Aug 16, 2019] On the superior quality of US propaganda

Aug 16, 2019 | off-guardian.org

The story goes like this: sometime during the height of the Cold War a group of American journalists were hosting a visit to the U.S. of some of their Soviet counterparts.

After allowing their visitors some time to soak up the media zeitgeist stateside, most of the Americans expected their guests to express unbridled envy at the professional liberties they enjoyed in the Land of the Free Press.

One of the Russian scribes was indeed compelled to express his unabashed 'admiration' to his hosts in particular, for the "far superior quality" of American "propaganda". Now it's fair to say his hosts were taken aback by what was at best a backhanded compliment.

After some collegial 'piss-taking' about the stereotypes associated with Western "press freedom" versus those of the controlled media in the Soviet system, one of the Americans called on their Russian colleague to explain what he meant. In fractured English, he replied with the following:

It's very simple. In Soviet Union, we don't believe our propaganda. In America, you actually believe yours!"

[Aug 15, 2019] Kit Knightly at OffGuardian has a great commentary on how the Guardian is shaping its coverage of this Epstein situation, particularly in regard to all us conjecturing types:

Aug 15, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Baby Gerald , August 15, 2019 at 4:46 pm

Kit Knightly at OffGuardian has a great commentary on how the Guardian is shaping its coverage of this Epstein situation, particularly in regard to all us conjecturing types:

Guardian Attacks Epstein "Conspiracy Theories"

It's a pretty scathing take-down and a fun read.

todde , August 15, 2019 at 6:25 pm

from the article:

which totally ignores a cardinal rule when dealing with state agencies: They will only admit to incompetence if the truth is worse.

LOL. Mirrors what I said earlier.

true, so very true.

[Aug 14, 2019] Charge of anti-Semitism as a sign of a bitter factional struggle in UK Labor Party between neoliberal and alternatives to neoliberalism wings

Highly recommended!
It attests inventiveness and vicious amorality of neoliberals, who now promote the idea that criticizing neoliberalism and removing Democratic party in the USA and Labor Party in the UK from clutches of Clintonism//Brairism is inherently Anti-Semitic ;-)
Israel lobby wants to extent the anti-Semitism smear to any critique of Israel. which is of course standard dirty trick in witch hunts like neo-McCarthyism.
Notable quotes:
"... This, of course, is compounded by the over-amplifying of anti-Semitism by the media and the alacrity with which it has been taken up by Corbyn opponents, including hypocrites who floated "rootless cosmopolitan" criticisms of Ed Miliband when it suited just a few years ago. ..."
"... The resolution of the anti-Semitism crisis then is not a matter of compromise -- for each side the issue will only go away with the complete crushing and driving out of the party of the other. ..."
"... A good analysis. But, it emphasizes the point I made in the previous post, which is that, the right are currently engaged in an all out push to remove Corbyn and crush the left with the same old bureaucratic means. Whatever else Williamson may or may not be guilty of, his point that the leadership have facilitated this situation by their continual appeasement of the right is absolutely valid. Its that he is being attacked for, not anti-Semitism. ..."
"... Coming on the day when the FT have a column seriously positing that criticizing capitalism is inherently anti-Semitic, it seems to me that dancing on the head of a pin ..."
"... As many of the comments on your blog on Williamson attest, the salient feature of this - well, call it witch-hunt for the sake of argument - is the double standards where we have to be whiter than white, whilst no account whatsoever is taken of the most egregious racism elsewhere. ..."
"... The other nonsense that has grown up is that it is only those that suffer any form of discrimination who can define what that discrimination is, i.e. only Jews can define anti-Semitism, only black people can define racism against them, only women can define discrimination against women. ..."
"... That then assumes that the members of each of these groups are themselves homogeneous, and agreed in such definitions. In reality, it means that dominant elements, i.e. those connected to the ruling class and ruling ideas get to make those determinations. ..."
"... If we look at anti-Semitism, for example, it is quite clear that there is no agreement amongst Jews on what constitutes anti-Semitism. The JVL, certainly have a different definition than the JLM. ..."
"... Secker wrote a piece in the Morning Star last year comparing claims of anti-Semitism within Labour to the story of the emperor's new clothes. ..."
"... Given that the actual data, even allowing for all of the spurious and mischievous accusations of anti-Semitism in the party, made by right-wing enemies of the the party, and particularly of Corbyn and his supporters, amounts to only 0.1% of the membership, and given that of these, 40% were straight away found to be accusations against people who were not even LP members, with a further 20%, being found to have absolutely no evidence to back them, its quite possible that individual members of the LP, have never seen any instance of it. ..."
"... Take out all those mischievous and malicious allegations made in order to whip up the hysteria, so as to to damage the party, by its enemies, and you arrive at a figure of only 400 potential cases, out of a membership of 600,000, which is 1 member in 1500. ..."
"... In fact, based upon the actual facts, as opposed to the fiction and factional hysteria that is being whipped up by right-wing opponents of Corbyn and the party, and by supporters of Zionism for their own narrow political reasons, the chances are about 14: that you will never see any even potential instance of anti-Semitism, even on the narrow definition that the party has now imposed upon itself, which comes pretty close if not entirely to identifying anti-Semitism with anti-Zionism, or even just criticism of the current Bonapartist regime of Netanyahu. ..."
"... In the US, Jewish groups that have long been ardent defenders of Israel have more recently come out to criticize the regime of Netanyahu, and the actions of the Israeli state. The main defenders of Zionism, besides the actual Zionists themselves, appear to be people like the AWL, who for whatever reason hitched their wagon to Zionist ideology some time ago, ..."
"... Just because the only case of stabbing I have witnessed was more than 50 years ago, does not, and should not lead me to think that knife crime was worse 50 years ago than it is today. The actual data would seem to suggest that cases of anti-Semitism were greater in the LP in previous times than they are currently, contrary to what the media and those with factional motives would have us believe. ..."
"... The apparent level of anti-semitism in Labour is a modern phenomenon turbo-charged and amplified by social media. People have their views reinforced within their bunkers where anti-Israeli memes become anti-Zionist and then become anti-Semitic. It is much easier to send an anonymous email than a letter. ..."
"... I wouldn't trust Lansman on this issue, any more than on many others. Lansman abolished democracy, to the extent it existed to begin with, by turning it into his personal fiefdom, reminiscent of the activities of Hyndman and the SDF. His position on anti-Semitism, and fighting the witch-hunt, and of appeasing the Blair-right's as they attacked Corbyn, has been appalling throughout. ..."
"... Having abolished any democracy in Momentum, which he now runs as its CEO, he also appears to want Corbyn to do the same thing with the Labour Party, abolishing its internal democratic procedures, and putting himself personally in charge of those disciplinary measures ..."
"... Its notable that, yesterday, when the Welsh Labour Grass Roots organisation came out to call for Williamson's suspension to be reversed, Kinnock and other Blair-rights immediately called for an investigation into them, ..."
"... This truly is reaching into the realms of McCarthyism, where you are found guilty not just of witchcraft, but of consorting with witches, or even having an opinion as to whether an individual charged with witchcraft is guilty, or even the extent to which the number of witches amongst might be exaggerated. ..."
"... It's not a factually accurate description of global political realities, because Israel does not control the US, if that is what the image is intended to imply. But, the message, is thereby anti-Israeli state, not anti-Semitic. It could only be considered anti-Semitic, if in fact you are a Zionist and claim that Israel and Jews are are interchangeable terms, which they are not. ..."
"... If we replace Zionism with Toryism, and Jew with British, the situation becomes fairly clear. If the we show the British state as being controlled by Tories, who implement their ideology of Toryism, in what way would criticism of the British state, under the control of such Tories, or criticism of Tories be the equivalent of British people as a whole? ..."
"... The hope of a Two-State Solution disappeared long ago, and was never credible. It simply allows Zionists to proclaim they are in favour of it, whilst doing everything to make it practically impossible, such as extending West Bank Settlements. The solution must flow from a struggle for democratic rights for Israeli Arabs, and for a right for all Arabs in occupied territories to be extended the same rights as any other Israeli, including the right to vote, and send representatives to the Knesset. As I argued thirty years ago, the longer-term solution is a Federal Republic of Israel and Palestine, guaranteeing democratic rights to all, as part of building a wider Federal Republic of MENA. ..."
"... Jim Denham: imperialist lackey and sycophant turned Witch hunter in chief ..."
"... Let us be very clear about what this witch hunt is about, it is about purging from public life any credible and effective opposition to Israel in particular and more generally opposition to the imperialist barbarians of the imperialist core. It is about driving from universities, social media and intellectual life any form of opposition to the interests of the imperialists. ..."
"... A UN report has concluded that Israel deliberately targeted and killed hundreds of protesting civilians, including children and disabled people and it shot 20,000+ people (yes 20,000+!). The UN says this likely a war crime. Why are the noble defenders of the Palestinian cause in the dock and not notorious Palestinian haters like Jim Denham? ..."
"... These attacks on Corbyn and his supporters, repeated in all of the most aggressive imperialist countries, are simply a proxy attack on the Palestinian people themselves. ..."
"... Jim Denham's comment here illustrates the problem entirely. The picture he has linked to shows an alien symbiote having attached itself to the face of the statue of liberty. The statue of liberty here represents the US. The symbiote has on its back the Israeli Flag, and likewise, thereby represents the state of Israel. The picture therefore, represents the well-worn, and clearly factually wrong meme that Israel controls the US. ..."
"... But, as a Zionist organisation, the AWL and its members cannot distinguish between the state of Israel and Jews, so they cannot distinguish between criticism of the state of Israel, and criticism if Jews. For them, as for the Zionist ideology of the state of Israel, which is most clearly manifest in the ideology of its current political leadership, in the form of the Bonapartist regime of Netanyahu, with the recent introduction of blatantly racist laws that discriminate even more openly against not Jewish Israeli citizens, and with his willingness to try to keep his corrupt regime in office by going into coalition with an avowedly Neo-Nazi party that until recent times was considered beyond the pale, even by most Zionists, the term Zionism is synonymous with the term Jew. So, any criticism of Zionism, or of Israel is for them immediately equated with anti-Semitism. ..."
"... Once again Jim Denham reefuses to engage in rational debate, and again resorts instead to his assumption that Israel = Jews, as well as his crude attempts at a typical Stalinist amalgam, to conflate the views of his opponents with some hate figure. ..."
"... Again Jim Denham makes the conflation of Israel and Jews explicit when he says, "This image also plays on the tired and disgraceful antisemitic 'conspiracy theory' trope of undue Israeli (Jewish) influence on world affairs." ..."
"... The way that the right are using anti-Zionism as the equivalent for anti-Semitism, and the appeasement of that attack has led them to widen the scope of that attack. As Labour List reports , right-wing Labour MP Siobhan McDonagh, is now claiming that to be anti-capitalist is also to be "anti-Semitic". The idea was put forward also by former Blair-right spin doctor, John McTernan, who wrote an article in the FT to that same effect ..."
"... As the right-wing extend their witch-hunt against socialists in the LP to claim that Marxists are necessarily misogynist, as well as anti-Semitic – and the same logic presented by McDonagh, McTernon, and Phillips would presumably mean that the Left must also be xenophobic, homophobic, anti- Green, and many other charges they want to throw into the mix – it will be interesting to see whether and to what extent the AWL, join them in that assault, in the same way they have done in their promotion of Zionism. ..."
Aug 14, 2019 | averypublicsociologist.blogspot.com

... ... ...

The problem, however, is because this is overlaid by factional struggle ...

This, of course, is compounded by the over-amplifying of anti-Semitism by the media and the alacrity with which it has been taken up by Corbyn opponents, including hypocrites who floated "rootless cosmopolitan" criticisms of Ed Miliband when it suited just a few years ago.

Here's the thing. Just because your opponents take up an issue, some times cynically and in bad faith. and use it to inflict as much damage as they can does not mean the problem is fictitious.

Precisely because they can point to Facebook groups full of useful fools, and Twitter accounts with Corbyn-supporting hashtags acting as if the Israel lobby and "Zionists" are the only active force in British politics, this is the stuff that makes the attacks effective and trashes the standing of the party in the eyes of many Jews and the community's allies and friends.

The institutional anti-Semitism in the Labour Party is, therefore, somewhat different to the kind you find in other institutions. It is sustained by the battle for the party, a grim battlefront in a zero sum game of entrenched position vs entrenched position. As such, whatever the leadership do, whatever new processes the General Secretary introduces for one side it will never be enough because, as far as many of them concerned, the leadership are politically illegitimate; and for the other it's a sop and capitulation.

The resolution of the anti-Semitism crisis then is not a matter of compromise -- for each side the issue will only go away with the complete crushing and driving out of the party of the other. A situation that can only poison the well further, and guarantee anti-Semitism won't honestly and comprehensively be confronted.


Boffy said... 3 March 2019 at 16:42
A good analysis. But, it emphasizes the point I made in the previous post, which is that, the right are currently engaged in an all out push to remove Corbyn and crush the left with the same old bureaucratic means. Whatever else Williamson may or may not be guilty of, his point that the leadership have facilitated this situation by their continual appeasement of the right is absolutely valid. Its that he is being attacked for, not anti-Semitism.

It is first necessary to close ranks, and defeat the assault of the Right. As Marr said to Blair this morning, had Prescott announced he was forming a separate group, and was establishing his own witch-hunting bureaucratic apparatus in the party, Blair would have sacked him immediately - actually not so easy as the Deputy is elected. But the thrust is valid. Unless Corbyn deals with Watson, the Right will roll over the Left, despite the huge disparity in numbers.

Again it comes down to whether Corbyn is up for that task, or whether we need a leadership of the left with a bit more backbone to see it through.

asquith said... 3 March 2019 at 18:54
I'm afraid this IS due to the "intersectionality" cult, whereby certain groups are always privileged and wrong, and some are always oppressed and right. Jews are, according to this "analysis", the uber-privileged and uber-white.

We've heard several times that according to "intersectionality" that it's impossible to be racist against white people because racism requires both prejudice and power, and white people are by definition powerful. Therefore, anti-Semitism is dismissed because it can't be a thing because Jews are all-powerful and even more oppressive than other whites.

Those who don't subscribe to all of these beliefs are nevertheless tinged with them, which is why people who aren't staunch antisemites will nevertheless fail to take anti-Semitism seriously.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=66qe76gkCxo&t=166s

Ian Gibson said... 4 March 2019 at 05:30
Coming on the day when the FT have a column seriously positing that criticizing capitalism is inherently anti-Semitic, it seems to me that dancing on the head of a pin about whether the 'careless' anti-Semitism you've described means the party is institutionally anti-Semitic is rather missing the point. (OK, the column is by John McTernan, but the FT gave him column inches to argue that case, and I guess they didn't mean it as the satire it most certainly is.)

As many of the comments on your blog on Williamson attest, the salient feature of this - well, call it witch-hunt for the sake of argument - is the double standards where we have to be whiter than white, whilst no account whatsoever is taken of the most egregious racism elsewhere. We live in society: we can never, ever be that whiter than white - especially when it comes to Israel/Palestine, which is so full of contradictions and traps for the unwary (e.g. the position of the Israeli state claiming to speak for all Jewry around the world, in the way that the Board of Deputies position themselves as speaking for all British Jews - neither close to being true, but small wonder that opponents of what they do and stand for take that universality at face value.)

The fight we need to take up is to compare and contrast just how pro-active the current party is against anti-Semitism in its constitution and machinery with the glaring absence of such elsewhere, and to present a positive picture of what we are doing, rather than mumbling apologetically into our beards. We need to take the fight to the rigged system at the same time as being unstinting in rooting out the troubling stuff.

Boffy said... 4 March 2019 at 09:47
The other nonsense that has grown up is that it is only those that suffer any form of discrimination who can define what that discrimination is, i.e. only Jews can define anti-Semitism, only black people can define racism against them, only women can define discrimination against women.

That then assumes that the members of each of these groups are themselves homogeneous, and agreed in such definitions. In reality, it means that dominant elements, i.e. those connected to the ruling class and ruling ideas get to make those determinations.

If we look at anti-Semitism, for example, it is quite clear that there is no agreement amongst Jews on what constitutes anti-Semitism. The JVL, certainly have a different definition than the JLM.

But, just rationally, the concept that only those discriminated against get to define the discrimination is bonkers. Suppose you come from Somalia or some other country that practices FGM, you could argue that it is part of your cultural heritage, and that anyone seeking to prevent you from undertaking this barbaric practice was thereby racist, on your self-definition of what that discrimination against you amounts to. Or Saudis might argue that it is racist to argue against their practice of lopping off women's heads, or stoning them to death for adultery, including having been raped, etc.

Jim Denham said... 4 March 2019 at 15:25
The JVL come pretty close to arguing that there is *no* anti-Semitism in the Labour party (Jenny Manson, for instance, says she's never witnessed any)and Glyn Secker wrote a piece in the Morning Star last year comparing claims of anti-Semitism within Labour to the story of the emperor's new clothes.
Boffy said... 5 March 2019 at 09:00
Given that the actual data, even allowing for all of the spurious and mischievous accusations of anti-Semitism in the party, made by right-wing enemies of the the party, and particularly of Corbyn and his supporters, amounts to only 0.1% of the membership, and given that of these, 40% were straight away found to be accusations against people who were not even LP members, with a further 20%, being found to have absolutely no evidence to back them, its quite possible that individual members of the LP, have never seen any instance of it.

Take out all those mischievous and malicious allegations made in order to whip up the hysteria, so as to to damage the party, by its enemies, and you arrive at a figure of only 400 potential cases, out of a membership of 600,000, which is 1 member in 1500. If the average branch size if 100 active members, it means on average there is one potential case of anti-Semitism in every 15 branches. So, if you are a member in any of the other 14 branches, you would never see that one potential case of anti-Semitism.

In fact, based upon the actual facts, as opposed to the fiction and factional hysteria that is being whipped up by right-wing opponents of Corbyn and the party, and by supporters of Zionism for their own narrow political reasons, the chances are about 14: that you will never see any even potential instance of anti-Semitism, even on the narrow definition that the party has now imposed upon itself, which comes pretty close if not entirely to identifying anti-Semitism with anti-Zionism, or even just criticism of the current Bonapartist regime of Netanyahu.

In the US, Jewish groups that have long been ardent defenders of Israel have more recently come out to criticize the regime of Netanyahu, and the actions of the Israeli state. The main defenders of Zionism, besides the actual Zionists themselves, appear to be people like the AWL, who for whatever reason hitched their wagon to Zionist ideology some time ago, probably in their usual knee-jerk reaction of putting a plus sign wherever the SWP put a minus. Having done so, and as a result of the bureaucratic centrist nature of the sect, they find themselves now having to follow through on the position they adopted on the basis of the "practical politics" - opportunism - as it dictated itself to them at the time.

If, and probably more likely when, they change position, it will come as with all their previous changes of position with the assertion that "nothing has changed", as when after claiming a few years ago that the LP was a stinking corpse - as they ridiculously stood their own candidates in elections with the inevitable result - and the next minute proclaimed themselves as its most ardent militants, as they sought to use their sharp elbows to gain positions on Momentum's leading bodies!

Boffy said... 5 March 2019 at 09:22
Incidentally, on the question of "observance", the only time I have seen someone get stabbed, is more than 50 years ago, when I was at school. I've seen plenty of other violent stuff in the intervening period, for example, people getting glassed, people having wrought iron tables smashed over their heads. My sister, who is several years older than me, and was out bopping during the days of the Teddy Boys, saw more people getting slashed, in the 1950's, because the flick knife was the Ted's favoured weapon.

But, that doesn't mean that I disbelieve the media when it talks about the current spate of knife crimes. Its just that, however, terrible such crimes are for those that suffer or witness them, and no matter how much the media that has to sensationalise every story, for its own commercial purposes, talks about an epidemic or a knife crime crisis, the number of knife crimes per head of population is extremely small.

The chances that 999 out of 1,000 of us will never be the victim of, or witness knife crime does not mean it doesn't exist. But, those that then claim that the 999 out of 1,000 of us who say we have not seen it, must be somehow being dishonest, are not dealing with the facts, and are simply fuelling a moral panic.

When some phenomena is statistically insignificant, which 1 in 1,500 cases, is, and when as with many such phenomena there is no normal distribution of the occurrence of such cases - for example, knife crime will tend to be concentrated in particular areas - trying to present any kind of rational analysis based upon personal observation is a mug's game.

Just because the only case of stabbing I have witnessed was more than 50 years ago, does not, and should not lead me to think that knife crime was worse 50 years ago than it is today. The actual data would seem to suggest that cases of anti-Semitism were greater in the LP in previous times than they are currently, contrary to what the media and those with factional motives would have us believe. It is certainly thec ase that anti-Semitism is a bigger problem in the Tory party, and other right-wing organisations than it is in the LP, again not that you would know that from the reporting of it, or from the attitude of certain factional sects, such as the AWL.

Jim Denham said... 5 March 2019 at 11:14

Labour has 'much larger' group of antisemitic members which Corbyn has failed to deal with, Momentum founder warns

By Rob Merrick Deputy Political Editor The Independent, Monday 25 February 2019 16:10 |

Labour has "a much larger" group of antisemitic members than it recognises which Jeremy Corbyn has failed to "deal with", Momentum founder Jon Lansman has warned.

The Labour leader's long-standing ally said "conspiracy theorists" had infiltrated the party – a consequence of its huge surge in membership in recent years.

Mr Lansman stopped short of backing the call from Tom Watson, Labour's deputy leader, for Mr Corbyn to take personal charge of the antisemitism complaints dogging Labour.

But he said: "I do think we have a major problem and it always seems to me that we underestimate the scale of it. I think it is a widespread problem.

"I think it is now obvious that we have a much larger number of people with hardcore antisemitic opinions which, unfortunately, is polluting the atmosphere in a lot of constituency parties and in particular online. We have to deal with these people."

Speedy said... 6 March 2019 at 06:39
Approaching this from another angle...

The apparent level of anti-semitism in Labour is a modern phenomenon turbo-charged and amplified by social media. People have their views reinforced within their bunkers where anti-Israeli memes become anti-Zionist and then become anti-Semitic. It is much easier to send an anonymous email than a letter.

History is very much the tale of new technology transforming the potential of human behaviour and beliefs, and one of the oldest beliefs ("the blood libel") is anti-Semitism.

This is how Labour has changed - ie, the rise of Corbyn has coincided with the ubiquity of this technology. In fact, arguably the rise of Corbyn was aided by it.

Corbyn's nuanced position on Israel/Palestine gives permission to social media extremists.

The rest is history.

Incidentally, this is why you are less likely to confront anti-Semitism in real-life while the internet may be awash with it - there are the real and virtual identities which only occasionally bleed into each other.

Which is true and which is not? We might wonder if technology has evolved ahead of human adaptation - the "real world" filters that govern apparently "real" behaviour missing.

I'm sure even certain posters here are less bananas in "real life" than their online comments might suggest!

Boffy said... 6 March 2019 at 10:42
I wouldn't trust Lansman on this issue, any more than on many others. Lansman abolished democracy, to the extent it existed to begin with, by turning it into his personal fiefdom, reminiscent of the activities of Hyndman and the SDF. His position on anti-Semitism, and fighting the witch-hunt, and of appeasing the Blair-right's as they attacked Corbyn, has been appalling throughout.

Having abolished any democracy in Momentum, which he now runs as its CEO, he also appears to want Corbyn to do the same thing with the Labour Party, abolishing its internal democratic procedures, and putting himself personally in charge of those disciplinary measures. That truly would be the actions of a Bonapartist. That Tom Watson is prepared to do that, as he sets himself up in a situation of dual power, to confront Corbyn is no surprise that anyone who even remotely considers themselves a part of the Left should support should a move is a disgrace. Perhaps no surprise that the AWL supporters of Zionism, and the witch-hunt, appear to be doing so, then.

Its notable that, yesterday, when the Welsh Labour Grass Roots organisation came out to call for Williamson's suspension to be reversed, Kinnock and other Blair-rights immediately called for an investigation into them, and for its Secretary who sits on Labour's NEC to also be suspended, for interfering in an ongoing investigation! So, why did those same Blair-rights not call for the suspension of Watson, who immediately demanded Williamson's suspension, and withdrawal of the whip, before any investigation, or indeed of Hodge and others who on a daily basis go to the media to sally forth about cases that are under investigation, or waiting for investigation.

This truly is reaching into the realms of McCarthyism, where you are found guilty not just of witchcraft, but of consorting with witches, or even having an opinion as to whether an individual charged with witchcraft is guilty, or even the extent to which the number of witches amongst might be exaggerated.

Jim Denham's comment is a case in point. How much more "anti-Semitism" exists? What is the factual basis of the statement, as opposed to click bait headline. Even if the actual extent is 100% more than the data so far presented, that would mean that potentially 1 in 750 LP members might be guilty of some form of anti-Semitism. Its hardly an epidemic, or institutional anti-Semitism, and far less than exists in the Tory Party, which is also infected by Islamaphobia, misogyny, homophobia and xenophobia.

In fact, its probably much less than you would find in the BBC, Sky or other establishment institutions. Anti-Semitism exists, and is a problem, but that does not mean it is not being used by Labour's enemies or the proponents of Zionism for their own political ends. The real conspiracy theorists are those that try to present anti-Semitism as a conspiracy based upon infiltration of the LP, the same people who presented the support for Corbyn from 300,000 new members as really just being a case of far left entryism, by Trots.

Jim Denham said... 7 March 2019 at 09:10
This is a meme, taken from Incog Man, a far-right site. It was posted with positive endorsement by a Labour member, Kayla Bibby, a delegate to conference in fact:

Link to the meme:

https://static.timesofisrael.com/jewishndev/uploads/2019/02/ellmann-640x400.jpg

Bibby subsequently received only a formal warning, with Thomas Gardiner of Labour's Governance and Legal Unit (what used to be the Compliance Unit), saying it was only anti-Israel, and not anti-Semitic.

Not only could a Labour member post something obviously anti-Semitic, it was not deemed to be so by the Compliance Unit. I bet we all know people who would agree.

Boffy said... 7 March 2019 at 12:36
It's not a factually accurate description of global political realities, because Israel does not control the US, if that is what the image is intended to imply. But, the message, is thereby anti-Israeli state, not anti-Semitic. It could only be considered anti-Semitic, if in fact you are a Zionist and claim that Israel and Jews are are interchangeable terms, which they are not.

In fact, there are probably not an inconsiderable number of Jews, who think that the state of Israel does exercise undue influence over US policy, and certainly it seems to be the case that, in the US, more liberal Jewish groups, seem to think that one reason that the Bonapartist regime of Netanyahu, in Israel, was so supportive of Trump, and we see the same support for Trump amongst Zionists in Britain, is at least in part due to the fact that Obama had been distancing the US from its historical uncritical support for Israel.

If we replace Zionism with Toryism, and Jew with British, the situation becomes fairly clear. If the we show the British state as being controlled by Tories, who implement their ideology of Toryism, in what way would criticism of the British state, under the control of such Tories, or criticism of Tories be the equivalent of British people as a whole?

Clearly it wouldn't, because there are a majority of British people who oppose Toryism, and thereby oppose the actions of the British state under the control of the Tories. A nationalist, or racist might want to equate the nation state with the whole of its people, but the people who are doing that here, by interpreting criticism of the Israeli state with anti-Semitism, are the Zionists themselves, and their apologists, because they seek thereby to delegitimize any criticism of the state of Israel and Zionism by equating it with anti-Semitism.

That in effect makes the Zionists themselves, and their apologists anti-Semites, because in adopting this equation of Jewishness with being Zionist, and with Israel, they make all Jews thereby responsible for the actions of Zionism and of the state of Israel!

Boffy said... 7 March 2019 at 13:47
The problem for the AWL, and its members like Jim Denham, on this issue comes down to this. Until thirty years ago, the organisation, under its previous names, was an ardent defender of the ideas and traditions of Jim Cannon. Cannon's "The Struggle for a Proletarian Party" was required reading for all of its members. Then, in an about face, the organisation overnight collapsed into what Trotsky called "the petit-bourgeois Third Camp", and so became ardent defenders of the enemies of Cannon, the petit-bourgeois Third Camp of Burnham- Shachtman. That kind of wild zig-zag is typical of bureaucratic-centrist organisations, which is what the AWL is.

As part of this collapse into the petit-bourgeois Third Camp, and the moralistic politics it is based upon, the AWL also adopted the ideas of Third Campists like Al Glotzer, in relation to Israel and Zionism, as opposed to the position of Mandel, which represented a continuation of the ideas of Cannon and Trotsky. I set this out in a short blog post 12 years ago Glotzer and the Jews as Special , after the AWL had repeatedly censored it appearing on their website in response to an article setting out Glotzer's position.

Having committed themselves to the reactionary Zionist ideology that essentially underpins Glotzer's stance - the same thing idea of having lost faith in the working-class, and so having to rely on the bourgeois state, or "progressive imperialism" to accomplish the tasks of the working-class, is behind the AWL's support for NATo's war against Serbia, Iraq, Libya etc., but is also behind the politics of other Third Campists such as the SWP, that instead look to other larger forces, such as reactionary "anti-imperialist" states to carry forward its moral agenda - the AWL are left now trying to defend their position of support for the creation of a racist, expansionist state in Israel, as the inevitable consequences of that venture unfold.

For a Marxist, it is not at all difficult to say that the establishment of the state of Israel is one that we should not have supported at the time, because it would lead to the kind of consequences we see today, and yet, to say, 75 years on from the creation of that state, it is an established fact, and trying to unwind history, by calling for the destruction of that state would have even more calamitous consequences for the global working-class. It is quite easy for a Marx to say that the current nature of the Israeli state, as a racist Zionist state, based, like almost no other state in the world on a confessional basis, i.e. of being a Jewish state, a state for Jews in preference to every other ethnic/religious group flows from the ideology, and nature of its creation. But, then to argue that the answer to that is not a destruction of the state of Israel, which could only be done on the bones of millions of Israeli citizens, Jews and Arabs alike, but is to wage a working-class based struggle against that racist foundation upon which the state has been founded, and that struggle is one that must unite Jews and Arabs alike. In fact, the position of palestinians today is a mirror image of that of the Jews 75 years ago.

The hope of a Two-State Solution disappeared long ago, and was never credible. It simply allows Zionists to proclaim they are in favour of it, whilst doing everything to make it practically impossible, such as extending West Bank Settlements. The solution must flow from a struggle for democratic rights for Israeli Arabs, and for a right for all Arabs in occupied territories to be extended the same rights as any other Israeli, including the right to vote, and send representatives to the Knesset. As I argued thirty years ago, the longer-term solution is a Federal Republic of Israel and Palestine, guaranteeing democratic rights to all, as part of building a wider Federal Republic of MENA.

Anonymous said... 7 March 2019 at 16:54

Jim Denham: imperialist lackey and sycophant turned Witch hunter in chief

Let us be very clear about what this witch hunt is about, it is about purging from public life any credible and effective opposition to Israel in particular and more generally opposition to the imperialist barbarians of the imperialist core. It is about driving from universities, social media and intellectual life any form of opposition to the interests of the imperialists.

This is nothing but authoritarianism in action, censorship of political opponents and the closing down of any credible definition of free speech.

In other words this is something any leftist worth half an atom would be fighting against with all their energies.

But what do we find, pathetic pro war pro imperialists leftists and post modern liberals joining the witch hunt.

Meanwhile in the real world:

A UN report has concluded that Israel deliberately targeted and killed hundreds of protesting civilians, including children and disabled people and it shot 20,000+ people (yes 20,000+!). The UN says this likely a war crime. Why are the noble defenders of the Palestinian cause in the dock and not notorious Palestinian haters like Jim Denham?

How can anyone on the left get away with supporting and providing ideological cover for Israel How can any leftist allow a socialist movement to be sabotaged by the Israel state and its army of appalling immoral apologists?

These attacks on Corbyn and his supporters, repeated in all of the most aggressive imperialist countries, are simply a proxy attack on the Palestinian people themselves.

