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Two Party System as Polyarchy and anti-Democratic mechanisms of "first past the post" elections

Version 2.4 (Nov  21, 2016)

The USA is a single party state -- it is governed by the Neoliberal party with two factions "soft neoliberals" (Democratic Party) and "hard neoliberals" (Republican Party). Existence of  "Pepsi" and "Coca-Cola" parties in the USA is just a sophisticated variant of "divide and conquer" strategy and could have been used by the USSR leadership  instead of one party system. 

News American Polyarchy is not Democracy Recommended Books Recommended Links Do the US intelligence agencies attempt to influence the US Presidential elections ? Steele dossier Donald Trump -- a former (for the duration of elections) fighter against excesses of neoliberal globalization Russiagate -- a color revolution against Trump The Iron Law of Oligarchy
Understanding Hillary Clinton email scandal Crisis of legitimacy of neoliberal elite Neocons foreign policy is a disaster for the USA Amorality and criminality of neoliberal elite Superdelegates at Democratic National Convention Bernie Sanders The Deep State Anti Trump Hysteria Demexit
Neocons Obama: a yet another Neocon Resurgence of neo-fascism as reaction on neoliberalism Media-Military-Industrial Complex  New American Militarism Neoliberalism as Trotskyism for the rich Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism Pope Francis on danger of neoliberalism Democratic Party Neoliberals Monday morning quarterbacking
Predator state Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak DNC emails leak: switfboating Bernie Sanders and blaming Vladimir Putin National Security State  American Exceptionalism Libertarian Philosophy Nation under attack meme  Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners" Pluralism as a myth
Neoliberal Brainwashing -- Journalism in the Service of the Powerful Few Corporatist Corruption Paleoconservatism Corporatism Ethno-linguistic Nationalism Hillary Clinton email scandal: Timeline and summary "Clinton Cash" Scandal: Hillary Clinton links to foreign donors and financial industry  Hillary role in Syria bloodbath Hillary Clinton and Obama created ISIS
Myth about intelligent voter Electoral College Non-Interventionism US Presidential Elections of 2012  Mayberry Machiavellians Politically Incorrect Humor Skeptic Quotations Humor Etc
"There is one political party in this country, and that is the party of money. It has two branches, the Republicans and the Democrats, the chief difference between which is that the Democrats are better at concealing their scorn for the average man."

-- Gore Vidal

“The Democrats are the foxes, and the Republicans are the wolves – and they both want to devour you.” So what does that make Libertarians? Avian flu viruses?”

-- Leonard Pinkney

The race is no contest when you own both horses. That is why no matter which political party is in power nothing really changes other than the packaging. The puppets who drink at the champagne fountains of the powerful do the bidding of their masters. The people are superfluous to the process.

-- Daniel Estulin

“The only people truly bound by campaign promises are the voters who believe them.”

Christopher Hitchens, The Quotable Hitchens from Alcohol to Zionism: The Very Best of Christopher Hitchens  

 

Due to the side an introduction was moved to the separate page Polyarchy, Authoritarianism and Deep State

Summary

I subscribe to Kantian idea of the dignity in human, the idea that everyone is entitled to survival as well as thriving beyond survival. But does everybody is entitled to equal participation in ruling of the state ?  Or  in election of state leaders? Which is what democracy means. Is the democracy possible if three letter agencies like CIA exist?  Probably not as "deep state" sooner or later (usually sooner)  makes surface state just an instrument for providing legitimacy of deep state rule.

Presedent Truman probably did not suspect that by sighing  the National Security Act of 1947  he signed a death sentence tothe form of democracy that the USA was having up to 1950th.

As part of the U.S. Cold War strategy, Truman signed the National Security Act of 1947 and reorganized military forces by merging the Department of War and the Department of the Navy into the National Military Establishment (later the Department of Defense) and creating the U.S. Air Force. The act also created the CIA and the National Security Council.[135] In 1952, Truman secretly consolidated and empowered the cryptologic elements of the United States by creating the National Security Agency (NSA).

Since JFK assassination we can talk about "inverted totalitarism" (The term introduced by late Professor Sheldon Wolin)  as the form on government which  become entrenched on on federal level (the related term if the "deep state"), while remnants of democracy are delegated to state and local levels.  Growth of power of intelligence agencies inevitably makes them political players. Nowhere it was more clear then in 2016 Presendential electio, when by derailing Sanders FBI essenatially ensure Trump win and then in cooperation of other againces (and first of all CIA Brennan) lauched a color regoluation againast Trump trying to deposer him vi Special Procecutor mechnism.

Does  the "the first after the post" rule along with enforcing two party system on the population also is instrumental with establishing slightly camouflaged one party state with two "Pepsi" vs. "Coca Cola"  parties which serve as a spoilers for those to the left or the right of the center, subverting and emasculating new social movements into their (currently neoliberal) stagnant and elite oriented framework. The effect is so profound that it created the impression that "first after the post" can't be used in any country pretending to be a democracy? 

There are also addition questions:

  1. Is existence  of military-industrial complex, and, especially, such part of MIC as huge and essentially uncontrolled intelligence agencies compatible with democracy? Ever since the inception of the Central Intelligence Agency America has been battling a force that exists with a written charter to undermine and undo ever single fundamental principle of representational democracy in America and elsewhere replacing it with an ugly cold-skinned changeling covertly overseen by its CIA creators and their sponsors.
  2. Does absence of limits of the term of senators subvert democracy ?  If so what should be the maximum term. Is "gerontocracy" in the US congress  represents positive, or highly negative. Is role of money in elections forces senators to serve effectively as representatives of corporations which reside in the states, not the states themselves  ? 
  3. Is official lobbing including lobbying by organization which are clearly supported by foright  state such as AIPAC ?
  4. Is "money as a free speech" principle compatible with democracy?  Or does it mean "one dollar-one vote" regime?

The fact that parties represent interests radically different from interests of their voters is not new.  As George Washinton put it:

 "However [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion." President George Washington Farewell Address | Saturday, September 17, 1796

Later the same idea was later coined as the "iron law of oligarchy". So on federal level neither republic, not democracy exists. We level in empire with no participatory democracy (unless voting to the lesser  evil of two preselected by the elite candidate can be viewed as a democracy).  In latest Presidential election it was intelligence agencies who were kingmakers, derailing Sanders. But it still exists on local level below the level of state, although even there financial oligarchy managed to spoil the broth -- on municipal level it is bankers who control the politics as they are interested in loans for public projects.

In other word decomicatinc elements in the neoliberal political system are just facade for the  dictatorship of financial oligarchy. And pretty brutal one (The Saker - The Unz Review, Feb 23, 2018):

But first, full disclosure: I don’t have much faith in the so-called “democratic process”. Just look at the EU and tell me: do you really believe that the people in power represent the will and interests of the people who, supposedly, elected them? There are exceptions, of course, Switzerland is probably one of the comparatively most democratic countries out there, but mostly what we see is that western democracies are run by gangs of oligarchs and bureaucrats who have almost nothing in common with the people they are supposed to represent. As for the US, for decades now every time the people voted for “A” they always got “non-A” as a result. It is almost comical.

So here is my personal conclusion: democracies are political systems in which the real ruling elites hide behind an utterly fake appearance of people power. Putting it differently, the “democratic process” is the device by which the real and hidden rulers of the world (or “worldwide behind the scenes powers“, to use the expression of Ivan Il’in), legitimize their power and prevent their overthrow. This is the same technique followed by used car dealerships when they place tens, sometimes, hundreds of US flags on their lots before a car sale: it’s just a basic trick to induce the ‘correct’, patriotic, state of mind.

This is also the reason why there are elections every 4 years in the US: the more illegitimate and despotic any putatively “democratic” regime is, the more often it will organize elections to, so to speak, “increase the dose” of patriotically-induced stupor in its people and give them the illusion that the regime is legitimate, their opinion matters and all is well.

Finally, when needed, slogans such as “democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others” are used to put to sleep those who might have doubts. In terms of real people power “democracies” are probably the least truly democratic regimes imaginable simply because they are by far the most capable of hiding who really runs the country and where their real centers of power are. Do I really need to add that the worst kind of “democracy” is the capitalist one? You disagree? Then why do you think that Mayer Amschel Rothschild allegedly declared “Permit me to issue and control the money of a nation, and I care not who makes its laws!“? Nowhere is the concentration of capital easier to achieve than in a society which makes it possible for the real ruling class to hide its power behind a screen of electoral farces.

As Sheldon  Wolin put it, all we have under neoliberalism is inverted totalitarism and a nationally security state with modem equivalent of STASI level of total surveillance  instead of democracy.  The neoliberal elite firmly guar the levers of power and  try to eliminate any challenger before it represent a real political threat to the neoliberal social system. Even minor  threats are mercilessly squashed. Look at what  happened to Trump.

Democracy for whom?

Another important question is "democracy for whom?". There is always a large part of society (say bottom 80% or even 90%)  living under the dictatorship (for lower 50% this is even worse -- neo-slavery as  "debt slaves" or "wage slaves"), struggling to meet ends and thus excluded from the democratic process. Moreover,  most of the US population spend their life under authoritarian rule: those who are parts of the military, who work in large corporation, or government. How they can behave in a democratic way if they are conditioned and adapted to the strict authoritarian rule at work ?  

Another large question: can  a typical American understand whom he/she is voting for in the environment of pretty sophisticated propaganda and systematic betrayal of election promises (in this repect Trump is not different  from Barak Obama) as a political norm ("change we can believe in" )? 

Add to this completely brainwashed population ready to vote against their economic interests and  for indefinite and costly wars for the expansion of the global neoliberal empire led by the USA. For example,  despicable warmonger, war criminal(with destruction of Libya and  Syria under  the belt), staunch neoliberal Hillary Clinton was so detached from reality that it hurts. Despite clear signs of the deep systemic crisis of neoliberalism in the USA and closely related process of de-legitimization of neoliberal elite (look what percentage of the Americans trust Congress)  all she wanted is to kick the neoliberal can down the road. And still almost half of the country voted for her.

Also there is no rules that the candidate can not betray all his election time promises. Any level of betrayal is OK, as parties in reality do not control the  behaviour of their leaders as long as they remain on neoliberal platform,  and they and stay in office. Recent example of Clinton, Bush II, Obama and Trump are clear demonstration of the gap between election platform and actual governance.

In case of Trump and Obama this was a complete betrayal. In a way Trump is Republican Obama -- a person with almost zero political experience  who due to the lack of personal political history during elections was able to pretend to be the politician, while he clearly is not -- he is a marionette of MIC (much like Barak was marionette of CIA; just look at "very close" and pretty unusual relations  between him and Brennan) as well as Brannan role in color revolution against  Trump

What is the level of interest  of average middle class American in real information about Washington  political machinery and neoliberal social system

Poor people are automatically excluded from politics. most of their energy needs to be  spend on task related to mere survival and desperate attempt to spread their meager paycheck to the next without falling into the laps of loan sharks.

Middle class can afford attempts to analyze the political situation and personal efforts to understand the political system in which they live. And because of that can  have informed political opinion. Theoretically. In reality there also many obstacles here.  One  fundamental obstacle is so called The iron law of oligarchy.  The second, related, is the existence of the deep state.

First of all let me ask a simple question: What is the level of interest  in governance of an average middle class American (lower class with McJobs most of the time is too preoccupied with survival to be able to particulate in political activity), if they are brainwashed 24 x 7 by neoliberal propaganda  which tries to distract them from discussing and understanding any serious issue facing the USA. 

Also  the middle class in not uniform. There is substantial caste of Americans deeply connected with the imperial state (servants of the empire so to speak) and they also represent  a political force with interests different form the average middle class American. There are roughly three contractors (28,626) for every U.S. army member (9,800) in Afghanistan. On April 5, Adm. Michael Rogers, commander of the U.S. Cyber Command, declared during a Senate hearing that contractors made up 25 percent of his workforce (Foreign Policy). They have their own opinion and interest in such issues as permanent war for permanent peace.  And without draft this issue does not touch too deeply ordinary middle class American, who do not need to fight and die for the empire.

The second  factor is constant brainwashing be neoliberal MSM. Unless a person make a conscious effort to exclude them and rely of alternative media he/she can't form any informed political opinion.  You will almost never even her the  term "neoliberalism" in neoliberal MSM like NYT or WaPo or CNN or MSNBC. This is a taboo.  But you will hear a lot about "evil Russians" or "evil Chinese" which is a perfect distraction, a smoke screen, designed to hide the real problems facing the US society after 40 years of dominance of neoliberalism as a social system.

My impression is that the Communist Party of the USSR made a grave mistake by not adopting "the first after the post" election system. In reality it would just legitimize the permanent Communist Party rule, as two factions of the CPSU competing for power (let's call them "Democratic Communists" and "Republican Communists") would exclude any real challenge for the one party rule that was practiced in the USSR even more efficiently that so called "one party" system. Which, while providing the same results,  looks more undemocratic then "first after the post" system, and thus  less safe for the rule of oligarchy as it generates resentment of the population.  

The "first after the post" system "by design" provides a very effective suppression of any third party, preventing any chance of maturing such a political force.  Emerging parties are cooped iether under Democratic or Republic umbrella and then emasculated.  This mechanism is no less effective the Soviet one party rule, but more subtle, requires less violence and suppression of dissidents, and more acceptable to the population. Which is all what is needed to continuation of the rule of the oligarchy.  The same is true for the parties themselves. Iron law of oligarchy was actually discovered by observing the evolution of the political party leadership.

Revolutionary situation after 2008 is connected with discreditation of neoliberal ideology

The situation when the current (neoliberal) ruling elite (or in less politically correct term oligarchy) experienced difficulties with the continuation of its rule and the existing methods of suppression and indoctrination of the lower part population stop working is called  "revolutionary situation".  In 2008 the protest was squashed by electing "Trojan horse" Obama, who proved to be the king of "bait and switch" maneuver. Some signs of this situation were observable in the USA in 2016 which led to the election of what  a person who like Obama pretended  essentially to be an independent candidate slightly (at least formally) opposing the most negative effects of neoliberalism on population (anti-globalization stance, accent of creation jobs within the USA, etc) -- Donald Trump.  Who later proved to be Republican version of Obama. Not without help of "deep state" which launched unprotected and well coordinated company of leaks and 24 x 7 negative news to discredit his personality and administration. Going as far as in a very elegant really Machiavellian way  using fake accusations ("Russiagate) appointing a special prosecutor using Obama/Hillary supporters in the Judicial department (effectively coup d'état as special procedure is big burden which effectively paralyses any administration and Clinton presidency had shown). And when it did not work, they tried to accuse him of being racist (using  1 Charlottesville events) or even insane person. Looks like for Trump, even if he has some intention to implement anti-neoliberal measures -- the resistance proved to be way too strong and such intension did not last even half a year.  Bombing Syria army air field with Tomahawks was an early signal of surrender.  Removing Bannon, and adding troops to Afghan war make this turn around and betrayal of Trump voters in best Obama style virtual certainty.

It was clear that there is a widespread feeling among the majority of the US population now that the current neoliberal system of governance, installed by victorious neoliberals after 1980, is wrong and unjust. And when the people do not wouldn't like to live under the current system, and the ruling oligarchy can't continue to rule using the same methods and its brainwashing/propaganda does not work anymore " a revolutionary situation, a rare moment when "the change we can believe in" becomes possible arise. Not the con that the king of "bait and switch" maneuver Obama sold to the US lemmings in 2008 and then in 2012, but the "real" change; which can be for the good or bad. Stability of the society also has its great value. As Chinese curse state it succinctly "May you live in interesting times".

 In such cases, the ruling elite typically decides to unleash a foreign war and use "rally around the flag" effect  to suppress dissent and to restore the control (that's the real meaning of Samuel Johnson quote "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel"). But in this particular case the USA already is in engaged in several wars (or occupations), so the nostalgia for good time what the USSR existed proved to be irresistible. And the pitch level of anti-Russian propaganda in 2016-2017 in neoliberal MSM suggest that a large part of the US elite decided to "waive a dead chicken" (actually Hillary made Russophobia a part of her election campaign, effectively unleashing a new neo-McCarthyism campaign in the USA).  As John Kenneth Galbraith noted “People of privilege will always risk their complete destruction rather than surrender any material part of their advantage.

