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Neoliberal Propaganda:
Journalism in the Service of the Powerful Few

Journalism Vacation from Truth is a direct threat to democracy. Without journalistic integrity, there is no democracy as the average voter cannot make an informed choice. Inverted totalitarism won some time ago.

The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @NBCNews, @ABC, @CBS, @CNN) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People! ~ Donald Trump

Skepticism > Political Skeptic > Media-Military-Industrial Complex > Propaganda

News Neoliberal newspeak Recommended Links US and British media are servants of security apparatus Tucker Carlson rejection of neoliberalism Neoliberal war on reality Demonization of Putin
NeoMcCartyism Integrity Initiative Journalists for Hire How the CIA Buys the News by Dr. Udo Ulfkotte Luke Harding: a pathetic author of book that rehash Steele Dossier Edward Lucas as agent provocateur William Browder, economic rape of Russia and Magnitsky Act Litvinenko poisoning
Charlie Hebdo - more questions then answers Manchester attack vs Charlie Hebdo Patterns of Propaganda Who Shot down Malaysian flight MH17? The Guardian Slips Beyond the Reach of Embarrassment NYT degeneration into a deep state stooge Pussy Riot Provocation -- the hand of MI6?
Neoliberal war on reality Classic Hypocrisy of British Ruling Elite Is national security state in the USA gone rogue ? Steele dossier The importance of controlling the narrative MSM as attack dogs of color revolution Anti Trump Hysteria
Corruption of the language Doublespeak Whataboutism as a thought crime Media-Military-Industrial Complex Freedom of speech played by Western MSM as three card monte The Deep State Special Prosecutor Mueller and his fishing expedition
Discrediting the opponent as favorite tactic of neoliberals Purple revolution against Trump Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak Deconstructing neoliberalism's definition of 'freedom' Co-opting of the Human Rights to embarrass governments who oppose neoliberalism Bullshit as MSM communication method Manipulation of the term "freedom of press"
MSM Sochi Bashing Rampage Cold War II "Fuck the EU": State Department neocons show EU its real place Michael Wolff's "Fire and fury" revelations and slander of Trump administration Coordinated set of leaks as a color revolution tool Neo-fascism New American Militarism
Deception as an art form Diplomacy by deception Media as a weapon of mass deception Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair The attempt to secure global hegemony Democracy as a universal opener for access to natural resources Nation under attack meme
Lewis Powell Memo Anatol Leiven on American Messianism Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism What's the Matter with Kansas Groupthink Soft propaganda Swiftboating: Khan gambit against Trump at Democratic Convention
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass The Good Soldier Svejk Nineteen Eighty-Four Brave New World Propaganda Quotes Humor Etc

"The truth is that the newspaper is not a place for information to be given,
rather it is just hollow content, or more than that, a provoker of content.
If it prints lies about atrocities, real atrocities are the result."

Karl Kraus, 1914

WAR IS PEACE. FREEDOM IS SLAVERY. IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH

1984

We are the world, we are exceptional, we cannot fail. The elite will lie, and the people will pretend to believe them. Heck about 20 percent of the American public will believe almost anything if it is wrapped with the right prejudice and appeal to passion.

jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com, Feb 04, 2015

I think journalists today — elite journalists at least — absorb the biases of the ruling neoliberal oligarchy far more readily than they used to do. The media establishment is populated by yes-men. I do not understand how any skeptical person can, in good conscience, trust a western MSM description of foreign events. You need a second source to compare coverage. The mainstream media gives us no real news. Just the regurgitation of  talking points they were given. Seeing how they treat the concept of truth these days, one might think that 1984 dystopia was an understatement. 

Truth killing is a meta-issue ( nationalinterest.org

The problem is fundamental, and relates to a broad spectrum of policy issues both foreign and domestic, because truth — factual reality — is a necessary foundation to consider and evaluate and debate policy on any subject. 

Crushing the truth means not just our having to endure any one misdirected policy; it means losing the ability even to address policy intelligently. 

To the extent that falsehood is successfully instilled in the minds of enough people, the political system loses what would otherwise be its ability to provide a check on policy that is bad policy because it is inconsistent with factual reality.

I think it is good that people question their lying politicians and these lying, corrupt partisans pretending to be MSM pundits. If that means that MSM try to slander the people as “conspiracy theorists” you should take it with a grain of salt. I would rather be a conspiracy theorist than take anything CNN or FOX says as gospel. Or, God forbid, believe what US politicians say to justify thier action or inaction. Skepticism is good. These people don’t automatically deserve our trust. As Reagan said (translating Russian proverb) "Trust but verify".  

The angle under which this page views events and MSM can be called anti-neoliberal angle (please note that the term populism is the attempt to discredit any anti-neoliberal movement). Until recently such sites were a lone  voice. In 2019 this changed. See Tucker Carlson rejection of neoliberalism

If you take in television news as truthful information, that's all a critically thinking person needs to know about you. In reality 99% of political coverage is neolineral propaganda, sometimes refined, sometimes crude.

Propaganda can be defined as a war on reality using fake news, disinformation, projection, witch-hunts (see neo_Mccarthhyism) and other methods. An attempt to create an artificial reality.

Propaganda can be  defined as a war on reality using fake news, disinformation, projection, witch-hunts (see neo_Mccarthhyism)  and other methods. An attempt to create an artificial reality.  The key here is controlling the narrative.  For example, "fake news" hysteria is a perfect method of suppressing of dissent and questions about MSM ties to three-letter agencies: 

Journalists manipulate us in the interest of the Powerful. Do you also have the feeling, that you are often manipulated by the media and  lied to? Then you're like the majority of Germans. Previously it was considered as a "conspiracy theory". Now it revealed by an Insider, who tells us what is really happening under the hood.

The Journalist Udo Ulfkotte ashamed today that he spent 17 years in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. ...he reveals why opinion leaders produce tendentious reports and serve as the extended Arm of the NATO press office. ...the author also was admitted into the networks of American elite organizations, received in return for positive coverage in the US even a certificate of honorary citizenship.

In this book you will learn about industry lobby organisations. The author calls hundreds of names and looks behind the Scenes of those organizations, which exert bias into media, such as: Atlantic bridge, Trilateral Commission, the German Marshall Fund, American Council on Germany, American Academy, Aspen Institute, and the Institute for European politics. Also revealed are the intelligence backgrounds of those lobby groups, the methods and forms of propaganda and financing used, for example, by the US Embassy. Which funds  projects for the targeted influencing of public opinion in Germany 

...You realize how you are being manipulated - and you know from whom and why. At the end it becomes clear that diversity of opinion will now only be simulated. Because our "messages" are often pure brainwashing.

Gekaufte Journalisten - Medienwelt Enthüllungen Bücher - Kopp Verlag

Simplifying, the US MSM foreign events media coverage (and large part of domestic coverage related to the opposition to neoliberalism and neoliberal globalization, see Anti Trump Hysteria during elections and immediately after them ) has little to do with the reality and is mostly a barometer of the paranoia of the US neoliberal elite.  It is 100% propaganda, or as CBS like to call it "fake news".

How does Fake History and Fake News in the US MSM gradually superseded their reality-based version (which never was perfect, and often quite distorted)  is a very interesting question but it is too big for this page. I would only say that this process is closely connected with the process of the neoliberalization of the US society which started in full force in late 70th (see also late Sheldon Wolin  notion of  Inverted Totalitarism) . We can take election of Reagan as a starting point although the process started immediately after WWII. From this point "fake news" were enforced on the US society as the only acceptable narrative? Which, is essence, is a real war on reality.

It also could be that the process started earlier, immediately after  WWII with the creation of CIA. The question whether  representative democracy is compatible with the existence large all-powerful and largely uncontrollable intelligence  agencies is another interesting question to ask.  At some point any society with powerful intelligence  agencies can come to the situation when the tail wags the dog. In the USA this probably happened  around 1963, with the JFK assassination.  In a way the USSR via Truman enforced its model of governance on the USA ;-). Creation of intelligence agencies by Truman was actually the act of the creation of national security state. Which could be  viewed as an official end of the US democracy and quick (less then two decades) rise to power of deep state (with the victory demonstrated to the US people in 1963).    With it the huge apparatus of state propaganda (and by extension means of suppressing of dissent) intelligence  agencies, which gradually acquired political power including considerable (but not yet absolute, that will come much later, after 9/11) level of control of MSM  (see Church Committee - Wikipedia ). 

After 1963, the level outrage in the society was such that there were some meek attempts to check this power, especially the power of intelligence agencies over the MSM (Church Committee - Wikipedia  was probably the most well known) but they lead to nowhere.

Principles of War propaganda

 Principles are are well known since the WWI (Falsehood in War-Time):

1. We do not want war.
2. The opposite party alone is guilty of war.
3. The enemy is the face of the devil.
4. We defend a noble cause, not our own interest.
5. The enemy systematically commits cruelties; our mishaps are involuntary.
6. The enemy uses forbidden weapons.
7. We suffer small losses, those of the enemy are enormous.
8. Artists and intellectuals back our cause.
9. Our cause is sacred. "The ages-old 'God bless America' is playing once more."
10. All who doubt our propaganda, are traitors.

The blog empirestrikesblack cites Belgian investigative journalist Michel Collon who has outlined five principles driving war propaganda:

  1. Obscure one’s economic interests;
  2. Appear humanitarian in work and motivations;
  3. Obscure history;
  4. Demonize the enemy; and
  5. Monopolize the flow of information.

Neo McCarthyism

Neo McCarthyism campaign which was launched around mid 2016 by Democratic Party operatives as tactical tool to distract attention from DNC corruption and illegal removal of Bernie Sanders from the Democratic ticket after lection of Trump turned into important component of color revolution against Trump. And was fueled not only by MSM but also powerful factions of neoliberals and neocons in US intelligence agencies concerted about their future and the level of financing of "national security parasites".  They also have skeletons in the closet to hide (especially FBI and CIA) and did not prepare well to the Trump victory as this was a huge surprise for everybody including Trump himself.  See Steele dossier and Strzok-gate

Please note that the original McCarthyism campaign lasted more then a decade. And McCarthyism was not exactly or only about Communist infiltration into the US government. It has elements of a more general framework of suppressing any "dissidents" who question "official narrative" and simultaneously served as the framework of brainwashing of population creating a stereotype of enemy, in best Bolsheviks, or, if you wish Nazi Germany, style. In other words, like in famous Orwell novel 1984, under McCarthyism questioning of official narrative has  become a "though  crime" (much like it was in the USSR, especially under Stalinism period).   And repressions were real, although far less extensive and brutal, than in the USSR in 30th.  Thousands of people lost jobs and were blacklisted. Many ostracized, especially from artistic circles, committed suicides.

While Senator McCartney has a certain gist for blackmailing people and, being an alcoholic, he probably would be a suitable candidate for high position in NKVD, he was not a pioneer. He was just a talented follower. This type of modern witch hunt was first implemented on large scale by Bolsheviks in Russia after 1917.  Actually Bolsheviks originated many modern methods of brainwashing of the population.  Which later were enhanced and further developed in Nazi Germany and than imported to the USA after WWII.

That all brings us to the concept of "deep state" and its control of MSM.  The problem with the "deep state" approach to governance is that it replicates Bolshevism on a new, more polished,  level, with high officials of intelligence agencies, Wall Street and  military industrial complex as a new Politburo.  Which is not elected but still controls that nations. So much for remnants of democracy in the USA.  That does not mean that some deviations from the "Party line" are impossible: the election of Trump is one  such event. But loop at the power of the reaction of the "deep state" on this event. Not that Trump (who can be viewed as some kind of Republican "Change we can believe in" Obama" ) was intended to follow his election promises in any case.  The level of vetting of candidates is two party system probably is higher then many of us suspect.

As currently there is no alternative to neoliberalism, the current situation will continue to exist. Notwithstanding  the fact that neoliberal ideology was discredited after 2008 financial crisis, much like Bolshevism in 60th. Bolshevism as a theocratic ideology was essentially dead after WWII (although it managed to kick the can down the road for another 45 years). After 60the Soviet people despite constant brainwashing started to have wide-ranging doubts about the communist state and communist ideology. Listening to state-sponsored propaganda radio-stations from the West such as BBC and Voice of America became national pasture of Soviet citizens, especially educated one. Despite all the jamming.  Similar situation happened with the USA after 2008, when citizen suddenly start showing some level of interest RT broadcasts and views on internal situation in the USA ;-). And, of cause, all this needs to be  stopped. In the name of the "health of the state", democracy be dumned (religious term which literally means "condemned to eternal punishment")

In this particular sense, imitating the enemy by the USA elite after WWII, which was done to fight communist  threat (which was overblown) was a very dangerous course with far reaching consequences.  The new level of this process of "imitating  the enemy" now started with the USA -- the rise of alternative press (kind of Samizdat replica from Soviet past) and clumsy attempt of the deep state to suppress it claiming that they are propagator of "fake news" with the subtext that they are Russian agents  (the campaign which spectacularly backfired: which the help of President Trump tweets this term now became the standard nickname of the "official" US MSM).  That brings us directly to revising Stalin's "Show trials" and corresponding witch-hunt in the USSR.  Appointing  Muller to investigate Trump for "Russian connection" (so called "Russiagate") replays favorite theme of accusing enemies of Stalin of being British agents.  On a new level incorporating set of political technologies of overthrowing the legitimate government commonly known  as "color revolution" technologies. But in both cases it is all about eliminating political rivals.

In broader context the current practice of manipulating population is similar to "high demand cults" style practice  -- Bolshevism actually can be best viewed as a religious cult merged with the political movement, much like political Islam today ( Belief-coercion in high demand cults ):

They use all of the techniques as "low demand" faith groups use: requiring members to accept a system of beliefs, conforming to certain behavioral norms; expecting them to involve themselves in the life of the congregation, etc. However, mind-control groups add many additional methods, and take them all to a much higher level. Some are:

Members are not physically restrained from leaving the group. They are not held prisoner. They can walk away at any time. But there are strong pressures to remain. If they left, all social and emotional support would disappear; they will often be shunned. Some groups teach that God will abandon or punish them if they leave. They may be told that they will die in the imminent war of Armageddon if they leave the protection of the group.

The main methods here always was the generation and totalitarian control of "suitable" narrative (that's why Sheldon Wolin called neoliberal society "inverted totalitarism"):

"The primary aim of official propaganda is to generate an "official narrative" that can be mindlessly repeated by the ruling classes and those who support and identify with them. This official narrative does not have to make sense, or to stand up to any sort of serious scrutiny. Its factualness is not the point. The point is to draw a Maginot line, a defensive ideological boundary, between "the truth" as defined by the ruling classes and any other "truth" that contradicts their narrative. "

Gerald Celente coined the  "presstitutes", which is obviously politically incorrect, but still reasonably precise term: presstitutes sell themselves to neoliberal establishment for access and governments to prosper financially and to keep their jobs. In the USSR journalist were called "soldiers of the Party" so in the less humiliating way we can call them "soldiers of neoliberal establishment" ;-). 

Due to the size an introductory article was converted to a separate page Neoliberal Propaganda


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"It tends to be all accurate, but not in an over-all context."

Donald Rumsfeld

"Citizens must be alert to propaganda and
glittering generalities is a type of propaganda
which often uses words such as freedom and patriotism."

"Civics in Practice". Page 274

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[Feb 18, 2019] See the real connection between the fake Steele Dossier and the Skipal hoax

Feb 18, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

war is coming , February 17, 2019 at 9:37 pm

See the real connection between the fake Steele Dossier and the Skipal hoax.

The UK MI6 is behind everything with Australia and Nato. War with Russia is coming to avoid the Brexit. It has been planned 5 years ago. The Brexit is just a good excuse.

The continued NATO harassment, sanctions and campaigns of lies and false accusations against Russia, including the blatant war rhetoric of the British Defence Secretary, do not bode well for the future. For the US to tear up nuclear arms treaties and then blame Russia is beyond shameful: it is destroying all possibility of negotiations to avert war. The Kerch Strait incident staged by the puppet regime in Kiev, sending gunboats into the Kerch Strait without observing the 2003 Protocol requiring them to notify in advance the Port of Kerch (a protocol observed by the dozens of ships that go through the Strait peacefully every day) was clearly part of a NATO plan to set up a major naval clash in the Black Sea.

That clash (followed by an attempt to recapture Crimea or at least blow up its magnificent bridge, a reproach to a man who cannot even build a wall) may be expected in coming months, perhaps as a distraction from Brexit or a way of derailing it. NATO, in short, is on a clear trajectory towards war with Russia, which their deluded worldview convinces them they can win.

Their initial use of Russia as a scapegoat and bogeyman to unite the NATO vassals against a common threat, keeping Europe in subjection to America, has got out of hand, and is heading, under the impetus of hysterical rhetoric, towards actual war. Unless decent people unite to stop this escalation then the nuclear catastrophe will occur.

Exposing the barefaced lie of the Skripal false flag attack may be a step towards averting that global cataclysm.

http://thesaker.is/the-alternative-skripal-narrative/

[Feb 18, 2019] The FBI Came Close to Staging a Coup

They removed both Kennedy brothers. Why not to remove Trump?
Notable quotes:
"... This FBI/CIA (plus British intelligence etc.) attempt to destroy and remove an elected President will end the same way as the bank fraud that damaged the US economy 11 yrs ago. ..."
"... I think what the Intel Agencies were really concerned about was Trump's statement "wouldn't it be great to get along with Russia." They were worried about detente, not influence. Trump threatened to remove their number one bogeyman, which would put at risk trillions of dollars for the MIC. What if he dared to negotiate a nuclear arms reduction treaty? What if he dared to share intelligence regarding terrorists with Russia, as Obama attempted before he was brought to heel? Trump has been emasculated by RussiaGate, and Mueller's "Theater of the Absurd" continues to ensure that Trump toes the line. The intel agencies don't need to remove him from power because they are the ones with the REAL power. ..."
"... In such a world "voting" and "democracy" are simply fairy tales "told by an idiot, full of sound and fury and signifying nothing." They exist only as meaningless abstractions used to help insure we the populace remain compliant and don't take to the streets like the Yellow Vests in France. Which of course is our only chance whatsoever to in any meaningfully way impact this completely corrupt uber-violent corporate-feudal paradise we find ourselves now inhabiting. ..."
Feb 18, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

Former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe, in an explosive interview with CBS's "60 Minutes," said that in early 2017, in the aftermath of President Donald Trump's firing of former FBI Director James Comey, he and other FBI officials discussed the possibility of recruiting a cabinet secretary to help push the president out of office by using the Constitution's 25 th Amendment

McCabe further contended that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein offered to wear a wire when he was around Trump in order to gather evidence against him. (Rosenstein

denies the allegation.) McCabe said that Justice Department officials believed at the time that Trump may have obstructed justice by firing Comey, and they worried that Trump was somehow under the influence of the Russian government. In the end, nothing came of the plan. Regardless of one's feelings toward President Trump and his policies, what McCabe is describing is nothing less than a coup attempt. It's something that happens in weak or nascent democracies, following interference by the CIA perhaps. It should never happen here.

Trump has long had an antagonistic relationship with the FBI, the CIA and other elements of the intelligence community. Indeed, in early 2017, when news of the FISA warrants and the private intelligence Steele dossier began to leak out, Trump began to tweet his disgust at news of impending investigations of him, his campaign, and his business dealings.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer responded almost immediately, saying "(The president) is being really dumb to do this." "This" was to take on the intelligence agencies, the so-called Deep State, in public. A few days later, Schumer went on MSNBC to sharpen his warning to Trump, saying, "Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community -- they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you."

But Trump was right. The intelligence community -- the FBI, CIA, the NSA and other three-letter agencies -- are too powerful, too entrenched and two well-funded. And they have far too little oversight. They're a threat to our democracy, not the saviors of it. That is why it pains me to see Democrats lining up behind them to attack Trump.

Presidents Come and Go

I was a member of that "Deep State" throughout my 15 years at the CIA. I can tell you from first-hand experience that the CIA doesn't care who the president is. Neither does the FBI. Senior CIA and FBI officers are there for decades, while presidents come and go. They know that they can outwait any president they don't like. At the very least, at the CIA, they could made administrative decisions that would hamstring a president: Perhaps they don't carry out that risky operation. Maybe they don't target that well-placed source. Maybe they ignore the president's orders knowing that in four years or eight years he or she will just go away.

Even worse, these same organizations -- the FBI and the CIA -- are the ones that have sought to undermine our democracy over the years. Don't forget programs like COINTELPRO , the FBI's operation to force Martin Luther King Jr. to commit suicide ; the infiltration of peace groups; the CIA's efforts to control the media with Operation Mockingbird ; the CIA's illegal spying on American citizens ; the CIA hacking into the computers of the Senate Intelligence Committee; and the Agency's extrajudicial assassination program ; to name a few.

McCabe's almost offhanded comments on "60 Minutes," that the FBI actively considered deposing a sitting president should be cause for alarm. Set partisan politics aside for a moment. We're talking about deposing a sitting president . We're talking about wearing a wire to catch a sitting president saying something because you're angry that he fired your boss. Even the idea of it is unprecedented in American history.

John Kiriakou is a former CIA counterterrorism officer and a former senior investigator with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. John became the sixth whistleblower indicted by the Obama administration under the Espionage Act -- a law designed to punish spies. He served 23 months in prison as a result of his attempts to oppose the Bush administration's torture program.


Tom , February 17, 2019 at 4:33 pm

As if we have free and fair elections?

Hillary and the DNC stole the nomination from Sanders and gave Sanders voters a stiff middle finger meanwhile Hillary via Bill Talked Trump into Running as a REPUBLICAN ..

Hillary was the neo con neo liberal candidate ..Trump was never supposed to win and even he was shocked it happened ..Melania even cried .

its worse than you think

Why Did Bernie Abandon Tim Canova & Election Integrity

https://youtu.be/B6A452H6wA4

Anne Jaclard , February 17, 2019 at 9:14 pm

Also Integrity Initiative infiltrated the Sanders campaign and boosted anti-Jill Stein messaging. The only good thing about all this investigations nonsense is that we see how blatantly rigged and/or manipulated US elections are by intelligence agencies on top of the pre-manipulation by the corporate giants.

Babyl-on , February 17, 2019 at 1:13 pm

Thomas Piketty in his typically tedious economic research, has shown that there is and has been for centuries a core block of Western capital. This core capital has not in the past 500 years ever had a year of loss, they gained in profit ALWAYS no matter the empire or democracy war or peace – that is EVERY SINGLE YEAR.

Institutions are instruments of power they are not power itself. These institutions are given instructions by those who represent the core block of Western capital. The US government and all its agencies serve ONLY the interests of core capital.

Today that block of core capital has grown to over 41 trillion dollars. It is the largest block of capital anywhere in the world, it's influence is deeply saturated throughout Western society and culture.

Peter Phillips has produced a tremendous book providing the evidence of this block of capital and the structure which communicates its orders to the World Bank, Fed and the "deep state" and the EU and its institutions. GIANTS: The Global Power Elite.

There are no secret societies running the world the power elites do it in plane sight. We know their names from history and in the present. Metici, Borgas – parts of those fortunes are in the 41 trillion. Rockefeller, Rothschild, Buffet are in the world today. Robert Kagen and his forces which represent the 41 trillion ALWAYS get what they want and they have for 500 years. Imagine, 500 years of taking more "profits" than any other faction of the population. But it is not just business, there is also theft, the way England stole in today's dollars 45 trillion dollars worth of goods from India – they simply set up a shell game and took everything and paid nothing. This is why their fortunes grow so much better than others – just outright theft. It is not a capitalist system, it is Feudalism.

This basic block of Western capital is openly pro war because within the 41 trillion are the arms corporations which they control just as one example.

The methods of this, possibly the most enduring power unit in human history, are clear throughout the historical record. They are ruthless, ALWAYS advancing pushing probing looking for opportunities. They never rest or give any quarter. Governments come and go, empires come and go but the core capital under any and all conditions profits every year.

While the phrase was first written in the years after WWII "Global full spectrum domination." has been the marching order for this capital for centuries.

This small group of elites will settle for nothing except everything. For them there is no morality, no good guys or bad buys, just winners and losers and they have won every battle for power and money for 500 years, even in years where things didn't go well they still made more that the economic growth of the economy.

It is the power of that 41 trillion which is destroying the planet and making perpetual war for their own pleasures and profit.

Talk of impeachment of a president or "The Constitution" changing the government are useless acts unless you can come up with a plan to take the assets of these monsters and to distribute them appropriately so that human institutions serve people instead of slaughtering for profit elites.

It is going to be far more difficult to deal with entrenched elites with a 500 year success record but until its power is finally dissipated.

Idimalink , February 17, 2019 at 12:08 pm

The FBI, CIA, the NSA and other three-letter agencies are the enemy. Their spooks must exposed as perpetrators of crime; heinous crimes.

errorum propagationi , February 17, 2019 at 2:55 pm

"The FBI, CIA, the NSA and other three-letter agencies are the enemy. Their spooks must exposed as perpetrators of crime; heinous crimes."

And yet despite the tough-talking, empty-rhetoric, Trump continues to bow to the same. Their crimes continue. The NSA is STILL collecting all data from EVERY citizen of the U.S., yet Trump has ensured even-greater secrecy of those actions by that agency. The CIA is STILL interfering in the politics of other countries, and STILL running drugs.

The FBI continues to ignore crimes by the .001 percent (incluing pedophilia, child trafficking, financial crimes, white collar crimes, etc.).

Trump continues to call for the draconian prosecution of those whom sought to expose the actions of these agencies.

Propaganda only works when it isn't recognized as such.

Trump's actions are called the propaganda of diversion & distraction.

Both Trump and Hillary were HIGHLY unpopular, yet the mindless masses are forced into not only accepting either, but ultimately defending the instilled "leader".

You are proof of the effectivness of that propaganda.

Trump is an Entertainer, first and foremost. His job is to lead mere followers like you to believing the roles he plays, into accepting the same wholly corrupted system. "Partisan" politics is increasingly being scripted like episodes of entertainment, like the Jerry Springer show.

Have you ever bothered to consider that the largest "news" media are similarly owned by the same corporations that own the largest entertainement media? I used to work for a image & footage library ..the firms are using stock images, video & sound for both their entertainment & "news". Have you ever bothered to examine the true underlying ownership of the highly consolidated corporate media? CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, etc are all largely owned by the same firms, via large stock holdings.

Trump is an Entertainer serving each of these subsidiaries. The viewership/ratings of each has climbed. The more "contention" (mere diversion & distraction) Trump creates, the more the loyal viewers of these media continue to indulge in the nonsense.

"Partisan" followers, the sheep, are doing the same of their respective parties, each of which are controlled by the same elite.
Don't believe it, take a look at the campaign finance & investment portfolios of the largest candidates of each party (including the "Dems", "GOP", "Progs" and "Libertarians").

The true "Deep State" is much larger than Trump. Those few Agents he has called-out & sought to damage, are just small cogs in the much larger system.

Absolutely nothing has changed. The mindless masses are so easily herded. Instincts of the Herd in Peace & War – Wilfred Trotter
Propaganda – Edward Bernays

Tom , February 17, 2019 at 4:36 pm

The deep state kills presidents. It why Trump has his own security ..smart move. Trump tried to take them on and was called a TRAITOR ..and criminals like Brenner and clapper and Haden work for MSNBC and CNN now? The USSR wasnt so blatant .

O Society , February 18, 2019 at 12:09 am

Spot on. Trump is PT Barnum, not Martin Luther King. He's not fighting to "save America from the Deep State." Trump's a clown riding a unicycle juggling chainsaws. He's a circus charlatan, not some hero demolishing the FBI to save John Q Public from the spooks. Sheep indeed.

Scott Hunter , February 17, 2019 at 11:49 am

Spot on!!! Accountability is the next step Integrity is the key and has always been the key to walking a path that brings contentment.

Thank you for your service John Kiriakou!!!

Billy , February 17, 2019 at 11:47 am

The Emsils reveal Hillary cheated Bernie. She needed to distract. Brennan, Clapper and the FBI assisted her. When she lost they switched over from distract to removal mode. The entire MSM is also complicate in this illegal coup. They're not fake news they're propagandist.

Tom , February 17, 2019 at 4:40 pm

MSM fired Ed Shultz for wanting to cover Sanders . MSM fired Jesse Ventura for being anti war . MSM fiired Phil Donahue for being against the Iraq wars .. Brennan and Clapper and Haden are proved Bush criminals who now work for the MSM and CNN liars ,war mongers and torture enthusiasts .

William , February 17, 2019 at 10:45 am

I like John and the information he puts out for us. But I just don't buy this. I see this just as I did the 2016 election cycle for the republican party. A circus of over 21 candidates and everyone and the media all against Trump. But who got all the free time in the media and ended up being the president? I didn't buy the fake disdain from the republicans towards Trump because I knew they were licking their chops wanting him in their. With Trump they could take the country to the right as far as they wanted. And here we are looking at a fascist state now. The US has leaped right into the fire of the fourth reich. All that in 2016 was us being duped into a false illusion of Trump can't possibly win while the plan was make him win. I honestly believe the whole 2016 election cycle was one big illusion to take over the country. A coup over the population.

Trump and these intelligence agencies are working just fine together. This is all just another illusion as the country continues to move towards fascism with the rest of the world. Still working together in Syria, Iran, Venezuela, Africa and a list of other countries, along with right here among us is the FBI. After all, right there in the article it states as much. These entities and Trump essentially have the same agenda. And what we;re getting is a dose of perception management to duped us from the reality of it being the reality. And just like the founder of this news site has taught us, the media is the tool to make it work for them.

Anne Jaclard , February 17, 2019 at 9:19 pm

Agree that Trump is a corporate military-intelligence flunky like his predecessors but that doesn't justify the FBI/CIA manipulation, as it was based merely on dovish (but ignored in office, of course) campaign rhetoric. What if Tulsi Gabbard or Bernie Sanders, or somebody better than either of them (neither are super great) get spied upon or ousted by a militarist cabal for the same reasons?

Jeff Harrison , February 17, 2019 at 10:40 am

It can't happen here . I'm telling you my dear, it can't happen here. – Frank Zappa in a tune of the same name.

But, John, it already has. Mark Felt, aka Deep Throat, pissed off that he wasn't made FBI director at Hoover's death, brought down a President, Nixon, out of personal pique. He revealed secrets that never should have been secrets to Woodward & Bernstein and brought Nixon down. Our evil ways in the rest of the world have come home to roost. You spoke of the Church committee's reforms. I doubt there's much left of Frank Church's reforms. The three letter surveillance state is the new Praetorian Guard. There is naught to be done but disband the whole lot of 'em if we want our democracy back. I know everybody will be screaming that Oh NO! We can't do that! But, ah, yes we can (to steal someone else's bullshit line).

The Ticoes of Costa Rica, after they got their government back from the military after a 1948 coup simply disbanded the military. No more military to junta. Haven't had a coup since. There's two trite but very true lines: Bullshit walks and money talks,

What goes around comes around. (and it's starting to come around. We'd better do something about it or we will regret it. But that would mean we'd have to give up our imperial pretensions and we all know that's not going to happen.)

anon4d2 , February 17, 2019 at 9:43 pm

We could certainly re-purpose 80% of our military to building infrastructure in developing nations, without any opposition from them or additional expense, and improve our security and international standing. We could completely eliminate the unconstitutional spying upon citizens without any opposition, and use the same employees for humanitarian purposes.

But of course oligarchy must first be deposed, which historically has required invasion or revolution. Where oligarchy controls mass media and elections, education and activism won't get us there. Invasion is no longer a likely path. So the revolution will be the bloodiest in history, likely after the mass media are discredited, the economy ruined by foreign embargo, and oligarchy no longer able to provide the bread and circus needed to quell the peasants.

If that string of disasters does not happen, we may have a permanent tyranny, a society that explicitly accepts and honors tyranny, a curse upon humanity until its destruction.

JOHN WHITE , February 17, 2019 at 10:29 am

THEY DID NOT COME CLOSE TO A COUP.. THE COUP IS STILL GOING ON ..

Herman , February 17, 2019 at 9:20 am

So now I know what the 25th amendment to the Constitution is about. Impeachment would be messy incapacitation would be quick and half the public, feeling helpless, would soon forget.

Discussion of this reminds me of the things we accused the Stalin regime of doing, which they well may have. Here today, gone tomorrow.

We cannot be sure this is all true, but the mere fact that it is floating around is chilling. Impeachment with its uncertain outcome would be messy, using the 25th amendment would be relatively quick if all your ducks were lined up.

Can we describe the Trump syndrome as anything else than mass hysteria. It has gotten so bad that no matter what Trump proposes, forces go to work to prevent it from happening lest he get credit for it. The merit of what he proposes, be damned, it's his idea and we are not going to let it happen.

Who and what is at risk. A besieged President, anxious to survive, can do crazy things which his crazy enemies happen to believe are good ideas. Things like detente with Russia are set aside as is an effort to achieve normal relations with North Korea. Things like creating a crisis with Iran or pulling out of a nuclear treaty are either praised or accepted. It all started minus day one of this guys presidency and it just won't stop. Hard to say how it could end, but the options are pretty
scary.

The authors point is that we have elections to decide who shall be president and the intoxicated crew in Washington, New York and Hollywood need to accept that.

Eric32 , February 17, 2019 at 9:06 am

This FBI/CIA (plus British intelligence etc.) attempt to destroy and remove an elected President will end the same way as the bank fraud that damaged the US economy 11 yrs ago.

Nothing real will be done, and the disease will just get deeper and more widespread.

MBeaver , February 17, 2019 at 9:51 pm

I often look at politics like I look at software. If you have bugs, you fix them quickly before they can hurt your customers too much and they decide to ditch your software or look for an alternative somewhere else.

Here they are being ignored for decades and decades and many people exploit them, because they can flourish on them, like a criminal uses bugs in software to circumvent security. Like parasites. But the vast majority and the system itself is getting damaged by them. People adapt to them, and become as dishonest as the minority. It gets worse and worse until there is no way back and ends in a disaster.

Dave , February 17, 2019 at 8:18 am

Are McCabe and others going to face any consequences for their actions? I have some doubts.

Skip Scott , February 17, 2019 at 7:35 am

"McCabe said that Justice Department officials believed at the time that Trump may have obstructed justice by firing Comey, and they worried that Trump was somehow under the influence of the Russian government."

I think what the Intel Agencies were really concerned about was Trump's statement "wouldn't it be great to get along with Russia." They were worried about detente, not influence. Trump threatened to remove their number one bogeyman, which would put at risk trillions of dollars for the MIC. What if he dared to negotiate a nuclear arms reduction treaty? What if he dared to share intelligence regarding terrorists with Russia, as Obama attempted before he was brought to heel? Trump has been emasculated by RussiaGate, and Mueller's "Theater of the Absurd" continues to ensure that Trump toes the line. The intel agencies don't need to remove him from power because they are the ones with the REAL power.

Gary Weglarz , February 17, 2019 at 11:56 pm

Skip Scott – excellent post Skip.

("Trump has been emasculated by RussiaGate, and Mueller's "Theater of the Absurd" continues to ensure that Trump toes the line.")

I quite agree, and with your comment in mind I'd say that one could quite rationally argue that in fact a deep state coup "has actually taken place" and was in fact quite successful. Trump will most certainly "not" be normalizing relations with Russia if he wants to remain president. This is the power of the deep state carried out through relentless MSM propaganda, evidence and "reality" be damned.

In such a world "voting" and "democracy" are simply fairy tales "told by an idiot, full of sound and fury and signifying nothing." They exist only as meaningless abstractions used to help insure we the populace remain compliant and don't take to the streets like the Yellow Vests in France. Which of course is our only chance whatsoever to in any meaningfully way impact this completely corrupt uber-violent corporate-feudal paradise we find ourselves now inhabiting.

"The intel agencies don't need to remove him from power because they are the ones with the REAL power." – spot on!

jadez , February 17, 2019 at 6:46 am

MAYBE MR John Kiriakou should familiarize himself with the Constitution..and the 25th amendment which he acknowledges was to be used to "oust"..a sitting president.

i do not disagree or challenge his integrity regarding the actions of the agencies he writes about yet at the same time to dismiss out of hand a constitutional avenue of removing a president for say BEING an actual agent of a foreign government can not be dismissed based strictly on the idea that presidents "come and go"!

Abby , February 18, 2019 at 12:29 am

I'm pretty sure that Kiriakou knows all about the constitution and the 25th amendment. The problem that he's discussing here is that if a president is unfit to continue his presidency then it's up to his cabinet and congress to remove him, not the intelligence agency's job.

Where was the proof that Trump was being an actual agent of a foreign government? There was none at the time of this attempted coup and so far Mueller hasn't shown any. Manafort is guilty of breaking tax laws, not anything to do with collusion with people in Russia. Nor has he shown that anyone else was or is either. And do you honestly think that if a president was working with a foreign government that congress would just sit patiently by as Mueller dragged his feet for two years looking into that? I think not.

Seby , February 17, 2019 at 5:02 am

Excellent in more detailed analysis of this power struggle in the US plutocracy at NEO recently.

3 Major Divisions in the American Ruling Class by Caleb Maupin.

To precis

Division #1: Saudi Wahabbis vs. The Muslim Brotherhood
Division #2: The Pentagon vs. Intel Agencies
Division #3: The Rich vs. The Ultra-Rich

For more details see article. https://journal-neo.org/2019/02/15/bezos-v-trump-3-major-divisions-in-the-american-ruling-class/

[Feb 18, 2019] Do You Believe in the Deep State Now by Robert W. Merry

Highly recommended!
Feb 18, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

That's a natural reaction to the revelation of Andrew G. McCabe, the former deputy FBI director, that top Justice Department officials, alarmed by Donald Trump's firing of former Bureau director James Comey, explored a plan to invoke the 25th Amendment and kick the duly elected president out of office.

According to New York Times reporters Adam Goldman and Matthew Haag, McCabe made the statement in an NBC 60 Minutes interview to be aired on Sunday. He also reportedly said that McCabe wanted the so-called Russia collusion investigation to go after Trump for obstructing justice in firing Comey and for any instances they could turn up of his working in behalf of Russia.

The idea of invoking the 25th Amendment was discussed, it seems, at two meetings on May 16, 2017. According to McCabe, top law enforcement officials pondered how they might recruit Vice President Pence and a majority of cabinet members to declare in writing, to the Senate's president pro tempore and the House speaker, that the president was "unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office." That would be enough, under the 25th Amendment, to install the vice president as acting president, pushing aside Trump.

But to understand what kind of constitutional crisis this would unleash and the precedent it would set, it's necessary to ponder the rest of this section of the 25th Amendment. The text prescribes that, if the president, after being removed, transmits to the same congressional figures that he is indeed capable of discharging his duties, he shall once again be president after four days. But if the vice president and the cabinet majority reiterate their declaration within those four days that the guy can't govern, Congress is charged with deciding the issue. It then takes a two-thirds vote of both houses to keep the president removed, which would have to be done within 21 days, during which time the elected president would be sidelined and the vice president would govern. If Congress can't muster the two-thirds majority within the prescribed time period, the president "shall resume the powers and duties of his office."

It's almost impossible to contemplate the political conflagration that would ensue under this plan. Citizens would watch those in Washington struggle with the monumental question of the fate of their elected leader under an initiative that had never before been invoked, or even considered, in such circumstances. Debates would flare up over whether this comported with the original intent of the amendment; whether it was crafted to deal with physical or mental "incapacitation," as opposed to controversial actions or unsubstantiated allegations or even erratic decision making; whether such an action, if established as precedent, would destabilize the American republic for all time; and whether unelected bureaucrats should arrogate to themselves the power to set in motion the downfall of a president, circumventing the impeachment language of the Constitution.

For the past two years, the country has been struggling to understand the two competing narratives of the criminal investigation of the president.

One narrative -- let's call it Narrative A -- has it that honorable and dedicated federal law enforcement officials developed concerns over a tainted election in which nefarious Russian agents had sought to tilt the balloting towards the candidate who wanted to improve U.S.-Russian relations and who seemed generally unseemly. Thus did the notion emerge, quite understandably, that Trump had "colluded" with Russian officials to cadge a victory that otherwise would have gone to his opponent. This narrative is supported and protected by Democratic figures and organizations, by adherents of the "Russia as Threat" preoccupation, and by anti-Trumpers everywhere, particularly news outlets such as CNN, The Washington Post , and The New York Times .

Trump, the FBI, and the Final Debasement of American Politics Unlike Nixon, Trump Will Not Go Quietly

The other view -- Narrative B -- posits that certain bureaucratic mandarins of the national security state and the outgoing Obama administration resolved early on to thwart Trump's candidacy. After his election, they determined to undermine his political standing, and particularly his proposed policy toward Russia, through a relentless and expansive investigation characterized by initial misrepresentations, selective media leaks, brutal law enforcement tactics, and a barrage of innuendo. This is the narrative of most Trump supporters, conservative commentators, Fox News, and The Wall Street Journal editorial page, notably columnist Kimberley Strassel.

The McCabe revelation won't affect the battle of the two narratives. As ominous and outrageous as this "deep state" behavior may seem to those who embrace Narrative B, it will be seen by Narrative A adherents as evidence that those law enforcement officials were out there heroically on the front lines protecting the republic from Donald J. Trump.

And those Narrative A folks won't have any difficulty tossing aside the fact that McCabe was fired as deputy FBI director for violating agency policy in leaking unauthorized information to the news media. He then allegedly violated the law in lying about it to federal investigators on four occasions, including three times while under oath.