Boffy said... 8 March 2019 at 11:15
Jim Denham's comment here illustrates the problem entirely. The picture he has linked to shows an alien symbiote having attached itself to the face of the statue of liberty. The statue of liberty here represents the US. The symbiote has on its back the Israeli Flag, and likewise, thereby represents the state of Israel. The picture therefore, represents the well-worn, and clearly factually wrong meme that Israel controls the US.

But, as a Zionist organisation, the AWL and its members cannot distinguish between the state of Israel and Jews, so they cannot distinguish between criticism of the state of Israel, and criticism if Jews. For them, as for the Zionist ideology of the state of Israel, which is most clearly manifest in the ideology of its current political leadership, in the form of the Bonapartist regime of Netanyahu, with the recent introduction of blatantly racist laws that discriminate even more openly against not Jewish Israeli citizens, and with his willingness to try to keep his corrupt regime in office by going into coalition with an avowedly Neo-Nazi party that until recent times was considered beyond the pale, even by most Zionists, the term Zionism is synonymous with the term Jew. So, any criticism of Zionism, or of Israel is for them immediately equated with anti-Semitism.

It is what leads such Zionists to then also insist on their right to determine who is a Jew or not. The AWL do that with all those Jews, such as the JVL, who refuse to accept the AWL's definition of anti-Zionism = Anti-Semitism. Its like the old saw that the definition of a Scot is someone who wears a kilt, and when asked about Jock McTavish, from Arbroath, who does not wear a kilt, the reply comes back, then he cannot really be a Scot!

The Zionists insists on defining anti-Zionism as anti-Semitism, and thereby closing down debate. Jim Denham does that most clearly here, in his refusal to debate the actual substantive points. It is typical of the attitude of the AWL, in general which long since gave up trying to defend its bourgeois liberal, opportunist politics by rational debate, and instead turned to bureaucratic censorship, and ill-tempered invective.

Boffy said... 9 March 2019 at 08:58
Once again Jim Denham reefuses to engage in rational debate, and again resorts instead to his assumption that Israel = Jews, as well as his crude attempts at a typical Stalinist amalgam, to conflate the views of his opponents with some hate figure.

Again Jim Denham makes the conflation of Israel and Jews explicit when he says, "This image also plays on the tired and disgraceful antisemitic 'conspiracy theory' trope of undue Israeli (Jewish) influence on world affairs."

The conflation of equating Israel with the term Jew flows directly from the Zionist ideology that underpins the Israeli State, but which also adopted by the AWL, and its members like Jim Denham. It thereby effectively denies statehood to non-Jewish Israeli citizens, making them non-persons, erasing them from history, in the same way that Jim Denham has sought to do in diminishing if not entirely denying the genocides against other ethnic groups such as Native North Americans, Australian and New Zealand aboriginals etc., as a result of his Zionist privileging of the specific genocide against Jews in the Holocaust.

It is the same kind of racism, of course, that is applied by the BNP and other white nationalists, who seek to portray Britain as being a nation for white Britons, and thereby deny other Britons the right to consider themselves really British. Every socialist, can understand the racist nature of that ideology when it is applied to Britain, and elsewhere, but the AWL, and its members, like Jim Denham, deny it when it is applied to Israel, which they want to treat as being different to every other state on the planet, in defence of their Zionist ideology that privileges Israeli Jews over others, and by extension equates the term Jew with the term Israel.

Its most extreme version comes with the fascists that Netanyahu has now gone into alliance with, whose ideology states that God only put gentiels on the Earth to be slaves and serve the needs of Jews, as the chosen people! It means that they see the place of non-Jewish Israelis in those terms, as being allowed to remain in Israel only on that subservient basis. This is the ideology that the AWL is now logically tied to, in having adopted Zionism as the answer to the problems of Jewish workers rather than socialism.

And, of course, the extension of that principle for other Zionists is illustrated in their support for fascists like Orban in Hungary, who wants to adopt a similar nationalist ideology of keeping Hungary, and other "white" European nations exclusively for "whites", in the same way that Zionists want to keep Israel exclusively for Jews.

It is a sorry state when socialists have degenerated to such an extent that not only do they fail to distinguish between nationalist ideology and socialist ideology by adopting nationalist solutions to workers problems such as "nationalisation", by the capitalist state, but where, in adopting such reactionary nationalist ideology, the logic of their position drives them to supporting the idea that nation states should be exclusively for particular ethnic groups, such as Israel for the Jews, Hungary for white Christians and so on.

Boffy said... 9 March 2019 at 16:31
The way that the right are using anti-Zionism as the equivalent for anti-Semitism, and the appeasement of that attack has led them to widen the scope of that attack. As Labour List reports , right-wing Labour MP Siobhan McDonagh, is now claiming that to be anti-capitalist is also to be "anti-Semitic". The idea was put forward also by former Blair-right spin doctor, John McTernan, who wrote an article in the FT to that same effect

Channelling Jim Denham, McTernan writes,

"As the historian Deborah Lipstadt points out, anti-Semitic tropes share three elements: money or finance is always in the mix; an acknowledged cleverness that is also seen as conniving; and, power -- particularly a power to manipulate more powerful entities.

All of these feature in the criticism of Israel and the so-called Israel lobby. They can be easily moulded into a critique of capitalism, too."

The line of argument was illustrated to me some weeks ago, in a comment I received in relation to an article I wrote about Marx's analysis of fictitious capital, as part of my critique of Paul Mason's Postcapitalism . The commenter, argued that Marx's analysis of fictitious capital appeared to be simply Marx blaming bankers and money lenders, for which read Jews, for the world's ills, and was thereby simply an expression of the well-known fact that Marx was a self-hating Jew, much as the AWL, describe all those other Jews that do not share their commitment to |Zionism. The commenter as evidence of this provided a link to a literary critique of Marx's On The Jewish Question , which is cited as proving that Marx was an anti-semite.

In fact, I pointed out that in nothing that Marx had written about fictitious capital, or what I had written describing Marx's analysis of fictitious capital are bankers discussed, let alone Jewish bankers. The anonymous commenter, has, in fact, since deleted their comments, meaning that my responses to them were also deleted.
But, this is the way this right-wing witch-hunt proceeds, by throwing a net to catch whatever they can trawl in, and at the very least sowing the seeds of doubt as they require those being attacked to respond to their wild accusations. It means that any statement can be framed to mean that there is some subtext beneath the actual words and pictures that is somehow anti-Semitic, if only you know the relevant coda to unlock the true meaning, and anyone who doubts the meaning being placed upon it, is thereby a defender of the anti-Semitic message. As with the attacks on Momentum, and the initial surge of membership supporting Corbyn, it is always phrased in dark conspiratorial language, about unseen forces being behind what is seen on the surface. So, we were supposed to believe that a few hundred Trots in Britain somehow morphed into 300,000 new LP members! But, Momentum now having shown that it is a tame part of the establishment, is even able to recruit McTernan himself as a member.

The appeasement as with all witch-hunts only provokes the witch-hunters to widen the scope of their activities. The AWL, which was at the forefront of helping the witch-hunters with their shameful support for the witch-hunting of Jackie Walker, was repaid by having their own members expelled too, and having right-wing Labour MP's appear on TV, to characterise the AWL themselves as "anti-Semites", despite their well-known Zionist politics. Yet, oddly, the AWL seem to consider that a price worth paying, as their advocacy of Zionism seems to trump any other consideration for them in their politics.

Boffy said... 10 March 2019 at 11:09
It didn't take long for my comment of yesterday to be proved correct. Today we learn that Jess Phillips has claimed that Marxism is necessarily misogynist, because it places class oppression above all else, and so now claims that as well as the Left in the party being anti-Semitic, it is also misogynist. The attack of the Right, as I said yesterday will spread ever wider on this irrational basis, using all of the usual conspiratorial language that such witch-hunts have always adopted. Rather like a Dan Brown novel, it will imply that there are dark (Marxist) forces at work, of which Corbyn is the head of the coven (or even worse that some unseen Dark Overlord is really standing behind Corbyn, who is only its representative on Earth (i.e. in the LP).

It will suggest that these dark forces do not speak openly, but only in codes and symbols that have to be unlocked by the forces of Light, who like Jim Denham, can look into the minds of men and women, and see what is really going inside.

I actually found that despite the anonymous Zionist commenter to my article on Medium having deleted their comments, my replies to them, were in fact still floating around here , here , and here .

As the right-wing extend their witch-hunt against socialists in the LP to claim that Marxists are necessarily misogynist, as well as anti-Semitic – and the same logic presented by McDonagh, McTernon, and Phillips would presumably mean that the Left must also be xenophobic, homophobic, anti- Green, and many other charges they want to throw into the mix – it will be interesting to see whether and to what extent the AWL, join them in that assault, in the same way they have done in their promotion of Zionism.

[Aug 14, 2019] Grandpa Putin Loses Another Bet

Aug 14, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

FZ , Aug 14 2019 1:02 utc | 100

@ B, you overlooked this one. . .

Grandpa Putin Loses Another Bet
TrueStory Gazette, Aug. 2019

Several anonymous, unverified, and possibly non-existent sources announced today that they know, might know, or could possibly have heard from unknown others, who they suspect might know or could have reasonably speculated that Vladimir Putin lost a bet he made with his 2-year old grandson, Vladimir, Jr.

We caught up with the young Putin as he emerged from his daycare school in central Moscow. "Yes, he said, it is true. Grandpa lost the bet we made last week. We wagered about how long Western media could cling to even a microcosm of credibility. Grandpa said it would last until the end of this year, but I bet him that it would be gone much sooner than that."

Two-year old Putin, who is an avid reader of Moon of Alabama, said that when he woke up this morning he read the latest article. He said, "I just rubbed Grandpa's face into that article. He shrieked. He was so embarrassed. He had to admit that western media's credibility is already totally kaput, not even a shred of credibility left, zero."

"Now Grandpa is the laughing stock of my daycare center. One of my classmates, who is four, said 'how could your Grandpa be so dumb. Even a two-year old could see that western media's credibility is in the dumpster. Your Grandpa is such a loser!'"

The young Putin, who stands only up to our reporter's waist, said that he is studying English but still struggles with difficult words like "history." But he is not shy. When asked what was the prevailing political view at his childcare center, he looked our reporter in the eye, raised both fists, and loudly proclaimed, "All of us kids agree that U.S. Empire is a hysterectomy!"

We asked Vladimir, Jr. about the stakes of his bet, what did he win? He said, "Grandpa said I could have a place called Camp Pendleton in California to make a playground for kids but I will have to wait a little while until he acquires it. I'm going to make it a playground for Russian and American kids and we also will invite all of the kids from Central America and Mexico."

Asked if he knew that Camp Pendleton was a U.S. military base, he replied, "I don't know what it is now, but it's going to be a great playground for kids." And he added, "Look Pal, my Grandpa loses lots of times. He loses his keys and his wallet and every bet he ever made with me. But one thing about Grandpa, he ALWAYS KEEPS HIS PROMISES!"

[Aug 13, 2019] The Man Who Weaponizes And Loses Everything

Don't forget when Putin weaponized Beluga Whales
Also Putin said he wont do any deals with the US until they have become mature enough to hold on to them.:)
Aug 13, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
Putin's Russia weaponizes everything , including humor, health information, giant squids, robotic cockroaches, tedium and postmodernism.

At the same time these outlets tell us that Putin is losing many things, or already lost them.

Which bears asking: Is there a causality between weaponizing and losing stuff?

[Aug 13, 2019] Putin is the Emmanuel Goldstein of the Neoliberal World Order, every bad decision, every mistake, every failure, especially the ones that were obviously flawed from the start, are the results of that dastardly Putin.

Aug 13, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Aug 13 2019 15:43 utc | 29

Much of that crap appears to be Projection. Putin's Polices Destroying Russian Farmers will probably be next since as you'll learn once you click that it's the exact opposite. It looks quite possible that the opening up of ag lands in Russia's Far East will see China cease its imports of soybeans from the Western Hemisphere as it's already done so in response to Trump's Trade War. As the article notes:

"Net farm income in America has plunged by nearly half over the last five years from $123.4 billion in 2013 to $63 billion last year. It plummeted by 16 percent last year alone."

And with China's market closed, the result this year will be even worse. And it's all Putin's fault!

And to make matters worse, Putin has weaponized the Outlaw US Empire's budget deficit, forcing it to spend "more than twice as fast as tax collections" and now stands at $867 Billion through "the first 10 months of the budget year." (No link, from Business section of today's newspaper.) IMO, that will be headlined as: Putin Loses Control Over Russia's Budget as Deficit Skyrockets!

It's this one most of us are hopeful of reading soon:

Putin Sinks US Empire Without Firing One Shot.


FSD , Aug 13 2019 15:53 utc | 32

@karlof1

Yes, we're in rich psychological terrain. Aberrant terrain, to the extent such things can be extrapolated to system behavior.

It's a psychological projection. The Full Spectrum Dominance crowd feels their quest receding into permanent incompletion. So they wishfully project their sense of loss onto the opponent. Wanting everything, dominance perceives alternate visions as being nothing less than obstinate escapees. Who knew they were in a figmentary prison in the first place? Competing visions, through no real fault of their own, become weapon pointed at this totalizing vision. Heck, they're not even competing. They're just living.

Dominance's blind spot is that it never stops to ask if others want to be dominated. This makes it structurally myopic and prone to self-deception.

The same psychology is found in the sanctioning impulse. "In order to preserve our sense of omnipotence, we hereby subtract you from the game board." But pariah nations, while perhaps vanishing psychologically to the offended party ('you're dead to me now') don't vanish in any existential sense. They re-gather under different umbrellas: SCO, OBOR, AIIB, etc.

Too many subtractions and the subtractees acquire a critical mass all their own. Subtraction adds up. There is an opportunity here to exploit the Empire's irrational denialism -via the rational accumulation of estranged and heretofore 'banished' interests.

One day, the lesser critical mass will achieve parity, then dominance or perhaps simply multipolarity. Before that day, a ruinous world war could happen first. This latter decision has already been taken since pre-kinetic versions of WW3 are popping up everywhere at once as though instigated by some spanning Hidden Hand.

Pro Jection , Aug 13 2019 16:00 utc | 33
It is called projection. We know that the western banking maffia is losing it. Freud would have confirmed.
Kadath , Aug 13 2019 16:47 utc | 40
Putin is the Emmanuel Goldstein of the Neoliberal World Order, every bad decision, every mistake, every failure, especially the ones that were obviously flawed from the start, are the results of that dastardly Putin. It's amazing how in the Empire of the Lies, a competent political leader of a sovereign country is becoming a Lex Luthor like supervillain mastermind.

It's almost romantic that these Western elites spend so much time high up in their ivory towers surrounded by the wastelands of their own making, clutching their pearls, thinking about Putin and wondering how he will get to them.

ToivoS , Aug 13 2019 17:59 utc | 53
We should note that Obama was the first to announce Putin would fail in Syria when the Russians came to help out the Assad government against the US backed Takfaris. The results of Russian support were quite spectacular. Of course, the war is still going on but there is no question that Russia saved the Syrian state. Can anyone mention a single military victory that the US has achieved since what? Grenada under Reagan and Bush I against Panama ?? Other than those two "victories" the US has lost every war it has engaged in since the end of WWII.
Mishko , Aug 13 2019 17:59 utc | 54
It gets confusing, but that is the point of all this.
We should be scared of our hero, tragic anti-hero, uber villain and rolemodel.
Not just Russians under the bed, but THE Russian under the bed.
Or so many a lady (or not, as the case may be) might wish or be fearful of or both...
(In other news: Epstein dead? Highly unlikely, ever so doubtful, I do side with Aangirfan on this)
S , Aug 13 2019 18:26 utc | 56

I especially like how Putin lost in Crimea. One of his best losses, in my opinion.

Also, Masha and the Bear , Russia's ultimate weapon in the war for the minds of the Western youth, continues its march across the globe: the "Маша плюс каша" episode is at 4.08 billion views ( 4th most-viewed video on YouTube ) and growing fast, set to overtake Wiz Khalifa's "See You Again" (4.20 billion) and Ed Sheeran's "Shape of You" (4.35 billion) in the coming weeks.

so , Aug 13 2019 18:40 utc | 59
If Putin ran for President of the United States of America I'd vote for him in a heartbeat.
S , Aug 13 2019 19:51 utc | 73
@Bemildred #10: What a great piece by Patrick Armstrong. Very logical and rational. Perfect for deprogramming people brainwashed by the Mockingbird Media.
Nathan Mulcahy , Aug 13 2019 19:56 utc | 74
How much more do the lobotomized American Sheeple (generally not represented in this forum) need to realize that the mainstream "news" media are the propaganda arms of the western (Anglo-Zionist) power structure?

Enjoy a similar example, this with Putin's "bitch".
https://youtu.be/rLEchPZm318


ben , Aug 13 2019 20:16 utc | 77
"Let us be clear here. It is the United States who has broken its word and treaties consistently. We said we wouldn't move NATO up to Russia's borders and then we did. We unilaterally walked away from the ABM treaty, we unilaterally walked away from the Iran nuclear deal, we unilaterally walked away from the INF treaty and we will almost certainly walk away from the nuclear test ban treaty. We always allege violations from the other side but never provide any proof of said violations. The United States has invaded Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria - so far without consequences. The United States has fomented coups in Ukraine (twice), Georgia, probably in Brazil, Venezuela (twice) - again, without consequences. And people wonder why I gag when I listen to Pompous pontificate that Iran needs to start acting like a normal nation."

Posted by: Jeff | Aug 13 2019 17:03 utc | 43

Clear, concise, and right on target. Should be on a handbill, and passed out to the general public. Thanks Jeff!!

alain , Aug 13 2019 20:32 utc | 79
Breaking News : Putin has a private army now. How devilish. CNN is definitely a bunch of clowns, that makes you laugh everytime they talk. Enjoy this one:

https://edition.cnn.com/interactive/2019/08/africa/putins-private-army-car-intl/

[Aug 12, 2019] That self-admitted CIA linked, totally-not deep state propaganda puppet outlet lecturing the rest of us about the virtues of fact-checking and journalistic integrity...

Aug 12, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

vk , Aug 12 2019 2:05 utc | 42

@ Posted by: vk | Aug 11 2019 20:42 utc | 11

Oops, it seems I was too optimistic about the NYT. Not even 24h later, we already have these in its home page:

Jeffrey Epstein's Opaque Finances Could Become a Focus for Investigators

[emphasis on the "could"]

Epstein Suicide Conspiracies Show How Our Information System Is Poisoned

Now, people who are doubting the USG are automatically labelled "conspiracy theorists". Except that, in this case, it is perfectly sensible to doubt about his death. He could've put down really powerful people. He wasn't your daily mafia-boy struggling against his mafia boss over US$ 1 billion in cocaine; no: he could put down half the American royalty.


JW , Aug 12 2019 2:48 utc | 48

Ah yes, that self-admitted CIA linked, totally-not deep state propaganda puppet outlet lecturing the rest of us about the virtues of fact-checking and journalistic integrity...
bjd , Aug 11 2019 21:33 utc | 19
Any NYT reporting on Epstein is meant as a distraction -- to cover up the facts.
The NYT is the elites' protector, it punches down instead of up.
The NYT 'revelations' about guards are a) punching down to protect elites and b) a distraction to protect elites.
The NYT is one of the Augean Stables.

[Aug 11, 2019] Wow!! Those suckers at the BBC manage NOT to mention Maxwell or Prince Andrew

Aug 11, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Mina , Aug 10 2019 15:36 utc | 52

Wow!! Those suckers at the BBC manage NOT to mention Maxwell or Prince Andrew (ok... they are mentioned in some of the links they give, but come one!!)
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-49306032

[Aug 07, 2019] Integrity Initiative forthcoming reviews of forthcoming Assange book: Luke Harding can be relied on to add his 2 cents' worth of conspiracy paranoid garbage, Shaun Walker will be parsing the book for dill references and non-Russia experts like Marina Hyde and Natalie Nougat-head will want a crack as well at reviewing the book.

Aug 07, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Jennifer Hor August 2, 2019 at 1:01 pm

Look out for the bad reviews from The Fraudian's writers: Luke Harding can be relied on to add his 2 cents' worth of conspiracy paranoid garbage, Shaun Walker will be parsing the book for dill references and non-Russia experts like Marina Hyde and Natalie Nougat-head will want a crack as well at reviewing the book.

Probably the only half-decent reviews will be from Mary Dejevski and Prof. Stephen Cohen but theirs will be buried in a back page or inaccessible behind an Error 404 wall.

[Aug 07, 2019] It's the 6th Division now!

Aug 07, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

et Al August 2, 2019 at 3:48 am

It's the 6th Division now!

The Register: New British Army psyops unit fires rebrandogun, smoke clears to reveal I'm sorry, Dave
https://www.theregister.co.uk/2019/08/01/british_army_shows_us_its_cyber_ring/

This mission is too important for me to allow you to jeopardise it

6 (UK) Division is the new organisational home for the Army's "asymmetric edge", comprising all things "Intelligence, Counter-Intelligence, Information Operations, Electronic Warfare, Cyber and Unconventional Warfare".

Launched this morning, 6 Div is a rebranding of the formation formerly known as Force Troops Command, which covered a hotchpotch of Royal Signals, Intelligence Corps and other units, including the infamous 77 Brigade
####

Don't forget to hit the comments for hilarity!

Also, the timing of the announcement says plenty, i.e. slipping it in to the news stream when people have already gone on holiday and all the BREXIT and other bollocks. I've not seen this reported on the tv in the UK – which is currently facing severe flooding etc.

et Al August 2, 2019 at 4:07 am
Is it just me or is all the PPNN reporting that 'Putin's support has dropped to levels not seen since 2011!'. Of course they don't actually give you any numbers and cherry pick dodgy poll numbers but there really is this Pavlovian reaction anytime there is a demonstration in Russia, like undertakers gathering at an allegedly dangerous road crossing waiting for some cyclist to be dragged under a trash lorry so that they can tut tut and then profit from the cyclist's misfortune. Nix that, the PPNN are just professional versions of MacBeth's witches, something which they don't understand is a story .
Mark Chapman August 2, 2019 at 3:01 pm
Putin is in as much danger of being unceremoniously chucked out of office as he is of choking to death on his grandmother's knitting. The west is ever hopeful, and dutifully rallies to the glorification of every new dissident firebrand, but whether or not they know it, they are just going through the motions. The only group, and I mean the only one, that would benefit from Putin's overthrow would be the disaffected kreakliy and the poncy forgotten semi-intellectuals. They would be feted by the west as political visionaries, and perhaps given minor government positions to satisfy their vanity. But who else would make out like a bandit? The military? Hardly – the west, after years of giggling about Russia's decrepit military, lapsed into an uneasy silence on the subject just about the time that long-distance Kalibr cruise-missile attack took place from the Caspian Sea into Syria, and a west given meddling-room would want to disband the Russian military, if anything, down to a token force of absolutely-trustworthy sycophants who would probably be issued with American weapons. The oligarchs? Hardly – western business would be snapping up former state assets while simultaneously carrying out an 'anti-corruption drive' under the new President's imprimatur. Small businesses? Hardly – corporate interest would be in melding large state interests into the Corporate Borg, and their method is to squeeze out small business in order to expand market share. The people? Hardly – Russia would be a convenient place to move all the refugee immigrants from that entire hemisphere, while the stubborn loyalty of the population to Putin would not be forgotten.

It is no coincidence that it is always the same people who show up to bitch and carp about how dreadful Putin is, and how Russia needs American-style freedom and democracy and non-stop Pride parades and all the trappings of fresh admission to Club West. They are the only people who would stand to benefit from driving Putin out. Nobody else is interested.

Mark Chapman August 2, 2019 at 4:50 pm
They're just trying to get some mileage out of Olga what's-her-name, and make it look like a drop in Putin's poll numbers happened exactly at the moment this young political firebrand emerged. Pretty sad, really, but you can't tell 'em, and it wouldn't make any difference. They have to try, it's the same instinct that makes a dog lick its nose if you smear cheese on it. The western media would rush to interview and endorse a talking Russian toad if it said "I hate Putin".

[Aug 06, 2019] Antiwar.com vs. the Decline of American Journalism by Justin Raimondo

Notable quotes:
"... it turned out that the very people who were up in arms about "fake news" were the ones propagating their own version of it. WikiLeaks did much to expose their game by publicizing the key role played by the Legacy Media in acting as an extension of the Clinton campaign. However, the real unmasking came after the November election, when the rage of the liberal elites became so manifest that "reporters" who would normally be loath to reveal their politics came out of the closet, so to speak, and started telling us that the old journalistic standard of objectivity no longer applied. The election of Trump, they averred, meant that the old standards must be abandoned and a new, and openly partisan bias must take its place. In honor of this new credo, the Washington Post has adopted a new slogan: " Democracy dies in darkness "! ..."
"... Rep. Gabbard's "crime" was to challenge the US-funded effort to overthrow the regime of Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad as contrary to our interests and the prospects for peace in the region. For that she has been demonized in the media – and, not coincidentally, the very same media that is now an instrument in the hands of our "intelligence community." For ..."
"... And of course it's not just the Washington Post : the entire "mainstream" media is now colluding with the "intelligence community" in an effort to discredit and derail any efforts at a rapprochement with Russia. We haven't seen this kind of hysteria since the frigid winter of the cold war. ..."
"... My longtime readers will not be shocked by any of this: during the run up to the Iraq war, the media was chock full of fake news about Saddam Hussein's fabled weapons of mass destruction, which all the "experts" told us were certainly there and ready to rain death and destruction at any minute. Who can forget the series of articles by Judith Miller that adorned the front page of the New York Times – which were merely Bush administration talking points reiterated by Donald Rumsfeld & Co. on the Sunday talk shows? Miller has now become synonymous with the very concept of fake news – and yet how quickly we forget the lesson we should have learned from that shameful episode in the history of American journalism . ..."
"... Blinded by partisan bias, all too willing to be used as an instrument of the Deep State -- and determined to "control exactly what people think," which is, as Mika Brzezinski put it the other day, " our job " – the English-speaking media has become increasingly unreliable. This has become a big problem for us here at Antiwar.com: we now have to check and re-check everything that they report as fact. Not that we didn't do that anyway, but the difference is that, these days, we have to be more careful than ever before linking to it, or citing it as factual. ..."
"... The day of the "alternative media" has passed. We are simply part of the media, period: the increasingly tiny portion of it that doesn't fall for war propaganda, that doesn't have a partisan agenda, and that harkens back to the "old" journalistic standards of yesteryear – objective reporting of facts. That doesn't mean we don't have opinions, or an agenda – far from it! However, we base those opinions on what, to the best of our ability, we can discern as the facts. ..."
"... And we have a pretty good record in this regard. Back when everyone who was anyone was telling us that those "weapons of mass destruction" were lurking in the Iraqi shadows, we said it was nonsense – and we were right. As the "experts" said that war with Iraq would "solve" the problem of terrorism and bring enlightenment to the Middle East, we said the war would usher in the reign of chaos – and we were right. We warned that NATO expansion would trigger an unnecessary conflict with Russia, and we were proved right about that, too. The Kosovo war was hailed as a "humanitarian" act – and we rightly predicted it would come back to haunt us in the form of a gangster state riven by conflict. ..."
"... There's one way in which we are significantly different from the rest of the media – we depend on our readers for the financial support we need to keep going. The Washington Post has Jeff Bezos, one of the wealthiest men in the world – not to mention a multi-million dollar contract with the "intelligence community." The New York Times has Carlos Slim, another billionaire with seemingly bottomless pockets. We, on the other hand, just have you. ..."
Aug 06, 2019 | original.antiwar.com

We're not the alternative media – we're the best media you've got!

Posted on August 06, 2019 August 4, 2019 The more things change, the more they stay the same: the sun comes up in the morning; another Hitler arises in the fantasies of the foreign-policy establishment; and Josh Rogin writes another column attacking Tusli Gabbard, the most pro-peace candidate in the Democratic lineup. Justin blasted Rogin the first time he tried this, back in February of 2017, proving that the whole story was "fake news". We think it's important to revisit Justin's analysis of the media-enhanced demand for war. As Justin notes, the only real alternative to this, the only real "alternative media," are sites like Antiwar. com and WikiLeaks.

This column is also timely because it was written during another Antiwar.com fundraising drive. That time, we had $31,000 in matching funds, now we have $40,000, and as usual we need your support. Please donate – the War Party media is backed by billionaires, so we need all friends of peace.

Originally published February 24, 2017

If we look at the phrase itself, it seems to mean the media that presents itself as the alternative to what we call the "corporate media," i.e. the New York Times , the Washington Post , your local rag – in short, the Legacy Media that predominated in those bygone days before the Internet. And yet this whole arrangement seems outdated, to say the least. The Internet has long since been colonized by the corporate giants: BuzzFeed, for example, is regularly fed huge dollops of cash from its corporate owners. And the Legacy Media has adapted to the primacy of online media, however reluctantly and ineptly. So the alternative media isn't defined by how they deliver the news, but rather by 1) what they judge to be news, and 2) how they report it.

And that's the problem.

There's been much talk of "fake news," a concept first defined by the "mainstream" media types as an insidious scheme by the Russians and/or supporters of Donald Trump to deny Hillary Clinton her rightful place in the Oval Office. Or it was Macedonian teenagers out to fool us into giving them clicks. Or something. Facebook and Google announced a campaign to eliminate this Dire Threat, and the mandarins of the "mainstream" reared up in righteous anger, lecturing us that journalistic standards were being traduced.

Yet it turned out that the very people who were up in arms about "fake news" were the ones propagating their own version of it. WikiLeaks did much to expose their game by publicizing the key role played by the Legacy Media in acting as an extension of the Clinton campaign. However, the real unmasking came after the November election, when the rage of the liberal elites became so manifest that "reporters" who would normally be loath to reveal their politics came out of the closet, so to speak, and started telling us that the old journalistic standard of objectivity no longer applied. The election of Trump, they averred, meant that the old standards must be abandoned and a new, and openly partisan bias must take its place. In honor of this new credo, the Washington Post has adopted a new slogan: " Democracy dies in darkness "!

This from the newspaper that ran a front page story citing the anonymous trolls at PropOrNot.com as credible sources for an account of alleged "Russian agents of influence" in the media – a story that slimed Matt Drudge and Antiwar.com, among others.

This from the newspaper that ran another big story claiming the Russians had infiltrated Vermont's power grid without bothering to check with the power company .

This from the newspaper that regularly publishes "news" accounts citing anonymous "intelligence officials" claiming the Trump administration is rife with Russian "agents."

This from the newspaper that published a piece by foreign affairs columnist Josh Rogin that falsely claimed Rep. Tulsi Gabbard's trip to Syria was funded by a group that is "nonexistent" and strongly implied she was in the pay of the Syrian government or some other foreign entity. Well after the smear circulated far and wide, the paper posted the following correction:

" An earlier version of this op-ed misspelled the name of AACCESS Ohio and incorrectly stated that the organization no longer exists. AACCESS Ohio is an independent non-profit organization that is a member of the ACCESS National Network of Arab American Community organizations but is currently on probation due to inactivity. The op-ed also incorrectly stated that Bassam Khawam is Syrian American. He is Lebanese American. This version has been corrected."

In other words, the entire story was fake news .

Rep. Gabbard's "crime" was to challenge the US-funded effort to overthrow the regime of Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad as contrary to our interests and the prospects for peace in the region. For that she has been demonized in the media – and, not coincidentally, the very same media that is now an instrument in the hands of our "intelligence community." For it is these spooks who, for years, have been canoodling with the Saudis in an effort to rid the region of the last secular obstacle to the Sunni-ization of the Middle East. That they have Tulsi Gabbard in their sights is no surprise.

And of course it's not just the Washington Post : the entire "mainstream" media is now colluding with the "intelligence community" in an effort to discredit and derail any efforts at a rapprochement with Russia. We haven't seen this kind of hysteria since the frigid winter of the cold war.

My longtime readers will not be shocked by any of this: during the run up to the Iraq war, the media was chock full of fake news about Saddam Hussein's fabled weapons of mass destruction, which all the "experts" told us were certainly there and ready to rain death and destruction at any minute. Who can forget the series of articles by Judith Miller that adorned the front page of the New York Times – which were merely Bush administration talking points reiterated by Donald Rumsfeld & Co. on the Sunday talk shows? Miller has now become synonymous with the very concept of fake news – and yet how quickly we forget the lesson we should have learned from that shameful episode in the history of American journalism.