People of privilege will always risk their complete destruction rather than surrender any material part of their advantage.” --  John Kenneth Galbraith

In 2016 we saw an attempt by oligarchy to rig the elections despite growing populism, at all cost. Throwing  Sanders under the bus represented exactly this maneuver.  The were not stopped even by the fact that they are promoting a deeply criminal and candidate with serious health problems ("We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality") The level of propaganda displayed in 2015-2016 election cycle by neoliberal MSM might well outdo the levels achieved by communist propagandists in during best days of the USSR.  And that happened because this time there is a slight chance that the election are not about choosing "soft neoliberal" vs. "hard neoliberal" but "soft neoliberal"  vs. (at least partially) "paleoconservative" (or "bustard neoliberal" ;-) who during election campaign rejects the idea of neoliberal globalization and by extension the necessity of fighting constant wars for the expansion of the US led global neoliberal empire.   But later quickly recognized that this heresy is not acceptable in the corridors of Washington deep state and can be harmful for his health ;-). The hissy fit in neoliberal media and the emergence of certain figures from the intelligence agencies on an "avanscena" as the leaders of "color revolution" against Trump (so called "Purple revolution") were to be expected but  caught Trump absolutely unprepared.

There is also an interesting question what kind of democracy the competition  of "Democratic Neoliberals" ("soft neoliberal/closet neocons) and "Republican Neoliberals: ("hard core" neoliberal/open neocons) in the USA demonstrates. And not only "democracy for whom" -- it is clear that this is the democracy for the top 1% or, at best, top 20% of population. a more interesting observation is that  as Trump election has shown, neoliberals like Bolsheviks in the past are ready to go to extreme methods including coup d'état to preserve their power, the democracy be damned.  

Also interesting were the methods of indoctrination of population which were borrowed by the USA neoliberals from the Soviet experience, which  were practiced from 1980th.  They use university course in economics in the same (or more correctly slightly more subtle; using mathematics as smoke screen for indoctrination into neoliberal ideology)  way Soviet universities use the course of philosophy. In the USSR the courses of philosophy and political economy were obligatory for all university students and people did read both Marx and Lenin; but there were problem with indoctrination as Soviet society did not correspond to Marx expectations  -- as Marx famously said he was not a Marxist.  The same to a certain extent is true for Lenin, who was essentially a bridge between Marxism and national socialism.  This problem was solved by carefully pre-selecting "classics" works to only a small "legitimate" emasculated subset that was in like with Bolshevism.  Neoclassical economy in the USA plays exactly the same role and is even worse. At least with some effort Soviet  student can get all the  works of Marx and Lenin. Here, in the USA, chances to read Keynes and other "deviant" economists for university students are virtually zero. They are completely distracted from fundamental issues by high doze of mathematics (misused and abused -- called mathiness). Which  is used as smoke  screen which hide the poverty of ideas of neo-classical economy.

But deteriorating economy and stagnation does make neoliberal propaganda less effective.  Like people of the USSR were listening to BBC and Voice of America at night, despite jamming, thinking people in the  USA are resort of alternative sources of news or even, God forbid, visit "naked capitalism", RT, or other "disapproved" by  neoliberal propagandists sites. Even thoroughly brainwashed the USA population, who like member of high demand cult now internalized postulates of neoliberalism like dogmas of some civil religion (displacing Christianity, so much about fake myth the USA is Christian nation; it is not) , started to have doubts.  Alternative sources of information in 2016-2017 started to play such and outside role that the company about "fake news" was launched to suppress them. They did not stop people from reading, say, Guardian, RT, unz.com, American conservative, Asia Times, to name a few.

But still the general level  political education of US votes leave much to be desired and is probably as low if not lower that it was in the USSR (due to obsessive emphasis on the works of Marx and Lenin soviet voters with university education usually have strong doubt about soviet system ). Let's honestly ask yourselves  what percentage of US voters can list key proposition of paleoconservative political platform vs. neoliberal platform. Or define what the term "neoliberal" means. It is difficult also because the terms "neoliberalism" and "Paleoconservatism" are expunged from MSM. Like Trotsky writings were in the USSR. Assuming that this might well be the key difference between two frontrunner in the last Presidential race, this is really unfortunate.

The myth about intelligent voters

That means the hypothesis that majority of voters under "popular democracy" regime (where all citizens have a right to vote) understand what they are voting for ("informed voters" hypothesis)  is open to review (see Myth about intelligent voter).  Otherwise identity politics would not be so successful in the USA, despite being a primitive variation of classic "divide and conquer" strategy. In any democracy, how can voters make an important decision unless they are well informed?  But what percentage of US votes can be considered well informed?  And taking into account popularity of Fox News what percentage is brainwashed or do not what to think about the issues involved and operate based on emotions and prejudices? And when serious discussion of issues that nation faces are deliberately and systematically replaced by "infotainment" voters became just pawns in the game of factions of elite, which sometimes leaks information to sway public opinion, but do it very selectively. All MSM represent the views of large corporations which own them. No exception are allowed. Important information is suppressed or swiped under the carpet to fifth page in NYT to prevent any meaningful discussion. For example, ask several of your friends if they ever heard about Damascus, AR.

In any case one amazing fact happened during this election: republican voters abandoned Republican brass and flocked to Trump, while Democratic voters abandoned Democratic neoliberals and flocked to Sanders (although DNC managed to fix primaries, and then engaged in anti-Russian hysteria to hide this criminal fact).  See Trump vs. The REAL Nuts for an informed discussion of this phenomenon.

Mr. Trump’s great historical role was to reveal to the Republican Party what half of its own base really thinks about the big issues. The party’s leaders didn’t know! They were shocked, so much that they indulged in sheer denial and made believe it wasn’t happening.

The party’s leaders accept more or less open borders and like big trade deals. Half the base does not! It is longtime GOP doctrine to cut entitlement spending. Half the base doesn’t want to, not right now! Republican leaders have what might be called assertive foreign-policy impulses. When Mr. Trump insulted George W. Bush and nation-building and said he’d opposed the Iraq invasion, the crowds, taking him at his word, cheered. He was, as they say, declaring that he didn’t want to invade the world and invite the world. Not only did half the base cheer him, at least half the remaining half joined in when the primaries ended.

But at the same time the struggle for political equality which is often associative with the word "democracy" is a vital human struggle, even if democracy itself is an unachievable and unrealistic ideal (see The Iron Law of Oligarchy).  In some sense too much talk about Democracy is very suspect and just characterize the speaker as a hypocrite with probably evil intentions, who probably is trying to mask some pretty insidious plans with "democracy promotion" smokescreen.

The same is true for countries.  Especially for those which use  "export of democracy" efforts to mask their imperial ambitions. As in the efforts to expand and sustain the global neoliberal empire led by the USA.  See color revolutions for details.  Actually that makes the USA very similar the USSR with its leaders dream about global Communist empire led from Moscow. Both in the USA and the USSR there was too much talk about democracy, while actually practice was decidedly undemocratic. It was oligarchic rule in both cases. In the USA the situation is further complicated by amazing level of brainwashing of population via MSM, which definitely exceed the level achieved by nomenklatura in Soviet Union outside of "Stalinism" period.  Can you imagine the situation in the USSR when members of the ruling communist party were prohibited to show their affiliation with the Communist Party and the words "communist" and "communism" was "discouraged" and their usage is suppressed  in MSM including leading newspapers Pravda and Izvestia (roughly analogical to WaPo and NYT).   That's the situation we have in the USA now.

The term "neoliberalism" is effectively prohibited from usage in major US MSM and all political discussion is forcefully turned into "infotainment" -- the clash of  personalizes. In other words discussion of key issues facing the country (politics in real sense of this word)  was replaced under neoliberal regime by "infotainment" with slick and often psychically beautiful "presstitutes" instead of political analysts.   But like was the case in the USSR neoliberal brainwashing gradually lost its effectiveness because it contradicts the reality. and neoliberalism failed to deliver promises of "rising tide lifting all board", or trickle down economy which justified tremendous enrichment of top 0.1%.

Neoliberalism divides the society in  two classes like in old, good Marxism

Politically neoliberalism. like Marxism in the past, operates with the same two classes: "entrepreneurs" (modern name for capitalists and financial oligarchy) and debt slaves (proletarians under Marxism) who work for them. Under neoliberalism only former considered first class citizens ("one dollar -- one vote"). Debt slaves are second class of citizens and are prevented from political self-organization, which by-and-large deprives them of any form of political participation. In best Roman tradition it is substituted with the participation in political shows ("Bread and circuses") See Empire of Illusion The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle by Chris Hedges.  In this sense the role of the election is not election of the candidate of people want but legitimizing the candidate the oligarchy pre-selected. . They  helps to provide legitimacy for the ruling elite. 

The two party system invented by the elite of Great Britain proved to be perfect for neoliberal regimes, which practice what Sheldon Wolin called inverted totalitarism. The latter is the regime in which all political power belongs to the financial oligarchy which rules via the deep state mechanisms, and where traditional political institutions including POTUS are downgraded to instruments of providing political legitimacy of the ruling elite. Population is discouraged from political activity. "Go shopping" as famously recommended Bush II to US citizens after 9/11.

But at the same time the struggle for political equality which is often associative with the word "democracy" is a vital human struggle, even if democracy itself is an unachievable and unrealistic ideal (see The Iron Law of Oligarchy).  In some sense too much talk about Democracy is very suspect and just characterize the speaker as a hypocrite with probably evil intentions, who probably is trying to mask some pretty insidious plans with "democracy promotion" smokescreen. The same is true for countries.  Especially for those which use  "export of democracy" efforts to mask their pretty much imperial ambitions. The efforts to expand and sustain the global neoliberal empire led by the USA.  See color revolutions for details.  Actually that makes the USA very similar the USSR with its leaders dream about global Communist empire led from Moscow. Both in the USA and the USSR there was too much talk about democracy, while actually practice was decidedly undemocratic. It was oligarchic rule in both cases. In the USA the situation is further complicated by amazing level of brainwashing of population via MSM, which definitely exceed the level achieve by nomenklatura in Soviet Union. Can you imagine the situation in the USSR when members of the ruling communist party were prohibited to show their affiliation and the words "communist" and "communism" was "discouraged" and their usage is suppressed  in MSM including leading newspapers Pravda and Izvestia (roughly analogical to WaPo and NYT).   That's the situation we have in the USA now.

Corporation as the role model for government under neoliberalism excludes the possibility of democracy

Everything should be organized like corporation under neoliberalism, including government, medicine, education, even military. And everybody is not a citizen but a shareholder  (or more correctly stakeholder), so any conflict should be resolved via discussion of the main stakeholders. Naturally lower 99% are not among them.

The great propaganda mantra of neoliberal governance is "wealth maximization". Which proved to be very seductive for society as a whole in reality is applied very selectively and never to the bottom 60% or 80%, or eve 99% of population.  In essence, it means a form of welfare economics for financial oligarchy while at the same time a useful smokescreen for keeping debt-slaves obedient by removing any remnants of job security mechanisms that were instituted during the New Deal. As the great American jurist and Supreme Court associate justice Louis Brandeis once said: “We can have huge wealth in the hands of a relatively few people or we can have a democracy. But we can’t have both.”

As under neoliberalism extreme wealth is the goal of the social system, there can be no democracy under neoliberalism. And this mean that pretentions of the USA elite that the USA is a bastion of democracy is plain vanilla British ruling elite style hypocrisy.  Brutal suppression of any move to challenge dominance of financial oligarchy (even such feeble as Occupy movement)  shows that all too well.

Like in case of communist regimes before, under neoliberalism we now face a regime completely opposite to democracy: we have complete, forceful atomization of public, acute suppression of any countervailing political forces (similar to the suppression of dissidents in the USSR in its effectiveness and brutality, but done in "velvet gloves" without resort to physical violence). That includes decimation of  labor unions and other forms of self-organization for the lower 80%, or even 99% of population.  Neoliberalism tries to present any individual, any citizen, as a market actor within some abstract market (everything is the market under neoliberalism). Instead of fight for political  and economic equality neoliberalism provides a slick slogan of "wealth maximization" which is in essence a "bait and switch" for redistribution of wealth up to the top 1% (which is the stated goal of neoliberalism aka "casino capitalism"). It was working in tandem with "shareholder value" mantra which is a disguise of looting of the corporations to enrich its top brass via outsize bonuses (IBM is a nice example where such an approach leads) and sending thousands of white-collar workers to the street. Previously it was mainly blue-collar workers that were affected. Times changed. 

The difference between democrats and republicans as (at least partially) the difference in the level of authoritarianism of two factions of the same "Grand neoliberal Party of the USA"

Both Democratic Party and Republican arty in the USA are neoliberal parties. So effectively we have one-party system skillfully masked as duopoly ;-). Communists could use the same trick, by having the part Socialist internationalists worker-peasants party of the USSR and Democratic internationalists peasant-worker party of the USSR, with leaders wet kissing each other behind the curtain as is the case in the USA. In the USA we have Cola/Pepsi duopoly that is sold as the shining example of democracy, although just the rule "the first after the post" prevents democracy from functioning as it eliminates minorities from governance. 

Political atmosphere at the USA since Reagan, when Republican drifted right and Democrats were bought by Wall Street really reminds me the USSR.  But still those parties reflect two different strata of the US population, which according to Marc J. Hetherington and Jonathan D. Weiler book Authoritarianism and Polarization in American Politics in the level of authoritarianism (for example, as measured by F-scale.). Many Republican politicians can be classified as Double High Authoritarians.

If we assume that this is true, the large part of "verge issues" that so skillfully played in each election, and using which allow the elite to avoid addressing any fundamental issues facing the nation, such as race, gay marriage, illegal immigration, and the use of force to resolve security problems -- reflect differences in individuals' levels of authoritarianism. This makes authoritarianism an especially compelling explanation of contemporary American politics.

Events and strategic political decisions have conspired to make all these considerations more salient. While the authors acknowledge that authoritarianism is not the only factor determining how people vote, it does offer a an important perspective : a large part (at least white Americans) flock to the particular party based on proximity to their own level authoritarianism and corresponding worldview of the party.  In other words  the percentage of authoritarian/non-authoritarian personality in the population allow to predict, at least in part,  voting behavior of the USA "white block" electorate.

Can the republic survive under Trump ?

Mu impression is that it too late to worry about the survival of the republic under Trump. Republic was lost long ago. According to Sheldon Wolin we live in a neoliberal empire at least since Bush II administration and even since  Reagan.  Essentially the collapse of the USSR was the death  sentence to the republic and at this point transformation of it into empire was quick and irreversible as there were no longer countervailing forces to slow down  this process.  Which is not a completely bad thing for citizens in the USA, unless it collapses like all empires. Which might happen when gas reaches $11 per gallon (in way this is petro-empire) or some other calamity. Sheldon Wolin (which book I strongly recommend to re-read) called this imperial social system that  emerged "inverted totalitarism". So Trump was elected way too late to participate in the destruction of the American republic. At best Trump put the final nail in the coffin of the American republic. Kind of parody on Julius Caesar:
During his early career, Caesar had seen how chaotic and dysfunctional the Roman Republic had become. The republican machinery had broken down under the weight of imperialism, the central government had become powerless, the provinces had been transformed into independent principalities under the absolute control of their governors, and the army had replaced the constitution as the means of accomplishing political goals. With a weak central government, political corruption had spiraled out of control, and the status quo had been maintained by a corrupt aristocracy, which saw no need to change a system that had made its members rich...
But the deep state was in ascendance since Truman (who can be viewed as the father of national security state). So dismounting of the republic was a long continues process with temporary reversal after Church commission, when the power of intelligence agencies were temporary curtailed and they were put under more close control of Senate and House. But later a new "neoliberal" deep state  emerged under Reagan and those gains were reversed.  I personally view Trump as a Bush III.  But resilience of US political system might prevent  the worst outcome -- a war with Russia or China. 