Indeed, Narrative A people have no difficulty at all brushing aside serious questions posed by Narrative B people. McCabe is a likely liar and perjurer? Doesn't matter. Peter Strzok, head of the FBI's counterespionage section, demonstrated his anti-Trump animus in tweets and emails to Justice official Lisa Page? Irrelevant. Christopher Steele's dossier of dirt on Trump, including an allegation that the Russians were seeking to blackmail and bribe him, was compiled by a man who had demonstrated to a Justice Department official that he was "desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and passionate about him not being president"? Not important. The dossier was paid for by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic Party? Immaterial. Nothing in the dossier was ever substantiated? So what?

Now we have a report from a participant of those meetings that top officials of the country's premier law enforcement entity sat around and pondered how to bring down a sitting president they didn't like. The Times even says that McCabe "confirmed" an earlier report that deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein suggested wearing a wire in meetings with Trump to incriminate him and make him more vulnerable to the plot.

There is no suggestion in McCabe's interview pronouncements or in the words of Scott Pelley, who conducted the interview and spoke to CBS This Morning about it, that these federal officials ever took action to further the aim of unseating the president. There doesn't seem to be any evidence that they approached cabinet members or the vice president about it. "They were speculating, 'This person would be with us, this person would not be,' and they were counting noses in that effort," said Pelley. He added, apparently in response to Rosenstein's insistence that his comments about wearing a wire were meant as a joke, "This was not perceived to be a joke."

What are we to make of this? Around the time of the meetings to discuss the 25th Amendment plot, senior FBI officials also discussed initiating a national security investigation of the president as a stooge of the Russians or perhaps even a Russian agent. These talks were revealed by The New York Times and CNN in January, based on closed-door congressional testimony by former FBI general counsel James Baker. You don't have to read very carefully to see that the reporters on these stories brought to them a Narrative A sensibility. The Times headline: "F.B.I. Opened Inquiry into Whether Trump Was Secretly Working on Behalf of Russia." CNN's: "Transcripts detail how FBI debated whether Trump was 'following directions' of Russia." And of course, whoever leaked those hearing transcripts almost surely did so to bolster the Narrative A version of events.

The independent journalist Gareth Porter, writing at Consortium News, offers a penetrating exposition of the inconsistencies, fallacies, and fatuities of the Narrative A matrix, as reflected in how the Times and CNN handled the stories that resulted from what were clearly self-interested leaks.

Porter notes that a particularly sinister expression in May 2017 by former CIA director John O. Brennan, a leading Trump antagonist, has precipitated echoes in the news media ever since, particularly in the Times . Asked in a committee hearing if he had intelligence indicating that anyone in the Trump campaign was "colluding with Moscow," Brennan dodged the question. He said his experience had taught him that "the Russians try to suborn individuals, and they try to get them to act on their behalf either wittingly or unwittingly."

Of course you can't collude with anybody unwittingly. But Brennan's fancy expression has the effect of expanding what can be thrown at political adversaries, to include not just conscious and nefarious collaboration but also policy advocacy that could be viewed as wrongheaded or injurious to U.S. interests. As Porter puts it, "The real purpose is to confer on national security officials and their media allies the power to cast suspicion on individuals on the basis of undesirable policy views of Russia rather than on any evidence of actual collaboration with the Russian government."

That seems to be what's going on here. There's no doubt that McCabe and Rosenstein and Strzok and Brennan and Page and many others despised Trump and his resolve to thaw relations with Russia. They viewed him as a president "who needed to be reined in," as a CNN report described the sentiment among top FBI officials after the Comey firing.

So they expanded the definition of collusion to include "unwitting" collaboration in order to justify their machinations. It's difficult to believe that people in such positions would take such a cavalier attitude toward the kind of damage they could wreak on the body politic.

Now we learn that they actually sat around and plotted how to distort the Constitution, just as they distorted the rules of official behavior designed to hold them in check, in order to destroy a presidential administration placed in power by the American people. It's getting more and more difficult to dismiss Narrative B.

Robert W. Merry, longtime Washington journalist and publishing executive, is the author most recently of President McKinley: Architect of the American Century. MORE FROM THIS AUTHOR

Alternative Facts at the NYT James Polk's Realpolitik Hide 52 comments 52 Responses to Do You Believe in the Deep State Now? ← Older Comments

Ken Zaretzke February 16, 2019 at 4:57 pm

https://www.nationalreview.com/2019/02/trump-russia-collusion-investigation-criminalization-policy-disputes/

Also very good is the blunt force trauma inflicted on the FBI in yesterday's Wall Street Journal by Kimberly Strassel.

Fran Macadam , , February 15, 2019 at 2:19 pm
You're right, it didn't change a thing in the full-throated support to depose an elected President they disagree with. The bureaucratic cabal has long had a more informal absolute veto over who can even run for President. This guy challenged that hegemony of insider power brokers, and caused the revelation that we have morphed into a Potemkin-style, managed democracy, in which we don't choose who gets to run, just which of their choices we are allowed to approve.

Such is the decadent trajectory, of republics that transition into empires, where democratic accountabilty to the governed, domestic and foreign, decays in favor of empire administrators and their elite beneficiaries and their sinecures at the expense of the majority.

People rail against Trump as some sort of would-be Caesar, but he is elected, while those permanent unaccountable "national security" czars acting in secrecy they are willing to transfer all power to, are not.

No form of popular government can survive when secret police recording everything and spying on the population become the real power.

This is a coup, in slow motion.

Kent , , February 15, 2019 at 2:26 pm
"It's difficult to believe that people in such positions would take such a cavalier attitude toward the kind of damage they could wreak on the body politic."

What we don't want to recognize is that people in such positions are, in fact, just that dumb. It is unfortunately true. While not a Trump supporter, I would be out on the streets with them if these jacka$$es had tried to pull this off. They should ALL be immediately terminated and any benefits revoked.

Kurt Gayle , , February 15, 2019 at 2:32 pm
Last night (Feb 14, 2019) Tucker Carlson interviewed retired Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz (1:04-3:36):

Carlson: "Professor, thanks very much for coming on. So now the suspicions of many are confirmed by one of the players in it. The Department of Justice discussed trying to remove the President using the 25 Amendment. What's your reaction to that?

Dershowitz: "Well, if that's true, it is clearly an attempt at a coup d'état. Relating to what your former guest said, let's take the worst case scenario: Let's assume the President of the United States was in bed with the Russians, committed treason, committed obstruction of justice -- the 25 Amendment simply is irrelevant to that. That's why you have an impeachment provision. The 25th amendment is about Woodrow Wilson having a stroke. It's about a president being shot and not being able to perform his office. It's not about the most fundamental disagreements. It's not about impeachable offenses. And any Justice Department official who even mentioned the 25th Amendment in the context of President Trump has committed a grievous offense against the Constitution. The framers of the 25th amendment had in mind something very specific. And trying to use the 25th amendment to circumvent the impeachment provisions, or to circumvent an election is a despicable act of unconstitutional power-grabbing. And you were right when you said it reminded me of what happens in third world countries. Look, these people may have been well-intentioned. They may believe that they were serving the interests of the United States. But you have to obey the law and the law is the Constitution and the 25th Amendment is as clear as could be: incapacity, unable to perform office. That's what you need. That's why you need 2/3 of the House and 2/3 of the Senate agreeing. And it has to be on the basis of a medical or psychological incapacity. Not on the basis of even the most extreme crimes -- which there is no evidence were committed -- but even if they were, that would not be basis for invoking the 25th Amendment. And I challenge any left-wing person to get on television and to defend the use of the 25th Amendment. I challenge any of my colleagues who are in the "Get Trump At Any Cost" camp to come on television and justify the use of the 25 Amendment other than for physical or psychiatric incapacity.

Carlson: I bet they're doing that right now. This is an attack on our system, I would say, not just the President. Alan Dershowitz, thank you very much.

Dershowitz: It is an attack on our system. It's an attack on the constitution. Thank you.

Carlson: Scary.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/Q9OlUaeiQjQ?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

Bluestem , , February 15, 2019 at 2:42 pm
How many millions of dollars did Bill and Hill receive from Russians? How much of America's uranium deposits did Hillary sell to Russians during her time in the Obama administration? The New York Times informs us:

" . . . the sale gave the Russians control of one-fifth of all uranium production capacity in the United States. Since uranium is considered a strategic asset, with implications for national security, the deal had to be approved by a committee composed of representatives from a number of United States government agencies. Among the agencies that eventually signed off was the State Department, then headed by Mr. Clinton's wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

"As the Russians gradually assumed control of Uranium One in three separate transactions from 2009 to 2013, Canadian records show, a flow of cash made its way to the Clinton Foundation. Uranium One's chairman used his family foundation to make four donations totaling $2.35 million. Those contributions were not publicly disclosed by the Clintons, despite an agreement Mrs. Clinton had struck with the Obama White House to publicly identify all donors. Other people with ties to the company made donations as well.

"And shortly after the Russians announced their intention to acquire a majority stake in Uranium One, Mr. Clinton received $500,000 for a Moscow speech from a Russian investment bank with links to the Kremlin that was promoting Uranium One stock.

"At the time, both Rosatom and the United States government made promises intended to ease concerns about ceding control of the company's assets to the Russians. Those promises have been repeatedly broken, records show."

(end of NY Times excerpt. Full story: https://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/24/us/cash-flowed-to-clinton-foundation-as-russians-pressed-for-control-of-uranium-company.html )

I wonder how much howling and how many allegations of "collusion" with Russia we'd be hearing if the name Clinton were removed from the NY Times article and the name Trump were inserted?

curri , , February 15, 2019 at 3:08 pm

Can't imagine why career law enforcement officials were concerned with a guy they knew to be a criminal taking over the office of the presidency.

Oh, they just knew . Maybe they just knew he wasn't an obvious reliable puppet like W and Obama.

Sid Finster , , February 15, 2019 at 3:16 pm
https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2018/11/27/leaked-transcript-proves-russiagaters-have-been-right-all-along/

About Those Russians.

Stephen J. , , February 15, 2019 at 4:01 pm
The article states: " top officials of the country's premier law enforcement entity sat around and pondered how to bring down a sitting president they didn't like."
-- -- -- --
Which makes one wonder if "The rule of law" is becoming the rule of outlaws? When the non-elected in the justice profession appear to have their own agenda.
WorkingClass , , February 15, 2019 at 4:10 pm
Y'all Never Trump Republicans have NO future in American electoral politics.
Gerard , , February 15, 2019 at 4:22 pm
Trump is an idiot, but his enemies in the lib-Dem-media Establishment are far worse: corrupt, deceitful, arrogant, and lawless. Exhibit A is Andrew McCabe.

That's why I'll vote for the Idiot-in-Chief (again) in 2020. Because the alternative makes me vomit.

polistra , , February 15, 2019 at 4:43 pm
FBI has been destroying and paralyzing unwanted presidents forever. Lady Edgar did it far more effectively than her modern successors.
aristotle , , February 15, 2019 at 5:19 pm
"The pages of this publication drift further and further into utter insanity and despicable defense of Trump. Stand up for the values of the Constitution, or something, but not for this man who is no more than a self-enriching demagogue with no understanding of the reactionary politics he uses to delude the rubes and attract asinine threadbare pieces like this one."

Actually no. Consider me the inverse of Peter. I didn't vote for Trump due to the character weaknesses Peter describes. However, what I see is a seriously flawed man who has served the useful purpose of revealing an echo chamber of flawed and self-serving biases shared by the media and political establishment of this country. I see CNN, the NY Times, the Washington Post, and even some key leaders of our security services in a completely different light than I did two years ago. I am thankful for the clarity. I consider Merry's article to be a contribution in that direction.

Kouros , , February 15, 2019 at 5:38 pm
Cannot agree more with Fran Macadam.

On that note an interesting article by one of Mr. Putin's ideologues about Putinism and why Putinism might have more viability than the smoke and mirror exercise provided in established democracies:
https://russia-insider.com/en/vladislav-surkovs-hugely-important-new-article-about-what-putinism-full-translation/ri26259

The article admits that these bureaucracies are at times a nuisance and need to be dealt with appropriately...

Arthur Sido , , February 15, 2019 at 5:38 pm
"Peter" sez: "Can't imagine why career law enforcement officials were concerned with a guy they knew to be a criminal taking over the office of the presidency."

Weird but no one has shown any actual criminal behavior by said President. Two years later still no charges. But Peter and these "career law enforcement officials" KNEW he was a criminal. Then Peter appeals to the Constitution, apparently oblivious to the fact that the Constitution doesn't make any provisions for plotting to remove the lawfully elected President because you don't like just because you "know" he is a "criminal", in spite of any actual evidence.

JeffK , , February 15, 2019 at 5:53 pm
"After his election, they (the deep state) determined to undermine his political standing, and particularly his proposed policy toward Russia, through a relentless and expansive investigation characterized by initial misrepresentations, selective media leaks, brutal law enforcement tactics, and a barrage of innuendo. This is the narrative of most Trump supporters, conservative commentators, Fox News, and The Wall Street Journal editorial page, notably columnist Kimberley Strassel."

The trouble with that is it completely ignores the ton of evidence pointing to really nefarious stuff.

Lots of times, when there's smoke, there's fire. And when the smoke is overwhelming there probably is a fire. A big one.

Sid , , February 15, 2019 at 9:19 pm
Trump has been going after the Russians since his inauguration. Therefore, those trying to remove him from office are likely the actual Russian agents. Of course they would need smoke and mirrors to hide that fact and deflect attention from themselves. It just so happens that Russian spies are trained by the FSB to accuse others of being a spy, for just this purpose. I'm looking at you, John O. (Oleg?) Brennan
Sheila , , February 15, 2019 at 11:03 pm
No matter who the President is, there is some group of people in Washington is ALWAYS trying to bring him down. Who those people are, and how large and powerful the group is, depends on a variety of factors. But a competent president manages to enact his agenda while staying one step ahead of his intriguers. Obama and GWB accomplished both, more or less because they were intelligent men of good character (though Obama was much smarter and better man than W)

While Bill Clinton's character was too low to avoid impeachment he was a smart and able administrator. Trump has both low character and low intellect so it is not surprising A. that many people want to bring him down and B. that they have been pretty effective.

Politics may be a blood sport in Washington but that's not the same as a "deep state". And Trump can't compete and win with anyone in Washington who doesn't grovel before him like the supine Senate Republicans. And that is no one's fault but his.

You wanting Trump to be a Russian agent does not make him one. It never will. Get over it. , , February 16, 2019 at 12:08 am
"If it turns out that Trump IS a Russian asset, will you apologize, Robert Merry? Because he certainly acts like one. And, as REAL Republicans used to say, if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, maybe it's a duck."

@One Guy Yeah, because sending deadly aid to Ukraine is so pro-Russian. What an idiot you are!

VikingLS , , February 16, 2019 at 12:10 am
"Can't imagine why career law enforcement officials were concerned with a guy they knew to be a criminal taking over the office of the presidency. Shame on them!"

They also "knew" Martin Luther King Jr. was a Soviet agent.

Just Curiosity , , February 16, 2019 at 12:38 am
This article must have hit a nerve. Media Matters/Soros have sent out their "goons".

{BTW, isn't it amazing that Media Matters/Soros never have to worry about having any advertisers boycotted.}

{smirk}

JK , , February 16, 2019 at 3:14 am
The issue with the 25th amendment, is that the President's character flaws or mental deficiency were known and very visible before the election. Is it constitutionally proper for Congress to suspend a President for a preexisting condition that was known to and unhidden from voters? If Congress did that, it means Congress has a veto over who the public is allowed to vote in as President.
Frank LaSaracina , , February 16, 2019 at 10:19 am
Clear and convincing evidence of a silent coup by rogue IC / law enforcement community, the genesis of which was the Obama admin. Prima facie
Oleg Gark , , February 16, 2019 at 10:40 am
Forget the Covington students, Andrew McCabe and his lady co-workers have some pretty punchable faces. (Ok, I'm enough of a sexist to not punch a lady. I'd use eye-rolling and mocking gestures instead.)
tjoe , , February 16, 2019 at 11:18 am
These are the peeps that did 9.11 and took down 3 towers with 2 planes. or maybe you believe guys with box-cutters did it.
Contra1789 , , February 16, 2019 at 12:07 pm
The problem is not the existence of the deep state. It's inevitable that there will be unelected officials who will continue to shape policy regardless of who is elected President. The problem is that the deep state is blatantly working to undermine its elected leadership. If you can't in good conscience work with your President, the honorable thing to do is resign as some undoubtedly have. It's not an excuse for insubordination.

[Feb 18, 2019] Spreading The Fake Smollett MAGA Country Hate Crime A Mainstream Media Montage

Feb 18, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Yes CNN, the walls are closing in ... on the mainstream media.

Meanwhile perhaps it's time for CNN's "media janitor", Brian Stelter, who is oh so quick to point out the bias in every other network except his own, tackle the most difficult and embarrassing question : why were the mainstream - and fringe - journalists who were skeptical of Smollett's claims, attacked and forced to self-censor when the case was unfolding, and will continue to self-censor knowing that if they criticize Smollett directly they would be accused of homophobia and racism?


hooligan2009 , 28 minutes ago link

congress passed the "magnitsky act" that allows the seizure of assets of anyone deemed to be a political enemy of libtard socialist welfare statists (despite the fact that Magnitsky did the books for Browder who evaded Russian taxes in the hundreds of millions of dollars as part of a western conspiracy to strip mine the Russian economy - even Magnitsky mother said that he was not murdered by the Russian police).

there needs to be a "smollett act" that penalizes anyone that publicly demonizes a race, color, creed or religion by inciting malice/hatred/discrimination against another race/color/religion/creed without proof.

blacks/whites/yellows/browns can be racist, sexist, agist, mithandristic, mysogynistic or any other form of discrimination. 95% of all people are not that way. positive discrimination is just as evil as negative discrimination.

time to enforce and strengthen race hate laws.

the penalties should start with a BAN on using social media or the MSM to further their views that "guilty by gossip, conjecture and fomentation of societal discord (aka. disturbing the peace) " overturns the basic legal tenet of "innocent until proven guilty".

NiggaPleeze , 2 hours ago link

Instead we once again see CNN and virtually all other left-leaning mainstream outlets spreading legitimately fake news like wild-fire

Right, and when Booker and Fairfax were accused of sexual assault/rape, all of the right-leaning mainstream outlets were very skeptical. https://video.foxnews.com/v/6000182150001/#sp=show-clips

Fact is partisanship is a mental disease that affects the Left and Right - ends justify the means. Obvious example: if Obama were to use a National Emergency to take action Congress expressly rejected and Obama signed into law, people on the right would call for impeachment and make all kinds of nasty accusations; when Trump does it, they cheer. There is no principle there, it's pure partisanship.

Perfect example also is the Fox news clip linked above. The Fox pundit asks increduously "why would these women smear him? what do they have to gain?", but I can guarantee you he wasn't asking those same questions when Kavanaugh was being accused.

Partisanship - an evil consuming little minds.

Ophiuchus , 3 hours ago link

When you own the medium, you own the message.

We are completely fucked with no way out until the grid goes down.

Quit gaslighting the country. Give the worthy a break, Trump; please shut the grid down and leave it down for a year.

Drop-Hammer , 3 hours ago link

This is a classic Christ-killing *** tactic straight from Saul Alinsky (Hillary's mentor). Since the kikes control all U.S. media from print media to broadcast media to Internet social media, they will never be called to account. They simply either make up the lie or they spread/broadcast/'retweet' the lie until it is a meme. If they are caught in the act, they merely let it drop or issue some half-assed mea culpa, but the damage is done/the innocent are tarred until the next lie is fabricated or spread. Of course, the lies/mendacity are against only white Christian Heritage Americans. Kikery at its most demonic. Someone once said that 'A lie has made its way around the world, before the truth has gotten out of bed.'

Oh, off topic but important to note that the *** press also spikes/stifles relevant facts in stories such as the fact that yesterday's Aurora, Illinois shooter (who killed five white people and shot and injured five police officers) was a ******. If he had been white, the guy's face would be plastered over every page and screen in America with the *** media screaming for gun control.

[Feb 18, 2019] Today's Rift with Europe Echoes the Iraq War Debate

Feb 18, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Gino Santa Maria / Shutterstock.com Pence repeated his tone-deaf demands to our allies to quit the nuclear deal at the Munich Security Conference over the weekend. The response from the Europeans was even frostier than it had been in Warsaw:

European officials brushed off U.S. Vice President Mike Pence's call this week for the bloc to ratchet up pressure on Iran, saying they will continue defending the 2015 nuclear deal and stay engaged with Iran's government.

World leaders gathered at the annual Munich Security Conference on Friday to debate a range of issues from the Middle East, to trade, Europe's future and cyberwarfare. Speaking at the conference on Saturday, Mr. Pence, who is on a diplomatic trip to Europe, said the European Union should follow the U.S. in leaving the Iran nuclear deal.

U.S.-European relations are lower than they have been at any time since the the run-up to and immediate aftermath of the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. Just as the Bush administration berated and insulted longtime allies for refusing to fall in line behind their destructive and reckless war, the Trump administration is berating and insulting some of our closest allies over their refusal to capitulate to unreasonable American demands on Iran and the nuclear deal. Many of the elements of these two rifts are similar : an irrational American fixation on a wildly exaggerated or non-existent threat in the Middle East, an arrogant assumption that our allies are obliged to do whatever our government tells them to do, and open expressions of contempt for the allies that disagree with the course being set by the irresponsible U.S. administration. In both cases, some of our closest allies unsuccessfully try to stop the administration from making terrible, costly errors, and they are rewarded for their efforts with condemnation and threats.

The most worrying similarity between the 2002-03 breach with our European allies and today is the willingness of administration officials to promote obvious lies in the service of their destructive policy. Like other members of the administration, Pence has been pushing the dishonest claim that Iran is seeking nuclear weapons. He said this in his Warsaw speech :

But beyond its hateful rhetoric, the Iranian regime openly advocates another Holocaust and it seeks the means to achieve it. Iran seeks to recreate the ancient Persian Empire under the modern dictatorship of the ayatollahs.

Iran's government neither advocates for this, nor does it "seek the means to achieve it." Any work that Iran did on nuclear weapons research took place more than fifteen years ago, and it has not resumed since then. Iran's nuclear program is peaceful, and the IAEA has confirmed Iran's compliance with the nuclear deal more than a dozen times in a row. The talking points of Iran hawks remain unchanged from the mid-2000s, but in the meantime the rest of the world has moved on.

If Pence really believed what he was saying, he wouldn't be urging our allies to tear up the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The nuclear deal has ensured that Iran cannot develop and build nuclear weapons, and anyone genuinely worried about Iran's acquisition of such weapons would not try to destroy the agreement that makes that outcome practically impossible. The only reason to promote the lie that Iran seeks nuclear weapons is to create a pretext for war. Iran hawks hate the nuclear deal so passionately because it deprives them of that pretext. That is why they are determined to do whatever they can to kill the deal even if that means badly damaging relations with our most important treaty allies.


Mark B. February 17, 2019 at 11:49 am

Europe will not bend in this one. Too much at stake, inside the EU (elections) as well as outside the EU (geoplitics, Brexit).

As mr. Larison so often points out, the Iran obsession is the weirdest irrational thing in US foreign policy. Shooting oneself in the foot time after time.

A lot of special interests by special people underneath that I presume.

georgina davenport , says: February 17, 2019 at 12:59 pm
Between the progressives and the conservatives, the conservatives are often the ones talking about religion, God and morality, and accuse the Left to be Godless and immoral. Yet it does not seem to vex them their side had started the war in Iraq with false pretense, which led to disastrous economic, geopolitical, and human costs. Now, as Larison observed, they are poised to repeat it.

What averagely decent human beings can inflict such sufferings on others with such impunity and without conscientious qualms?

Wisham OB , says: February 17, 2019 at 1:33 pm
Pence lacks basic loyalty and good judgment. He's abandoning and betraying our oldest allies, and he isn't even doing it for a compelling reason of state.

Indeed, after watching the degrading spectacle of 2016 and 2018 campaign donations, it's hard not to suspect that Pence is doing it to keep Israel money flowing to GOP candidates, possibly for a future presidential run of his own. That he's putting America and American lives at risk for the Israel money.

Joe F , says: February 17, 2019 at 3:31 pm
Would it not be in American interest to demonstrate compliance with the existing agreement if it sought further agreement on ballistic missiles and involvement with their neighbors internal affairs? It not only precludes diplomacy for the nuclear issue, but any and all other conflicts of interest
Clyde Schechter , says: February 17, 2019 at 4:54 pm
Yes, it is increasingly clear that our recent actions with respect to Iran are for the purpose of preparing for, and conjuring a pretext for, war.

Mr. Larison, I am sure your efforts are a major contributor to the recent Congressional resolution regarding the Yemen war. You were a lone voice crying in the wilderness for years. Please keep up on this Iranian issue as well. Many, many lives are at stake. You are an unsung hero.

Ft. Hall , says: February 17, 2019 at 6:37 pm
"[Pence] is abandoning and betraying our oldest allies, and he isn't even doing it for a compelling reason of state. "

That's what blows my mind. There seems to be no reason for what Pence is doing, except perhaps to please Binyamin Netanyahu or Muhammed bin Salman. And does Pence really expect Europe to risk its basic security by following the lead of corrupt American politicians bobbing for Israel dollars?

[Feb 17, 2019] Two Trump Cabinet Officials Were Ready To Support 25th Amendment Coup As Rosenstein Tallied Votes

Notable quotes:
"... Baker said McCabe was cool, calm and collected throughout the discussions, telling lawmakers: "At this point in time, Andy was unbelievably focused and unbelievably confident and squared away. I don't know how to describe it other than I was extremely proud to be around him at that point in time because I thought he was doing an excellent job at maintaining focus and dealing with a very uncertain and difficult situation. So I think he was in a good state of mind at this point in time." ..."
"... According to McCabe, Rosenstein "raised the issue and discussed it with me in the context of thinking about how many other cabinet officials might support such an effort," adding that Rosenstein was "definitely very concerned about the president, about his capacity and about his intent at that point in time." ..."
Feb 17, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Two Trump Cabinet officials were "ready to support" a DOJ scheme to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove President Trump , according to Bloomberg and Fox News , citing closed-door testimony from the FBI's former top lawyer, James Baker - who said that the claim came from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

The testimony was delivered last fall to the House Oversight and Judiciary Committees. Fox News has confirmed portions of the transcript. It provides additional insight into discussions that have returned to the spotlight in Washington as fired FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe revisits the matter during interviews promoting his forthcoming book. - Fox News

While Baker did not identify the two Cabinet officials, he says that McCabe and former FBI lawyer Lisa Page approached him to relay their conversations with Rosenstein, including their discussions of the 25th Amendment scheme. "I was being told by some combination of Andy McCabe and Lisa Page, that, in a conversation with the Deputy Attorney General, he had stated that he -- this was what was related to me -- that he had at least two members of the president's Cabinet who were ready to support, I guess you would call it, an action under the 25th Amendment," Baker told the Congressional committees.

The 25th Amendment allows for the removal of a sitting president from office through various mechanisms - including the majority of a president's Cabinet agreeing that the commander-in-chief is incapable of performing his duties.

Rosenstein - who is slated to leave the Justice Department in the near future, has denied the claims. Baker said McCabe was cool, calm and collected throughout the discussions, telling lawmakers: "At this point in time, Andy was unbelievably focused and unbelievably confident and squared away. I don't know how to describe it other than I was extremely proud to be around him at that point in time because I thought he was doing an excellent job at maintaining focus and dealing with a very uncertain and difficult situation. So I think he was in a good state of mind at this point in time."

McCabe, meanwhile told "60 Minutes" in an interview set to air Sunday night that Rosenstein was concerned about Trump's "capacity."

According to McCabe, Rosenstein "raised the issue and discussed it with me in the context of thinking about how many other cabinet officials might support such an effort," adding that Rosenstein was "definitely very concerned about the president, about his capacity and about his intent at that point in time."

"Rosenstein was actually openly talking about whether there was a majority of the cabinet who would vote to remove the president?" asks CBS News anchor Scott Pelly, to which McCabe replied: " That's correct. Counting votes or possible votes. "

The New York Times first reported last year that McCabe alleged in memos that Rosenstein had talked about using the 25th Amendment to oust Trump -- or wearing a wire to surreptitiously monitor the president -- in the hectic days in May 2017 after Trump fired James B. Comey as FBI director. At the time, Rosenstein disputed the reporting. - WaPo

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) called the 25th Amendment scheme a " bureaucratic coup " led by enemies of President Trump. On Sunday morning, Graham said he would subpoena McCabe and Rosenstein "if that's what it takes" to get to the bottom of the 25th Amendment claim.

On Thursday, the DOJ issued a statement claiming that Rosenstein rejects McCabe's version of events "as inaccurate and factually incorrect," and also denied that Rosenstein ever approved wearing a "wire" to record Trump.

"The deputy attorney general never authorized any recording that Mr. McCabe references," reads the DOJ statement. "As the deputy attorney general previously has stated, based on his personal dealings with the president, there is no basis to invoke the 25th Amendment, nor was the DAG in a position to consider invoking the 25th Amendment."

McCabe, meanwhile, walked back some of his "60 Minutes" statements . On Friday a spokeswoman for the former Deputy Director said: "Certain statements made by Mr. McCabe, in interviews associated with the release of his book, have been taken out of context and misrepresented," adding "To clarify, at no time did Mr. McCabe participate in any extended discussions about the use of the 25th Amendment, nor is he aware of any such discussions."

Baker acknowledged during his testimony that he was not directly involved in the May 2017 discussions, rather, McCabe and Page approached him contemporaneously following a meeting with Rosenstein in the days following former FBI Director James Comey's firing.

"I had the impression that the deputy attorney general had already discussed this with two members in the president's Cabinet and that they were onboard with this concept already," said Baker.

Question: "Do you know what direction that went? Was it Mr. Rosenstein seeking out members of the Cabinet looking to pursue this 25th Amendment approach or was it the other way around?"

Baker: "What I recall being said was that the Deputy Attorney General had two members of the Cabinet. So he – how they came to be had, I don't know, but "

Question: "So he had two members, almost like he was taking the initiative and getting the members?"

Baker: "That would be speculation on my part." - Via Fox News

Baker also suggested that "Lisa and Andy" did not know the names of the Cabinet officials who were on board with the 25th Amendment scheme.

Baker testified in October that the alleged discussions took place during an uncertain and anxious time at the FBI and DOJ after Comey's termination, and that the mood was "pretty dark":

Question: "Did people tell you that the DAG (Deputy Attorney General) was upset?"

Baker: "Yes."

Question: "Did they tell you that he was making jokes?"

Baker: "No."

Question: "Did they tell you that..."

Baker: " This was not a joking sort of time. This was pretty dark. " - Via Fox News

Pretty dark indeed.


Moneycircus , 6 minutes ago link

John Judge, executive director of the Coalition on Political Assassinations , was the most insightful political analyst besides Mae Brussell.

Speaking less than 6 months after 911, he understood more then than most commentators do now:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qrFm1E74wYU

"Our choice now seems to be between a "new war" and a new world. As always, the forces of reaction and wealth are telling us we have no choice but war, and no right or power to decide. They are calling for a secret investigation, a secret conviction, a secret method of execution, and a totally secret war abroad.

"The American people as a whole are the only ones in the world who have the right to decide on a national response to this tragedy, and it must be one that takes into account the rights of all the other peoples and nations of the world."

-- John Judge , 9/23/01

https://ratical.org/ratville/JFK/JohnJudge/

loop , 16 minutes ago link

Funny to think that ***-lover Trump, with a JEWISH AGENDA , could have been brought down in a Jewish-led coup.

Priceless.

Sanity Bear , 24 minutes ago link

"the claim came from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein"

and we know that the claim was not a baldfaced lie... how?

Moneycircus , 33 minutes ago link

Always like this. Way Washington works. It's an oligarchy. Power = carrot and stick. Carrot = money to buy and bribe. Stick = kompromat and blackmail.

Why was J. Edgar Hoover the most powerful man in America? Did FBI cease to be the political police when he died?

Why are institutions like the CIA more influential than any politician? How was the public so easily misled about the coup that was Watergate?

Mae Brussell laid it all out on the table 40 years ago. Understanding is within reach if you want it.

http://www.worldwatchers.info/

[Feb 17, 2019] Carlson is saying Trump's not "capable" of sustained focus on the sausage-making of right-wing policy

Notable quotes:
"... Carlson is saying Trump's not "capable" of sustained focus on the sausage-making of right-wing policy ..."
Dec 09, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

kees_popinga , December 8, 2018 at 12:43 pm

Tucker Carlson: "Trump is not capable" Weltwoche (Anita)

Carlson is saying Trump's not "capable" of sustained focus on the sausage-making of right-wing policy.

The clickbait (out of context) headline makes it sound like a more general diss. I'm not supporting Trump here [standard disclaimer], but these gotcha headlines are tiresome.

[Feb 17, 2019] GOP Donors Vs. GOP Voters

Feb 17, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

From J.D. Vance's appearance last night on Tucker Carlson Tonight Vance has just said that the donor elites of the GOP are out of touch with the party's base. More:

CARLSON: But more broadly, what you are saying, I think is, that the Democratic Party understands what it is and who it represents and affirmatively represents them. They do things for their voters, but the Republican Party doesn't actually represent its own voters very well.

VANCE: Yes, that's exactly right. I mean, look at who the Democratic Party is and look, I don't like the Democratic Party's policies.

CARLSON: Yes.

VANCE: Most of the times, I disagree with them. But I at least admire that they recognize who their voters are and they actually just as raw cynical politics do a lot of things to serve those voters.

Now, look at who Republican voters increasingly are. They are people who disproportionately serve in the military, but Republican foreign policy has been a disaster for a lot of veterans. They are disproportionately folks who want to have more children. They are people who want to have more single earner families. They are people who don't necessarily want to go to college but they want to work in an economy where if you play by the rules, you can you actually support a family on one income.

CARLSON: Yes.

VANCE: Have Republicans done anything for those people really in the last 15 or 20 years? I think can you point to some policies of the Trump administration. Certainly, instinctively, I think the President gets who his voters are and what he has to do to service those folks. But at the end of the day, the broad elite of the party, the folks who really call the shots, the think tank intellectuals, the people who write the policy, I just don't think they realize who their own voters are.

Now, the slightly more worrying implication is that maybe some of them do realize who their voters are, they just don't actually like those voters much.

CARLSON: Well, that's it. So I watch the Democratic Party and I notice that if there is a substantial block within it, it's this unstable coalition, all of these groups have nothing in common, but the one thing they have in common is the Democratic Party will protect them.

VANCE: Yes.

CARLSON: You criticize a block of Democratic Voters and they are on you like a wounded wombat. They will bite you. The Republicans, watch their voters come under attack and sort of nod in agreement, "Yes, these people should be attacked."

VANCE: Yes, that's absolutely right. I mean, if you talk to people who spent their lives in D.C. I know you live in D.C.

CARLSON: Yes.

VANCE: I've spent a lot of my life here. The people who spend their time in D.C. who work on Republican campaigns, who work at conservative think tanks, now this isn't true of everybody, but a lot of them actually don't like the people who are voting for Republican candidates these days.

[Feb 17, 2019] Trump is Russian asset memo is really neocon propaganda overkill

Highly recommended!
The ability of those in power to manipulate the ways ordinary people think, act and vote has allowed for an inverted totalitarianism which turns the citizenry into their own prison wardens, allowing those with real power to continue doing as they please unhindered by the interests of the common man.
In neoliberal MSM there is positive feedback loop for "Trump is a Russian agent" stories. So the meme feeds on itself.
Notable quotes:
"... And yet the trending, most high-profile stories about Trump today all involve painting him as a Putin puppet who is working to destroy America by taking a weak stance against an alarming geopolitical threat. This has had the effect of manufacturing demand for even more dangerous escalations against a nuclear superpower that just so happens to be a longtime target of U.S. intelligence agencies. ..."
"... the mass media is not in the business of reporting facts, it's in the business of selling narratives. Even if those narratives are so shrill and stress-inducing that they imperil the health of their audience. ..."
"... Trump is clearly not a Russian asset, he's a facilitator of America's permanent unelected government just like his predecessors, and indeed as far as actual policies and administration behavior goes he's not that much different from Barack Obama and George W Bush. Hell, for all his demagogic anti-immigrant speech Trump hasn't even caught up to Obama's peak ICE deportation years ..."
"... Used to be that the U.S. mass media only killed people indirectly, by facilitating establishment war agendas in repeating government agency propaganda as objective fact and promulgating narratives that manufacture support for a status quo which won't even give Americans health insurance or safe drinking water ..."
"... Now they're skipping the middle man and killing them directly by psychologically brutalizing them so aggressively that it ruins their health, all to ensure that Democrats support war and adore the U.S. intelligence community . ..."
"... The social engineers responsible for controlling the populace of the greatest military power on the planet are watching France closely, and understand deeply what is at stake should they fail to control the narrative and herd ordinary Americans into supporting U.S. government institutions. ..."
"... The ability of those in power to manipulate the ways ordinary people think, act and vote has allowed for an inverted totalitarianism which turns the citizenry into their own prison wardens, allowing those with real power to continue doing as they please unhindered by the interests of the common man. ..."
Jan 23, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

The always excellent Moon of Alabama blog has just published a sarcasm-laden piece documenting the many, many aggressive maneuvers that this administration has made against the interests of Russia, from pushing for more NATO funding to undermining Russia's natural gas interests to bombing Syria to sanctioning Russian oligarchs to dangerous military posturing.

<picture deleted>

And yet the trending, most high-profile stories about Trump today all involve painting him as a Putin puppet who is working to destroy America by taking a weak stance against an alarming geopolitical threat. This has had the effect of manufacturing demand for even more dangerous escalations against a nuclear superpower that just so happens to be a longtime target of U.S. intelligence agencies.

If the mass media were in the business of reporting facts, there would be a lot less "Putin's puppet" talk and a lot more "Hey, maybe we should avoid senseless escalations which could end all life on earth" talk among news media consumers. But there isn't, because the mass media is not in the business of reporting facts, it's in the business of selling narratives. Even if those narratives are so shrill and stress-inducing that they imperil the health of their audience.

Like His Predecessors

Trump is clearly not a Russian asset, he's a facilitator of America's permanent unelected government just like his predecessors, and indeed as far as actual policies and administration behavior goes he's not that much different from Barack Obama and George W Bush. Hell, for all his demagogic anti-immigrant speech Trump hasn't even caught up to Obama's peak ICE deportation years.

If the mass media were in the business of reporting facts, people would be no more worried about this administration than they were about the previous ones, because when it comes to his administration's actual behavior, he's just as reliable an upholder of the establishment-friendly status quo as his predecessors.

Used to be that the U.S. mass media only killed people indirectly, by facilitating establishment war agendas in repeating government agency propaganda as objective fact and promulgating narratives that manufacture support for a status quo which won't even give Americans health insurance or safe drinking water.

Now they're skipping the middle man and killing them directly by psychologically brutalizing them so aggressively that it ruins their health, all to ensure that Democrats support war and adore the U.S. intelligence community .

They do this for a reason, of course. The Yellow Vests protests in France have continued unabated for their ninth consecutive week , a decentralized populist uprising resulting from ordinary French citizens losing trust in their institutions and the official narratives which uphold them.

The social engineers responsible for controlling the populace of the greatest military power on the planet are watching France closely, and understand deeply what is at stake should they fail to control the narrative and herd ordinary Americans into supporting U.S. government institutions. Right now they've got Republicans cheering on the White House and Democrats cheering on the U.S. intelligence community, but that could all change should something happen which causes them to lose control over the thoughts that Americans think about their rulers.

Propaganda is the single most-overlooked and under-appreciated aspect of human society. The ability of those in power to manipulate the ways ordinary people think, act and vote has allowed for an inverted totalitarianism which turns the citizenry into their own prison wardens, allowing those with real power to continue doing as they please unhindered by the interests of the common man.

The only thing that will lead to real change is the people losing trust in corrupt institutions and rising like lions against them. That gets increasingly likely as those institutions lose control of the narrative, and with trust in the mass media at an all-time low, populist uprisings restoring power to the people in France, and media corporations acting increasingly weird and insecure , that looks more and more likely by the day.

[Feb 17, 2019] Beware of well dressed ladies who smell of Chanel #5

Well meaning idiot is the most dangerous type of idiots, if he is the king, who is still in power...
This use of "beautiful ladies" is the trick that centuries old... Children can also be used this way, especially girls...
Feb 17, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Persuading the king ...

I watched Trump's Rose Garden session in which he announced that he would sign the appropriation bill and also declare a national emergency under the National Emergencies Act. IMO he will win whatever court challenges are made because his authority to do this is clear in "black letter" law and the opposition will have to base their plaints on a judgment as to whether or not there is an emergency. IMO there is nothing in the constitution or law that makes the judgment or the courts competent to overrule his judgment in this case. If they don't like the National Emergencies Law, let the Congress repeal it.

On the other hand, Trump also told the world that because of a personal appeal by a woman from Idlib Province in Syria who came to see him in the Oval Office, he called Putin and argued him into calling off the preparations for a massive Russo/Syrian/Iranian offensive that would IMO have recovered Idlib for the SAG.

I am recalling here roughly what he said.

The lady's argument was that she believed that the millions who lived in the province would be killed or maimed in the process and all the towns destroyed. Her parents lived in the province. And, after all, she said, there are only 45,000 jihadis in the province. I was not in the room, but would be willing to bet that she was; well spoken, well dressed, and reasonably attractive. Trump was persuaded and Idlib remains a cancer in the side of the Syrian state, the Russians, having listened to Trump, attempted to create a de-militarized zone around Idlib Province within which the jihadis have consolidated power.