So fake news is nothing new, nor is the concept of the "mainstream" media as a megaphone for war propaganda. What's different today is that many are waking up to this fact – and turning to the "alternative." I've been struck by this rising phenomenon over the past year or so: Matt Drudge gave Antiwar.com a permanent link. Our audience has increased by many thousands. And I've been getting a steady stream of interview requests. I was quite pleased to read the following in a recent piece in The Nation about the media's fit of Russophobia and the key role played by the journalist I. F. Stone during the 1950s:

"To conclude where I began, think for a moment about I.F. Stone during his haunted 1950s. While he was well-regarded by a lot of rank-and-file reporters, few would say so openly. He was PNG [persona non grata] among people such as [ New York Times publisher Arthur] Sulzberger – an outcast .

"Now think about now.

"A few reporters and commentators advise us that the name of the game these days is to sink the single most constructive policy the Trump administration has announced. The rest is subterfuge, rubbish. This is prima facie the case, though you can read it nowhere in the Times or any of the other corporate media. A few have asserted that we may now be witnessing a coup operation against the Trump White House. This is a possibility, in my view. We cannot flick it off the table. With the utmost purpose, I post here one of these pieces. "A Win for the Deep State" came out just after Flynn was forced from office. It is by a writer named Justin Raimondo and appeared in a wholly out-of-bounds web publication called Antiwar.com. I know nothing about either, but it is a thought-provoking piece."

Well, we aren't quite "wholly out of bounds," except in certain circles, but all in all this is a great compliment – and it's illustrative of author Patrick Lawrence's point, which is that

"We, readers and viewers, must discriminate among all that is put before us so as to make the best judgments we can and, not least, protect our minds. The other side of the coin, what we customarily call 'alternative media,' assumes an important responsibility. They must get done, as best they can, what better-endowed media now shirk. To put this simply and briefly, they and we must learn that they are not 'alternative' to anything. In the end there is no such thing as 'alternative media,' as I often argue. There are only media, and most of ours have turned irretrievably bad."

We here at Antiwar.com take our responsibility to you, our readers and supporters, very seriously. We're working day and night, 24/7, to separate fact from fiction, knee-jerk "analysis" from intelligent critique, partisan bullshit from truth. And we've had to work much harder lately because the profession of journalism has fallen on hard times.

Blinded by partisan bias, all too willing to be used as an instrument of the Deep State -- and determined to "control exactly what people think," which is, as Mika Brzezinski put it the other day, " our job " – the English-speaking media has become increasingly unreliable. This has become a big problem for us here at Antiwar.com: we now have to check and re-check everything that they report as fact. Not that we didn't do that anyway, but the difference is that, these days, we have to be more careful than ever before linking to it, or citing it as factual.

The day of the "alternative media" has passed. We are simply part of the media, period: the increasingly tiny portion of it that doesn't fall for war propaganda, that doesn't have a partisan agenda, and that harkens back to the "old" journalistic standards of yesteryear – objective reporting of facts. That doesn't mean we don't have opinions, or an agenda – far from it! However, we base those opinions on what, to the best of our ability, we can discern as the facts.

And we have a pretty good record in this regard. Back when everyone who was anyone was telling us that those "weapons of mass destruction" were lurking in the Iraqi shadows, we said it was nonsense – and we were right. As the "experts" said that war with Iraq would "solve" the problem of terrorism and bring enlightenment to the Middle East, we said the war would usher in the reign of chaos – and we were right. We warned that NATO expansion would trigger an unnecessary conflict with Russia, and we were proved right about that, too. The Kosovo war was hailed as a "humanitarian" act – and we rightly predicted it would come back to haunt us in the form of a gangster state riven by conflict.

I could spend several paragraphs boasting about how right we were, but you get the idea. Our record is a good one. And we intend to make it even better. But we can't do it – we can't do our job – without your help.

There's one way in which we are significantly different from the rest of the media – we depend on our readers for the financial support we need to keep going. The Washington Post has Jeff Bezos, one of the wealthiest men in the world – not to mention a multi-million dollar contract with the "intelligence community." The New York Times has Carlos Slim, another billionaire with seemingly bottomless pockets. We, on the other hand, just have you.

Okay, I'll cut to the chase: we've come to a crucial point in our current fundraising campaign, and now it's make it or break it time for Antiwar.com.

A group of our most generous supporters has pledged $40,000 in matching funds – but that pledge is strictly conditional . What this means is that we must match that amount in the short time left in our campaign in order to get the entire $40,000.

Please, send your tax-deductible donation now – because we're not the "alternative media," we're the best media you've got.

[Aug 05, 2019] UK 'up to its neck' in Russiagate affair, says George Galloway, as secret texts reveal British role

Barr now has goods to jail major conspirators for life. It is unlikely happened but we can hope.
Notable quotes:
"... "Turns out it was Britain that was the foreign country interfering in American affairs," former MP George Galloway told RT, speaking about the new revelations published by the Guardian about early British involvement in the 'Russiagate' investigation. ..."
"... The Guardian reported on texts between former deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe and Jeremy Fleming, his then counterpart at MI5, who now heads GCHQ. The two men met in 2016 to discuss "our strange situation" – an apparent reference to Russia's alleged interference in US domestic politics. ..."
"... British intelligence "appears to have played a key role in the early stages," the report said. ..."
"... Galloway said the revelation was not surprising because people "already knew" that British intelligence had played a part in the Russia-related investigations in the US. He recalled that it was former British spy Christopher Steele who drew up the now-infamous Steele dossier, which made multiple unverifiable and salacious claims about Trump and has since been largely discredited. Britain is "up to its neck in the whole Russiagate affair," he said. ..."
"... Asked what the UK stood to gain by trying to implicate Russia in a US election scandal at a time when then-foreign secretary Boris Johnson was dismissing baseless claims of Russian interference in the Brexit campaign, Galloway noted that Johnson's comments on Russia have appeared to strangely sway between friendly and antagonistic. ..."
"... In June 2016, the FBI opened a covert investigation codenamed 'Crossfire Hurricane' into Trump's now disproven collusion with Moscow, which was later taken over by special counsel Robert Mueller. ..."
Jul 31, 2019 | www.rt.com

While hysteria raged about possible Russian "interference" in the 2016 US election, British intelligence officials were secretly playing a "key role" in helping instigate investigations into Donald Trump, secret texts have shown. "Turns out it was Britain that was the foreign country interfering in American affairs," former MP George Galloway told RT, speaking about the new revelations published by the Guardian about early British involvement in the 'Russiagate' investigation.

The Guardian reported on texts between former deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe and Jeremy Fleming, his then counterpart at MI5, who now heads GCHQ. The two men met in 2016 to discuss "our strange situation" – an apparent reference to Russia's alleged interference in US domestic politics.

British intelligence "appears to have played a key role in the early stages," the report said.

www.youtube.com/embed/y0X5ubiSd0M

Galloway said the revelation was not surprising because people "already knew" that British intelligence had played a part in the Russia-related investigations in the US. He recalled that it was former British spy Christopher Steele who drew up the now-infamous Steele dossier, which made multiple unverifiable and salacious claims about Trump and has since been largely discredited. Britain is "up to its neck in the whole Russiagate affair," he said.

The texts also reveal that the Brexit vote was viewed by some in the FBI as something that had been influenced by Russia.

Asked what the UK stood to gain by trying to implicate Russia in a US election scandal at a time when then-foreign secretary Boris Johnson was dismissing baseless claims of Russian interference in the Brexit campaign, Galloway noted that Johnson's comments on Russia have appeared to strangely sway between friendly and antagonistic.

Johnson is like "a sofa that bears the impression of the last person to sit upon him," the former MP quipped. What happens next will depend on who is leading the tango, "the orange man in Washington or the blonde mop-head in London."

In June 2016, the FBI opened a covert investigation codenamed 'Crossfire Hurricane' into Trump's now disproven collusion with Moscow, which was later taken over by special counsel Robert Mueller.

Ultimately, the two-year-long probe that followed came up short, producing no evidence to prove a conspiracy or collusion between Trump campaign officials and Russia

See also:

Also on rt.com Fear behind fury: As DNI, Ratcliffe could expose FISA files that Russiagaters hope stay buried

[Aug 05, 2019] US federal court exposes Democratic Party conspiracy against Assange and WikiLeaks by Eric London

Notable quotes:
"... The ruling exposes the illegality of the conspiracy by the US government, backed by the governments of Britain, Ecuador, Australia and Sweden and the entire corporate media and political establishment, to extradite Assange to the US, where he faces 175 years in federal prison on charges including espionage. ..."
"... The dismissal of the civil suit exposes massive unreported conflicts of interest and prosecutorial misconduct and criminal abuse of process by those involved. The criminal prosecution of Assange has nothing to do with facts and is instead aimed at punishing him for telling the truth about the war crimes committed by US imperialism and its allies. ..."
"... The judge labeled WikiLeaks an "international news organization" and said Assange is a "publisher," exposing the liars in the corporate press who declare that Assange is not subject to free speech protections. Judge Koeltl continued: "In New York Times Co. v. United States ..."
"... New York Times Co. v. United States ..."
"... The DNC's baseless complaint cited the New York Times ..."
"... New York Times ..."
"... Everyone seems to forget one thing.. Assange knows who gave Assange the DNC data. At some point you have to entertain the idea that eventually he'll play that card. ..."
"... The DNC never allowed a REAL cyber-inspection of it's servers, did they? They also never said the information contained in the supposedly 'stolen' E-Mails was "WRONG" or "INACCURATE", have they? It says volumes.... Occam's Razor points to disgruntled DNC employee Seth Rich using a large capacity flash drive to download the E-Mails, etc which he then passed to someone who got it to Wikileaks. For which he was killed!! ..."
"... No. they never did. Also, if you examine Mueller's BS indictments, the domain they claim was used to phish for Podesta's password (and others) was registered on the same day or perhaps the day before they unsealed the indictment. It's a total fabrication, start to finish! ..."
"... That's just one example of many. The Malware they allegedly 'discovered' (by a Ukranian owned security company Crowdstrike) was not Russian, it was Ukrainian and been floating around the internet for years prior to this alleged non-existent 'hack'.. The whole thing has more holes than proverbial swiss ..."
"... For we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies primarily on covert means for expanding its sphere of influence--on infiltration instead of invasion, on subversion instead of elections, on intimidation instead of free choice, on guerrillas by night instead of armies by day. It is a system which has conscripted vast human and material resources into the building of a tightly knit, highly efficient machine that combines military, diplomatic, intelligence, economic, scientific and political operations ..."
"... Its preparations are concealed, not published. Its mistakes are buried, not headlined. Its dissenters are silenced, not praised. No expenditure is questioned, no rumor is printed, no secret is revealed. It conducts the Cold War, in short, with a war-time discipline no democracy would ever hope or wish to match ..."
"... It is beyond astonishing that Democrats and the media have successfully shifted 99% of the public's attention AWAY FROM the actual content of what information was stolen from top ranking Democrats, especially the Hillary for President Campaign. ..."
"... beaglebailey > michiganderforfreedom ..."
"... ironically surely an equally damning 'leak' came from the DNCs own ex-Chair Donna Brazille in her self-serving 'memoir' Hacks ... in it she revealed Obama left DNC $24m in debt and Hillary Clinton then bailed it out and effectively bought the entire apparatus as her personal plaything. When that is understood all the 'corruption' about rigging the primaries against Sanders wasn't rigging at all, after all he was standing on Clinton's private property at the time. Blair and Brown dutifully followed the same NSA playbook and left Labour broke, presumably so Blair's 'charity' could then step in to buy it... but Corbyn then balanced the books in 6 months of his taking over ..."
"... The corporate media, having already gone to great lengths to convict Assange of such in the court of public opinion, would like to see that "conviction" stand. ..."
"... "The DNC's published internal communications allowed the American electorate to look behind the curtain of one of the two major political parties in the United States during a presidential election." That's precisely the kind of "problem" the bourgeoisie will no longer tolerate. ..."
"... Reporting the truth “undermined and distorted the DNC's ability to communicate the party's values and visions to the American electorate.” ..."
"... They're sick and tired of basic democratic rights almost as much as they're sick and tired of the working class ..."
Jul 31, 2019 | www.wsws.org

In a ruling published late Tuesday, Judge John Koeltl of the US District Court for the Southern District of New York delivered a devastating blow to the US-led conspiracy against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

In his ruling, Judge Koeltl, a Bill Clinton nominee and former assistant special prosecutor for the Watergate Special Prosecution Force, dismissed "with prejudice" a civil lawsuit filed in April 2018 by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) alleging WikiLeaks was civilly liable for conspiring with the Russian government to steal DNC emails and data and leak them to the public.

Jennifer Robinson, a leading lawyer for Assange, and other WikiLeaks attorneys welcomed the ruling as "an important win for free speech."

The decision exposes the Democratic Party in a conspiracy of its own to attack free speech and cover up the crimes of US imperialism and the corrupt activities of the two parties of Wall Street. Judge Koeltl stated:

If WikiLeaks could be held liable for publishing documents concerning the DNC's political financial and voter-engagement strategies simply because the DNC labels them 'secret' and trade secrets, then so could any newspaper or other media outlet. But that would impermissibly elevate a purely private privacy interest to override the First Amendment interest in the publication of matters of the highest public concern. The DNC's published internal communications allowed the American electorate to look behind the curtain of one of the two major political parties in the United States during a presidential election. This type of information is plainly of the type entitled to the strongest protection that the First Amendment offers.

The ruling exposes the illegality of the conspiracy by the US government, backed by the governments of Britain, Ecuador, Australia and Sweden and the entire corporate media and political establishment, to extradite Assange to the US, where he faces 175 years in federal prison on charges including espionage.

The plaintiff in the civil case -- the Democratic Party -- has also served as Assange's chief prosecutor within the state apparatus for over a decade. During the Obama administration, Democratic Party Justice Department officials, as well as career Democratic holdovers under the Trump administration, prepared the criminal case against him.

The dismissal of the civil suit exposes massive unreported conflicts of interest and prosecutorial misconduct and criminal abuse of process by those involved. The criminal prosecution of Assange has nothing to do with facts and is instead aimed at punishing him for telling the truth about the war crimes committed by US imperialism and its allies.

The judge labeled WikiLeaks an "international news organization" and said Assange is a "publisher," exposing the liars in the corporate press who declare that Assange is not subject to free speech protections. Judge Koeltl continued: "In New York Times Co. v. United States , the landmark 'Pentagon Papers' case, the Supreme Court upheld the press's right to publish information of public concern obtained from documents stolen by a third party."

As a legal matter, by granting WikiLeaks' motion to dismiss, the court ruled that the DNC had not put forward a "factually plausible" claim. At the motion to dismiss stage, a judge is required to accept all the facts alleged by the plaintiff as true. Here, the judge ruled that even if all the facts alleged by the DNC were true, no fact-finder could "draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged."

Going a step further, the judge called the DNC's arguments "threadbare," adding: "At no point does the DNC allege any facts" showing that Assange or WikiLeaks "participated in the theft of the DNC's information."

Judge Koeltl said the DNC's argument that Assange and WikiLeaks "conspired with the Russian Federation to steal and disseminate the DNC's materials" is "entirely divorced from the facts." The judge further ruled that the court "is not required to accept conclusory allegations asserted as facts."

The judge further dismantled the DNC's argument that WikiLeaks is guilty-by-association with Russia, calling the alleged connection between Assange and the Russian government "irrelevant," because "a person is entitled to publish stolen documents that the publisher requested from a source so long as the publisher did not participate in the theft."

Judge Koeltl also rejected the DNC's claim "that WikiLeaks can be held liable for the theft as an after-the-fact coconspirator of the stolen documents." Calling this argument "unpersuasive," the judge wrote that it would "eviscerate" constitutional protections: "Such a rule would render any journalist who publishes an article based on stolen information a coconspirator in the theft."

In its April 2018 complaint, the DNC put forward a series of claims that have now been exposed as brazen lies, including that Assange, Trump and Russia "undermined and distorted the DNC's ability to communicate the party's values and visions to the American electorate."

The complaint also alleged: "Russian intelligence services then disseminated the stolen, confidential materials through GRU Operative #1, as well as WikiLeaks and Assange, who were actively supported by the Trump Campaign and Trump Associates as they released and disclosed the information to the American public at a time and in a manner that served their common goals."

At the time the DNC filed its complaint, the New York Times wrote that the document relies on "publicly-known facts" as well as "information that has been disclosed in news reports and subsequent court proceedings." The lawsuit "comes amid a swirl of intensifying scrutiny of Mr. Trump, his associates and their interactions with Russia," the Times wrote.

It is deeply ironic that Judge Koeltl cited the Pentagon Papers case, New York Times Co. v. United States , in his ruling.

The DNC's baseless complaint cited the New York Times eight times as "proof" of Assange and WikiLeaks' ties to Russia, including articles by Times reporters Andrew Kramer, Michael Gordon, Niraj Chokshi, Sharon LaFraniere, K.K. Rebecca Lai, Eric Lichtblau, Noah Weiland, Alicia Parlapiano and Ashley Parker, as well as a July 26, 2016 article by Charlie Savage titled "Assange, avowed foe of Clinton, timed email release for Democratic Convention."

The first of these articles was published just weeks after the New York Times hired James Bennet as its editorial page editor in March 2016. James Bennet's brother, Michael Bennet, is a presidential candidate, a senator from Colorado and former chair of the DNC's Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. In 2018, Bennet signed a letter to Vice President Mike Pence noting he was "extremely concerned" that Ecuador had not canceled asylum for Assange, who was then trapped in the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

"It is imperative," the letter read, "that you raise US concerns with [Ecuadorian] President [Lenin] Moreno about Ecuador's continued support for Mr. Assange at a time when WikiLeaks continues its efforts to undermine democratic processes globally."

In April 2019, after the Trump administration announced charges against Assange, the New York Times editorial board, under James Bennet's direction, wrote: "The administration has begun well by charging Mr. Assange with an indisputable crime." Two weeks later, Michael Bennet announced his presidential run and has since enjoyed favorable coverage in the Times editorial page.

Additionally, the father of James and Michael Bennet, Douglas Bennet, headed the CIA-linked United States Agency for International Development in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

On Wednesday, the Times published a brief, six-paragraph article on page 25 under the headline, "DNC lawsuit against election is dismissed." In its online edition, the Times prominently featured a link to its special page for the Mueller Report, which is based on the same DNC-instigated threadbare lies that Judge Koeltl kicked out of federal court

LC • 9 hours ago

Everyone seems to forget one thing.. Assange knows who gave Assange the DNC data. At some point you have to entertain the idea that eventually he'll play that card.

Liberalism Has Failed • 2 days ago

The DNC never allowed a REAL cyber-inspection of it's servers, did they? They also never said the information contained in the supposedly 'stolen' E-Mails was "WRONG" or "INACCURATE", have they? It says volumes.... Occam's Razor points to disgruntled DNC employee Seth Rich using a large capacity flash drive to download the E-Mails, etc which he then passed to someone who got it to Wikileaks. For which he was killed!!

LC > Liberalism Has Failed • 9 hours ago

No. they never did. Also, if you examine Mueller's BS indictments, the domain they claim was used to phish for Podesta's password (and others) was registered on the same day or perhaps the day before they unsealed the indictment. It's a total fabrication, start to finish!

That's just one example of many. The Malware they allegedly 'discovered' (by a Ukranian owned security company Crowdstrike) was not Russian, it was Ukrainian and been floating around the internet for years prior to this alleged non-existent 'hack'.. The whole thing has more holes than proverbial swiss


Tradairn > SFWhite • a day ago

Then why does the US keep interfering in other countries' political processes? You've become the schoolyard bully of the world.

SFWhite > Tradairn • 18 hours ago

Quoting from JFK's speech archived in the JFK Library:
THE PRESIDENT AND THE PRESS: ADDRESS BEFORE THE AMERICAN NEWSPAPER PUBLISHERS ASSOCIATION, APRIL 27, 1961
https://www.jfklibrary.org/...

If the press is awaiting a declaration of war before it imposes the self-discipline of combat conditions, then I can only say that no war ever posed a greater threat to our security. If you are awaiting a finding of "clear and present danger," then I can only say that the danger has never been more clear and its presence has never been more imminent.

It requires a change in outlook, a change in tactics, a change in missions--by the government, by the people, by every businessman or labor leader, and by every newspaper.

***For we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies primarily on covert means for expanding its sphere of influence--on infiltration instead of invasion, on subversion instead of elections, on intimidation instead of free choice, on guerrillas by night instead of armies by day. It is a system which has conscripted vast human and material resources into the building of a tightly knit, highly efficient machine that combines military, diplomatic, intelligence, economic, scientific and political operations.

Its preparations are concealed, not published. Its mistakes are buried, not headlined. Its dissenters are silenced, not praised. No expenditure is questioned, no rumor is printed, no secret is revealed. It conducts the Cold War, in short, with a war-time discipline no democracy would ever hope or wish to match.***

michiganderforfreedom • 2 days ago

It is beyond astonishing that Democrats and the media have successfully shifted 99% of the public's attention AWAY FROM the actual content of what information was stolen from top ranking Democrats, especially the Hillary for President Campaign.

Had the actual Content of what had been stolen was simply meeting schedules, work shift assignments, lawn sign purchase orders and speech notes, NONE of this scandal would have happened!!

But, the CONTENT of what was stolen revealed the upper echelon of Democrat Party leadership to be nothing but lying, conniving, cheating, law-breaking dirty politicians who are hell-bent on bringing down the American Federation at any cost.

If the actual Content had been cookie recipes and wedding plans, we would not have been put though this traumatic national wringer!!

beaglebailey > michiganderforfreedom • 7 hours ago

This was the reason Hillary's campaign came up with the idea to blame it on Russia. This kept people from focusing on their content and it worked. To this day Hillary's supporters think that her rigging the primary is a conspiracy theory. And it's why they believe that Russia interfered with the election. How sad to see people who saw through the Saddam had WMDs have fallen for the new WMDs scam.

Charlotte Ruse • 4 days ago

"The decision exposes the Democratic Party in a conspiracy of its own to attack free speech and cover up the crimes of US imperialism and the corrupt activities of the two parties of Wall Street."

One should never forget that the corrupt political duopoly is controlled by the military/security/surveillance/corporate state. Assange, published documents revealing to millions that the US committed war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan, murdered innocent civilians, and slaughtered two Reuter Reporters.

Revealing atrocities is BAD MARKETING for the military industry which for decades has been robbing the US Treasury blind. Assange's documents threatens the "official narrative" spread by the state-run mainstream news convincing the public to passively accept the plundering of the US Treasury to enhance the wealth of a small cabal of war profiteer gangsters.

In other words, Assange is being attacked by the US Government because he revealed that a big CON GAME is being perpetuated against the American public by the security state.

Dennis Stein > Charlotte Ruse • 3 days ago

“We’ll Know Our Disinformation Program Is Complete When Everything the American Public Believes Is False”

—CIA Director William Casey at an early February 1981 meeting of newly elected President Reagan.

Adrian • 4 days ago

Great news on Assange... but ironically surely an equally damning 'leak' came from the DNCs own ex-Chair Donna Brazille in her self-serving 'memoir' Hacks ... in it she revealed Obama left DNC $24m in debt and Hillary Clinton then bailed it out and effectively bought the entire apparatus as her personal plaything. When that is understood all the 'corruption' about rigging the primaries against Sanders wasn't rigging at all, after all he was standing on Clinton's private property at the time. Blair and Brown dutifully followed the same NSA playbook and left Labour broke, presumably so Blair's 'charity' could then step in to buy it... but Corbyn then balanced the books in 6 months of his taking over

Ed Bergonzi • 5 days ago

This is good news. But now the advantage is with Trump. What will the Democrats do if Trump presses for extradition claiming "national security" concerns, i.e., Assange's exposure of US war crimes. I think their present silence regarding Judge Koeltl's decision speaks volumes.

Greg • 5 days ago • edited

"Going a step further, the judge called the DNC’s arguments “threadbare,” adding: “At no point does the DNC allege any facts” showing that Assange or WikiLeaks “participated in the theft of the DNC’s information.”

The corporate media, having already gone to great lengths to convict Assange of such in the court of public opinion, would like to see that "conviction" stand.

"On Wednesday, the Times published a brief, six-paragraph article on page 25..."

Greg • 5 days ago • edited

"The DNC's published internal communications allowed the American electorate to look behind the curtain of one of the two major political parties in the United States during a presidential election." That's precisely the kind of "problem" the bourgeoisie will no longer tolerate.

Reporting the truth “undermined and distorted the DNC's ability to communicate the party's values and visions to the American electorate.”

They're sick and tired of basic democratic rights almost as much as they're sick and tired of the working class. They practically come out and say it: "There was no attempt by other reporters to pursue the matter, and Conway then began to rant about Trump's reasons for targeting the four congresswomen, saying, “He's tired, a lot of us are sick and tired of this country—of America coming last, to people who swore an oath of office.”

[Aug 03, 2019] I used to think the Guardian couldn't sink any further into hypocrisy but it has: A few months back the Guardian was pushing for various organisations, including the British Labour Party, to adopt the IHRA definition to combat so-called anti-semitism.

Aug 03, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Ghost Ship , Aug 3 2019 10:55 utc | 72

I used to think the Guardian couldn't sink any further into hypocrisy but it has :

The internal emails, released after a freedom of information request by the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign, revealed the council attempted to assess the Big Ride website according to the rubric of the controversial IHRA definition .
A few months back the Guardian was pushing for various organisations, including the British Labour Party, to adopt the IHRA definition to combat so-called anti-semitism.

I don't remember it suggesting then that the IHRA definition was controversial then.

[Aug 03, 2019] US Imposes New Sanctions on Russia Over March 2018 Skripal Poisoning

Tramp is trying to lease neocons again and again
Aug 03, 2019 | news.antiwar.com

New sanctions are to punish Russia for not making promises after last sanctions

Jason Ditz Posted on August 2, 2019 August 2, 2019 Categories News Tags Russia , Trump

The White House has announced that President Trump has imposed a new round of sanctions against Russia on Friday . The sanctions are nominally about the March 2018 Skripal poisoning in Britain, which the US has already issued sanctions over.

According to spokesman Hogan Gidley, the new sanctions are being imposed because of the last round of sanctions. In the previous sanctions the US demanded Russia offer them assurances that they'd stop poisoning people.

Russia never made any such assurances, since they denied poisoning Skripal in the first place. But not admitting guilt and offering the US promises, the US felt the need to impose another round of sanctions, which are probably going to set the stage for more future sanctions for the same reason.

Officials claim Russia is "required" to offer the US assurances about poisonings under US law, and the White House insists these new sanctions prove that President Trump is harder on Russia than anyone else has ever been at any time.

[Aug 02, 2019] As Ronald Reagan said "trust but verify", and if you do not think and trust too much you are mislead.

Aug 02, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

ilsm -> im1dc... , July 31, 2019 at 04:26 PM

Refute this:

All reporting is edited. The bent you got from Mueller was different on CNN last Wed night than on Fox.

If you listened to Fox Mueller was all there. If you watched Fox you got GOP questions and a sad looking stumbling old man.

I won't even go in to the differing treatment of sad Nancy Pelosi.

Mueller has no position in government to know any more than you or I about the "interference" by whomever in favor of whomever.

As Ronald Reagan said "trust but verify", and if you do not think and trust too much you are mislead.

Both trust and verify require thought and criticism.

[Aug 02, 2019] Making of the presstitute

Aug 02, 2019 | www.unz.com

annamaria , says: July 31, 2019 at 1:50 pm GMT

@anon Making the presstitute: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Brock

While he was at Berkeley, David Brock contributed an op-ed to The Wall Street Journal entitled "Combating Those Campus Marxists". It drew the attention of John Podhoretz, who at the time was the editor of Insight, a weekly newsmagazine published by The Washington Times.

Podhoretz flew Brock to Washington, D.C., for an interview and hired him as a writer of the weekly conservative news magazine Insight on the News, a sister publication of The Washington Times After working at Insight, Brock spent some time as a fellow at The Heritage Foundation.

Brock was formerly the domestic partner of William Grey; Fox News reported that their relationship ended in a bitter, three-year-long legal battle in which "Brock and Grey traded angry accusations, replete with charges of blackmail, theft and financial malfeasance"

Brock's claim that the Clintons have never committed any wrongdoing has received criticisms from many who have cited instances of abuse

[Aug 02, 2019] Does the New York Times Have an Editing Program that Automatically Puts "Free" Before "Trade?

Aug 02, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

anne , August 02, 2019 at 04:21 AM

http://cepr.net/blogs/beat-the-press/does-the-new-york-times-have-an-editing-program-that-automatically-puts-free-before-trade

August 1, 2019

Does the New York Times Have an Editing Program that Automatically Puts "Free" Before "Trade?"
By Dean Baker

Readers must be wondering because it happens so frequently in contexts where it is clearly inappropriate. The latest example is in an article * about the state of the race for the Democratic presidential nomination following the second round of debates.

The piece told readers:

"After a few candidates used the Detroit debate to demand that Mr. Biden account for Mr. Obama's record on issues such as deportations and free trade, Mr. Biden was joined by some of the former president's advisers, who chastised the critics for committing political malpractice."

The word "free" in this context adds nothing and is in fact wrong. The Obama administration did virtually nothing to promote free trade in highly paid professional services, like physicians services, which would have reduced inequality. It only wanted to reduce barriers that protected less educated workers, like barriers to trade in manufactured goods.

And, it actively worked to increase patent and copyright protections, which are the complete opposite of free trade. These protections also have the effect of increasing inequality.

Given the reality of trade policy under President Obama it is difficult to understand why the New York Times felt the need to modify "trade" with the adjective "free." Maybe it needs to get this editing program fixed.

* https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/01/us/politics/biden-obama.html

[Aug 01, 2019] Elizabeth Warren could hit the mark as the candidate best placed to beat Trump.

Aug 01, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

Katherine1984 , 31 Jul 2019 13:44

Like it or not, beating Donald Trump is no easy task.

A candidate too far to the left and they just won't get sufficient support from an electorate which inclines to the right (by UK standards).

Too establishment and "entitled" and some will hesitate to give them even a get-Trump-out vote.

Elizabeth Warren could hit the mark as the candidate best placed to beat Trump.

But she will have to brace herself for him to play a very nasty campaign against her.

MohammedS , 31 Jul 2019 13:24
Who gives a monkeys? The real issue is that the selfish, disorientated and cowardly way the Dems are conducting this race is handing Trump a winning platform for 2020.
After long hard thinking I have come to the sad conclusion that Trump is right and that he is indeed a genius. He has achieved what he had set out to do. He has polarised the standard bearer for democracy in the world. He has enriched himself and his family. He has broken American society, possibly irreversibly. He has brought about change in the worlds economies. He has also managed to set the debate and the stage to win in 2020. Now some may say he has been an awful president, but looking at his strategy he has been highly successful. He may not be what we want but he has certainly been better at feeling the pulse of America and deciding which medicine to give. A truly evil genius indeed.
TheMediaSux , 31 Jul 2019 13:15
Sanders and Warren are the only two with some kind of personality. The others look like they were created by lobbyists and corporate donors in a lab on a computer like Kelly Lebrock from Weird Science.
TremoluxMan , 31 Jul 2019 13:08
The point about taxes going up is a red herring and a straw man argument. If you get insurance through your employer, you pay anywhere from $300/month to $1200/month for yourself and family. Through a Medicare for all plan, that payment would disappear. Yes, you'd pay more in taxes to cover your health insurance, but it would likely be lower than private insurance, a net gain, with better coverage, no deductible or co-pays. Even if it was the same, it's still a wash. You're eliminating an expense for a tax. Plus, you're not paying for some executive's perks and exorbitant salary.

Personally, I'd feel better paying $50,000-$75,000/year to a government administrator than $10M-$20M/year + perks to a CEO.