I would prefer if Sanders were elected. But FBI pushed him under the bus by exonerating Hillary. I think the USA now badly need a "New New Deal", biot some crazr "chrstria capitalism that Bannon professed (see Bannonism).  But the question is: "What social forces will support it ?" I see no strong social forces able to take on entrenched "corporatism" -- a merger of  Wall Street and MIC interests and corresponding economic power.  Add to this Silicon valley and unprecedented capability of surveillance.  In the absence of alternatives, the crisis of neoliberalism became  a chronic one.

Russiagate as a sign of the crisis of neoliberal empire

In this sense the "Russiagate" campaign might be interpreted as an attempt of the neoliberal elite to rally people around the flag and hide Hillary political fiasco due to the crisis of neoliberalism. The later led to the surprise victory of Trump, because the voters rejected establishment candidate.  Also as for the level of warmongering Hillary probably is close or surpass Trump.   So in a way  the US voters were put by FBI between Scylla and Charybdis.   Of course,  Russians are not saints and they are an obstacle on the path to global US led neoliberal empire, but still I think that the whole thing is overdone.

A  good (IMHO) overview of our current political can be found in London review of books. See What We Don t Talk about When We Talk about Russian Hacking by Jackson Lears

American politics have rarely presented a more disheartening spectacle. The repellent and dangerous antics of Donald Trump are troubling enough, but so is the Democratic Party leadership’s failure to take in the significance of the 2016 election campaign. Bernie Sanders’s challenge to Hillary Clinton, combined with Trump’s triumph, revealed the breadth of popular anger at politics as usual – the blend of neoliberal domestic policy and interventionist foreign policy that constitutes consensus in Washington. Neoliberals celebrate market utility as the sole criterion of worth; interventionists exalt military adventure abroad as a means of fighting evil in order to secure global progress. Both agendas have proved calamitous for most Americans. Many registered their disaffection in 2016. Sanders is a social democrat and Trump a demagogic mountebank, but their campaigns underscored a widespread repudiation of the Washington consensus.
Of course,  for correct framework we need to refer to classic Sheldon Wolin book. As he pointed out merge of corporate power with the ascendance of the "deep state" and technological progress proved to be an unstoppable factor that doomed the New Deal. Also defeated financial sector borrowed Bolsheviks methods and created "professional counter-revolutionaries" via think tanks, subservient press, etc. Milton Friedman Chicago school and Monte Perelin society were probably the most famous promoters of neoliberalism.  See also The Quiet Coup - Simon Johnson - The Atlantic
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[Jul 18, 2018] The US public has been fed up with the corruption and disastrous policies of the US government for quite a while. I mean, 10 years ago we elected a black(ish) man with a Muslim name for criizzacks! How desperate were we to do that in the middle of the "Clash of Civilizations" Global War OF Terror?

Jul 18, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Daniel , Jul 17, 2018 10:45:37 PM | 176

Activist Potato @164, well Obama was on record saying that they stood by and watched ISIS grown, and take ever more territory and expected it would weaken the Syrian government, leading to "Mission Accomplished." Even if he did want to prevent Trump from being (s)elected, that would be a hard hill to fight for.


The US public has been fed up with the corruption and disastrous policies of the US government for quite a while. I mean, 10 years ago we elected a black(ish) man with a Muslim name for criizzacks! How desperate were we to do that in the middle of the "Clash of Civilizations" Global War OF Terror?

By the time they were planning out the 2016 (s)election, it should have been clear to anyone that the US was going to vote for real change. It turns out that a good number were so desperate that they said they'd vote for the New York City conman, knowing he was horrible, simply because they thought they were throwing a monkey wrench into "the system."

So, what did they give us? A woman who was not only the most hated and mistrusted candidate in history (until The Donald), but also the very symbol of "more of the same." Then, some how, "leaked" or "hacked" documents came out showing she was even more criminal and corrupt that most had thought. And they came out at just the right time to make a good number of those who were willing to hold their noses and vote for her to refuse to.

Meanwhile, the MSM filled the airwaves with everything Trump such that they sucked the oxygen out of the room for anyone else. And the MSM insisted Trump was "an outsider," and showed us every way possible that "the Establishment" didn't want to let him "win."

I came to see the whole operation as a brilliant psyop about the time of the Party Conventions. I was so sucked into the drama of the DNC stealing the nomination from Sanders that I allowed myself to be sucked right along (as I believe I was meant to be).


But after a year and a half of watching the only changes in US policy have been to escalate the worst of them, and rape the 99% with even greater fury, it takes a special kind of faith to still believe that Trump was ever an "outsider" and that the "establishment" is anything except thrilled with how it's going. Hell, even failed "news" organizations like the NY Times and MSDNC are in boon times again!

And the brilliant irony of it all is that they're making bank on telling us how much they hate what's making them rich! LOL!

Hoarsewhisperer , Jul 17, 2018 10:21:56 PM | 173
As for Trump, the same case is true. He represents the part of America which is realizing it is loosing its sole superpower status. Had Hillary Clinton won in 2016 (which could have happened -- Trump only won because of American system's technicalities) , the cauldron that is today's USA social fabric would've only gathered even more pressure, triggering an even deeper crisis in 2020.
Posted by: vk | Jul 17, 2018 2:09:39 PM | 80

That's the sort of fuzzy logic I was whingeing about in the comment to which this codswallop is purporting to be a response. Team Trump was fully aware of the 'technicalities' and ran a campaign designed to capitalise on them. Not only did they figure out how to maximise the potential advantage of focusing on the Electoral College, Trump campaigned his arse off 7 days a week.

Hillary the "consummate professional insider", on the other hand ran a lazy lacklustre campaign. The over-arching feature of Her public gatherings was that they were little more than an invitation to bask in Hillary's reflected Radiance. So not only did Trump win the race, his victory was enhanced by Hillary's stupidity and chronic self-absorption.

Circe , Jul 17, 2018 8:39:28 PM | 163
@149

The problem is everyone is stuck in the "lesser over greater evil" construct and that's what makes the American Zionist-influenced duopoly so powerful. Trump is part of that failed system that Americans are so dependent on and that always leads to the same place. People should fight this lesser vs greater evil construct, even if Americans are too stupid at this time to get out of it. It means they'd have to choose outside the box, outside the media's choices example Fox and other Rightist outlets for Trump. CNN, MSNBC - Hillary, but the media is all Zionist run and specializes in the brainwash on both sides. It's all part of the same sham. The duopoly.

It starts with primaries for representatives and choosing a candidate that demonstrates independence and integrity; especially those that the media wants to ignore; that's not beholden to special interests or financed by Zionists.

Most importantly when America goes wrong and it's royally f...cked up right now, the rest of the world, the web has to push back against their ignorance and their stupid choices, because those choices hurt others as much as they hurt them only they're still too brainwashed to see it. Americans had the right idea to turn on the establishment, but Trump was the perfect Zionist anti-establishment decoy, a fraud, a pretender just like Obama was for the Left.

In the past election, the only viable contender was Bernie who got railroaded by Democratic Zionists like Wasserman and Podesta. I think Bernie was more authentic than the two evils, Hillary and Trump, and although his Zionist roots are always a concern; he was run out precisely because he was a rogue Jew and Zionists couldn't trust him. He wasn't in the pocket of Zionist financiers although he was running with the Democrats, but in the current status quo he had no choice but to use the Democratic Party as a means to an end and they did him in. If Hillary were not on the ticket who knows what could have been. He was a start in the right direction away from the Zionist financed duopoly.

[Jul 18, 2018] Bernie Town Hall Tonight Changing The Narrative Again By Using His Platform To Give People s Stories A Chance to Be Heard Wher

Notable quotes:
"... living in their cars. ..."
"... not hearing these stories ..."
"... @Mark from Queens ..."
"... @k9disc ..."
"... @k9disc ..."
"... @Pricknick ..."
"... @SancheLlewellyn ..."
"... @SancheLlewellyn ..."
"... @lizzyh7 ..."
"... @SancheLlewellyn ..."
"... @karl pearson ..."
Jul 18, 2018 | caucus99percent.com

Bernie Town Hall Tonight: Changing The Narrative Again By Using His Platform To Give People's Stories A Chance to Be Heard Where Corporate Media Utterly Fails


Mark from Queens on Mon, 07/16/2018 - 9:18pm This is gonna be quick. I just remembered that Bernie Sanders is holding another one of his excellent town halls tonight. This one is called "CEO's vs. Workers."

Before the negativity comes in, let me say clearly that this isn't a Bernie is our savior bit or arguing for electoral salvation or whatever. It's simply a recognition of someone with a platform putting in the time to make sure these stories are seen and documented for posterity, despite whatever limitations inherent in the broadcast's reach. I see this as highly commendable - and potent.

The story here that made me turn on the computer and hit "new essay" was from a young woman working for Disneyland in Anaheim, who tells of how brutal it is trying to survive on $12 an hour, having to cram roommates in to barely make the rent.

Then she mentions that some of her co-workers are living in their cars. Many have lost their homes and/or living in motels. There's also a Tent City, which extends to a larger Orange County problem, where more Disney co-workers are living. One of here co-workers was so ashamed of her situation that she told nobody that she was living in her car - and went missing and later found dead in it. She then admits a great fear of losing her home, saying there are no resources to be found if you're in that position. (Her story begins around the 18min mark).

Quite frankly, it's fucking heartbreaking and angering to listen to these people humbly tell their stories to the public without shame.

People in this country are not hearing these stories . And because of it, are easily kept distracted by corporate media manufactured controversy and divide and conquer by partisan ideologues. They're not having their own realities reflected back to them; are instead bred to be in a constant state of fear about things that don't effect their everyday lives and led to believe relatively inconsequential things are more important than fundamental ones that do effect their daily lives.

Every one of these Bernie townhalls (I've seen two others) have been riveting. This guy is single-handedly trying to give a platform to marginalized and dispossessed voices. Nothing like this ever gets on tv. Anytime there's a corporate attempt to do something similar it's a highly controlled, stilted affair. His are the opposite.

To me this is an example of how to change the narrative, which is the linchpin to everything. Why can't we get more people at a quicker pace to align themselves in solidarity to what we think and espouse here? Because there isn't a forum for the downtrodden, the castaways, the ripped off, the overworked and underpaid, the isolated, to tell their stories on a large scale. When people here stories firsthand there is a much better chance of building the kid of empathy and compassion at the heart of forming coalitions and/or support for those outside of one's life's station or class.

Of course it's all relative. And Bernie, despite being the most popular politician by far, doesn't have the reach of CNN. But it is something. And if this could inspire more of these types of panel discussion that dignify the working class it could revolutionize how narratives
get built.

This is the difference between people reading about this stuff and moving on, and having to look into the eyes of the afflicted and being moved to act.

If this can't work on the American public to rile up indignation and compassion we're completely hopeless.

Hey folks. These really are something amazing

Simply put, firsthand stories are so potent. He's really onto something with these townhalls giving folks the opportunity to speak their truth. No pundits, annoying talking heads, slick stage set.

No matter what you think of him, there's nobody in politics who comes close to what he's done to change the narrative. He continues to impact and expand it to include the real issues of people's lives (lack of healthcare, joblessness, being underpaid and overworked, etc.) that are completely ignored by the MSM.

Change The Narrative. Propaganda. What is the public corralled into talking about next? Almost always something to distract from how bad things really are.

k9disc on Mon, 07/16/2018 - 10:55pm
Co-Opt the Narrative.

I'm still having problems with Bernie.

I do believe in the personal stories angle. It is powerful stuff.

I'm afraid that anything but heels dug-in pushback on the Russia angle is going to be the death of the Republic.

@Mark from Queens

Simply put, firsthand stories are so potent. He's really onto something with these townhalls giving folks the opportunity to speak their truth. No pundits, annoying talking heads, slick stage set.

No matter what you think of him, there's nobody in politics who comes close to what he's done to change the narrative. He continues to impact and expand it to include the real issues of people's lives (lack of healthcare, joblessness, being underpaid and overworked, etc.) that are completely ignored by the MSM.

Change The Narrative. Propaganda. What is the public corralled into talking about next? Almost always something to distract from how bad things really are.

dfarrah on Tue, 07/17/2018 - 9:04pm
Diss him all you wish,

@k9disc but the bottom line is that he freed the American people from the notion that only candidates with boatloads of money from TPTB can win.

That notion has had a stranglehold on politics for decades.

Now we all know that a candidate can be funded by smaller donations.

I'm still having problems with Bernie.

I do believe in the personal stories angle. It is powerful stuff.

I'm afraid that anything but heels dug-in pushback on the Russia angle is going to be the death of the Republic.

#1

dfarrah on Tue, 07/17/2018 - 10:07pm
Diss him all you wish,

@k9disc but the bottom line is that he freed the American people from the notion that only candidates with boatloads of money from TPTB can win.

That notion has had a stranglehold on politics for decades.

I'm still having problems with Bernie.

I do believe in the personal stories angle. It is powerful stuff.

I'm afraid that anything but heels dug-in pushback on the Russia angle is going to be the death of the Republic.

#1

Pricknick on Mon, 07/16/2018 - 10:43pm
I'm done with Russia, Russia, Russia.

But Burnme is not.
Once again he refuses to broadcast the spectacle of american political corruption while laying the blame on russia.

Rather than make clear that interference in our elections is unacceptable, Trump instead accepted Putin's denials and cast doubt on the conclusions of our intelligence community. This is not normal.

I will never link anything on twitter so read if you must.
https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/07/16/white-house-declares-summit...

SancheLlewellyn on Tue, 07/17/2018 - 8:50am
My only quibble with your blockquote

@Pricknick is the phrase "This is not normal." We are a fascist state, and it IS normal, just as the kidnapping and torturing small children by Trump's Gestapo is normal. (We might want to do something about it?)

Ditto Trump's obsequious ass kissing of Putin in Helsinki, proving he is a Russian asset the same way Frank Burns (on MASH) was a North Korean asset.

Bernie, however, points out the obvious (or what would be obvious if anyone cared to look), that even "blue states" hide an economic hellscape. Obama's bailout of the banks and reinflation of the housing bubble enriched the One Percent but left everyone else behind. Those who can't afford $750,000 crap shacks either end up homeless or get stuck with hours-long commutes to reach their jobs. Here in Portland we have so many tent cities you would think you stepped back into the 1930s.

Welcome to Hell. Maybe Bernie and others can show us the way out. If only we listen this time.

But Burnme is not.
Once again he refuses to broadcast the spectacle of american political corruption while laying the blame on russia.

Rather than make clear that interference in our elections is unacceptable, Trump instead accepted Putin's denials and cast doubt on the conclusions of our intelligence community. This is not normal.

I will never link anything on twitter so read if you must.
https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/07/16/white-house-declares-summit...

The Voice In th... on Tue, 07/17/2018 - 9:31am
A suggestion

@SancheLlewellyn
And PLEASE don't misunderstand me, I'm NOT dismissing their plight. I'm glad that someone is showing the desperation of people whose problems are NOT from their life choices i.e. prison, drugs, dropping out of High School.

Move to the Midwest. Housing is expensive here too, but $750,000 is a mansion. In my Chicago Suburb there are still houses under $150,000, usually small (1200-1500 sq ft) 1950's tract houses. There are 20 houses right now for sale between $250,000 and $300,000, quite nice houses built in the last thirty years. There are even 14 houses between $400,000 and $500,000 that look so upscale I can only dream about them (and dream of affording them). Illinois minimum wage is only $8.25 but even McDonald's is paying $12.
Taxes are regressive and horrendous. And the Weather sucks big time. But it's better than trying to live on $12 an hour in California.

The coasts are now only for the elite and their servants.

The weather is better in the South, but society and politics are extremely conservative.