Some years ago I was asked to speak at a two or three day discussion of the Middle East at Mississippi State University. This is a big school. Attendance was in the thousands. On the program with me (or I with him) was, then TV personality, (later governor of Ohio) John Kasich. At a pre-conference dinner, Kasich sought to dominate the table talk and me (his principal competition) at this conference. There were numerous senior faculty present at table. Kasich sought to belittle whatever knowledge I might have of the MENA region and of the peoples and cultures there. In particular he said that I did not understand Islam at all because I said that the jihadis were among the various forms of Islam, a religion which I foolishly claimed had no central authority structure and in which the "true Islam" was not to be known except in the consensus (ijma') of various groups of Muslims.

Having heard him out, I explained to him my background and experience. He grew more and more sober, clearly unused to opposition. I asked him what the basis was for his opinion that the various jihadis were not real Muslims at all.

He told us that a number of beauteous Muslim ladies had been brought to see him. He said they were well spoken, well dressed (some in French couture clothing) and that they smelled good. This last was said after I asked him about it having run into this phenomenon before.

These ladies were all at pains to explain to him that the jihadis were outside Islam because they did not accept the ijma' of the scholars of whatever "school" (mathab) of Sunni Sharia these ladies adhered to.

The lesson - Beware of well dressed ladies who smell of Chanel #5. pl


PeterVE , 5 hours ago

Are you suggesting that President Trump could be influenced by an attractive, well spoken woman with an exotic accent? Maybe the Iranian Mullahs need to change their UN representative to get off Trump's s#*! list.
Barbara Ann , 3 hours ago
Great anecdote Colonel, interesting that Kasich's first instinct was to see you as "competition" in such a setting. I don't suppose you told him that, despite your evident ignorance, you were known by the name of a famous warrior poet in several ME countries - or inquired as to his own sobriquet as in these places? My guess is the women folk of Idlib province are not in the habit of frequenting the Oval Office, it would be interesting to know who arranged her visit.

Machiavelli does not seem to have commented on the specific matter of wariness of beauteous messengers. However, I'd expect his advice on such matters would echo your own, in the importance of evaluating a message independently of its perfume.

Pat Lang Mod -> Barbara Ann , 2 hours ago
That is very good. Antar thanks you. An Iraqi general once asked me how I came to be called that. He said, "you are not Black." I said that was true but that I lived with a woman whose sobriquet was Abla and after so much war my heart was black enough. He said that was true of them as well.
Pat Lang Mod -> Pat Lang , 19 minutes ago
Actually Abla and I were named by a Palestinian Arabic teacher who wanted his class to have working names that began with 'ain. He was from Bethlehem and owned a night club in San Francisco where he was occupied while not teaching Arabic at DLI in Monterey. The name stuck. He was killed in Kuwait by the Kuwaiti resistance who said he was a collaborator with the Iraqis. He was a marvelous 'oud player.
Keith Harbaugh , an hour ago
On the other side of the coin, I recall reading how HRC, when she was SecState, was convinced by well-spoken, well-dressed Westernized and Western-educated men from Libya and Syria that if only the U.S. would overthrow the "brutal tyrants" then ruling those nations, that then democracy and freedom would reign in those lands.
In particular, she was lobbied by one such Westernized Libyan just before she persuaded BHO to intervene in Libya, leading to the subsequent chaos.
BTW, for a reminder of who else pushed BHO to intervene in Libya,
see "Fight of the Valkyries" by Maureen Dowd, 2011-03-23.
Is calling such women stupid about things that matter sexist?
Thinking about how popular the values of Westernized people from the Islamic world are back in their native lands, there is the illustrative example of Benazir Bhutto .

Also BTW, the URL for this post currently is: https://turcopolier.typepad...
"my-entry"? Is this right?

The Beaver , 2 hours ago
Colonel

Here is that lady:

https://www.cnn.com/videos/...

She is with SAMS thus in cahoots with White Helmets

https://www.buckscountycour...

and their reactions about Douma

https://www.sams-usa.net/pr...

Pat Lang Mod -> The Beaver , 2 hours ago
She qualifies.
DontBelieveEitherPropaganda , 3 hours ago
While not having the time nor energy at the moment to read much (even more post much), this statement from DJT just stunned me. And i am not easily stunned.
Some ppl including me thought of this possibility, to be precise that Ivanka and Jared fed him: You got to save those inocent people there! And he took the bait.

But then again i didnt truely want to believe that this is how the goverment of the biggest world power works. With all those gazillions of analysts, SIGINT HUMINT etc. at hand, briefings and what not..

Even more comically and tragic is, that he might just told the truth, and this is truly what happend.

IMHO this is how the neocons influence him: By presenting selective "information", and just like the MSM he falls for it. Be it his family or patriachic instincts or what ever the psychologic motivation:

He admitted that he was influenced by the same MSM methods he claims to fight, and in turn protecting the biggest gathering of international Jihahist in this century against their sure defeat.

MAGA = Make AlQaida Great Again! ;)

AFAIK this is how DJT stopped the funding of the FSA, when he was shown the video of the child the Zenki Jihadists beheaded. So it is not a single decision, but the M.O. of his style of decision making.

Under all that narcissistic, egomanic and sociopathic behaviour seems to be a human being, a quite emotional too. Too bad it seems to care more for single female Jihadists propagandists than for his campaign promise of fighting Jihadists..

Maybe Assads wife should make a undercover visit to DJT? ;)

EDIT: Typos

Pat Lang Mod -> DontBelieveEitherPropaganda , an hour ago
The problem with him is his abysmal ignorance of anything outside the world of business. This makes him vulnerable to nonsense like this.
Pat Lang Mod -> DontBelieveEitherPropaganda , 2 hours ago
What is with the "EDIT:Typos" thingy? We are all plain folk here. Basma Asad? A beautiful, well spoken creature. There is a certain strain of blond Syrian upper class woman who will just knock your socks off. This what Italians call "the thunderbolt." I went to visit one in the Maryland suburbs of DC. A relative asked me to go. She was that type. After she decided I wasn't going to do whatever it was she thought I would want to do she took me out to the garage where there were several big cats; tiger, leopard, puma, etc. in cages. I asked her why. She just shrugged and went back in the house.
mourjou , 3 hours ago
The woman concerned.
Dr Rim Al-Bezem is the president of the eastern chapter of the Syrian-American Medical Society (SAMS), an organization that provides training, medical equipment and medicine for a country decimated by the war.


From memory, SAMS only ever worked in the rebel-held areas .
And again from memory, she has been economical with the truth, by ignoring the doctors in west Aleppo and inflating the number of people in Aleppo. Yet again from memory, I think it never reached much above 2 million, 1.5 million in the west and 0.5 million in the east.

"Many of the doctors have left the country because they, too, have families. In Aleppo alone, there are 35 doctors left to treat the population of 5 million people," she said.

.

David Solomon , 3 hours ago
Colonel, I really enjoyed this piece. It may not have been intentional on your part, but it brought some joy to my day.

Regards,

David

[Feb 17, 2019] Individuals whose predictions were right-on received absolutely no boost in prestige for their prescience. Ron Paul is the most obvious example. Every warning Paul made about these "interventions" happened.

Feb 17, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Deacon Blue February 16, 2019 at 9:21 am

And the corollary is true as well. Individuals whose predictions were right-on received absolutely no boost in prestige for their prescience. Ron Paul is the most obvious example. Every warning Paul made about these "interventions" happened.

So those whose predictions were wrong, and whose policy recommendations turned out to be disasters and tragedies advance and suffer no consequences for being incredibly wrong. They still obtain high positions (See Bolton).

Those who happened to be right – and took courageous, contrarian positions – are still outcasts and dismissed as "kooks" by the establishment. Sigh.

[Feb 17, 2019] Kremlin Spokesman Says U.S. Sanctions Bill Borders on Racketeering

Feb 17, 2019 | larouchepub.com

Feb. 14, 2019 (EIRNS) -- Responding to the U.S. Senators' efforts to impose new sanctions on Russia by proposing a bill on Feb. 13 called the "Defending American Security from Kremlin Aggression Act (DASKA)" of 2019, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said behind such proposals

"there is an absolutely concrete, pragmatic and aggressive trading approach, having nothing to do with international trade rules.... This policy sometimes borders on racketeering. I mean various provisions of the draft law aimed at disrupting various energy projects of Russian companies, undermining the activities of Russian banks with state participation,"

Peskov said, reported TASS.

The proposed legislation, an updated version of an earlier bill that did not muster enough support, seeks to increase economic, political, and diplomatic pressure on Russia "in response to Russia's interference in democratic processes abroad, malign influence in Syria, and aggression against Ukraine, including in the Kerch Strait," said Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ), who proposed the bill with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), among other members of the Foreign Relations Committee.

[Feb 17, 2019] Real power answers to nobody. The war machine has the power and will do whatever it wants wherever it pleases. Good luck changing that.

That why war is called racket, And that's why dominance of military-industrial complex turns any country in neo-fascist state. Still people can fight this cancer, even if changes are not that great.
Notable quotes:
"... It is easy for them to make the recommendation to head into to war for two very simple reasons. The first is that it will not require any personal sacrifice. The other reason is that it will not require any sacrifice of those closest to them. ..."
Feb 17, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

thomas r oconnor February 15, 2019 at 5:22 pm

Real power answers to nobody. The war machine has the power and will do whatever it wants wherever it pleases. Good luck changing that.
B , says: February 15, 2019 at 6:22 pm
It is easy for them to make the recommendation to head into to war for two very simple reasons. The first is that it will not require any personal sacrifice. The other reason is that it will not require any sacrifice of those closest to them.

And I say this as a Veteran that also thought Iraq was a good idea back in 2001. The difference is that I then went there to serve. As a result I have learned hard fought lessons. Tucker is spot on. Maybe the follow up article can be a piece that discusses why we need more "combat" Veterans up in the beltway. And it is good that more veterans are now serving in Congress but not all are combat veterans.

[Feb 17, 2019] The goal of any war is the redistribution of taxpayer money into the bank accounts of MIC shareholders and executives

Highly recommended!
The USA state of continuous war has been a bipartisan phenomenon starting with Truman in Korea and proceeding with Vietnam, Lebanon, Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Libya and now Syria. It doesn't take a genius to realize that these limited, never ending wars are expensive was to enrich MIC and Wall Street banksters
Notable quotes:
"... Yes the neocons have a poor track record but they've succeeded at turning our republic into an empire. The mainstream media and elites of practically all western nations are unanimously pro-war. Neither political party has defined a comprehensive platform to rebuild our republic. ..."
Feb 17, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

KC February 15, 2019 at 11:16 pm

The one thing your accurate analysis leaves out is that the goal of US wars is never what the media spouts for its Wall Street masters. The goal of any war is the redistribution of taxpayer money into the bank accounts of MIC shareholders and executives, create more enemies to be fought in future wars, and to provide a rationalization for the continued primacy of the military class in US politics and culture.

Occasionally a country may be sitting on a bunch of oil, and also be threatening to move away from the petrodollar or talking about allowing an "adversary" to build a pipeline across their land.

Otherwise war is a racket unto itself. "Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind. "
― George Orwell

Also we've always been at war with Oceania .or whatever that quote said.

Barry F Keane , says: February 15, 2019 at 7:11 pm
Yes the neocons have a poor track record but they've succeeded at turning our republic into an empire. The mainstream media and elites of practically all western nations are unanimously pro-war. Neither political party has defined a comprehensive platform to rebuild our republic.

Even you, Tucker Carlson, mock the efforts of Ilhan Omar for criticizing AIPAC and Elliott Abrams.

I don't personally care for many of her opinions but that's not what matters: if we elect another neocon government we won't last another generation. Like the lady asked Ben Franklin "What kind of government have you bequeathed us?", and Franklin answered "A republic, madam, if you can keep it."

[Feb 17, 2019] The question of accountability

There is no accountability for CIA assets.
That's probably why Max Boot is considered one of the "world's leading authorities on armed conflict,"y et never appears to have served in any branch of the armed forces
Bottomfeeders like Robert Kagan, Bill Kristol, Max Boot are just peddlers of MIC interests. Perhaps the benjamins from another middle eastern nation, that can't be named, has something to do with their worthless opinions.
They are not paid to be experts. They're paid to use thier meaningless credentials to enhance their credibility of MIC policies of perpetual war for perpetual peace. They're PROPAGANDISTS, not experts.
The Bush/Clinton/Obama coalition runs DC – controls the federal workforce, and colludes to run the Federal government for themselves and MIC
Feb 17, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Anne Mendoza

February 15, 2019 at 2:10 am
So why are these professional war peddlers still around? For the same reason that members of the leadership class who failed and continue to fail in the Middle East are still around. There has not been an accounting at any level. There is just more talk of more war.
jk , says: February 15, 2019 at 11:53 am
Just like Eliot Abrams, John McCain, GWB, Dick Cheney, Rumsfeld or any other neocon, there is no justice or punishment or even well deserved humiliation for these parasites. They are always misinformed, misguided, or "well intentioned."

The US can interfere with sovereign governments and elections at will I guess and not be responsible for the the unintended consequences such as 500k+ killed in the Middle East since the Iraq and Afghan debacle.

There are sugar daddies from the MIC, the Natsec state (aka the Swamp), AIPAC, and even Jeff Bezos (benefactor of WaPo) that keep these guys employed.

You need to be more critical of Trump also as he is the one hiring these clowns. But other than that, keep up the good work Mr. Carlson!

Stephen J. , says: February 15, 2019 at 1:43 pm
The article states: " but by 2011 Boot had another war in mind. 'Qaddafi Must Go,' Boot declared in The Weekly Standard. In Boot's telling, the Libyan dictator had become a threat to the American homeland."
-- -- -
There is reported evidence that Libya was a war crime. And the perpetrators are Free. See info below:

"They Speak "

"The destruction of Libya by NATO at the behest of the UK, the US and France was a crime, one dripping in the cant and hypocrisy of Western ideologues " John Wight, November 27, 2017.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/11/27/libya-chose-freedom-now-it-has-slavery/

They speak of "The Rule of Law" while breaking the law themselves
They are the dangerous hypocrites that bombed Libya, and created hell
Thousands upon thousands are dead in this unfortunate country
Many would still be alive, if our "leaders" had not been down and dirty

Libya is reportedly a war crime and the war criminals are free
Some of them are seen posturing on the world stage and others are on T.V.
Others have written books and others are retired from public office
And another exclaimed: "We came, we saw, he died" as murder was their accomplice

They even teamed up with terrorists to commit their bloody crimes
And this went unreported in the "media": was this by design?
There is a sickness and perversion loose in our society today
When war crimes can be committed and the "law" has nothing to say

Another "leader" had a fly past to celebrate the bombing victory in this illegal war
Now Libya is in chaos, while bloody terrorists roam secure
And the NATO gang that caused all this horror and devastation
Are continuing their bloody bombings in other unfortunate nations

The question must be asked: "Are some past and present leaders above the law?
Can they get away with bombing and killing, are they men of straw?
Whatever happened to law and order in the so- called "democracies"?
When those in power can get away with criminality: Is that not hypocrisy?

There is no doubt that Libya was better off, before the "liberators" arrived
Now many of its unfortunate people are now struggling to exist and survive
The future of this war torn country now looks very sad and bleak
If only our "leaders" had left it alone; but instead hypocrisy: They Speak

"The cause of the catastrophe in Libya in Libya was the seven month US-NATO blitzkrieg from March to October 2011 in which thousands of bombs and rockets rained down on that unfortunate land which was governed by President Muammar Ghaddafi whom the West was determined to overthrow by assisting a rebel movement." Brian Cloughley, 12.02.2019

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2019/02/12/in-libya-we-came-saw-he-died-will-there-repeat-in-venezuela.html

[More info on all of this at link below]
http://graysinfo.blogspot.com/2019/02/they-speak.html

[Feb 17, 2019] Bill Kristol and Max Boot are not an expect in military technology, or security issues. They are experts in peddling MIC product to the US public

Feb 17, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Sid , February 15, 2019 at 7:27 pm

The goal of any "peddler" is to move product. When perpetual war is the product, then any rationale that leads to more sales will do. Enemies become interchangeable. The only thing to apologize for is the lack of sales.

These two hucksters are not experts on the product itself, but rather experts at selling the product.

Pres. Eisenhower, a genuine "authority on armed conflict", warned us of such peddlers.

[Feb 17, 2019] It is easy for them to make the recommendation to head into to war for two very simple reasons. The first is that it will not require any personal sacrifice. The other reason is that it will not require any sacrifice of those closest to them.

Notable quotes:
"... It is easy for them to make the recommendation to head into to war for two very simple reasons. The first is that it will not require any personal sacrifice. The other reason is that it will not require any sacrifice of those closest to them. ..."
Feb 17, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

B February 15, 2019 at 6:22 pm

It is easy for them to make the recommendation to head into to war for two very simple reasons. The first is that it will not require any personal sacrifice. The other reason is that it will not require any sacrifice of those closest to them.

And I say this as a Veteran that also thought Iraq was a good idea back in 2001. The difference is that I then went there to serve. As a result I have learned hard fought lessons. Tucker is spot on. Maybe the follow up article can be a piece that discusses why we need more "combat" Veterans up in the beltway. And it is good that more veterans are now serving in Congress but not all are combat veterans.

[Feb 17, 2019] Trump administration action in Iran, Korea, Venezuela are aggressive and counter-productive to long term peace

Feb 17, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Collin, February 15, 2019 at 9:55 am

...[Trump] administration is still filled with Hawks ...

1) The administration action in Iran is aggressive and counter-productive to long term peace. The nuclear deal was an effective way of ensuring Iran controlling behavior for 15 years as the other parties, Europe and China, wanted to trade with Iran. (Additionally it makes our nation depend more on the Saudia relationship in which Washington should be slowly moving away from.)

2) Like it or not, Venezuela is another mission creep for the Trump Administration. Recommend the administration stay away from peace keeping troops and suggest this is China's problem. (Venezuela in debt to their eyeballs with China.)

3) Applaud the administration with peace talks with NK but warn them not to overstate their accomplishments. It is ridiculous that the administration signed big nuclear deals with NK that don't exist.

[Feb 17, 2019] The goal of the neocons was to exploit 9/11 to destroy countries in the Middle East that posed a threat to Israel

Notable quotes:
"... Because DC is bought and paid for by the defense industry. Constant wars are good for the bottom line, so winning is not the right strategy. Loosing doesn't work either. A constant low level set of global conflicts is perfect. ..."
"... The goal of any "peddler" is to move product. When perpetual war is the product, then any rationale that leads to more sales will do. Enemies become interchangeable. The only thing to apologize for is the lack of sales. ..."
Feb 17, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Janwaar Bibi February 16, 2019 at 4:50 pm

Why Are These Professional War Peddlers Still Around? Pundits like Max Boot and Bill Kristol got everything after 9/11 wrong but are still considered "experts."

1. The goal of the neocons was to exploit 9/11 to destroy countries in the Middle East that posed a threat to Israel. As Wesley Clarke told us a long time ago, they were going to "do" Iraq first, and after that, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Lebanon and finally Iran. Most of this has been accomplished. We are now in the end game and Iran is in their cross-hairs.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9RC1Mepk_Sw

From the perspective of the neocons, everything has gone their way.

2. The only people who got everything thing wrong were useful idiots like Rod Dreher, Tucker Carlson and Walter "Freedom Fries" Jones who were too dense to see what the neocons were really up to. You did not a PhD from Harvard to see that Bush and Blair had no evidence to back up their claims that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction or to figure out the true intentions of the neocons.

So why are Boot and Kristol still around? Because Iran is not yet reduced to an ash-heap, courtesy of USA!USA!USA! so they still have work to do.

Why have they paid no price? Let's all pretend like we don't know the answer to this. And don't forget to condemn Ilhan Omar for her tweets just to be on the safe side.

john , says: February 16, 2019 at 12:32 pm
It's difficult to live in a post-America America where American interests are subordinate to Israel and AIPAC and lunatics like Bolton and Pompeo, now have replaced the president in matters of foreign policy.

Trump has done a 180 and given in completely.

I like Tulsi Gabbard and hope that she might have a chance of winning the Democratic nomination in spite of the fact that she now is being attacked by members of her own party, along with the representative from Minnesota who has the courage to talk of the power of the Israel lobby that functions solely in the interest of Israel. It seems the Democrats are not so tolerant of strong women after all. And its time for everyone to stop being intimidated by the charge of anti-Semitism. When Israeli interests are not those of America and Americans.

Ksw , says: February 16, 2019 at 3:54 pm
Because DC is bought and paid for by the defense industry. Constant wars are good for the bottom line, so winning is not the right strategy. Loosing doesn't work either. A constant low level set of global conflicts is perfect.
Sid , says: February 15, 2019 at 7:27 pm
The goal of any "peddler" is to move product. When perpetual war is the product, then any rationale that leads to more sales will do. Enemies become interchangeable. The only thing to apologize for is the lack of sales.

These two hucksters are not experts on the product itself, but rather experts at selling the product.

Pres. Eisenhower, a genuine "authority on armed conflict", warned us of such peddlers.

Barry F Keane , says: February 15, 2019 at 7:11 pm
Yes the neocons have a poor track record but they've succeeded at turning our republic into an empire. The mainstream media and elites of practically all western nations are unanimously pro-war. Neither political party has defined a comprehensive platform to rebuild our republic.

Even you, Tucker Carlson, mock the efforts of Ilhan Omar for criticizing AIPAC and Elliott Abrams.

I don't personally care for many of her opinions but that's not what matters: if we elect another neocon government we won't last another generation. Like the lady asked Ben Franklin "What kind of government have you bequeathed us?", and Franklin answered "A republic, madam, if you can keep it."

[Feb 17, 2019] Despicable M>ax Boot does not even have courage to admit his Iraq war warmongering crimes, which are crimes against humanity if we use Nuremberg statute

They didn't "get it wrong." They lied the American people into wars. They are war criminals. They should be tried for war crimes.
Feb 17, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Kurt Gayle February 17, 2019 at 9:34 am

Tom Gorman (Feb 15, 8:36 am)–as evidence that Max Boot "has recanted his support of the Iraq War"–quoted two sentences from Boot's 2018 book. Two sentences earlier in the same book Boot wrote:

"In truth the decision to go to war had been made by President George W. Bush, in consultation with colleagues such as Dick Cheney, Condolezza Rice, Colin Powell, and Don Rumsfeld, none of whom was remotely a 'neocon.'

Those of us who supported the invasion were, as one of my friends said, like hapless passengers who got into a vehicle with a drunk driver and could not escape as the car careened across the center divider."

[Feb 17, 2019] One problem with neocons middle East policy

Feb 17, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Bmc February 17, 2019 at 1:16 am

Why would Max Boot and Bill Kristol want to conquer the middle east in order to spread Americanism while at the same time having nothing but disdain for actual Americans themselves?

Hmm (strokes beard)

Hmmmmm (strokes beard more rapidly)

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm (tears out beard furiously without abandon)

[Feb 17, 2019] By the spring of 2018, Kristol was considering a run for president himself.

Notable quotes:
"... Jesus H. Christ I don't even know what it is – a blinding hubris or an unbound idiocy. Or both. ..."
Feb 17, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Alex (the one that likes Ike) February 15, 2019 at 4:39 pm

By the spring of 2018, Kristol was considering a run for president himself.

Jesus H. Christ I don't even know what it is – a blinding hubris or an unbound idiocy. Or both.

[Feb 17, 2019] Wouldn't surprise me one bit if Kristol and Boot work for the CIA and MI6. They tend to lead with placed stories, either before or after events, helping to persuade those who have yet to make up their minds or those looking to have someone else do their thinking for them

Feb 17, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Renov8 February 16, 2019 at 8:01 am

Wouldn't surprise me one bit if Kristol and Boot work for the CIA and MI6. They tend to lead with placed stories, either before or after events, helping to persuade those who have yet to make up their minds or those looking to have someone else do their thinking for them.

With the ongoing internet reformation we are experiencing, its a lot easier for the masses to see the bigger picture, the parties involved and the corrupt characters playing the puppet strings for the media.

Glad to see these shysters exposed for what they are propagandists.

[Feb 17, 2019] Tucker correctly called out Boot and Kristol for their advocacy of war while possessing no real-world experience when it comes to fighting war. Thos MIC peddlers need to be despised and ignored. But he supported Bush administration in its push for Iraq war as well

While we should thank Tucker for this takedown of these two warmongering know-nothings, he himself is not without a blame... Also while Max Boot and Bill Kristol have Twitter feeds and occasional MSNBC appearances, neocons John Bolton and Eliott Abrams are running American foreign policy.
Iraq invasion mainly benefitted Israel and MIC
Feb 17, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Scott Ritter February 15, 2019 at 4:23 pm

While I was entertained by Tucker's take down of Mssr's Boot and Kristol, I can't help but recall when he was carrying the water for the Bush administration during its build up for the invasion of Iraq. I offer up my encounter with him while he co-hosted CNN's Crossfire in July 2002. My answers, and facts, have withstood the test of time. Tucker's have not, and to see him calling out Boot and Kristol for their advocacy of war while possessing no real-world experience when it comes to fighting war when Tucker did the same thing is very much like the pot calling the kettle black. http://www.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0207/31/cf.00.html

[Feb 17, 2019] There's No Denying It; It Was Never Anything But a Coup!

Notable quotes:
"... In interviews to boost his forthcoming book, fired former FBI Acting Director Andrew McCabe confirms that Obama holdovers repeatedly discussed removing President Donald Trump under the pretext of the 25th Amendment, and that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein more than once seriously offered to "wear a wire" in meetings with the President. After Trump fired James Comey as FBI Director in May 2017, McCabe, Comey's deputy director, launched a phony "obstruction of justice" investigation, and said that he began to accumulate files of memos on that and the "Russia Collusion" investigation, to try to ensure that the investigations would continue if he were fired as well. ..."
Feb 17, 2019 | larouchepub.com

In interviews to boost his forthcoming book, fired former FBI Acting Director Andrew McCabe confirms that Obama holdovers repeatedly discussed removing President Donald Trump under the pretext of the 25th Amendment, and that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein more than once seriously offered to "wear a wire" in meetings with the President. After Trump fired James Comey as FBI Director in May 2017, McCabe, Comey's deputy director, launched a phony "obstruction of justice" investigation, and said that he began to accumulate files of memos on that and the "Russia Collusion" investigation, to try to ensure that the investigations would continue if he were fired as well.

Now, after its own two years of investigation and 200 interviews, Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee Richard Burr (R-NC) has said, "There is no factual evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia." Ranking Member Mark Warner (D-VA) said he disagrees with the way Burr characterized the evidence, but declined to give his own assessment.

Veteran criminal attorney John Dowd, a member of Trump's legal team from June 2017 to March 2018, said,

"I know exactly what he [Mueller] has. I know exactly what every witness said, what every document said. I know exactly what he asked. And I know what the conclusion or the result is."

What will be the result of the probe?

"It's been a terrible waste of time.... This is one of the greatest frauds the country has ever seen. I'm just shocked that Bob Mueller didn't call it that way and say, 'I'm being used.' I would've done that.

"I'd have gone to [then Attorney General] Sessions and Rosenstein and said, 'Look. This is nonsense. We are being used by a cabal in the FBI to get even.' "

Asked about Mueller's final report, he responded, "I will be shocked if anything regarding the President is made public, other than, 'We're done.' "

At the same time, former NSA Technical Director William Binney has published new evidence which shows that the DNC documents posted by WikiLeaks in July 2016, were probably not hacked over the internet, by Russians or anyone else -- rather, the only available forensic evidence indicates that they were downloaded from within the DNC's network. His evidence is summarized in an article he co-authored with former CIA analyst Larry Johnson on Col. Pat Lang's "Sic Semper Tyrannis" blog yesterday.

[Feb 16, 2019] MSM Begs For Trust After Buzzfeed Debacle by Caitlin Johnstone

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... This is the behavior of a media class that is interested in selling narratives, not reporting truth. And yet the mass media talking heads are all telling us today that we must continue to trust them. ..."
"... More accountability in media than in politics, Chuck? Really? Accountability to whom? Your advertisers? Your plutocratic owners? Certainly not to the people whose minds you are paid exorbitant sums to influence; there are no public elections for the leadership of the mass media. ..."
"... CNN, for the record, has been guilty of an arguably even more embarrassing Russiagate flub than Buzzfeed 's when they wrongly reported that Donald Trump Jr had had access to WikiLeaks' DNC email archives prior to their 2016 publication, an error that was hilariously due to to the simple misreading of an email date by multiple people ..."
"... The mass media, including pro-Trump mass media like Fox News, absolutely deserves to be distrusted. It has earned that distrust. It had earned that distrust already with its constant promotion of imperialist wars and an oligarch-friendly status quo, and it has earned it even more with its frenzied promotion of a narrative engineered to manufacture consent for a preexisting agenda to shove Russia off the world stage. ..."
"... The mainstream media absolutely is the enemy of the people; just because Trump says it doesn't mean it's not true. The only reason people don't rise up and use the power of their numbers to force the much-needed changes that need to happen in our world is because they are being propagandized to accept the status quo day in and day out by the mass media's endless cultural engineering project . ..."
"... They are the reason why wars go unopposed, why third parties never gain traction, why people consent to money hemorrhaging upward to the wealthiest of the wealthy while everyone else struggles to survive. The sooner people wake up from the perverse narrative matrix of the plutocratic media, the better. ..."
Jan 20, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Caitlin Johnstone via Medium.com,

Following what the Washington Post has described as "the highest-profile misstep yet for a news organization during a period of heightened and intense scrutiny of the press," mass media representatives are now flailing desperately for an argument as to why people should continue to place their trust in mainstream news outlets.

On Thursday Buzzfeed News delivered the latest "bombshell" Russiagate report to fizzle within 24 hours of its publication, a pattern that is now so consistent that I've personally made a practice of declining to comment on such stories until a day or two after their release. "BOOM!" tweets were issued by #Resistance pundits on Twitter, "If true this means X, Y and Z" bloviations were made on mass media punditry panels, and for about 20 hours Russiagaters everywhere were riding the high of their lives, giddy with the news that President Trump had committed an impeachable felony by ordering Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about a proposed Trump office tower in Moscow, a proposal which died within weeks and the Kremlin never touched .

There was reason enough already for any reasonable person to refrain from frenzied celebration, including the fact that the story's two authors, Jason Leopold and Anthony Cormier, were giving the press two very different accounts of the information they'd based it on, with Cormier telling CNN that he had not personally seen the evidence underlying his report and Leopold telling MSNBC that he had. Both Leopold and Cormier, for the record, have already previously suffered a Russiagate faceplant with the clickbait viral story that Russia had financed the 2016 election, burying the fact that it was a Russian election .

Then the entire story came crashing down when Mueller's office took the extremely rare step of issuing an unequivocal statement that the Buzzfeed story was wrong , writing simply, "BuzzFeed's description of specific statements to the special counsel's office, and characterization of documents and testimony obtained by this office, regarding Michael Cohen's congressional testimony are not accurate."

According to journalist and economic analyst Doug Henwood, the print New York Times covered the Buzzfeed report on its front page when the story broke, but the report on Mueller's correction the next day was shoved back to page 11 . This appalling journalistic malpractice makes it very funny that NYT's Wajahat Ali had the gall to tweet , "Unlike the Trump administration, journalists are fact checking and willing to correct the record if the Buzzfeed story is found inaccurate. Not really the actions of a deep state and enemy of the people, right?"

This is the behavior of a media class that is interested in selling narratives, not reporting truth. And yet the mass media talking heads are all telling us today that we must continue to trust them.

"Those trying to tar all media today aren't interested in improving journalism but protecting themselves," tweeted NBC's Chuck Todd.

"There's a lot more accountability in media these days than in our politics. We know we live in a glass house, we hope the folks we cover are as self aware."

More accountability in media than in politics, Chuck? Really? Accountability to whom? Your advertisers? Your plutocratic owners? Certainly not to the people whose minds you are paid exorbitant sums to influence; there are no public elections for the leadership of the mass media.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/rMY-zTxPCuY

"Mueller didn't do the media any favors tonight, and he did do the president one," griped the odious Chris Cuomo on CNN. "Because as you saw with Rudy Giuliani and as I'm sure you'll see with the president himself, this allows them to say 'You can't believe it! You can't believe what you read, you can't believe what you hear! You can only believe us. Even the Special Counsel says that the media doesn't get it right.'"

"The larger message that a lot of people are going to take from this story is that the news media are a bunch of leftist liars who are dying to get the president, and they're willing to lie to do it, and I don't think that's true" said Jeffrey Toobin on a CNN panel , adding "I just think this is a bad day for us."

"It does reinforce bad stereotypes about the news media," said Brian Stelter on the same CNN panel.

"I am desperate as a media reporter to always say to the audience, judge folks individually and judge brands individually. Don't fall for what these politicians out there want you to do. They want you to think we're all crooked. We're not. But Buzzfeed now, now the onus is on Buzzfeed. "

CNN, for the record, has been guilty of an arguably even more embarrassing Russiagate flub than Buzzfeed 's when they wrongly reported that Donald Trump Jr had had access to WikiLeaks' DNC email archives prior to their 2016 publication, an error that was hilariously due to to the simple misreading of an email date by multiple people.

The mass media, including pro-Trump mass media like Fox News, absolutely deserves to be distrusted. It has earned that distrust. It had earned that distrust already with its constant promotion of imperialist wars and an oligarch-friendly status quo, and it has earned it even more with its frenzied promotion of a narrative engineered to manufacture consent for a preexisting agenda to shove Russia off the world stage.

The mainstream media absolutely is the enemy of the people; just because Trump says it doesn't mean it's not true. The only reason people don't rise up and use the power of their numbers to force the much-needed changes that need to happen in our world is because they are being propagandized to accept the status quo day in and day out by the mass media's endless cultural engineering project .

They are the reason why wars go unopposed, why third parties never gain traction, why people consent to money hemorrhaging upward to the wealthiest of the wealthy while everyone else struggles to survive. The sooner people wake up from the perverse narrative matrix of the plutocratic media, the better.

* * *

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 articles are 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 new merchandise , buying my new book Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone , or my previous book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers .

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[Feb 16, 2019] When a Foreign Government Interfered in a US Election -- to Reelect FDR

Notable quotes:
"... In 1940, as war raged in Europe, British intel officers in New York and Washington worked to elect candidates who favored U.S. intervention, defeat those who advocated neutrality, and silence or destroy the reputations of American isolationists they deemed a menace to British security. Scores -- perhaps hundreds -- of Americans who believed that fighting fascism justified unethical and, at times, illegal behavior, worked for British intelligence or cooperated with London's efforts. ..."
"... Churchill, the U.K.'s savvy wartime prime minister, knew that Britain could survive and repel an anticipated German invasion only if it received massive amounts of aid from the U.S., and that ultimate victory over the Nazis would require American military involvement. ..."
"... To pull the U.S. into Britain's efforts would require first winning public opinion -- making newspapers and radio programs the front lines in the battle to persuade Americans to elect politicians willing to back Britain over those who promoted an "America First" agenda. SIS, the British intelligence agency, flooded American newspapers with fake stories, leaked the results of illegal electronic surveillance and deployed October surprises against political candidates. ..."
"... Over the 18 months between Britain's humiliation at Dunkirk and the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the scale and intensity of the SIS's efforts in the United States were without parallel in the history of relations between allied democracies. ..."
Feb 16, 2019 | www.politico.com

Overt intelligence operations, propaganda, fake news stories, dirty tricks -- all were used in a foreign government's audacious attempt to influence U.S. elections. It wasn't 2016; it was 1940, and the operations were employed not by a hostile adversary, but by America's closest ally, the United Kingdom.

Though technology has advanced, and the two nations' motives could not have been more different, critical aspects of Russia's alleged covert efforts to bolster the campaign of Donald Trump echo the tactics that Britain's Secret Intelligence Service pioneered seven decades ago. In 1940, as war raged in Europe, British intel officers in New York and Washington worked to elect candidates who favored U.S. intervention, defeat those who advocated neutrality, and silence or destroy the reputations of American isolationists they deemed a menace to British security. Scores -- perhaps hundreds -- of Americans who believed that fighting fascism justified unethical and, at times, illegal behavior, worked for British intelligence or cooperated with London's efforts.

Winston Churchill's goals were as clear Vladimir Putin's motives are murky. Churchill, the U.K.'s savvy wartime prime minister, knew that Britain could survive and repel an anticipated German invasion only if it received massive amounts of aid from the U.S., and that ultimate victory over the Nazis would require American military involvement. He also knew that decisions to send food, fuel and weapons across the Atlantic, and to dispatch troop ships to follow in their wake, lay in the hands of the president and a hostile Congress. To pull the U.S. into Britain's efforts would require first winning public opinion -- making newspapers and radio programs the front lines in the battle to persuade Americans to elect politicians willing to back Britain over those who promoted an "America First" agenda. SIS, the British intelligence agency, flooded American newspapers with fake stories, leaked the results of illegal electronic surveillance and deployed October surprises against political candidates.

Over the 18 months between Britain's humiliation at Dunkirk and the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the scale and intensity of the SIS's efforts in the United States were without parallel in the history of relations between allied democracies.

The SIS and its American collaborators went to great lengths to obscure the ties between their activities and the British government. These links have since come to light largely because William Stephenson, the Canadian businessman who headed British Security Coordination (BSC), the official front for SIS operations in North and South America from 1941–1945, commissioned a history of the organization's operation. Declassified in 1999, that history provides a remarkably candid picture of London's espionage and propaganda activities. Alongside other documents available in the U.K. National Archives, this history shows that, as it sought to shift America out of neutrality, British intelligence was restrained only by the certainty that the blowback from public exposure would have been disastrous.

The story of British government efforts to influence American elections and public opinion is a cautionary tale, providing a lesson that is all too relevant today about the power of propaganda and covert operations to alter history. It also demonstrates how difficult it can be to differentiate in real time between legitimate concerns and imaginary conspiracy theories -- and, perhaps, provides a glimmer of hope about the resilience of American democracy.

***

American communists, fascists and isolationists complained bitterly and loudly in 1940 and 1941 that Britain was secretly manipulating the U.S. media as part of a campaign to pull America into the war. These accusations, confidently dismissed by liberal politicians and newspapers as paranoid ravings, were inaccurate only in that they were understated. Even the most alarmist commentators and conspiracy-mongers underestimated the depth and effectiveness of British covert activity.

British intelligence employed the full range of cloak-and-dagger techniques in America in 1940 and 1941: forgeries, seductions, burglaries, electoral dirty tricks, physical surveillance, intercepting and reading letters sent under diplomatic seal, illegally bugging offices and tapping phones. British intelligence even listened in on a telephone call in June 1940 between President Franklin D. Roosevelt in the White House and his ambassador to Britain, Joseph P. Kennedy Sr. A report on the call was quickly relayed to Churchill, alerting him that the U.S. was making contingency plans in case the U.K. fell to the Nazis.

While the British government strongly backed Roosevelt, it hedged its bets by working behind the scenes to increase the chances that Republicans would pick a presidential candidate in 1940 who would join the fight against fascism.

The Republican Party, lacking a consensus about a standard-bearer or platform, was in disarray in June 1940 as its national convention approached. BSC worked behind the scenes to smooth the path for a nominee who favored intervention. One element of the BSC's operations surfaced on June 25, when the New York Herald reported on a poll of convention delegates. Surprisingly, given the isolationist positions espoused by GOP stalwarts like Thomas Dewey, Robert Taft and Herbert Hoover, the poll -- which the Herald wrote was "conducted by Market Analysts, Inc., an independent research organization" -- found that three-fifths of GOP delegates supported helping the allies "with everything short of war." In fact, Market Analysts, Inc., was anything but independent. Its head, Sanford Griffith, was an American who had secretly been working for British intelligence since the 1930s, and regardless of the population surveyed, its polls consistently advocated U.S. interventionism in Europe.

Among Market Analysts' clients was the Committee to Defend America by Aiding the Allies, a group led by William Allen White, a nationally syndicated columnist influential among liberal Republicans. In his column, White wrote that the GOP delegate poll demonstrated that leading Republican isolationists were out of touch with the party's members, and that Wendell Willkie -- who had not run in the presidential primaries and had switched his party affiliation from Democratic to Republican only a few months ahead of the national convention -- best represented Republicans' views. While all of the other Republican contenders advocated steering clear of the war in Europe, Willkie argued that "America's first line of defense is Great Britain." It is impossible to determine exactly how influential BSC's assistance was, but Willkie went into the convention an underdog and -- to London's delight, and the astonishment of the Republican establishment -- emerged as the GOP candidate.

In addition to Griffith's operation, BSC funded and coordinated the activities and messaging of a number of American anti-fascist organizations. One of these, an informal group of wealthy businessmen and journalists called the Century Group, operated during the campaign as a liaison between the British government, the White House and the Willkie campaign. It brokered an agreement from Willkie to refrain from criticizing a proposal that allowed Roosevelt to unilaterally authorize the transfer of scores of mothballed destroyers to Britain. As the first president to snub George Washington's precedent of voluntarily stepping down after two terms, FDR was acutely aware of the threat posed by accusations that he was behaving like a dictator, so even the hint of such an accusation from the Republican candidate may have scuttled the deal. On August 30, 1940, BSC's agents secured Willkie's commitment to acquiesce to the transfer. Assured that he wouldn't pay a devastating political price, Roosevelt announced the deal at a press conference four days later.

The BSC's work on Willkie's behalf was an exception. For the most part, it focused not on promoting candidates, but rather on defeating elected officials who opposed American intervention in the war.

Among those opponents was Rep. Hamilton Stuyvesant Fish III, a Republican and leading isolationist who had represented New York's Hudson Valley in Congress since 1920. By picking a high-profile target, the campaign against Fish was intended to "put the fear of God into every isolationist senator and congressman in the country," according to a letter a BSC agent sent in fall 1940.