ColoradoJack -> Andy Womack , 31 Jul 2019 12:10
Obama was simply being honest there. By any standard, Obama, both Clinton's, Gore (except for climate change) and Biden are at best moderate Republicans. Each would qualify as being to the right of Richard Nixon (leaving aside the issue of integrity).
In the case of Bill Clinton, Americans had not got woken to the fact that, while a little less by Democrats, the middle class was nontheless being screwed by both parties. Obama's rhetoric was enough cover to fool the public into thinking he would fight for real change. Both Gore and especially Hillary showed what the public now thinks of "moderates". Bernie Sanders and/or Elizabeth Warren are the only chances to beat Trump in 2020.
Eisenhower , 31 Jul 2019 11:13
Reparations for slavery, the elimination of private insurance, free health care for anyone who overstays a visa or walks over from Mexico, and a crystal lady.

We are in trouble. My nightmare of a Trump re-election is more and more likely.

MoonlightTiger -> BaronVonAmericano , 31 Jul 2019 11:13
I believe it is. Ha
BaronVonAmericano -> thepianist , 31 Jul 2019 11:11
The general election poses an obvious vote against Trump.

Virtually 100% of the decision-making you have about what future we might want is in the primary.

Staying out of the primary debates is tantamount to abandoning all political power.

BaronVonAmericano , 31 Jul 2019 11:05
Warren and Sanders clearly demonstrated that a party wanting to win should nominate one of them.

They enthralled the audience, and showed they possess a vision for the future that every other Democratic candidate claims to eventually want, when there's time, maybe, perhaps if they get a majority someday.

Cmank1 , 31 Jul 2019 10:54
Clearly Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren were the clear winners of the night! They shamed the listless other candidates, none of whom exhibited a similar energy, excitement & vision for the future of the country. Despite a definite veneer of displeasure by your account, both the audience at the event, and those watching at home felt the excitement of progressive proposals won the day.
KMdude , 31 Jul 2019 10:46
The winner of the debate was Trump.

When Sanders declared he's in favor of free healthcare and free education for illegal immigrants there was -at best - muted criticism from the other candidates.

Most Americans are likely outraged by this suggestion and this will play in Trump's favor.

DontFanMeBro , 31 Jul 2019 10:39
It's obvious that John Delaney is simply a plant by Big Business (which has both the centrist Democrats and all of Republicans in its pocket) to troll and derail the candidacy of progressives Sanders and Warren. His sole function is to throw a monkey wrench in their path and be a "nattering nabob of negativism" (to quote Agnew) regarding their policies. That's all he does all day and all night, and the centrist-loving moderators and journalists love giving him infinite time to do his damage
Haigin88 , 31 Jul 2019 04:42
The answer is obvious: if you want your best shot at 86-ing the orange pestilence, then it has to be Warren/Sanders or Sanders/Warren. You're not supposed to signal your vice-president until after you've got the nomination, I know, but surely having Trump as president has shredded all previous norms? Go now, right now, and say that it'll be you two. You can even keep it open and say that you don't know who'll head the ticket but it will be Warren and Sanders. That would crush all opposition and keep churning interesting as a guessing game.

Maybe Warren should head the ticket. I know that Sanders is very sharp and he plays basketball but if he was president then he'd be asking for a second term and to get sworn in when he's 83 and being in one's eighties might be too much of a psychological barrier. My suggestion, though, would be it's Sanders/Warren but on the promise that Sanders will step aside during his first term, after two years and one day (meaning that Warren could serve out the rest of the term and still then run for two more terms under her own steam).

That would guarantee the first female president and so quieten down the phoney-baloney identity politics drones; better, it would mean that the US would get an excellent leader in Elizabeth Warren, no matter her bodily organs; it would pull together the Crooked H. adherents and get them on side, if they truly care about getting female in there and if it doesn't it will expose them as the phonies they are. And it would keep matters on policy, when Trump is weak, rather than personalities, which is the territory on which Trump wants to fight.

[Aug 01, 2019] A poorly paid actor for the ruling class

Aug 01, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

BaronVonAmericano -> overtheseaandfaraway , 31 Jul 2019 08:28

Delaney is not a moderate, he is a poorly paid actor for the ruling class. He had a miserable debate performance, like his peers in the second tier set of candidates. That any of the press is attempting to rehabilitate his performance is a sign of extreme bias, not an accurate portrayal of the car crash that transpired last night for his campaign.
BaronVonAmericano , 31 Jul 2019 08:19
Post debate analysis is breathtaking in it's unanimity: everyone in the establishment press is doing what they can to ignore the fact that Sanders and Warren knocked it out of the park.

Contrary to the mandatory company line, this was not a debate between moderates and progressives; this was a debate between people who want to do something and those who have been hired to stall progress, and it has never been so apparent as it was in this lively debate.

I think the corporate media knows this, which is why they are desperately spinning this in any other way but that Warren and Sanders were the most viable and competent candidates on the stage.

Without question, their performance killed the candidacy of every other person on the stage.

clarityofthought -> ID9742876 , 31 Jul 2019 08:19
Thanks for a serious response (most of the others were just reactions founded on confirmation bias)

You make a good point. Even the conservatives here are on that socialist spectrum in that there is extensive state intervention (NHS, welfare, care, regulation etc). That intervention is to stay irrespective of some of the scare stories for the simple reason no one will get elected on a platform of doing away with it.

In basic terms terms the key difference between "right" and "left" is how to best pay for that state intervention. Incentives and a degree of market freedom versus a state controlled economy and more radical distribution.

So yes the term socialist is often used to scare people by the right - just as the left use "tories" to scare people ["24 hours to save the NHS" anyone?].

There is a reason why centrism has largely prevailed in the west. Its evolved in a Darwin like way as being the best balance for peoples views and expectations. I suspect radical change - left or right - will end up as a major disappointment

[Aug 01, 2019] Medicare is not healthcare. It is health insurance.

Aug 01, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

DanceswithSkunks , 31 Jul 2019 09:39

Sanders and Warren harp on about medicare for all being "free health care".

Let me make one thing clear: Medicare is not healthcare. It is health insurance.

Medicare administrators never touch a patient, they push paperwork around and oversee payment for services rendered by medical professionals. Throwing a third of a billion people onto a system that currently administers care for a hundred million is a recipe for disaster, especially if providers, unable to make a profit, decide to get out of the business. We already have a shortage of doctors and nurses and care facilities in many parts of the country, this is certain to make the problem worse.

What do the candidates propose to do about funding for advanced care if all people are entitled to free organ transplants? There are new cancer therapies, taylor-made for each patient, which show astonishing promise, but cost half a million dollars per patient. Medical care already eats up a sixth of our economy, want to double that? Remember, we also have to tackle climate change at the same time.

Much of Europe has socialized medicine and most European countries permit private insurance, usually as a supplement to the public system. Private patients may receive better, or at least more luxurious, care, but they also take a load off the public system. If the democrats really wanted to make life better for those on the bottom of the income spectrum, they might consider government financing of existing urgent care facilities which are popping up all over the place (there are four in my town of 35,000). Imagine being able to walk in to a "doc-in-a-box", pay $20 and get diagnosed for your flu, high blood pressure, sutures for a cut, or an X-ray for that twisted/possibly broke ankle. Currently, many such patients go to ERs where they receive treatment at many times the $90 walk-in cost of the average urgent care shop.

Consider delivering minor care at schools. Why do I have to take my kids to a doctor to get the immunizations required to attend school or sports physicals. The kids are at school, give 'em their shots and exams there. That way there will be less weaseling out.

This wouldn't be the all encompassing solution that Sanders and Warren are dreaming of, but it would represent a solid start and might intercept unwell patients before they become acute or chronic cases.

By the way, Mr Sanders, stop waving your arms about. The WSJ has a photo of you on its online edition that has you looking like an ape in a cage.

AmericanAnglo , 31 Jul 2019 09:36
Health care in the US is the most bloated, wasteful and needlessly complex issue facing US citizens today. As Bernie says it should be a human right for each citizen of the wealthiest country on earth. Americans need to understand what a socialized health system is, indeed, they need to understand what socialism is, they conflate it with communism, no one seems to want to explain the difference which would go a long way to gaining wide spread acceptance. Education is another monumental waste of resources. Far too many kids go to college who are not suited to academic endeavor, many take more than four years to graduate an undergraduate degree if they graduate at all, that is not to say they should not be provided a vocational option if they wish. A healthy and educated workforce makes social, economic, and political sense.
diesel02 -> GERALD710 , 31 Jul 2019 09:33
"Many Americans love the quality of healthcare they get."

They may love it for now but as drug prices climb, co pays climb and heaven help us ACA gets repealed then what? At least the dems, particularly the "progressives" are pulling out of the business as usual model.

Lots of folks decried FDR's New Deal, even hated it - until it put a paycheck in their hand. They could yell all they wanted about government programs but their children appreciated not starving.

Vincent Gallagher , 31 Jul 2019 06:11
Neither Warren or Sanders is advocating 'outlawing' private healthcare. That is a disingenuous term. They are offering what is common to all western democracies, universal healthcare. Obamacare is a gift to the insurance industry and not a platform for anything other than increased profit by the insurance industry. It was taken from a plan by the Heritage Foundation. It is not a legacy worth preserving, Medicare for all is the alternative and a very good one. Rich people can keep their expensive plans and continue to pay-out-the-ass, which they can easily afford.
All the blather by the conservative corporate Democrats posing as moderates is, of course, self-serving and the nonsense about concerns for union healthcare plans is absurd. I was a Union member, a chief steward, sat on the bargaining committee and was a representative to the national: universal healthcare or Medicare for all is an excellent idea, as Mr. Sanders asserts it would allow wage increases ans eliminate the biggest obstacle in contract negotiations which is the cost of health insurance. The cost of which continually was increasing by double digits, along with increases in co-pays. In fact, the increased costs forced the abandonment of what was a superior insurance plan to one that was inferior.
Delaney, is the former CEO of CapitalSource, essentially a loan-sharking operation (a testament by Forbes), involved in foreclosure scams. HealthCare Financial Partners is another Delaney entity worth examining for its less than ethical practices, which in the business world where Delaney dwells, is an unspoken word or determinant.
Delaney bundled together $800,000 for HRC, which bought him the endorsement of Bill Clinton when Delaney ran for higher office. He is conservative and wedded to the profit motive and could care less about ordinary citizens. The current businessman inhabiting the presidency is more than a cautionary tale, which applies to Delaney. He is a conservative Clintonite and embraces the rather malleable ethics of the Clintons, essentially amoral.
butmaroo -> chunkychips , 31 Jul 2019 06:11
Surely.
Douglas White , 31 Jul 2019 06:10
Honestly, only the very dimmest of dimwits would categorize ELIMINATING the $400/month average middle class families pay for Health Insurance Premiums and replacing it with a $250/Month Average payment to the government as 'raising taxes' on those people. If you doubt that, ask yourself why the largest corporations AREN'T screaming about 'raised taxes' if we go to Medicare for All.... it's because they can do the math, and they know that eliminating the $750/month average that THEY pay in Premium contributions PER EMPLOYEE will benefit them much more than the accompanying 'tax increase for M4A...

When the OVERALL COST of the system goes down around 15% (Private Insurance 'overhead' increases costs 20%+, Medicare is just under 6%), EVERYONE saves in the long run....

[Aug 01, 2019] Biden's key advantage is his appeal to the affluent white middle class secret Trump supporters who came out in droves.

Aug 01, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

ID9059125 -> Uriel238 , 31 Jul 2019 10:14

You're wrong. A Neocon will bridge the divide between what we have now (Full on Crazy Town Heading for WW3) and what a Biden/Klobuchar could lead to: Eg - a Warren or a Beto.
Gives people time to realize "hey. this cheaper health care and no student fees and $15 dollar minimum wage aint so bad!!!" <face palm>
ID9059125 -> jaytjohnson , 31 Jul 2019 10:11
Biden's key advantage is his appeal to the affluent white middle class secret Trump supporters who came out in droves.
A Biden/Klobuchar ticket could be the strongest "right wing" combination for the Dems.
ID9059125 , 31 Jul 2019 10:02
As an overall observation and the way these debates are promoted and run, how depressing they are as a commentary on America. It's turned into a sporting, showbiz event, each candidate given one pesky minute to try and get something across.
Short doses for America's short attention span. Let's just be done with it and combine the f****** election with an episode of The Bachelor or f****** Kardashians. It makes me sick.
SamDobermann -> ScoundrelDaysSon , 31 Jul 2019 09:59
Before a "Medicare for All" (M4A) bill got near a vote there would be massive negative advertising against it. Don't you remember when we were working on getting the ACA passed how the "Tea Party" was formed -- with plenty of $$ from those opposed to any changes in health care provisioning & financing -- & they went into insane rages & attacks? We got the T-Party Republicans out of it who still bedevil us today.

The NHS was born out of WWII when Britain had to provide hospitals & clinics all around the country because so many people were pushed out of London & into the boonies. More building occurred centrally to care for the military & vets so there were government owned facilities everywhere.

Here in the US the veteran's Medical facilities are totally separate & jealously held so & if Bernie wants to fold them into his scheme he'll have to go over or through the bodies of all the Vets in America who feel they've earned their care.

A third of all the people in Medicare have *chosen to use a privatized version* which while it limits choice of providers has some added goodies like health clubs. They will fight change as will people with retirement programs that they "earned."

Your last statement actually is astute: "I genuinely believe that unless the slate is completely wiped clean in the short to medium term you'll never have Medicare for all work, last, or garner public support in the way of the NHS, say."

That's true. Truly you can't get there from here. Britain had no system provisioning health care for people in general. They had an almost blank slate. They didn't have to take away something of value from millions of people. That is what Obama knew. You can add on, you can work on underlying problems, you can augment and improve coverage but you can't trash the whole system that so many people rely on.

We need universal coverage for all that want it. There will always be some left out. (Can you mention Trumps & other ultra rich taking part in any insurance for the peasantry). Medicare which has been in existence for 50 years (with much tinkering along the way) covers just 95% of seniors; 5% are completely left out. If you use that as an analogy we would find 5% of 330 million or about 16 million won't be covered AT BEST.

[Aug 01, 2019] Biden thinks we can win a war with Russia. That is insane.

Aug 01, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

curiouswes -> ildfluer , 31 Jul 2019 07:29

Please


As much as I have stated how badly I want Trump impeached, I honestly think Biden would be worse for America and the world, than Trump. Biden thinks we can win a war with Russia. That is insane. No sane person wants nuclear holocaust. However Biden thinks these neoliberal propensities can continue without consequence.

Tulsi understands that you can't keep poking Russia with a stick. If you recall, HRC wanted to set up a no fly zone over Syria while Russia was flying combat missions in Syria. That is the type of neoliberal bullshit that can lead to nuclear holocaust. If you have the time watch this old video

If you took the time to watch the video, you should be able to see how the CIA will resume its effort under Biden and Biden's vision is clear from this article he wrote just last year .

[Aug 01, 2019] The USA curiosities: so-called centre-left in the USA are establishment right-wing in Europe

Aug 01, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

Lagado , 31 Jul 2019 05:27

The Democrats are considered "Moderate republicans" and have been for a number of years. So the moderate moderate democrats are effectively republicans. Just like the so-called centre-left here, are establishment right-wing.

[Aug 01, 2019] Jack1917

Aug 01, 2019 | profile.theguardian.com

31 Jul 2019 06:43

"And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God." -Matthew 19:24

That either Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren might be considered left-wing is a mark of how skewed American politics is. Where the hell's the center!? And who decided, anyway?

When asked where the phrase "from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs" came from by a 2002 survey conducted by Columbia Law School, over 66% of Americans said the US Constitution.

[Aug 01, 2019] It's a bit hard to celebrate democracy in our land of political farce

Marianne Williamson for the Secretary of Happiness :-)
Jul 31, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

IndigoBleak , 31 Jul 2019 17:21

CNN retained control of what issues were addressed and when rather than the candidates, so the "clash" between the "moderate" and "progressive" wings of the party was largely orchestrated by the network. Given the number of candidates involved and the structure of what passes for debate during these spectacles they're largely a waste of time.
luciddays , 31 Jul 2019 17:29
The inevitable question in any US election is can the candidates really change anything? for all of the squealing about Trump he hasn't managed to do anything except give the rich a tax cut.

The out of control military spending, the growing void between those born rich and those born poor, the further consolidation of Corporate power...all seems to go unchecked regardless of the rhetoric of any President

Mary B -> Quantum Ape , 31 Jul 2019 13:06

Watch an interview with Corruptus Maximus from the 1980s or early 90s. He was always a dick and a narcissist, but he was articulate and able to speak in full sentences and follow a conversation. He can't do any of that now. Little Donnie Dumbass is the poster boy for cognitive decline.

[Jul 31, 2019] Kamala Harris discovered that roasting Establishment candidate Biden early on didn't help her in the end.

Jul 31, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

ildfluer -> Canajin , 31 Jul 2019 22:26

They're trying to get rid of Harris and Biden. I'm not sure it's a bad thing. Harris was always going to get drowned by her own record as California's AG. And Biden... meh.
ildfluer -> SilverTui , 31 Jul 2019 20:03
One of them. Warren eviscerating Delaney was another. Or her saying that Democrats are not the Republicans, wanting to take healthcare away... Then, there was Buttigieg saying that no matter what they do, the Republicans would call them socialists anyway, so who cares.
Aldous0rwell , 31 Jul 2019 19:55
Kabaservice's comment:

...whether the Democrats will end up moving too far to the left to be able to defeat Trump in 2020...

reflects a poorly conceived (false) dichotomy about what "the left" is. When he says "the left" what does he even mean?

There's the socialist left , which seeks to provide good working conditions and pay, and better wealth distributions among the populace. This could be a huge boon to any group suffering under the current economic system - including groups which Trump appealed to in the last election but has utterly failed to do anything for.

There's the identity politics left which Hillary and the Neo-liberals (and the Republicans, actually) embrace as a form of marketing strategy and use to promote free-market ideology.

There's the "Democrat Party" (DNC) left which really stands for little more than party rhetoric any more and vehemently supports Neo-liberalism.

And there's the environmentalist left which sees Global Climate destabilization as the #1 issue facing the planet (a position loathed by the Neo-liberals and identitarians).

There are also combinations and permutations of all these "lefts".

So when Kabaservice says he fears the Democrats moving too far to the left, he's conflating all sorts of things, murkily hiding his intents behind his ill-defined terminology.

ildfluer -> goulot , 31 Jul 2019 19:55
He was about to drop out of the race before the debate. He should've done so, Warren eviscerated him.
ildfluer -> MohammedS , 31 Jul 2019 19:36
There are over 20 candidates. They need to tread carefully. Kamala Harris discovered that roasting Establishment candidate Biden early on didn't help her in the end.
ildfluer -> jimmsfairytales0com , 31 Jul 2019 19:30
The weirdos/corporate-shrills in the media are all slamming Sanders for his grumpiness and 'shouting'. I mean, the man is angry that people are dying because the Govt isn't looking after them. How's that a minus against Sanders's personality??? Everyone should be mad as hell. I'm a big fan of Warren but no-one can dispute that Sanders is a good man.
salsabil , 31 Jul 2019 18:50
Delaney - the multi millionaire - looked like he had been entrusted by CNN (and probably the DNC) to be the first of many attack dogs against Sanders and Warren. He was probably meant to appear the voice of reason, speaking rational politics to make make them seem like extremists, but he came across as dumb and sounded like a spokesperson for the very vested interests that will be threatened most by Sanders´ and Warren´s plans. And that gormless face will surely be the subject of memes for years to come!

I think I read somewhere that 87% of US elections are won by the candidate with the most money. And since most money comes from the millionaires and their lobbyists the DNC establishment clearly would rather work for those with most, than for those in most need. A bit like the Blairite nest within Corbyn´s Labour Party. And what John Delaney was saying was exactly why ordinary people are so disillusioned with regular politicians - especially those of the so-called ´left´- and why they become so easily taken-in by populists like Trump.

When the right get in they always do stuff for their paymasters. Big stuff. They steal public funds through tax cuts for the rich and the corporations. They repeal protections for workers, and allow Big Oil to destroy the environment. They bloat the budget for the military industrial complex and allow the US Military machine to be used as a private army for the corporations´insatiable resource grab. And they let Wall Street do what it wants.

When the so called parties of the left get in - be they Democrats, Labour, SPD or whoever -they usually do diddly squat. Because deals have usually been made not to shake anything up. Not even to correct the injustices enacted by their predecessors. I saw a stat about US government tax revenues that showed how 50 years ago 33% came from companies and only about 10% came from incomes; today those numbers are reversed. It´s no wonder millions are becoming desperate for change.

I´m sure the DNC and its paymasters will no doubt try to learn something from the debate, to better prep Joe Biden when he steps into the ring, probably against Sanders OR Warren. I can´t see him going up against both of them. But also to better rig future debates against Sanders and Warren, perhaps to try to divide them. Though, to be fair to CNN, they did a pretty good job. But it clearly failed.

What will be interesting will be watching how the adult-in-room MSM switches from incessant Trump bashing to doing everything it can to stop Sanders and Warren. I fear that it will get dirty, and relentless, and both will be attacked, labelled and misrepresented. But if a moderate candidate - like Honest Joe Biden - is jerrymandered into position up against Trump in 2020 then I fear that we are all fucked.

This is the last chance.

That goes for you too Guardian.

circuit -> daguard41 , 31 Jul 2019 14:31
Warren/Sanders. Everyone else looks Republican-Lite, or corporate shill.

[Jul 29, 2019] The great antisemitism witchhunt McCarthyism redux by John Wight

Notable quotes:
"... Reds under the bed has been replaced with antisemites under the bed; this with the full and open complicity of a mainstream media whose dread over the prospect of transformational political change is entwined in tight embrace with that of an Establishment -- political and security -- in ensuring nothing but nothing will ever change in this country apart from the colour of the curtains on the windows in Downing Street. ..."
"... There is nothing more grotesque than being lectured to about antisemitism, or any other form of racism, by apologists for a racist apartheid state. Yet this grotesquerie is precisely where we have arrived at in response to Corbyn's unlikely elevation to the leadership of the Labour Party. ..."
"... I think one has to appreciate, despite all the 'far-left' labels stuck on him, that Corbyn only appeared to be a 'raving looney leftie' in comparison with the rightwing Blairite majority of MPs who've controlled the Labour Party for so long and capitulated to and followed a Thatcherite political agenda, for decades. ..."
"... Anti-semitism oldest form of gas lighting that was ever created in the western world especially after the second world war. If one were to go to Palestine it is not uncommon to find some ebraic semite wearing a t shirt with on it printed an IDF soldier taking aim at a pregnant arab semite. Israel has to be exposed for what it is. It is an anglo-zionist colonial outpost.. Zionism was born in England it pre dates Herzl. ..."
"... The key to the anti-Semitism problem is the conflation of Judaism with Zionism. This didn't happen by accident, it is a deliberate and relatively modern policy. (An old (Jewish) friend described the indoctrination he got to me growing up. That was quite a long time ago, its probably so ingrained now that nobody notices this process any more.) ..."
"... The comparison to a witch hunt is perfectly accurate. The attack works by mere accusation. The facts, evidence, criteria of evaluation are all irrelevant. ..."
Jun 29, 2019 | OffGuardian
This article was first published on March 1st of this year, however, it is given fresh relevance in the wake of Labour's reinstatement, and then re-suspension, of Derby MP Chris Williamson

Photo: The Crucible at the Pacific Conservatory Theatre

PUTNAM: Now look you, sir. Let you strike out against the Devil, and the village will bless you for it! Come down, speak to them -- pray with them. They're thirsting for your word, Mister! Surely you'll pray with them.

PARRIS: (swayed) I'll lead them in a psalm, but let you say nothing of witchcraft yet. I will not discuss it. The cause is yet unknown. I have had enough contention since I came; I want no more.
Arthur Miller – The Crucible

In his magisterial autobiography, Timebends , describing his motivation behind his classic work The Crucible (extracted above) -- the most compelling and enduring allegorical piece of drama to grace the American theatre -- Arthur Miller reveals the following:

What I sought was a metaphor, an image that would spring out of the heart, all-inclusive, full of light, a sonorous instrument whose reverberations would penetrate to the centre of this miasma. For if the current degeneration of discourse continued, as I had every reason to believe it would, we could no longer be a democracy, a system that requires a certain basic trust in order to exist."

The 'miasma' referred to by Miller in the above passage was the atmosphere of censorious paranoia whipped up by the anti-Communist witchhunts of the 1940s and 1950s, starting under the auspices of the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), established in 1938, joined thereafter by Senator Joseph McCarthy's Senate hearings into alleged Communist infiltration from the late 1940s.

The period concerned, commonly referred to as McCarthyism, illuminated the parameters of free speech and expression in a country and culture which prides itself on both. It drilled home the profound truth that tyranny is less the by-product of totalitarian political systems and more the product of totalitarian ideas and nostrums that sustain political orthodoxy in a given space and time. And, too, whenever those ideas and nostrums come under challenge, said democracy is exposed as a cloak behind which mendacity resides, ruthlessly seeking malcontents to expose and miscreants to punish.

In Britain in 2019 we need no longer turn to US history for an understanding of McCarthyism and its execrable fruits.

For in Britain in 2019 McCarthyism is with us and among us, corroding our public and political discourse, poisoning it with the untruths, lies and mendacious smears of some of the most malignant political forces that ever existed in these islands.

Reds under the bed has been replaced with antisemites under the bed; this with the full and open complicity of a mainstream media whose dread over the prospect of transformational political change is entwined in tight embrace with that of an Establishment -- political and security -- in ensuring nothing but nothing will ever change in this country apart from the colour of the curtains on the windows in Downing Street.

Jeremy Corbyn's leadership of the Labour Party has to intents been usurped by his deputy Tom Watson, a man for whom Shakespeare's "Hell is empty, and all the devils are here!" line from The Tempest could have been written with in mind.

Labour Friends of Israel

Watson is the Labour Party's Matthew Hopkins, the infamous witch-hunter whose reign of terror in 17th century Britain finds its metaphorical equivalent in the 21st century with the objective not of locating and hanging out to dry antisemites but instead anti-Zionists, which means to say genuine anti-racists.

For what is Zionism if not racism, a species of white supremacy responsible for relegating the humanity of five million men, women and children of the illegally occupied West Bank and besieged Gaza Strip to that of latter-day Helots?

Adding to the mountain of intellectual and moral ordure erected in service to this miasma of untruth and base hypocrisy, are the findings of a UN investigation into the Palestinians killed and wounded by Israeli snipers during last year's Great Return March in Gaza.

According to the UN's Santiago Canton:

Israeli soldiers committed violations of international human rights and humanitarian law. Some of those violations may constitute war crimes or crimes against humanity."

In diplomatic-speak, Mr Canton is here referencing the manner in which Israeli soldiers shot down dozens of unarmed Palestinians -- among them children, medics and journalists -- like deer in a forest, with some of those Israeli soldiers caught on tape laughing and celebrating their 'kills'.

It is to this monstrosity of an apartheid state Tom Watson and his friends are giving succour and sanction; and it this supremacist juggernaut of oppression we are expected to accept as compatible with left-wing progressive values.

There is nothing more grotesque than being lectured to about antisemitism, or any other form of racism, by apologists for a racist apartheid state. Yet this grotesquerie is precisely where we have arrived at in response to Corbyn's unlikely elevation to the leadership of the Labour Party.

His legacy as a staunch supporter of Palestinian human rights and self-determination has been weaponised against him and his supporters by a pro-Israel lobby within and without the Labour Party, plumbing depths of indecency last witnessed during the era of McCarthyism across the Atlantic.

For those who doubt how deeply entrenched the pro-Israel lobby now is within the UK body politic, Al Jazeera's blistering documentary The Lobby is required viewing.

Given the context and the stakes involved in this ongoing witch hunt and smear campaign, the lack of meaningful resistance on the part of Corbyn is unconscionable; his refusal to mobilise his base in the face of it inexplicable. The result has not been to see it disappear but for it to prosper and grow in ferocity.

Be under no illusion either of the complicity of key figures in and around the Labour leadership in whipping up and/or acquiescing in this baseless hysteria -- Lansman, McDonnell et al. -- to the point where Corbyn has been rendered well nigh unelectable as a prospective prime minister.

That this is a smear campaign and witchhunt conducted, regardless of the fog of obfuscation deployed to the contrary, on behalf of a foreign power -- and an apartheid power at that -- compounds the offence.

But this issue is now bigger than Corbyn. It is about where we stand on matters of intellectual and moral integrity; and most of all on the rights we accrue to an oppressed people and those of their oppressor. Future generations are watching and waiting for the stance that we take.

Arthur Miller understood this, which is why his light will shine forever bright as a beacon of moral courage in an age of deceit.

End.


Ben Trovata

"They misunderestimated me."George Bush,the Younger,Nov. 6, 2000.

I'll not supply any facts. None whatsoever,saying only: Corbyn( I believe) is made of better material. Blairites must be expelled, or otherwise, go away!

MichaelK
I think one has to appreciate, despite all the 'far-left' labels stuck on him, that Corbyn only appeared to be a 'raving looney leftie' in comparison with the rightwing Blairite majority of MPs who've controlled the Labour Party for so long and capitulated to and followed a Thatcherite political agenda, for decades.

Corbyn himself isn't really a 'revolutionary' or even a radical. He's what half a century ago would have been described as a pretty normal, middle-of-the-road, Labour social democrat, barely on the left of the Party at all. But some of this is debatable, depending on where one stands on the spectrum personally. It's a sign of how far 'left' politics and 'left' discourse has degenerated in the UK, and political culture's moved so far to the right, that Corbyn, like a relic of a bygone era, is perceived as far more leftwing than he actually is, in reality.

What he is though, is ineffective as a leader. He lacks authority, I think, because he fundamentally lacks a set of strong ideas that show what he stands for and where he wants the country to move. There's no real narrative that mobilises support for him, and this is the curse of Labour; the leadership's fear of mobilising the membership and their supporters and votes in the country, too much and too far, which could easily lead to them raising their expectations way beyond what's 'realistic' and possible within the boundaries of bourgeois liberal democracy. Labour fought for political power in parliament; but didn't believe in openly challenging economic power in society in any meaningful way, because that strategy was simply not allowed because it was 'revolutionary' and not reformist.

mark
Of course Corbyn is a "raving loony lefty."
He wants to re nationalise the railways (maybe.)
And build a few council houses (maybe.)
How raving loony is that?
Obviously he's a raving loony.
Oh, and he objects to the genocide of the Palestinians.
Obviously a raving anti semite as well.
Just ask the Board of Deputies and Margaret Hodge and the Daily Mail. They'll explain it all to you.
Barovsky
More to the point; he's a (Labour) Party man. The Party comes first, regardless. For almost 130 years the Labour Party has been an integral part of British capitalism and imperialism and the British state. Thus Corbyn, a run-of-the-mill social democrat is concerned only with the survival of the Party and he will do whatever is necessary in its defence including defenestrating his election manifesto (compare his draft with the one finally circulated in 2017)!

Should he by some chance actually end up as PM, what are the odds of him actually reversing austerity when he's already sold out over every key part of his original manifesto?

There are going to be a lot of very disappointed and once more disconnected Labour voters.

mathias alexand
What is this "leadership" and "authority" thing? As for his ideas he could have any number of them that you will never hear about in the MSM.
Maggie
True Mathias, but you can see and hear about them on the Jimmy Dore Show whose shows truly are a breath of fresh air:

Bernie Sanders of Britain and why he is widely loved, and sadly rare. July 2016

https://www.youtube.com/embed/a29WF44jDug?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

Labour Party Platform, Amazingly specific and pro worker. May 2017

https://www.youtube.com/embed/vI073wq2zKY?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

Jeremy Corbyn Delivers Inspiring Speech June 2017

https://www.youtube.com/embed/8RsSPOcVcNM Wimbledon issues ban on chanting Jeremy Corbyn July 2017

https://www.youtube.com/embed/0MwqZkBOEz0 Pro Jeremy Corbyn ad makes Right wingers cry.July 2017

https://www.youtube.com/embed/ptC-0_gObNM NBC News Smears Jeremy Corbyn as an anti semite. July 2017

https://www.youtube.com/embed/F4d-ZAPx1q4 BBC Andrew Neil smashes Jeremy Corbyn Smear on Live TV Feb 2018

https://www.youtube.com/embed/IJZkYDYh37U Corbyn responds rationally to Russian nerve attack and is immediately smeared March 2018

https://www.youtube.com/embed/OsnAIUZIt8M Corbyn smeared as anti semite for attacking Bankers. September 2018
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X9US9v0ndus

And on and on it goes, and the sh*t does stick. For the majority of people eventually just cave in and believe this Zionist garbage.

falcemartello
Anti-semitism oldest form of gas lighting that was ever created in the western world especially after the second world war. If one were to go to Palestine it is not uncommon to find some ebraic semite wearing a t shirt with on it printed an IDF soldier taking aim at a pregnant arab semite. Israel has to be exposed for what it is. It is an anglo-zionist colonial outpost.. Zionism was born in England it pre dates Herzl.