#2 is the phrase "This is not normal." We are a fascist state, and it IS normal, just as the kidnapping and torturing small children by Trump's Gestapo is normal. (We might want to do something about it?)

Ditto Trump's obsequious ass kissing of Putin in Helsinki, proving he is a Russian asset the same way Frank Burns (on MASH) was a North Korean asset.

Bernie, however, points out the obvious (or what would be obvious if anyone cared to look), that even "blue states" hide an economic hellscape. Obama's bailout of the banks and reinflation of the housing bubble enriched the One Percent but left everyone else behind. Those who can't afford $750,000 crap shacks either end up homeless or get stuck with hours-long commutes to reach their jobs. Here in Portland we have so many tent cities you would think you stepped back into the 1930s.

Welcome to Hell. Maybe Bernie and others can show us the way out. If only we listen this time.

lizzyh7 on Tue, 07/17/2018 - 12:37pm
Russian asset?

@SancheLlewellyn I'm sorry but come on now. As for this being normal you'd be correct but it surely wasn't only Trump that normalized this, it's been normalized for a long damned time but most simply don't look at it, especially when it's a "Democrat" at the helm with a pretty smiling face assuring us that everything will be fine as long as we play along with them.

Hell is already here but buying into that Russia crapola is a cop out - Russia didn't cut high end taxes repeatedly while the rest of the country went to shit. Russia didn't bail out the banks at taxpayer expense and tell the taxpayers to pound sand and STFU. Russia is not fighting wars for global domination all over the planet and it does not have almost 1000 foreign bases all over the world.

Can Bernie save us? He'd best get off that Russia crap as even he knows good and damned well that our continued "defense" budgets cannot continue alongside Medicare for All, etc, etc, etc. THAT is the elephant in the room that apparently even Bernie is simply not willing to address.

#2 is the phrase "This is not normal." We are a fascist state, and it IS normal, just as the kidnapping and torturing small children by Trump's Gestapo is normal. (We might want to do something about it?)

Ditto Trump's obsequious ass kissing of Putin in Helsinki, proving he is a Russian asset the same way Frank Burns (on MASH) was a North Korean asset.

Bernie, however, points out the obvious (or what would be obvious if anyone cared to look), that even "blue states" hide an economic hellscape. Obama's bailout of the banks and reinflation of the housing bubble enriched the One Percent but left everyone else behind. Those who can't afford $750,000 crap shacks either end up homeless or get stuck with hours-long commutes to reach their jobs. Here in Portland we have so many tent cities you would think you stepped back into the 1930s.

Welcome to Hell. Maybe Bernie and others can show us the way out. If only we listen this time.

The Voice In th... on Tue, 07/17/2018 - 6:37pm
" Russia is not fighting wars for global domination"

@lizzyh7
That part is disputable but the rest is absolutely correct.

Remember, in politics, whether local or global, there doesn't have to be a good guy and a bad guy. Most often there are two (or more) bad guys.

#2.1 I'm sorry but come on now. As for this being normal you'd be correct but it surely wasn't only Trump that normalized this, it's been normalized for a long damned time but most simply don't look at it, especially when it's a "Democrat" at the helm with a pretty smiling face assuring us that everything will be fine as long as we play along with them.

Hell is already here but buying into that Russia crapola is a cop out - Russia didn't cut high end taxes repeatedly while the rest of the country went to shit. Russia didn't bail out the banks at taxpayer expense and tell the taxpayers to pound sand and STFU. Russia is not fighting wars for global domination all over the planet and it does not have almost 1000 foreign bases all over the world.

Can Bernie save us? He'd best get off that Russia crap as even he knows good and damned well that our continued "defense" budgets cannot continue alongside Medicare for All, etc, etc, etc. THAT is the elephant in the room that apparently even Bernie is simply not willing to address.

dfarrah on Tue, 07/17/2018 - 8:57pm
Kidnapping and

@SancheLlewellyn torturing?

Gestapo?

This comment is just another example of the trump hysteria that has taken over.

#2 is the phrase "This is not normal." We are a fascist state, and it IS normal, just as the kidnapping and torturing small children by Trump's Gestapo is normal. (We might want to do something about it?)

Ditto Trump's obsequious ass kissing of Putin in Helsinki, proving he is a Russian asset the same way Frank Burns (on MASH) was a North Korean asset.

Bernie, however, points out the obvious (or what would be obvious if anyone cared to look), that even "blue states" hide an economic hellscape. Obama's bailout of the banks and reinflation of the housing bubble enriched the One Percent but left everyone else behind. Those who can't afford $750,000 crap shacks either end up homeless or get stuck with hours-long commutes to reach their jobs. Here in Portland we have so many tent cities you would think you stepped back into the 1930s.

Welcome to Hell. Maybe Bernie and others can show us the way out. If only we listen this time.

Raggedy Ann on Tue, 07/17/2018 - 8:59am
Thanks, Mark, for eloquently

expressing what I also believe is Bernie's intent. The deep state might be able to keep him from being president, but they have not yet silenced him. They ensure the msm doesn't cover his town halls, but they are found and spread far and wide anyway.

When I was a manager, I would tell my employees that if I didn't know something was broken, I couldn't fix it. Bernie continues to publicize what is broken.

It is up to we, the people, to fix it through revolution. It's the only way.

karl pearson on Tue, 07/17/2018 - 11:26am
Working Poor

I'm glad you posted this. Bernie is one of a handful of D.C. politicians that addresses the plight of the working poor. Most Democrats talk about the difficulties of the middle class since that's a "safe" topic.

The Voice In th... on Tue, 07/17/2018 - 6:43pm
Hi, Karl!

@karl pearson
Most of the working poor think they are lower middle class and not at all like welfare people. Often, they are the most conservative. It's easy to have that outlook when things are always going against you. Most haven't caught on that the Democrats are no longer their friends and haven't been for around half a century. Some realize that the Republicans never have been. Others think if one side (D) has a black hat the other (R) must have a white hat. They actually think that Trump is their friend. "If he's Hillary's enemy, he must be my friend."

[Jul 18, 2018] Trump needs to order a full intelligence agency review of Clapper's report

Jul 18, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

I Am Jack's Ma -> 1 Alabama Tue, 07/17/2018 - 09:57 Permalink

The hysteria is growing far too dangerous.

Comey and Senator Warner basically are calling for a coup because of the FALSE claim that it is 'treason' to doubt the IC.

Honestly, it's past joking about. The rabid dogs are now snarling in our front yard. Circling the house.

But it wasn't the Intelligence Community that said 'Russia hacked the DNC'... a play that was about getting you to ignore the CONTENT of Hillary/DNC emails. (Thus the quip 'Russia rigged our elections by exposing how our elections are rigged.').

It was Brennan and Clapper and a dozen 'handpicked' analysts from just 3 agencies. Even then the NSA boys only said 'moderate confidence' which is analyst speak for 'we have no real evidence.' The CIA and FBI analysts, relying on the DNC-linked CrowdStrike analysis of a server they never examined, said 'high confidence' which means 'we can't prove this but we totally believe it was Russia's government because wouldn't it be just like those aggressive Russkis?'

Trump needs to order a full intelligence agency review of Clapper's report. Someone lose to him needs to scream this into his ear.

SCREAM IT.

Listen boys, that covers Trump from all directions. A full intelligence agency review no matter what it says helps him. MOREOVER, as part of that, any serious IC assessment of CLAPPER'S report will show that it was contrived. Political. Not how such assessments are normally done.

So even if it's conclusions ended up being correct... the report itself would be exposed as complete bullshit. Which points one to Clapper, and Brennan... and Obama.

Hey listen, playtime is over. Comey and Brennan and the neocons and media are basically using Trump's very reasonable doubt as 'treason' and have turned the rhetoric up to 11. They are suggesting a coup based on Deep State/Dem/MIC lies. This is intolerable and we may be at a point where sending the Marines to CIA headquarters to take documents and arrest some folks is in order. What would the media do - go nuts?

Why didn't Clapper invite DIA to the party?

If its military (SO/SF) versus the spooks - guess who wins?

The CIA is for the most part a collection of drig and guns mafias. They operate outside the law with unlimited funding. Squeeze that funding - grab some of their operators off the fucking street and interrogate them...

You have Senator Cohen actually suggesting a coup because Trump doubts the IC which Schumer said has many ways to 'get you.'

Where's the military?

Ready to defend The Republic, I believe.

I know this because Tyler knows this.

I Am Jack's Ma -> I Am Jack's Ma Tue, 07/17/2018 - 10:20 Permalink

I think the triggering began with

REPORTER AP: President Trump you first. Just now President Putin denied having anything to do with the election interference in 2016. Every U.S. intelligence agency has concluded that Russia did...

So, this is a lie. It's the 'all intel agencies' lie even the NY Times at least at one loint admitted was a lie.

This is super important.

It was a dozen or so 'handpicked analysts' - NOT a full IC review. Now why wouldnt Obama, Brennan and Clapper want a full, actual Intel Assessment?

And Clapper had final edit power. I mean its a fucking joke and the complete lack of MSM scrutiny of the problems tells me the media is truly, no kidding, captured by interests who can completely suppress basic journalism (I know there's long been *bias* - this is deliberately not reporting on a highly unusual intel assessment by a guy who hates Trump relying on a private firm founded by a guy who hates Putin which has extensive ties to the DNC.

It really isnt a Red Team Blue Team thing and you don't have to like Trump. This is about whether a small group of spooks with ties to one party and effective media cobtrol get to undo an election to pursue war in Ukraine and Syria and to justify ever more spending by acting aggressively toward Russia along its borders then framing every response as 'Russian aggression.'

We are in an incredibly dangerous time eith senators and former fbi and cia heads more or less openly calling for a coup because Trump doubts Brennan/Clapper's horseshit report.

I know I repeat myself. I have to. I'm very alarmed by this stuff. Trump needs to order a full IC assessment of Clapper's report and of Russian alleged **hacking** ASAP. (the clickbait stuff is so silly its frankly not worth addressing right now).

Secret Service should also detain and question Cohen and Comey over their remarks. Trump needs to flex a little muscle now with people talking coup.

Whoa Dammit -> I Am Jack's Ma Tue, 07/17/2018 - 10:39 Permalink

I'd not seen the AP reporters question that triggered this before. It looks like the reporter was trying to embarrass both Putin and Trump but wound up getting his ass, Clinton's ass, and the asses of the intelligence community handed to him instead.

wafm -> Whoa Dammit Tue, 07/17/2018 - 11:39 Permalink

too right. If I remember correctly, it was in the context of Putin saying Russia is open to have FBI guys come to question the 12 GRU guys indicted (no proof yet) by Mueller.

In return, he then said Russia would like to ask a few questions to the US officials believed to have HELPED Browder funnel 400 mill to Clinton and probably avoid paying tax on 1.5 billion in Russia AND the US...

Browder has to be on top of the US wanted list in the not too distant future or there really is no fuckin justice.

BROWDER IS A FUCKIN TRAITOR, LOCK HIM UP!

[Jul 18, 2018] I think Bernie was more authentic than the two evils, Hillary and Trump, and although his Zionist roots are always a concern; he was run out precisely because he was a rogue Jew and Zionists couldn't trust him. He wasn't in the pocket of Zionist financiers although he was running with the Democrats

Jul 18, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Circe , Jul 17, 2018 8:39:28 PM | 159

@149

The problem is everyone is stuck in the "lesser over greater evil" construct and that's what makes the American Zionist-influenced duopoly so powerful. Trump is part of that failed system that Americans are so dependent on and that always leads to the same place. People should fight this lesser vs greater evil construct, even if Americans are too stupid at this time to get out of it. It means they'd have to choose outside the box, outside the media's choices example Fox and other Rightist outlets for Trump. CNN, MSNBC - Hillary, but the media is all Zionist run and specializes in the brainwash on both sides. It's all part of the same sham. The duopoly.

It starts with primaries for representatives and choosing a candidate that demonstrates independence and integrity; especially those that the media wants to ignore; that's not beholden to special interests or financed by Zionists.

Most importantly when America goes wrong and it's royally f...cked up right now, the rest of the world, the web has to push back against their ignorance and their stupid choices, because those choices hurt others as much as they hurt them only they're still too brainwashed to see it. Americans had the right idea to turn on the establishment, but Trump was the perfect Zionist anti-establishment decoy, a fraud, a pretender just like Obama was for the Left.

In the past election, the only viable contender was Bernie who got railroaded by Democratic Zionists like Wasserman and Podesta. I think Bernie was more authentic than the two evils, Hillary and Trump, and although his Zionist roots are always a concern; he was run out precisely because he was a rogue Jew and Zionists couldn't trust him. He wasn't in the pocket of Zionist financiers although he was running with the Democrats, but in the current status quo he had no choice but to use the Democratic Party as a means to an end and they did him in. If Hillary were not on the ticket who knows what could have been. He was a start in the right direction away from the Zionist financed duopoly.

[Jul 17, 2018] Mass hysteria is exactly what it is, because it threatens their gravy train that comes from money taken by force from taxpayers. the citizens voted against the establishment, and the establishment is fighting back along with their MSM cronies.

Jul 17, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

MoreFreedom -> 847328_3527 Tue, 07/17/2018 - 14:31 Permalink

... that is a much harder conversation to have about why the Democrats have lost elections than just blaming a foreign villain and saying it's because Vladimir Putin ran some fake Facebook ads and did some phishing emails ... the conversation we need to be having [about lies/corruption from the deep state and powerful actors acting against US citizens interests, and decline of institutions that support US citizens' freedom], but we're not having, because we're evading it by blaming everything on Vladimir Putin.

I agree with Mish on all this, including " Nearly every political action that generates this much complete nonsense and hysteria from the Left and Right is worthy of immense praise" though he doesn't qualify/define "Left and Right" as the Left and Right establishment aka. the Uniparty. The statement wouldn't have applied to say the Left and Right establishment that existed when our founders created the country and were united to create a government that defends our lives, liberties and pursuit of happiness with an extremely limited (by today's standards) government. You don't see the Freedom Caucus getting hysterical about Trump's meeting Putin.

Mass hysteria is exactly what it is, because it threatens their gravy train that comes from money taken by force from taxpayers. the citizens voted against the establishment, and the establishment is fighting back along with their MSM cronies.

Farqued Up -> 847328_3527 Tue, 07/17/2018 - 15:12 Permalink

I've never been enthralled with Neil Cavuto due to considering him inferior as a host on things financial. Today he just crapped in his mess kit with me. He has to be dirty, the way he was defending the wonderful intelligence "community" of the USA, and was hinting that treason may not be a strong assessment of Trump with Putin. He is a real POS along with girly-man Shepard Smith. Not one criticism of any Cabalist about graft and corruption, and especially no mention of the uranium to Russia by Obama's and Hillary's REAL treason.

I repeat, all of you goofy imbeciles, Trump is sucking you down into the depths of embarrassment once the hammer drops. I expected the fruity Smith but must admit the Cavuto stupidity is a bit of a surprise. Someone has pics of that dumb fuck in a compromising situation.