To do this, the BSC created, funded and operated the Non-Partisan Committee to Defeat Hamilton Fish, which among other activities, circulated a pamphlet juxtaposing Fish, Adolf Hitler and Nazis. Another photo appeared to show Fish meeting with Fritz Kuhn, the "American Hitler" who led the German-American Bund and was, at the time, serving a prison sentence for embezzlement. Contrary to the caption -- "Hamilton Fish inspecting documents with Fritz Kuhn" -- the Republican congressman had never met privately with Bund leader. The photo had been taken at a 1938 public hearing that Congressman Fish had organized to discuss a proposed ban on paramilitary groups like the Bund.

Another bit of British-engineered fake news had an ironic twist, accusing Fish of being a pawn of a foreign power. They alleged that Nazis funneled money to Fish by renting his properties at inflated high rates as a means of subsidizing pro-German propaganda efforts. On October 21, Drew Pearson and Robert Allen reported the story in their hugely influential Washington Merry-go-Round column -- a true October surprise.

Though Fish won reelection, his margin of victory was just 9,000 votes, half the size of his win in 1938. In an after-action report to BSC and since archived at FDR's presidential library, Griffith stated that the local Democratic Party had put practically no effort into defeating Fish, and that an additional "$2,000 or $3,000 a week or two ahead would have been sufficient to put it over." Even after the U.S. entered the war, the BSC stayed on Fish's case, planting scurrilous stories in 1942 that helped cut his margin of victory to 4,000 votes. In 1944, they finally beat him. Fish claimed it had taken "most of the New Deal Administration, half of Moscow, $400,000, and Governor Dewey to defeat me." As the BSC history later crowed: "He might -- with more accuracy -- have blamed BSC."

***

In addition to secretly intervening in campaigns , BSC funded and coordinated the efforts of pro-intervention American political organizations and of associations of emigres from Nazi-occupied countries that lobbied Congress and the public for a muscular U.S. response to Hitler.

BSC also tried to shape public opinion by feeding a stream of true, partially true and completely fabricated stories to sympathetic reporters and columnists. Some -- like Edgar Ansel Mowrer of the Chicago Daily News and Ulric Bell of the Louisville Courier-Journal -- worked directly with British intelligence officers, but most of the journalists who cooperated with BSC did so through American intermediaries. Among them was Walter Winchell, one of the most widely read columnists of the time, who routinely ran BSC items supplied by an intermediary.

Although few of the American reporters and editors who disseminated BSC propaganda were on the British payroll, it is not an exaggeration to characterize them as British agents or "subagents," the latter being operatives directed by individuals who communicated with professional intelligence officers. In fact, this is precisely how the BSC thought about them. "The conduct of political warfare was entirely dependent on secrecy," notes the BSC history. "For that reason, the press and radio men with whom BSC maintained contact were comparable with subagents and the intermediaries with agents. They were thus regarded." In 1991, Edmond Taylor, an American journalist and active collaborator with the Brits during World War II, told a historian that British intelligence agents "connived" with "Americans like myself who were willing to go out of regular (or even legal) channels to try to bend U.S. policy towards objectives that the British, as well as the Americans in question, considered desirable."

One of the journalists in charge of BSC's propaganda efforts described his unit's activities in a 1942 memo to the British Foreign Office without mincing words. He wrote that his remit included "subversive propaganda in the United States for the exposure and destruction of enemy propaganda [and] countering isolationist and appeasement propaganda which is rapidly taking on the shape of a Fascist movement, conscious or unconscious." Weekly reports to London from British agents in New York tallied the number of stories that had been planted in American newspapers.

The BSC history draws a straight line from planting pro-British stories in American newspapers to Roosevelt's decision to send destroyers to England. The transfer happened, according to BSC, because Stephenson had "means at his disposal for influencing American public opinion in favour of aid to Britain. In fact, covert propaganda, one of the most potent weapons which BSC employed against the enemy, was harnessed directly to this task."

***

The British government had a well-oiled, coordinated, worldwide strategy during World War II for generating and disseminating rumors, which it called "sibs," short for sibilare , the Latin word for whisper or hiss . Many of the sibs were silly or outlandish -- for example, rumors that man-eating sharks from Australia had been deposited in the English Channel to consume downed German aviators -- but British intelligence took them extraordinarily seriously. "The object of propaganda rumours is in no sense to convey the official or semi-official views of H.M.G. [His Majesty's Government] by covert means to officials in the countries concerned," read one classified wartime report. "It is rather to induce alarm, despondency and bewilderment among the enemies, and hope and confidence among the friends, to whose ears it comes."

New sibs were approved by an organization called the Underground Propaganda Committee (UPC), which met weekly in London during the war. While rumors spread in Europe by word of mouth, in the U.S., they were disseminated through a network of friendly reporters and, starting in the spring of 1941, by the Overseas News Agency, a news service that received subsidies from, and was controlled by, the BSC. ONA articles appeared in newspapers around the country. Especially prior to Pearl Harbor, these stories were picked up by newspapers in Germany, Japan and occupied countries.

To cite a typical example, at a meeting of the UPC on August 8, 1941, a decision was made to release a series of sibs that, according to the meeting minutes, were "intended to suggest that the Fuehrer, who is alone responsible in the face of a good deal of opposition for the Russian campaign, is becoming more and more unbalanced as he realises that the vast gamble is miscarrying." Eight days later, the New York Post ran an article supplied by ONA citing "circumstantial evidence for a belief that Hitler is not at the Russian front, but at Berchtesgaden suffering from a severe nervous breakdown." The article went on to assert that the Fuehrer's personal physician had recently traveled to Switzerland to consult with the famed psychiatrist Carl Jung to discuss "the rapid deterioration of Hitler's mental condition," which ONA asserted was characterized by delusional rages in which he confused the contemporary battle for Smolensk with a World War I battle in France.

On July 11, 1941, the UPC approved a sib for distribution in the U.S. newspapers, where Japanese diplomats would read it, indicating that if Tokyo attacked Indochina, the Soviet Union would attack Japan by air. The next day, the New York Times and other American newspapers ran an AP story that cited "reliable persons" reporting that Japan was poised to "make a move against French Indo-China soon." The story noted that "Russia has a large air force within easy range of Japan's vulnerable centers of population."

In August 1941, the New York Times published ONA's report that the death of a 130-year-old Bedouin soothsayer was seen in the Middle East as "a sign of a coming defeat for Hitler." Also in the soothsaying business, the BSC sponsored a U.S. tour for Louis de Wohl, a Hungarian "astro-philosopher." In press conferences and an appearance at the annual convention of the American Federation of Scientific Astrologers, de Wohl announced that the stars predicted doom for Hitler and success for Roosevelt. Newspapers credulously reported his statement that a "yogi once told me a man born on the date Hitler came into power would cause his downfall. Hitler rose to power on Jan. 30, and that is Roosevelt's birth date."

***

The BSC operations in the U.S. weren't all frivolity and fake news; many were much more serious.

Using undercover agents, the BSC conducted a yearlong investigation of a scheme by congressional staff to insert pro-Nazi propaganda into the Congressional Record and to use congressional franking privileges to distribute it. The BSC then coordinated media exposés of the franking scandal and supplied federal prosecutors with information on the pro-Nazi plot, resulting in several convictions.

Elsewhere in Washington, the BSC targeted the embassy used by the Vichy French, illegally tapping its phones, burglarizing embassy property and deploying a female operative to seduce Vichy officials. That intel was then used as the basis for a series of newspaper articles revealing Vichy diplomats' efforts to help Nazi Germany -- stories that the BSC then arranged to be printed under the byline of an American journalist. The resulting public furor severely curtailed the Vichy government's American activities.

With the clarity of hindsight, some may write off as a historical curiosity the extraordinary efforts by Britain to influence American public opinion and the results of elections, arguing that Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor and Hitler's impetuous declaration of war vaporized notions of neutrality, rendering efforts to propel America into the war superfluous. But in fact, given the depth and strength of the opposition to FDR's efforts to support Britain in 1940 and 1941 -- and the importance of that lifeline, which pro-British propaganda made possible -- it is clear that the efforts of British intelligence officers and their American recruits helped change history.

In the summer of 1941, the Roosevelt administration strained its political muscles in an all-out push to persuade Congress to amend an emergency military conscription law and extend mandatory service from one year to 2½ years. After the White House exerted all its strength, on August 12, the House passed the extension by a one-vote margin. It is easy to imagine, though impossible to prove, that the efforts of the BSC's operatives to bend the public and bully politicians away from isolationism, tipped the balance in favor of the law. If it had not squeaked through Congress, the U.S. military would have had to send tens of thousands of men home, substantially weakening the position of American forces on the verge of war.

America's first experience of large-scale foreign interference in its elections holds lessons that are relevant today, including the fact that SIS continued to target its American political foes until at least 1944 -- long after the United States committed itself to the war. If history is any guide, Donald Trump's inauguration may not mark the end of Russia's attempts to sway American politicians and public opinion.

[Feb 16, 2019] Death Of Russiagate: Mueller Team Tied To Mifsud s Network

Highly recommended!
Looks like all of them were Brennan men. CIA used FBI counterintelligence and counter-terrorism personnel to kick start the investigation/scandal.
Notable quotes:
"... We return, now, to this issue and specifically the research of Chris Blackburn, to place the final nail in the coffin of the Trump-Russia collusion charade. Blackburn's insights are incredible not only because they return us to the earliest reporting on the role of British intelligence figures in manufacturing the Trump-Russia collusion narrative, but because they also implicate members of Mueller's investigation. ..."
"... If you factor in the dreadful reporting to discredit Joseph Mifsud and leaks, it is pretty clear something rather strange happened to George Papadopoulos during the campaign while he was shuttling around Europe and the Middle East. He was working with people who have intelligence links at the London Centre of International Law Practice ..."
"... A recent article in The Telegraph also alludes to MI5, MI6, and CIA using counter-terrorism assets which would tie into the London Centre of International Law Practice (LCILP), and its sister organizations, doing counter-terrorism work for the Australian, UK and US governments. They quote anonymous officials who believe that their intelligence agencies used counter-terrorism personnel to kick start the investigation/scandal." ..."
"... Continuing, Blackburn pinpointed the significance of defining counter-terrorism as the starting point of the investigation, saying: "It shows that there is a high probability that intelligence was deliberately abused to make Papadopoulos' activities look like they were something else. ..."
"... It's more likely that the CIA played the FBI with the help of close allies who were suspicious and frightened of a Trump presidency." ..."
"... Zainab Ahmad , a member of Mueller's legal team, is the former Assistant United States Attorney in the Eastern District of New York. As pointed out by Blackburn , Ahmad attended a Global Center on Cooperative Security event in 2017 ..."
"... "Zainab Ahmad was one of the first DOJ prosecutors to have seen the Steele dossier. In May 2017, she attended a counter-terrorism conference in New York with the Global Center on Cooperative Security (GCCS), an organization which Joseph Mifsud, the alleged Russian spy, had been working within London and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia ..."
"... I don't think it's a coincidence that Global Center on Cooperative Security is connected to various elements that popped up in the Papadopoulos case. The fact that a prosecutor on Mueller's team was at Global Center before Mueller was appointed as special counsel is also troubling ..."
"... Days ago, The Hill reported on Congressional testimony by Bruce Ohr, revealing that when served as a DOJ official, he warned FBI and DOJ figures that the Steele dossier was problematic and linked to the Clintons ..."
"... Last year, Blackburn noted the connection between Mifsud and Arvinder Sambei , writing: "LCILP director and FBI counsel, works with Mike Smith at the Global Center. They ran joint counter-terrorism conferences and training with Mifsud's London Academy. Sambei then brought Mifsud over to the [London Centre of International Law Practice]. [Global Center works with Aussies, UK and US State too." ..."
"... Disobedient Media previously reported that Robert Hannigan, then head of British spy agency GCHQ, flew to Washington DC to share 'director-to-director' level intelligence with then-CIA Chief John Brennan in the summer of 2016. This writer noted that " The Guardian reported Hannigan's announcement that he would step down from his leadership position with the agency just three days after the inauguration of President Trump, on 23 January 2017. ..."
"... Jane Mayer, in her profile of Christopher Steele published in the New Yorker, also noted that Hannigan had flown to Washington D.C. to personally brief the then-CIA Director John Brennan on alleged communications between the Trump campaign and Moscow. What is so curious about this briefing "deemed so sensitive it was handled at director-level" is why Hannigan was talking director-to-director to the CIA and not Mike Rogers at the NSA, GCHQ's Five Eyes intelligence-sharing partner." ..."
"... There are more and more articles saying that the FBI, CIA, M14 15,16 yada yada, were overly concerned about Trump. Their sin...caring too much for the USA. They attempted a coup de'etat for "our" own good...we... being "we the people". To quote Abe Lincoln "You will find that all the arguments in favour of kingcraft were of this class; they always bestrode the necks of the people, -- not that they wanted to do it, but because the people were better off for being ridden." Lincoln did not mince words ..."
Jan 22, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Via Disobedient Media

In April last year, Disobedient Media broke coverage of the British involvement in the Trump-Russia collusion narrative, asking why All Russiagate Roads Lead To London , via the quasi-scholar Joseph Mifsud and others.

The issue was also raised by WikiLeaks's Julian Assange , just days before the Ecuadorian government silenced him last March. Assange's Twitter thread cited research by Chris Blackburn , who spoke with Disobedient Media on multiple occasions covering Joseph Mifsud's ties to British intelligence figures and organizations, as well as his links to Hillary Clinton's Presidential campaign, the FBI, CIA and the private cyber-security firm Crowdstrike.

We return, now, to this issue and specifically the research of Chris Blackburn, to place the final nail in the coffin of the Trump-Russia collusion charade. Blackburn's insights are incredible not only because they return us to the earliest reporting on the role of British intelligence figures in manufacturing the Trump-Russia collusion narrative, but because they also implicate members of Mueller's investigation. What we are left with is an indication of collusion between factions of the US and UK intelligence community in fabricating evidence of Trump-Russia collusion: a scandal that would have rocked the legacy press to its core, if Western establishment-backed media had a spine.

In Disobedient Media's previous coverage of Blackburn's work, he described his experience in intelligence:

"I've been involved in numerous investigations that involve counter-intelligence techniques in the past. I used to work for the 9/11 Families United to Bankrupt Terrorism , one of the biggest tort actions in American history. I helped build a profile of Osama bin Laden's financial and political network, which was slightly different to the one that had been built by the CIA's Alec Station , a dedicated task force which was focused on Osama bin Laden and Al-Qaeda. Alec Station designed its profile to hunt Osama bin Laden and disrupt his network. I thought it was flawed. It had failed to take into account Osama's historical links to Pakistan's main political parties or that he was the figurehead for a couple of organizations, not just Al-Qaeda."

"I also ran a few conferences for US intelligence leaders during the Bush administration. After the 9/11 Commission published its report into the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon it created a public outreach program. The US National Intelligence Conference and Exposition ( Intelcon ) was one of the avenues it used. I was responsible for creating the 'View from Abroad' track. We had guidance from former Senator Slade Gorton and Jamie Gorelick, who both sat on the 9/11 Commission. We got leaders such as Sir John Chilcot and Baroness Pauline Neville Jones to come and help share their experiences on how the US would be able to heal the rifts after 9/11."

"The US intelligence community was suffering from severe turf wars and firewalls, which were hampering counter-terrorism efforts. They were concentrating on undermining each other rather than tackling terrorism. I had mainly concentrated on the Middle East, but in 2003 I switched my focus to terrorism in South Asia."

Counter Terrorism, Not Counter Intelligence, Sparked Probe

In an article published by The Telegraph last November, the paper acknowledged the following:

"It forces the spotlight on whether the UK played a role in the FBI's investigation launched before the 2016 presidential election into Trump campaign ties to the Kremlin... Mr. Trump's allies and former advisers are raising questions about the UK's role in the start of the probe, given many of the key figures and meetings were located in Britain... One former top White House adviser to Mr. Trump made similar insinuations, telling this newspaper: "You know the Brits are up to their neck." The source added on the Page wiretap application: "I think that stuff is going to implicate MI5 and MI6 in a bunch of activities they don't want to be implicated in, along with FBI, counter-terrorism and the CIA. " [Emphasis Added]

The article cites George Papadopoulos, who asked why the "British intelligence apparatus was weaponized against Trump and his advisers." Papadopoulos has also addressed the issue at length via Twitter. In response to the Telegraph's coverage of the issue, Chris Blackburn wrote via Twitter :

"The Telegraph story on Trump Russia acknowledges that activities involving counter-terrorism are at the heart of the scandal...not counter-intelligence. If the [London Centre for International Law Practice] was British state, not private, some Commonwealth countries are going to be seriously pissed off."

Blackburn spoke with Disobedient Media, saying:

" If you factor in the dreadful reporting to discredit Joseph Mifsud and leaks, it is pretty clear something rather strange happened to George Papadopoulos during the campaign while he was shuttling around Europe and the Middle East. He was working with people who have intelligence links at the London Centre of International Law Practice.

A recent article in The Telegraph also alludes to MI5, MI6, and CIA using counter-terrorism assets which would tie into the London Centre of International Law Practice (LCILP), and its sister organizations, doing counter-terrorism work for the Australian, UK and US governments. They quote anonymous officials who believe that their intelligence agencies used counter-terrorism personnel to kick start the investigation/scandal." [Emphasis Added]

Blackburn discussed this differentiation with Disobedient Media:

"Counter-terrorism is obviously involved in more kinetic, violent political actions-concerning mass casualty events, bombings, assassinations, poisonings, and hacking. But, the lines are blurring between them. Counter-intelligence cases have been known to stretch for decades- often relying on nothing more than paranoia and suspicion to fuel investigations. Counter-terrorism is also a broader discipline as it involves tactical elements like hostage rescue, crime scene investigations, and explosive specialists. Counter-Terrorism is a collaborative effort with counter-terrorism officers working closely with local and regional police forces and civic organizations. There is also a wider academic field around countering violent, and radical ideology which promotes terrorism and insurgencies. Cybersecurity has become the third major discipline in intelligence. The London Center of International Law Practice, the mysterious intelligence company that employed both Papadopoulos and Mifsud , had also been working in that area."

Continuing, Blackburn pinpointed the significance of defining counter-terrorism as the starting point of the investigation, saying: "It shows that there is a high probability that intelligence was deliberately abused to make Papadopoulos' activities look like they were something else.

As counter-terrorism and counterintelligence are close in tactics and methods, it would seem that they were used because they share the same skill sets - covert evidence gathering and deception. It's basically sleight of hand. A piece of theatre would be more precise. However, we don't know if the FBI knew it was real or make-believe. It's more likely that the CIA played the FBI with the help of close allies who were suspicious and frightened of a Trump presidency."

Mueller's Team And Joseph Mifsud

Zainab Ahmad , a member of Mueller's legal team, is the former Assistant United States Attorney in the Eastern District of New York. As pointed out by Blackburn , Ahmad attended a Global Center on Cooperative Security event in 2017. In recent days, Blackburn wrote via Twitter :

"Zainab Ahmad is a major player in the Russiagate scandal at the DOJ. Does she work for SC Mueller? She was at a GCCS event in May 2017. Arvinder Sambei, a co-director of the [London Centre of International Law Practice], worked with Joseph Mifsud, [George Papadopoulos] and [Simona Mangiante]. She's a GCCS consultant."

Blackburn told this author:

"Zainab Ahmad was one of the first DOJ prosecutors to have seen the Steele dossier. In May 2017, she attended a counter-terrorism conference in New York with the Global Center on Cooperative Security (GCCS), an organization which Joseph Mifsud, the alleged Russian spy, had been working within London and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia."

Zainab Ahmad (AHMAD). Image via the Combatting Terrorism Center, West Point

"Richard Barrett, the Former Chief of Counter-Terrorism at MI6, Britain's foreign intelligence department traveled with Mifsud to Saudi Arabia to give a talk on terrorism in 2017. Ex-CIA officers, US Defense, and US Treasury officials were also there. The London Centre of International Law Practice's relationship to the Global Center had been established in 2014. The Global Center on Cooperative Security made Martin Polaine and Arvinder Sambei consultants, they then became directors at the London Centre of International Law Practice."

"The Global Center on Cooperative Security's first major UK conference was at Joseph Mifsud's London Academy of Diplomacy (LAD). Mifsud then followed Arvinder Sambei and Nagi Idris over to the London Centre of International Law Practice. Sources have told me that Mifsud was moonlighting as a specialist on counter-terrorism and Islamism while working at LAD which explains why he went to work in counter-terrorism after LAD folded."

"I don't think it's a coincidence that Global Center on Cooperative Security is connected to various elements that popped up in the Papadopoulos case. The fact that a prosecutor on Mueller's team was at Global Center before Mueller was appointed as special counsel is also troubling."

Days ago, The Hill reported on Congressional testimony by Bruce Ohr, revealing that when served as a DOJ official, he warned FBI and DOJ figures that the Steele dossier was problematic and linked to the Clintons. Critically, The Hill writes:

"Those he briefed included Andrew Weissmann, then the head of DOJ's fraud section; Bruce Swartz, longtime head of DOJ's international operations, and Zainab Ahmad , an accomplished terrorism prosecutor who, at the time, was assigned to work with Lynch as a senior counselor. Ahmad and Weissmann would go on to work for Mueller, the special prosecutor overseeing the Russia probe." [Emphasis Added]

This point is essential, as it not only describes Ahmad's role in Mueller's team but places her at a crucial pre-investigation meeting.

Last year, Blackburn noted the connection between Mifsud and Arvinder Sambei , writing: "LCILP director and FBI counsel, works with Mike Smith at the Global Center. They ran joint counter-terrorism conferences and training with Mifsud's London Academy. Sambei then brought Mifsud over to the [London Centre of International Law Practice]. [Global Center works with Aussies, UK and US State too."

Sambei has been described elsewhere as a "Former practising barrister, Senior Crown Prosecutor with the Crown Prosecution Service of England & Wales, and Legal Adviser at the Permanent Joint Headquarters (PJHQ), Ministry of Defence." [British spelling has been retained]

Arvinder Sambei. Image via the Public International Law Advisory Group

That Sambei has been so thoroughly linked to organizations where Mifsud was a central figure is yet another cause of suspicion regarding allegations that Joseph Mifsud was a shadowy, unknown Russian agent until the summer of 2016 . She is also a direct link between Robert Mueller and Mifsud.

Blackburn wrote via Twitter : "Arvinder Sambei helped to organize LCILP's counter-terrorism and corruption events. She used her contacts in the US to bring in Middle Eastern government officials that were seen to be vulnerable to graft. Lisa Osofsky, former FBI Deputy General Counsel, was working with her." Below, Arvinder is pictured at a London Centre of International Law Practice (LCILP) event.

Arvinder Sambei, pictured at an LCILP event. Image via Chris Blackburn, Twitter

As Chris Blackburn told this author:

" Mifsud and Papadopoulos's co-director Arvinder Sambei was also the former FBI British counsel working 9/11 cases for Robert Mueller. She also runs a consultancy which deals with Special Investigative Measure (SIMs) which is just a posh description for covert espionage and evidence gathering. She has worked for major intelligence and national law agencies in the past. She wore two hats as a director of London Centre and a consultant for the Global Center on Cooperative Security (GCCS), a counter-terrorism think tank which is sponsored by the Australia, Canada, UK and US governments. Alexander Downer's former Chief of Staff while at the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade now works for the Global Center. Mifsud was also due to meet with Australian private intelligence figures in Adelaide in March 2016. So. Australia is certainly a major focus for the investigation." [Emphasis Added]

Below, former FBI Deputy General Counsel Lisa Osofsky is pictured at a London Centre for International Law Practice event . Osofsky also served as the Money Laundering Reporting Officer with Goldman Sachs International. Since 2018, she has served as the Director of the UK's Serious Fraud Office (SFO).

Lisa Osofsky, pictured at an LCILP event. Image via Chris Blackburn, Twitter

An Embarrassment For John Brennan?

Disobedient Media previously reported that Robert Hannigan, then head of British spy agency GCHQ, flew to Washington DC to share 'director-to-director' level intelligence with then-CIA Chief John Brennan in the summer of 2016. This writer noted that " The Guardian reported Hannigan's announcement that he would step down from his leadership position with the agency just three days after the inauguration of President Trump, on 23 January 2017.

Jane Mayer, in her profile of Christopher Steele published in the New Yorker, also noted that Hannigan had flown to Washington D.C. to personally brief the then-CIA Director John Brennan on alleged communications between the Trump campaign and Moscow. What is so curious about this briefing "deemed so sensitive it was handled at director-level" is why Hannigan was talking director-to-director to the CIA and not Mike Rogers at the NSA, GCHQ's Five Eyes intelligence-sharing partner."

Blackburn told Disobedient Media:

"Former Congressman Trey Gowdy, who has seen most of the information gathered by Congress from the intelligence community concerning the Russia investigation, said that if President Trump were to declassify files and present the truth to the American public, it would " embarrass John Brennan ." I think that is pretty concrete for me, but it's not definitive. I know the polarization and spin in Washington has become perverse, but that statement is pretty specific for me. If Brennan is involved, it is most probably through Papadopoulos who sparked off the 'official' investigation at the FBI. He also made sure the Steele dossier was spread through the US government."

Blackburn added: "Chris Steele was also working on FIFA projects, and a source has told me that he was working to investigate the Russian and Qatari World Cup bids. The London Centre of International Law Practice has been working with Majed Garoub, the former Saudi legal representative of FIFA, the world governing body for soccer. He's also been working against the Qatari bid. Steele likes to get paid twice for his investigations."

"Mifsud has also been associated with Prince Turki the former Saudi intelligence chief, Mifsud and the London Academy of Diplomacy used to train Saudi diplomats and intelligence figures while Turki was the Saudi Ambassador to London. Turki is a close friend of Bill Clinton and John Brennan. Nawaf Obaid was also courting Mifsud and tried to get him a cushy job working with CNN's Freedom Project at Link Campus in Rome. He also knows John Brennan. Intelligence agencies like to give out professional gifts like this plum academic position for completing missions. In the US, it is widely known that intelligence agencies gift the children of assets to get them into prestigious Ivy League schools."

At minimum, we can surmise that Mifsud was not a Russian agent, but was an asset of Western intelligence agencies. We are left with the impression that the Mifsud saga served as a ploy, whether he participated knowingly or not. It seems reasonable to conclude that the gambit was initially developed with participation of John Brennan and UK intelligence. Following this, Mueller inherited and developed the Mifsud narrative thread into the collusion soap opera we know today.

Ultimately, we are faced with the reality that British and US interests worked together to fabricate a collusion scandal to subvert a US Presidency, and in doing so, intentionally raised tensions between the West and a nuclear-armed power.


snodgrass , 2 hours ago link

What ********. Britain was part of the group pulling of 911 along with the American and Jewish establishment. Blackburn was the inside guy, posing as an outsider, to deflect attention from the real perpetrators. These people always have agents on both sides of every issue in the same way they fund two "opposing" political parties and fund two "opposing" sides in the media.

freedommusic , 3 hours ago link

Ultimately, we are faced with the reality that British and US interests worked together to fabricate a collusion scandal to subvert a US Presidency , and in doing so, intentionally raised tensions between the West and a nuclear-armed power .

It's called TREASON .

Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies , giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere , is guilty of treason and shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years

Jung , 3 hours ago link

SteeleGate---his mate Skripal, boss Pablo Miller----novichok---Porton Down---anything to blame Russia in the end. After 30 dys of shutdown personnel of CIA, FBI and DOJ can be changed legally: draining of the swamp and DECLAS can begin with proper Military Tribunals in place. This according to Q who shared all of this, so it was not a conspiracy theory that the Q team exposed, but just MSM and Deep State in their last panic mode. Justice will now be able to follow: maybe rel end of endless wars too!

boooyaaaah , 3 hours ago link

There are more and more articles saying that the FBI, CIA, M14 15,16 yada yada, were overly concerned about Trump. Their sin...caring too much for the USA. They attempted a coup de'etat for "our" own good...we... being "we the people". To quote Abe Lincoln "You will find that all the arguments in favour of kingcraft were of this class; they always bestrode the necks of the people, -- not that they wanted to do it, but because the people were better off for being ridden." Lincoln did not mince words

So now we have an international conspiracy of care. Not one power grubber in the group. A syndicate of misunderstood do gooders.

But not having the consent of the people, but rather trying to undo, and foil the consent of the people.

This part of the Declaration applies

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, -- That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Last of the Middle Class , 4 hours ago link

Ultimately, we are faced with the reality that British and US interests worked together to fabricate a collusion scandal to subvert a US Presidency, and in doing so, intentionally raised tensions between the West and a nuclear-armed power..."

Why do you not call it a coup d'etat? That is what it is, nothing less. If it were about something Trump did you would use the harshest possible language. Why not tell the truth here. Let the American people know what happened.

[Feb 16, 2019] Guccifer 2.0's American Fingerprints Reveal An Operation Made In The USA

Feb 16, 2019 | disobedientmedia.com

Paul E. Merrell, J.D. , May 31, 2018 at 4:53 am

Guccifer 2.0's American Fingerprints Reveal An Operation Made In The USA: https://disobedientmedia.com/2018/05/guccifer-2-0s-american-fingerprints-reveal-an-operation-made-in-the-usa/

[Feb 16, 2019] "Semi-intelligence agences" is a very sad joke

Jul 27, 2018 | thesaker.is

Alex on October 09, 2017 , · at 3:08 pm EST/EDT

Something tells me he doesn't want to push this too much as money for this film came from French and German sources. It is nice to see him sticking his neck out to uphold the Truth.

When I watched the US rep. who supposedly investigated this Magnitzky affair for the US gov. state under oath that he never verified any of the info that Browder gave him, I kept thinking "Is this guy serious ?" But when you realize that they never did any investigation then it all seems logical.

[Feb 16, 2019] Ann Coulter The Only National Emergency Is That Our President Is An Idiot

zerohedge.com
[yes, I did not have much influence of Trump]...

"Nor did I have any influence on the captain of the Titanic, the operators of the Hindenburg or the 9/11/2001 Terrorism Prevention Team."

[Feb 16, 2019] Libya was a war crime.

Max Boot along with other neocons should be in jail.
Feb 16, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Stephen J. , February 15, 2019 a t 1:43 pm

The article states: " but by 2011 Boot had another war in mind. 'Qaddafi Must Go,' Boot declared in The Weekly Standard. In Boot's telling, the Libyan dictator had become a threat to the American homeland." -- -- - There is reported evidence that Libya was a war crime. And the perpetrators are Free. See info below:

"They Speak "

"The destruction of Libya by NATO at the behest of the UK, the US and France was a crime, one dripping in the cant and hypocrisy of Western ideologues " John Wight, November 27, 2017. https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/11/27/libya-chose-freedom-now-it-has-slavery/

They speak of "The Rule of Law" while breaking the law themselves They are the dangerous hypocrites that bombed Libya, and created hell Thousands upon thousands are dead in this unfortunate country Many would still be alive, if our "leaders" had not been down and dirty

Libya is reportedly a war crime and the war criminals are free Some of them are seen posturing on the world stage and others are on T.V. Others have written books and others are retired from public office And another exclaimed: "We came, we saw, he died" as murder was their accomplice

They even teamed up with terrorists to commit their bloody crimes And this went unreported in the "media": was this by design? There is a sickness and perversion loose in our society today When war crimes can be committed and the "law" has nothing to say

Another "leader" had a fly past to celebrate the bombing victory in this illegal war Now Libya is in chaos, while bloody terrorists roam secure And the NATO gang that caused all this horror and devastation Are continuing their bloody bombings in other unfortunate nations

The question must be asked: "Are some past and present leaders above the law? Can they get away with bombing and killing, are they men of straw? Whatever happened to law and order in the so- called "democracies"? When those in power can get away with criminality: Is that not hypocrisy?

There is no doubt that Libya was better off, before the "liberators" arrived Now many of its unfortunate people are now struggling to exist and survive The future of this war torn country now looks very sad and bleak If only our "leaders" had left it alone; but instead hypocrisy: They Speak

"The cause of the catastrophe in Libya in Libya was the seven month US-NATO blitzkrieg from March to October 2011 in which thousands of bombs and rockets rained down on that unfortunate land which was governed by President Muammar Ghaddafi whom the West was determined to overthrow by assisting a rebel movement." Brian Cloughley, 12.02.2019 https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2019/02/12/in-libya-we-came-saw-he-died-will-there-repeat-in-venezuela.html

[More info on all of this at link below] http://graysinfo.blogspot.com/2019/02/they-speak.html

[Feb 16, 2019] Veni, Vidi, Tweeti - An Obituary For The Republic Zero Hedge

Feb 15, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Tom Engelhardt via TomDispatch.com,

Hail, Donald J. Trump, we who are about to read your latest tweet salute you!

... ... ...

Let's note some other passing parallels between the new Rome and the old one. As a start, it's certainly accurate to say that our new American Caesar has much gall (divided into at least three parts). Admittedly, he's no Augustus, the first of a line of emperors, but more likely a Nero, fiddling while, in his case, the world quite literally burns . Still, he could certainly say of campaign 2016 and what followed: Veni, Vidi, Tweeti (I came, I saw, I tweeted). And don't forget the classic line that might someday be applied to his presidency, " Et tu , Mueller?" -- or depending on who turns on him, you can fill in your name of choice.

[Feb 16, 2019] Why has the Democratic party turned into the party of the upper class

Feb 16, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Kurt Gayle , February 15, 2019 at 9:44 am

Last night on "Tucker Carlson Tonight," Tucker interviewed J.D. Vance. The interview is called "Why has the Democratic party turned into the party of the upper class" (February 14, 2019)

Carlson: Well for generations everybody in America knew what the stereotypes were for the two political parties. Democrats were the party of the working class: Coal miners, factory workers, your local beat cop. Republicans were the party of lawyers, and doctors, and they spent a lot of time at country clubs. Remember? Things have changed a lot. Now Democrats have become the party of the elite professional class. They're consultants, i-bankers, socialites eager to lecture you about open borders, global warming, from their gated communities. Nobody knows that change better, or has watched it more carefully than the author of "Hillbilly Elegy," J.D. Vance. We spoke to him recently about it:

Carlson: J.D. Vance: Thanks for joining us. Because you don't live in Washington and you think bigger thoughts than the rest of us who are completely consumed by this dumb new cycle, I want to ask you a broader question: The parties have re-aligned. They don't represent the same people they thought they represented, or that they've represented for the last 70 years. I'm not sure their leaders understand this, but you do. Who do the parties represent as of right now?

Vance: Well, at a big level the Democratic Party increasingly represents professional class elites and Republicans represent middle and working class wage earners in the middle of the country. Now I will say I think Democratic leaders kind of get this. If you look at the big proposals from the 2020 presidential candidates: Universal child care, debt-free college, even medicare for all which is framed as this lurch to the left, but is really just a big hand-out to doctors, physicians, pharmaceutical companies and hospitals. The sort of get that they're the party of the professional class and a lot of their policies are geared towards making life easier for professional class Americans. The problem I have is that my party, the Republican Party, hasn't quite figured out that we basically inherited a big chunk of the old FDR coalition: The middle of the country, working and middle class blue collar folks, the sort of people who work, pay their taxes, send their kids into the military -- that's increasingly the base of the Republican Party, but the Republican donor elites are actually not aligned with those folks in a lot of ways and so there's this really big miss-match, big-picture, within the Republican Party.

Carlson: So I'm completely fascinated by what you just said -- something I've never thought of in my life -- that medicare for all is actually a sop for the professional class. That's a whole separate segment and I hope you'll come back and unpack that all. But more broadly what you're saying I think is that the Democratic Party understands what it is, and who it represents, and affirmatively represents them. They do things for their voters. But the Republican Party doesn't actually represent its own voters very well.

Vance: Yes, that's exactly right. I mean look at who the Democratic Party is -- and look, I don't like the Democratic Party's policies; most of the time I disagree with them -- but I at least admire that they know who their voters are and they actually -- just as raw, cynical politics -- do a lot of things to serve those voters. Now look at who Republican voters increasingly are: They're people who disproportionately serve in the military, but Republican foreign policy has been a disaster for a lot of veterans. They're disproportionately folks who want to have more children, they're people who want to have more single-earner families, they're people who don't necessarily want to go to college, but they want to work in an economy where, if you play by the rules, you could actually support a family on one income. Have Republicans done anything for those people, really, in the last 15 or 20 years? I think you can point to some policies of the Trump administration -- certainly instinctively the President gets who his voters are and what he has to do to service those folks -- but at the end of the day the broad elite of the party, the folks who really call the shots, the think-tank intellectuals, the people who write the policy, I just don't think they realize who their own voters are. Now the slightly more worrying implication is that maybe some of them do realize who their voters are, they just don't actually like those voters a lot.

Carlson: Well, that's it. So, I watch the Democratic Party and I notice that if there's a substantial block within it -- it's this unstable coalition of all these groups that have nothing in common -- but the one thing they have in common is that the Democratic Party will protect them. You criticize a block of Democratic voters and they're on you like a wounded wombat -- they'll bit you! The Republicans watch their voters come under attack and sort of nod in agreement: Yeah, these people should be attacked.

Vance: That's absolutely right. If you talk to people who spent their lives in DC -- I know you live in DC, I've spent a lot of my life here -- the people who spend their time in DC, who work on Republican campaigns, who work at conservative think-tanks -- now this isn't true of everybody -- but a lot of them actually don't like the people who are voting for Republican candidates these days. And if you ultimately boil down the Never Trump phenomenon -- what is the Never Trump phenomenon? -- I was very critical of the President during the campaign -- but the Never Trump phenomenon is primarily not about the President. It's about the people who are most excited about somebody who was anti-elitest effectively taking over the Republican Party. They recognize that Trump was -- whatever his faults -- a person who instinctively understood who Republicans needed to be for. And at the end of the day, I think they don't think they necessarily want the Republican Party to be for those folks. They don't like the policies that will come from it, they don't like necessarily the country that will come from it, and so there's a lot of vitriol directed at people who voted for Donald Trump, whether excitedly or not.

Carlson: If the Republican Party has a future, it'll be organized around the ideas you just laid out -- maybe led by you or by somebody who thinks like you, I'm serious. That's what it needs. I think. J.D. Vance. Thank you.

Vance: Thanks, Tucker.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/fK2-wmwI5gU?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

[Feb 16, 2019] Why Are These Professional War Peddlers Still Around? Pundits like Max Boot and Bill Kristol got everything after 9/11 wrong but are still considered experts. by Tucker Carlson

Notable quotes:
"... As Trump found himself accused of improper ties to Vladimir Putin, Boot agitated for more aggressive confrontation with Russia. Boot demanded larger weapons shipments to Ukraine. ..."
"... Boot's stock in the Washington foreign policy establishment rose. In 2018, he was hired by The Washington Post as a columnist. The paper's announcement cited Boot's "expertise on armed conflict." ..."
"... Republicans in Washington never recovered. When Trump attacked the Iraq War and questioned the integrity of the people who planned and promoted it, he was attacking them. They hated him for that. Some of them became so angry, it distorted their judgment and character. ..."
"... Almost from the moment Operation Desert Storm concluded in 1991, Kristol began pushing for the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. In 1997, The Weekly Standard ran a cover story titled "Saddam Must Go." If the United States didn't launch a ground invasion of Iraq, the lead editorial warned, the world should "get ready for the day when Saddam has biological and chemical weapons at the tips of missiles aimed at Israel and at American forces in the Gulf." ..."
"... Under ordinary circumstances, Bill Kristol would be famous for being wrong. Kristol still goes on television regularly, but it's not to apologize for the many demonstrably untrue things he's said about the Middle East, or even to talk about foreign policy. Instead, Kristol goes on TV to attack Donald Trump. ..."
"... Trump's election seemed to undo Bill Kristol entirely. He lost his job at The Weekly Standard after more than 20 years, forced out by owners who were panicked about declining readership. He seemed to spend most of his time on Twitter ranting about Trump. ..."
"... By the spring of 2018, Kristol was considering a run for president himself. He was still making the case for the invasion of Iraq, as well as pushing for a new war, this time in Syria, and maybe in Lebanon and Iran, too. Like most people in Washington, he'd learned nothing at all. ..."
"... Creating complex and convincing false narratives to support demonic purposes is HARD WORK, and requires big pay. ..."
"... Lots of spilled ink here that's pretty meaningless without an answer to the following: Why does Trump employ John Bolton and Elliot Abrams? Explain Trump and Pence and Pompeo's Iran obsession and how it's any better than Kristol/Boot? ..."
Feb 15, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

One thing that every late-stage ruling class has in common is a high tolerance for mediocrity. Standards decline, the edges fray, but nobody in charge seems to notice. They're happy in their sinecures and getting richer. In a culture like this, there's no penalty for being wrong. The talentless prosper, rising inexorably toward positions of greater power, and breaking things along the way. It happened to the Ottomans.

Max Boot is living proof that it's happening in America.

Boot is a professional foreign policy expert, a job category that doesn't exist outside of a select number of cities. Boot has degrees from Berkeley and Yale, and is a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. He has written a number of books and countless newspaper columns on foreign affairs and military history. The International Institute for Strategic Studies, an influential British think tank, describes Boot as one of the "world's leading authorities on armed conflict."

None of this, it turns out, means anything. The professional requirements for being one ofthe world's Leading Authorities on Armed Conflict do not include relevant experience with armed conflict. Leading authorities on the subject don't need a track record of wise assessments or accurate predictions. All that's required are the circular recommendations of fellow credential holders. If other Leading Authorities on Armed Conflict induct you into their ranks, you're in. That's good news for Max Boot.

Boot first became famous in the weeks after 9/11 for outlining a response that the Bush administration seemed to read like a script, virtually word for word. While others were debating whether Kandahar or Kabul ought to get the first round of American bombs, Boot was thinking big. In October 2001, he published a piece in The Weekly Standard titled "The Case for American Empire."