Hence until more exposure of the brutal nature of the Israeli zionist and their parents the anglo-zionist becomes exposed then the diluted term of anti semite will continue to be used. I find that with the dying western paradigm so will this gaslighting term become irrelevant .If any intellectual honesty were to be used the real anti semites are the zionist.

Post Scriptum : Israel has a shelf life and it is omploding with in hence so will zionism.

Having experience racism first hand growing up and still being exposed to it today for mhy ethnicity I am not fortunate enough as the ashkanazi /zionist to deflect and gaslight my oppressors.

harry law
Former South African Minister Ronnie Kasrils himself Jewish on Thursday accused Israel of conducting a policy against the Palestinians that was "worse" than apartheid.

Speaking on the sidelines of a UN meeting on the situation in the Palestinian territories, Kasrils said South Africa's townships had never been attacked by helicopter gunships and tanks, in contrast to the military means employed by Israel.

https://www.iol.co.za/news/politics/israel-worse-than-apartheid-sa-kasrils-352481

andyoldlabour
Labour Friends of Israel, Conservative Friends of Israel, Liberal Democrat Friends of Israel – all different organisations?

No, of course they are not, even if the ordinary man in the street may think so.

They are all controlled by the Israeli state, to do the bidding of that state, to demonise any person who shows empathy with the plight of the Palestinian people, any person who dares criticise the actions of the Israeli state.

On the other hand, you have Jewish Friends of Labour, seen by the Israeli state as "self hating Jews", the "wrong type of Jew".
What we are seeing at the moment is – Zio-McCarthyism.

Capricornia Man
'McCarthyism' is exactly what I have been calling the witch-hunt for some time. It's surprising that the term is taking so long to come into general use when it is the appropriate term based on historical analogy, as shown by the article. The pile-on against anyone who dares to support the political and national rights of the Palestinians induces physical illness in anyone remotely interested in justice and truth.

The rancid 'liberal' media frames its "coverage" by treating accusations of 'antisemitism' not as the thing which has to be proved, but as the proof itself. A classic McCarthyite process.

The vast majority of Britons must be fed up having their politics held up to ransom in this manner. Stand up for yourselves and by-pass the fifth column and the coward element in the Labour Party.

vwbeetle
To read the Guardian, one would think that Williamson has no supporters in Labour whatsoever. As far as the Guardian is concerned, Jewish Voice for Labour and its condemnation of the witch hunt and smear campaign against Corbyn and Williamson and anyone who supports Palestinian rights, does not exist. Up until a couple of years ago I was a regular contributor on CIF discussion threads, largely rebutting Zionists and their propaganda and outright lies. I was eventually blocked, probably because large numbers of Zionists reported me, despite the fact that I largely restricted my posts to historical facts. Over the past two years it is almost impossible to make comments on CIF about any article about Israel/Palestine, or the anti-semitism smear campaign. What has happened at the Guardian? Does anyone know why the paper seems to have changed course?
MichaelK
The lurch to the political right at the Guardian is linked to the Snowden and Assange revelations that challenged the cosy ideological relationship between the media and the state, to a degree that is simply not allowed, if one wants to be seen as loyal and responsible. There are consequences is one, as an individual, group or institution, is perceived as being illoyal by the Establishment and the state.

Assange and Snowden pulled the Guardian over an invisible line, into a grey area, at the time, which was perceived as being tantamount to treason, and now the Guardian has been successfully reined in once more and now co-opperates with the state on matters relating to 'national security.' The damage, has been undone and a proper and reasonable relationship established.

Haltonbrat
The Guardian has been pro-Zionist since the days of editor CP Scott who introduced the Zionist leader to Looyd George and supported the Zionists in his writings in the Manchester Guardian.
Shardlake
It all changed, and not for the better, after Alan Rusbridger left. It's as much a mouthpiece now for this appalling government as the Murdoch press and their like. There's been a continual shift in centre ground politics to the right since the days of Thatcher.

We are seeing what Edward Bernays described in 1928 as the conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organised habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society.

Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.

We are governed, our minds are moulded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested largely by men we have never heard of.

In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses.

It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind.

Stephen Morrell
PS. The Labour Party never fails to disappoint
Stephen Morrell
It's time to stop calling Israel an 'apartheid state'. Snipers today, missiles and bombs tomorrow, with deliberate and active ruination of amenity, infrastructure and the means to live -- by siege, every day.

Israel's atrocities are not simply 'crimes against humanity'. They're crimes directed against a particular ethnic/national/racial segment of humanity. That's called genocide. Netanyahu and his gang are genocidal, and consequently the garrison state of Israel is also a 'genocide state'. Time to start applying the g-word.

Haltonbrat
Yes, The actions of Israel meet the UN definition of genocide.
mark
The Times of Israel, a national newspaper, quite openly advocated genocide. It called for the Palestinian people to be exterminated at concentration camps in the desert. The "Justice" Minister, a woman called Shaked, called for Palestinian mothers to be exterminated, so that no Palestinian children could be born. Two rabbis in Israel published a book called "The King's Torah." It called for all Palestinian children to be murdered.

Killing a goy, any goy, is a Mitzvah, a praiseworthy act.

If the Jews get the war with Iran they have been trying to incite and agitate for for so long, they will use this as cover to carry out actual genocide on a massive scale.

People need to give up completely on Labour. It is infested wall to wall with 30 shekel whores.

maggie
Hi Mark, Do you have links to the information you have posted please.

If we give up on Labour, then who do we rely on? I think what we should be doing is focussing all our energies on removing (de selecting) the 90 "friends of Israhell" who have been baying for Chris Williamson and Jeremy Corbyn to be removed permanently from the Labour Party. Beginning with the evil with Hodge, and her cronies headed by Tom Watson.

mark
The Times of Israel, 1/8/14.
"When Genocide Is Permissible", by Yochanan Gordon.
Openly advocates, endorses and justifies the genocide of the Palestinians.

Ayelet Shaked, 14/7/14.
"Mothers of all Palestinians should be killed. They have to die and their houses should be demolished. They are all our enemies and their blood should be on our hands."
A day before Palestinian teenager Muhammad Abu Khudair was kidnapped and burned alive by 6 Jew thugs, Shaked published a call for the genocide of the Palestinians in Facebook.
"The entire Palestinian people is the enemy, including its elderly and its women, its cities and its villages, its property and its infrastructure."
She called for the slaughter of Palestinian mothers. "to prevent them giving birth to little snakes."

The King's Torah, 230 page book published 2009 by Od Yosef Chai Yeshiva. Authors Rabbis Yitzhak Shapira and Yosef Elitzur. Endorsed by many leading rabbis.
It openly incites and calls for the extermination of the Palestinians, and explains how this is morally justified.
It is a call for indiscriminate extermination.
The killing of children, en masse, responds to "the existence of an internal need for revenge."
"In the face of revenge, no one is innocent, be they old, young, children, men or women, and regardless of their health."
It rejects any notion of international law and the protection of civilians in time of war, or international humanitarian law on the prevention of genocide. Israel is above international law, because Jews are superior to Gentiles and the lives of Gentiles have no value.

Jews are indoctrinated from birth to hate all the goyim.
Israel is an openly genocidal, terrorist, racist state.
There is no doubt that in the event of a major war with Iran, it would use this as cover to commit genocide, which has been long planned.

Stephen Morrell
I apologise for taking up so much space in replying to your very telling question about what alternative is there to Labour. First, it should now be clear to everyone that Labour, whether led by Corbyn or any other 'left' social democrat, is no answer to the dire situation we face. Right now there is no mass party on this planet that can provide the leadership necessary, let alone serve as the instrument, for the revolutionary change so desperately needed to excise the malignancy of capitalism from the human social organism. This is a crisis of revolutionary leadership.

The bourgeois Greens are not the answer either, and most of the traditional left and 'far' left are mired in one form or another of opportunistic kow-towing to Corbyn and Labour or the Greens. This isn't to say that one should never vote Labour, the party of the working class. It's to say that one should only give support to Labour, as 'a rope supports a hanging man' (Lenin), when it furthers revolutionary and class consciousness in the working class. The working class, as politically backward as it might be now in many ways, is the only class with the social power to overthrow the capitalists -- it can stop and start production at will and, most importantly, if it had the political consciousness and leadership to do so, it could take over production and overthrow capitalism. Such a consciousness is smothered and suppressed by Labour and the current leaders of the trade unions (such as the latter currently exist).

Presently Labour deserves no vote because under Corbyn they've refused to support Brexit and are pushing for a second referendum. Tony Benn, Corbyn's mentor, would have been railing against him over his betrayal of this fundamental class issue in Britain. Corbyn is Blair lite. On the EU he's Blair quiet.

If in power, Corbyn would either be forced to bow to the diktats of capital and the ruling class or be pushed out, and pronto. Already forces centred on MI6's The Guardian, the Zionist lobby, the aristocratic feudal relics, the military, 'the City' rentiers, and of course the Blairites, have been undermining him because of his mild reformist and foreign policy stances. However, the ruling class would rush to Corbyn and Labour, or another 'left' alternative, if their rule were seriously threatened by an awakened working class. Before fascism, Corbyn would be their best and last hope.

What then of the left and far left? They're all still propaganda groups. We have the likes of the SP, SWP, Socialist Alternative and so on, who've advocated a vote for Labour unconditionally at just about every election. And they've also supported the bourgeois Greens. In doing so, they provide no alternative to Labour. Instead their strategy is to try to pressure Labour to the left. How's that been working? Corbyn still supports the EU. How many times has he mentioned Julian Assange? Or the basic necessity to do away with the monarchy and House of Lords and all the other 'traditions of the dead generations [that] weigh like a nightmare upon the living' (Marx). At least in the US, the ISO (followers of the late Tony Cliff) have decided to sate their opportunistic appetites and dissolve themselves to join the Democratic Socialists of America (ie, social democrats inside a bourgeois party, the Democratic Party of Hiroshima and Nagasaki).

Then we have the Socialist Equity Party, ostensibly 'Trotskyist' and followers of David North, that declares trade unions in principle to be an instrument for the subjugation of the working class. Imagine that: the prime defense organs of the working class historically are written off in advance because their leaderships betray the rank and file (which they do, but not always, not inevitably). Outfits like the SEP don't have a perspective to take these trade union leaderships on from within and fight to replace them with a revolutionary leadership in the heat of struggle to turn the unions into real working class defense organs.

Consequently, a revolutionary consciousness cannot be developed from within the working class in struggle for it to act in its own historic interests. The SEP have a slew of other programmatic issues that are awry as well, but their outlook boils down to opportunism afraid of itself.

This isn't to say that the World Socialist Website is completely useless. It isn't, but its articles on workers and trade union struggles in particular need to be taken with a large grain of salt.

In short, if there are only propaganda groups at the moment that pose an alternative to Labour, then it at least behoves those looking for an alternative to Labour to not waste time or effort on any group that can't get even the basics of a program right, let alone before they even dirty their hands in actual struggle.

What's left then? Right now, the first criteria to look out for is if an ostensibly revolutionary group advocates 'No vote to Labour', and draws a class line for Brexit and against a new referendum; one that works consistently to destroy any illusions in the bourgeois state and its parliament ever being 'reformed' to act in the interests of the working class -- which means also exposing those who do. That's pretty fundamental, but it's a start.

So far the only group that does these things in the UK is the Spartacist League of Britain. See:
https://www.icl-fi.org/english/wh/index.html
and
https://www.icl-fi.org/english/wv/1157/brexit.html

mark
Very shrewd assessment. But I'd say a re run of pre war Weimar is the most likely outcome. People are far more likely to turn to far worse than Trump or Farage as things deteriorate. Expect to see more Zionist controlled opposition like the EDL.
maggie
Mmm.. Stephen, a very interesting reply.. and links, which I will read and try to digest, though I have to confess a lot of the information contained therein, at 'first glance' I thought had been tried, tested and failed owing to the avarice of the capitalists and their power to remove the ground from under our feet.
This may be the wrong interpretation? But I will read the links more thoroughly and try to get my head around the concepts.

What I think we could do immediately, is to have the one man one vote system, to elect the 'man/woman' we choose to represent us and dispense with 'parties' altogether.
Surely, it can't be that difficult with today's technology, which would automatically dispense with the ballot box and the inherent frauds that continually happen.
Or am I being too simplistic and naïve?
Then again.. isn't this just the Russian system, and was that of Libya?

Stephen Morrell
The organs of power that spring up during revolutions are what work at the time. They're not created a priori, but they go on to serve the basis for the exercise of mass democracy. The Paris Commune had the The Committee of Public Safety, Russia had soviets (Russian for workers' council) that first arose in 1905 and again in 1917. The basis for their power rests on a politically conscious and armed constituency that has risen up which can recall elected representatives at any time (because they're armed).

Soviets elect representatives to higher soviet bodies (collegiate system), but their main purpose is to decide and vote on what, not whom. On an economic plan for example.

In contrast, bourgeois democracy at most gives you the privilege of voting for which scumbag will oppress you for the next 4 or 5 years. This is not to denigrate democratic rights but it is the way capitalist rule is disguised and legitimated; and we're made to feel responsible for outcomes because we participated in voting in elections. We help the executioner load his gun. One should never confuse elections with democracy.

I can recommend the following reading list which might help:

EH Carr, "What is History" (a great, broad-brushed approach to understanding different stages in human history and development).

K Marx, F Engels, "The Communist Manifesto"

F Engels, "Socialism Utopian and Scientific"

VI Lenin, "What Is To Be Done" (On the need for a party of the Bolshevik type)

VI Lenin, "State and Revolution" (On why the existing state must be smashed replaced by a new one, and what happens to it after a socialist revolution)

LD Trotsky, "Lessons of October" (On why the revolution occurred in backward Russia and not Germany)

LD Trotsky, "Results and Prospects" (On why backward countries in the epoch of imperialism not being able make a bourgeois revolution whose tasks can only be accomplished by a proletarian revolution -- the theory of 'Permanent Revolution')

LD Trotsky, "The Revolution Betrayed" (Why Stalin arose and soviet democracy was smashed in the USSR)

Some of these are a little heavy going and polemical (eg, Lenin), and Marx is full of historical and literary references, but patience will be rewarded. Except for EH Carr (available as a Penguin classic), these can all be accessed at: https://www.marxists.org/

espartaco
Too much ado about nothing It is very simple Socialism has NOTHING to do with religion Judaism, Christianism, Islamism or whatever. They invite these kind problems because the bourgeois that control Labour, allowed every kind of minorities to infiltrate the Party (and all other parties) to, eventually, destroy it through religious, racial and minority wars. What you see is what you get when leftist minoritymongering has taken over politics. The solution is very simple, all religious groups should be thrown out of the party, together with all the bourgeois. MP's first !!!
lundiel
I agree. We currently have MPs of all parties acting as agents for their countries of birth, or as agents of third countries (Ms Smeeth). This worked when they (agents) had no real political power, they were limited to cultural exchange visits etc. The change came with the growth in size and power of our security services .there's more than one way to skin a cat like Corbyn!
Maggie
Fear not Lundiel, the work is already begun . Jeremy will NEVER be allowed to lead.

Anonymous 'Civil Servants' (Deep State Operatives) have briefed the media regarding the allegedly frail condition of possible PM-to-be Jeremy Corbyn on the basis of – no evidence whatever.
Understandably, Corbyn is very angry about this demanding an investigation into the leak.

Given the story is without foundation and knowing the threat the establishment sees in Corbyn, a leader whose policies include the creation of a National Bank (aaaarghh the fiend the fiend) and the renationalisation of public utilities (including transport) a leader whose knee-jerk reaction to Ashkenazi Jewish assaults against the Semitic population in Israel is to speak out loudly and boldly in defence of Palestinians' rights

given all this, we know that the idea of Jeremy Corbyn as Prime Minister of Great Britain is absolutely unacceptable to our ruling 'establishment'.

Let it be said then what Mr Corbyn and his inner circle must be thinking about the appearance of this non-story that the establishment is 'creating the option to eliminate' Mr. Corbyn (by heart attack dart?) in the event of his winning or threatening to win a UK general election.

Performing such a national service would be 'business as usual' for our "protectors" at MI5.

For example -Keith Mothersson: After he died in 2009, his obituary appeared in The Guardian.

The following facts are not included in the obituary of this heroic absolute gentleman:

"Keith created an organisation in 2008/9 called "ALL FAITHS FOR 9/11 TRUTH".
He, like most members of '9/11 Truth (UK & Ireland)', saw 9/11 truth as a spiritual (as much as a political) matter.
He went round the country meeting religious leaders and forming connections and bonds between the various groups he had organised. There were C of E, Catholic, Muslim (the largest group based in a couple of the biggest mosques in the country), Buddhist, and even a Jewish group.
I was involved with Keith, approaching 'Catholic' leaders (as an aside, the couple I tried to talk to [it was early days] were hostile to the idea even engaging with the issue maybe, for someone who has taken vows of obedience, this is an issue for the Pope alone)."

The thing is that Keith was the connection and bond between the groups he had started forming.

He lived in Perth, Scotland. On one evening during September 2009 Keith returned to his house in Perth. He arrived home in a dishevelled state, exhausted and confused. He told his partner that he been accosted by a group of men on the walk home and had "a terrible struggle in a van". He had been held down then released. He repeated "Why me?" to himself a few times before his partner helped him to bed.

She told friends that when Keith woke up he didn't know who he was. He did not recognise her either. He was taken to hospital where he lay silently in bed for two weeks before dying.

A multi-faith, well-organised, religious collective demanding answers re 9/11 represented a genuine threat to the "Deep State".
Keith had gone too far. He was "eliminated" and his nascent organisation along with him.
And there is no one to whom one can even report this terrible crime. Such is the nature of our society.
https://wwwkevboyle.blogspot.com/2019/06/corbyns-health-and-keith-mothersson.html

Jeremy Corbyn is not a fool. He understands very well the 'options' for the Deep State such a story creates and what this leak could possibly imply.. that is why I believe he may look as if he is indecisive?

Mucho
Very interesting Maggie, thanks
andyoldlabour
That is indeed correct. The various politicians who are involved in this disgraceful hounding of Corbyn and others, have pledged alliegence to Israel and the interference of Israel in the politics of the UK.
Martin Usher
The key to the anti-Semitism problem is the conflation of Judaism with Zionism. This didn't happen by accident, it is a deliberate and relatively modern policy. (An old (Jewish) friend described the indoctrination he got to me growing up. That was quite a long time ago, its probably so ingrained now that nobody notices this process any more.)

I may have a very simplistic view of things but to me Judaism is an Abrahamic religion with deep roots going back thousands of years. Zionism is a relatively modern European movement that dates from the latter half of the 19th century that has origins and aims that are not unlike many other 'volk' movements from the same period. Most of these were relatively harmless, 'back to the land' sorts of things but the racial undertones provided the underpinnings for, among others, the Nazis.

I know I'll probably get flamed for saying this but seriously there's a huge undercurrent of racism in some parts of Jewish society. I was first made aware of this many years ago when and old (goy) friend made the mistake of marrying an Orthodox girl. Up to that point I had only known secular/reform Jews so didn't think too much of it but the reaction from her family was quite extreme, protracted and not at all nice. The culture's there if you look for it -- its actually not unlike radical Islam in mindset so if it ever gets to a position of power (e.g. in modern Israel) then its going to be trouble for the untermensch!

Ramdan
"Israeli Zionism is the singular cancer that has been forcefully injected into the minds of world leaders across the globe; a cancer that these similarly affected leaders would wantonly force upon what little remains of the moral, civilized and correct conscience of man."

https://www.globalresearch.ca/rise-and-kill-first-the-secret-israeli-worldwide-assassination-program/5682052

vwbeetle
Zionism is a malevolent influence upon the body politic of the western world.
Francis Lee
The picture of Tom Watson and the other political 5th Columnists in the Labour party standing in front of a very large blue and white star of David flag tells us all we need to know. A bit like a political group in the UK sporting a Hammer and Sickle flag at Tory party conference. Labour Friends of Israel is of course a Zionist front in the LP. It's object is to further Israeli interests, and therefore it necessarily means against British interests. What else would they be doing? Promoting socialism perhaps? LFI has already been set in motion to get Corbyn and his co-thinkers to change their ways or else. In this sense also the British elite are working hand-in-glove with LFI and the Israelis, and it wouldn't at all surprise me if the CIA were not also involved at some level.

The trouble with Labour is that it doesn't want to be regarded as being 'extreme' or 'unrespectable'; oh dear no. We've even done away with Clause 4. Now how much higher do you want us to jump? We want to be Her Majesty's loyal opposition. 'Pale pink humbug' as Orwell called it. He called it right.

mathias alexand
Labour is hampered by a lack of internal democracy which goes back to its origins as an alliance of pre-existing groups like trade unions, etc.
DunGroanin
The Obsessive Groaniads daily pile of AS mud slinging, Barbara Ellen froths
"maddening, mendacious, slippery, gormless, prevaricating'
she snarls NOT writing about the tory clowns.
"I've long been anti-Corbyn for reasons beyond Brexit (antisemitism, anybody?)"
She raves and slobbers not realising that she is projecting.

Another article there by a 'famous' author – ive never heard of – has his unnamed publicist getting lots of free advertising for his 'great' writings for free because he thinks he has been subjected to AS!

Complete Utter Nonsensical Crappery by the shameless gormless Groaniad.

Ho hum – wait till the next government tasks the completion and implementation of Leveson 2.

Gezzah Potts
DG . What do you expect from these presstitute stenographers. Full boycott of all mainstream media, including alleged 'progressive' media. On a tangent, used to read Barbara Ellen many years ago (30?) when she wrote for the NME which was basically my 'bible' back then. How sad the once great Babs Ellen has become a . Slug.
DunGroanin
Ah the NME – a bible for us back in the day – see how it was taken out and shot after it supported Corbyn in 2017.

A very accidental death it suffered.

Imagine what they would bave done to Russell Brand if he had had the same influence.

Yes i'm afraid most of the neolib con artiste creatures of the Obssezsive Groan are beyond saving. They will sizzle in the light.

Gezzah Potts
Thanks DG. I only know the NME is now online only, didn't know the reasons for its print demise. I wonder what the late Steven Wells would have made of all this ludicrous crap? I just can't tolerate the cretinous craven presstitutes in the MSM anymore. Gets me too fecked off knowing what they're loudly spouting is pro empire, pro imperialist bullshit in the service of the 0.01℅. Good site for you to check is Neoliberalism Softpanorama. A vast treasure trove of info.
Francis Lee
What is difficult to forgive is the fact in times gone by, and occasionally today, the Jewish intelligentsia have made a huge input into the development of western civilization. In terms of politics, Marx, Rosa Luxembourg, Greogy Lukacs, Eduard Bernstein, Leon Trotsky, Leonard Woolf; in terms of social theory, Emile Durkheim, Sigmund Freud, Erich Fromm, Hannah Arendt; in terms of literaure Franz Kafka, Saul Bellow. Contemporary intellectuals being Noam Chomsky, Norman Finkelstein and possibly a less well-known and very courageous Jewish oppositionist, Gideon Levy, who writes for Haaretz. These were the guys I cut my teeth on as a student and whom I still revere to a great extent. It was the Jewish intelligentsia who led the opposition against the forces of reaction, particularly in Europe.

Times have changed it seems, Israel and Zionism are now the forces of reaction.

John Calvert
Yes. But how many of those great names would have willingly and proudly posed in front of the national flag of the state of Israel?
Philip Toal
Facts would be appreciated in light of the truth that G. levy, Finkelstein, Pappe etc. are indeed alive and well. It's apparently a case of informed opinions based on pure facts as opposed to ignorance as to who is alive or dead that is issue important.
Chris W
Antinationalism for goyim and nationalism for jews – because goyim have these genocidal tendencies Many, many Jews deep down believe that Non-Jews want to kill them, so pre-emptive strikes is the way to go. Most of all strikes against the ethnic and religious identity of non-Jewish people, because those identities make a people strong. So socialist Jews in Europe and zionist ones everywhere fight the same pro-Jewish/anti-goyim fight
harry law
John McDonnell encapsulates for me the pathetic spinelessness of the Labour Party, in a long interview with the Jewish news the interviewer asked him why Corbyn shared platforms with Anti-semites "So when we're talking about sharing a platform with anti-Semites, we're not talking about people who are just supportive of the Palestinian cause, do you think it might be time for an apology"?

JmD: "You have to look at why he was sharing platforms, it was not to endorse them, it was to try and engage with them".
There you have it, his friend Corbyn spent the past 30 years of his life traversing the country addressing Palestinian and antiwar groups and offering them his support, then in one sentence McDonnell throws his friend under the bus "it was not to endorse them". With a friend like McDonnell who needs enemies.
My advice to McDonnell is get on your belly and crawl and then ask for forgiveness from the Board of Deputies, it still will not be enough. They will only be happy when Corbyn is destroyed.

mark
However much you grovel and appease these people, it is never enough. Give $10 billion to Israel and you're anti semitic because you haven't given it $50 billion. Fight 5 wars for Israel, and you're anti semitic because you haven't fought 10 wars for Israel.

Netanyahu explained it all quite well.

"If we get caught, they will just replace us with persons of the same cloth. So it does not matter what you do. America is a golden calf, and we will suck it dry, chop it up and sell it off piece by piece till there is nothing left but the world's biggest welfare state that we will create and control. Why? Because it is the Will of God and America is big enough to take the hit. So we can do it again and again and again. This is what we do to countries that we hate. We destroy them very slowly and make them suffer for refusing to be our slaves."

To America, add Britain.

Steve Hayes
The comparison to a witch hunt is perfectly accurate. The attack works by mere accusation. The facts, evidence, criteria of evaluation are all irrelevant. Accuse emotively, and construe any dissent or even scepticism as proof of guilt. This is the modus operandi of the witch hunters, the arbiters of truth and the only acceptable version of reality. This becomes a loyalty test. Anyone who refuses to support the witch hunters is either already a witch or in imminent danger of becoming one. https://viewsandstories.blogspot.com/2018/09/on-dog-whistles-and-witch-finders.html
Harry Stotle
'The attack works by mere accusation. The facts, evidence, criteria of evaluation are all irrelevant. Accuse emotively, and construe any dissent or even scepticism as proof of guilt. This is the modus operandi of the witch hunters' – hammer, welcome to head of nail.
Maggie
Right out of Goebel's hand book
Steve Hayes
Maggie I am pretty sure that none of the quotes you attribute to Goebbels were said/written by him. Perhaps you could cite your source(s)?
Mucho
Hurricane survivors forced to pledge allegiance to Israel to receive Support (In Texas Town) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PqOIeUTx8VQ&t=11s

Former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney talks with PressTV about how the Israeli Lobby owns both the Congress and the Senate and how AIPAC and the ADL took her out. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w_VNOk7Wv5A

More than 200 British MPs sign a pledge to Israel https://unitedwithisrael.org/over-200-uk-candidates-sign-pro-israel-pledge/

Montel Jordan – This Is How We Do It https://www.youtube.com/embed/0hiUuL5uTKc

Mucho
More than 200 British MPs sign a pledge to Israel ..should say Candidates for election, not MPs

[Jul 29, 2019] CrowdStrikeOut Mueller's Own Report Undercuts Its Core Russia-Meddling Claims by Aaron Maté

Notable quotes:
"... The US elite jump up and down with moral indignation about an evidence-free allegation of foreign interference in its domestic politics, whilst ignoring actual evidenced foreign interference in its domestic affairs, and all the while constantly interfering in the domestic affairs of foreign countries and boasting about it. ..."
"... The Mueller Report is proof positive that the US is equally adept as Blair and Campbell in producing Dodgy Dossiers. ..."
"... It was a novel idea to outsource the investigation to Crowdstrike. There's a lot to be said for privatisation. Most commendable. Maybe the next time there's a high profile criminal investigation the FBI will outsource the murder investigation to Sam Spade, Ace Gumshoe. ..."
"... The fundamental flaw in the whole "Russiagate" thing is the failure to differentiate between Russia, the state and its government, and Russians, individuals who are Russian nationals. This failure is a direct result of an inability to recognize that the Cold War finished 30 years ago, a failure highlighted by the breathless Tom Clancy style of reporting and reinforced by a huge military/industrial complex that recognizes that in the absence of war or threats or war their business is a bust. ..."
Jul 25, 2019 | off-guardian.org
Vaska
Originally by Aaron Maté, July 5, 2019 First published by RealClearInvestigations .

At a May press conference capping his tenure as special counsel, Robert Mueller emphasized what he called "the central allegation" of the two-year Russia probe. The Russian government, Mueller sternly declared, engaged in "multiple, systematic efforts to interfere in our election, and that allegation deserves the attention of every American." Mueller's comments echoed a January 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA) asserting with "high confidence" that Russia conducted a sweeping 2016 election influence campaign. "I don't think we've ever encountered a more aggressive or direct campaign to interfere in our election process," then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told a Senate hearing.

While the 448-page Mueller report found no conspiracy between Donald Trump's campaign and Russia, it offered voluminous details to support the sweeping conclusion that the Kremlin worked to secure Trump's victory. The report claims that the interference operation occurred "principally" on two fronts: Russian military intelligence officers hacked and leaked embarrassing Democratic Party documents, and a government-linked troll farm orchestrated a sophisticated and far-reaching social media campaign that denigrated Hillary Clinton and promoted Trump.

But a close examination of the report shows that none of those headline assertions are supported by the report's evidence or other publicly available sources. They are further undercut by investigative shortcomings and the conflicts of interest of key players involved:

The report uses qualified and vague language to describe key events, indicating that Mueller and his investigators do not actually know for certain whether Russian intelligence officers stole Democratic Party emails, or how those emails were transferred to WikiLeaks. The report's timeline of events appears to defy logic. According to its narrative, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange announced the publication of Democratic Party emails not only before he received the documents but before he even communicated with the source that provided them. There is strong reason to doubt Mueller's suggestion that an alleged Russian cutout called Guccifer 2.0 supplied the stolen emails to Assange. Mueller's decision not to interview Assange – a central figure who claims Russia was not behind the hack – suggests an unwillingness to explore avenues of evidence on fundamental questions. U.S. intelligence officials cannot make definitive conclusions about the hacking of the Democratic National Committee computer servers because they did not analyze those servers themselves. Instead, they relied on the forensics of CrowdStrike, a private contractor for the DNC that was not a neutral party, much as "Russian dossier" compiler Christopher Steele, also a DNC contractor, was not a neutral party. This puts two Democrat-hired contractors squarely behind underlying allegations in the affair – a key circumstance that Mueller ignores. Further, the government allowed CrowdStrike and the Democratic Party's legal counsel to submit redacted records, meaning CrowdStrike and not the government decided what could be revealed or not regarding evidence of hacking. Mueller's report conspicuously does not allege that the Russian government carried out the social media campaign. Instead it blames, as Mueller said in his closing remarks, "a private Russian entity" known as the Internet Research Agency (IRA). Mueller also falls far short of proving that the Russian social campaign was sophisticated, or even more than minimally related to the 2016 election. As with the collusion and Russian hacking allegations, Democratic officials had a central and overlooked hand in generating the alarm about Russian social media activity. John Brennan, then director of the CIA, played a seminal and overlooked role in all facets of what became Mueller's investigation: the suspicions that triggered the initial collusion probe; the allegations of Russian interference; and the intelligence assessment that purported to validate the interference allegations that Brennan himself helped generate. Yet Brennan has since revealed himself to be, like CrowdStrike and Steele, hardly a neutral party -- in fact a partisan with a deep animus toward Trump.