[Jul 16, 2018] The Racial Realignment of American Politics by Patrick McDermott

He completely misses the role of nationalism is the opposition to neoliberalism.
Jul 03, 2018 | www.unz.com

The idea that demography is political destiny is not new. Peter Brimelow and Edwin Rubenstein warned of its dangers in the pages of National Review in the 1990s. Steve Sailer later argued that Republicans would fare better by targeting white voters. The problem with these observations was not their accuracy, but their audience. The GOP establishment and donor elites had little interest in such thinking until Donald Trump's breakthrough in 2016. But what happens when Trump leaves office? Will the GOP return to its old ways, as Trump's former chief of staff Reince Priebus has predicted ? The answer is almost certainly no. The reasons have little to do with the GOP elite, however, whose views have not substantially changed. They instead have everything to do with what is happening in the other party. As Brimelow and Rubenstein recently pointed out in VDARE (and as I did at American Renaissance ), while the nation is not expected to reach majority-minority status until 2045 , the Democratic Party is already approaching that historic milestone. The political consequences of these changes will be profound and irreversible. The developments that are unfolding before our eyes are not a fluke, but the beginning of a new political realignment in the United States that is increasingly focused on race. The Emerging Majority-Minority Party While warnings of brewing demographic trouble were being ignored by the establishment right, they received a better reception on the left. In 2004, Ruy Teixeira and John Judis wrote a book called The Emerging Democratic Majority that triumphantly predicted that demographic change would soon produce a "new progressive era." The theory's predictive powers waxed and waned over the years, but after Trump's 2016 election Teixeira and another coauthor, Peter Leyden, insisted that Democrats would soon sweep away an increasingly irrelevant GOP and forcibly impose their will, much as had already happened in California. These arguments have a glaring weakness, however. They assumed that Democrats would continue to draw the same level of support from white voters. Instead, many have been fleeing to the GOP. Throughout the 20 th Century, Democrats had won the presidency only by winning or keeping it close among these voters. Barack Obama was the first to break this pattern, defeating John McCain in 2008 while losing the white vote by 12 percent . Four years later he beat Mitt Romney while losing it by 20 percent . Hillary Clinton lost the white vote in 2016 by a similar 20-point margin . This loss of white support, coupled with the continued demographic change of the country, has helped push the Democratic Party toward majority-minority status. Since 1992, the white share of the Democratic presidential vote has dropped an average of about one percent per year. At its current rate, it could tip to majority-minority status by 2020. It will occur no later than 2024. The political consequences of this shift are already apparent. In 2008, Obama beat Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination with the overwhelming backing of black voters. Clinton beat Bernie Sanders in 2016 with similar black and Latino support . This year's state elections have continued the trend, with minority candidates winning Democratic gubernatorial nominations in Georgia , Texas , New Mexico , and Maryland , with another likely win in Arizona later this year. This sudden surge in minority candidates is not an indicator of increased open mindedness, but of demographic change. While the national Democratic Party is only just approaching majority-minority status, in much of the nation it is already there.

Nonwhite Polarization

While the demographic trend of the Democratic Party seems clear enough – as does its leftward drift and increased embrace of minority candidates – it is still possible to argue that the nation's politics will not divide along racial lines. The most obvious alternative is that both parties will compete for minority votes and both will experience demographic change in an increasingly multiracial nation. Could this happen? Black voters seem least likely to change. They already routinely provide Democrats with 90 percent of their votes. They are the backbone of the party, with a former president, nearly 50 members of the Congressional Black Caucus, and numerous mayors in major American cities among their ranks. Given the Democratic Party's steadfast commitment to black issues such as affirmative action and Black Lives Matter, few are likely to be won over by the occasional attempts at Republican outreach . Latinos also typically support Democrats in presidential elections by a 2-to-1 margin, but they have been a more serious target for Republicans, including President George W. Bush , his acolyte Karl Rove , authors of the GOP autopsy released after Mitt Romney's 2012 loss, and occasional writers in National Review . Some have observed that many Latinos value whiteness and are more likely to self-identify as white the longer they have been in the country. In fact, some Latinos are white , particularly those from Latin America's leadership class . Others have reported on substantial hostility that exists between Latinos and blacks that may make them more likely to see whites as natural allies. There are several problems with these arguments. The most important are persistent race-based IQ differences that will keep most mestizos (who are the bulk of Latino immigrants) trapped at the lower end of the socioeconomic spectrum regardless of their racial identification. Arguments that they will assimilate like their European predecessors fail to explain why racial hierarchies have persisted in their home nations for hundreds of years. These inequalities probably explain the high levels of Hispanic support for government programs that are likely to keep most of them tied to the Democratic Party for the foreseeable future. Although Asians also support Democrats by a 2-to-1 margin, they seem potentially more promising . Unlike America's black and Latino populations, East Asians (such as Japanese and Chinese) have IQs that may be slightly higher than that of white Americans on average. Moreover, affirmative action policies backed by Democrats typically work to their detriment . However, most Asian immigrants are not East Asians and their IQs (such as those of Indians or Pakistanis) are much lower . Finally, no matter what their nationality, Asians are generally unsympathetic to whites who want to restrict nonwhite immigration. Unsurprisingly, all of these reasons have contributed to Asians moving away from the Republican Party, not toward it. Some argue that Republicans have no choice but to accept demographic change and move left to gain minority support. The GOP may well move left in ways that are acceptable to its white working class base and help it with white moderates – such as protecting Social Security and Medicare. But it will never win a bidding war with Democrats for their base of minority voters, nor would the GOP base let it try.

White Polarization

White polarization is the mirror image of nonwhite polarization and its causes are similar. Numerous scholars have cited genetics as a basis for reciprocal altruism among closely-related kin and hostility toward outsiders among humans and in the animal kingdom in general. This ethnocentrism is instinctual, present among babies , and whites are not immune from its effects. Most are socialized to suppress their ethnocentric instincts, but they remain only a short distance beneath the surface. Academics sometimes argue that positive direct contact is a promising strategy for overcoming racial differences, but research has shown that the negative effects are more powerful – something a cursory glance at crime statistics would confirm. Rampant white flight and segregation in neighborhoods , schools , and personal relationships provide the most definitive evidence on the negative influence of direct contact. Its impact on voting is also well established, particularly for whites and blacks. The shift of white Southerners away from the Democratic Party after civil rights legislation was enacted in the 1960s was almost immediate and has remained strong ever since. White flight produced similar political advantages for Republicans in suburbs across the country during this period. Their advantage has softened since then, but primarily because the suburbs have become less white , not less segregated . White voting is similarly affected by proximity to Hispanics. White flight and segregation are a constant in heavily Latino areas in both liberal and conservative states. The resulting political backlash in places like California and Arizona has been well-documented and confirmed by academic research . Support for President Trump has also been shown to be highly correlated with white identity and opposition to immigration. These trends are expected to become stronger over time. Experimental research has shown that growing white awareness of demographic change makes them more conservative , less favorably disposed to minorities, and feel greater attachment to other whites. The effects are heightened the more whites think they are threatened . The associated ideological effects are just as important. The influence of ideology is obvious in socially conservative states like North Dakota and Kansas . However, the Democrats' growing leftward tilt has become an issue even in liberal states like those in New England, many of which now regularly elect Republicans as governors . In fact, liberal Massachusetts has had just one Democratic governor in the past quarter century. The power of leftist ideology to drive whites together may reach its zenith if Democrats resume their attack on segregation in neighborhoods and schools. De facto segregation has protected white liberals from the consequences of their voting decisions for years. If Democrats are returned to power, however, they appear ready to touch this electoral third rail .

International Lessons

Further evidence of racial polarization can be found by looking abroad. Ethnic conflict has been a constant in human relations – everywhere and throughout history . More recently, 64 percent of all civil wars since 1946 have divided along ethnic lines . Such conflicts are highly correlated with genetic diversity and ethnic polarization . Some of the worst examples, such as Yugoslavia, Rwanda, and Sudan, have included ethnic cleansing and genocide. Race-based identity politics are just a lower form of ethnic conflict. Like ethnic conflict more generally, the strength of such politics depends on the level of ethnic diversity and corresponding racial polarization. In homogenous societies, for example, politics tends to divide along class and cultural lines. As a society becomes more diverse, however, ethnicity begins to play a growing role . Politics and parties that are explicitly ethnically-based usually do not appear until much later, when a nation has become more diverse and has begun to suffer extreme racial polarization. Such politics have been shown to produce substantial ethnic favoritism . Their appearance is often a prelude to civil war or partition . The United States has not reached this stage, but its future can be seen in other nations that are further down the road. One example is Brazil. While the United States will not become majority-minority until 2045, Brazil reached that milestone in 2010 . For much of the 20 th Century, Brazil viewed itself as a harmonious racial democracy and a model for the rest of the world, but this image has been tarnished in recent years. The nation's changing demographics demonstrated their power with the election of Lula da Silva in 2002 and his hand-picked successor, Dilma Rousseff, in 2010. Support for these two presidents – both members of the leftist Workers Party – was concentrated in the largely black northern half of the country, while opposition was concentrated in the mostly white south . Their victories depended on the nation's changing demographics. Once elected, they rewarded their black supporters with substantial expansions of affirmative action and a new cash transfer system, called Bolsa Família, which disproportionately benefitted Afro-Brazilians. Since then, Brazil's fortunes have taken a turn for the worse . Rousseff was impeached after a massive corruption scandal in 2016. Crime has exploded . Black activists now deride the notion of " racial democracy " and have become more militant on racial issues. An explicitly black political party has also appeared. This has corresponded with a similar backlash in the white population. The leading candidate for the presidential election this year is Jair Bolsonaro, sometimes referred to as the Trump of the Tropics . A white separatist movement called the South is My Country is drawing substantial support. Brazilians are reportedly losing faith in democracy and becoming more receptive to military rule .

Changing Our Destiny

The preponderance of the evidence – domestic, international, historical, and scientific – suggests that American politics will continue to polarize along racial and ethnic lines. At least in the short term, Republicans will benefit as white voters flee from the other party. But will the GOP adequately capitalize on these gains?

Various elements of the GOP establishment , including the business elite and pro-immigration donors like the Koch brothers , continue to hold substantial power within the party. Reince Priebus probably echoed their views when he said , "I think post-Trump, the party basically returns to its traditional role and a traditional platform."

Such status quo thinking ignores too much. There are numerous signs that the party is changing. Trump's popularity within his own party is the second highest among all presidents since World War II, trailing only George W. Bush in the aftermath of 9/11. Congressional Never Trumpers like Bob Corker , Jeff Flake , and Mark Sanford have been defeated or stepped aside. Prominent columnists , analysts , and at least one former GOP leader are now declaring it Trump's party.

These changes are not solely about Trump, however. There were signs of change before his arrival. Eric Cantor's primary defeat in 2014 was widely attributed to softness on immigration, which met furious grassroots opposition . Moreover, if Trump's rise were merely a one-off event, we would not be seeing the simultaneous rise of nationalist movements in Europe, which is facing its own immigration crisis .

The more likely answer is that these changes reflect something more powerful than any individual, even the president of the United States. The same survival instinct that is present in all living creatures still burns brightly within the world's European peoples. Trump was not the cause, but a consequence – and we will not go gently into the night.

Patrick McDermott ( email him ) is a political analyst in Washington, DC.


Dale , June 30, 2018 at 4:15 am GMT

If the author was famous, he would be attacked relentlessly.

Cogent analysis of the current GOP.

The centralized state model is falling apart.

Jim Christian , June 30, 2018 at 10:39 am GMT

This ethnocentrism is instinctual, observable even among babies. Whites are not immune from its effects. Most are socialized to suppress their ethnocentric instincts, but they remain only a short distance beneath the surface.

Even the most vile race-virtuosos' ethnocentric instincts boil to the surface in the flight to "good schools" for their children. The "Good schools" rationale works for them. Gets them away from the city, away from those awful Blacks. It was always diversity for thee. The closest most liberals get to diversity is the Hispanic housekeeper. Because the Blacks, you know, they steal the liquor/silver/Waterford". Heard variations of this a million times..

mark green , June 30, 2018 at 11:52 am GMT
Brilliant synthesis. Excellent article. Patrick McDermott hits it out of the ballpark, noting correctly that ethnocentrism is "instinctual". So true. So obvious. And this suppressed truth is just the tip of the iceberg. America lives under 'intellectual occupation'.

But the hardening scientific facts involving race, kinship, and phenotype are testament to the hollowness of 'anti-racist' rhetoric and ideologies that dominate so much of the American landscape.

These liberal creeds pretend to repudiate (all) 'racism' and bigotry, but in political fact, they strategically target only white Americans. This makes these lofty 'values' not only disingenuous but unfair and destructive.

Highfalutin (but bogus) liberalism has come to play a diabolical role. It undermines white cohesion and white solidarity. Meanwhile, from high above, irreversible demographic changes are being orchestrated.

MacDermott correctly observes that the West's unsought ethno-racial transformation is what's behind the reinvigoration of white identity in Europe and America. This at least is good news.

Says MacDermott:

"Ethnic conflict has been a constant in human relations -- everywhere and throughout history. More recently, 64 percent of all civil wars since 1946 have divided along ethnic lines. Such conflicts are highly correlated with genetic diversity and ethnic polarization. Some of the worst examples, such as Yugoslavia, Rwanda, and Sudan, have included ethnic cleansing and genocide."

Very true. Very important. And while MacDermott avoids mentioning a more obvious example, the most persistent expression of this phenomena can be seen in Israel/Palestine, where allegedly 'Semitic' Jews are doing whatever it takes to keep their lesser (Semitic) cousins at arms length–in this case, in the caged ghettos of Gaza and the West Bank.

Undue and uncompromising Jewish influence in Zio-America is allowing this race-born outrage to continue. Sadly, Israeli savagery routinely receives Zio-Washington's unconditional blessing, trillion-dollar subsidy, and unflinching diplomatic cover.

But besides the disputed territory and Israel's untouchable political power, what nourishes the endless Israel/Palestine impasse?

Jewish 'exceptionalism' is one key motivator.

The Chosen people are convinced that they are born vastly superior to their Semitic cousins.

Thus, strict segregation is required for the assurance of 'Jewish (genetic) continuity'. This objective however requires steadfast cruelty since the natives are still restless and rebelling.

Supremacism means never having to say you're sorry. This is especially true since, ironically, peace between Jews and Arabs could potentially lead to increased Jewish 'outmarriage' in Israel and consequently, the gradual reduction in Israeli (Jewish) IQ and Jewish 'exceptionalism' (supremacy).

Over time, potential genetic intermingling would very possibly undermine Jewish magnificence and therefore, Jewish cohesion. This could then translate into a loss of Jewish solidarity and 'community'. It's possible.

This downturn could subsequently affect Jewish wealth and power, and that is certainly not an outcome that the Jewish community desires.

Leaders of the global Jewish community are smart enough to envision this scenario and to prevent it from happening. They use The Holocaust (and it's potential re-0currance) as an all-purpose excuse. But it's phony. Self-segregation is a sacred, ancient Jewish value. Thus the glamorization of interracial romance is directed only at the goyim, as is the message of Open Borders. Just turn on your TV. It's there constantly.

These 'liberal, democratic' messages however are never advocated in Israel, nor are they directed at young Jews via Israeli TV, news, entertainment or education.

You will never see glamorous depictions of Jewish/Arab miscegenation on Israeli television, even though black/white 'family formation' on Jewish-owned mass media in America is ubiquitous.

Hostile US elites (Jews) apparently want non-Jewish whites to become mixed, brown. This racial objective however is anathema to Jewish values. It's strictly for the goyim.

Meanwhile, whites in America are not permitted to think or hold values like Israeli Jews, or to even express similar preferences inside the civilization that they and their forefathers created. This speaks volumes about the lack of freedom in America. Yes, we live under intellectual occupation.

For many Israeli Jews (the dominant thinking goes) strict segregation–if not active warfare–is the only sure way to maintain 'hafrada' (separation) for Jews in Israel since they are surrounded by tens of millions of similar-looking but 'unexceptional' Arabs.

Unlike America, walls (and segregation) remain sacred in Israel. But not here.

It's racist!

Iberiano , June 30, 2018 at 12:05 pm GMT
In fact, some Latinos are white, particularly those from Latin America's leadership class

I think the reality is, Latinos/Hispanics simply form lines like any group would do. I am white, all my fellow Hispanic friends are white, and we consider ourselves essentially an ethnicity within Whiteness, just like Italians, or high-caste French Creoles, White Persians, Lebanese or Jordanians.

The easiest way to tell if an "ethnic" is conservative or republican (outside of obvious virtue signalers), is to ask yourself, " Is this person white ?". Other than famous actors and political types that have the luxury being "liberal" (e.g. Salma Hayek) every day Hispanics, Persians and Arabs that are white, act, do and think, like every day White Anglo-Saxons, Germanics and Nordics–for the most part (obviously IQ plays a part). Don't get me wrong, there is a difference in IQ and mindset in the particulars between a Norman and a (white-ish) Sicilian, some IQ, some cultural, but if and when a civil war comes–no one will have ANY problem knowing where they and others stand and belong.