"The September 11 attack was a result of insufficient American involvement and ambition," Boot wrote. "The solution is to be more expansive in our goals and more assertive in their implementation." In order to prevent more terror attacks in American cities, Boot called for a series of U.S.-led revolutions around the world, beginning in Afghanistan and moving swiftly to Iraq.

"Once we have deposed Saddam, we can impose an American-led, international regency in Baghdad, to go along with the one in Kabul," Boot wrote. "To turn Iraq into a beacon of hope for the oppressed peoples of the Middle East: Now that would be a historic war aim. Is this an ambitious agenda? Without a doubt. Does America have the resources to carry it out? Also without a doubt."

In retrospect, Boot's words are painful to read, like love letters from a marriage that ended in divorce. Iraq remains a smoldering mess. The Afghan war is still in progress close to 20 years in. For perspective, Napoleon Bonaparte seized control of France, crowned himself emperor, defeated four European coalitions against him, invaded Russia, lost, was defeated and exiled, returned, and was defeated and exiled a second time, all in less time than the United States has spent trying to turn Afghanistan into a stable country.

Things haven't gone as planned. What's remarkable is that despite all the failure and waste and deflated expectations, defeats that have stirred self-doubt in the heartiest of men, Boot has remained utterly convinced of the virtue of his original predictions. Certainty is a prerequisite for Leading Authorities on Armed Conflict.

In the spring of 2003, with the war in Iraq under way, Boot began to consider new countries to invade. He quickly identified Syria and Iran as plausible targets, the latter because it was "less than two years" from building a nuclear bomb. North Korea made Boot's list as well. Then Boot became more ambitious. Saudi Arabia could use a democracy, he decided.

"If the U.S. armed forces made such short work of a hardened goon like Saddam Hussein, imagine what they could do to the soft and sybaritic Saudi royal family," Boot wrote.

Five years later, in a piece for The Wall Street Journal , Boot advocated for the military occupation of Pakistan and Somalia. The only potential problem, he predicted, was unreasonable public opposition to new wars.

"Ragtag guerrillas have proven dismayingly successful in driving out or neutering international peacekeeping forces," he wrote. "Think of American and French troops blown up in Beirut in 1983, or the 'Black Hawk Down' incident in Somalia in 1993. Too often, when outside states do agree to send troops, they are so fearful of casualties that they impose rules of engagement that preclude meaningful action."

In other words, the tragedy of foreign wars isn't that Americans die, but that too few Americans are willing to die. To solve this problem, Boot recommended recruiting foreign mercenaries. "The military would do well today to open its ranks not only to legal immigrants but also to illegal ones," he wrote in the Los Angeles Times . When foreigners get killed fighting for America, he noted, there's less political backlash at home.

♦♦♦

American forces, documented or not, never occupied Pakistan, but by 2011 Boot had another war in mind. "Qaddafi Must Go," Boot declared in The Weekly Standard . In Boot's telling, the Libyan dictator had become a threat to the American homeland. "The only way this crisis will end -- the only way we and our allies can achieve our objectives in Libya -- is to remove Qaddafi from power. Containment won't suffice."

In the end, Gaddafi was removed from power, with ugly and long-lasting consequences. Boot was on to the next invasion. By late 2012, he was once again promoting attacks on Syria and Iran, as he had nine years before. In a piece for The New York Times , Boot laid out "Five Reasons to Intervene in Syria Now."

Overthrowing the Assad regime, Boot predicted, would "diminish Iran's influence" in the region, influence that had grown dramatically since the Bush administration took Boot's advice and overthrew Saddam Hussein, Iran's most powerful counterbalance. To doubters concerned about a complex new war, Boot promised the Syria intervention could be conducted "with little risk."

Days later, Boot wrote a separate piece for Commentary magazine calling for American bombing of Iran. It was a busy week, even by the standards of a Leading Authority on Armed Conflict. Boot conceded that "it remains a matter of speculation what Iran would do in the wake of such strikes." He didn't seem worried.

Listed in one place, Boot's many calls for U.S.-led war around the world come off as a parody of mindless warlike noises, something you might write if you got mad at a country while drunk. ("I'll invade you!!!") Republicans in Washington didn't find any of it amusing. They were impressed. Boot became a top foreign policy adviser to John McCain's presidential campaign in 2008, to Mitt Romney in 2012, and to Marco Rubio in 2016.

Everything changed when Trump won the Republican nomination. Trump had never heard of the International Institute for Strategic Studies. He had no idea Max Boot was a Leading Authority on Armed Conflict. Trump was running against more armed conflicts. He had no interest in invading Pakistan. Boot hated him.

As Trump found himself accused of improper ties to Vladimir Putin, Boot agitated for more aggressive confrontation with Russia. Boot demanded larger weapons shipments to Ukraine. He called for effectively expelling Russia from the global financial system, a move that might be construed as an act of war against a nuclear-armed power. The stakes were high, but with signature aplomb Boot assured readers it was "hard to imagine" the Russian government would react badly to the provocation. Those who disagreed Boot dismissed as "cheerleaders" for Putin and the mullahs in Iran.

Boot's stock in the Washington foreign policy establishment rose. In 2018, he was hired by The Washington Post as a columnist. The paper's announcement cited Boot's "expertise on armed conflict."

It is possible to isolate the precise moment that Trump permanently alienated the Republican establishment in Washington: February 13, 2016. There was a GOP primary debate that night in Greenville, South Carolina, so every Republican in Washington was watching. Seemingly out of nowhere, Trump articulated something that no party leader had ever said out loud. "We should never have been in Iraq," Trump announced, his voice rising. "We have destabilized the Middle East."

Many in the crowd booed, but Trump kept going: "They lied. They said there were weapons of mass destruction. There were none. And they knew there were none."

Pandemonium seemed to erupt in the hall, and on television. Shocked political analysts declared that the Trump presidential effort had just euthanized itself. Republican voters, they said with certainty, would never accept attacks on policies their party had espoused and carried out.

Republican voters had a different reaction. They understood that adults sometimes change their minds based on evidence. They themselves had come to understand that the Iraq war was a mistake. They appreciated hearing something verboten but true.

Rival Republicans denounced Trump as an apostate. Voters considered him brave. Trump won the South Carolina primary, and shortly after that, the Republican nomination.

Republicans in Washington never recovered. When Trump attacked the Iraq War and questioned the integrity of the people who planned and promoted it, he was attacking them. They hated him for that. Some of them became so angry, it distorted their judgment and character.

♦♦♦

Bill Kristol is probably the most influential Republican strategist of the post-Reagan era. Born in 1954, Kristol was the second child of the writer Irving Kristol, one of the founders of neoconservatism.

The neoconservatism of Irving Kristol and his friends was jarring to the ossified liberal establishment of the time, but in retrospect it was basically a centrist philosophy: pragmatic, tolerant of a limited welfare state, not rigidly ideological. By the time Bill Kristol got done with it 40 years later, neoconservatism was something else entirely.

Almost from the moment Operation Desert Storm concluded in 1991, Kristol began pushing for the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. In 1997, The Weekly Standard ran a cover story titled "Saddam Must Go." If the United States didn't launch a ground invasion of Iraq, the lead editorial warned, the world should "get ready for the day when Saddam has biological and chemical weapons at the tips of missiles aimed at Israel and at American forces in the Gulf."

After the September 11 attacks, Kristol found a new opening to start a war with Iraq. In November 2001, he and Robert Kagan wrote a piece in The Weekly Standard alleging that Saddam Hussein hosted a training camp for Al Qaeda fighters where terrorists had trained to hijack planes. They suggested that Mohammad Atta, mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, was actively collaborating with Saddam's intelligence services. On the basis of no evidence, they accused Iraq of fomenting the anthrax attacks on American politicians and news outlets.

Under ordinary circumstances, Bill Kristol would be famous for being wrong. Kristol still goes on television regularly, but it's not to apologize for the many demonstrably untrue things he's said about the Middle East, or even to talk about foreign policy. Instead, Kristol goes on TV to attack Donald Trump.

Trump's election seemed to undo Bill Kristol entirely. He lost his job at The Weekly Standard after more than 20 years, forced out by owners who were panicked about declining readership. He seemed to spend most of his time on Twitter ranting about Trump.

Before long he was ranting about the people who elected Trump. At an American Enterprise Institute panel event in February 2017, Kristol made the case for why immigrants are more impressive than native-born Americans. "Basically if you are in free society, a capitalist society, after two, three, four generations of hard work, everyone becomes kind of decadent, lazy, spoiled, whatever." Most Americans, Kristol said, "grew up as spoiled kids and so forth."

In February 2018, Kristol tweeted that he would "take in a heartbeat a group of newly naturalized American citizens over the spoiled native-born know-nothings" who supported Trump.

By the spring of 2018, Kristol was considering a run for president himself. He was still making the case for the invasion of Iraq, as well as pushing for a new war, this time in Syria, and maybe in Lebanon and Iran, too. Like most people in Washington, he'd learned nothing at all.

Tucker Carlson is the host of Fox News 's Tucker Carlson Tonight and author of Ship of Fools: How A Selfish Ruling Class Is Bringing America to the Brink of Revolution (Simon & Schuster). This excerpt is taken from that book.


Patrick Constantine February 14, 2019 at 10:50 pm

Trump isn't the only one hated by useless establishment Republicans – with essays like this so will Tucker. Thanks for this takedown of these two warmongering know-nothings. I wish Trump all the time was like he was at that debate in S Carolina where he said what every American knows: the Iraq invasion was stupid and we should not have done it!
Anne Mendoza , says: February 15, 2019 at 2:10 am
So why are these professional war peddlers still around? For the same reason that members of the leadership class who failed and continue to fail in the Middle East are still around. There has not been an accounting at any level. There is just more talk of more war.
polistra , says: February 15, 2019 at 3:54 am
Well, the headline pretty much answers its own question if you know the purpose of Experts. In any subject matter from science to economics to politics, Experts are paid to be wrong. Nobody has to be paid to observe reality accurately with his own senses and rational mind. Every living creature does that all the time. It's the basic requirement of survival.

Creating complex and convincing false narratives to support demonic purposes is HARD WORK, and requires big pay.

snake charmer , says: February 15, 2019 at 6:49 am
""The September 11 attack was a result of insufficient American involvement and ambition," Boot wrote. "The solution is to be more expansive in our goals and more assertive in their implementation.""

In other words, if we had only squandered even more blood and treasure, why, everything would have been fine.

Why do so many true believers end up with some variation on the true believer's wheeze: "Communism didn't fail ! It was never tried!" Then again one can't be sure that Boot is a true believer. He might be a treacherous snake trying to use American power to advance a foreign agenda.

Mike , says: February 15, 2019 at 6:55 am
This is an Exocet missile of an article. Both hulls compromised, taking water. Nice.
John S , says: February 15, 2019 at 7:11 am
This is beautiful, Boot has been rewarded for every horrible failure...
Tom Gorman , says: February 15, 2019 at 8:36 am
Mr. Carlson,

Max Boot has indeed been an advocate of overseas intervention, but you fail to point out that he has recanted his support of the Iraq War. In his 2018 book "The Corrosion of Conservatism: Why I left the American Right," he states:

". . . I can finally acknowledge the obvious: it (The Iraq War) was all a big mistake. Saddam Hussein was heinous, but Iraq was better off under his tyrannical rule than the chaos that followed. I regret advocating the invasion and feel guilty about all the lives lost. It was a chastening lesson in the limits of American power."

I'm glad to see that Boot, along with yourself and other Republicans, realize that American use of force must have a clear objective with reasonable chance of success. I suggest you send this article to John Bolton. I'm not sure he agrees with you.

Dawg , says: February 15, 2019 at 9:29 am
Great article, Mr. Tucker. I hope folks also read Mearsheimer & Walt on the Iraq War. From chapter 8 of their book: http://mailstar.net/iraq-war.html
David LeRoy Newland , says: February 15, 2019 at 9:34 am
Excellent article. It's a shame that the Bush era GOP took Boot and Kristol seriously. That poor judgment led Bush to make the kinds of mistakes that gave Democrats the opening they needed to gain power, which in turn led them to make even more harmful mistakes.
Collin , says: February 15, 2019 at 9:55 am
Being against the Iraq 2 I find this populist arguing very 'eye-rolling' as you were pimping this war to death back in the day. (In fact I remember Jon Stewart being one of the few 'pundits' that questioned the war in 2003 & 2004.) And has dovish as Trump as been, his administration is still filled with Hawks and if you are concerned about wars then maybe use your TV show for instead of whining for past mistakes:

1) The administration action in Iran is aggressive and counter-productive to long term peace. The nuclear deal was an effective way of ensuring Iran controlling behavior for 15 years as the other parties, Europe and China, wanted to trade with Iran. (Additionally it makes our nation depend more on the Saudia relationship in which Washington should be slowly moving away from.)

2) Like it or not, Venezuela is starting down the steps of mission creep for the Trump Administration. Recommend the administration stay away from peace keeping troops and suggest this is China's problem. (Venezuela in debt to their eyeballs with China.)

3) Applaud the administration with peace talks with NK but warn them not to overstate their accomplishments. It is ridiculous that the administration signed big nuclear deals with NK that don't exist.

John In Michigan , says: February 15, 2019 at 9:59 am
I find it amazing that Boot is considered one of the "world's leading authorities on armed conflict,"yet never appears to have served in any branch of the armed forces, nor even heard a shot fired in anger. He is proof that academic credentials do not automatically confer "expertise."
Packard Day , says: February 15, 2019 at 10:26 am
Any war, anytime, any place, and cause just so long as American boys and girls can be in the middle of it.

Welcome to the American NeoCon movement, recently joined by Republican Never Trumpers, elected Democrats, and a host of far too many underemployed Beltway Generals & Admirals.

Joshua Xanadu , says: February 15, 2019 at 10:46 am
From a reformed Leftist, thank you Tucker for calling out the stank from the Republicans. The detailed compilation of lowlights from Max Boot and Bill Kristol (don't forget Robert Kagan!) should be etched in the minds of the now pro-war Democratic Party establishment.
Taras 77 , says: February 15, 2019 at 10:57 am
Being a neocon war monger means that you will never have to say you are sorry. The press will give them a pass every single time.

It is all about Israel-being wrong 100% of the time means it is all good because it was in the service of Israel.

Paul Reidinger , says: February 15, 2019 at 11:07 am
Yet another reason not to read the Washington Post.
Anja Mast , says: February 15, 2019 at 11:13 am
Tucker!!! When did you start writing for TAC?!?!

I laughed out loud while reading this, and continued laughing through to the end, until I saw who had the audacity to tell the truth about these utter incompetent failures (who have failed upwards for more than a decade now) who call themselves "foreign policy experts." Yeah -- "experts" at being so moronically wrong that you really start wondering if perhaps the benjamins from another middle eastern nation, that can't be named, has something to do with their worthless opinions, which always seem to do made for the benifit of the nameless nation.

So hurrah for you!!! Let the truth set us all free! Praise the Lord & Sing Songs of Praise to his Name!!!! Literally that's how great it is to hear the pure & unvarnished TRUTH spoken out loud in this publication!

I hope you get such awesome feedback that you are asked to continue to bless us with more truths! Thank you! You totally made my day!

And thank you for your service to this country, where it used to be considered patriotic to speak the truth honestly & plainly!

Joe , says: February 15, 2019 at 11:14 am
Why Are These Professional War Peddlers Still Around? Simple, leaders like Trump keep them around, e.g. Pompeo, Bolton and Abrams.
David Biddington , says: February 15, 2019 at 11:22 am
John Bolton and Eliot Abrams on Team Trump, gearing up with Bibi to attack Iran is of no concern to sir?
George Crosley , says: February 15, 2019 at 11:22 am
"Once we have deposed Saddam, we can impose an American-led, international regency in Baghdad, to go along with the one in Kabul," Boot wrote.

To which the reader might reasonably reply, "What do you mean we , Paleface?"

When I see Max Boot or Bill Kristol in uniform, carrying a rifle, and trudging with their platoon along the dusty roads of the Middle East, I'll begin to pay attention to their bleats and jeremiads.

Until that day, I'll continue to view them as a pair of droning, dull-as-ditchwater members of the 45th Word-processing Brigade. (Company motto: "Let's you and him fight!")

Frank Goodpasture III , says: February 15, 2019 at 11:29 am
It is my understanding that HRC led the charge to overthrow and hang Gaddafi in spite of a reluctant Obama administration. Did Boot, in fact, influence her?
marku52 , says: February 15, 2019 at 11:29 am
"Most Americans, Kristol said, "grew up as spoiled kids and so forth."" Unintentional irony, one must presume. Still it is astonishing that it took someone as addled as DJT to point out the obvious–Invading Iraq was a massive mistake.

Where were the rest of the "adults"

Jimmy Lewis , says: February 15, 2019 at 11:41 am
Boot, Kristal, Cheney, and Rumsfeld should all be in jail for war crimes.
jk , says: February 15, 2019 at 11:53 am
Just like Eliot Abrams, John McCain, GWB, Dick Cheney, Rumsfeld or any other neocon, there is no justice or punishment or even well deserved humiliation for these parasites. They are always misinformed, misguided, or "well intentioned."

The US can interfere with sovereign governments and elections at will I guess and not be responsible for the the unintended consequences such as 500k+ killed in the Middle East since the Iraq and Afghan debacle.

There are sugar daddies from the MIC, the Natsec state (aka the Swamp), AIPAC, and even Jeff Bezos (benefactor of WaPo) that keep these guys employed.

You need to be more critical of Trump also as he is the one hiring these clowns. But other than that, keep up the good work Mr. Carlson!

Allen , says: February 15, 2019 at 12:09 pm
These Chairborne Rangers in Washington know nothing about war. They are the flip side of the radical Dems. "Hey, we lost in 2016. Let's do MORE of what made us lose in the first place!"
D , says: February 15, 2019 at 12:53 pm
Would've been nice if you wrote this about Bolton, Adams, Pompeo, Pence, or any of the other sundry neocon lunatics in the Trump administration.

Nonetheless, always good to see a takedown of Boot and Kristol.

J Thomsen , says: February 15, 2019 at 1:07 pm
The GOP is as much an enemy to the Trump revolution as the left. The Bush/Clinton/Obama coalition runs DC – controls the federal workforce, and colludes to run the Federal government for themselves and their pet constituents.

Trump should have stuck it out on the shutdown until those federal workers left. I think it was called RIF wherein after 30 days, he could dump the lot of em.

THE GOP IS NOT THE PARTY OF LESS GOVERNMENT. That's there motto for busy conservatives who don't have the time or inclination to monitor both sides of the swamp.

THEY ALL HAVE GILLS . we need to starve em out.

Joe from Pa , says: February 15, 2019 at 1:10 pm
Lots of spilled ink here that's pretty meaningless without an answer to the following: Why does Trump employ John Bolton and Elliot Abrams? Explain Trump and Pence and Pompeo's Iran obsession and how it's any better than Kristol/Boot?

What's going on in Yemen?

sanford sklansky , says: February 15, 2019 at 1:18 pm
Funny how when liberals said it was wrong to be in Iraq they were vilified. Yes some conservatives changed their minds. Trump however is all over the map when it comes to wars. http://www.tomdispatch.com/blog/176527/

[Feb 15, 2019] An important factor in Venezuela situation is that the Gene Sharp's non-violent action regime change system has been busted somewhat. The new potential victims are not as naive and know which ropes will pulled

Notable quotes:
"... It's likely that the Brazilian and Colombian governments don't command the loyalty of their armed forces (especially the foot soldiers who would have shoulder the burden of invasion) to the extent that the Venezuelan government under Maduro does of its own. Especially if money allocated to the armed forces in Brazil and Colombia has gone to a few favored individuals in the officer hierarchies while the grunts have seen no increased pay or support, or have even seen their pay levels dwindle as their responsibilities grow. ..."
"... That's a possible scenario in Brazil given that since Dilma Rousseff's impeachment as President in 2016 it has been governed by corrupt neoliberal politicians. ..."
"... In Venezuela's situation, the crux is in how prepared are the Venezuelan officers to defend their own country on an officer's salary and on promises of future rewards by Maduro and his team. Therefore, nationalism and patriotism of the military may be that little straw which tips the balance in favour of keeping Venezuela free. At least we hope ..."
"... The last two places where Gene's revolutions have worked out were Macedonia and Armenia, but there is not much there to steal (rather profitless victories). ..."
Feb 15, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jen, Feb 14, 2019 5:09:06 PM | 24Kiza @ 19:

Far more likely that Brazil and Colombia refuse to commit any troops or other support for a US-led coalition to invade Venezuela. These countries have long borders going through thinly populated tropical forest or mountain areas with Venezuela.

They don't want the prospect of fighting continuous border wars with militias that would sap their own military strength and which could go deep into their own territories. Imagine how unpopular that would make their current governments with their publics.

It's likely that the Brazilian and Colombian governments don't command the loyalty of their armed forces (especially the foot soldiers who would have shoulder the burden of invasion) to the extent that the Venezuelan government under Maduro does of its own. Especially if money allocated to the armed forces in Brazil and Colombia has gone to a few favored individuals in the officer hierarchies while the grunts have seen no increased pay or support, or have even seen their pay levels dwindle as their responsibilities grow.

That's a possible scenario in Brazil given that since Dilma Rousseff's impeachment as President in 2016 it has been governed by corrupt neoliberal politicians.

Kiza , Feb 14, 2019 6:37:07 PM | link

@ Jen 24

Thanks for providing further detail into the inner workings of the US appointed Columbian and Brazilian military. I do not think that those two militaries do not want to get involved in Venezuela, but they are not volunteering forward to be the thieve's fools on an officer's salary.

Any military which would leave its border is a mercenary, which means that the pay/benefits must be more proportional to the loot than even to the risk (i.e. they want a huge cut).

In Venezuela's situation, the crux is in how prepared are the Venezuelan officers to defend their own country on an officer's salary and on promises of future rewards by Maduro and his team. Therefore, nationalism and patriotism of the military may be that little straw which tips the balance in favour of keeping Venezuela free. At least we hope.

The second important factor is that the Gene Sharp's "non-violent action" regime change system (revolution in a box) has been busted somewhat. The new potential victims are not as naive and as unprepared as the initial victims of the "branded revolutions" were.

Therefore, the resistance to thievery is increasing. In case of Venezuela, the "revolutionaries", including the Random Guy, have been trained by the late Gene's best apostles, organisation Otpor, but it still has not worked out yet. The last two places where Gene's revolutions have worked out were Macedonia and Armenia, but there is not much there to steal (rather profitless victories).

I like to view Gene Sharp as the Lenin of the end of the 20th century. It is just so sad how much of human history is all about thieving on the back of highbrow principles and pretend-humanitarian ideologies . I pity people who argue about communism versus capitalism and any other ideologies. C'est tout la meme chose, someone is always taking someone else's women and cattle, only packaged in (MSM) verbal bullshit.

[Feb 15, 2019] Ilhan Omar and Elliott Abrams, Venezuela envoy, clash over U.S. meddling in Latin America

Here is YouTube video: 'It Was An Attack!' Omar And Abrams Share Heated Exchange NBC News - YouTube
Notable quotes:
"... "Whether under your watch a genocide will take place and you will look the other way because American interests were being upheld is a fair question because the American people want to know that anytime we engage in a country that we think about what our actions could be and how we believe our values are being furthered," Omar said. ..."
"... After again downplaying her question, Abrams said "the entire thrust of American policy in Venezuela is to support the Venezuelan people's effort to restore democracy to their country." ..."
Feb 15, 2019 | www.cbsnews.com

As assistant secretary of state during the Reagan administration, Abrams was involved in a secret arms deal in which the U.S. sought to trade missiles and other weapons to Iran and use the funds to support right-wing paramilitaries known as the "contras," who were seeking to topple a leftist government in Nicaragua. In a 1991 plea agreement with an independent commission tasked with probing the scandal -- which became known as the Iran-Contra affair -- Abrams admitted to lying to members of Congress about the clandestine deal. In 1992, he and other Reagan administration officials embroiled in the scandal were pardoned by former President George H. W. Bush.

Omar also pressed Abrams about his role in shaping an interventionist American foreign policy in other Latin American countries during his first stints at the State Department. During the Cold War, the U.S. supported various violent coups in Latin America, including some against democratically-elected governments.

The freshman Democrat asked Abrams about a remark he made in 1993, when he called the Reagan administration's record in El Salvador a "fabulous achievement." Between 1979 and 1992, the U.S. backed a right-wing military government in El Salvador during a civil war against leftist guerrillas that resulted in the deaths of more than 75,000 people, according to the Center for Justice and Accountability , an international human rights group.

Omar specifically cited the massacre of hundreds of civilians by the American-trained El Salvadoran army at the El Mazote village in 1981.

"Yes or no, do you think that massacre was a 'fabulous achievement' that happened under our watch," she asked.

"That is a ridiculous question," Abrams responded, again accusing Omar of crafting a "personal attack."

Omar continued her questioning, asking Abrams if he would be in favor of the U.S. supporting armed groups in Venezuela that participate in war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide if he believed it would serve America's interests. Abrams refused to answer the specific question, saying it was not a "real" question.

"Whether under your watch a genocide will take place and you will look the other way because American interests were being upheld is a fair question because the American people want to know that anytime we engage in a country that we think about what our actions could be and how we believe our values are being furthered," Omar said.

Along with recognizing the main opposition leader in Venezuela as the country's interim president and issuing sweeping sanctions against the largest state-owned oil company, the Trump administration has pledged more than $20 million in humanitarian assistance to the Venezuelan people.

But Maduro and other leftist leaders in the region, including in Bolivia and Cuba, have accused the American government of trying to stage a coup in Venezuela. Standing alongside diplomats from Russia, China, North Korea, Syria, Cuba, Nicaragua and Iran, Venezuela's foreign minister Jorge Arreaza told CBS News' Pamela Falk Thursday that Maduro's government has formed a coalition to oppose interference in his country's affairs.

After again downplaying her question, Abrams said "the entire thrust of American policy in Venezuela is to support the Venezuelan people's effort to restore democracy to their country."

In her final question, Omar asked Abrams whether American foreign policy prioritized upholding human rights and protecting people against genocide.

"That is always the position of the United States," he replied.

[Feb 15, 2019] CAPE Fear The Bulls Are Wrong. Shiller's Measure Is the Real Deal

Notable quotes:
"... The CAPE aims to correct for those distortions. It smooths the denominator by using not current profits, but a ten-year average, of S&P 500 earnings-per-share, adjusted for inflation. Today, the CAPE for the 500 reads 29.7. It's only been that high in two previous periods: Before the crash of 1929, and during the tech bubble from 1998 to 2001, suggesting that when stocks are this expensive, a downturn may be at hand. ..."
"... is 36.1% higher ..."
"... Here's the problem that the CAPE highlights. Earnings in the past two decades have been far outpacing GDP; in the current decade, they've beaten growth in national income by 1.2 points (3.2% versus 2%). That's a reversal of long-term trends. ..."
"... Right now, earnings constitute an unusually higher share of national income. That's because record-low interest rates have restrained cost of borrowing for the past several years, and companies have managed to produce more cars, steel and semiconductors while shedding workers and holding raises to a minimum. ..."
"... t's often overlooked that although profits grow in line with GDP, which by the way, is now expanding a lot more slowly than two decades ago, earnings per share ..."
"... The reason is dilution. Companies are constantly issuing new shares, for everything from expensive acquisitions to stock option redemptions to secondary offerings. New enterprises are also challenging incumbents, raising the number of shares that divide up an industry's profits faster than those profits are increasing. Since total earnings grow with GDP, and the share count grows faster than profits, it's mathematically impossible for EPS growth to consistently rise in double digits, although it does over brief periods––followed by intervals of zero or minuscule increases. ..."
"... The huge gap between the official PE of 19 and the CAPE at 30 signals that unsustainably high profits are artificially depressing the former. and that profits are bound to stagnate at best, and more likely decline. ..."
"... In an investing world dominated by hype, the CAPE is a rare truth-teller ..."
Feb 15, 2019 | finance.yahoo.com

For the past half-decade, a controversial yardstick called the CAPE has been flashing red, warning that stock prices are extremely rich, and vulnerable to a sharp correction. And over the same period, the Wall Street bulls and a number of academics led by Jeremy Siegel of the Wharton School, have been claiming that CAPE is a kind of fun house mirror that makes reasonable valuations appear grotesquely stretched.

CAPE, an acronym "Cyclically-adjusted price-to-earnings ratio," was developed by economist Robert Shiller of Yale to correct for a flaw in judging where stock prices stand on the continuum from dirt cheap to highly expensive based on the current P/E ratio. The problem: Reported earnings careen from lofty peaks to deep troughs, so that when they're in a funk, multiples jump so high that shares appear overpriced when they're really reasonable, and when profits explode, they can skew the P/E by creating the false signal that they're a great buy.

The CAPE aims to correct for those distortions. It smooths the denominator by using not current profits, but a ten-year average, of S&P 500 earnings-per-share, adjusted for inflation. Today, the CAPE for the 500 reads 29.7. It's only been that high in two previous periods: Before the crash of 1929, and during the tech bubble from 1998 to 2001, suggesting that when stocks are this expensive, a downturn may be at hand.

The CAPE's critics argue that its adjusted PE is highly inflated, because the past decade includes a portion of the financial crisis that decimated earnings. That period was so unusual, their thinking goes, that it makes the ten-year average denominator much too low, producing what looks like a dangerous number when valuations are actually reasonable by historical norms. They point to the traditional P/E based on 12-month trailing, GAAP profits. By that yardstick today's multiple is 19.7, a touch above the 20-year average of 19, though exceeding the century-long norm of around 16.

I've run some numbers, and my analysis indicates that the CAPE doesn't suffer from those alleged shortcoming, and presents a much truer picture than today's seemingly reassuring P/E. Here's why. Contrary to its opponents' assertions, the CAPE's earnings number is not artificially depressed. I calculated ten year average of real profits for six decade-long periods starting in February of 1959 and ending today, (the last one running from 2/2009 to 2/2019). On average, the adjusted earnings number rose 22% from one period to the next. The biggest leap came from 1999 to 2009, when the 10-year average of real earnings advanced 42%.

So did profits since then languish to the point where the current CAPE figure is unrealistically big? Not at all. The Shiller profit number of $91 per share is 36.1% higher than the reading for the 1999 to 2009 period, when it had surged a record 40%-plus over the preceding decade. If anything, today's denominator looks high, meaning the CAPE of almost 30 is at least reasonable, and if anything overstates what today's investors will reap from each dollar they've invested in stocks.

Indeed, in the latest ten-year span, adjusted profits have waxed at a 3.2% annual pace, slightly below the 3.6% from 1999 to 2009, but far above the average of 1.6% from 1959 to 1999.

Here's the problem that the CAPE highlights. Earnings in the past two decades have been far outpacing GDP; in the current decade, they've beaten growth in national income by 1.2 points (3.2% versus 2%). That's a reversal of long-term trends. Over our entire 60 year period, GDP rose at 3.3% annually, and profits trailed by 1.3 points, advancing at just 2%. So the rationale that P/Es are modest is based on the assumption that today's earnings aren't unusually high at all, and should continue growing from here, on a trajectory that outstrips national income.

It won't happen. It's true that total corporate profits follow GDP over the long term, though they fluctuate above and below that benchmark along the way. Right now, earnings constitute an unusually higher share of national income. That's because record-low interest rates have restrained cost of borrowing for the past several years, and companies have managed to produce more cars, steel and semiconductors while shedding workers and holding raises to a minimum.

Now, rates are rising and so it pay and employment, forces that will crimp profits. I t's often overlooked that although profits grow in line with GDP, which by the way, is now expanding a lot more slowly than two decades ago, earnings per share grow a lot slower, as I've shown, lagging by 1.3 points over the past six decades.

An influential study from 2003 by Rob Arnott, founder of Research Affiliates, and co-author William J. Bernstein, found that EPS typically trails overall profit and economic growth by even more, an estimated 2 points a year.

The reason is dilution. Companies are constantly issuing new shares, for everything from expensive acquisitions to stock option redemptions to secondary offerings. New enterprises are also challenging incumbents, raising the number of shares that divide up an industry's profits faster than those profits are increasing. Since total earnings grow with GDP, and the share count grows faster than profits, it's mathematically impossible for EPS growth to consistently rise in double digits, although it does over brief periods––followed by intervals of zero or minuscule increases.

The huge gap between the official PE of 19 and the CAPE at 30 signals that unsustainably high profits are artificially depressing the former. and that profits are bound to stagnate at best, and more likely decline. The retreat appears to have already started. The Wall Street "consensus" Wall Street earnings forecast compiled by FactSet calls for an EPS decline of 1.7% for the first quarter of 2017, and zero inflation-adjusted gains for the first nine months of the year.

In an investing world dominated by hype, the CAPE is a rare truth-teller .

[Feb 15, 2019] MSNBC "Terrified Of Anti-War Voices" Says Fired Anti-War Host Phil Donahue - YouTube

Notable quotes:
"... They divide us with race, sex, and religion. If we came together all the working class people, from every race, you'd see the oligarchs true face. They'd innact martial law in a heartbeat, and run to their underground base in the Ozarks. That's the painful truth. ..."
"... That's why Richard Nixon replaced the draft with a lottery that has evolved into a volunteer armed forces. We were nearly the verge of another civil war in this country. ..."
"... So Jimmy, once again, hit it out of the ballpark with this podcast on why the war hawks fear Tulsi ..."
"... She really scares the war hawks and just as importantly she scares the huge profits these war hawks and allied corporations (the parent company of GE which owns MSNBC makes turbine engines for the military) have made off these unnecessary and tragic wars since the 9/11 attacks. ..."
Feb 15, 2019 | www.youtube.com

Anders Stöök , 1 day ago

Phil Donahue was not a sellout like Rachel Maddow.

Humphking , 1 day ago

They divide us with race, sex, and religion. If we came together all the working class people, from every race, you'd see the oligarchs true face. They'd innact martial law in a heartbeat, and run to their underground base in the Ozarks. That's the painful truth.

George Hoffman , 1 day ago (edited)

I served in Vietnam (31 May 1967 - 31 May 1968), so I'm approximately around the same age as Phil. I told everyone I knew that if we invaded Iraq - this was during the lead-up in 2002 to vote on GWB's Iraq War resolution - having just a volunteer armed forces in the strategic sense, let alone the invasion of Iraq would violate international covenants against illegal wars of aggression - we would eventually have down the road a military blunder and a foreign policy debacle that would rival the one we had in the Vietnam War.

If GWB had somehow convinced the American people and the Congress to bring back the draft after the 9/11 attacks, I assure you we would have withdrawn from Afghanistan and Iraq long, long ago. But the war hawks in Congress and the Pentagon love their private, (essentially) quasi-mercenary volunteer armed forces after how badly they got burnt during the anti-war protests against the Vietnam War.

That's why Richard Nixon replaced the draft with a lottery that has evolved into a volunteer armed forces. We were nearly the verge of another civil war in this country.

So Jimmy, once again, hit it out of the ballpark with this podcast on why the war hawks fear Tulsi. Remember they can't smear her based on the fact that she was an officer who did two tours of duty in the war zone, so they try to smear her because she is supposedly a puppet of Putin, that is, a fifth columnist or fellow traveler as they did during the Red Scare in the McCarthy era. I would definitely vote for her as a fellow war veteran for president, but she has a very hard road to travel to win the nomination.

She really scares the war hawks and just as importantly she scares the huge profits these war hawks and allied corporations (the parent company of GE which owns MSNBC makes turbine engines for the military) have made off these unnecessary and tragic wars since the 9/11 attacks.

Rick C-137 , 1 day ago (edited)

MSNBC is complicit in the deaths of millions. As evil as evil gets.

John Henni , 1 day ago

Chris Matthews is the definition of Corporate shill.

[Feb 15, 2019] Trump = Obama = CIA meddling in every country. Presidents never change, only the perception of the morons changes

Notable quotes:
"... Why does the USA care about internal Venezuelan politics? Because it cares about every country's politics and demands every country bow down and kneel to the USA. The voters, aka morons, support this, both liberal and right wing, and have for generations. ..."
"... The morons pay their taxes to meddle in other countries and for a giant military to slaughter people who do not obey. ..."
Feb 14, 2019 | www.unz.com

never-anonymous says: February 14, 2019 at 6:21 pm GMT 100 Words

@nietzsche1510

Venezuela invasion thing is double-faceted: a trap for Trump & a bluff. if the invasion is, then bye-bye 2020 election, mission accomplished. if no invasion on sight then the bluff of Pompeo-Bolton-Abrams is called & the 2020 reelection assured. Venezuela in the role of bait.

The real issue lies in the voting class which cowers in fear all day long and seeks saviors every four years via rigged circus. Trump = Obama = CIA meddling in every country. Presidents never change, only the perception of the morons changes.

Why does the USA care about internal Venezuelan politics? Because it cares about every country's politics and demands every country bow down and kneel to the USA. The voters, aka morons, support this, both liberal and right wing, and have for generations.

The morons pay their taxes to meddle in other countries and for a giant military to slaughter people who do not obey. Freedom at the point of a gun. Nothing quite says democracy like having the US president tell the Venezuelans how to run their country.

[Feb 14, 2019] Venezuela Envoy Elliott Abrams Lose His Cool During Tense Exchange With Rep. Ilhan Omar

Feb 14, 2019 | www.unz.com

renfro , says: February 14, 2019 at 6:25 am GMT

BRAVO OMAR ..2 nd time in my life I have seen balls in congress.

Venezuela Envoy Elliott Abrams Lose His Cool During Tense Exchange With Rep. Ilhan Omar

Watch the video at link

"Mr. Abrams, in 1991 you pleaded guilty to two counts of withholding information from Congress regarding your involvement in the Iran-Contra affair, for which you were later pardoned by president George H.W. Bush," began Omar. "I fail to understand why members of this committee or the American people should find any testimony that you give today to be truthful."

"If I could respond to that " interjected Abrams.

"It was not a question," shot back Omar.

After a brief exchange in which Abrams protested "It was not right!" Omar cut Abrams off, saying "Thank you for your participation."

February 13, 2019

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/51105.htm

[Feb 14, 2019] "What else then can Trump can do in Venezuela

Feb 14, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Derrick , Feb 14, 2019 2:11:32 PM | link

"What else then can he do?"

Purchase large caliber hand gun
Load gun with large caliber dum dum bullets
Take aim at foot (either will do)
Pull trigger.

Oh! Wait! I think he's already done that.

Taffyboy , Feb 14, 2019 3:28:00 PM | link

..."Trump is now committed to 'regime change' in Venezuela. But how can he do it?"...

Well maybe he can show how great he is and drive the aid truck himself personally and then go to Maduro and ask him to leave. That would be a show of force indeed.

Cheers.

[Feb 13, 2019] MoA - Russiagate Is Finished

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... You can take this to the bank. Hardcore Russiagaters will never give up their belief in collusion and Russian influence in the 2016 campaign -- never. Congress and Mueller will be accused of engaging in a coverup. ..."
"... Thus, even if the Mueller report is underwhelming, I think that the Democrats and TDS-saturated Trump opponents will attempt to rehabilitate it by pretending that it contains important loose ends that need to be pursued. In other words, to perpetuate the Mueller-driven political Russophobia by all other available means. ..."
"... Russiagate has exposed the great degree of corruption within the Justice Department bureaucracy, particularly within FBI, and within the entire Democrat Party. ..."
"... Since this is obviously not going to be allowed to happen, and since these people get away with everything, expect this to never end, despite all evidence to the contrary. It doesn't matter if they've been exposed as CIA propagandists or Integrity Initiative stooges, the game goes on...and on.... the job security of these disgraced columnists is the greatest in the Western world. ..."
"... Stephen Cohen discusses how rational viewpoints are banned from the mainstream media, and how several features of US life today resemble some of the worst features of the Soviet system. https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/02/12/stephen-cohen-on-war-with-russia-and-soviet-style-censorship-in-the-us/ ..."
"... The US needs an enemy, how else can they ask NATO members to cough up 2% of GDP [just for one example Germany's GDP is nearly 4 Trillion dollars [2017] for defence spending, what a crazy sum all NATO members must fork out to please the US, but then most of that money must be spent on the US MIC 'interoperability' of course. ..."
"... Another great damage of Russiagate was the instigating of a nuclear arms race directed primarily at Russia, and ideologically justified by its diabolical policies. ..."
"... Russiagate was very successful. You just have to understand the objectives. It was a great distraction. Diverting peoples attention from the continued fleecing of the "real people" which are the bottom 90% by the "Corporate People" and their Government Lackeys. ..."
"... It provided an excuse for the acting CEO (a figurehead) of the Corporate Empire to go back on many of the promises made that got him elected, and to fill the swamp with Neocon and Koch Brother creatures with the excuse the Deep State made him do it. More proof that there is no deception that is too ridiculous to be believed so long as you have enough pundits claiming it to be so ..."
"... If you've done just a cursory look into Seth Rich, you'd be very suspicious about the story of his life and death. IMO Assange/Wikilleaks were set up. And Flynn was set up too. What they are doing is Orwellian: White Helmets, election manipulation, propaganda, McCarthism, etc. If you're not angry, you're not paying attention. ..."
"... See also this primer on Mueller's MO. ..."
"... The button pushers behind the Trump collusion and Russia election hacking false narratives got what they wanted: to walk the democrats and republicans straight into Cold War v2; to start their campaign to suppress alternative voices on the internet; to increase military spending; and more, more, more war. ..."
"... Russiagate was very successful <=pls read, re-read Pft @ 46.. he listed many things. divide and conquer accomplished. a nation state is defined as an armed rule making structure, designed by those who control a territory, and constructed by the lawyers, military, and wealthy and run by the persons the designers appoint, for the appointed are called politicians. ..."
"... At the beginnng of Russiagate, I wrote on Robert Parry's Consirtium News that Russiagate is Idiocracy piggy-backing on decades and literally billions of dollars of anti-Soviet and anti-Russian propaganda. How hard would it be to brainwash an already brainwashed population? ..."
"... The purveyors of Russiagate will re-compose themselves, brush off all reports and continue on. One just cannot get away from one's nature, even when that nature is pure idiocy. ..."
"... Russiagate will not go away unfortunately because it has evolved in the "Russiagate Industry". As mentioned by others, the Russiagate Industry has been very profitable for many industries and people. Russiagate has generated an entire cottage industry of companies around censorship and "find us a Russian". Dow Jones should have an index on the Russiagate Industry. ..."
Feb 12, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

For more than two years U.S. politicians, the media and some bloggers hyped a conspiracy theory. They claimed that Russia had somehow colluded with the Trump campaign to get him elected.