None of this means that the Mueller report's core finding of "sweeping and systematic" Russian government election interference is necessarily false. But his report does not present sufficient evidence to substantiate it. This shortcoming has gone overlooked in the partisan battle over two more highly charged aspects of Mueller's report: potential Trump-Russia collusion and Trump's potential obstruction of the resulting investigation. As Mueller prepares to testify before House committees later this month, the questions surrounding his claims of a far-reaching Russian influence campaign are no less important. They raise doubts about the genesis and perpetuation of Russiagate and the performance of those tasked with investigating it.

Uncertainty Over Who Stole the Emails

The Mueller report's narrative of Russian hacking and leaking was initially laid out in a July 2018 indictment of 12 Russian intelligence officers and is detailed further in the report. According to Mueller, operatives at Russia's main intelligence agency, the GRU, broke into Clinton campaign Chairman John Podesta's emails in March 2016. The hackers infiltrated Podesta's account with a common tactic called spear-phishing, duping him with a phony security alert that led him to enter his password. The GRU then used stolen Democratic Party credentials to hack into the DNC and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) servers beginning in April 2016. Beginning in June 2016, the report claims, the GRU created two online personas, "DCLeaks" and "Guccifer 2.0," to begin releasing the stolen material. After making contact later that month, Guccifer 2.0 apparently transferred the DNC emails to the whistleblowing, anti-secrecy publisher WikiLeaks, which released the first batch on July 22 ahead of the Democratic National Convention.

The report presents this narrative with remarkable specificity: It describes in detail how GRU officers installed malware, leased U.S.-based computers, and used cryptocurrencies to carry out their hacking operation. The intelligence that caught the GRU hackers is portrayed as so invasive and precise that it even captured the keystrokes of individual Russian officers, including their use of search engines.

In fact, the report contains crucial gaps in the evidence that might support that authoritative account. Here is how it describes the core crime under investigation, the alleged GRU theft of DNC emails:

Between approximately May 25, 2016 and June 1, 2016, GRU officers accessed the DNC's mail server from a GRU-controlled computer leased inside the United States. During these connections, Unit 26165 officers appear to have stolen thousands of emails and attachments, which were later released by WikiLeaks in July 2016. [ Italics added for emphasis.]

The report's use of that one word, "appear," undercuts its suggestions that Mueller possesses convincing evidence that GRU officers stole "thousands of emails and attachments" from DNC servers. It is a departure from the language used in his July 2018 indictment , which contained no such qualifier:

"It's certainly curious as to why this discrepancy exists between the language of Mueller's indictment and the extra wiggle room inserted into his report a year later," says former FBI Special Agent Coleen Rowley. "It may be an example of this and other existing gaps that are inherent with the use of circumstantial information. With Mueller's exercise of quite unprecedented (but politically expedient) extraterritorial jurisdiction to indict foreign intelligence operatives who were never expected to contest his conclusing assertions in court, he didn't have to worry about precision. I would guess, however, that even though NSA may be able to track some hacking operations, it would be inherently difficult, if not impossible, to connect specific individuals to the computer transfer operations in question."

The report also concedes that Mueller's team did not determine another critical component of the crime it alleges: how the stolen Democratic material was transferred to WikiLeaks. The July 2018 indictment of GRU officers suggested – without stating outright – that WikiLeaks published the Democratic Party emails after receiving them from Guccifer 2.0 in a file named "wk dnc linkI .txt.gpg" on or around July 14, 2016. But now the report acknowledges that Mueller has not actually established how WikiLeaks acquired the stolen information: "The Office cannot rule out that stolen documents were transferred to WikiLeaks through intermediaries who visited during the summer of 2016."

Another partially redacted passage also suggests that Mueller cannot trace exactly how WikiLeaks received the stolen emails. Given how the sentence is formulated, the redacted portion could reflect Mueller's uncertainty:

Contrary to Mueller's sweeping conclusions, the report itself is, at best, suggesting that the GRU, via its purported cutout Guccifer 2.0, may have transferred the stolen emails to WikiLeaks.

A Questionable Timeline

Mueller's uncertainty over the theft and transfer of Democratic Party emails isn't the only gap in his case. Another is his timeline of events – a critical component of any criminal investigation. The report's timeline defies logic: According to its account, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange announced the publication of the emails not only before he received the documents, but before he even communicated with the source that provided them.

As the Mueller report confirms, on June 12, 2016, Assange told an interviewer, "We have upcoming leaks in relation to Hillary Clinton, which is great." But Mueller reports that "WikiLeaks's First Contact With Guccifer 2.0 and DC Leaks" comes two days after that announcement:

If Assange's "First Contact" with DC Leaks came on June 14, and with Guccifer 2.0 on June 22, then what was Assange talking about on June 12? It is possible that Assange heard from another supposed Russian source before then; but if so, Mueller doesn't know it. Instead the report offers the implausible scenario that their first contact came after Assange's announcement.

There is another issue with the report's Guccifer 2.0-WikiLeaks timeline. Assange would have been announcing the pending release of stolen emails not just before he heard from the source , but also before he received the stolen emails . As noted earlier, Mueller suggested that WikiLeaks received the stolen material from Guccifer 2.0 "on or around" July 14 – a full month after Assange publicly announced that he had them.

In yet one more significant inconsistency, Mueller asserts that the two Russian outfits running the Kremlin-backed operation -- Guccifer 2.0 and DC Leaks – communicated about their covert activities over Twitter. Mueller reports that on Sept. 15, 2016:

The Twitter account@guccifer_2 sent @dcleaks_ a direct message, which is the first known contact between the personas. During subsequent communications, the Guccifer 2.0 persona informed DCLeaks that WikiLeaks was trying to contact DCLeaks and arrange for a way to speak through encrypted emails.

Why would Russian intelligence cutouts running a sophisticated interference campaign communicate over an easily monitored social media platform? In one of many such instances throughout the report, Mueller shows no curiosity in pursuing this obvious question.

For his part, Assange has repeatedly claimed that Russia was not his source and that the U.S. government does not know who was. "The U.S. intelligence community is not aware of when WikiLeaks obtained its material or when the sequencing of our material was done or how we obtained our material directly," Assange said in January 2017. "WikiLeaks sources in relation to the Podesta emails and the DNC leak are not members of any government. They are not state parties. They do not come from the Russian government."

Guccifer 2.0: A Sketchy Source

While Mueller admits he does not know for certain how the DNC emails were stolen or how they were transmitted to WikiLeaks, the report creates the impression that Russian intelligence cutout Guccifer 2.0 supplied the stolen material to Assange.

In fact, there are strong grounds for doubt. To begin with, Guccifer 2.0 – who was unknown until June 2016 – burst onto the scene to demand credit as WikiLeaks' source. This publicity-seeking is not standard spycraft.

More important, as Raffi Khatchadourian has reported for The New Yorker, the documents Guccifer 2.0 released directly were nowhere near the quality of the material published by WikiLeaks. For example, on June 18, Guccifer 2.0 released documents that it claimed were from the DNC, "but which were almost surely not," Khatchadourian notes. Neither was the material Guccifer 2.0 teased as a "dossier on Hillary Clinton from DNC." The material Guccifer 2.0 initially promoted in June also contained easily discoverable Russian metadata. The computer that created it was configured for the Russian language, and the username was "Felix Dzerzhinsky," the Bolshevik-era founder of the first Soviet secret police.

WikiLeaks only made contact with Guccifer 2.0 after the latter publicly invited journalists "to send me their questions via Twitter Direct Messages." And, more problematic given the central role the report assigned to Guccifer 2.0, there is no direct evidence that WikiLeaks actually released anything that Guccifer 2.0 provided. In a 2017 interview, Assange said he "didn't publish" any material from that source because much of it had been published elsewhere and because "we didn't have the resources to independently verify."

Mueller Didn't Speak With Assange

Some of these issues might have been resolved had Mueller not declined to interview Assange, despite Assange's multiple efforts.

According to a 2018 report by John Solomon in The Hill, Assange told the Justice Department the previous year that he "was willing to discuss technical evidence ruling out certain parties" in the leaking of Democratic Party emails to WikiLeaks. Given Assange's previous denials of Russia's involvement, that seems to indicate he was willing to provide evidence that Moscow was not his source. But he never got the chance. According to Solomon, FBI Director James Comey personally intervened with an order that U.S. officials "stand down," setting off a chain of events that scuttled the talks.

Assange also made public offers to testify before Congress. The Mueller report makes no mention of these overtures, though it does cite and dismiss "media reports" that "Assange told a U.S. congressman that the DNC hack was an 'inside job,' and purported to have 'physical proof' that Russians did not give materials to Assange."

Mueller does not explain why he included Assange's comments as reported by media outlets in his report but decided not to speak with Assange directly, or ask to see his "physical proof," during a two-year investigation.

No Server Inspection, Reliance on CrowdStrike

Before he nixed U.S. government contacts with Assange, Comey was implicated in another key investigative lapse – the FBI's failure to conduct its own investigation of the DNC's servers, which housed the record of alleged intrusions and malware used to steal information. As Comey told Congress in March 2017, the FBI "never got direct access to the machines themselves." Instead, he explained, the bureau relied on CrowdStrike, a cybersecurity firm hired by the DNC, which "shared with us their forensics from their review of the system."

While acknowledging that the FBI would "always prefer to have access hands-on ourselves, if that's possible," Comey emphasized his confidence in the information provided by CrowdStrike, which he called "a highly respected private company" and "a high-class entity."

CrowdStrike's accuracy is far from a given. Days after Comey's testimony, CrowdStrike was forced to retract its claim that Russian software was used to hack Ukrainian military hardware. CrowdStrike's error is especially relevant because it had accused the GRU of using that same software in hacking the DNC.

There is also reason to question CrowdStrike's impartiality. Its co-founder, Dmitri Alperovitch, is a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, the preeminent Washington think tank that aggressively promotes a hawkish posture towards Russia. CrowdStrike executive Shawn Henry, who led the forensics team that ultimately blamed Russia for the DNC breach, previously served as assistant director at the FBI under Mueller.

And CrowdStrike was hired to perform the analysis of the DNC servers by Perkins Coie – the law firm that also was responsible for contracting Fusion GPS, the Washington, D.C.-based opposition research firm that produced the now discredited Steele dossier alleging salacious misconduct by Trump in Russia and his susceptibility to blackmail.

A CrowdStrike spokesperson declined a request for comment on its role in the Russia investigation.

The picture is further clouded by the conflicting accounts regarding the servers. A DNC spokesperson told BuzzFeed in early January 2017 that "the FBI never requested access to the DNC's computer servers." But Comey told the Senate Select Intelligence Committee days later that the FBI made "multiple requests at different levels," but for unknown reasons, he explained, those requests were denied.

While failing to identify the "different levels" he consulted, Comey never explained why the FBI took no for an answer. As part of a criminal investigation, the FBI could have seized the servers to ensure a proper chain of evidentiary custody. In investigating a crime, alleged victims do not get to dictate to law enforcement how they can inspect the crime scene.

The report fails to address any of this, suggesting a lack of interest in even fundamental questions if they might reflect poorly on the FBI.

The Mueller report states that "as part of its investigation, the FBI later received images of DNC servers and copies of relevant traffic logs." But it does not specify how much "later" it received those server images or who provided them. Based on the statements of Comey and other U.S. officials, it is quite likely that they came from CrowdStrike, though the company gets only passing mention in the redacted report.

Asked for comment, Special Counsel spokesman Peter Carr declined to answer whether the Mueller team relied on CrowdStrike for its allegations against the GRU. Carr referred queries to the Justice Department's National Security Division, which declined to comment, and to the U.S. Western District of Pennsylvania, which did not respond.

If CrowdStrike's role in the investigation raises a red flag, the potential exclusion of another entity raises an equally glaring one. According to former NSA Technical Director Bill Binney, the NSA is the only U.S. agency that could conclusively determine the source of the alleged DNC email hacks. "If this was really an internet hack, the NSA could easily tell us when the information was taken and the route it took after being removed from the [DNC] server," Binney says. But given Mueller's qualified language and his repeated use of "in or around" rather than outlining specific, down-to-the-second timestamps – which the NSA could provide -- Binney is skeptical that NSA intelligence was included in the GRU indictment and the report.

There has been no public confirmation that intelligence acquired by the NSA was used in the Mueller probe. Asked whether any of its information had been used in the allegations against the GRU, or had been declassified for public release in Mueller's investigation, a spokesperson for the National Security Agency declined to comment.

Redacted CrowdStrike Reports

While the extent of the FBI's reliance on CrowdStrike remains unclear, critical details are beginning to emerge via an unlikely source: the legal case of Roger Stone – the Trump adviser Mueller indicted for, among other things, allegedly lying to Congress about his failed efforts to learn about WikiLeaks' plans regarding Clinton's emails.

Lawyers for Stone discovered that CrowdStrike submitted three forensic reports to the FBI that were redacted and in draft form. When Stone asked to see CrowdStrike's un-redacted versions, prosecutors made the explosive admission that the U.S. government does not have them. "The government does not possess the information the defendant seeks," prosecutor Jessie Liu wrote. This is because, Liu explained , CrowdStrike itself redacted the reports that it provided to the government:

At the direction of the DNC and DCCC's legal counsel, CrowdStrike prepared three draft reports. Copies of these reports were subsequently produced voluntarily to the government by counsel for the DNC and DCCC. At the time of the voluntary production, counsel for the DNC told the government that the redacted material concerned steps taken to remediate the attack and to harden the DNC and DCCC systems against future attack. According to counsel, no redacted information concerned the attribution of the attack to Russian actors.

In other words, the government allowed CrowdStrike and the Democratic Party's legal counsel to decide what it could and could not see in reports on Russian hacking, thereby surrendering the ability to independently vet their claims. The government also took CrowdStrike's word that "no redacted information concerned the attribution of the attack to Russian actors."

According to an affidavit filed for Stone's defense by Binney, the speed transfer rate and the file formatting of the DNC data indicate that they were moved on to a storage device, not hacked over the Internet. In a rebuttal, Stone's prosecutors said that the file information flagged by Binney "would be equally consistent with Russia intelligence officers using a thumb drive to transfer hacked materials among themselves after the hack took place." In an interview with RealClearInvestigations, Binney could not rule out that possibility. But conversely, the evidence laid out by Mueller is so incomplete and uncertain that Binney's theory cannot be ruled out either. The very fact that DoJ prosecutors, in their response to Binney, do not rule out his theory that a thumb drive was used to transfer the material is an acknowledgment in that direction.

The lack of clarity around Mueller's intelligence community sourcing might appear inconsequential given the level of detail in his account of alleged Russian hacking. But in light of the presence of potentially biased and politically conflicted sources like CrowdStrike, and the absence of certainty revealed in Mueller's lengthy account, the fact that his sourcing remains an open question makes it difficult to accept that he has delivered definitive answers. If Mueller had the invasive window into Russian intelligence that he claims to, it seems incongruous that he would temper his purported descriptions of their actions with tentative, qualified language. Mueller's hedging suggests a broader conclusion at odds with the report's own findings: that the U.S. government does not have ironclad proof about who hacked the DNC.

Social Media Campaign

Mueller's other "central allegation" regards a "Russian 'Active Measures' Social Media Campaign" with the aim of "sowing discord" and helping to elect Trump.

In fact, Mueller does not directly attribute that campaign to the Russian government, and makes only the barest attempt to imply a Kremlin connection. According to Mueller, the social media "form of Russian election influence came principally from the Internet Research Agency, LLC (IRA), a Russian organization funded by Yevgeniy Viktorovich Prigozhin and companies he controlled."

After two years and $35 million, Mueller apparently failed to uncover any direct evidence linking the Prigozhin-controlled IRA's activities to the Kremlin. His best evidence is that "[n]umerous media sources have reported on Prigozhin's ties to Putin, and the two have appeared together in public photographs." The footnote for this references a lone article in the New York Times. (Both the Times and the Washington Post are cited frequently throughout the report. The two outlets received and published intelligence community leaks throughout the Russia probe.)

Further, in a newly unsealed July 1 ruling , a federal judge rebuked Mueller and the Justice Department for having "improperly suggested a link" between the IRA and the Russian government. U.S. District Judge Dabney Friedrich said Mueller's February 2018 indictment "does not link the [IRA] to the Russian government" and alleges "only private conduct by private actors." The judge added the government's statements violate a prohibiting lawyers from making claims that would prejudice a case.

Even putting aside the complete absence of a Kremlin role, the case that the Russian government sought to influence the U.S. election via a social media campaign is hard to grasp given how minuscule it was. Mueller says the IRA spent $100,000 between 2015 and 2017. Of that, just $46,000 was spent on Russian-linked Facebook ads before the 2016 election. That amounts to about 0.05% of the $81 million spent on Facebook ads by the Clinton and Trump campaigns combined -- which is itself a tiny fraction of the estimated $2 billion spent by the candidates and their supporting PACS.

Then there is the fact that so little of this supposed election interference campaign content actually concerned the election. Mueller himself cites a review by Twitter of tweets from "accounts associated with the IRA" in the 10 weeks before the 2016 election, which found that "approximately 8.4% were election-related." This tracks with a report commissioned by the U.S. Senate that found that "explicitly political content was a small percentage" of the content attributed to the IRA. The IRA's posts "were minimally about the candidates," with "roughly 6% of tweets, 18% of Instagram posts, and 7% of Facebook posts" having "mentioned Trump or Clinton by name."

Yet Mueller circumvents this with what sound like impressive figures:

IRA-controlled Twitter accounts separately had tens of thousands of followers, including multiple U.S. political figures who retweeted IRA-created content. In November 2017, a Facebook representative testified that Facebook had identified 470 IRA-controlled Facebook accounts that collectively made 80,000 posts between January 2015 and August 2017. Facebook estimated the IRA reached as many as 126 million persons through its Facebook accounts. In January 2018, Twitter announced that it had identified 3,814 IRA-controlled Twitter accounts and notified approximately 1.4 million people Twitter believed may have been in contact with an IRA-controlled account.

Upon scrutiny, Mueller's figures are exaggerated, to say the least. Take Mueller's claim that Russian posts reached "as many as 126 million" Facebook users. That figure is in fact a spin on Facebook's own guess, as articulated by Facebook general counsel Colin Stretch's congressional testimony in October 2017. "Our best estimate ," Stretch told lawmakers, "is that approximately 126 million people may have been served content from a page associated with the IRA at some point during the two-year period ." And the "two-year period" extends far beyond the 2016 election, to August 2017. Overall, Stretch added, posts from suspected Russian accounts showing up in Facebook's News Feed comprised "approximately 1 out of [every] 23,000 pieces of content."

Yet another reason to question the Russian operation's sophistication is the quality of its content. The IRA's most shared pre-election Facebook post was a cartoon of a gun-wielding Yosemite Sam . On Instagram, the best-received image urged users to give it a "Like" if they believe in Jesus. The top IRA post on Facebook before the election that mentioned Hillary Clinton was a conspiratorial screed about voter fraud . Another ad featured Jesus consoling a dejected young man by telling him: "Struggling with the addiction to masturbation? Reach out to me and we will beat it together."

Mueller also reports that the IRA successfully organized "dozens" of rallies "while posing as U.S. grassroots activists." Sounds impressive, but the most successful effort appears to have been in Houston, where Russian trolls allegedly organized dueling rallies pitting a dozen white supremacists against several dozen counter-protesters outside an Islamic center. Elsewhere, the IRA had underwhelming results, according to media reports: At several rallies in Florida " it's unclear if anyone attended ," the Daily Beast later noted; "no people showed up to at least one," and "ragtag groups" showed up at others , the Washington Post reported, including one where video footage captured a crowd of eight people .

Far from exposing a sophisticated propaganda campaign, the reports suggest that Russian troll farm workers engaged in futile efforts to spark contentious rallies in a handful of states. When it comes to the ads, they may have been engaging in clickbait capitalism: targeting unique demographics like African Americans or evangelicals in a bid to attract large audiences for commercial purposes. Reporters who have profiled the IRA have commonly described it as " a social media marketing campaign ." Mueller's February 2018 indictment of the IRA disclosed that it sold "promotions and advertisements" on its pages that generally sold in the $25-$50 range. "This strategy," a Senate report from Oxford University's Computational Propaganda Project observes, "is not an invention for politics and foreign intrigue, it is consistent with techniques used in digital marketing."

That, in fact, was Facebook's initial conclusion. As the Washington Post first reported , Facebook's initial review of Russian social media activity in late 2016 and early 2017 found that the troll farm's pages "had clear financial motives, which suggested that they weren't working for a foreign government." That view only changed, the Post added, after "aides to Hillary Clinton and Obama" developed "theories" to help them "explain what they saw as an unnatural turn of events" in their loss of the 2016 election. Among these theories: "Russian operatives who were directed by the Kremlin to support Trump may have taken advantage of Facebook and other social media platforms to direct their messages to American voters in key demographic areas." Despite the fact that "these former advisers didn't have hard evidence," the Democratic aides found a receptive audience in both congressional intelligence committees. Democrat Mark Warner, the Senate intel vice chairman, personally flew out to Facebook headquarters in California to press the case. Not long after, in the summer of 2017, Facebook went public with its new "findings" about Russian trolls. Mueller has followed their lead – just as the FBI followed the leads of other Democratic sources in pursuing both the collusion (Fusion GPS) and Russian hacking (CrowdStrike) allegations.

John Brennan and the ICA

As it falls short of proving its case for a "sweeping and systematic" Russian interference campaign, the Mueller report also fails to support its claim regarding the motive behind such efforts. In the introduction to Volume I, Mueller states that "the investigation established that the Russian government perceived it would benefit from a Trump presidency and worked to secure that outcome." But nowhere in the ensuing 440 pages does Mueller produce any evidence to substantiate that central claim.

Instead Mueller appears to be relying on the intelligence community assessment (ICA) released in January 2017 – four months before his appointment – that accused the Russian government of running an "influence campaign" that aimed "to undermine public faith in the U.S. democratic process," and hurt Hillary Clinton's "electability and potential presidency" as part of what it called Russia's "clear preference for President-elect Trump."

But the ICA itself produced no evidence for any of these assertions. Its equivocation is even more blunt than Mueller's: The ICA report's conclusions, it states, are "not intended to imply that we have proof that shows something to be a fact."

On the core conclusion that Russia aimed to help Trump, there is not even uniformity: While the FBI and CIA claim to have "high confidence" in that judgment, the NSA makes a conspicuous deviation in expressing that it has only "moderate confidence."

As it casts doubt on a core allegation of Russia's alleged motives, the NSA's dissent debunks the oft-repeated claim that the ICA represented the consensus view of all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies.

Moreover, it would even be misleading to portray the ICA as the product of the three agencies that produced it – the CIA, FBI, and NSA. Instead, there are multiple indications that the ICA is primarily the work of one person, who would spend the next two years accusing Trump of treason: then-CIA Director John Brennan.

A March 2018 report from Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee says that Brennan personally oversaw the entire ICA process from start to finish. In December 2016, the GOP report recounts, President Obama "directed Brennan to conduct a review of all intelligence relating to Russian involvement in the 2016 elections." The resulting ICA "was drafted by CIA analysts" and merely " coordinated with the NSA and the FBI." The GOP report observes that Brennan's CIA analysts were "subjected to an unusually constrained review and coordination process, which deviated from established CIA practice ."[ Italics added for emphasis.] A lengthy Democratic rebuttal to the GOP members' report does not refute any of these findings.

Echoing the NSA's dissent, the House GOP questions the ICA's conclusion that Putin interfered to secure Trump's victory. The committee, they write, "identified significant intelligence tradecraft failings that undermine confidence in the ICA judgments regarding Russian President Vladimir Putin's strategic objectives for disrupting the U.S. election." [ Italics added for emphasis.]

The Brennan-run process may have also excluded dissenting views from other agencies. Jack Matlock, the former U.S. Ambassador to Russia, has claimed that a "senior official" from the State Department's intelligence wing, the Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR), informed him that it had reached a different conclusion about alleged Russian meddling, "but was not allowed to express it." An INR spokesperson declined a request for comment.

The ICA's production schedule also raises a red flag: The outgoing Obama administration tasked Brennan with churning it out in seemingly unprecedented time. "Ordinarily, the kind of assessment that you're talking about, there would be something that would take well over a year to do, certainly many months to do," former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy told the House Intelligence Committee in June. " [S]eems to me, in this instance, there was a rush to get that out within a matter of days."

But even if Brennan had been given all the time in the world, the very fact that he was placed in charge of the intelligence assessment was a massive conflict of interest. Brennan was handed the opportunity to validate, without independent scrutiny or oversight from unbiased sources, serious allegations that he himself helped generate.

Efforts to reach Brennan through MSNBC, where he is a commentator, were unsuccessful.

Months before he oversaw the intelligence assessment, Brennan played a critical role in the FBI's decision to open the probe of Trump-Russia collusion. "I was aware of intelligence and information about contacts between Russian officials and U.S. persons that raised concerns in my mind about whether or not those individuals were cooperating with the Russians, either in a witting or unwitting fashion," Brennan told Congress in March 2017, "and it served as the basis for the FBI investigation to determine whether such collusion-cooperation occurred."

On top of his self-described role in generating the investigation of possible Trump-Russia collusion, Brennan also played a critical role in generating the claim that the Russian government was waging an influence campaign. According to the book "The Apprentice" by the Washington Post's Greg Miller, the CIA unit known as "Russia House" was "the point of origin" for the U.S. intelligence community's conclusion during the presidential campaign that "the Kremlin was actively seeking to elect Trump." Brennan sequestered himself in his office to pore over the CIA's material , "staying so late that the glow through his office windows remained visible deep into the night." Brennan "ordered up," not just vetted, "'finished' assessments – analytic reports that had gone through layers of review and revision," Miller adds, but also "what agency veterans call the 'raw stuff' – the unprocessed underlying material."

Anyone familiar with how cherry-picked, false intelligence made the case for the Iraq War will recognize "raw material" as a red flag. Here's another: According to Miller, one piece of intelligence that was "a particular source of alarm to Brennan," was the "bombshell" from "sourcing deep inside the Kremlin" that Putin himself had "authorized a covert operation" in order to, "in his own words damage Clinton and help elect Trump" via "a cyber campaign to disrupt and discredit the U.S. presidential race." A former CIA operative described that sourcing as "the espionage equivalent of 'the Holy Grail.'"

Undoubtedly, a mole within Putin's inner circle – able to capture his exact orders – would indeed fit that description. But that raises the obvious question: If such a crown jewel of espionage exists, why would anyone in U.S. intelligence allow it to be revealed? And why hadn't that "Holy Grail" source been able to forewarn its American intelligence handlers of any number of Putin's actions that have caught the U.S. off-guard, from the annexation of Crimea to the Russian intervention in Syria?

Brennan was the first to alert President Obama of a Russian interference campaign, and subsequently oversaw the U.S. intelligence response.

Since leaving office, Brennan has laid bare his personal animus towards Trump, going so far as to call him "treasonous" – an unprecedented charge for a former top intelligence official to make about a sitting president. In the weeks before Mueller issued his final report, Brennan was still predicting that members of Trump's inner circle, including family members, would be indicted. Given Brennan's bias and consistent patterns of errors, Mueller's unquestioning, apparent reliance on a Brennan-run process is suspect.

Although Mueller seemed to accept the ICA's explosive claims at face value, Brennan's work product is now facing Justice Department scrutiny. The New York Times reported on June 12 that Attorney General William Barr is "interested in how the C.I.A. drew its conclusions about Russia's election sabotage, particularly the judgment that Mr. Putin ordered that operatives help Mr. Trump." In what is most likely a direct reference to Brennan, the Times adds that Barr "wants to know more about the C.I.A. sources who helped inform its understanding of the details of the Russian interference campaign," as well as about "the intelligence that flowed from the C.I.A. to the F.B.I. in the summer of 2016."

Until Barr completes his review of the Russia probe, the April 2018 report from GOP members of the House Intelligence Committee remains the only publicly available assessment of the Brennan-controlled ICA's methodology. One reason for this is the fact that President Obama personally quashed a proposed bipartisan commission of inquiry into alleged Russian interference that would have inevitably subjected Brennan and other top intelligence officials to scrutiny. According to the Washington Post, in the aftermath of the November election, Obama administration officials discussed forming such a commission to conduct a sweeping probe of the alleged Russian interference effort and the U.S. response. But after Obama's then chief-of-staff, Denis McDonough, introduced the proposal, he:

began criticizing it, arguing that it would be perceived as partisan and almost certainly blocked by Congress. Obama then echoed McDonough's critique, effectively killing any chance that a Russia commission would be formed.

With Obama having killed "any chance that a Russia commission would be formed," there has been no thorough, independent oversight of the intelligence process that alleged an interference campaign by Russia and triggered an all-consuming investigation of the Trump campaign's potential complicity.

New Opportunities to Answer Unresolved Questions

Barr's ongoing review, and Mueller's pending appearance before Congress, offer fresh opportunities to re-examine the affair's fundamental inconsistencies. Authorized by the president to declassify documents, Barr could shed light on the role that CrowdStrike and other sources played in informing Mueller and the Brennan-directed ICA's claims of a Russian interference campaign. When he appears before lawmakers, Mueller will likely face questions on other matters: from Democrats, his decision to punt on obstruction; from Republicans, his decision to carry out a prolonged investigation of Trump-Russia collusion despite likely knowing quite early on that there was no such case to make.

If the U.S. government does not have a solid case to make against Russia, then the origins of Russiagate, and its subsequent predominance of U.S. political and media focus, are potentially even more suspect. Given that allegation's importance, and Mueller's own uncertainty and inconsistencies, the special counsel and his aides deserve scrutiny for making a "central allegation" that they have yet to substantiate.

Correction:


Steve Hayes

The US elite jump up and down with moral indignation about an evidence-free allegation of foreign interference in its domestic politics, whilst ignoring actual evidenced foreign interference in its domestic affairs, and all the while constantly interfering in the domestic affairs of foreign countries and boasting about it.
Tim Jenkins
That's an excellent brief summary description of events ongoing, Steve & very telling. I have the feeling that most of the moral indignation is from those with most to hide !
Roberto
The takeaway of 2 1/2 years of nonsense, succinct version:

The congressman asks:
"When you talk about the firm that produced the Steele reporting, the name of the firm that produced that was Fusion GPS. Is that correct?"
"I am not familiar with – with that," Mueller replied.
"It was. It's not a trick question. It was Fusion GPS," Chabot retorted.
The Congressman then asked whether Mueller was familiar with the owner of Fusion GPS.
"That's outside my purview," Mueller replied."

Tim Jenkins
It seems likely, that Trump planned to discredit Robert Mueller's integrity, from the very beginning. Think about it: Robert (d'Mule) Mueller and his history:-

1) Heavy involvement in Uranium One deal, with the Russians.

2) Cover up of all investigations 9/11, as FBI Boss.

3) Clean up of Epstein's abhorrent dealings, last time around.

4) The Great Russia-Hoax, by Magic Mueller & Co.

For my mind, I can imagine BTO -"You ain't seen nothin', yet "

GRAFT
But the lunatics still believe millions upon millions of people believe it still
Cesca
This is just one of the events where the psychopathic scum show how divorced they are from humane consciousness.

They are thick as sh.t when it comes to hiding what they do, have the power to make it hard to find the truth tho.

Tim Jenkins
Coulter was calling for him to be in solitary in a 'SuperMax', as if that would protect him. Meanwhile, Priti Patel wants to bring back the death sentence
(stoooopid woman, not interested in learning, better said, in others learning) 😉

Off with their heads: Final Solutions ? Judge Priti Patel ?

Personally, i'd love to see Epstein in a safe cell, in between Cardinal sinner George d'Pedo Pell & Harvey Weinstein: all with webcams & wifi LIVE & pay per view:-

VIP Big Bro. Chokey & the Bandits, (online Live 🙂 )

I would actually pay to view that, even if only briefly on the BBC, though I've never given a penny to the BBC, since 1979 I swear m8 🙂

mark
The Mueller Report is proof positive that the US is equally adept as Blair and Campbell in producing Dodgy Dossiers.