SunBakedSuburb , June 30, 2018 at 4:24 pm GMT
Reince Priebus: "I think post-Trump, the party basically returns to its traditional role and traditional platform."

And that would be U.S. hegemony and market fundamentalism? Unlikely and unattractive. U.S. military dominance starves our society and enriches the national security state and the rogue regimes in Tel Aviv and Riyadh. Market fundamentalism does not take into account human frailty, and would produce widespread desperation.

What can be gleaned from Mr. McDermott's instructive article is that, like it or not, identity needs to be included in the political lexicon of working class and middle class whites. Elite whites continue to cede power to blacks and browns in politics and business as the slide into Idiocracy accelerates. This is an opportunity for disaffected whites from the Democratic Party and Republican Trump supporters to form a coalition.

densa , June 30, 2018 at 7:00 pm GMT

The political consequences of these changes will be profound and irreversible.

When Ted Kennedy was pushing the 1965 opening of our borders to atone for racism, he made repeated assurances that we would not end up where we ended up. He said the level of immigration would remain the same, the ethnic mix would not inundate America with immigrants from any particular place or nation, that the ethnic pattern of America would not be changed, and that we wouldn't have something crazy like a million immigrants a year, certainly not poor ones who would place a burden on citizens.

When Reagan's amnesty happened, again promises where made that we could and would keep our country. Now, it looks like Brazil is our future.

Elections are already being decided by racial votes of minorities, which aren't considered racist by that half of America that eagerly anticipates our demise. What a rude surprise they are in for when they discover they are still white and will be honorary deplorables once they no longer have political power.

But will the GOP adequately capitalize on these gains?

Ha, Derbyshire doesn't call it the Stupid Party for nothing.

Fidelios Automata , June 30, 2018 at 7:37 pm GMT
Regarding my home state of Arizona, that 66% figure is an interesting anomaly. Except for my fellow writers, most of the white folks I know are pretty conservative. Many secretly supported Trump or voted Libertarian in protest of the lousy mainstream choices. Perhaps this is a reflection of white flight from California.
obwandiyag , June 30, 2018 at 8:44 pm GMT
You dense "scientific" racists can't see the forest for the trees, as is always the case. The importance of this election has nothing to do with demographics. But you wouldn't know that because all you want to do is scream raceracerace all de liblong day.

No. The importance of this race is that Ocasio-Cortez is "a strikingly perfect candidate, both in policy positions and refusal to take corporate money. She fits the identity politics profile without once using identity politics virtue-signaling to cover for lousy policies. This is shattering to the Clintonista crowd, who are spinning like tops."

Grow up.

WorkingClass , June 30, 2018 at 10:46 pm GMT
Post Imperial America will balkanize. There is plenty of room for four or more new republics. At least one of them will be white.
Seamus Padraig , June 30, 2018 at 10:59 pm GMT
@Jim Christian

Exactly. Whenever liberals ask 'How are the schools?', what they really mean is, 'How black are the schools?' Their hypocrisy is nauseating.

Seamus Padraig , June 30, 2018 at 11:01 pm GMT

However, most Asian immigrants are not East Asians and their IQs (such as those of Indians or Pakistanis) are much lower.

Really? How come so many are doctors, scientists and computer programmers? Those aren't typically low-IQ professions. Is this just a case of aggressive brain-drain? Do all the stupid ones stay behind in India?

In homogenous societies, for example, politics tends to divide along class and cultural lines. As a society becomes more diverse, however, ethnicity begins to play a growing role.

Yup. That's probably why the Democratic Party traded class war for race war.

Reg Cæsar , July 1, 2018 at 12:44 am GMT

Really? How come so many are doctors, scientists and computer programmers?

The advance guard in the US was the professional elite. Not so in the UK. Subcontinentals are much closer, or even below, average there. Even here, motel owners may outnumber doctors, scientists, and computer programmers combined.

Is this just a case of aggressive brain-drain?

Yes.

And it's worse in Canada.

Do all the stupid ones stay behind in India?

There are a billion more people in India than in the US. Do the arithmetic.

George , July 1, 2018 at 2:57 am GMT
Extremely low turnout led to Ocasio-Cortez Victory.

On Magical Thinking VS Sober Analysis of the Ocasio-Cortez Victory in NY

https://www.blackagendareport.com/magical-thinking-vs-sober-analysis-ocasio-cortez-victory-ny

obwandiyag , July 1, 2018 at 4:20 am GMT
OK. I'll make it simple for you because your understanding doesn't extend beyond simple.

Ocasio-Cortez is a very good candidate, and, unless she is co-opted–which, 99 out of a 100 (notice my use of "statistics," I mean damned lies, you statistics-worshipers) is the chance she will be–she is a hundred times better than Crowley the Clintonite hack. Racists are really stupid. They vote against their own interests, just like all "conservatives."

blank-misgivings , July 1, 2018 at 7:02 am GMT
The author throws around 'left' and 'right' as if they transparently applied in the case of ethnic politics. I would argue that it has been the economic 'right' that has relentlessly pursued diversity of populations – quite arguably for millennia, and certainly in the last 50 years. Some sane economic leftists realize this, although they are an endangered and shrinking group.

However if it is the right that is the main mover in favor of diversity (empire preferred to nation state for the easier control of labor), I'm not sure what solutions there are. Whites voting for the Republican Party is not a long time viable solution since the owners of that party have fundamentally different interests than the white working class (as leftists have correctly pointed out over and over).

Brabantian , Website July 1, 2018 at 11:28 am GMT
Quite a superbly-sourced and compellingly-argued article here from Patrick McDermott, extraordinarily well-done even by Unz standards

This article gives a very important snapshot of the USA political scene as a whole, one of the best I've read in some time

Thanks both to Mr McDermott and to Ron Unz for posting this, look forward to more from this author

jeppo , July 1, 2018 at 1:14 pm GMT
Ocasio's victory is a nightmare for the Democrats. The Leftist media is touting her as the future of the party, but her platform makes Obama look like a rightwing extremist.

- Federal Jobs Guarantee
- Medicare for All
- Tuition-free public college
- Reduce prisons by 50%
- Defund ICE

But the real poison pill is her unwavering support for the Palestinians. I'm not making a value judgment on this or any other of her policies, but if the GOP can tag the next Democratic presidential candidate with Ocasio's worldview, then expect a Trumpslide in 2020.

What do the (((brains))) and (((primary funders))) behind the Democratic party think of this rising star? Here are some choice quotes from NY Jewish Week:

To some, the stunning victory of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, an outspoken critic of Israel, over 10-term Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-Queens-Bronx), an Israel supporter, in Tuesday's Democratic primary is seen as another nail in the coffin of Democratic support for the Jewish state.

"If she maintains her anti-Israel stance, she will be a one-term wonder," predicted George Arzt, a New York political operative. "I don't think you can have someone with those views in New York City. If she moderates, she could win again. If she doesn't, there will be massive opposition to her -- maybe even a cross-over candidate from the Latino community with pro-Israel views."

Hank Sheinkopf, a veteran Democratic strategist, said he sees Ocasio-Cortez's overwhelming victory -- she won with 57.5 percent of the vote -- as "another step in the ongoing divorce proceedings between the pro-Israel community and the Democratic Party."

Jeff Wiesenfeld, a former aide to both Republican and Democratic elected officials, said he read Ocasio-Cortez's Twitter and Facebook postings and said she has voiced opinions that are "downright hostile to Israel."

After 60 Palestinians were killed by the Israeli military in May while attempting to breach the fence along the Israel-Gaza border, Ocasio-Cortez wrote on Twitter: "This is a massacre. I hope my peers have the moral courage to call it such. No state or entity is absolved of mass shootings of protestors. There is no justification. Palestinian people deserve basic human dignity, as anyone else. Democrats can't be silent about this anymore."

"We have never stepped into a situation in New York City in which a member of Congress starts out hostile to us," he added. "This is a new frontier."

"While Jewish Democrats support much of Ms. Ocasio-Cortez's domestic policy agenda, we disagree with her past statement regarding Israel, as well as her affiliation with the Democratic Socialists of America, which supports the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement targeting Israel," it added. "In the coming days and months, we hope to learn more about Ms. Ocasio-Cortez's views, but at the moment, her position on Israel is not in line with our values."

http://jewishweek.timesofisrael.com/ocasio-cortezs-israel-views-seen-as-troubling/

What will Jewish Democrats do if the Ocasio/DSA platform becomes mainstream in the Democratic party? Join up with the anti-Trump neocons and vote for a third party? While the Republicans can win nationwide elections without Jewish money and votes, there's no evidence that the Democrats can, at least not yet.

Another factor in Ocasio's surprise victory, as so delicately pointed out by the noted political analyst Andrew Anglin, is that:

"Furthermore, people want to f*ck her."

No shit. Her good looks and likeable personality mean that she's likely in the media spotlight to stay, no matter how much the MSM (((gatekeepers))) might want to shield the general public from her, ahem, "problematic" views.

As an aside, I believe her nationwide appeal is enhanced by her complete lack of the godawful, ear-grating Nuyorican accent so commonplace among her co-ethnics. In fact she speaks with a general American accent with barely even a hint of New Yorkese. I don't know if this is part of a generalized homogenization of regional accents throughout the country, or if she affects this dialect for personal and/or political reasons. Either way, it only adds to her appeal.

If the Ocasio-Sanders wing of the Dems continues its electoral ascendancy, then Donald Trump will start looking more and more like the moderate adult in the room compared to the infantile, gibsmedat, tantrum-throwers on the far left. Which is terrible news for the Clintonite, corporate bloodsucker wing of the Dems, but fantastic news for the rest of us.

Gordo , July 1, 2018 at 4:24 pm GMT
@mark green

You are correct.

obwandiyag , July 1, 2018 at 4:57 pm GMT
If the Ocasio-Sanders wing of the Dems continues its electoral ascendancy, the same people who voted for Trump will vote for them. You have no understanding whatsoever about the mood of the current polity.
jeppo , July 1, 2018 at 7:16 pm GMT
@obwandiyag

If the Ocasio-Sanders wing of the Dems continues its electoral ascendancy, the same people who voted for Trump will vote for them.

So what you're saying is that if there's one thing Trump supporters secretly want more than anything else, it's to abolish ICE. Yeah, no.

Reg Cæsar , July 1, 2018 at 10:20 pm GMT
@blank-misgivings

Leftism is concerned with power, period.

Economics is just a tool to that end. When identity looked to be more productive, they pivoted quite gracefully.

Welfare bureaucrats derive their power from the poor, not the working, and there are many more poor abroad than at home. Creating a welfare state thus creates a giant constituency for importing more poor, and poorer.

One of the credos of realism has been "There are no angels, so set the devils against one another." As pie-in-the-sky as economists can be, they're closer to the truth on this one than the pro-regulation forces, who assume, by definition, that the regulators will be angels.

Reg Cæsar , July 1, 2018 at 10:23 pm GMT
@jeppo

If the Ocasio-Sanders wing of the Dems continues its electoral ascendancy, the same people who voted for Trump will vote for them.

So what you're saying is that if there's one thing Trump supporters secretly want more than anything else, it's to abolish ICE. Yeah, no.

This might be true in the Bronx, but what about the other 3,030 or so counties in the US?

llloyd , Website July 2, 2018 at 3:55 am GMT
Americans, at least Unz reviewers, lump all Hispanic speakers into one category. Does Cortez even speak Spanish, except for her ethnic purposes? More important, a Puerto Rican origin is both Creole and Roman Catholic. That puts them in a category all their own. She has no love for Israel because her background did not come under the influence of the Christian Zionist Churches. Her black origins make her atavistically side with the Palestinians.
obwandiyag , July 2, 2018 at 4:08 am GMT
You have no clue about "Trump supporters." For your information, they will vote for anyone who shakes things up. Their second choice after Trump was Sanders. These are facts. Read 'em and weep.
Mishra , July 2, 2018 at 4:48 am GMT
@obwandiyag

The Establishment wants to pretend that these voters don't exist. Even though they tipped the election. Along with most people (even here) they want to keep everything in neat boxes labelled Right vs Left, Rep vs Dem, etc etc. Spares them the 'vexation of thinking'.

Mishra , July 2, 2018 at 4:49 am GMT

The Democratic Party IS Tipping!

Replace "The Democratic Party" with "America" and replace "IS Tipping!" with "HAS TIPPED" and you'll be much nearer the truth.

Ron Unz , July 2, 2018 at 5:19 am GMT
Actually, I have a quite contrary view of the political implications of these shifts in racial demographics. For those interested, here's a link to a long article I published a few years ago on this same exact topic:

http://www.unz.com/runz/immigration-republicans-and-the-end-of-white-america-singlepage/

[Jul 15, 2018] Election promises are always face in a neoliberal empire. They are always elements of bait and switch game with electorate

Jul 15, 2018 | www.unz.com

anon

This is one of the reasons Americans of all colors and stripes will not receive the the benefits of the powers of economic equality, transparency, literal meanings of the health of the economy and economic freedom.

Because they will remain blinded by partisan worship of the presidents. We agree with Obama's criticism of big banks or of Bush's conducts of the war. We agree with Trump's criticism of the wars raging in the ME . We agree with his take on illegal immigrants. Instead of holding their feet to the fire, we condone, ignore, and then come out in support of them when they fail miserably and intentionally on other vital areas or when they go against the election promises.

We believe he shits about economy coming out of FOX CNN MSNBC NYT NY POST because we worship the candidates they support or don't support , or because the support or don't support our views on other areas .

American economy has been growing without the accompanying growth of the worker's compensation for 45 years . Nothing new . Presidents have no role for the existing condition of the economy . Presidents may claim some success down the line years after presidency is over . Our economic knowledge is doled out by the same psychopaths who dole us out the knowledge and the faith about wars and about other countries from the unclean perches of the media . Yes its a handout Its a dole because we have all along built up our world view and our view of US as told by these guys dictated to us and shoved down us . The folks whose income have suffered and hours have increased don't have the time or the brains to explore and verify . They are just happy to know that they heard this "Trust but verify " and heard this " make America Great Again " . They are happy to go to war because a lesbian was killed in Uganda or in Syria or a girl was raped in Libya or gas was smelt in Dara and Hara , Sara Bara and Laora - just throw some names any name, and these folks will lend their names and sign up .

This is the underlying mindset and the intellectual foundation which explain our deepest attachment to liar like Obama and to Trump. Combined with helplessness ,this experience of reality can be disorienting and can lead to Stockholm Syndrome .

If this president wants no immigration to EU, he should stop supporting France's exploitation and military adventures in Africa, stop adding to war efforts in ME and will pay the restitution for ravaging those countries . He should focus on US and stop talking about EU's immigration.

jilles dykstra , Next New Comment July 14, 2018 at 5:16 pm GMT

" If this president wants no immigration to EU, he should stop supporting France's exploitation and military adventures in Africa, stop adding to war efforts in ME and will pay the restitution for ravaging those countries. He should focus on US and stop talking about EU's immigration. "

THE great cause of migrants coming to Europe is the USA, the wars in and destruction of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria Mali, as far as I know hardly anyone comes from Mali to us. Sudan was split by the USA, oil, the USA is building a drone base in Nigeria, oil again...

Possibly Brussels now understands that an attack on Iran will cause a new flood of migrants, Netanyahu has been warned. A new flood is the deadsure end of the EU.

[Jul 14, 2018] Sanders is controlled opposition. An empty suit.

Jul 14, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Jul 13, 2018 7:23:55 PM | 33

Yes, this was certainly for the domestic audience as we have Sanders jumping on the wagon declaring the indictment a guilty verdict:

""We must speak with one voice in making clear to Vladimir Putin: 'We will not allow you to interfere in our democratic processes or those of our allies,'" Sanders wrote in a tweet on Friday."