An obviously fake 'Dirty Dossier' about Trump, commissioned by the Clinton campaign, was presented as evidence. Regular business contacts between Trump flunkies and people in Ukraine or Russia were claimed to be proof for nefarious deals. A Russian click-bait company was accused of manipulating the U.S. electorate by posting puppy pictures and crazy memes on social media. Huge investigations were launched. Every rumor or irrelevant detail coming from them was declared to be - finally - the evidence that would put Trump into the slammer. Every month the walls were closing in on Trump.

https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/qjUvfZj-Fm0

At the same time the very real Trump actions that hurt Russia were ignored.

Finally the conspiracy theory has run out of steam. Russiagate is finished :

After two years and 200 interviews, the Senate Intelligence Committee is approaching the end of its investigation into the 2016 election, having uncovered no direct evidence of a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia, according to both Democrats and Republicans on the committee.
...
Democrats and other Trump opponents have long believed that special counsel Robert Mueller and Congressional investigators would unearth new and more explosive evidence of Trump campaign coordination with Russians. Mueller may yet do so, although Justice Department and Congressional sources say they believe that he, too, is close to wrapping up his investigation.

Nothing, zero, nada was found to support the conspiracy theory. The Trump campaign did not collude with Russia. A few flunkies were indicted for unrelated tax issues and for lying to the investigators about some minor details. But nothing at all supports the dramatic claims of collusion made since the beginning of the affair.

In a recent statement House leader Nancy Pelosi was reduced to accuse Trump campaign officials of doing their job:

"The indictment of Roger Stone makes clear that there was a deliberate, coordinated attempt by top Trump campaign officials to influence the 2016 election and subvert the will of the American people. ...

No one called her out for spouting such nonsense.

Russiagate created a lot of damage.

The alleged Russian influence campaign that never happened was used to install censorship on social media. It was used to undermine the election of progressive Democrats. The weapon salesmen used it to push for more NATO aggression against Russia. Maria Butina, an innocent Russian woman interested in good relation with the United States, was held in solitary confinement (recommended) until she signed a paper which claims that she was involved in a conspiracy.

In a just world the people who for more then two years hyped the conspiracy theory and caused so much damage would be pushed out of their public positions. Unfortunately that is not going to happen. They will jump onto the next conspiracy train continue from there.

Posted by b on February 12, 2019 at 01:38 PM | Permalink

Comments next page " Legally, Maria Butina was suborned into signing a false declaration. If there were the rule of law, such party or parties that suborned her would be in gaol. Considering Mueller's involvement with Lockerbie, I am not holding my breath. FWIW the Swiss company that made the timers allegedly involved in Lockerbie have some comments of its own .


james , Feb 12, 2019 2:00:14 PM | link

thanks b..

I will be really glad when this 'get Russia' craziness is over, but I suspect even if the Mueller investigation has nothing, all the same creeps will be pulling out the stops to generate something... Skripal, Integrity Initiative, and etc. etc. stuff like this just doesn't go away overnight or with the end of this 'investigation'... folks are looking for red meat i tell ya!

as for Maria Butina - i look forward to reading the article.. that was a travesty of justice but the machine moves on, mowing down anyone in it's way... she was on the receiving end of all the paranoia that i have come to associate with the western msm at this point...

Zanon , Feb 12, 2019 2:03:26 PM | link
Considering Mueller hasn't produced its report nor the House dito, its way to early to say Russia gate is "finished".
Jackrabbit , Feb 12, 2019 2:11:44 PM | link
And Russiagate was used ...
... by Hillary to justify her loss to Trump

Hillary's loss is actually best explained as her throwing the election to Trump . The Deep State wanted a nationalist to win as that would best help meet the challenge from Russia and China - a challenge that they had been slow to recognize.

=
... to smear Wikileaks as a Russian agent

The DNC leak is best explained as a CIA false flag.

=
... to remove and smear Michael Flynn

Trump said that he fired Flynn for lying to VP Pence but Flynn's conversations with the Russian Ambassador after Obama threw them out for "meddling" in the US election was an embarrassment to the Administration as Putin's Putin's decision not to respond was portrayed as favoritism toward the Trump Administration.

Rob , Feb 12, 2019 2:28:50 PM | link
You can take this to the bank. Hardcore Russiagaters will never give up their belief in collusion and Russian influence in the 2016 campaign -- never. Congress and Mueller will be accused of engaging in a coverup. This is typical behavior for conspiracy theorists.
bj , Feb 12, 2019 2:30:41 PM | link
Jimmy Dore on same: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kgBxfHdb4OU Enjoy!
Ort , Feb 12, 2019 2:34:14 PM | link
I hope that Russiagate is indeed "finished", but I think it needs to be draped with garlic-clove necklaces, shot up with silver bullets, sprinkled with holy water, and a wooden stake driven through its black heart just to make sure.

I don't dispute the logical argument B. presents, but it may be too dispassionately rational. I know that the Russiagate proponents and enthralled supporters of the concept are too invested psychologically in this surrealistic fantasy to let go, even if the official outcome reluctantly admits that there's no "there" there.

The Democratic Party, one of the major partners mounting the Russophobic psy-op, has already resolved to turn Democratic committee chairmen loose to dog the Trump administration with hearings aggressively flogging any and all matters that discredit and undermine Trump-- his business connections, social liaisons, etc.

They may hope to find the Holy Grail: the elusive "bombshell" that "demands" impeachment, i.e., some crime or illicit conduct so heinous that the public will stand for another farcical impeachment proceeding. But I reckon that the Dems prefer the "soft" impeachment of harassing Trump with hostile hearings in hopes of destroying his 2020 electability with the death of a thousand innuendoes and guilt-by-association.

Thus, even if the Mueller report is underwhelming, I think that the Democrats and TDS-saturated Trump opponents will attempt to rehabilitate it by pretending that it contains important loose ends that need to be pursued. In other words, to perpetuate the Mueller-driven political Russophobia by all other available means.

Put more succinctly, I fear that Russiagate won't be finished until Rachel Maddow says it's finished. ;)

worldblee , Feb 12, 2019 2:38:17 PM | link
Once a hypothesis is fixed in people's minds, whether true or not, it's hard to get them to let go of it. And let's not forget how many times the narrative changed (and this is true in the Skripal case as well), with all past facts vanishing to accommodate a new narrative.

So I, like others, expect the fake scandal to continue while many, many other real crimes (the US attempted coup in Venezuela and the genocidal war in Yemen, for instance) continue unabated.

karlof1 , Feb 12, 2019 2:43:34 PM | link
Putin solicits public input for essential national policy goals . If ever there was a template to follow for an actual MAGAgenda, Putin's Russia provides one. While US politicos argue over what is essentially Bantha Pudu, Russians are hard at work improving their nation which includes restructuring their economy.

Russiagate has exposed the great degree of corruption within the Justice Department bureaucracy, particularly within FBI, and within the entire Democrat Party.

BlunderOn , Feb 12, 2019 2:48:51 PM | link
mmm...

I very much doubt it it is over. Trump is corrupt and has links to corrupt Russians. Collusion, maybe not, but several stinking individuals are in the frame for, guess what - ...bring it on... The fact that Hilary was arguably even worse (a point made ad-nauseum on here) is frankly irrelevant. The vilification of Trump will not affect the warmongers efforts. He is a useful idiot

james , Feb 12, 2019 2:52:33 PM | link
for a take on the alternative reality some are living in emptywheel has an article up on the nbc link b provides and the article on butina is discussed in the comments section... as i said - they are looking for red meat and will not be happy until they get some... they are completely zonkers...
Blooming Barricade , Feb 12, 2019 2:55:18 PM | link
Now that this racket has been admitted as such, I expect all of the media outlets that devoted banner headlines, hundreds of thousands of hours of cable TV time, thousands of trees, and free speech online to immediately fire all of their journalists and appoint Glenn Greenwald as the publisher of the New York Times, Michael Tracey at the Post, Aaron Matte at the Guardian, and Max Blumenthal at the Daily Beast.

Since this is obviously not going to be allowed to happen, and since these people get away with everything, expect this to never end, despite all evidence to the contrary. It doesn't matter if they've been exposed as CIA propagandists or Integrity Initiative stooges, the game goes on...and on.... the job security of these disgraced columnists is the greatest in the Western world.

jayc , Feb 12, 2019 3:03:51 PM | link
Stephen Cohen discusses how rational viewpoints are banned from the mainstream media, and how several features of US life today resemble some of the worst features of the Soviet system. https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/02/12/stephen-cohen-on-war-with-russia-and-soviet-style-censorship-in-the-us/
Heath , Feb 12, 2019 3:18:29 PM | link
It turned out getting rid of the Clintons has been a long term project.
Harry Law , Feb 12, 2019 3:21:58 PM | link
The US needs an enemy, how else can they ask NATO members to cough up 2% of GDP [just for one example Germany's GDP is nearly 4 Trillion dollars [2017] for defence spending, what a crazy sum all NATO members must fork out to please the US, but then most of that money must be spent on the US MIC 'interoperability' of course.

Then of course Russia has to be surrounded by NATO should they try and take over Europe by surging through the Fulda gap./s

Then of course there are the professional pundits who have built careers on anti Russian propaganda, Rachel Maddow for instance who earns 30,000$ per day to spew anti Russian nonsense.

folktruther , Feb 12, 2019 3:27:32 PM | link
Another great damage of Russiagate was the instigating of a nuclear arms race directed primarily at Russia, and ideologically justified by its diabolical policies.

I'm sorry b is so down on Conspiracy Theories, since they reveal quite real staged homicidal false flag operations of US power. Feeding into the stigmatizing of the truth about reality is not in the interests of the earth's people.

frances , Feb 12, 2019 3:31:11 PM | link
somehow I see this "revelation: tied to Barr's approaching tenure. I think they (FBI/DOJ) didn't want his involvement in their noodle soup of an investigation and the best way to accomplish that was to end it themselves. I also suspect that a deal has been made with Trump, possibly in exchange for leaving his family alone.

So we will see no investigation of Hillary, her 650,000 emails or the many crimes they detailed (according to NYPD investigation of Weiner's laptop) and the US will continue to be at war all day, every day. Team Swamp rules.

Ash , Feb 12, 2019 3:35:06 PM | link
Meanwhile, MSM is prepping its readers for the possibility that the Mueller report will never be released to us proles. If that's the case, I'm sure nobody will try to use innuendo to suggest it actually contains explosive revelations after all...
Heath , Feb 12, 2019 3:38:37 PM | link
@16

Harry, its vitally important as the US desperately wants to keep Europe under its thumb and to stop this European army which means Europe lead by Paris and Berlin becomes a world power. Trump's attempts to make nice with Russia is to keep it out of the EU bloc.

Anne Jaclard , Feb 12, 2019 3:54:47 PM | link
Well, the liberal conspiracy car crash ensured downmarket Mussolini a second term, it appears...Hard Brexit Tories also look likely to win thanks to centrist sabatoge of the left. You reap what you sow, corporate presstitutes!
wagelaborer , Feb 12, 2019 4:05:25 PM | link
Sane people have predicted the end of Russiagate almost as many times as insane people have predicted that the "smoking gun that will get rid of Trump" has been found. And yet the Mighty Wurlitzer grinds on, while social media is more and more censored.

I expect it all to continue until the 2020 election circus winds up into full-throated mode, and no one talks about anything but the next puppet to be appointed. Oops, I mean "elected".

Jen , Feb 12, 2019 4:15:57 PM | link
Ort @ 7:

You also need to behead the corpse, stuff the mouth with a lemon and then place the head down in the coffin with the body in supine (facing up) position. Weight the coffin with stones and wild roses and toss it into a fast-flowing river.

Russiagate won't be finished until a wall is built around Capitol Hill and all its inhabitants and worker bees declared insane by a properly functioning court of law.

Jackrabbit , Feb 12, 2019 4:16:59 PM | link
frances @18:
I also suspect that a deal has been made with Trump, possibly in exchange for leaving his family alone. So we will see no investigation of Hillary ...
Underlying your perspective is the assumption that USA is a democracy where a populist "outsider" could be elected President, Yet you also believe that Hillary and the Deep State have the power to manipulate government and the intelligence agencies and propose a "conspiracy theory" based on that power.

Isn't it more likely that Trump made it clear (behind closed doors, of course) that he was amenable to the goals of the Deep State and that the bogus investigation was merely done to: 1) cover their own election meddling; 2) eliminate threats like Flynn and Assange/Wikileaks; 3) anti-Russian propaganda?

Jackrabbit , Feb 12, 2019 4:33:16 PM | link
Jen

Steven Cohen once lamented that there were no "wise men" left in foreign policy. All the independent realists were shut out.

Michael McNulty , Feb 12, 2019 4:49:32 PM | link
US anti-Russian hysteria is moving into that grey area beyond McCarthyism approaching Nazism.
Circe , Feb 12, 2019 4:58:40 PM | link
Dowd, Trump's former lawyer on Russiagate stated there may not even be a report. If this is the case then the Zionist rulers have gotten to Mueller who no doubt figured out that the election collusion breadcrumbs don't lead to Putin, they lead to Netanyahu and Zionist billionaire friends! So Mueller may have to come up with a nothing burger to hide the truth.
Danny , Feb 12, 2019 5:02:34 PM | link
B is the only alternative media blogger I've followed for a significant amount of time without becoming disenfranchised. Not because he has no blind spot - his is just one I can deal with... optimism.

hopehely , Feb 12, 2019 5:14:49 PM | link

I will believe Russiagate is finished when expelled Russian staff gets back, when the US returns the seized Russian properties, when the consulate is Seattle reopens and when USA issues formal apology to Russia.

Posted by: hopehely | Feb 12, 2019 5:14:49 PM | link

bevin , Feb 12, 2019 5:16:18 PM | link
Nobody has ever advanced the tiniest shred of credible evidence that 'Russia' or its government at any level was in any way implicated either in Wikileaks' acquisition of the DNC and Podesta emails or in any form of interference with the Presidential election.

This has been going on for three years and not once has anything like evidence surfaced.

On the other hand there has been an abundance of evidence that those alleging Russian involvement consistently refused to listen to explore the facts.

Incredibly, the DNC computers were never examined by the FBI or any other agency resembling an official police agency. Instead the notorious Crowdstrike professionally russophobic and caught red handed faking data for the Ukrainians against Russia were commissioned to produce a 'report.'

Nobody with any sense would have credited anything about Russiagate after that happened.

Thgen there was the proof, from VIPS and Bill Binney (?) that the computers were not hacked at all but that the information was taken by thumbdrive. A theory which not only Wikileaks but several witnesses have offered to prove.

Not one of them has been contacted by the FBI, Mueller or anyone else "investigating."

In reality the charges from the first were ludicrous on their face. There is, as b has proved and every new day's news attests, not the slightest reason why anyone in the Russian government should have preferred Trump over Clinton. And that is saying something because they are pretty well indistinguishable. And neither has the morals or brains of an adolescent groundhog.

Russiagate is over, alright, The Nothingburger is empty. But that means nothing in this 'civilisation': it will be recorded in the history books, still to be written, by historians still in diapers, that "The 2016 Presidential election, which ended in the controversial defeat of Hillary Clinton, was heavily influenced by Russian agents who hacked ..etc etc"

What will not be remembered is that every single email released was authentic. And that within those troves of correspondence there was enough evidence of criminality by Clinton and her campaign to fill a prison camp.

Another thing that will not be recalled is that there was once a young enthusiastic man, working for the DNC, who was mugged one evening after work and killed.

Baron , Feb 12, 2019 5:16:49 PM | link
The 'no collusion' result will only spur the 'beginning of the end' baboons to shout even more, they'll never stop until they die in their beds or the plebs of the Republic made them adore the street lamp posts, you'll see. The former is by far more likely, the unwashed of American have never had a penchant for foreign affairs except for the few spasms like Vietnam.
Circe , Feb 12, 2019 5:20:11 PM | link
There was collusion alright but the only Russians who helped Trump get elected and were in on the collusion are citizens of ISRAEL FIRST, likewise for the American billionaires who put Trump in the power perch. ISRAEL FIRST.

That's why Trump is on giant billboards in Israel shaking hands with the Yahoo. Trump is higher in the polls in Israel than in the U.S. If it weren't that the Zionist upper crust need Trump doing their dirty work in America, like trying today get rid of Rep. Omar Ilhan, then Trump would win the elections in Ziolandia or Ziostan by a landslide cause he's been better for the Joowish state than all preceding Presidents put together. Mazel tov to them bullshet for the rest of us servile mass in the vassal West and Palestinians the most shafted class ever. Down with Venezuela and Iran, up with oil and gas. The billionare shysters' and Trump's payola is getting closer. Onward AZ Empire!

Les , Feb 12, 2019 5:24:36 PM | link
He proved himself so easy to troll during the election. It wouldn't surprise me if aim of the domestic intelligence agencies all along was to get him elected and have a candidate they could manipulate.
Zachary Smith , Feb 12, 2019 5:38:03 PM | link
@ Harry Law #16

At least Germany has the good sense not to throw taxpayer money at the F-35. German F-35 decision sacrifices NATO capability for Franco-German industrial cooperation I don't know what they have in mind with a proposed airplane purchase. If they need fighters, buy or lease Sweden's Gripen. If attack airplanes are what they're after, go to Boeing and get some brand new F-15X models. If the prickly French are agreeable to build a 6th generation aircraft, that would be worth a try.

Regarding Rachel Maddow, I recently had an encounter with a relative who told me 1) I visited too many oddball sites and 2) he considered Rachel M. to be the most reliable news person in existence. I think we're talking "true believer" here. :)

Zachary Smith , Feb 12, 2019 5:43:19 PM | link
@ Les @42
It wouldn't surprise me if aim of the domestic intelligence agencies all along was to get him elected and have a candidate they could manipulate.

Considering how those "intelligence agencies" are hard pressed to find their own tails, even if you allow them to use both hands, it would surprise me.

That Trump would turn out to be a tub of jello in more than just a physical way has been a surprise to an awful lot of us.

Pft , Feb 12, 2019 5:44:54 PM | link

Russiagate was very successful. You just have to understand the objectives. It was a great distraction. Diverting peoples attention from the continued fleecing of the "real people" which are the bottom 90% by the "Corporate People" and their Government Lackeys.

It provided an excuse for the acting CEO (a figurehead) of the Corporate Empire to go back on many of the promises made that got him elected, and to fill the swamp with Neocon and Koch Brother creatures with the excuse the Deep State made him do it. More proof that there is no deception that is too ridiculous to be believed so long as you have enough pundits claiming it to be so

Allowed the bipartisan support for the clamp down on alt media with censorship by social media (Deep State Tools) and funded by the Ministry of Truth set up by Obama in his last days in office to under the false pretense of protecting us from foreign governments interference in elections (except Israel of course) . Similar agencies have been set up or planned to be in other countries followig the US example such as UK, France, Russia, etc.

Did anyone really expect Mr "Cover It Up " Mueller to find anything? Mueller is Deep State all the way and Trump is as well, not withstanding the "Fake Wrestling " drama that they are bitter enemies. All the surveillance done over the past 2-3 decades would have so much dirt on the Trumpet they could silence him forever . Trump knew that going in and I sometimes wonder if he was pressured to run as a condition to avoid prosecution. Pretty sure every President since Carter has been "Kompromat"

Jackrabbit , Feb 12, 2019 6:29:51 PM | link
james, bevin

If you've done just a cursory look into Seth Rich, you'd be very suspicious about the story of his life and death. IMO Assange/Wikilleaks were set up. And Flynn was set up too. What they are doing is Orwellian: White Helmets, election manipulation, propaganda, McCarthism, etc. If you're not angry, you're not paying attention.

stevelaudig , Feb 12, 2019 6:34:12 PM | link
Russians and likely at the behest of the Russian state interfered and it was fair payback for Yeltsin's election. It is time to move on but not in feigned ignorance of what was done. Was it "outcome" affecting, possibly, but not clearly and if the US electoral college and electoral system generally is so decrepit that a second level power in the world can influence then its the US's fault.

It's not like the 2000 election wasn't a warning shot about the rottenness of system and a system that doesn't understand a warning shot deserves pretty much what it gets. But there's enough non-hype evidence of acts and intent to say yes, the Russians tried and may have succeeded. They certainly are acting guilty enough. but still close the book move and move on to Trump's 'real' crimes which were done without a Russian assist.

spudski , Feb 12, 2019 6:52:50 PM | link
@38 bevin @47 james

I seem to recall former UK Ambassador to Uzbekistan Craig Murray saying that it was not a hack and that he had been handed a thumb drive in a field near American University by a disgruntled Democrat whistleblower. Further, I seem to recall William Binney, former NSA Technical Leader for intelligence, conducting an experiment to show that internet speeds at the time would not allow the information to be hacked - they knew the size of the files and the period over which they were downloaded. Plus, Seth Rich. So why does anyone even believe it was a hack, @32 THN?

Johan Meyer , Feb 12, 2019 6:55:54 PM | link
Just another comment re Mueller. There is a great documentary by (Dutch, not Israeli---different person) Gideon Levy, Lockerbie Revisited. The narration is in Dutch, but the interviews are in English, and there is a small segment of a German broadcast. The documentary ends abruptly where one set of FBI personnel contradict statements by another set of FBI personnel. See also this primer on Mueller's MO.
frances , Feb 12, 2019 7:11:07 PM | link
reply to Les 42
"It wouldn't surprise me if aim of the domestic intelligence agencies all along was to get him elected and have a candidate they could manipulate."

Not the intelligence agencies, the Military IMO. They knew HC for what she was; horrifically corrupt and,again IMO,they know she is insane.

They saw and I think still see Trump as someone they could work with, remember Rogers (Navy) of the NSA going to him immediately once he was elected? That was the Military protecting him as best they could.

They IMO have kept him alive and as long as he doesn't send any troops into "real" wars, they will keep on keeping him alive.
This doesn't mean Trump hasn't gone over to the Dark Side, just that no military action will take place that the military command doesn't fully support.

Again, I could be wrong, he could be backed by fiends from Patagonia for all I really know:)

AriusArmenian , Feb 12, 2019 8:44:27 PM | link
The button pushers behind the Trump collusion and Russia election hacking false narratives got what they wanted: to walk the democrats and republicans straight into Cold War v2; to start their campaign to suppress alternative voices on the internet; to increase military spending; and more, more, more war.
james , Feb 12, 2019 9:34:59 PM | link
ot - further to @65 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kK5YFos56ZU and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kK5YFos56ZU

as jr says - welcome to the rabbit hole..

ben , Feb 12, 2019 10:11:05 PM | link
Hope you're right b. Maybe now we can get on with some real truths.
  1. That there is really only one party with real influence, the party of $.
  2. That most of the Dems belong to that club, and virtually all the Repubs.
  3. That the U$A is not a real democracy, but an Oligarchy.
  4. That the corporate empire is the greatest purveyor of evil the world has ever known.

And these are just a few truths. Thanks for the therapy b, hope you feel better...

Circe , Feb 12, 2019 10:52:22 PM | link
Boy, I hope Jackrabbit sees this. Everyone knows I believe Trump is the anointed chosen of the Zionist 1%. There was no Russia collusion; it was Zionist collusion with a Russian twist...
Circe , Feb 12, 2019 11:11:17 PM | link
Oh yeah! Forgot to mention the latest. Trump is asking Kim to provide a list of his nuclear scientists! Before Kim acts on this request, he should call up the Iranian government for advise 'cause they have lots of experience and can warn Kim of what will happen to each of those scientists. They'll be put on a kill-list and will be extrajudicially wacked as in executed. Can you believe the chutzpah? Trump must think Kim is really stupid to fall for that one!

Aye! The thought of six more years of Zionist pandering Trump. Barf-inducing prospect is too tame.

PHC , Feb 13, 2019 2:25:44 AM | link

Russiagate is finished. So, now is the time to create Chinagate. But how ??

V , Feb 13, 2019 2:25:48 AM | link
The view from the hermitage is, we are in the age of distractions. Russiagate will be replaced with one of a litany of distractions, purely designed to keep us off target. The target being, corruption, vote rigging, illegal wars, war crimes, overthrowing sovereign governments, and political assasinations, both at home and abroad. Those so distracted, will focus on sillyness; not the genuine danger afoot around the planet. Get used to it; it's become the new normal.
Circe , Feb 13, 2019 3:53:19 AM | link
@76Hw
I have yet to read anything more delusional, nay, utterly preposterous. Methinks you over-project too much. Even Trump would have a belly-ache laugh reading that sheeple spiel. You're the type that sees the giant billboard of Zionist Trump and Yahoo shaking hands and drones on and on that our lying eyes deceive us and it's really Trump playing 4-D chess. I suppose when he tried to pressure Omar Ilhan into resigning her seat in Congress yesterday, that too was reverse psychology?

Trump instagramed the billboard pic, he tweeted it, he probably pasted it on his wall; maybe with your kind of wacky, Trump infatuation, you should too!

Starring role

Circe , Feb 13, 2019 4:15:37 AM | link
Russiagate is finished because Mueller discovered an embarrassing fact: The collusion was and always will be with Israel. Here's Trump professing his endless love for Zionism: Trump Resign
snake , Feb 13, 2019 5:13:14 AM | link

Russiagate was very successful <=pls read, re-read Pft @ 46.. he listed many things. divide and conquer accomplished.
a nation state is defined as an armed rule making structure, designed by those who control a territory, and constructed by the lawyers, military, and wealthy and run by the persons the designers appoint, for the appointed are called politicians.

Most designs of armed nation states provide the designers with information feedback and the designers use that information to appoint more obedient politicians and generals to run things, and to improve the design to better serve the designers. The armed rule making structure is designed to give the designers complete control over those targeted to be the governed. Why so stupid the governed? ; always they allow themselves to be manipulated like sheep.

When 10 angry folks approach you with two pieces of ropes: one to throw over the tree branch under which your horse will be supporting you while they tie the noose around your neck and the other shorter piece of rope to tie your hands behind ..your back you need at that point to make your words count , if five of the people are black and five are white. all you need do is say how smart the blacks are, and how stupid the whites are, as the two groups fight each other you manage your escape. democrat vs republican= divide to conquer. gun, no gun = divide to conquer, HRC vs DJT = divide to conquer, abortion, no abortion = divide to conquer, Trump is a Russian planted in a high level USA position of power = divide to conquer, They were all in on it together,, Muller was in the white house to keep the media supplied with XXX, to keep the law enforcement agencies in the loop, and to advise trump so things would not get out of hand ( its called Manipulation and the adherents to the economic system called Zionism
For the record, Zionism is not related to race, religion or intelligence. Zionism is a system of economics that take's no captives, its adherents must own everything, must destroy and decimate all actual or imaginary competition, for Zionist are the owners and masters of everything? Zionism is about power, absolute power, monopoly ownership and using governments everywhere to abuse the governed. Zionism has many adherents, whites, blacks, browns, Christians, Jews, Islamist, Indians, you name it among each class of person and walk of life can be found persons who subscribe to the idea that they, and only they, should own everything, and when those of us, that are content to be the governed let them, before the kill and murder us, they usually end up owning everything.

snake , Feb 13, 2019 6:08:16 AM | link
Here might the subject matter that Russia Gate sought to camouflage https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2019/02/13/588433/US-Saudi-Arabia-nuclear-deal-nuclear-weapons 'This comes as US Energy Secretary Rick Perry has been holding secret talks with Saudi officials on sharing US nuclear technology.'

Finally, a hypothesis to explain

1. why the Joint non nuclear agreement with Iran and the other nuclear power nations, that prevented Iran from developing nuclear weapons, was trashed? Someone needs to be able to say Iran is developing ..., at the right time.

2. Why Netanyohu made public a video that claimed Iran was developing nuclear stuff in violation of the Iran non nuclear agreement, and everybody laughed,

3. Why the nuclear non proliferation agreement with Russia, that terminated the costly useless arms race a decade ago, has been recently terminated, to reestablish the nuclear arms race, no apparent reason was given the implication might be Russia could be a target, but

4. why it might make sense to give nukes to Saudi Arabia or some other rogue nation, and

5. why no one is allowed to have nuclear weapons except the Zionist owned and controlled nation states.

Statement: Zionism is an economic system that requires the elimination of all competition of whatever kind. It is a winner get's all, takes no prisoners, targets all who would threaten or be a challenge or a threat; does not matter if the threat is in in oil and gas, technology or weapons as soon as a possibility exist, the principles of Zionism would require that it be taken out, decimated, and destroyed and made where never again it could even remotely be a threat to the Empire, that Zionism demands..

Hypothesis: A claim that another is developing nuclear weapon capabilities is sufficient to take that other out?

Kiza , Feb 13, 2019 8:26:29 AM | link
I am glad that most commenters understand that Russiagate will not go away. But the majority appear to miss the real reason. Russiagate is not an accusation, it is the state of mind.

At the beginnng of Russiagate, I wrote on Robert Parry's Consirtium News that Russiagate is Idiocracy piggy-backing on decades and literally billions of dollars of anti-Soviet and anti-Russian propaganda. How hard would it be to brainwash an already brainwashed population?

The purveyors of Russiagate will re-compose themselves, brush off all reports and continue on. One just cannot get away from one's nature, even when that nature is pure idiocy. Of course, the most ironic in the affair is that it is the so called US "intellectuals", academics and other assorted cretins who are the most fervent proponents. If you were wondering how Russia can make such amazing defensive weapons that US can only deny exist and wet dream of having, there is your answer. It is the state of mind. The whole of US establishment are legends in their on lunch time and totally delusional about the reality surrounding them - both Russiagate and MAGA cretins, no report can help the Russiagate nation.

Finally, I am thinking of that crazy and ugly professor bitch from the British Cambridge University who gives her lectures naked to protest something or other. I am so lucky that I do not have to go to a Western university ever again. What a catastrophic decline! No Brexit can help the Skripal nation.

NemesisCalling , Feb 13, 2019 8:46:48 AM | link
Russiagate is finished, but is DJT also among the rubble?

Hardly any money for the border wall and still lingering in the ME?

If Hoarsewhisperer proves to be correct above re: DJT, he will really have to knock our socks off before election 2020. To do this he will have to unequivocally and unceremoniously withdraw from the MENA and Afghanistan and possibly declare a National Emergency for more money for the wall.

The problem is, when he does this, he will look impulsively dangerous and this may harm his mystique to the lemmings who need a president to be more "presidential."

My money is on status quo all the way to 2020 and the rethugz hoping the Dems will eat their own in an orgy of warring identities.

I would love to be proven wrong.

morongobill , Feb 13, 2019 9:52:25 AM | link
Rush Limbaugh has been on a roll with his analysis of Russiagate, in fact, his analysis is in line with the writer/editor here at MOA.
Bart Hansen , Feb 13, 2019 10:52:12 AM | link
The collusion story may be faltering, but the blame for Russia poisoning the Skripals lives on. The other night on The News Hour, "Judy" led off the program with this: "It has been almost a year since Kremlin intelligence officers attempted to kill a Russian defector in the British city of Salisbury by poisoning him with a nerve agent. That attack, and the subsequent death of a British woman, scared away tourists and shoppers, but authorities and residents are working to get the town's economy back on track. Special correspondent Malcolm Brabant reports."
Erelis , Feb 13, 2019 12:15:48 PM | link

Russiagate will not go away unfortunately because it has evolved in the "Russiagate Industry". As mentioned by others, the Russiagate Industry has been very profitable for many industries and people. Russiagate has generated an entire cottage industry of companies around censorship and "find us a Russian". Dow Jones should have an index on the Russiagate Industry.

Here is one recent example. You know the measles outbreak in the US Pacific Northwest. Yup, the Russians. How do we know. A government funded research grant. The study found that 899 tweets caused people to doubt vaccines. Looks like money is to be had even by academics for the right results.

Measles outbreak: Anti-vaccination misinformation fueled by Russian propagandists, study finds
https://www.oregonlive.com/clark-county/2019/02/measles-outbreak-anti-vaccination-misinformation-fueled-by-russian-propagandists-study-finds.html

[Feb 13, 2019] It is hard not to wonder just how neoliberal ideas and values, which uphold the rationality of the market and exclude notions of the common good, came to shape the conduct of individuals and institutions.

From: Books That Challenge the Consensus on Capitalism
Notable quotes:
"... Olivier Blanchard, former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund, who recently posed the once-blasphemous question: "What comes after capitalism?" ..."
"... He rightly described a global impasse: "Given the political constraints on redistribution and the constraints from capital mobility, we may just not be able to alleviate inequality and insecurity enough to prevent populism and revolutions." ..."
"... Martin Wolf, respected columnist for the Financial Times, recently concluded, if "reluctantly," that "capitalism is substantially broken." This year, many books with titles such as "The Myth of Capitalism: Monopolies and the Death of Competition" and "Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World" blamed an unjust economic system and its beneficiaries for the rise of demagogues. ..."
"... Reading Mazzucato's book, it is hard not to wonder just how "neoliberal" ideas and values, which uphold the rationality of the market and exclude notions of the common good, came to shape the conduct of individuals and institutions. ..."
"... Neoliberals, he argues, are people who believe that "the market does not and cannot take care of itself," and indeed neoliberalism is a form of regulation -- one that insulates the markets from vagaries of mass democracy and economic nationalism. ..."
Dec 24, 2018 | news.yahoo.com

...A Western consensus quickly formed after the collapse of communist regimes in 1989. It was widely believed by newspaper editorialists as well as politicians and businessmen that there was no alternative to free markets, which alone could create prosperity. The government's traditional attempts to regulate corporations and banks and redistribute wealth through taxes were deemed a problem. As the economist Milton Friedman put it, "The world runs on individuals pursuing their separate interests." Neither individuals nor companies needed to worry much about inequality or social justice. In Friedman's influential view, "There is one and only one social responsibility of business -- to use its resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits."

Political fiascos in the West, following its largest financial crisis -- events accompanied by the emergence of China, a Communist-run nation-state, as a major economic power, as well as an unfolding environmental calamity -- have utterly devastated these post-1989 assumptions about free markets and the role of governments.

Confessions to this effect come routinely from disenchanted believers. Take, for instance, Olivier Blanchard, former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund, who recently posed the once-blasphemous question: "What comes after capitalism?"

Blanchard was commenting on the recent demonstrations in France against President Emmanuel Macron. He rightly described a global impasse: "Given the political constraints on redistribution and the constraints from capital mobility, we may just not be able to alleviate inequality and insecurity enough to prevent populism and revolutions."

... ... ...

Thus, Martin Wolf, respected columnist for the Financial Times, recently concluded, if "reluctantly," that "capitalism is substantially broken." This year, many books with titles such as "The Myth of Capitalism: Monopolies and the Death of Competition" and "Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World" blamed an unjust economic system and its beneficiaries for the rise of demagogues.

It is becoming clear that the perennial conflict between democracy, which promises equality, and capitalism, which generates inequality, has been aggravated by a systemic neglect of some fundamental issues.

... ... ...

Her targets range from pharmaceutical companies, which uphold a heartless version of market rationality, to internet companies with monopoly power such as Google and Facebook. Her most compelling example, however, is the workings of the financial sector, and its Friedman-style obsession with "shareholder value maximization," which has infected the corporate sector as a whole.

Reading Mazzucato's book, it is hard not to wonder just how "neoliberal" ideas and values, which uphold the rationality of the market and exclude notions of the common good, came to shape the conduct of individuals and institutions.

In the conventional account of neoliberalism, Friedman looms large, along with his disciple Ronald Reagan, and Britain's Margaret Thatcher. Much has been written about how the IMF's structural adjustment programs in Asia and Africa, and "shock-therapy" for post-Communist states, entrenched orthodoxies about deregulation and privatization.

In these narratives, neoliberalism appears indistinguishable from laissez-faire. In "Globalists: The End of Empire and the Birth of Neoliberalism," Quinn Slobodian briskly overturns this commonplace view. Neoliberals, he argues, are people who believe that "the market does not and cannot take care of itself," and indeed neoliberalism is a form of regulation -- one that insulates the markets from vagaries of mass democracy and economic nationalism.

... ... ...

Pankaj Mishra is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. His books include "Age of Anger: A History of the Present," "From the Ruins of Empire: The Intellectuals Who Remade Asia," and "Temptations of the West: How to Be Modern in India, Pakistan, Tibet and Beyond." For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion

[Feb 13, 2019] After Collusion Case Collapses, House Dems Set To Launch Vast Russia Probe 2.0

Feb 13, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Barely a day has passed since Richard Burr signaled that the Senate Intelligence Committee's investigation into allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia had turned up nothing substantive - and certainly not a "contract signed in blood" declaring "hey Vlad, we're going to collude".

And already, more details are leaking out about the Democrats' plans to launch a wide ranging investigation that not only will re-litigate the collusion narrative, but will also reportedly focus on allegations of money laundering and other financial improprieties.

Mueller is just the beginning. House Democrats plan a vast probe of President Trump and Russia -- with a heavy focus on money laundering -- that will include multiple committees and dramatic public hearings, and could last into 2020.

Here's more from Axios:

The state of play: The aggressive plans were outlined yesterday by a Democratic member of Congress at a roundtable for Washington reporters. The member said Congress plans interviews with new witnesses, and may go back to earlier witnesses who "stonewalled" under the Republican majority.

Why it matters: The reporters, many of them steeped in the special counsel's investigation, came away realizing that House Dems don't plan to depend on Robert Mueller for the last word on interference in the 2016 election.

Instead, Dems will use their new subpoena power to produce a voluminous exposé of their own.

The investigation will involve multiple committees, and by all accounts be far more critical than the House probe that ended last year.

At least three committees are already involved: The House Intelligence Committee is taking the lead, coordinating with House Financial Services on money-laundering questions and with House Foreign Affairs on Russia.

Democrats are considering ways to uncover what was said in a Trump private meeting with Putin, "whether that's subpoenaing the notes or subpoenaing the interpreter or other steps."

On the issue of Trump family finances, the president said he's "not in a position to draw red lines."

"I am concerned that he may have drawn a red line that the Department of Justice may be observing."

"If we didn't look at his business...we wouldn't know what we know now about his efforts to pursue what may have been the most lucrative deal of his life, the Trump Tower in Moscow - something the special counsel's office has said stood to earn the family hundreds of millions of dollars."

"Now, most of his stuff isn't building anymore: It's licensing , and it doesn't make that kind of money. So, this would have been huge."

"[T]he fact that the president says now: 'Well, it's not illegal and I might have lost the election. Why should I miss out, basically, on all that money?' He may very well take the same position now: 'I might not be re-elected, and so why shouldn't I...still pursue it?'"

Of course, none of this should come as a surprise: Maxine Waters and Adam Schiff (who are two prime candidates for the source of the latest round of leaks) have made no secret of their plans to subpoena Deutsche Bank to learn more about its lending relationship with the president. And as Dems prepare to let the subpoeanas fly, we imagine we'll be learning more in the near future.


alfbell , 52 minutes ago link

Adam Schitt, a real slimy, corrupt politician. Maxine Waters, another financial and political criminal. If you could get them to spill their guts you'd be amazed at all the transgressions they have committed during their careers (they'd go to prison for certain). These two should be shot off into space or something. Shouldn't be allowed to continue harrassing the POTUS.

Lynn Trainor , 1 hour ago link

Since the Mueller probe is ending and no longer serves as a shield from having to answer questions concerning his own corruption, Adam Schiff had to get a new probe going so he'd have an excuse to conveniently remain silent on questions he'd rather not address. Schiff is the very one who should be investigated.

Bokkenrijder , 2 hours ago link

I think the Dems have switched tactics; forget about impeaching Donnie's while he's in office when he could theoretically pardon himself, and instead focus on dragging out the investigation(s) until he has left office.

When Donnie realizes this, he'll be EVEN MORE compliant with serving the neocons, the Deep State and The Swamp.

I always doubted that Donnie ever intended to "drain the swamp," but I fear that he'll become an even bigger neocon warmonger now that the Dems have him checkmate.

The results of the investigation don't matter, the Dems will simply pull more ******** out of their collective Go-Green asses and start new investigations, all financed by the taxpayers of course.

The real collusion of course is between Trump and Israel/AIPAC, but ssshhhhhhh, you're not allowed to talk about that. That's a big """""secret.""""