The poor chap is obviously suffering from advanced Alzheimer's. You'd think they could come up with a better front man for their conspiracy theory.

It was a novel idea to outsource the investigation to Crowdstrike. There's a lot to be said for privatisation. Most commendable. Maybe the next time there's a high profile criminal investigation the FBI will outsource the murder investigation to Sam Spade, Ace Gumshoe.

Roberto
It wasn't [the dreaded, one-day] Alzheimer's. It's a Modified Limited Hangout version of 'I don't recall', 'What page is that on?', 'What page?', 'Oh I see it now', 'Can you repeat the question?', and 'It depends on what the meaning of 'is' is' (well, OK, everything except that – it's copyrighted).
Add dozens of 'That's not my purview' or some variation of it, and 5 hours magically shrinks.
Question This
Why not write an article why so much time, effort & money has been wasted on this subject. Is it a surprise to anyone that competing super powers (I use the term loosely) attempt to interfere in election results? Frankly i take it as given that Russia, USA & US of Europe do so at any & all possible opportunity.

And asking if politicians are corrupt is like asking what colors the sky, we all know the answer.

binra
The lie accuses its own sin in the other – as intent at sustainability of power by deceit. Unravelling to source is the nature of a true harvest.
Each unto its own.
UreKismet
Well IMO you'd be wrong. English elites have been saying "the evil russian other" for at least 200 years. Even in the islands no one sees as a good earner, Aotearoa, has an 'anti russian fort" It was built in the 1880's when some pommie pols beat up a "Russia is trying to steal our empire" scare.
Tim Jenkins
Get Mifsud, Now !
****************

"Mueller does not explain why he included Assange's comments as reported by media outlets in his report but decided not to speak with Assange directly, or ask to see his "physical proof," during a two-year investigation." with an unlimited budget to investigate !

What more than that did you need to know ? Alles Klar and if you are still unsure, then just ask yourself why Bill Binney & Kurt Weibe, ex NSA programmers of "Parallel Platforms", have NOT been called to testify, either ! The technical end 'stuff' proves that Mueller has been lying all along on his 'Witch Hunt' & Russia-Hoax and has NOT been addressing any one of the most important questions & problems that lead to further investigations & indictments of many key figures: which include potentially prosecuting the murderer of Seth Rich and why Mueller charged all others for lying to him during his pathetic investigation, but NOT Jo' MIFSUD ! Mueller himself should be prosecuted for his omissions & failure to prosecute Mifsud & question Richard Dearlove more intensively !

Get Mifsud under Oath immediately: he started all this who the hell is MIFSUD? Why is MIFSUD being protected? What the Fuck were Steele & Mifsud & Dearlove thinking to conspire & concoct on behalf of Deep State Governors & Operatives, who transcend both the USUK Governments combined ! ? !

This is an old article that helps you comprehend something of the background of the lies & deceptions of Mueller's pathetic efforts, & yesterday's statements confirm that he never intended to reveal anything at all, including yesterday, but why do we not have some brief qualification of Mueller's Testimony just yesterday, as an addendum here @OffG ?

How does OffG expect the Brits. to keep up to speed ? Especially, what will happen next with Boris Johnson and his dilemmas @home with GCHQ ? Coz' GCHQ were wholly involved in this TREASON USA attempt & Russia-Hoax, as were Italian Secret Services and the Ukrainian S.S. !

These matters can no longer be resolved behind closed doors, unless you wish to live continuously & forever onwards, under a corporate Fascist Dictatorship of "Parallel Platforms" & Pedophile Politicians ! it's that simple, so take 5 minutes and listen to Jim Jordan cross question Mueller, just yesterday, and you'll begin to see that Mifsud is being protected and we need to know WHY? HOW? & What from ? & by whom Logic, the wholly zionist owned & controlled mainstream media, surely! Coz' the ball is still rolling and it will not stop @Mifsud's desk, nor the boss of GCHQ's desk heads are gonna' roll, when this ball gets finally kicked into the annals of a very pissy secret service "History of the National Security State" and BoJo has some serious thinking to do about how he deals with the nameless cnuts in the British not so civil service, who used orphans kids in Ireland to entrap politicians and leverage any future political discussions with British Pedophile Politicians fully controlled !!!
E.G. GARY HOY !

It should be noted that yesterday, before Bill Barr stepped into his bullet proof vehicle, after answering a few questions to journalists, he beamed the biggest smile I ever saw on his public face and uttered the words "it goes with the territory". Bill Barr has clearly grown more comfortable with where he stands, today and he has no intention of kicking this can of worms down the road, including Jeffrey Epstein & Ghislaine Maxwell, charges will be brought, thankfully finally and Boris Johnson will be forced to reveal much more than he would likely wish regarding "The History of the National Security State" and it will help mask his inevitable blunders, down the road.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/KNIipT35Eh4

You should have, after watching Mueller !

I have pasted three links deliberately so that Admin must read this 😉

DunGroanin
Superb post Tim and a great catch! I missed David Nunes bit yesterday. The PM of GB and Mifsud in full colour! Lol

The Guardian live reporting missed every mention of Steele, Dearlove, a 'Russian' how very suspicious! Lol

I do believe the Russian State is capable of hacking – as is every such capable state in the world. I surmise they did hack – that is the most likely source of the Integrity Initiative / Institute of Statecraft material.

We will see how many independent news sites and bloggers actually exist by their journalism and blogging on this revealed conspiracy.

Tim Jenkins
My pleasure, thanks DG & I honestly 'almost choked' early morning, when sifting through the guardian script writers & their video editing efforts for today's 'damage limitation': (no doubt, on command of GCHQ), just how much key info. was truly omitted, scandalous clearly, 'The Lobby' is working hard on distractions, for not just all the government politicians, but also all journalists & editors: and therefore, Operation Charlemagne never gets mentioned, so that the 'Mifsud confusion' prevails and a disconnect is established from GCHQ, Steele & Treason USA & Epstein Island & Ghislaine Maxwell's historic sexual endeavours to control key political figures' future decision making: which includes Judges, down the line, as well as key figures working on "Parallel Platforms" of computing, within the National Security State throughout NATO nations !
And this all presents a prime opportunity for OffGuardian. 🙂
It will be a tough ole' cookie for Kit to crack: maybe in bite sized pieces, step by step

It's a very real tangled web that transcends borders of governance and forces one to not shy away from the words Corporate Fascist Dictatorship, with zero privacy & total control of all flows of Knowledge,

Not just Scientific . . .
Mercer & Cambridge Analytica ? the tip of the iceberg,
as UreKismet rightly points out below, Carole d'Cad certainly has much to answer for, in the biggest internet Psyop sting & string of distractions from the Key issues of programming our futures, collectively.

UreKismet
AFAIK there is zero evidence that the russian state was involved in the pathetic beauty contest which the US elites use to distract the more credulous citizens every 4 years. Why would they? They know damn well this quadrennial farce is a crooked game from start to finish. A game that only allows the same two contestants, the republican tweedledee and the democrat tweedledum to compete – both sides cheat like f++k on a massive scale so whatever skullduggery the Russian state could insert into that rigged crapshoot would have two chances of success, Buckley's and none.

But more important than even that is, even if the Russian State – oops sorry. . . "Putin" {said quickly with all emphasis on vowels none on consonants so it sounds more like a hoick & spit than a word} by some miracle did succeed so what? You cannot push a decent spliff skin between the dems & rethugs on the stuff which really matters.

Disagree? Check out the Tufts alumni diary entry for yesterday . The article tells us how the Senate Foreign Relations committee, who are the mob allegedly responsible for devising and implementing amerika's foreign policy, actually had a falling out on monday, a disagreement between a dem senator and a rethug member of the old boys steamroom and bar club.

This was the first public contretemps in decades. Wow I bet that was over something vital!

Nah, the dispute was over the murder of that Kashoggi creep, they reckon the dems wanted to slap Saudi with a wet bus ticket, whereas the rethugs preferred a damp feather as the instrument of corporal punishment.

Why on earth would anyone who hadn't bought a seat at the table e.g. the invaders of occupied Palestine waste energy, let alone the $30,000 that crowdstrike claimed Russia had spent on a forlorn hope of trying to get something up like sanctions relief, when everyone knows the correct way to do it is to bribe both sides with tens of millions?

Now "tens of millions" may seem a lot until you understand you will get it all back plus a lot extra for the hassle. Yep the amerikan pols become dependent on your 'donation' real quick. So from then on out, they find a way to give you money for some nonsense program which you then give back to 'em all as donations – less about 95% for expenses natch – but everyone is cool with that, they know there are considerable overheads in the lobbying biz.

That is why just about all of them plan on getting into lobbying themselves – just as soon as their little black books are chocka with the foibles of all the other congress-creeps and senate-slugs.

I watched the netflix doco "The Great Hack" which tries a camera eye view of the Cambridge Analytica investigation. IMO It reveals graun contractor Carole Cadwalladr to be the sort of deeply dedicated journo not too proud to let the facts stand in the way of a good beat up/fit up.

Shockingly for the graun, the target of this character assassination is a 'sister', yep another member of the victimised by patriarchy club.

A young woman by the name of Brittany Kaiser whose parents were financially destroyed by the cfc. After the family home was seized in 2014 she had to quit being an unpaid worker for the dems in DC & took an extremely well paid gig (VP) with CA. Apparently her conscience got the better of her so when the stories about what they and facebook had been doing came out she whistle blew in the US inquiry and the english parliament enquiry.

Too bad Cadwalladr decided she (Kaiser) would be useful in yet another graun attack on Julian Assange.

Kaiser had sent Wikileaks a couple bit coins back in the noughties when she was an idealistic Obama intern and bit coins weren't worth much. Years later she visited Julian at the Ecuador embassy on CA business and she insists that neither Russia or H Clinton's email were discussed, but Cadwalladr ran this article claiming she did both, without a scintalla of watchamacallit – evidence, proof whatsoever.

Of course in reality Kaiser may be nothing like the possum trapped in the headlights she presents as; this is a TV show (all over the torrent and usenet sites if like me, people prefer not to pay for the fibs they are told) in which both Cadwalladr & Kaiser get lots of time. For me Kaiser came across as someone acting more like a human than, the bigger the front, the smaller the back, Cadwalladr did.

None of us can ever know for sure who did what to whom during prez 2016, so we are left with considering the mountains of bulldust using our sense of humanity mixed with the few facts we can be sure of. In that light IMO, it makes zero sense for the Russian state to try on something that is so obviously doomed to fail, so they didn't.

Antonym
Good to see a factually well informed author here ATL void of ideology or theory. Mueller has bended truth when ordered since decades while looking like Eliot Ness. A good fella.
Martin Usher
The fundamental flaw in the whole "Russiagate" thing is the failure to differentiate between Russia, the state and its government, and Russians, individuals who are Russian nationals. This failure is a direct result of an inability to recognize that the Cold War finished 30 years ago, a failure highlighted by the breathless Tom Clancy style of reporting and reinforced by a huge military/industrial complex that recognizes that in the absence of war or threats or war their business is a bust.

I've always maintained that any connections Trump has with Russia are going to be based on money. As in "there are people who have lots of money who need some kind of investment vehicle to launder it" and "a tangled web of casinos and real estate holdings is a perfect laundromat for money of dubious origins". This doesn't automatically suggest that Trump's a money launderer for the Russian mob but rather there's no clear cut line between what's clearly criminal and what's clearly totally legal and a lot of businesses operate in the gray between the two.

(Politically, though, the last word on Trump support was spoken to me by a Hungarian/American colleague who intended to vote for him. He lived in Budapest and his interest wasn't in US domestic politics so much as not being caught in WW3. He thought Hilary was going to start a war, Trump would keep us out. I thought he was being a bit naive (and have been proven right) but you couldn't blame him for exercising an abundance of caution.)

[Jul 29, 2019] WATCH MH17 -- Call for Justice

Jul 29, 2019 | off-guardian.org

Bonanza media investigative team of independent journalists conduct exclusive interviews with one of the suspects in the downing the MH17, the Malaysian prime minister, the colonel that collected the black boxes and much more.

Eye-opening testimonies from witnesses and irrefutable evidence from experts. Exclusive footage shot in Malaysia, the Netherlands and at the crash area in Ukraine.

[Jul 29, 2019] Some people think the notion that Trump is a Kremlin spy is rather fanciful. But if you look more closely, all the evidence is there.

Jul 29, 2019 | off-guardian.org

mark

Some people think the notion that Trump is a Kremlin spy is rather fanciful. But if you look more closely, all the evidence is there.

He once got drunk on a bottle of vodka before he became a teetotaller. He often wears a red tie. He was once seen attending a film performance of "War And Peace." And (a dead giveaway) he has been seen talking to Putin and actually shaking his hand.

And if all that isn't conclusive evidence that he's a Kremlin spy, then I don't know what is.

[Jul 29, 2019] The Real Reason The Propagandists Have Been Promoting Russia Hysteria by Caitlin Johnstone

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... "After watching seven hours of a spectacle that felt much more cruel than enlightening, I cannot avoid pondering a question which honestly gives me no joy to ponder: just how much damage has MSNBC in particular done to the left?" The Hill's Rising star began, before excoriating her former employer's "fevered speculations" about an "Infowars conspiracy theory" and the way it hosted people like Jonathan "maybe Trump has been a Russian asset since the 1980s" Chait and "conspiracy gadfly Louise Mensch" in search of ratings bumps. ..."
"... "This whole setup has done more damage to the Democrats' chances of winning back the White House than anything that Trump could ever have dreamed up," Ball argued. "Think about all the time and the journalistic resources that could have been dedicated to stories that, I don't know, that a broad swath of people might actually care about? Healthcare, wages, the teachers' movement, whether we're going to war with Iran? I'm just spitballing here. ..."
"... Ball argued that the fact that MSNBC is doing so much damage to the Democratic Party in the name of ratings proves that MSNBC isn't "on Team D in the same way that Fox News is on Team R", saying they're really just in it for the money. But this is where Ball gets it wrong. It is of course true that ratings are a factor, and that conspiracy theories can be used to sell advertising space, but MSNBC would have had a much easier time marketing conspiracy theories about Trump's loyalties to Israel and Saudi Arabia , both of which would have had vastly more factual evidence to back them up. The only difference is that the US-centralized empire doesn't have agendas that it wants to advance against those two countries. ..."
"... Ball is correct that MSNBC doesn't serve the Democratic party, but she's incorrect that it serves only money. MSNBC, which is now arguably a more aggressive war propaganda network than Fox News, serves first and foremost the US national security state. And so do all the other western mainstream news networks. ..."
"... From the Pentagon's point of view, US hegemony good, Russia-China alliance very, very bad. ..."
"... I t was determined with the help of influential neoconservative think tankers that the US must maintain this unipolar paradigm at all costs. As soon as that view became the establishment orthodoxy , any threat to US hegemony was now interpreted as a threat to national security. An "attack" on America was no longer limited to physical attacks on US soil, or even on US allies and assets: any attempt to escape unipolarity is now treated as a direct attack on the empire. ..."
"... This is why we've seen nations like Iraq, Libya and Syria spoken about by the propagandists as "enemies" as though they pose some kind of direct threat to the American people. There was never any actual threat to the physical United States, but those nations were not complying with the dictates of US hegemony, and that noncompliance was treated as a direct attack. ..."
"... This "if you're not obeying us you're attacking us" mentality is ridiculous on its face and no right-thinking citizen would ever consent to it, which is why the consent manufacturers need to promote imaginary nonsense like weapons of mass destruction, a Russian "attack" on American democracy, and a conspiracy theory about the Kremlin infiltrating the highest levels of the US government. It's got nothing to do with actual fears of those nations posing any threat to actual Americans. It's about continuing to rule the world. ..."
Jul 28, 2019 | ronpaulinstitute.org

Former MSNBC host Krystal Ball slammed her ex-employer's relentless promotion of the Russiagate conspiracy theory following the embarrassing spectacle of Robert Mueller's hearing before the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees on Wednesday.

"After watching seven hours of a spectacle that felt much more cruel than enlightening, I cannot avoid pondering a question which honestly gives me no joy to ponder: just how much damage has MSNBC in particular done to the left?" The Hill's Rising star began, before excoriating her former employer's "fevered speculations" about an "Infowars conspiracy theory" and the way it hosted people like Jonathan "maybe Trump has been a Russian asset since the 1980s" Chait and "conspiracy gadfly Louise Mensch" in search of ratings bumps.

"This whole setup has done more damage to the Democrats' chances of winning back the White House than anything that Trump could ever have dreamed up," Ball argued. "Think about all the time and the journalistic resources that could have been dedicated to stories that, I don't know, that a broad swath of people might actually care about? Healthcare, wages, the teachers' movement, whether we're going to war with Iran? I'm just spitballing here.

I actually heard some pundit on Chris Hayes last night opine that independent women in middle America were going to be swayed by what Mueller said yesterday. Are you kidding me? This is almost as bonkers and lacking in factual basis as that time Mimi Rocah said that Bernie Sanders is not pro-women because that was what her feelings told her. Rocah, by the way, a political prosecutor with no political background, is only opining at MSNBC because of her role in leading viewers to believe that any day now SDNY is going to bring down Trump and his entire family."

Ball argued that the fact that MSNBC is doing so much damage to the Democratic Party in the name of ratings proves that MSNBC isn't "on Team D in the same way that Fox News is on Team R", saying they're really just in it for the money. But this is where Ball gets it wrong. It is of course true that ratings are a factor, and that conspiracy theories can be used to sell advertising space, but MSNBC would have had a much easier time marketing conspiracy theories about Trump's loyalties to Israel and Saudi Arabia , both of which would have had vastly more factual evidence to back them up. The only difference is that the US-centralized empire doesn't have agendas that it wants to advance against those two countries.

Ball is correct that MSNBC doesn't serve the Democratic party, but she's incorrect that it serves only money. MSNBC, which is now arguably a more aggressive war propaganda network than Fox News, serves first and foremost the US national security state. And so do all the other western mainstream news networks.

Consider the way the Syrian province of Idlib is being reported on right now, to pick one of many possible examples. Al-Qaeda-controlled Idlib is the final stronghold of the extremist militant groups that the US and its allies flooded Syria with in a premeditated campaign to effect regime change, and Syria and its allies are fighting to recapture the region. They are using methods that are identical to those commonly used by the US and its allies, yet the bombing campaigns of the US-centralized empire receive virtually no critical coverage while western mainstream outlets like CNN and the BBC are churning out brazenly propagandistic pieces about the evils of the Assad coalition's airstrikes.

"Civilians are dying in Idlib, just as they died in their thousands in recent US UK air strikes in eg Raqqa and Mosul," political analyst Charles Shoebridge observed on Twitter today. "The difference is that when it's (often unverified) claims that Russia or Syria are doing the killing, US UK media make it front page news."

There are many gaping plot holes in the Russiagate narrative that outlets like MSNBC have been bashing everyone over the head with, but the most obvious and easily provable of them is the indisputable fact that Donald Trump has escalated tensions against Russia more than any US president in decades. You never hear anyone talk about this self-evident fact in all the endless yammering about Russia, though, because it doesn't advance the agendas of either of America's two mainstream parties, and it doesn't advance the interests of US imperialism. Democrats don't like acknowledging the fact that Trump has been consistently and aggressively working directly against the interests of Moscow , and Trump supporters don't like acknowledging that their president is just as much of a neocon-coddling globalist as those they claim to oppose, so the war machine has gone conveniently unchallenged in manufacturing new cold war escalations against a nation they've had marked for destruction since the fall of the Soviet Union.

In a very interesting new Grayzone interview packed full of ideas that you'll never hear voiced on western mass media, Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov spoke openly about the various ways that Russia, China, and other nations who've resisted absorption into the blob of the US power alliance have been working toward the creation of a multipolar world. Ryabkov said other nations have been watching the way the dominance of the US dollar has been used to economically terrorize noncompliant nations into subservience by way of sanctions and other manipulations, with Washington expecting that the dollar and the US financial system will remain "the cardiovascular system of the whole organism."

"That will not be the case," Ryabkov said. "People will bypass, in literal terms. And people will find ways how to defend themselves, how to protect themselves, how to guarantee themselves against any emergencies if someone comes up at the White House or whatever, at the Treasury, at the State, and says 'Hey guys, now we should stop what is going on in Country X, and let's squeeze them out.' And this country sits on the dollar. So they will be done the moment those ideas will be pronounced. So China, Russia and others, we create alternatives that we will most probably continue using not just national currencies, but baskets of currencies, currencies of third countries, other modern barter schemes."

"We will use ways that will diminish the role of dollar and US banking system with all these risks of assets and transactions being arrested, being stopped," Ryabkov concluded.

That, right there, is the real reason you're being sold Russia hysteria today.

And it isn't just on the matter of financial systems in which the unabsorbed powers are uniting against the imperial blob. Russia and China just carried out their first joint air patrol on Tuesday, drawing a hostile response from imperial vassals Japan and South Korea.

"Russian and Chinese bombers on 'first' joint patrol in the Asia-Pacific region. The China-Russia alliance has become a reality and will last for long time," reads a post by one Russian Twitter commentator in response to the news.

The emergence of this alliance, which the Chinese government has warned Washington is 'not vulnerable to interference', has been something the west has feared for a long time. A Pentagon white paper published this past May titled "Russian Strategic Intentions" mentions the word "China" 108 times. Some noteworthy excerpts:

I think you get the picture. From the Pentagon's point of view, US hegemony good, Russia-China alliance very, very bad. Analysts like the white paper's authors, and even The New York Times editorial board , have urged the drivers of US foreign policy to attempt to lure Moscow away from Beijing, the latter rightly perceived as the greater long-term threat to US dominance due to China's surging economic power. But diplomacy has clearly been ruled out toward this end, with only a steadily escalating campaign to shove Russia off the world stage now deemed acceptable.

It was determined with the help of influential neoconservative think tankers that the US must maintain this unipolar paradigm at all costs. As soon as that view became the establishment orthodoxy , any threat to US hegemony was now interpreted as a threat to national security. An "attack" on America was no longer limited to physical attacks on US soil, or even on US allies and assets: any attempt to escape unipolarity is now treated as a direct attack on the empire.

This is why we've seen nations like Iraq, Libya and Syria spoken about by the propagandists as "enemies" as though they pose some kind of direct threat to the American people. There was never any actual threat to the physical United States, but those nations were not complying with the dictates of US hegemony, and that noncompliance was treated as a direct attack.

This "if you're not obeying us you're attacking us" mentality is ridiculous on its face and no right-thinking citizen would ever consent to it, which is why the consent manufacturers need to promote imaginary nonsense like weapons of mass destruction, a Russian "attack" on American democracy, and a conspiracy theory about the Kremlin infiltrating the highest levels of the US government. It's got nothing to do with actual fears of those nations posing any threat to actual Americans. It's about continuing to rule the world.

Reprinted with permission from Medium.com . Support Ms. Johnstone's work on Patreon or Paypal .

[Jul 28, 2019] I hate to say it, but corporate Democrats along with those who Maddow has totally brainwashed are still true believers in the entire lie.

Jul 27, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

Drew Hunkins , July 25, 2019 at 15:01

PCR just posted a piece over at his site in which he declares that Russiagate is now over. https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2019/07/25/repub

I hate to say it, but corporate Democrats along with those who Maddow has totally brainwashed are still true believers in the entire lie. You cannot get through to these people, they will not come to terms with the fact that they've been hoodwinked and bamboozled for the last three years. They read it in WaPo and the NYTimes and heard it on NPR so it's gospel.

For the next 40 years these people will be writing essays, books and giving talks about how the evil Russians interfered in our democracy [sic] to elect their preferred president. It's maddening and perhaps beyond hope.

Rob , July 25, 2019 at 17:18

To your point, the NYT is warning that Russia will interfere AGAIN in the next election. They take it as a given that they interfered in the last one, and so do many, if not most, of their readers, notwithstanding the absence of evidence. This is a full-on, non-stop propaganda effort. Facts will not get in the way.

anon4d2 , July 25, 2019 at 20:37

So we need evidence that Russia
1. Is interfering on both sides of every controversy;
2. Is representing the majority of the US better than the incumbents; or
3. Is plotting with Holland to take over the universe with UFOs and occult powers;
But perhaps it is better to concentrate on the influence of Israel, which is fact.

Drew Hunkins , July 26, 2019 at 10:24

“This is a full-on, non-stop propaganda effort. Facts will not get in the way.”

Exactly!

[Jul 26, 2019] Johnstone How To Inoculate Yourself From Establishment Bullshit

Jul 26, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Johnstone: How To Inoculate Yourself From Establishment Bullshit

by Tyler Durden Fri, 07/26/2019 - 20:05 0 SHARES

Authored by Caitlin Johnstone via Medium.com,

In a recent interview with CBS This Morning host Gayle King, former First Lady Michelle Obama contrasted her husband's presidency with that of his successor by claiming that unlike Trump, the Obama family had had "no scandal".

"I had to sit in [Trump's inauguration] audience, one of a handful of people of color and then listen to that speech, and all that I had sort of held onto for eight years, watching my husband get raked over the coals, feeling like we had to do everything perfectly, you know, no scandal," Obama said.

"Yeah," King responded.

"No nothing," Obama said "No nothing!"

"Yes. No scandal," King said.

You hear this claim a lot from Democrats. There was a viral tweet with tens of thousands of shares shortly before the 2016 election which read, "8 years. No scandals. No mistresses. No impeachment hearings. Just class and grace, personified." It's a very common refrain which resurfaces in memes and tweets periodically, usually as criticisms of the sitting president.

Of course, the only reason anyone can attempt to claim that Barack Obama had "no scandals" is because in our bat shit crazy world, murdering, oppressing and exploiting large numbers of people isn't considered scandalous.

me title=

In a sane, healthy world, a presidency like Obama's would be looked upon with abject horror. Actually in a sane, healthy world a warmongering Wall Street crony like Obama would never have been elected in the first place, but if you were to show the members of a healthy, harmonious society the way that president used his power to do what he did to Libya and Syria, to continue and expand all of Bush's most evil policies, to divert the push for economic justice into a neoliberal orgy for eight years, those people would recoil in absolute revulsion.

The only reason liberals think Obama had a low-key, drama-free presidency is because that presidency was normalized for them by the establishment narrative managers of the political/media class. If that class had been shrieking about Obama's warmongering, surveillance expansion, persecution of whistleblowers, crony capitalism etc in the way that it's been shrieking about Trump's nonexistent Russia ties or his obnoxious tweets, these same people would see Obama as a horrible monster. But the propagandists didn't do that, because it would hinder the cause of bloodthirsty imperialism abroad and crushing austerity at home.

The plutocrat-owned media and the plutocrat-owned politicians have the ability to control what people view as normal and what they view as weird, just by not reacting with alarm to occurrences they want normalized and reacting hysterically to occurrences they want rejected.

Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard's fairly mild differences with US foreign policy orthodoxy, for example, are treated as so freakishly bizarre that you routinely see establishment pundits making fascinatingly absurd statements about her and getting away with it. The Hill 's Reid Wilson posted a tweet that got thousands of likes and shares saying "Hot take/prediction: Tulsi Gabbard is going to endorse Trump in the end." Center for American Progress President Neera Tanden shared Wilson's tweet with the hysterical caption, "My prediction: Tulsi runs as third party Green candidate to help Trump win. I will take bets on this." Again, thousands of likes and retweets.

me title=

Neither of these things are going to happen. Both Wilson and Tanden know they will never happen. Gabbard is a fairly conventional center-left Democrat who just wants to scale back US warmongering somewhat; she's so well within the establishment-authorized Overton window that she just voted in favor of a House anti-BDS bill for Christ's sake. But because she opposes a few aspects of the forever war and says it's a good idea to communicate with world leaders who the US government doesn't like, establishment attack dogs are acting like Hawaii's second congressional district is being represented by some kind of eldritch tentacle beast from the Andromeda Galaxy.

I'm highlighting some of the more glaring recent examples here, but this sort of thing is happening all the time with varying degrees of subtlety. The public's perceptions of events are continually being distorted by an establishment narrative management machine which controls what people view as normal and what they view as abnormal. You notice this very quickly when you start cultivating your news sense and paying attention to what news stories the mass media choose to give tons of coverage to and what stories they all but ignore; you notice almost immediately that there's very little connection between how important a story is and how much news coverage it receives. The factor that determines the extent of coverage is the advancement of establishment interests and advertising revenue, in that order. Actual newsworthiness barely registers.

The way to rob the narrative managers of their ability to manipulate our sense of normalcy is to create an image of a sane and healthy world for ourselves to hold onto at all times, and to make that image into our own personal sense of what normal is. By having a vivid picture of what a sane and healthy world would look like in your mind, the false normal that the propagandists are trying to sell you will have no purchase.

Many people want to change the world, but hardly anyone ever sits down and creates a clear, positive image for themselves of a world in which all positive changes have been successfully put into full effect. Most people tend to just look at the current hot topic debates they're seeing in the news over healthcare, immigration policies, gun control, austerity policies, abortion, LGBTQ issues, police brutality etc, and hope that those specific issues are resolved in their preferred way. But what if you zoomed out to a much bigger picture and imagined a healthy and harmonious world in which all our major problems have been resolved, and we've built something beautiful together? What would that be like?

I can't envision such a world for you, because you and I will have different ideas about what a perfectly healthy and harmonious world looks like. I'm not trying to give you a specific image, I'm trying to get you to make a solid, lucid image of your own creation that can't be replaced by the false normal the narrative managers are trying to implant in your mind day in and day out. Don't hold back; go all the way and make the world as perfect as possible. All your ideas about what changes you might make are "realistic" or "unrealistic" are corrupted by propaganda anyway, so just create a perfect world.

me title=

This is worth setting aside an hour or two and investing some serious mental energy into. Once you've got a positive image of a healthy and harmonious world, and once you have a really clear image of what it would be like to live in that world, it's kind of like you become someone from that imaginary world who stepped into this one and gets to see it for the first time. You get to see life through the eyes of someone for whom "normal" isn't endless violence, oppression, exploitation and degradation, but for whom normal is the absence of those things. This makes all of the insanity in this world stand out like a black fly on a white sheet of paper, and gives you the ability to clearly see and describe precisely what needs to change about our situation here.

You've already had a taste of this if you've ever had the unfortunate experience of having to explain what war is to a small child. Nothing about war makes sense to a creature who is looking at this world with fresh eyes; the confusion and upset which immediately flashes over their face will make you feel like an idiot even if you oppose war, just for being a part of a world where grown-ups engage in such idiotic behavior. Someone who came into this world from a healthy and harmonious parallel earth would see it very much the same way.

Imagine if war weren't normalized. Imagine if a US plane dropping a bomb on foreign soil and ripping human bodies to shreds was treated as the horrific event that it actually is and given weeks of extensive investigative coverage, instead of something that happens many times every single day without any mention at all. A pundit on Fox or MSNBC will tell you that you're a delusional imbecile if you think this should cease immediately. Anyone who's seeing our world with unindoctrinated eyes knows you're a delusional imbecile if you don't.

All the injustices we're trained like dogs to see as normal are like this. Corruption. Plutocracy. Wage slavery. The way the homeless are treated. The fact that there are homeless at all. Police militarization. The drug war. Prisons for profit. Government surveillance. Propaganda. All of these things are inherently disgusting, but we lose our accurate sense of disgust because we've been tricked into accepting them as normal. So remove the scales from your eyes by creating a new normal for yourself.

* * *

The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for my website , which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported , so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook , following my antics on Twitter , throwing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypal , purchasing some of my sweet merchandise , buying my new book Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone , or my previous book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers . For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I'm trying to do with this platform, click here . Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish or use any part of this work (or anything else I've written) in any way they like free of charge.