Gee, I seem to recall the HRC Campaign and the DNC doing far more proven damage to the electoral process than anything Russia's allegedly done. Where was Sanders denouncement of HRC and the DNC then?! Clearly, even more than in 2016, Bernie Sanders is a gigantic fraud every bit as disgusting as HRC, perhaps even more so given the number of people deluded by his actions. People like him a big part of the problem and have no part in the solution.

Perimetr , Jul 13, 2018 7:32:56 PM | 34
agree with karlofi @33, Sanders is a just a tool for the MIC
Jackrabbit , Jul 13, 2018 7:38:25 PM | 35
karlof1 and Perimeter

Yup! He is controlled opposition. An empty suit. A tool.

[Jul 11, 2018] Angry Bear " Bombing for Votes Public opinion shifts during the Iraq war and implications for future conflicts by Jeff Soplop

Jul 09, 2018 | angrybearblog.com
Politics US/Global Economics by Jeff Soplop

Bombing for Votes: Public opinion shifts during the Iraq war and implications for future conflicts

Despite the recent summit in Singapore, which mostly made for good television and little substance, North Korea appears to be quickly ignoring any promises -- whether implicit, explicit, or imagined -- made to President Trump to dismantle its nuclear program. In Iran, Trump's decision to withdraw from the six-party nuclear deal and the re-imposition of sanctions has created a possibility that Iran will resume pursuing a nuclear weapon of its own. The common thread between Iran and North Korea, of course, is the continued march of nuclear proliferation and, with it, an elevated chance of the US initiating armed conflict as a means to slow or stop such proliferation.

In this post, I'm not going to speculate how probable armed conflict with either Iran or North Korea might be (although I might take a shot at it in a future post). Instead, I'm interested in what the public reaction to such a conflict would be and how it would affect support for Trump, especially in the run up to an election.

To estimate public reaction, it's useful to consider how the public mood shifted throughout the course of the Iraq war. Even 15 years after it started, the Iraq war continues to be divisive. As shown in the chart below from Pew Research , when the Iraq invasion was first launched in March, 2003 a large majority of the country supported it as the "right decision." By early 2005, however, that support eroded and has remained relatively stable since then.

Similar to the start of the Iraq war, other research has shown a public "rally around the flag" effect at the outset of military action. One study , for example, looked at 41 US foreign policy crises and found the average effect was a boost of 1.4 percentage points to the president's approval rating. But, when the military action was large enough to merit front-page coverage by the New York Times, that effect jumped by another 8 percentage points, representing a significant lift for any president.

Considering these examples, a president with a low approval rating might be tempted to initiate an armed conflict in the run-up to an election as a way to shore up public support, at least temporarily. Given Trump's lack of scruples about any action that might in some way benefit him, such a scenario is within the realm of possibility for the 2018 midterm elections or the 2020 presidential election.

Research on the influence of major events on presidential approval ratings, however, shows that the public reaction to armed conflict cannot be taken for granted. A research paper recently published in Presidential Studies Quarterly looked at how approval ratings fluctuated over the course of George W. Bush's presidency and analyzed the causes of those fluctuations. The authors reasoned that Bush's presidency was ideal for studying presidential support because it was so eventful -- the September 11 th terrorist attacks happened during his first year in office, then Bush initiated large-scale invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, and the Great Recession started toward the end of his presidency.

To examine factors that influenced Bush's public support, they modeled his approval rating based on environmental variables (unemployment, inflation, consumer confidence, battle deaths), major event variables (9/11 attacks, Iraq invasion, market crash), and ordinary event variables (positive and negative news coverage of international and domestic events). The environmental variables were weighted based on Gallup's monthly Most Important Problem poll , which allows the model to consider the importance of these variables' salience in the public mindset. (For those who are interested, they used a Newey-West estimator to build the model to account for heteroscedasticity and autocorrelation in the errors.)

After creating the model, they grouped the independent variables into three categories: economic, war, and terror. These categories allowed the authors to examine the impact of each on Bush's approval rating over the course of his presidency, shown in the chart below.

The results in the chart provide interesting insights that challenge some conventional wisdom. Economic status is often considered one of the most important factors in presidential approval but -- according to this study, at least -- for Bush, the economy was almost a non-factor until the very end of his presidency when the Great Recession started. The 9/11 terrorist attacks, and Bush's response to them, including bombing Afghanistan, provided an initially huge boost to his approval. But that jump faded almost entirely within a year. The beginning of the Iraq war, by contrast, provided only a very small, short-term boost to Bush's approval ratings, which quickly turned into a large negative that continued to weigh down his ratings for the remainder of his term. By examining the model variables, it's clear that troop casualty reports had a particularly significant negative impact within the war category.

Based on these results, the study's authors concluded that it is the salience of events that matters as much or more than the events themselves. When 9/11 happened, people wanted security and rewarded Bush for taking decisive action that made them feel safer. When the Iraq war started, the effects of war weariness kicked in fairly quickly and people wanted fewer causalities and peace. When the Great Recession began, people forgot about everything else and looked to their own economic prospects.

With those lessons in mind, initiating an armed conflict with Iran or North Korea would be a high-risk approach to boosting public support in the run-up to an election. Both countries have powerful militaries and any conflict could quickly lead to high casualty numbers. While no military action would be risk free, an engineered conflict with a target that could be attacked with minimal threat to US troops, such as Syria or Yemen, could induce a short-term rallying effect. As elections approach later this year and in 2020, keep your eyes on those and other "soft" targets to see if the president tries to bomb his way to his desired outcome.

  1. Joel , July 9, 2018 6:59 am

    I'm expecting some sort of Reichstag fire event.

Daniel Becker , July 9, 2018 4:58 pm

All true, though I speculate a draft would change things. Which is why we have an "all volunteer" military. Those that like the military and war learned well. Unfortunately, it makes for a defense force that no longer reflects the population which I do not think is good.

[Jul 09, 2018] Another bait and switch ?

Jul 09, 2018 | www.unz.com

geokat62 , July 3, 2018 at 11:18 am GMT

Here's an interesting tidbit about AOC:

Newly popular Democratic politician hero and nominee for a seat in the U.S. Congress Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez used to have these words on her website:

A Peace Economy

"Since the invasion of Iraq in 2003, the United States has entangled itself in war and occupation throughout the Middle East and North Africa. As of 2018, we are currently involved in military action in Libya, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Pakistan, and Somalia. According to the Constitution, the right to declare war belongs to the Legislative body, not the President. Yet, most of these acts of aggression have never once been voted on by Congress. Alex believes that we must end the forever war by bringing our troops home and ending the air strikes and bombings that perpetuate the cycle of terrorism and occupation throughout the world."

Now they're gone. Asked about it on Twitter, she replied:

"Hey! Looking into this. Nothing malicious! Site is supporter-run so things happen -- we'll get to the bottom of it."

https://alethonews.com/2018/06/30/why-it-matters-that-peace-is-gone-from-ocasio-cortez-website/

It'll be interesting to see if these words ever reappear. I'll keep you posted if and when that happens.

ISmellBagels , July 3, 2018 at 11:23 am GMT
It will be interesting to see if Ocasio-Cortez will/can maintain her position on Israeli crimes. Public figures have a long history of backpedaling after getting the riot act read to them from the hebrew masters.
Carroll Price , July 6, 2018 at 6:09 pm GMT
@ISmellBagels

Like all other honest inexperienced upstarts, she'll spend the rest of her political life on her knees. begging forgiveness.

[Jul 09, 2018] WPOP fielded by the Unv of Maryland might be preferable to the polls like Pew

Jul 09, 2018 | www.unz.com

renfro , July 3, 2018 at 10:18 pm GMT

@FKA Max

If people want to use polls I suggest they use the gold standard WPOP fielded by the Unv of Maryland instead of polls like Pew which are funded by the Pew Charitable Trust , which is basically a 'Think Tank" that then presents its polls to congress trying to affect political decisions on issues. People need to be wary of what is an 'opinion maker' instead of just an opinion taker.

Here is a more detailed accurate picture ..bear in mind also that evans are only 10% of the population and other factors like party affiliation affect their views. One also has to wonder "IF" the evans as well as the other public were exposed to the real story on Israel and not the slanted version of the US med how that would affect the numbers.

http://worldpublicopinion.net/what-americans-especially-evangelicals-think-about-israel-and-the-middle-east/

What Americans (especially Evangelicals) think about Israel and the Middle East
Evangicals, International Action, Israel, Middle East / North Africa, Views on Countries/Regions December 4, 2015,

A new poll shows that in dealing with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict overall, an overwhelming 77% of Evangelical Republicans want the United States to lean toward Israel as compared to 29% to Americans overall and 36% of non-Evangelical Republicans.

In contrast 66% of all Americans and 60% of Non-Evangelical Republicans want the United States to lean toward neither side .

This pattern holds on other aspects of US policy toward the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. If the UN Security Council considers endorsing the establishment of a Palestinian state, only 26% of all Americans and 38% of non-Evangelical Republicans favor the US voting against it. However six in ten Evangelical Republicans say that the US should vote against it, thus vetoing the move.

Evangelical Republicans also differ in that they pay far more attention to a candidate's position on Israel. When considering which candidate to vote for in Congress or for president just 26% of all Americans and 33% of non-Evangelical Republicans say they consider the candidates position on Israel a lot. Among Evangelical Republicans 64% say they consider it a lot.
Views of Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also vary dramatically. Among the general public just 32 percent have a favorable view of Netanyahu, as do 47 percent of non-Evangelical Republicans. Favorable views rise to 66% among Evangelicals.
When asked, in an open-ended question, to name a national leader they most admire 22 percent of Republican Evangelicals chose Netanyahu, far more than any other leader.
Among Non-Evangelical Republicans 9 percent named Netanyahu and 6 percent for the public as a whole.
Evangelical Republicans represent 23% of all Republicans and 10% of the general population.
"There are of course partisan differences on Middle East policy in American public attitudes, but what's most striking is that much of the differences between Republicans and the national total disappears once one sets aside Evangelical Republicans, who constitute 10% of all Americans " said Shibley Telhami, the poll's principal investigator. "The Israel issue in American politics is seen to have become principally a Republican issue, but in fact, our results show, it's principally the issue of Evangelical Republicans."

One possible explanation for Evangelical Republicans' attitudes is their religious views. Sixty-six percent of Evangelical Republicans say that for the rapture or Second Coming to occur it is essential for current-day Israel to include all the land they believe was promised to Biblical Israel in the Old Testament, with 35% holding this view strongly.
The poll was sponsored by the Sadat Chair at the University of Maryland, and conducted in cooperation with the University's Program for Public Consultation, and released at the Brookings Institution. It was fielded by Nielsen Scarborough November 4-11, 2015, among a nationally representative sample of online panelists of 875, plus an oversample of Evangelicals/Born-Again Christians of 863. The margin of error is 3-4%.
Other Select Findings:
Overall, twice as many Americans say the Israeli government has too much influence (37%) than say too little influence (18%), while a plurality (44%) say it's the right level. Among Democrats, about half (49%) say Israel has too much influence, compared with 14% who say Israel has too little influence, and 36% who say it's the right level; Among Republicans, slightly more people say that Israel has too much influence (25%) than say it has too little influence (22%) with a slight majority (52%) saying it's the right level. The percentage of people who think that Israel has too little influence increases with age: 8% of 18-24 year olds feel this way in contrast to 17% of 25-44 year olds, 20% of 45-64 year olds, and 22% of those who are 65 years of age and older.
Given five options to explain the escalation of Israeli-Palestinian violence the largest number–31%–attributes it to the absence of serious peace diplomacy, while 26% blame continued Israeli occupation and settlement expansion in the West Bank, and the same number blame Palestinian extremists. Only 6% each blame Israeli extremists and Palestinian authority ineffectiveness
Concerns about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are driven more by considerations related to human right and international law than US interests. Offered five options to explain their concern, the largest number -- 47%– say human rights or international law, while 32% say America's interest. Thirteen percent say cite religious beliefs, while 8% express concern for Israel's interests .

Overall, 37% of Americans (and 49% of Democrats) recommend punitive measures against Israel over its settlement policy (27% recommend economic sanctions, and 10% recommend taking more serious action); 31% recommend that the U.S. limits its opposition to words, 27% recommend that the U.S. do nothing.
American views of Muslims are strikingly partisan. While 67% of Democrats express favorable views of Muslims, only 41% of Republicans do.
73% of Evangelicals say that world events will turn against Israel the closer we get to the rapture or end and 78% say that the unfolding violence across the Middle East is a sign that the end times are nearer.

renfro , July 3, 2018 at 10:24 pm GMT
@renfro

A look at what the public says Trump should do.


When asked whether Trump should lean toward Israel toward Israel or Palestine or Neither

http://worldpublicopinion.net/palestine-and-israel-in-the-shadow-of-the-election-what-do-americans-want-obama-and-trump-to-do/

Favor Israel

Repubs – 56%
Dems – 17%
Independents – 29%

Favor Neither Israel or Palestine

Repubs – 42%
Dems -69%
Independents- 66%

[Jul 09, 2018] Both parties are on the payroll of AIPAC. USA is banana republic, of Israel.

Jul 09, 2018 | www.unz.com

Rational , July 3, 2018 at 4:56 am GMT

WHEN IS MUELLER GOING TO INVESTIGATE AIPAC MEDDLING IN EVERY ELECTION?

Thanks for the excellent article, like usual, Mr. Giraldi. Great points. Both parties are on the payroll of AIPAC. USA is banana republic, of Israel.

It is amazing the fake news network called CNN talks about the fake Russian interference in the last election the whole day, but AIPAC interferes in every election of virtually every candidate and virtually every President. When is Mueller going to investigate the biggest foreign lobby in USA -- AIPAC?

Wizard of Oz , July 3, 2018 at 11:38 am GMT
@Rational

Discussion on another thread of motives Israel might have had for killing JFK included suggestions that the Kennedy brothers attempts to get Zioniist lobbyists to register as foreign agents might have been very serious for Israel. Without doing the research which a lawyer being paid for his opinion would put into it I nonetheless formed a confident view that the argument had no legs.

No it appears AIPAC isn't a foreign lobby. If you don't like what it does you would say it is much worse – but untouchable by Mueller.

It is perhaps peripheral to your comment but I suggest that the reality is that the same rich Americans who have long supported Israel have set up perfectly legal American organizations that happen to reflect Israeli policy in their lobbying without being legally controlled or controllable by Israel.

WorkingClass , July 3, 2018 at 11:07 am GMT

but it's a funny thing that Israeli abuse and even killing of Arab children is not met with the same opprobrium.

Also the intentional starving of children in Yemen. And the huge pile of dead babies in Iraq, Libya and Syria. All of them murdered by Imperial Washington.

I much prefer President Trump to any of the candidates he defeated in the primaries and general election. But I regret that he is a Jew.

ISmellBagels , July 3, 2018 at 11:24 am GMT
@WorkingClass

Trump is not a Jew, just Jewifiied.

utu , July 3, 2018 at 11:33 am GMT
@Tyrion 2

Jews are probably the least ethnocentric

Because Jews are cosmocentric. The center of the whole universe.

[Jul 06, 2018] Trump and Republican Party: as the trade war disruptions reach upper corporate managers class, I believe they may turn on Trump

Jul 06, 2018 | www.nytimes.com

RFW Pennsylvania July 1

Since I don't have access to direct statistics, nor the energy to read through them, I must guess or shut up. Shutting up is never an option, so let me inflict a bit of Potemkin wisdom on you: There must be a statistically significant number of upper corporate management Republicans in the US, who do understand economics, and who will be hurt by the contraction of their corporations with the resulting stagnation of remuneration, decline in the value of stock options, forced early retirement, and even outright job loss. Please understand that I do not say this with any schadenfreude - I had a very kind uncle who was one of these.