[Feb 13, 2019] Sic Semper Tyrannis WHY THE DNC WAS NOT HACKED BY THE RUSSIANS by Binney and Johnson

Looks like Gussifer 2.0 person is a fake created to cover tracks and ofload the blame to Russians.
Notable quotes:
"... The phrase, "moderate confidence" is intelligence speak for "we have no hard evidence." ..."
"... Instead, the NSA only claimed to have moderate confidence in the judgement regarding Russian meddling. If the NSA had hard intelligence to support the judgement the conclusion would have been stated as "full confidence." ..."
"... Why does a cyber security company wait 45 days after allegedly uncovering a massive Russian attack on the DNC server to take concrete steps to safeguard the integrity of the information held on the server? This makes no sense. ..."
"... We know one thing for certain -- CrowdStrike did not take steps to shutdown and repair the DNC network until 18 days after the last email was copied from the server. ..."
"... Taken together, these disparate data points combine to paint a picture that exonerates alleged Russian hackers and implicates persons within our law enforcement and intelligence community taking part in a campaign of misinformation, deceit and incompetence. ..."
Feb 13, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

By William Binney, former Technical Director NSA & Larry Johnson, former State CT and CIA

The FBI, CIA and NSA claim that the DNC emails published by WIKILEAKS on July 26, 2016 were obtained via a Russian hack, but more than three years after the alleged "hack" no forensic evidence has been produced to support that claim. In fact, the available forensic evidence contradicts the official account that blames the leak of the DNC emails on a Russian internet "intrusion". The existing evidence supports an alternative explanation--the files taken from the DNC on between 23 and 25May 2016 and were copied onto a file storage device, such as a thumb drive.

If the Russians actually had conducted an internet based hack of the DNC computer network then the evidence of such an attack would have been collected and stored by the National Security Agency. The technical systems to accomplish this task have been in place since 2002. The NSA had an opportunity to make it clear that there was irrefutable proof of Russian meddling, particularly with regard to the DNC hack, when it signed on to the January 2017 "Intelligence Community Assessment," regarding Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential election :

We also assess Putin and the Russian Government aspired to help President-elect Trump's election chances when possible by discrediting Secretary Clinton and publicly contrasting her unfavorably to him. All three agencies agree with this judgment. CIA and FBI have high confidence in this judgment; NSA has moderate confidence.

The phrase, "moderate confidence" is intelligence speak for "we have no hard evidence." Thanks to the leaks by Edward Snowden, we know with certainty that the NSA had the capability to examine and analyze the DNC emails. NSA routinely "vacuumed up" email traffic transiting the U.S. using robust collection systems (whether or not anyone in the NSA chose to look for this data is another question). If those emails had been hijacked over the internet then NSA also would have been able to track the electronic path they traveled over the internet. This kind of data would allow the NSA to declare without reservation or caveat that the Russians were guilty. The NSA could admit to such a fact in an unclassified assessment without compromising sources and methods. Instead, the NSA only claimed to have moderate confidence in the judgement regarding Russian meddling. If the NSA had hard intelligence to support the judgement the conclusion would have been stated as "full confidence."

We believe that Special Counsel Robert Mueller faces major embarrassment if he decides to pursue the indictment he filed -- which accuses 12 Russian GRU military personnel and an entity identified as, Guccifer 2.0, for the DNC hack -- because the available forensic evidence indicates the emails were copied onto a storage device.

According to a DOJ press release on the indictment of the Russians, Mueller declares that the emails were obtained via a "spearphising" attack:

In 2016, officials in Unit 26165 began spearphishing volunteers and employees of the presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton, including the campaign's chairman. Through that process, officials in this unit were able to steal the usernames and passwords for numerous individuals and use those credentials to steal email content and hack into other computers. They also were able to hack into the computer networks of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) through these spearphishing techniques to steal emails and documents, covertly monitor the computer activity of dozens of employees, and implant hundreds of files of malicious computer code to steal passwords and maintain access to these networks.

The officials in Unit 26165 coordinated with officials in Unit 74455 to plan the release of the stolen documents for the purpose of interfering with the 2016 presidential election. Defendants registered the domain DCLeaks.com and later staged the release of thousands of stolen emails and documents through that website. On the website, defendants claimed to be "American hacktivists" and used Facebook accounts with fictitious names and Twitter accounts to promote the website. After public accusations that the Russian government was behind the hacking of DNC and DCCC computers, defendants created the fictitious persona Guccifer 2.0. On the evening of June 15, 2016 between 4:19PM and 4:56PM, defendants used their Moscow-based server to search for a series of English words and phrases that later appeared in Guccifer 2.0's first blog post falsely claiming to be a lone Romanian hacker responsible for the hacks in the hopes of undermining the allegations of Russian involvement.( https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/grand-jury-indicts-12-russian-intelligence-officers-hacking-offenses-related-2016-election )

Notwithstanding the DOJ press release, an examination of the Wikileaks DNC files do not support the claim that the emails were obtained via spearphising. Instead, the evidence clearly shows that the emails posted on the Wikileaks site were copied onto an electronic media, such as a CD-ROM or thumbdrive before they were posted at Wikileaks. The emails posted on Wikileaks were saved using the File Allocation Table (aka FAT) computer file system architecture.

An examination of the Wikileaks DNC files shows they were created on 23, 25 and 26 May respectively. The fact that they appear in a FAT system format indicates the data was transfered to a storage device, such as a thumb drive.

How do we know? The truth lies in the "last modified" time stamps on the Wikileaks files. Every single one of these time stamps end in even numbers. If you are not familiar with the FAT file system, you need to understand that when a date is stored under this system the data rounds the time to the nearest even numbered second.

We have examined 500 DNC email files stored on Wikileaks and all 500 files end in an even number -- 2, 4, 6, 8 or 0. If a system other than FAT had been used, there would have been an equal probability of the time stamp ending with an odd number. But that is not the case with the data stored on the Wikileaks site. All end with an even number.

The DNC emails are in 3 batches (times are GMT).

Date       Count Min Time Max Time FAT Min Id Max Id
2016-05-23 10520 02:12:38 02:45:42 x    3800  14319
2016-05-25 11936 05:21:30 06:04:36 x       1  22456
2016-08-26 13357 14:11:36 20:06:04 x   22457  44053    

The random probability that FAT was not used is 1 chance in 2 to the 500th power or approximately 1 chance in 10 to the 150th power - in other words, an infinitely high order. This data alone does not prove that the emails were copied at the DNC headquarters. But it does show that the data/emails posted by Wikileaks did go through a storage device, like a thumbdrive, before Wikileaks posted the emails on the World Wide Web.

This fact alone is enough to raise reasonable doubts about Mueller's indictment accusing 12 Russian soldiers as the culprits for the leak of the DNC emails to Wikileaks. A savvy defense attorney will argue, and rightly so, that someone copied the DNC files to a storage device (Eg., USB thumb drive) and transferred that to Wikileaks.

We also tested the hypothesis that Wikileaks could have manipulated the files to produce the FAT result by comparing the DNC email files with the Podesta emails (aka Larter file) that was released on 21 September 2016. The FAT file format is NOT present in the Podesta files. If Wikileaks employed a standard protocol for handling data/emails received from unknown sources we should expect the File structure of the DNC emails to match the file structure of the Podesta emails. The evidence shows otherwise.

There is further compelling technical evidence that undermines the claim that the DNC emails were downloaded over the internet as a result of a spearphising attack. Bill Binney, a former Technical Director of the National Security Agency, along with other former intelligence community experts, examined emails posted by Guccifer 2.0 and discovered that those emails could not have been downloaded over the internet as a result of a spearphising attack. It is a simple matter of mathematics and physics.

Shortly after Wikileaks announced it had the DNC emails, Guccifer 2.0 emerged on the public stage, claiming that "he" hacked the DNC and that he had the DNC emails. Guccifer 2.0 began in late June 2016 to publish documents as proof that "he" had hacked from the DNC.

Taking Guccifer 2.0 at face value -- i.e., that his documents were obtained via an internet attack -- Bill Binney conducted a forensic examination of the metadata contained in the posted documents based on internet connection speeds in the United States. This analysis showed that the highest transfer rate was 49.1 megabytes per second, which is much faster than possible from a remote online connection. The 49.1 megabytes speed coincides with the download rate for a thumb drive .

Binney, assisted by other colleagues with technical expertise, extended the examination and ran various tests forensic from the Netherlands, Albania, Belgrade and the UK. The fastest rate obtained -- from a data center in New Jersey to a data center in the UK--was 12 megabytes per second, which is less than a fourth of the rate necessary to transfer the data, as it was listed from Guccifer 2.

The findings from the examination of the Guccifer 2.0 data and the Wikileaks data does not prove who copied the information to a thumbdrive, but it does provide and empirical alternative explanation that undermines the Special Counsel's claim that the DNC was hacked. According to the forensic evidence for the Guccifer 2.0 data, the DNC emails were not taken by an internet spearphising attack. The data breach was local. It was copied from the network.

There is other circumstantial evidence that buttresses the conclusion that the data breach was a local effort that copied data.

First there is the Top Secret information leaked by Edward Snowden. If the DNC emails had been hacked via spearphising (as alleged by Mueller) then the data would have been captured by the NSA by means of the Upstream program (Fairview, Stormbrew, Blarney, Oakstar) and the forensic evidence would not modify times - the data would be presented as sent.

Second, we have the public reporting on the DNC and Crowdstrike, which provide a bizarre timeline for the alleged Russian hacking.

It was 29 April 2016, when the DNC claims it became aware its servers had been penetrated (see https://medium.com/homefront-rising/dumbstruck-how-crowdstrike-conned-america-on-the-hack-of-the-dnc-ecfa522ff44f ). No claim yet about who was responsible.

According to CrowdStrike founder, Dimitri Alperovitch, his company first detected the Russians mucking around inside the DNC server on 6 May 2016. A CrowdStrike intelligence analyst reportedly told Alperovitch that :

Falcon had identified not one but two Russian intruders: Cozy Bear, a group CrowdStrike's experts believed was affiliated with the FSB, Russia's answer to the CIA; and Fancy Bear, which they had linked to the GRU, Russian military intelligence.

( https://www.esquire.com/news-politics/a49902/the-russian-emigre-leading-the-fight-to-protect-america/ )

And what did CrowdStrike do about this? Nothing. According to Michael Isikoff, CrowdStrike claimed their inactivity was a deliberate plan to avoid alerting the Russians that they had been "discovered." This is nonsense. If a security company detected a thief breaking into a house and stealing its contents, what sane company would counsel the client to do nothing in order to avoid alerting the thief?

We know from examining the Wikileaks data that the last message copied from the DNC network is dated Wed, 25 May 2016 08:48:35. No DNC emails were taken and released to Wikileaks after that date.

CrowdStrike waited until 10 June 2016 to take concrete steps to clean up the DNC network. Alperovitch told Esquire's Vicky Ward that :

Ultimately, the teams decided it was necessary to replace the software on every computer at the DNC. Until the network was clean, secrecy was vital. On the afternoon of Friday, June 10, all DNC employees were instructed to leave their laptops in the office.

https://www.esquire.com/news-politics/a49902/the-russian-emigre-leading-the-fight-to-protect-america/

Why does a cyber security company wait 45 days after allegedly uncovering a massive Russian attack on the DNC server to take concrete steps to safeguard the integrity of the information held on the server? This makes no sense.

A more plausible explanation is that it was discovered that emails had been downloaded from the server and copied onto a device like a thumdrive. But the culprit had not yet been identified. We know one thing for certain -- CrowdStrike did not take steps to shutdown and repair the DNC network until 18 days after the last email was copied from the server.

The final curiosity is that the DNC never provided the FBI access to its servers in order for qualified FBI technicians to conduct a thorough forensic examination. If this had been a genuine internet hack, it would be very easy for the NSA to identify when the information was taken and the route it moved after being hacked from the server. The NSA had the technical collection systems in place to enable analysts to know the date and time of the messages. But that has not been done.

Taken together, these disparate data points combine to paint a picture that exonerates alleged Russian hackers and implicates persons within our law enforcement and intelligence community taking part in a campaign of misinformation, deceit and incompetence. It is not a pretty picture.

[Feb 13, 2019] My understanding is that the Democratic Party person who passed the USB stick to Craig Murray was not Seth Rich

Feb 13, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jen , Feb 12, 2019 10:54:05 PM | link

James @ 65, Spudski @ 54, Bevin @ 38:

My understanding is that the Democratic Party person who passed the USB stick to Craig Murray was not Seth Rich. Seth Rich died on 10 July 2016 and Murray received the USB stick in September of the same year. So there were quite a few disgruntled Democratic Party whistleblowers at the time.

spudski , Feb 12, 2019 11:48:22 PM | link
@Jen 70

You're right - Seth Rich was not alive in September 2016. Craig Murray says he received a package in a wooded area near the American University in Washington DC in September 2016 from "the source" and that the leak source was the deed of a disgruntled Democrat employee.

james , Feb 13, 2019 1:12:42 AM | link
@71 jen / 73 spudski... i went and checked craigs site, but was unable to find him mentioning this.. i did re-read his post from july 3rd 2017 that came up in a search of seth rich.. The Stink Without a Secret

to quote from it.. "That is it. To this day, that is the sum total of actual "evidence" of Russian hacking. I won't say hang on to it as a fact, because it contains no relevant fact. But at least it is some form of definable allegation of something happening, rather than "Russian hacking" being a simple article of faith like the Holy Trinity.

But there are a number of problems that prevent this being fact at all. Nobody has ever been able to refute the evidence of Bill Binney, former Technical Director of the NSA who designed its current surveillance systems. Bill has stated that the capability of the NSA is such, that if the DNC computers had been hacked, the NSA would be able to trace the actual packets of that information as those emails travelled over the internet, and give a precise time, to the second, for the hack. The NSA simply do not have the event – because there wasn't one. I know Bill personally and am quite certain of his integrity.

As we have been repeatedly told, "17 intelligence agencies" sign up to the "Russian hacking", yet all these king's horses and all these king's men have been unable to produce any evidence whatsoever of the purported "hack". Largely because they are not in fact trying. Here is another actual fact I wish you to hang on to: The Democrats have refused the intelligence agencies access to their servers to discover what actually happened. I am going to say that again.

The Democrats have refused the intelligence agencies access to their servers to discover what actually happened." - why is that???

Jackrabbit , Feb 13, 2019 7:21:34 AM | link
james, jen, spudski, bevin

Look at the interviews of Seth Rich's family on Youtube. The interviews are just weird. And the Seth Rich family has acted in a weird way too.

pantaraxia , Feb 13, 2019 8:07:59 AM | link
Seymour Hersh, surreptitiously taped while discussing Seth Rich's murder.

Seymour Hersh discussing Wikileaks DNC leaks Seth Rich & FBI report (6:30 min)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZJpQPGeUeQY

Jackrabbit , Feb 13, 2019 8:39:31 AM | link
As you consider the weirdness of the Rich family, also keep in mind the substantial efforts made to discredit and disable Assange/Wikileaks and Trump's call, in summer 2016) for Putin to release Hillary's lost emails.

The timeline is as follows:

January 2016
FBI report says Hillary emails contained highly classified info
By this time, Trump has all but locked up the GOP nomination - Michael Bloomberg makes urgent public announcement that may enter the race to prevent Sanders and Trump from winning.

February 2016
Never Trump Movement is born

March/April 2016
Trump hires Manafort

May 2016
DNC is hacked

June 2016
Trump Jr. meets with Russians that say they have info about Hillary

July 2016
Wikileaks publishes DNC emails (July 22)
Trump">https://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/28/us/politics/donald-trump-russia-clinton-emails.html">Trump calls on Putin to release Hillary's lost emails (July 28)

July 2016
Manafort resigns/is fired

September 2016
Flynn signs agreement with Turk company Inovo BV: $500k "sweatheart deal"

October 2016
Assange's Internet access is terminated for the first time due to "election interference" by publishing DNC emails

November 2016
Flynn's agreement with Turk company ends on election day (Nov 8)
Flynn accepts position as National Security Advisor (Nov 18)

January 2017
Flynn is under investigation due to his work for Inovo BV
Chuck Schumer says Intel agencies "have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you"

February 2017
Trump fires Flynn after he is evasive/untruthful about his conversation with Russian Ambassador

>> Trump's positioning as pro-Russia was bolstered by his hiring pro-Russia Manafort who has links to Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska. This is a strange choice for the "America First" Trump campaign.

>> Assange/Wikileaks and Flynn are all ultimately snared by anti-Russia hysteria. Wikileaks would later be described as a "hostile intelligence agency" and Assange as a "Russian agent".

spudski , Feb 13, 2019 10:38:17 AM | link
james @75

CM does say this in a December 2016 post:

https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2016/12/cias-absence-conviction/
[The overall extract is between the lines below.]
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

I had a call from a Guardian journalist this afternoon. The astonishing result "was that for three hours, an article was accessible through the Guardian front page which actually included the truth among the CIA hype:

"The Kremlin has rejected the hacking accusations, while the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has previously said the DNC leaks were not linked to Russia. A second senior official cited by the Washington Post conceded that intelligence agencies did not have specific proof that the Kremlin was "directing" the hackers, who were said to be one step removed from the Russian government.
Craig Murray, the former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan, who is a close associate of Assange, called the CIA claims "bullshit", adding: "They are absolutely making it up."
"I know who leaked them," Murray said. "I've met the person who leaked them, and they are certainly not Russian and it's an insider. It's a leak, not a hack; the two are different things.
"If what the CIA are saying is true, and the CIA's statement refers to people who are known to be linked to the Russian state, they would have arrested someone if it was someone inside the United States.
"America has not been shy about arresting whistleblowers and it's not been shy about extraditing hackers. They plainly have no knowledge whatsoever."

But only three hours. While the article was not taken down, the home page links to it vanished and it was replaced by a ludicrous one repeating the mad CIA allegations against Russia and now claiming – incredibly – that the CIA believe the FBI is deliberately blocking the information on Russian collusion.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

jackrabbit

Thanks for the info. The Seth Rich story always bothered me. I also recall that in one article CM was quoted as saying that who he got the leaked materials was not "the source." Was the original source SR?

james , Feb 13, 2019 12:18:47 PM | link
@84/87 jr / @91 spudski... thanks for all that..

i tend to believe julian assange when he says the stakes are very high when one is involved in sharing information that could be detrimental others - a large organization in particular, and etc..

I suppose the 2 choices here are one believes either Seth Rich was murdered in a bad part of Washington dc - conceivable, or that someone knew he had passed the emails and wanted to kill him for it..

If you believe 2 - then you have to come up with a reason for why they had to kill him.. The reason jr appears to offer is it makes Russia and WikiLeaks the 2 main suspects, as opposed to seth rich.. and on and on it goes..

I lean towards the later view which jr articulates, but i don't expect to ever find out..

[Feb 13, 2019] Making Globalism Great Again by C.J. Hopkins

Highly recommended!
Pretty biting satire
Notable quotes:
"... So how did Trump finally get the liberal corporate media to stop calling him a fascist? He did that by acting like a fascist (i.e., like a "normal" president). Which is to say he did the bidding of the deep state goons and corporate mandarins that manage the global capitalist empire the smiley, happy, democracy-spreading, post-fascist version of fascism we live under. ..."
"... Notwithstanding what the corporate media will tell you, Americans elected Donald Trump, a preposterous, self-aggrandizing ass clown, not because they were latent Nazis, or because they were brainwashed by Russian hackers, but, primarily, because they wanted to believe that he sincerely cared about America, and was going to try to "make it great again" (whatever that was supposed to mean, exactly). ..."
"... Unfortunately, there is no America. There is nothing to make great again. "America" is a fiction, a fantasy, a nostalgia that hucksters like Donald Trump (and other, marginally less buffoonish hucksters) use to sell whatever they are selling themselves, wars, cars, whatever. What there is, in reality, instead of America, is a supranational global capitalist empire, a decentralized, interdependent network of global corporations, financial institutions, national governments, intelligence agencies, supranational governmental entities, military forces, media, and so on. If that sounds far-fetched or conspiratorial, look at what is going on in Venezuela. ..."
"... And Venezuela is just the most recent blatant example of the empire in action. ..."
Feb 11, 2019 | www.unz.com

Maybe Donald Trump isn't as stupid as I thought. I'd hate to have to admit that publicly, but it does kind of seem like he has put one over on the liberal corporate media this time. Scanning the recent Trump-related news, I couldn't help but notice a significant decline in the number of references to Weimar, Germany, Adolf Hitler, and " the brink of fascism " that America has supposedly been teetering on since Hillary Clinton lost the election.

I googled around pretty well, I think, but I couldn't find a single editorial warning that Trump is about to summarily cancel the U.S. Constitution, dissolve Congress, and proclaim himself Führer . Nor did I see any mention of Auschwitz , or any other Nazi stuff which is weird, considering that the Hitler hysteria has been a standard feature of the official narrative we've been subjected to for the last two years.

So how did Trump finally get the liberal corporate media to stop calling him a fascist? He did that by acting like a fascist (i.e., like a "normal" president). Which is to say he did the bidding of the deep state goons and corporate mandarins that manage the global capitalist empire the smiley, happy, democracy-spreading, post-fascist version of fascism we live under.

I'm referring, of course, to Venezuela, which is one of a handful of uncooperative countries that are not playing ball with global capitalism and which haven't been "regime changed" yet. Trump green-lit the attempted coup purportedly being staged by the Venezuelan "opposition," but which is obviously a U.S. operation, or, rather, a global capitalist operation. As soon as he did, the corporate media immediately suspended calling him a fascist, and comparing him to Adolf Hitler, and so on, and started spewing out blatant propaganda supporting his effort to overthrow the elected government of a sovereign country.

Overthrowing the governments of sovereign countries, destroying their economies, stealing their gold, and otherwise bringing them into the fold of the global capitalist "international community" is not exactly what most folks thought Trump meant by "Make America Great Again." Many Americans have never been to Venezuela, or Syria, or anywhere else the global capitalist empire has been ruthlessly restructuring since shortly after the end of the Cold War. They have not been lying awake at night worrying about Venezuelan democracy, or Syrian democracy, or Ukrainian democracy.

This is not because Americans are a heartless people, or an ignorant or a selfish people. It is because, well, it is because they are Americans (or, rather, because they believe they are Americans), and thus are more interested in the problems of Americans than in the problems of people in faraway lands that have nothing whatsoever to do with America. Notwithstanding what the corporate media will tell you, Americans elected Donald Trump, a preposterous, self-aggrandizing ass clown, not because they were latent Nazis, or because they were brainwashed by Russian hackers, but, primarily, because they wanted to believe that he sincerely cared about America, and was going to try to "make it great again" (whatever that was supposed to mean, exactly).

Unfortunately, there is no America. There is nothing to make great again. "America" is a fiction, a fantasy, a nostalgia that hucksters like Donald Trump (and other, marginally less buffoonish hucksters) use to sell whatever they are selling themselves, wars, cars, whatever. What there is, in reality, instead of America, is a supranational global capitalist empire, a decentralized, interdependent network of global corporations, financial institutions, national governments, intelligence agencies, supranational governmental entities, military forces, media, and so on. If that sounds far-fetched or conspiratorial, look at what is going on in Venezuela.

The entire global capitalist empire is working in concert to force the elected president of the country out of office. The US, the UK, Canada, France, Germany, Spain, Austria, Denmark, Poland, the Netherlands, Israel, Brazil, Peru, Chile, and Argentina have officially recognized Juan Guaido as the legitimate president of Venezuela, in spite of the fact that no one elected him. Only the empire's official evil enemies (i.e., Russia, China, Iran, Syria, Cuba, and other uncooperative countries) are objecting to this "democratic" coup. The global financial system (i.e., banks) has frozen (i.e., stolen) Venezuela's assets, and is attempting to transfer them to Guaido so he can buy the Venezuelan military. The corporate media are hammering out the official narrative like a Goebbelsian piano in an effort to convince the general public that all this has something to do with democracy. You would have to be a total moron or hopelessly brainwashed not to recognize what is happening.

What is happening has nothing to do with America the "America" that Americans believe they live in and that many of them want to "make great again." What is happening is exactly what has been happening around the world since the end of the Cold War, albeit most dramatically in the Middle East. The de facto global capitalist empire is restructuring the planet with virtual impunity. It is methodically eliminating any and all impediments to the hegemony of global capitalism, and the privatization and commodification of everything.

Venezuela is one of these impediments. Overthrowing its government has nothing to do with America, or the lives of actual Americans. "America" is not to going conquer Venezuela and plant an American flag on its soil. "America" is not going to steal its oil, ship it "home," and parcel it out to "Americans" in their pickups in the parking lot of Walmart.

What what about those American oil corporations? They want that Venezuelan oil, don't they? Well, sure they do, but here's the thing there are no "American" oil corporations. Corporations, especially multi-billion dollar transnational corporations (e.g., Chevron, ExxonMobil, et al.) have no nationalities, nor any real allegiances, other than to their major shareholders. Chevron, for example, whose major shareholders are asset management and mutual fund companies like Black Rock, The Vanguard Group, SSgA Funds Management, Geode Capital Management, Wellington Management, and other transnational, multi-trillion dollar outfits. Do you really believe that being nominally headquartered in Boston or New York makes these companies "American," or that Deutsche Bank is a "German" bank, or that BP is a "British" company?

And Venezuela is just the most recent blatant example of the empire in action. Ask yourself, honestly, what have the "American" regime change ops throughout the Greater Middle East done for any actual Americans, other than get a lot of them killed? Oh, and how about those bailouts for all those transnational "American" investment banks? Or the billions "America" provides to Israel? Someone please explain how enriching the shareholders of transnational corporations like Raytheon, Boeing, and Lockheed Martin by selling billions in weapons to Saudi Arabian Islamists is benefiting "the American people." How much of that Saudi money are you seeing? And, wait, I've got another one for you. Call up your friendly 401K manager, ask how your Pfizer shares are doing, then compare that to what you're paying some "American" insurance corporation to not really cover you.

For the last two-hundred years or so, we have been conditioned to think of ourselves as the citizens of a collection of sovereign nation states, as "Americans," "Germans," "Greeks," and so on. There are no more sovereign nation states. Global capitalism has done away with them. Which is why we are experiencing a "neo-nationalist" backlash. Trump, Brexit, the so-called "new populism" these are the death throes of national sovereignty, like the thrashing of a suffocating fish before you whack it and drop it in the cooler. The battle is over, but the fish doesn't know that. It didn't even realize there was a battle until it suddenly got jerked up out of the water.

In any event, here we are, at the advent of the global capitalist empire. We are not going back to the 19th Century, nor even to the early 20th Century. Neither Donald Trump nor anyone else is going to "Make America Great Again." Global capitalism will continue to remake the world into one gigantic marketplace where we work ourselves to death at bullshit jobs in order to buy things we don't need, accumulating debts we can never pay back, the interest on which will further enrich the global capitalist ruling classes, who, as you may have noticed, are preparing for the future by purchasing luxury underground bunkers and post-apocalyptic compounds in New Zealand. That, and militarizing the police, who they will need to maintain "public order" you know, like they are doing in France at the moment, by beating, blinding, and hideously maiming those Gilets Jaunes (i.e., Yellow Vest) protesters that the corporate media are doing their best to demonize and/or render invisible.

Or, who knows, Americans (and other Western consumers) might take a page from those Yellow Vests, set aside their political differences (or at least ignore their hatred of each other long enough to actually try to achieve something), and focus their anger at the politicians and corporations that actually run the empire, as opposed to, you know, illegal immigrants and imaginary legions of Nazis and Russians. In the immortal words of General Buck Turgidson, "I'm not saying we wouldn't get our hair mussed," but, heck, it might be worth a try, especially since, the way things are going, we are probably going end up out there anyway.

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

[Feb 13, 2019] Look Pompeo is posting on ZH

Feb 13, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Einstein101 , 6 hours ago link

Furious China Accuses US Of Fabricating Threats, Slams Huawei Boycott As "Hypocritical And Immoral"

Huawei has no one else to blame for this but itself. The way the company has violated US laws, defrauding banks with its attempts to dodge the US sanction on Iran.

The American Sanctions on Iran are an international necessity, They May Even Help To Stop The Misery And Suffering Of The Iranian People.

schroedingersrat , 6 hours ago link

Look Pompeo is posting on ZH

[Feb 13, 2019] Mueller investigation must be one of the few government programmes that makes money!

Feb 13, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Tom , Feb 12, 2019 10:58:59 PM | link

psychohistorian #41

How much has been spent, to date, on Russiagate? Well it seems that the Muller investigation has cost about $25 million.

The Muller investigation has seized $26.7 million from Manafort plus an additional $1.9 million from others charged my Muller. Must be one of the few government programmes that makes money!

http://www.smirkingchimp.com/news/83470/mueller-investigation-costly-but-millions-seized-from-manafort-have-it-on-track-to-break-even

[Feb 13, 2019] Pelosi utter the truth about Russiagate

I hope that Russiagate is indeed "finished", but I think it needs to be draped with garlic-clove necklaces, shot up with silver bullets, sprinkled with holy water, and a wooden stake driven through its black heart just to make sure. Once Russiagate is fixed in people's minds, whether true or not, it's hard to kill it
Put more succinctly, I fear that Russiagate won't be finished until Rachel Maddow days in MSNBC are finished. ;) And don't forget that she have built her career on anti Russian propaganda and earns $30K a day to spew anti-Russian nonsense.
Feb 13, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

In a recent statement House leader Nancy Pelosi was reduced to accuse Trump campaign officials of doing their job:

"The indictment of Roger Stone makes clear that there was a deliberate, coordinated attempt by top Trump campaign officials to influence the 2016 election and subvert the will of the American people. ...

No one called her out for spouting such nonsense.

[Feb 13, 2019] Saw this comin' from a mile away....the "reluctant candidate"

"No one in this world, so far as I know -- and I have searched the records for years, and employed agents to help me -- has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people. Nor has anyone ever lost public office thereby." H.L. Mencken.
Feb 13, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

frances , Feb 12, 2019 7:27:16 PM | link

Just an aside:
Saw this comin' from a mile away....the "reluctant candidate":
https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-02-12/michelle-obama-going-run-president-2020
Zachary Smith , Feb 12, 2019 7:49:07 PM | link
@ frances #59

...As for myself, I'd vote for a random US citizen chosen from a pool of non-druggie non-criminal people under 65 if such a person was running against Trump. Male, female, black, white, yellow, or purple - but not the wife of Obama.

[Feb 13, 2019] The guardian "stands by the story" by censoring critical comments, while never bothering to try to defend the actual reporting

What "pretzelattack" does not understand is for whom Luke Harding actually works. Intelligence agencies control The Guardian and shape forums in the direction they consider beneficial.
Notable quotes:
"... As far as upholding our Community Standards is concerned, The Guardian has decided to stand by the article and thus The Guardian views comments such as yours as misrepresentation. ..."
Feb 13, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

pretzelattack , Feb 13, 2019 11:07:59 AM | link

fu guardian.
Hello "pretzelattack",

When you take issue with Editorial decisions of the Guardian, the Moderation team is the wrong place to address it. You would have better luck following the procedures outlined on https://www.theguardian.com/info/complaints-and-corrections.

As far as upholding our Community Standards is concerned, The Guardian has decided to stand by the article and thus The Guardian views comments such as yours as misrepresentation.

There is also the matter that most of your removed comments are Off Topic for the discussions on which you post them, which breaches point 8 of our Community Standards.

8. Keep it relevant. We know that some conversations can be wide-ranging, but if you post something which is unrelated to the original topic ("off-topic") then it may be removed, in order to keep the thread on track. This also applies to queries or comments about moderation, which should not be posted as comments.

Premoderation is usually only a temporary measure. Post consistently in line with the community standards you agreed to abide by when creating your account and the sanction will be lifted and full commenting privileges restored to your account. Post consistently against the spirit of the community standards and you risk a permanent ban.

Best wishes

Meg,

Community Moderator

Links: The Guardian's Community Standards & FAQs

This was about the blatant bullshit, by Luke Harding, about Assange and manning meeting at the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

"The guardian stands by the story" by censoring critical comments, while never bothering to try to defend the actual reporting.

Of course, that would be difficult since there is no evidence that Manafort somehow whisked himself (maybe a dr. who tardis) in and out of one of the most heavily surveilled sites in the world.

"Independent journalism" at its finest.

[Feb 13, 2019] A glossary of exploitive economics: 'Lean in' and 8 other bad business buzzwords that should be phased out written by Yes! Magazine and TruthDig A radical pessimist's glossary of exploitative economics.

Jan 17, 2019 | www.alternet.org

The near future is more likely to be a neoliberal dystopia than the tech-enabled utopia conjured up by big business, writes Peter Fleming in The Worst Is Yet to Come: A Post-Capitalist Survival Guide . He argues that we need "radical pessimism" to aim for the future we actually want, and aids the effort with sardonic humor that skewers the mythologies of our exploitative economic system.

In 1949, the right-wing economist F. A. Hayek published an essay entitled "The Intellectuals and Socialism," which aimed to change the way capitalism thought about itself. Up until then, he argued, it was mainly the socialists who had claimed the intellectual space of utopianism.

Hayek sought to rectify this. Free-market conservatives ought to come up with their own utopias and sell them to the public as glorious futures to come. Capitalist individualism and a minimal state were prominent components, elevated like secular gods.

As with most utopian blueprints, however, when put into practice, the outcome was frequently appalling. Yet these failures didn't stop the power elite from trying again, no matter how many casualties fell along the way. That's why capitalism today consists of an uneasy confluence of brazen destructiveness and implacable self-confidence, convinced that we will soon be approaching a Panglossian Best of All Possible Worlds.

The problem is that the worst is yet to come. We therefore require a good understanding of the ideological terrain upon which that struggle will unfold. Most importantly, we won't necessarily see the clean death of neoliberalism but an exaggerated and unsustainable deepening of it. It will then buckle under its own weight, yielding a windswept post-capitalist dystopia if nothing is done to counteract it now.

Mainstream economic theory might first appear rational and objective, especially given its clinical quantification of human behavior. The mathematical models and algebraic theorems add to the veneer of scientificity. But beneath the numbers is an unyielding and often mysterious faith in the rectitude of monetary individualism. That conviction is conveyed in buzzwords and fads, many of which have entered daily life, and will only intensify in the next few years. We require a counter-lexicon. Towards that end, here is my take on some of the key features of the bad business utopias that are busy colonizing the future.

Glossary

Artificial Intelligence:

Machine learning and robotics that soon may be capable of reflective cognition, with much attention focusing on work and employment.

Automation of production has defined capitalism from the start. As has the fear (or hope) that machines will soon replace most of the workforce. The application of Artificial Intelligence in the "second machine age" will center on routine cognitive work (e.g., accountants and airline pilots) and nonroutine manual jobs (e.g., care providers, drivers, and hairdressers). However, this is where fantasy enters the picture. Namely, capitalism without laborers, a dream that is integral to neoliberal economics. In reality, AI will probably follow the same path as previous waves of automation: mechanizing certain parts of a job rather than replacing it entirely, especially the skilled part that affects wages. Moreover, the old Keynesian point still holds: Workers are also consumers. Thus, the disappearance of labor would also eliminate consumption, which is integral to capitalism. That might not be a bad thing, as advocates of "fully automated luxury communism" suggest. However, a bleaker scenario is possible. The retention of a highly polarized and class-based society (as we have today) but without labor or consumption, given the widespread application of AI. This would represent a kind of inverted rendition of capitalism. High-tech and primitive. This model of society has no name yet, but something like "Blade Runner Capitalism" might suffice.

Corporate Social Responsibility:

A concept designed to spread the fallacy that corporations can be driven by profit-maximization and have a positive ethical role in society; a disavowal of the key contradictions of capitalism; an idea closely associated with other disingenuous terms such as "conscious capitalism" and "green capitalism."

Milton Friedman famously argued against Corporate Social Responsibility. Focus on profits, he said, and let the state and churches deal with human welfare. However, CSR became popular nevertheless and is now big business. Almost every corporation has a CSR program of some kind. The concept is fundamental to neoliberal utopianism because it peddles the falsehood that capitalism can be both ruthlessly profiteering and kind to the planet. Have its cake and eat it too. As a corollary, governmental regulation is deemed unnecessary. CSR provides an excuse for corporations to regulate themselves, and we all know where that leads. It is no surprise that CSR is most visible in controversial industries like mining, oil and gas, arms manufacturing and tobacco (often involving glossy brochures and websites depicting happy African children playing in green rainforests). Moreover, the tax benefits enjoyed by billionaire philanthropists are another good reason they like CSR.

Game Theory:

The use of mathematics to model human reality; one of the more bizarre offshoots that followed the mathematization of economic thought in the 20th century.

Game theory focuses on strategies used by competing actors to make rational decisions. What should I do given my opponent may subsequently decide A, B, C, or D? It was pioneered by John von Neumann, John Nash, and Oskar Morgenstern. The assumption that social life is a game of logic between conniving actors is foundational to this view of economics. But do we really behave in such a "me versus you" manner?

Game Theory's rational individualism closely resonates with neoliberal capitalism because it reconceptualizes everyone as mini corporations who are totally selfish.

Individuals compete rather than share; seek to outsmart the next person rather than empathize. Proponents of the approach often use the "as if" defense. The model might not perfectly match reality, but we can approximate how someone behaves in the real world by assuming they act "as if" they're Nashian plotters.

It's the normative assumptions underlying this "as if" that are problematic that at bottom we're all greedy and impatient bankers. One could just as well argue that people act "as if" they're trusting and altruistic socialists, but Game Theory won't have any of that.

Human Resource Management:

An ultra-corporate manifestation of business management; a practice informally called "Inhuman Resource Management" by workers.

Even the very phrase Human Resource Management sounds weird, like something dreamed up by extraterrestrials who plan on harvesting mankind. The objectification is important to understanding HRM. In the old days, most large organizations had personnel departments. They dealt with payroll and hiring. In the 1980s and 1990s, this role slowly focused in on the nature of the employee. Testing potential recruits.

Developing employee engagement programs to revive flagging morale and so on. However, the covert agenda was to replace unions, who had previously fulfilled these functions. As neoliberalism spread through the economy like wild fire, HRM became a tool for pathologizing the recalcitrant employee. Rather than view the unhappy worker from a structural perspective (i.e., low wages, unfair treatment, boring job), it was their personality that was singled out as a problem. Following the financial crisis, HRM has become the punitive arm of organizational power. Their main role is to undermine unions, protect employers from discontented workers and enforce financial miserliness.

Leadership: The assumption that when humans organize they require top-down control and only special individuals are capable of doing this; the valorization of elitism.

When social actors are encouraged to behave as capsulelike monads -- as they are under neoliberal capitalism -- then some kind of extra-individual steering mechanism is soon required to avert chaos. In the workplace, this could include workers' councils. At the societal level, a democratically elected government. But capitalists naturally distain those options and evoke the mythology of leadership instead, sold to us as great men and women who've been blessed with amazing skills. To understand this bizarre veneration of elitism, we might recall Max Weber's argument about charismatic leaders. These individuals function as supplements to market rationality rather than replacements, which is why fascism was so attracted to the idea. The economic system can have bourgeois individualism and an overarching, CEO-like führer at the same time. The conflation serves to ward off social democratic solutions to economic coordination.

Lean In: Faux-feminism for the corporate age; an attempt to render feminism business-friendly; what feminism looks like after patriarchy wins .

Radical gender politics is dangerous to capitalism because it rallies against the patriarchal structures essential to it. In many ways, neoliberalism is a male-driven horror show. However, identity politics has severely diluted that radicalism and finally made feminism palatable to the establishment, including the multinational corporation. Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead , by Sheryl Sandberg (Facebook's chief operating of officer) is the end product of that betrayal. Sandberg gives advice to her readers about how to be both a woman and ruthlessly ambitious in the corporate world. Capitalism and the multinational corporation are all taken for granted, and feminism becomes a matter of women landing a seat in the boardroom and getting rich.

Moral Hazard: The cynical belief that you will automatically behave irresponsibly if not held accountable for your actions, especially in terms of financial responsibility; a moral pretext for demolishing the public sphere; the belief that everyone is a feckless opportunist .

The concept of moral hazard originated in insurance economics. It argues that once people are protected by insurance (say home and contents) they'll automatically engage in riskier behavior than normal (leaving their homes unlocked, for example). The theory assumes that people are not only stupid but have no sense of civic responsibility. The rationale has been deployed by neocons to lay ruin to the welfare state. Unemployment insurance incentivizes work avoidance. Public health care encourages unhealthy lifestyle choices, etc. We could follow the rationale reductio ad absurdum : public fire brigades shouldn't be funded because they inadvertently encourage people to be careless in the kitchen, and might result in them burning down their homes.

Office Email: An electronic communication system that has become ubiquitous among the modern workforce; an instrument for spreading wage-theft and unpaid overtime; something 50 percent of the workforce now "check" outside of office hours.

What is colloquially called the "tyranny of email," started life as a cool invention by Ray Tomlinson in 1971. With the birth of the internet, email rapidly replaced memos and postage. In the workplace, it was meant to make life easier. However, smartphones turned this tool of convenience into a slave master, since the office is always there, in your pocket. Not so long ago, management consultants used to say they loved flying because only then could they turn off their phone. Now even that respite has disappeared, as Wi-Fi coverage is included in most methods of travel. Email fits so snugly into the neoliberal order because it exemplifies individual mobility. You're always switched on no matter what. Work and life merge. Self-exploitation becomes rife. But does email improve your productivity on the job? One study decided to find out. A large office was deprived of email access for a day and its productivity levels actually soared. Therefore, not only does the "tyranny of email" increase our workload and render us permanently exposed to the supervisor's gaze, it also hinders our ability to get things done, making life harder for no obvious reason.

Tax Avoidance: How corporations and rich plutocrats sidestep the taxes that you and I have to pay; a mechanism for increasing wealth inequality to levels unheard of in the modern era; a method for starving the public sphere of cash; what greed looks like in the end times.