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[Jul 25, 2019] Seven signs of the neoliberal apocalypse by Van Badham

Notable quotes:
"... Now, "we have a comatose world economy held together by debt and central bank money," Keating has said, "Liberal economics has run into a dead end and has had no answer to the contemporary malaise." What does the disavowal mean? In terms of his Labor heir Bill Shorten's growing appetite for redistributive taxation and close relationship to the union movement, it means "if Bill Shorten becomes PM, the rule of engagement between labour and capital will be rewritten," according to The Australian this week. Can't wait! ..."
"... Might be true. But frightening that people should naively still think that democracy is to be found in the 'Dictatorship of the Proletariat' ..."
"... most "isms" kill off their rivals and the unbelievers when they usurp powe ..."
"... Vested interests and the dollar seem to have all the power. Lies and deception are so common the truth is seen as the enemy. The voting public are merely fools for manipulation. Nah, neo-liberalism is not government, it is something far nastier, and clearly not what the public vote for, presuming a vote actually counts for anything anymore. ..."
Dec 25, 2018 | www.theguardian.com

For 40 years, the ideology popularly known as "neoliberalism" has dominated political decision-making in the English-speaking west.

People hate it . Neoliberalism's sale of state assets, offshored jobs, stripped services, poorly-invested infrastructure and armies of the forcibly unemployed have delivered, not promised "efficiency" and "flexibility" to communities, but discomfort and misery. The wealth of a few has now swelled to a level of conspicuousness that must politely be considered vulgar yet the philosophy's entrenched itself so deeply in how governments make decisions and allocate resources that one of its megaphones once declared its triumph "the end of history".

... ... ...

Paul Keating's rejection

It was a year ago that a third sign first appeared, when the dark horse of Australian prime ministers, Paul Keating, made public an on-balance rejection of neoliberal economics. Although Liberal PM Malcolm Fraser instigated Australia's first neoliberal policies, it was Keating's architecture of privatisation and deregulation as a Labor treasurer and prime minister that's most well remembered.

Now, "we have a comatose world economy held together by debt and central bank money," Keating has said, "Liberal economics has run into a dead end and has had no answer to the contemporary malaise." What does the disavowal mean? In terms of his Labor heir Bill Shorten's growing appetite for redistributive taxation and close relationship to the union movement, it means "if Bill Shorten becomes PM, the rule of engagement between labour and capital will be rewritten," according to The Australian this week. Can't wait!

Tony Abbott becomes a fan of nationalising assets

Or maybe's Sukkar's right about the socialists termiting his beloved Liberal party. How else to explain the earthquake-like paradigm shift represented by the sixth sign? Since when do neoliberal conservatives argue for the renationalisation of infrastructure, as is the push of Tony Abbott's gang to nationalise the coal-fired Liddell power station? It may be a cynical stunt to take an unscientific stand against climate action, but seizing the means of production remains seizing the means of production, um, comrade. "You know, nationalising assets is what the Liberal party was founded to stop governments doing," said Turnbull, even as he hid in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains to weather – strange coincidence – yet another Newspoll loss.

• Van Badham is a Guardian Australia columnist


uhurhi , 27 Apr 2018 05:43

"new introduction to a re-released Marx and Engels' Communist Manifesto. Collective, democratic political action is our only chance for freedom and enjoyment."

Might be true. But frightening that people should naively still think that democracy is to be found in the 'Dictatorship of the Proletariat' [ ie those who know what's good for you even if you don't like it ] of the Communist Manifesto after the revelations of what that leads to in the Gulag Archipelago , Mao's China , Pol Pot , Kim John - un .

How quickly the world forgets. - you might just as well advocate Mein Kampf it's the same thing in the end !

fleax -> internationalist07 07 , 27 Apr 2018 05:43
most "isms" kill off their rivals and the unbelievers when they usurp power
charleyb23 -> RedmondM , 27 Apr 2018 05:37
That's what you claim and it might be so but I'm not interested in keeping a score on the matter. The point you failed to get is that the people you mentioned where totalitarian thugs. They used the banner of communism to achieve their ends. They would have used what ever ideology that was in fashion to achieve the same results.
daily_phil , 27 Apr 2018 05:35
Does present day neo-liberalism actually qualify as a political movement?

Vested interests and the dollar seem to have all the power. Lies and deception are so common the truth is seen as the enemy. The voting public are merely fools for manipulation. Nah, neo-liberalism is not government, it is something far nastier, and clearly not what the public vote for, presuming a vote actually counts for anything anymore.

[Jul 24, 2019] Have you all forgotten how BOJO leaned himself out of the window, outdoing himself and his degenerate former boss by accusing Russia of poisoning the Skripals and whoever else with 'Novi-shock'?

Jul 24, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

nottheonly1 , Jul 24 2019 17:59 utc | 178

After having read all of the comments, I like to ask a question.

Neither in the story, nor in the comment section, I found any remark about the Skripal affair.

Have you all forgotten how BOJO leaned himself out of the window, outdoing himself and his degenerate former boss by accusing Russia of poisoning the Skripals and whoever else with 'Novi-shock'?

And this pathetic liar and accuser of Russia with as much as ZERO evidence is now at the helm of HMS Titanic?

No wonder people can't figure out what's really going on in the world. Considering his rabid "The Russians did it" tripe as FM, he should have been barred from public office for the rest of his life.

Unless, of course, it's all nothing but low grade ham theater, with everybody playing their role - including the Russians. But I do remember the kind of actions this guy wanted to take against Russia, for 'highly likely' having been behind this fairy tale of a double agent and his daughter.

So, please humor me about how much you remember of the stellar performance of this utter joke calling for sanctions and worse against Russia.

Now what?

[Jul 23, 2019] Silicon Valley guints first enabled protest against neoliberalism includiong right wing populasm but now are trying to supress it

Jul 23, 2019 | www.theguardian.com

TashiDelek , 24 Jan 2019 13:41

Tech platforms circumvented the MSM and allowed different voices to be heard. Policing these platforms are still currently beyond the capabilities of tech companies. Content censorship is a main focus of AI right now. You can expect an impersonal, Stalinist PC police in every platform very soon.
Gegenbeispiel -> MoBro999 , 23 Jan 2019 09:05
Narratives themselves are the problem.

We need to be looking at the current situation. History (almost entirely an extremely unpleasant horror show) is only relevant in that we have to deal with its mostly negative relics.

UpVoteThis -> DasInternaut , 23 Jan 2019 08:32
Your way of looking at things assumes that everybody has convergent interests. The populists argument is that those smart guys in power are only looking after their own interests and not everybody else's.
daWOID -> Kapone78 , 23 Jan 2019 02:23
Fighting ignorance with ignorance? Not a cool move, Comrade.

"[Marx] had few qualms about colonialism as many leftists in the 19th century."
1] Read Marx's stuff on India and Ireland and American Slavery.

2] "Marx didn't say much about culture."
Intro to the Grundrisse? Feuerbach Theses? German Ideology? All of what's been dismissed as the "Humanist" Marx, meaning almost everything written before Capital?

3] " it is actually right-wingers who have used Gramsci's concept of Cultural Hegemony with both hands."
Read up. Here's for starters:

Which brings me to the gist:
"Cultural Marxism," also known as Western Marxism, non-Leninist Marxism, etc. etc. Stuff they can't accuse of being in collusion with Marxist-Leninism, Stalinism, etc. Ranging from late Engels to Adorno to Benjamin to Sartre and beyond.

""Bannon, Kristol and many other have read him extensively."
About as much as you have, pal.

999Jasper , 23 Jan 2019 01:55

This is a paradox that clever progressives ought to be able to exploit, if only by asking non-American rightwing populists to explain their great love for an industry that even Steve Bannon considers to be "evil".

It doesn't seem to have occurred to the author that the American populist right, not the European populist right, has the weaker argument, when it comes to Silicon Valley.

I think Big Tech ought to pay higher taxes (and I vehemently oppose the scandalous subsidies and tax breaks they receive), but I think that's the case with all vastly wealthy corporate interests, including such sectors as finance, property, bio-pharma, and energy.

I'm not much of a fan of Facebook, but in general my life's loads more convenient and affordable because of the likes of Google, Netflix, Amazon, Uber and Airbnb. Plus, you know, they seem to piss off Trump and Bannon. So that's a plus.

Kapone78 , 23 Jan 2019 00:46
As a Marxist, I would like someone to explain to me the meaning of the expression "cultural Marxism".

It's cool to be an intellectual onanist or an outright bell-end (like Bolsonaro's minister who said that global warming was a Marxist plot), but words have meanings and it would be nice to use words carefully.

The bloody irony of "cultural Marxism" is that even though Marx didn't say much about culture, LGBTQ(put another letter here) or minorities (he had few qualms about colonialism as many leftists in the 19th century), it is actually right-wingers who have used Gramsci's concept of Cultural Hegemony with both hands.

Bannon, Kristol and many other have read him extensively and have the cheek to criticise others for promoting "cultural Marxism", which is a figment of their imagination.

Cultural Marxism is the Godwin point of intellectual discourse.

StephenO , 23 Jan 2019 00:28

The American wing of the movement sees big tech as an attractive target of attack....

One of those statements that indicates how deep you are wandering in the woods. There is an onslaught of EU countries and EU councils that have sued big tech in the US. The investigations don't stop and the threats don't stop.

In 2018, the EU hit Google with a fine of $5 billion in an antitrust verdict with respect to the Android operating system. In 2017, the EU hit Google with a $2.7 billion judgement with respect to displaying advertisements.

That is just the recent material with respect to Google.

The biggest pressure faced by Facebook (again) comes from the left. The pressures over data, the race to take-down opposing viewpoints and the fines for non-compliance. Facebook has been forced by the left to hire so many "fact-checkers" that it has affected its profitability. (Recent discoveries reveal that Mark Zuckerberg lied to Congress -- a felony offense.)

... as bashing it helps to delegitimize the legacy of Obama and Clinton, seen as its primary enablers.

The Clinton's have amassed a remarkable trail of felony violations in many areas. Continued pressure against the swamp is slowly removing their layers of protection. Documents and evidence are also appearing that implicates Obama and some advisers in various illegal activities in 2016 with respect to the FBI and DOJ.

That process continues to move forward, irregardless of the House.

cyberclark , 22 Jan 2019 19:29
The Right Wing Christian parties have found the Immigrant hot button with which to field their arguments. Loosely knitted with finance to hide their real purpose, they are finding success. I say, unmask them for their actual fears propelled by underlying bigotry and fear.
iruka , 22 Jan 2019 16:51

"Big tech monsters like Google and Facebook have become nothing less than incubators for far-left liberal ideologies and are doing everything they can to eradicate conservative ideas and their proponents from the internet."

If only it were true.

No fan of Mussolini, but he did oversee the eradication of malaria in Italy.

And I love free speech, but it's hard to justify the proposition that "conservative ideas" really constitute a set of ideas, a coherent perspective. They're more accurately understood as a set of noises, devoid of coherent meaning, made while harming oneself and others.... They're just more verbose versions of, say, the inarticulate noises made by a headmaster while whipping a young child for some fabricated misdemeanour. Noises the child will learn to make while punishing others......

StephenO , 22 Jan 2019 16:06

But there's one issue on which there's no agreement between American rightwing populists and their peers in the rest of the world: what to make of Silicon Valley. On the one hand, its services and platforms have been a boon to the populists everywhere...

Followed by more strawmen and generalized incoherence. In a recent speech, Macron started by reminding his audience of Marie-Antoinette and King Louis XVI. The later was decapitated because of a poor economic performance and wide-spread discontent.

And in 1517, the theologian Martin Luther nailed Thesis 86 to a church door and started the Protestant Reformation.

In Morozov's scope of history, humanity has never experienced a social eruption, revolution, or change of direction until Silicon Valley. That is not surprising since the progressive left's extent of history begins around 1932.

Also, the author's knowledge of Silicon Valley's history is heavily flawed with biases and fraudulent presentations.

Peter Gray -> Gegenbeispiel , 22 Jan 2019 15:53
Tech isn't new anymore. Silicon Valley is almost 40 years old in terms of its social impact. That's equivalent to the 1960s for the US car industry, which is about the time that the social and political negatives of car ownership began to manifest in public debate. The novelty of big tech has begun wearing off as its early benefits fade, and the costs to society linger. It's the rest of the world that is lagging behind the USA in terms of disillusionment
Peter Gray -> 1Eloise , 22 Jan 2019 15:48
The far left and the far right have a point about tech. Silicon Valley has always had lamentable political tendencies: a love of both neoliberalism, a penchance for "Singaporean" authoritarianism, and an ungainly mix of personal hubris and pseudomessianic claptrap. In the US big tech is guilty of overselling itself to the public while just proving to be little better at corporate citizenship than oil companies.
Layng1 , 22 Jan 2019 11:52
The ambition and business method of all social media is to create a condition of extreme excitability, reactiveness and strong engagement by users so as to maximize participation and thereby to drive revenue streams, whether these are advertising or product sales or data acquisition for future commercial exploitation.

Accordingly, Big Tech relies on the hyper provocation and ultra engagement of the "2 minutes hate" as it is described by some.

It's like throwing out morsels of raw meat to a group of crocodiles or alligators and watching the feeding frenzy.

The commercial model of Big Tech demands the strong drivers of intense hate, fear, envy and even hostility.

Negative emotions, acting on the more primitive parts of the brain, subvert our critical faculties and drive our impulsive and destructive behaviours for the advantage of Big Tech.

Politically correct and worthy speech will ertainly not optimize the revenues. You need the fulminating hate merchants, the graders, the nasties and the trolls. That gets other users highly exercised and strongly engaged.

I know of few social media based outlets which cynically and manipulatively use a few social provocateurs to throw out incendiary and provocative hate speech so as to get the punters enraged and engaged.

Alt-right and hard right sells. Hate speech stimulates.

The commercial objective is to get the online dogs salivating out of a Pavlovian reaction to the trigger bells of hate, discrimination, fear of migrants, provocation over identity issues, fear of being swamped, loss if he familiar and the rise tinted but deceptive lens of nostalgia for a wholly fictitious imagined past.

Layng1 -> irishmaninholland , 22 Jan 2019 11:33
Gd point. The ambition of all social media is to create a condition of extreme excitability, reactive ness and engagement so as to maximize participation and thereby to drive revenue streams.

Excellent and apposite reference to Orwell in this context.

Big Tech relies on the hyper privication and engagement of the "2 minutes hate" as you aptly describe it.

It's like throwing out morsels ofvraw meet to a group of crocodiles or alligators and watching the feeding frenzy.

The commercial model of Big Tech demands the drivers of hate, fear, envy and even hostility. Negative emotions, acting on the more primitive parts of the brain, subvert our critical faculties and drive our impulsive and destructive behaviors.

Politically correct and worthy speech will not optimize the revenues.

I know of few social media based outlets which cynically and manipulatively use a few social provocateurs to throw out incendiary and provocative hate speech so as to get the punters engaged.

Alt-right and hard right sells. Hate speech stimulates.

Get the online dogs salivating out of a Pavlovian reaction to the trigger bells.

MatthewHenson -> bradgate , 22 Jan 2019 09:49
And as we have seen with Facebook's monthly scandals they are not going to behave better unless they are forced to. It would be good to have governments that might help: right now that's the EU alone, China being a special case.
jonniestewpot -> edmundberk , 22 Jan 2019 09:46

Left wing is not really to do with labour politics anymore

Of course it is though that was simply a vehicle to uplift the whole of society making it egalitarian. Silicon Valley can only be implicated as left wing as communism for the rich. In no respect are they looking for equality quite the reverse their celebrated ideal is the emancipation of the individual to be great wealth creators, if they have a social conscience their beneficence will be to become philanthropists creating another legacy from their wealth.

You can see why European fascist like them they were always happy to work with capitalists in the past. It seems their US counterparts are behind the curve on that.

Layng1 , 22 Jan 2019 08:22
Big Tech preserves the surface veneer of democracy whilst controlling the prejudices and direction of the electorates.

Big Tech assimilates us into a hive mind. It is not yet absolute but we are well on the way to being controlled by those who use Big Tech to direct us.

Only the far right libertarian billionaires can afford to use Big Tech to impose their wishes.

Democracy is being replaced by a toxic mix of plutocracy, technocracy and a mobbing mass directed like a murmurstion of starlings.

Read Shoshana Zuboff's book, "Surveillance Capitalism" for an insight.

I consume social media and technology; therefore I am.

MoBro999 -> Tiny Toy , 22 Jan 2019 08:08
"The rhetoric of hatred and divisiveness only has one logical conclusion, which is ultimately to pit every individual against every other individual. The order in which they do so is not some kind of universal, it's a complex product of cultural fears and how they can be exploited."

But ironically the obsession with "identity politics" the erasure of wider communities in favour of further and further fragmentation- seen as "progressive", is helping to deliver the same agenda. is it not? It concentrates on what makes us different, not what makes us similar.

Smolker -> PeppermintSeal , 22 Jan 2019 07:54

No, they've provided a platform for almost anyone to encourage and amplify their message, including far-left, far-right, people looking for missing cats etc.

I made this point in my original post.

You seem to be agreeing with me for the sake of disagreement, as a mechanism to get your point across, in the process omitting and skewing the points I made.

You subtly edited one of my statements to omit the term capital. My full sentence was as below:

We're in a desperate situation where capital and tech giants have utilised social media to encourage, amplify and legitimise the very worst human impulses.

The point here is that capital has a tremedous advantage over smaller and grass roots movements because it can employ companies such as Cambridge Analytica and Aggregate IQ to mobilise opinion.*

In this arena, as in every arena, money helps people seize and bolster power. The assertion that left and right can exert the same influence in this domain is a false equivalence.

Social media isn't a channel through which all views can flow equally. Your claim to this effect is either disingenuous or naive.

* They're the same company, but that's another discussion.

Gegenbeispiel , 22 Jan 2019 07:28
Here's a sound analysis of the global economy for you, Zhenya: capitalism is an unrecoverable failure. Wreck it, scrap it, replace it by egalitarian cybernetically centrally-planned low-competition, moderated-consumption leisure-oriented socialism with a private sector limited to 30% of GDP or less.
partoftheproblem , 22 Jan 2019 07:08
One thing that appears to be missing from this is the recent trend in rightwing populists being kicked off online payment processes services & fund raising tools, not to mention twitter and similar social media platforms. It's easy enough to understand the

Alex Jones/Infowars being banned from paypal being one such example, another interesting one is, again, paypal and them banning the Proud Boys , the amusing part is they banned Antifa groups as well for violating the same terms of service.

Throw in social media sites "Purging political discussions" and it's easy to see how there's going to be hate from populists. Social media has become a vital tool of political discussion, but it's not... yet stable, the platform providers are reactionary and inconsistent in their approach to sorting problems.

PenneArrabiata -> callaspodeaspode , 22 Jan 2019 07:04
I think this can be explained by the American propensity to conflate "conservatism" with "market liberalism". It's a sleight of hand that really confuses some people.
edmundberk -> ID1174659 , 22 Jan 2019 07:02
Left wing is not really to do with labour politics anymore, if it ever was. Arguably it was only ever a useful grievance to be harnessed that has long been superseded. Harnessed to the goal of remaking mankind to the favoured plan of upper middle class utopians. I think that at bottom that is what leftism is in its essence.
callaspodeaspode , 22 Jan 2019 07:00
The idea that these most ludicrously successful and world-bestriding capitalist enterprises are founded and staffed by Marxists, or folks who are pretty much indistinguishable from Marxists, would, one might think, be something that would engender a long and thoughtful period of reflectio
Gary Cross -> expatinscandinavia , 22 Jan 2019 06:53
Big tech are a classic example of those who are "socially liberal but fiscally conservative". In other words, are happy to have compassion and a conscience...as long as it doesn't cost them anything.
ValuedCustomer -> Smolker , 22 Jan 2019 06:52
The assumption among academics was that, should new media democratise our politics it would, naturally, advantage the left. The people would throw off their shackles and reclaim authority from capital. The wave would be egalitarian rather than divisive.

Capital has successfully devised an ersatz, designedly harmless (to them) "left" and used its class/cultural power to squash and demonise the real thing.

How do we begin to fight back? Can we fight back?

Sure. The bourgeoisie's exploitation of our common decency has pretty much exhausted itself. It's essential that new left currents are exclusively proletarian however.

[Jul 23, 2019] Silicon Valley moguls, their social platforms, and far right nationalist protest movements against neoliberalism

Jul 23, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

Smolker -> expatinscandinavia , 22 Jan 2019 06:50

I don't think either 'side' is necessarily wrong here. The social media giants are generally made up of left-leaning people; not necessarily surprising given that they're based in California and are made up of relatively young college graduates.

This is fundamentally untrue.

At best these people have appropriated socially liberal attitudes because it suits their capitalist instincts.

There's a market for social liberalism. Tech giants and their owners have branded aspects of their companies accordingly.

If the money flows in the other direction, these same companies and owners will profit from this stream without compunction. Increasingly that's where the money streams from.

These people are capital. Their ethics stretch no further than their bottom line.

Zuckerberg et al. sell notions of "hacking the system" only to service a profit imperative. Indeed, they've "hacked" publishing laws to dodge accountability.

The last thing they are is left wing.

PenneArrabiata , 22 Jan 2019 06:49
I don't think this article is very coherent.

Bannon, while condemning Silicon Valley, is one of the main proponents of the use of its platforms in propaganda. Indeed, it was central to the 2016 election of Trump and the campaigns he has overseen in Europe.

What he describes as "evil" are the utopian tech barons, as they are an easy target for popular hate. This is, of course, rank hypocrisy - as he and his "pro-business" allies are neither calling for them to be taxed nor brought down to size, and they are quite happy to use their services.

Therefore, I don't think there is a divide between the US far right or their offshoots around the world. The paradox at the centre of all these movements is that they are both for and against powerful elites, when it suits them.

dsdsdsdsds -> DoctorWibble , 22 Jan 2019 06:48
The arab spring was initially viewed by many as an anti US uprising using the freedom of the internet.
When it didnt deliver honey and unicorns, by many it was retrospectively recast as a US coup using a US corporation controlled by zionists.
jon9521 -> dsdsdsdsds , 22 Jan 2019 06:41
Its not the medium it is the ownership and the bias behind it. TV media today is left wing biased not just in UK but US and other western countries too. Similarly, we have to look at the ownership of the big internet companies and their bias today also.
ID1174659 -> expatinscandinavia , 22 Jan 2019 06:41
If you have a questionable attitude to tax you are NOT left wing. More Libertarian.
bradgate , 22 Jan 2019 06:40
The tech giants don't care about 'left' or 'right', 'conservative' or 'progressive'. They care about money and they care about enriching their senior executives and shareholders.
DoctorWibble , 22 Jan 2019 06:37
It wasn't that long ago that progressives bubbled over with excitement at the role played by Twitter and Facebook in the Arab Spring. And of course no profession has embraced Twitter more enthusiastically than journalists. If that was removed half our newspapers would be blank pages. Ambivalence about the big social media platforms is not unique to populists. If your ideas get traction on it you like it. If your opponents ideas get traction you don't. Not entirely unlike traditional media in this respect.
Smolker , 22 Jan 2019 06:34
The advent of social media produced an upswell of academic papers and arguments.

As the internet became a growing cultural and political tool, the framing question for much academic debate was as follows:

Will "new media" democratise our culture and politics, or be co-opted by established actors to bolster their hegemonic status.

The assumption among academics was that, should new media democratise our politics it would, naturally, advantage the left. The people would throw off their shackles and reclaim authority from capital. The wave would be egalitarian rather than divisive.

Post-Brexit and Trump, this assumption has been exposed as deeply flawed.

While Western politics has become increasingly polarised, the beneficiaries have been the increasingly hard to far right.

We're in a desperate situation where capital and tech giants have utilised social media to encourage, amplify and legitimise the very worst human impulses.

How do we begin to fight back? Can we fight back?

dsdsdsdsds , 22 Jan 2019 06:34
Isnt this just the modern equivalent of 1950s republicans complaining that new fangled TV makes JFK seem better looking and more likely to win elections? You cant uninvent TV or the internet.
Barack Obama was the pioneer of using social media to help win elections but there was zero outcry about it.
geniusofmozart -> Laurence Bury , 22 Jan 2019 06:32
Automation will likely eliminate all jobs eventually. The idea that it's a tool of the liberal centre to displace the "provincial periphery" is nonsense.
unclestinky , 22 Jan 2019 06:27

Steve Bannon called people leading "evil" Silicon Valley "complete narcissists" and "sociopaths"

Now who else does that remind me of Steve?
Nada89 , 22 Jan 2019 06:23
2008 was the pivotal year that trust was lost in the banks, the political class and the media; all three have been fighting a rearguard action ever since.

The crash saw politicians use public money to bail out the banks while the media were complicit in subverting this reality, blaming certain groups for causing the melt down (such as the poor, the feckless, migrants, etc).

In the meantime things have become much worse guaranteeing that the next crash (which is just round the corner) will be far worse than 2008 because borrowing has reached such stratospheric proportions, while none of the root causes of 2008 have been addressed - the likes of the Yellow Vests in France are probably a taste of what is to come.

Most of the arguments around the digital media are driven by a desire to surpress the nature of previous and coming economic catastrophes in my opinion typified by some of the groups who are trying to exploit the lack of honesty about why living conditions are under threat in places like Spain, Greece and the North of England.

DasInternaut , 22 Jan 2019 06:21
So outside of the US, populist see social media as a way out of some sort dictatorship by people smarter than themselves? That's just perverse. I want the damned country to be run by people who are smarter than I am. I hope this will actually happen one day.
Laurence Bury , 22 Jan 2019 06:19
I tend to think that the Atlanticists are right here - Big Tech represents the liberal centre who would happily replace the provincial periphery with robots for cultural as well as economic reasons.
In Continental Europe, the new populism is nascent and so as we saw with the leader-less Gilets jaunes, folk are still excited about the self-organisation potential of the Net.
expatinscandinavia , 22 Jan 2019 06:12
I don't think either 'side' is necessarily wrong here. The social media giants are generally made up of left-leaning people; not necessarily surprising given that they're based in California and are made up of relatively young college graduates. And yes, they are getting filthy rich off the backs of some questionable policies and, in some instances, questionable approaches to taxation.

For all the faults of the left and right populists, and there are many, I think they are right in thinking that the big tech companies are no angels.

[Jul 23, 2019] US justice department targets big tech firms in antitrust review by Kari Paul and agencies

Jul 23, 2019 | www.theguardian.com

The US justice department is opening a broad antitrust review into major technology firms, as criticism over the companies' growing reach and power heats up.

The investigation will focus on growing complaints that the companies are unlawfully stifling competition.

"The Department's review will consider the widespread concerns that consumers, businesses and entrepreneurs have expressed about search, social media, and some retail services online," the Department of Justice said in a statement.

ss="rich-link"> A new antitrust frontier – the issue closing partisan divides in the name of policing big tech Read more

"Without the discipline of meaningful market-based competition, digital platforms may act in ways that are not responsive to consumer demands," added the assistant attorney general Makan Delrahim, of the antitrust division.

The review will investigate practices of online platforms including Facebook , Alphabet's Google, Amazon and Apple.

The investigation comes amid calls from lawmakers, including Democratic presidential candidates such as Elizabeth Warren, that the companies should face more scrutiny.

Lat week, Facebook, Google, and Amazon faced a grilling before the House subcommittee on antitrust, commercial and administrative law over their hold on markets including digital advertising, e-commerce and cloud computing.

Lawmakers questioned Amazon over the fees it levies against third-party sellers on the platform and whether this creates a monopoly of power. They also questioned Facebook executives over practices of targeting startups for acquisition and copying features of companies that decline to be acquired.

Lawmakers also grilled Facebook this month over its plans to launch a global cryptocurrency, called Libra. In the hearing, Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio said Facebook showed "breathtaking arrogance" in attempting to launch a digital financial service after a number of major privacy scandals.

In July, the Federal Trade Commission approved a $5bn fine against Facebook for its handling of user data surrounding the Cambridge Analytica scandal in 2018.

"Facebook is dangerous," Brown said, likening the company to a toddler playing with matches. "It has burned the house down repeatedly and called every attempt a learning experience. Do you really think people should trust you with their bank accounts and their money?"

The Department of Justice investigation is already under way, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday. The department hosted a private presentation from critics of big technology companies, who walked legislators through concerns and arguments for breaking up the firms.

Facebook, Alphabet , Amazon and Apple did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

[Jul 23, 2019] Not The Onion NY Times Urges Trump To Establish Closer Ties With Moscow

Highly recommended!
Jul 23, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

2016 a Russia-Trump campaign collusion conspiracy was afoot and unfolding right before our eyes, we were told, as during his roll-out foreign policy speech at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C., then candidate Trump said [ gasp! ]:

" Common sense says this cycle, this horrible cycle of hostility must end and ideally will end soon. Good for both countries. Some say the Russians won't be reasonable. I intend to find out."

NPR and others had breathlessly reported at the time, "Sergey Kislyak, then the Russian ambassador to the U.S., was sitting in the front row" [ more gasps! ].

This 'suspicious' "coincidence or something more?" event and of course the infamous Steele 'Dodgy Dossier' were followed by over two more years of the following connect-the-dots mere tiny sampling of unrestrained theorizing and avalanche of accusations...

Here's a very brief trip down memory lane:

2017, Politico: The Hidden History of Trump's First Trip to Moscow

2017, NYT: Trump's Russia Motives (where we were told: "President Trump certainly seems to have a strange case of Russophilia.")

2017, Business Insider: James Clapper: Putin is handling Trump like a Russian 'asset'

2017, USA Today: Donald Trump's ties to Russia go back 30 years

2018, NYT: Trump, Treasonous Traitor

2018, AP: Russia had 'Trump over a barrel'

2018, BBC: Russia: The 'cloud' over the Trump White House

2018, NYT: From the Start, Trump Has Muddied a Clear Message: Putin Interfered

2018, USA Today: " From Putin with love"

2019, WaPo: Here are 18 reasons Trump could be a Russian asset

2019, Vanity Fair: "The President Has Been Acting On Russia's Behalf": U.S. Officials Are Shocked By Trump's Asset-Like Behavior

2019, Wired: Trump Must Be A Russian Agent... (where we were told...ahem: " It would be rather embarrassing ... if Robert Mueller were to declare that the president isn't an agent of Russian intelligence." )

Embarrassing indeed.

"The walls are closing in!" - we were assured just about every 24 hours .

It's especially worth noting that a July 2018 New York Times op-ed argued that President Trump -- dubbed a "treasonous traitor" for meeting with Putin in Helsinki -- should "be directing all resources at his disposal to punish Russia."

Fast-forward to a July 2019 NY Times Editorial Board piece entitled "What's America's Winning Hand if Russia Plays the China Card?" How dizzying fast all of the above has been wiped from America's collective memory! Or at least the Times is engaged in hastily pushing it all down the memory hole Orwell-style in order to cover its own dastardly tracks which contributed in no small measure to non-stop national Russiagate hype and hysteria, with this astounding line:

President Trump is correct to try to establish a sounder relationship with Russia... -- E ditorial Board, New York Times, 7-22-19

That's right, The Times' pundits have already pivoted to the new bogeyman while stating they agree with Trump on Russian relations :

"Given its economic, military and technological trajectory, together with its authoritarian model, China, not Russia , represents by far the greater challenge to American objectives over the long term . That means President Trump is correct to try to establish a sounder relationship with Russia and peel it away from China ."

[... Mueller who? ]

Remember how recently we were told PUTIN IS WEAPONIZING EVERYTHING! from space to deep-sea exploration to extreme climate temperatures to humor to racial tensions to even 'weaponized whales' ?

It's 2019, and we've now come full circle . This is The New York Times editorial board continuing their call for Trump to establish "sounder" ties and "cooperation" with Russia :

"Even during the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union often made progress in one facet of their relationship while they remained in conflict over other aspects. The United States and Russia could expand their cooperation in space . They could also continue to work closely in the Arctic And they could revive cooperation on arms control."

Could we imagine if a mere six months ago Trump himself had uttered these same words? Now the mainstream media apparently agrees that peace is better than war with Russia.

With 'Russiagate' now effectively dead, the NY Times' new criticism appears to be that Trump-Kremlin relations are not close enough , as Trump's "approach has been ham-handed " - the 'paper of record' now tells us.

Or imagine if Trump had called for peaceful existence with Russia almost four years ago? Oh wait...

" Common sense says this cycle, this horrible cycle of hostility must end and ideally will end soon. Good for both countries." -- Then candidate Trump on April 27, 2016

Cue ultra scary red Trump-Kremlin montage.