Neoliberalism has always hated tax, especially corporate tax. Trickle-down economics assumes that low taxes incentivize employers to hire more workers, invest and grow. Instead, firms usually keep the extra equity and get richer. Building on that sentiment, corporations have devised an elaborate international system to facilitate tax avoidance, with the help of countries like Ireland (the "Double Irish") and Holland (the "Dutch Sandwich"). Corporations are taxed on profits rather than revenue. They can therefore artificially reduce these profits by setting up a parent company in Ireland, for example, and then a subsidiary in, say the UK, which is charged steep licensing and administrative fees. This is how Google can enjoy yearly sales in the UK of £1.03 billion yet post a pretax profit of £149 million, with a tax bill of £36.4 million. Some firms might even record a "loss" (despite healthy revenues), then use the "Double Irish" with a "Dutch Sandwich," and pay no tax whatsoever. Combined with shadow banking, transfer pricing, trade mis-invoicing and tax havens, here we see where neoliberal capitalism is heading in the end times. The ultrarich -- and their phalanx -- floating above the state as the public sphere shrinks and society descends into disorder. Moreover, it is precisely here that neo-feudal social structures make a comeback, linked to family oligarchies and their tremendous influence over governments, bypassing the democratic process.

This excerpt is from The Worst Is Yet to Come: A Post-Capitalist Survival Guide by Peter Fleming. ( Repeater Books 2019). Reprinted by permission of the publisher.

tain those options and evoke the mythology of leadership instead, sold to us as great men and women who've been blessed with amazing skills. To understand this bizarre veneration of elitism, we might recall Max Weber's argument about charismatic leaders. These individuals function as supplements to market rationality rather than replacements, which is why fascism was so attracted to the idea. The economic system can have bourgeois individualism and an overarching, CEO-like führer at the same time. The conflation serves to ward off social democratic solutions to economic coordination.

Lean In: Faux-feminism for the corporate age; an attempt to render feminism business-friendly; what feminism looks like after patriarchy wins .

Radical gender politics is dangerous to capitalism because it rallies against the patriarchal structures essential to it. In many ways, neoliberalism is a male-driven horror show. However, identity politics has severely diluted that radicalism and finally made feminism palatable to the establishment, including the multinational corporation. Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead , by Sheryl Sandberg (Facebook's chief operating of officer) is the end product of that betrayal. Sandberg gives advice to her readers about how to be both a woman and ruthlessly ambitious in the corporate world. Capitalism and the multinational corporation are all taken for granted, and feminism becomes a matter of women landing a seat in the boardroom and getting rich.

Moral Hazard: The cynical belief that you will automatically behave irresponsibly if not held accountable for your actions, especially in terms of financial responsibility; a moral pretext for demolishing the public sphere; the belief that everyone is a feckless opportunist .

The concept of moral hazard originated in insurance economics. It argues that once people are protected by insurance (say home and contents) they'll automatically engage in riskier behavior than normal (leaving their homes unlocked, for example). The theory assumes that people are not only stupid but have no sense of civic responsibility. The rationale has been deployed by neocons to lay ruin to the welfare state. Unemployment insurance incentivizes work avoidance. Public health care encourages unhealthy lifestyle choices, etc. We could follow the rationale reductio ad absurdum : public fire brigades shouldn't be funded because they inadvertently encourage people to be careless in the kitchen, and might result in them burning down their homes.

Tax Avoidance: How corporations and rich plutocrats sidestep the taxes that you and I have to pay; a mechanism for increasing wealth inequality to levels unheard of in the modern era; a method for starving the public sphere of cash; what greed looks like in the end times.

Neoliberalism has always hated tax, especially corporate tax. Trickle-down economics assumes that low taxes incentivize employers to hire more workers, invest and grow. Instead, firms usually keep the extra equity and get richer. Building on that sentiment, corporations have devised an elaborate international system to facilitate tax avoidance, with the help of countries like Ireland (the "Double Irish") and Holland (the "Dutch Sandwich"). Corporations are taxed on profits rather than revenue. They can therefore artificially reduce these profits by setting up a parent company in Ireland, for example, and then a subsidiary in, say the UK, which is charged steep licensing and administrative fees. This is how Google can enjoy yearly sales in the UK of £1.03 billion yet post a pretax profit of £149 million, with a tax bill of £36.4 million. Some firms might even record a "loss" (despite healthy revenues), then use the "Double Irish" with a "Dutch Sandwich," and pay no tax whatsoever. Combined with shadow banking, transfer pricing, trade mis-invoicing and tax havens, here we see where neoliberal capitalism is heading in the end times. The ultrarich -- and their phalanx -- floating above the state as the public sphere shrinks and society descends into disorder. Moreover, it is precisely here that neo-feudal social structures make a comeback, linked to family oligarchies and their tremendous influence over governments, bypassing the democratic process.

This excerpt is from The Worst Is Yet to Come: A Post-Capitalist Survival Guide by Peter Fleming. ( Repeater Books 2019). Reprinted by permission of the publisher.

[Feb 13, 2019] Stephen Cohen on War with Russia and Soviet-style Censorship in the US by Russell Mokhiber

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... War with Russia. ..."
"... Cohen said the censorship that he has faced in recent years is similar to the censorship imposed on dissidents in the Soviet Union. ..."
"... Washington Post ..."
"... "Katrina and I had a joint signed op-ed piece in the New York Times ..."
"... Washington Post ..."
"... "The alternatives have been excluded from both. I would welcome an opportunity to debate these issues in the mainstream media, where you can reach more people. And remember, being in these pages, for better or for worse, makes you Kosher. This is the way it works. If you have been on these pages, you are cited approvingly. You are legitimate. You are within the parameters of the debate." ..."
"... "When I lived off and on in the Soviet Union, I saw how Soviet media treated dissident voices. And they didn't have to arrest them. They just wouldn't ever mention them. Sometimes they did that (arrest them). But they just wouldn't ever mention them in the media." ..."
"... "And something like that has descended here. And it's really alarming, along with some other Soviet-style practices in this country that nobody seems to care about – like keeping people in prison until they break, that is plea, without right to bail, even though they haven't been convicted of anything." ..."
"... "That's what they did in the Soviet Union. They kept people in prison until people said – I want to go home. Tell me what to say – and I'll go home. That's what we are doing here. And we shouldn't be doing that." ..."
"... Russell Mokhiber is the editor of the Corporate Crime Reporter.. ..."
Feb 12, 2019 | www.counterpunch.org

On stage at Busboys and Poets in Washington, D.C. this past week was Princeton University Professor Emeritus Stephen Cohen, author of the new book, War with Russia: From Putin & Ukraine to Trump & Russiagate.

Cohen has largely been banished from mainstream media.

"I had been arguing for years -- very much against the American political media grain -- that a new US/Russian Cold War was unfolding -- driven primarily by politics in Washington, not Moscow," Cohen writes in War with Russia. "For this perspective, I had been largely excluded from influential print, broadcast and cable outlets where I had been previously welcomed."

On the stage at Busboys and Poets with Cohen was Katrina vanden Heuvel, the editor of The Nation magazine, and Robert Borosage, co-founder of the Campaign for America's Future.

During question time, Cohen was asked about the extent of the censorship in the context of other Americans who had been banished from mainstream American media, including Ralph Nader, whom the liberal Democratic establishment, including Borosage and Vanden Heuvel, stiff armed when he crashed the corporate political parties in the electoral arena in 2004 and 2008.

Cohen said the censorship that he has faced in recent years is similar to the censorship imposed on dissidents in the Soviet Union.

"Until some period of time before Trump, on the question of what America's policy toward Putin's Kremlin should be, there was a reasonable facsimile of a debate on those venues that had these discussions," Cohen said. "Are we allowed to mention the former Charlie Rose for example? On the long interview form, Charlie would have on a person who would argue for a very hard policy toward Putin. And then somebody like myself who thought it wasn't a good idea."

"Occasionally that got on CNN too. MSNBC not so much. And you could get an op-ed piece published, with effort, in the New York Times or Washington Post ."

"Katrina and I had a joint signed op-ed piece in the New York Times six or seven years ago. But then it stopped. And to me, that's the fundamental difference between this Cold War and the preceding Cold War."

"I will tell you off the record – no, I'm not going to do it," Cohen said. "Two exceedingly imminent Americans, who most op-ed pages would die to get a piece by, just to say they were on the page, submitted such articles to the New York Times , and they were rejected the same day. They didn't even debate it. They didn't even come back and say – could you tone it down? They just didn't want it."

"Now is that censorship? In Italy, where each political party has its own newspaper, you would say – okay fair enough. I will go to a newspaper that wants me. But here, we are used to these newspapers."

"Remember how it works. I was in TV for 18 years being paid by CBS. So, I know how these things work. TV doesn't generate its own news anymore. Their actual reporting has been de-budgeted. They do video versions of what is in the newspapers."

"Look at the cable talk shows. You see it in the New York Times and Washington Post in the morning, you turn on the TV at night and there is the video version. That's just the way the news business works now."

"The alternatives have been excluded from both. I would welcome an opportunity to debate these issues in the mainstream media, where you can reach more people. And remember, being in these pages, for better or for worse, makes you Kosher. This is the way it works. If you have been on these pages, you are cited approvingly. You are legitimate. You are within the parameters of the debate."

"If you are not, then you struggle to create your own alternative media. It's new in my lifetime. I know these imminent Americans I mentioned were shocked when they were just told no. It's a lockdown. And it is a form of censorship."

"When I lived off and on in the Soviet Union, I saw how Soviet media treated dissident voices. And they didn't have to arrest them. They just wouldn't ever mention them. Sometimes they did that (arrest them). But they just wouldn't ever mention them in the media."

"Dissidents created what is known as samizdat – that's typescript that you circulate by hand. Gorbachev, before he came to power, did read some samizdat. But it's no match for newspapers published with five, six, seven million copies a day. Or the three television networks which were the only television networks Soviet citizens had access to."

"And something like that has descended here. And it's really alarming, along with some other Soviet-style practices in this country that nobody seems to care about – like keeping people in prison until they break, that is plea, without right to bail, even though they haven't been convicted of anything."

"That's what they did in the Soviet Union. They kept people in prison until people said – I want to go home. Tell me what to say – and I'll go home. That's what we are doing here. And we shouldn't be doing that."

Cohen appears periodically on Tucker Carlson's show on Fox News. And that rankled one person in the audience at Busboys and Poets, who said he worried that Cohen's perspective on Russia can be "appropriated by the right."

"Trump can take that and run on a nationalistic platform – to hell with NATO, to hell with fighting these endless wars, to do what he did in 2016 and get the votes of people who are very concerned about the deteriorating relations between the U.S. and Russia," the man said.

Cohen says that on a personal level, he likes Tucker Carlson "and I don't find him to be a racist or a nationalist."

"Nationalism is on the rise around the world everywhere," Cohen said. "There are different kinds of nationalism. We always called it patriotism in this country, but we have always been a nationalistic country."

"Fox has about three to four million viewers at that hour," Cohen said. "If I am not permitted to give my take on American/Russian relations on any other mass media, and by the way, possibly talk directly to Trump, who seems to like his show, and say – Trump is making a mistake, he should do this or do that instead -- I don't get many opportunities – and I can't see why I shouldn't do it."

"I get three and a half to four minutes," Cohen said. "I don't see it as consistent with my mission, if that's the right word, to say no. These articles I write for The Nation , which ended up in my book, are posted on some of the most God awful websites in the world. I had to look them up to find out how bad they really are. But what can I do about it?"

Join the debate on Facebook More articles by: Russell Mokhiber

Russell Mokhiber is the editor of the Corporate Crime Reporter..

[Feb 13, 2019] Furious China Accuses US Of Fabricating Threats, Slams Huawei Boycott As Hypocritical And Immoral

Feb 13, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Furious China Accuses US Of Fabricating Threats, Slams Huawei Boycott As "Hypocritical And Immoral"

by Tyler Durden Wed, 02/13/2019 - 08:15 44 SHARES

The U.S. (and other countries, ahem Canada) have not presented any conclusive evidence that Chinese telecom giant Huawei threatens their national security and are merely stirring fears out of self-interest, a Chinese government spokeswoman said on Wednesday.

According to Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying, Huawei's critics are conjuring up threats and misusing state power to "suppress the legitimate development rights and interests of Chinese enterprises" and are "using political means to intervene in the economy."

Hua continued his slam of the US saying that "all countries should deal with relevant matters in an objective, comprehensive, rational, and correct manner, rather than fabricating excuses of all kinds for one's own pursuit of interest at the cost of others, which is quite hypocritical, immoral, and unfair."

Needless to say, Hua's comments - coming just as US trade negotiators are in Beijing with president Xi unexpectedly set to join the discussions - at a daily briefing were "some of the sharpest yet" in the growing feud over Washington's drive to convince other nations to shut Huawei out of their markets due to national security concerns, Reuters reported.

Huawei - the world's biggest supplier of network gear used by phone and internet companies and the leaders in 5G technology - insists that it is independent and poses no threat to the security of others, but has long been seen by some as a front for spying by the Chinese military or security services. It's also why the United States, Australia, Japan and some other governments have imposed curbs on use of Huawei technology, including smart phones.

US warnings about the risks of Chinese telecom technology come as governments are choosing providers for the rollout of 5G wireless internet, where Huawei is among the global leaders.

Escalating the growing boycott of Chinese telecom, on Tuesday in Poland, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo repeated a warning that the United States may be forced to scale back certain operations in Europe and elsewhere if countries continue to do business with Huawei. Pompeo said the U.S. had strong concerns about Huawei's motives in Europe, especially in NATO and European Union member states, as well as its business practices.

"We've made known the risks that are associated with that, risks to private information of citizens of the country, risks that comes from having that technology installed in network systems," he said.

The US has argued that under Chinese security laws companies such as Huawei or ZTE could be compelled to hand over data or access to Chinese intelligence. However, Hua responded that such concerns were based on provisions of China's national intelligence law that differ little from similar legislation in other countries.

"It is an international practice to maintain national security with legislation and to require organizations and individuals to cooperate with national intelligence work," Hua said.

And, in the angriest retort to Washington yet, Hua accused the US of creating "conspiracy theories" backed by nothing but hearsay, and that lacking solid evidence, the U . S. "keeps making up crimes and churning out various threat theories."

"We believe that this is very hypocritical, unfair and immoral," she said. All nations, Hua said, have an obligation to "abide by the market principle of free and fair competition and truly safeguard the market environment of fairness, justice and non-discrimination."


CatInTheHat , 21 minutes ago link

Doesn't matter what they believe as long as the US dollar is main currency weaponize it whenever possible

US wants back door on China 5G so it can spy more on US citizens and NATO vassal countries

US hasn't caught up with China 5G and lacks innovation to do so .

Pompeo is a horses ***.

popeye , 1 hour ago link

To my knowledge Huawei has not yet been caught hacking sovereign leaders cellphones. Others have, and ....nothing.

Victory_Rossi , 5 hours ago link

"... lacking solid evidence ..." - evidence of what? That Huawei steals and copies technology? I can't be the only current or former Cisco employee here. Anyone remember watching a Huawei router boot a production IOS image? Building 8 in the first floor h/w lab? We rolled the Huawei router over from the TME lab next door? Then the lawsuit and the "settlement"? Trust no one but especially don't trust state controlled Chicoms.

BakedBeans , 5 hours ago link

Thanks, CISCO for all the NSA back doors you conveniently provided, allowing the govt to violate the 4th ammendment.

https://www.infoworld.com/article/2608141/internet-privacy/snowden--the-nsa-planted-backdoors-in-cisco-products.html

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. "

Victory_Rossi , 5 hours ago link

Hate CSCO, IBM, AAPL, GOOG, AMZN, FB and all the rest. Just don't go crazy and think that the Chicoms (ie: Huawei) are on your side.

AriusArmenian , 4 hours ago link

I don't care as much about Chinese or Russian backdoors (if they exist), I care more about NSA backdoors since I live inside their fraudulent political, economic, and judicial regime that services US elites.

AriusArmenian , 4 hours ago link

The Chinese didn't steal tech, it was sold to them by US elites that made fortunes on it. I don't blame the Chinese, I blame US elites that outsourced US jobs and industry to make a buck (fortunes of bucks).

Read 'The Conspirators' by Al Martin. A hell of a read that has some gems on how Bush's, Clinton's, and others made millions on selling tech to China along with real estate fraud, stock swindles, and running narcotics and weapons. Congress critters were involved along with the CIA, ONI, and US military. It still goes on. They love you going with the fear and hate China narratives.

AriusArmenian , 5 hours ago link

Huawei is the world's leader in 5G technology, but when US elites can't compete they play dirty.

The other problem for the US is that Huawei won't allow NSA backdoors in their equipment. Remember the Snowden revelations about Cisco router order shipments being redirected to be modified for the NSA?

Screw the US Stasi Security State.

AriusArmenian , 4 hours ago link

If you are a US citizen and live in the US and if US elites fraud that is plowing and plundering the american people continues (and nothing suggests the people will stop it) then nothing good will come from whatever elite narrative you decide to follow. US elites made a bundle on outsourcing US jobs and industry to Asia, and now they are still insiders leading the march to fear and hate China and Russia.

Read 'The Conspirators' by Al Martin on the Iran-Contra frauds run by powerful families in the US to get a taste of what they do.

admin user , 5 hours ago link

The U.S. (and other countries, ahem Canada) have not presented any conclusive evidence that Chinese telecom giant Huawei threatens their national security and are merely stirring fears out of self-interest, a Chinese government spokeswoman said on Wednesday.

I have to agree. Everything I needed to know about American perfidy, I learned from Edward Snowden.

AriusArmenian , 4 hours ago link

The US elites in Congress passed the laws to outsource US jobs and industry to Asia. They were insiders that made fortunes on it. Senator Diane Feinstein and her husband are examples. Now that the pickings are getting slim and China is going its own way those same elites are beating the drum about the dangerous China (and Russia) and are rolling out Cold War v2.

So I agree with you but do not blame Asia for what was offered to them on a silver platter. But I cannot agree with blocking all products from China which would result in price inflation in the US on steroids. The cost of living (especially for the young) would drive many into poverty. The US economy would crater into depression. So what to do? There are two direction: (1) do as the US is currently doing: spend more on its military and cyber weapons and threaten, bomb, kill to get other countries to let US corporations enter and dominate, or (2) cut US military spending by 60%+ and plow money into the US infrastructure and people.

It's one or the other and US elites are going with (1) which is the worst possible direction. I had hope for Trump based on his stump speeches but the CIA and others saw it as a direct threat to their geopolitical strategy regime and they engineered a coup and Trump has folded. This is evident by his original nationalist campaign staff being replaced after the election by neocon/neolib dead-enders. It would have been easy to cooperate with Russia and China to integrate them into a world order of international agreements already in place after Cold War v1. But US elites at heart are supremacists not willing to share the world with others. There is one other big problem in the US: that its foreign policy is substantially under the control of the UK, Israel, and Saudis (that in itself a big story). I feel a lot like you do but see US elites putting all their efforts into a dead end.

[Feb 13, 2019] Rep. Walter Jones, Rest in Peace The American Conservative

Feb 13, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Jones was a longtime friend of TAC , and he delivered the opening remarks at our 2017 foreign policy conference . Listen to what he said here:

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

He not only acknowledged early on that his initial support for the Iraq war was wrong, but spent the rest of his career fighting for a more restrained and peaceful foreign policy. Rep. Jones was one of the original Republican co-sponsors of the first House antiwar resolution to end U.S. involvement in the war on Yemen . He co-authored an op-ed with Reps. Khanna and Pocan in 2017 in support of their resolution:

We believe that the American people, if presented with the facts of this conflict, will oppose the use of their tax dollars to bomb and starve civilians in order to further the Saudi monarchy's regional goals. Our House resolution is a first step in expanding democracy into an arena long insulated from public accountability. Too many lives hang in the balance to allow this American war to continue without congressional consent. When our bill comes to the floor for a vote, our colleagues should consider first the solution proposed by the director of Unicef, Anthony Lake, for stopping the unimaginable suffering of millions of Yemenis: "Stop the war."

It is unfortunate that Rep. Jones did not live to see the House pass that resolution to end U.S. support for the war, but when a new version of that resolution passes later this month it will be thanks in no small part to his leadership.

Jones became a reliable scourge of unnecessary and unauthorized foreign wars wherever they happened to be . He saw the continuation of open-ended and illegal wars as an attack on the Constitution and an abuse of the men and women who volunteered to serve their country. His opposition to these wars earned him the enmity of Republican hawks , who repeatedly and unsuccessfully sought to unseat him through primary challenges. Whatever their disagreements with him may have been over the years, his constituents recognized and appreciated his integrity and his dedication to the country.

The cause of peace and restraint has lost one of its great defenders, TAC has lost one of our good friends, and America has lot one of its most honorable and decent public servants. May his memory be eternal.


Longtime TAC Reader February 11, 2019 at 3:14 am

The loss of Walter Jones is devastating.

I hope that good and true Americans inspired by his example will pick up the colors he carried so long and faithfully, carry them forward, renewing his dogged efforts to rein in military intervention and preserve true freedom.

God bless you, Walter Jones.

God bless you.

RIP , says: February 11, 2019 at 8:52 am
This is a blow, and no denying it.

For all that, you may be certain that somewhere the vermin are jumping for joy, because when it comes to their vile wars and meddling they brook no dissent, and Jones's voice was strong and sure, grounded in truth and "the better angels of our nature".

Very sorry to have lost this good and valuable American. Hats off also to the people of his district, many of them soldiers or families of soldiers, who kept sending him back to Washington. May they find someone to replace who has the same gumption, character, and commitment to basic Americanism.

Virginia Catholic Girl , says: February 11, 2019 at 9:36 am
If there were more people like him in Washington, we wouldn't be in the state we're in. I wrote him a "fan" letter back in 2006 or thereabouts, about his regrets about the Iraq war and writing to all the families of those KIA. Also appreciated him being one of the few in Congress that actually tried to follow the Constitution and do something about our national debt. He also was all about constituent service,especially for veterans and those in Eastern North Carolina affected by the recent hurricanes. Eternal rest, grant him, Oh Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him.

[Feb 13, 2019] The US neoliberal MSM are engaged in a "privilege protection racket"

Notable quotes:
"... Maté explains why he thinks this narrative ultimately aligns with the longstanding interests of U.S. establishment power. He calls it a "privilege protection racket" that thrives on distraction and misdirection, turning the public away from a real critique of the rise of Trumpism that would otherwise implicate the neoliberal policies of democrats and conservatives alike, foreign policy think tanks, and the media. ..."
Feb 13, 2019 | teamhuman.fm

Aaron is gong to break down "Russiagate," taking a sober look at the media frenzy of "bombshell" stories asserting a Russian conspiracy behind the 2016 election.

Maté explains why he thinks this narrative ultimately aligns with the longstanding interests of U.S. establishment power. He calls it a "privilege protection racket" that thrives on distraction and misdirection, turning the public away from a real critique of the rise of Trumpism that would otherwise implicate the neoliberal policies of democrats and conservatives alike, foreign policy think tanks, and the media.

[Feb 13, 2019] There's Something Eerily Familiar About the West's Approach to Venezuela

Notable quotes:
"... Erdogan has used it in Turkey ( less than three years ago ) and it was a common line in the forgotten 1930s used by none other than Mussolini. And now I quote Trump's US secretary of state Michael Pompeo on Maduro : "Now it is time for every other nation to pick a side either you stand with the forces of freedom, or you're in league with Maduro and his mayhem." ..."
"... Rigged elections? No doubt about it, although al-Sisi still maintains that his last triumph at the polls – a cracking 97 per cent – was a free and fair election. President Trump sent his "sincere congratulations" . Political prisoners? Well, the total is 60,000 and rising . Oh yes, and Maduro's last victory – a rigged election if ever there was one, of course – was a mere 67.84 per cent. ..."
"... Now the Americans are negotiating with the "terrorist" Taliban in Qatar so they can get the hell out of the Graveyard of Empires after 17 years of military setbacks, scandals and defeats – not to mention running a few torture camps which even Maduro would cough to look at. ..."
Feb 13, 2019 | www.counterpunch.org

Erdogan has used it in Turkey ( less than three years ago ) and it was a common line in the forgotten 1930s used by none other than Mussolini. And now I quote Trump's US secretary of state Michael Pompeo on Maduro : "Now it is time for every other nation to pick a side either you stand with the forces of freedom, or you're in league with Maduro and his mayhem."

You get the point. Now is the time for all good people to stand alongside the United States, the EU, the nations of Latin America – or do you support the Russkies, Chinese, Iranian headbangers, the perfidious Corbyn and (of all people) the Greeks? Talking of the Greeks, European pressure on Alexis Tsipras to conform to the EU's support for Guaido – proving that the EU can indeed bully its smaller members – is a good argument for Brexiteers (though far too complex for them to understand).

But first, let's take a look at our favourite tyrant, in the words of all who oppose him. He's a powerful dictator, surrounded by generals, suppressing his people, using torture, mass arrests, secret police murders, rigged elections, political prisoners – so no wonder we gave our support to those who wish to overthrow this brutal man and stage democratic elections.

Not a bad precis of our current policy towards the Maduro regime. But I am referring, of course, word-for-word, to the west's policy towards the Assad regime in Syria. And our support for opposition democracy there wasn't terribly successful.

We were not solely responsible for the Syrian civil war – but we were not guiltless since we sent an awful lot of weapons to those trying to overthrow Assad. And last month the notepad of US national security advisor John Bolton appeared to boast a plan to send 5,000 US troops to Colombia

And now let's tick the box on another Maduro-lookalike – at least from the west's simplistic point of view: the military-backed elected field marshal-president al-Sisi of Egypt, whom we love, admire and protect. Powerful dictator? Yup. Surrounded and supported by generals? You bet, not least because he locked up a rival general before the last election. Suppression? Absolutely – all in the interest of crushing "terrorism", of course.

Mass arrests? Happily yes, for all the inmates of Egypt's savage prison system are "terrorists", at least according to the field marshal-president himself. Secret police murders? Well, even forgetting the young Italian student suspected by his government to have been allegedly tortured and bumped off by one of Sisi's top Egyptian cops, there's a roll call of disappeared activists.

Rigged elections? No doubt about it, although al-Sisi still maintains that his last triumph at the polls – a cracking 97 per cent – was a free and fair election. President Trump sent his "sincere congratulations" . Political prisoners? Well, the total is 60,000 and rising . Oh yes, and Maduro's last victory – a rigged election if ever there was one, of course – was a mere 67.84 per cent.

As the late sage of the Sunday Express , John Gordon, might have said: it makes you sit up a bit. So, too, I suppose, when we glance a bit further eastwards to Afghanistan, whose Taliban rulers were routed in 2001 by the US, whose post-9/11 troops and statesmen ushered in a new life of democracy, then corruption, warlordism and civil war.

The "democracy" bit quickly came unstuck when "loya jurgas", grand councils, turned into tribal playpens and the Americans announced that it would be an exaggeration to think that we could achieve "Jeffersonian democracy" in Afghanistan. Too true.

Now the Americans are negotiating with the "terrorist" Taliban in Qatar so they can get the hell out of the Graveyard of Empires after 17 years of military setbacks, scandals and defeats – not to mention running a few torture camps which even Maduro would cough to look at.

Now all this may not encourage you to walk down memory lane. And I haven't even listed the sins of Saddam, let alone our continuing and cosy relationship – amazing as it still seems – with that Gulf state whose lads strangled, chopped up and secretly buried a US-resident journalist in Turkey.

Now just imagine if Maduro, tired of a journalist critic slandering him in Miami, decided to lure him to the Venezuelan embassy in Washington and top the poor guy, slice him up and bury him secretly in Foggy Bottom. Well now, I have a feeling that sanctions might have been applied to Maduro a long time ago. But not to Saudi Arabia, of course, where we are very definitely not advocating democracy.

"Now is the time for democracy and prosperity in Venezuela," quoth John Bolton this week. Oh, yes indeed. Maduro runs an oil-soaked nation yet its people starve. He is an unworthy, foolish and vain man, even if he's not Saddamite in his crimes. He was rightly described by a colleague as a dreary tyrant. He even looks like the kind of guy who tied ladies to railway lines in silent movies.

So good luck to Guaido. Palpably a nice guy, speaks eloquently, wise to stick to aid for the poor and fresh elections rather than dwell on just how exactly Maduro and his military chums are going to be booted out.

In other words, good luck – but watch out. Instead of pleading with those who will not support him – the Greeks, for example – he might take a closer look at who his foreign friends are. And do a quick track record on their more recent crusades for freedom, democracy and the right to life. And by the way, I haven't even mentioned Libya.

[Feb 12, 2019] We have elections that are far more like Soviet elections than the average 'conservative' voter can allow himself to imagine. The great difference Soviet elections and ours today is who what entity owns the system, meaning which cultural values rule, dictate.

Feb 12, 2019 | www.unz.com

Jake , says: February 12, 2019 at 11:32 am GMT

The USSR had elections of various types. They meant nothing because the Party owned everybody.

We have elections that are far more like Soviet elections than the average 'conservative' voter can allow himself to imagine. The great difference Soviet elections and ours today is who – what entity – owns the system, meaning which cultural values rule, dictate.

Ours is the Anglo-Zionist Empire. This is the end game of the Judaizing heresies that destroyed Christendom. This nightmare is where WASP culture leads and always lead.

[Feb 12, 2019] Watch MSNBC Host Squirm During Live Update On No Collusion Intel Committee News

Feb 12, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

And in a prior NBC News article Tuesday morning, Dilanian spelled out :

After two years and 200 interviews , the Senate Intelligence Committee is approaching the end of its investigation into the 2016 election, having uncovered no direct evidence of a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia , according to both Democrats and Republicans on the committee.

MSNBC anchor Hallie Jackson and her guest panelists' faces looked visibly confused and uncomfortable as they learned the Senate report is going in the opposite direction of everything MSNBC and other mainstream outlets have been breathlessly reporting on a near 24/7 basis.

More importantly, if this is a precursor of what the Mueller report concludes in a few weeks/months, the TV station that built its current reputation on the premise of Russian collusion, may have no option but to go on indefinite hiatus.

Watch the segment below, with host Hallie Jackson appearing to grow exasperated by the 2:20 mark : "If and when the president, as he may inevitably do, points to these conclusions and says look, the Senate intelligence committee found I am not guilty of conspiracy... he would be correct in saying that? "

https://www.youtube.com/embed/a4DKItxvKfU

Dilanian noted that while the Republican chair of the committee made what he characterized as "partisan" comments the week prior, it turned out be unanimous fact. "What I found," he said, "is that Democrats don't dispute that characterization ."

But perhaps sensing how "contrary" to the network's own hysterical 'Russiagate' coverage his reporting was, he tried to soften the blow, saying, "But, again, no direct proof of a conspiracy. As one democratic aide said to me, 'we never thought we were going to find a Democrat between Trump and Vladimir Putin saying let's collude, but the question is how do we interpret all these various contacts between the Trump campaign and Russia.'"

Hallie Jackson followed with further probing: "Not to put too fine a point on it, but I want to make sure I'm understanding this..." and asked "If and when the president, as he may inevitably do, points to these conclusions and says look, the Senate intelligence committee found I'm not guilty of conspiracy... he would be correct in saying that? "

Her face looking rather incredulous at this point, Dilanian responded by invoking the Mueller investigation, reassuring her his inquiry is not complete and likely could uncover more information. But then the bottom line: "That said, Trump will claim vindication through this, and he'll be partially right," he said. But Dilanian also noted the Senate intel committee has access to classified material, which means "if there was an intercept between officers suggesting they were conspiring with the Trump campaign, [the committee] would see that. And that has not emerged."

"So that evidence does not exist, and Trump will claim vindication," he repeated.

Yet after all this, during the full segment Vice News guest panelist Shawna Thomas actually invoked impeachment in what appeared a desperate attempt to grasp for anything . "There's two things I question about [the report]," she began.

"Number one, if and when the report finally comes out from the Senate intelligence committee, is there anything in there that will cause, especially some of these new House Dems, to start to clamor, even if there isn't 'conspiracy' or 'collusion', for impeachment?" said Thomas.

But then she tried to deflate the whole thing, upsetting as it was for purveyors of the collusion narrative: "The other thing is, based on what Ken is saying, it's all stuff we knew already," she said.

Right... cause in MSNBC's Russiagate-land "the walls are closing in" on Trump, constantly. Except the network just woke up to the reality that it's not the case.

We only wonder what Rachel Maddow will be left with after this.

[Feb 12, 2019] Pelosi Mocks Ocasio-Cortez Green New Deal

It is true that "national, social, industrial and economic mobilization at a scale not seen since World War II and the New Deal," is needed...
Feb 12, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Ocasio-Cortez is rolling out the "Green New Deal" with Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA), which she says calls for a "national, social, industrial and economic mobilization at a scale not seen since World War II and the New Deal," and is "a wartime-level, just economic mobilization plan to get to 100% renewable energy."

The plan also aims "to promote justice and equity by stopping current, preventing future, and repairing historic oppression of indigenous communities, communities of color, migrant communities" and other "frontline and vulnerable communities. "

Ocasio-Cortez's plan, which has several doesn't outline specific policy proposals (they'll "work it out" we guess), and promises grandiose measures using broad brush strokes such as achieving "net-zero greenhouse gas emissions through a fair and just transition for all communities and workers. Everybody gets a job, clean water, healthy food, and "access to nature," whatever that means.

Where it does get slightly more specific, the resolution, obtained by NPR , mandates among other things (via NPR ):

For a deeper analysis which we noted earlier, click here .

[Feb 12, 2019] Walter Jones, Congressman Behind Freedom Fries Who Turned Anti-War Firebrand, Dies At 76

Notable quotes:
"... However, he was one of the few politicians initially supporting the Iraq invasion to later express profound public regret over his decision , and went on to become a consistent advocate for ending regime change wars and Washington's military adventurism abroad. As part of these efforts, he was an original Board Member of the Ron Paul Institute. ..."
Feb 12, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Rep. Walter Jones, Jr. died at the age of 76 on Sunday after an extended illness for which was a granted a leave of absence from Congress last year.

The Republican representative for North Carolina's 3rd congressional district since 1995 had initially been a strong supporter of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and even became well-known for getting french fries renamed as "freedom fries" in the House cafeteria as a protest against French condemnation of the US invasion.

... ... ...

However, he was one of the few politicians initially supporting the Iraq invasion to later express profound public regret over his decision , and went on to become a consistent advocate for ending regime change wars and Washington's military adventurism abroad. As part of these efforts, he was an original Board Member of the Ron Paul Institute.

Remembering Jones as a tireless advocate of peace, Ron Paul notes that he " turned from pro-war to an antiwar firebrand after he discovered how Administrations lie us into war . His passing yesterday is deeply mourned by all who value peace and honesty over war and deception." The Ron Paul Institute has also called him "a Hero of Peace" for both his voting record and efforts at shutting down the "endless wars".

And Antiwar.com also describes Jones as having been among the "most consistently antiwar members of Congress" and a huge supporter of their work:

By 2005, Jones had reversed his position on the Iraq War. Jones called on President George W. Bush to apologize for misinforming Congress to win authorization for the war. Jones said, "If I had known then what I know today, I wouldn't have voted for that resolution."

Jones went on to become one of the most antiwar members of Congress, fighting for ending US involvement in Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, and Yemen.

Also the BBC describes Rep. Jones' "dramatic change of heart" concerning the Iraq war starting in 2005, after which he began reaching out to thousands of people who had lost loves ones in combat.

Rep. Walter Jones led an effort in the House to call French Fries "Freedom Fries" instead, but came to profoundly regret his role in supporting Bush's war.

Noting that "no weapons of mass destruction were found in Iraq" and that the war was justified by the Bush administration based entirely on lies and false intelligence, the BBC describes:

At the same time, Mr Jones met grieving families whose loved ones were killed in the war. This caused him to have a dramatic change of heart, and in 2005 he called for the troops to be brought home.

He spoke candidly on several occasions about how deeply he regretted supporting the war, which led to the deaths of more than 140,000 Iraqi and American people.

"I have signed over 12,000 letters to families and extended families who've lost loved ones in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars," he told NPR in 2017. "That was, for me, asking God to forgive me for my mistake."

In total he represented his district for 34 years, first in the North Carolina state legislature, then in Congress. He took a leave of absence last year after a number of missed House votes due to declining health.

[Feb 11, 2019] The so-called shale revolution, the fracking miracle, may have resulted in record oil and gas production in North America, but the real miracle -- in which shale companies make money fracking that oil and gas -- has yet to occur.

Feb 11, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

While U.S. politicians from both parties have given standing ovations for the U.S. oil and gas industry , investors appear to be losing their enthusiasm. The so-called shale revolution, the fracking miracle, may have resulted in record oil and gas production in North America, but the real miracle -- in which shale companies make money fracking that oil and gas -- has yet to occur.

[Feb 11, 2019] Beware Proposed E-Commerce Rules naked capitalism

Notable quotes:
"... By Chakravarthi Raghavan, Editor-emeritus of South-North Development Monitor SUNS, is based in Geneva and has been monitoring and reporting on the WTO and its predecessor GATT since 1978; he is author of several books on trade issues; and Jomo Kwame Sundaram, is Senior Adviser with the Khazanah Research Institute, and was . an economics professor and United Nations Assistant Secretary General for Economic Development. Originally published at Inter Press Service ..."
"... Data governance infrastructure ..."
"... Enterprise competition ..."
"... Consumer protection ..."
"... Trade facilitation ..."
"... Describing what these TNCs are trying to push through as "digital colonialism" seems apt. In contrast to traditional colonialism, characterized as it was by massive investments in manpower and other resources required to conquer far-flung overseas territories, the marginal cost of adding one more overseas territory to a digital colonizers empire is miniscule compared to what old-school colonizers had to pony up to expand their list of colonies. ..."
"... Add to this weak regulatory firewalls in developing countries and market saturation in developed nations, it's obvious why these TNCs are determined to push through an international policy framework that advances their drive to uncover new pockets of growth in the developing world. It's also telling that they're aggressively pursuing this end before developing countries can mount a cohesive defense of their digital sovereignty. "Beware Proposed E-commerce Rules" indeed ..."
Feb 11, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Beware Proposed E-Commerce Rules Posted on February 10, 2019 by Jerri-Lynn Scofield By Chakravarthi Raghavan, Editor-emeritus of South-North Development Monitor SUNS, is based in Geneva and has been monitoring and reporting on the WTO and its predecessor GATT since 1978; he is author of several books on trade issues; and Jomo Kwame Sundaram, is Senior Adviser with the Khazanah Research Institute, and was . an economics professor and United Nations Assistant Secretary General for Economic Development. Originally published at Inter Press Service

In Davos in late January, several powerful governments and their allies announced their intention to launch new negotiations on e-commerce. Unusually, the intention is to launch the plurilateral negotiations in the World Trade Organization (WTO), an ostensibly multilateral organization, setting problematic precedents for the future of multilateral negotiations.

Any resulting WTO agreement, especially one to make e-commerce tax- and tariff-free, will require amendments to its existing goods agreements, the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) and the Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) agreements. If it is not an unconditional agreement in the WTO, it will violate WTO 'most favoured nation' (MFN) principles.

This will be worse than the old, and ostensibly extinct 'Green Room' processes -- of a few major powers negotiating among themselves, and then imposing their deal on the rest of the membership. Thus, the proposed e-commerce rules may be 'WTO illegal' -- unless legitimized by the amendment processes and procedures in Article X of the WTO treaty.

Any effort to 'smuggle' it into the WTO, e.g., by including it in Annex IV to the WTO treaty (Plurilateral Trade Agreements), will need, after requisite notice, a consensus decision at Ministerial Conference (Art X:9 of treaty) . It may still be illegal since the subjects are already covered by agreements in Annexes 1A, 1B and 1C of the WTO treaty.

Consolidating Power of the Giants

Powerful technology transnational corporations (TNCs) are trying to rewrite international rules to advance their business interests by: gaining access to new foreign markets, securing free access to others' data, accelerating deregulation, casualizing labour markets, and minimizing tax liabilities.

While digital technology and trade, including electronic or e-commerce, can accelerate development and create jobs, if appropriate policies and arrangements are in place, e-commerce rhetoric exaggerates opportunities for developing country, especially small and medium enterprises. Instead, the negotiations are intended to diminish the right of national authorities to require 'local presence', a prerequisite for the consumer and public to sue a supplier.

The e-commerce proposals are expected to strengthen the dominant TNCs, enabling them to further dominate digital trade as the reform proposals are likely to strengthen their discretionary powers while limiting public oversight over corporate behaviour in the digital economy.

Developing Countries Must Be Vigilant

If digital commerce grows without developing countries first increasing value captured from production -- by improving productive capacities in developing countries, closing the digital divide by improving infrastructure and interconnectivity, and protecting privacy and data -- they will have to open their economies even more to foreign imports.

Further digital liberalization without needed investments to improve productive capacities, will destroy some jobs, casualize others, squeeze existing enterprises and limit future development. Such threats, due to accelerated digital liberalization, will increase if the fast-changing digital economic space is shaped by new regulations influenced by TNCs.

Diverting business through e-commerce platforms will not only reduce domestic market shares, as existing digital trade is currently dominated by a few TNCs from the United States and China, but also reduce sales tax revenue which governments increasingly rely upon with the earlier shift from direct to indirect taxation.

Developing countries must quickly organize themselves to advance their own agenda for developmental digitization. Meanwhile, concerned civil society organizations and others are proposing new approaches to issues such as data governance, anti-trust regulation, smaller enterprises, jobs, taxation, consumer protection, and trade facilitation.

New Approach Needed

A development-focused and jobs-enhancing digitization strategy is needed instead. Effective national policies require sufficient policy space, stakeholder participation and regional consultation, but the initiative seeks to limit that space. Developing countries should have the policy space to drive their developmental digitization agendas. Development partners, especially donors, should support, not drive this agenda.

Developmental digitization will require investment in countries' technical, legal and economic infrastructure, and policies to: bridge the digital divide; develop domestic digital platforms, businesses and capacities to use data in the public interest; strategical