But, as the trade war disruptions reach this class, I believe they may turn on Trump, who after all is no gentleman. They probably see even now that the benefits of Trump's rule fall mainly upon the vigorous, yes, but semi-thug portion of American business by way of the exhilaration flowing from the abrogation of law. The class I'm referring to is a fairly cautious one - they say fear drives the stock market - so I do not expect anything dramatic or wonderfully inspiring from them, but there will be pressure, like country club snubbing, say, of the more obstreperously Trumpian congressional representatives and even support for their more rational (still Republican) rivals. As your colleague Mr. Brooks indicates, it is becoming very, very embarrassing to be a Republican.

But ominously the Supreme Court is beyond their and our reach.

[Jul 06, 2018] Casual voters

Jul 06, 2018 | www.nytimes.com

bob adamson Canada July 1

I wouldn't be so pessimistic at this time.

Lots of quite intelligent people choose not to follow political issues very closely. Let's call them casual voters. Come election time, many casual voters simply consider whether matters for which the election winner will have some say are currently going well or poorly & if they think matters aren't going well, they'll simply vote against the incumbent or the Party the retiring incumbent represented.

In the same vane, having recently elected this 'new' person, they'll stick with that choice for a decent interval to see if things improve.

For 'casual' Trump supporting voters such as those I've just tried to describe, it may well be too early to turn against Trump. However, turn against him many of them will as the chaos & damage of his actions will cause accumulate.

[Jul 06, 2018] First thought was that's what political party elites use to keep their base from changing their party elites policies: 'alarm' the base about the horribleness of the 'other side', rally the base to 'resist' any actions by 'the other side' (while not changing course and not offering policies the base wants/needs), and finally, 'exhaust' the base with resistance movements designed not to succeed politically but to exhaust the base so they'll 'adapt' to whatever the party elites dictate as policy

Jul 06, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

flora , July 5, 2018 at 3:34 pm

The line that caught my attention:

The general adaptation syndrome, he said, unfolded in three stages: alarm, resistance, and exhaustion.

First thought was that's what political party elites use to keep their base from changing their party elites policies: 'alarm' the base about the horribleness of the 'other side', rally the base to 'resist' any actions by 'the other side' (while not changing course and not offering policies the base wants/needs), and finally, 'exhaust' the base with resistance movements designed not to succeed politically but to exhaust the base so they'll 'adapt' to whatever the party elites dictate as policy.

OK, I'm trying to force a comparison here, straining the metaphor, which is stressful. ;)

[Jul 05, 2018] America Celebrates Lateral Move From Monarchy To Corporate Rule by Caitlin Johnstone

That's all right and indignation is well deserved, but what is the alternative? Is Sanders program a real alternative or he just served as a sheepdog for Hillary.
The Iron law of oligarchy is a serious constrain that suggest that the socialist system degenerate to oligarchical system really quick and as such is not a viable option.
The USSR experience tells us a lot about how the process of degeneration of "revolutionary elite" once started logically leads to neoliberalism
Notable quotes:
"... The elite class secured its stance as British Rule 2.0 by throwing their money behind politicians who they knew would advance their interests, whether those interests are in ensuring that the arms and munitions they manufacture get used frequently, the expansion of predatory trade policies, keeping tax loopholes open and keeping taxes on the wealthiest of the wealthy very low, deregulating corporations and banks, or enabling underhanded Wall Street practices which hurt the many for the benefit of the few. ..."
"... Buckley v. Valeo ..."
"... First National Bank of Boston v. Bellotti ..."
"... Citizens United v. FEC ..."
"... So if you've ever wondered why seemingly common sense matters like a living wage and healthcare as a right consistently get shot down by your government, this is why. In order to rule you as King George ruled you, the oligarchs need to make sure most of America is toiling just to keep its head above water. Progressives were able to mount an intimidating insurgency using tiny 27-dollar donations on 2016; imagine what they could do if ordinary working Americans were being paid their fair share of the U.S. economy? ..."
"... The oligarchs can keep that from happening by continually escalating income inequality. They use their massive political power to repress the minimum wage, to undermine the power of unions ..."
"... America is a corporatist oligarchy dressed in drag doing a bad impression of a bipartisan democracy. Sometimes it doesn't even keep its wig on; a recent party at the Hamptons saw Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump, Kellyanne Conway and Charles Koch mixing it up with Chuck Schumer and George Soros. ..."
"... When they're not dining on champagne and rare fillet together, these people pretend to be locked in a vicious partisan battle that is "tearing the nation apart," but at Lally Weymouth's annual Southampton summer party the act stops and the oligarchs frolic together like children. ..."
"... This commentary was originally published on ..."
"... The Constitution, and the Bill of Rights were NOT inclusive documents. Both of these papers were written by, and for rich landowners. Slavers, in short. The writers did not believe that 'the people' were intelligent enough to contribute to government. The 'Founding Fathers' comprised the original oligarchy. ..."
"... America was formed/founded by White men seeking fame, fortune and power outside the existing European political power structure. From its' beginning, it has been a nation of migrants seeking this kind of fortune ..."
"... You can talk all you want about political systems, which is better or how to corral the oligarchs who rule America, but what I've described is America and the world will never have peace or prosperity until the American Empire ends and the whole world can then celebrate American Independence Day – the Day when the rest of the world is Independent from the Evil Empire. ..."
"... Hard to have a Fourth of July celebration when your Bill of Rights and Constitution have been Trashed. ..."
"... Marxists (and much of the broader. "Left") have always maintained that the capitalist mode of production – and the bourgeois-democratic political superstructure it necessitates – represented an immense revolutionary achievement in the course of human development. ..."
"... Casting aside the last vestiges of the feudal system, particularly hereditary monarchy and titles of nobility, was critical to the eventual move toward a more equitable system of political economy. ..."
"... The reactionary system of corporate rule that we see today is a result of the bourgeoisie and capitalist system having (long) outlived their historically progressive role. However, that does not minimize the fact that in relation to the prior system (I.e. feudalism and monarchy), the US capitalist bourgeois-democratic form of political economy was a great achievement. ..."
"... "Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents." Major General Smedley Butler ..."
"... I can't disagree with this articles premise that capitalism has it's flaws but I also contend that socialism has just as sordid a track record with it's own set of oligarchs. ..."
"... The United States did not win independence from George III. Since 1689 the UK/Great Britain has been a CONSTITUTIONAL MONARCHY. (Now go look that up to see what it means.) That means that Parliament does not answer to the monarch. Period. ..."
"... George III was America's eighteenth century Putin. Someone they blame for all their problems, but who is not actually responsible for any of them. Americans, like their precious Second Amendment will not grow up and move on. ..."
"... The establishment of the Central Bank in City-of-London in 1694 or thereabouts, when William of Orange crossed the English Chanel, along with his retinue of immigrant Venetian banksters from the Netherlands, is the one pertinent fact worth remembering. ..."
"... Whether one envisages the traditional concept of royalty with precious stones-studded crowns and all the "royal" trapping, pomp and circumstance or multi-billionaire corporate tax-evading mega-moguls, the groups are essentially the same. Wealth inequality on Earth, ironically and sadly, has grown while so-called "royalty" as a visible phenomenon has slowly diminished. The problems associated with record concentration of wealth on Earth have grown in equal proportion, to the point where people are starting to consider newer, potentially more beneficial economic thought and viable alternative systems. ..."
Jul 05, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

Americans celebrate their independence 242 years ago today from Britain with little thought it seems about who rules them now, comments Caitlin Johnstone.

Today America celebrates its liberation from the shackles of the British Crown and the beginning of its transition into corporatist oligarchy, which is a lot like celebrating your lateral promotion from housekeeping to laundry staff. Fireworks will be set off, hot dogs will be consumed, and a strange yellow concoction known as Mountain Dew will be imbibed by patriotic high-fiving Yankees eager to celebrate their hard-fought freedom to funnel their taxes into corporate welfare instead of to the King.

Spark up a bottle rocket for me, America! In trouncing King George's red-coated goon squad, you made it possible for the donor class to slowly buy up more and more control of your shiny new government, allowing for a system of rule determined not by royal bloodlines, but by wealth bloodlines. Now instead of your national affairs being determined by some gilded schmuck across the pond, they are determined by the billionaire owners of multinational corporations and banks. These oligarchs have shored up their rule to such an extent that congressional candidates who outspend their opponents are almost certain to win , and a 2014 Princeton study found that ordinary Americans have no influence whatsoever over the behavior of their government while the will of the wealthy has a direct influence on US policy and legislation.

The elite class secured its stance as British Rule 2.0 by throwing their money behind politicians who they knew would advance their interests, whether those interests are in ensuring that the arms and munitions they manufacture get used frequently, the expansion of predatory trade policies, keeping tax loopholes open and keeping taxes on the wealthiest of the wealthy very low, deregulating corporations and banks, or enabling underhanded Wall Street practices which hurt the many for the benefit of the few. The existence of legalized bribery and corporate lobbying as illustrated in the video above have enabled the plutocrats to buy up the Legislative and Executive branches of the US government, and with these in their pockets they were eventually able to get the Judicial branch as well since justices are appointed and approved by the other two. Now having secured all three branches in a system of checks and balances theoretically designed to prevent totalitarian rule, the billionaire class has successfully secured totalitarian rule.

By tilting the elections of congressmen and presidents in such a way as to install a corporatist Supreme Court bench, the oligarchs successfully got legislation passed which further secured and expanded their rule with decisions like 1976's Buckley v. Valeo , 1978's First National Bank of Boston v. Bellotti , and 2010's Citizens United v. FEC . This has had the effect of creating a nation wherein money equals power, which has in turn had the effect of creating a system wherein the ruling class is, in a very real way, incentivized to try and keep everyone else poor in order to maintain its rule.

George III: Like today's rulers of America, he didn't give up without a fight. (National Portrait Gallery, London.)

Just as King George didn't give up rule of the New World colonies without a knock-down, drag-out fight, King George 2.0 has no intention of relinquishing its rule either. The oligarchs have been fighting to keep their power, and, in the money-equals-power system that they have built for themselves, this necessarily means keeping you from having money. Just as King George's kingship would have meant nothing if everybody was King, the oligarchs won't be oligarchs anymore if ordinary Americans are ever able to secure enough money for themselves to begin influencing their government within its current money-equals-power paradigm.

So if you've ever wondered why seemingly common sense matters like a living wage and healthcare as a right consistently get shot down by your government, this is why. In order to rule you as King George ruled you, the oligarchs need to make sure most of America is toiling just to keep its head above water. Progressives were able to mount an intimidating insurgency using tiny 27-dollar donations on 2016; imagine what they could do if ordinary working Americans were being paid their fair share of the U.S. economy?

The oligarchs can keep that from happening by continually escalating income inequality. They use their massive political power to repress the minimum wage, to undermine the power of unions , and to continually pull more and more energy away from socialist programs and toward the corporate deregulation of neoliberalism. If you don't depend on running the rat race for some corporate boss in order for your family to have health insurance, you're suddenly free to innovate, create, and become an economically powerful entrepreneur yourself.

America is a corporatist oligarchy dressed in drag doing a bad impression of a bipartisan democracy. Sometimes it doesn't even keep its wig on; a recent party at the Hamptons saw Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump, Kellyanne Conway and Charles Koch mixing it up with Chuck Schumer and George Soros.

When they're not dining on champagne and rare fillet together, these people pretend to be locked in a vicious partisan battle that is "tearing the nation apart," but at Lally Weymouth's annual Southampton summer party the act stops and the oligarchs frolic together like children.

1776 turned out to be nothing other than a transition from one form of exploitative rule to another, but who knows? Maybe a year in the not-too-distant future will see America celebrating a real Independence Day.

This commentary was originally published on Medium.

Caitlin Johnstone is a rogue journalist, poet, and utopia prepper who publishes regularly at Medium . Follow her work on Facebook , Twitter , or her website . She has a podcast and a new book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers . This article was re-published with permission.


Al Pinto , July 5, 2018 at 12:06 pm

@Jean

"Just a reminder; Sanders would have won if not for the hated Hillary"

Even if he did, it would not have made a difference; the POTUS does not make laws, Congress does, at least on paper

Just remember, Bernie did endorse RHC at the DNC. That probably had been the play all along during the primary. Sanders to woo in all of the "dissenters" and then turn them over to RHC, under the "unity" umbrella against Trump.

I still "Feel the Burn", the burn of the rigged system, don't you?

rgl , July 5, 2018 at 12:52 pm

The Constitution, and the Bill of Rights were NOT inclusive documents. Both of these papers were written by, and for rich landowners. Slavers, in short. The writers did not believe that 'the people' were intelligent enough to contribute to government. The 'Founding Fathers' comprised the original oligarchy.

Money (land and slaves) was the basis of political power in the 17th century. Funny that. The more things change the more they stay the same.

Ergo Sum , July 5, 2018 at 7:32 am

@Jean

Just a reminder; Sanders would have won if not for the hated Hillary"

It would not have made any difference, even if he did. The POTUS does not make laws, Congress does.

You should not forget that Sanders endorsed RHC at the DNC. His purpose during the primary has been to channel all of democrats with social, economic and political dissatisfaction to Hillary at the end. "Feel The Burn", the burn of the rigged system. It is another example of how the rigged system allows minor uprising to flourish for a while, and then crush it at the end by the perceived front-runner of the movement. The movement is dead, voters are further disillusioned that enforces the viewpoint of there's nothing that peaceful action can do to change the system. This results in even less people showing up at the voting booth to cast their votes, that the rigged system loves; it does not need to disenfranchise voters and easier to predetermine the outcome any of the upcoming elections.

Happy Birthday America, the home of the free and the brave You are free to rig the system, if you are brave enough

Tom , July 5, 2018 at 5:58 am

America was formed/founded by White men seeking fame, fortune and power outside the existing European political power structure. From its' beginning, it has been a nation of migrants seeking this kind of fortune – bugger those damn savages that get in the way of this greed and desire to take land, resources and culture away from America's native inhabitants. And so it began this way and has continued unabated for more than the life of the nation which began in 1776 – more than 240 years of expansionism, colonization and subjugation of those less powerful – too take away the land and resources of not just the native American Indians, but later the peoples of Cuba, Philippines, Japan, China and on to the World Wars, late 20th century wars in Iraq, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Yemen and on and on an on – continuous warfare and expansionism of the American Empire to take away land, resources and power of the native inhabitants of every nation the US targets for regime change or conquest.

You can talk all you want about political systems, which is better or how to corral the oligarchs who rule America, but what I've described is America and the world will never have peace or prosperity until the American Empire ends and the whole world can then celebrate American Independence Day – the Day when the rest of the world is Independent from the Evil Empire.

GMC , July 5, 2018 at 5:17 am

Hard to have a Fourth of July celebration when your Bill of Rights and Constitution have been Trashed.

Anonymous , July 5, 2018 at 3:43 am

Marxists (and much of the broader. "Left") have always maintained that the capitalist mode of production – and the bourgeois-democratic political superstructure it necessitates – represented an immense revolutionary achievement in the course of human development.

Anonymous , July 5, 2018 at 12:25 pm

Casting aside the last vestiges of the feudal system, particularly hereditary monarchy and titles of nobility, was critical to the eventual move toward a more equitable system of political economy.

The reactionary system of corporate rule that we see today is a result of the bourgeoisie and capitalist system having (long) outlived their historically progressive role. However, that does not minimize the fact that in relation to the prior system (I.e. feudalism and monarchy), the US capitalist bourgeois-democratic form of political economy was a great achievement.

Mukadi , July 4, 2018 at 10:24 pm

July 4 Is Matrix Reinforcement Day

https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2018/07/03/tomorrow-is-matrix-reinforcement-day/

Joe Tedesky , July 5, 2018 at 12:02 am

"Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents." Major General Smedley Butler

Good on you Mukadi for posting this link. PCR did a great analogy of our American war culture. Joe

Jessika , July 4, 2018 at 9:49 pm

It's a knee-jerk celebration, anyway, for the most part. The citizens are told to celebrate, so they celebrate. Just like Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine's Day, the Fourth of July is a day to generate money. The firecrackers are popping right now, a worship of the warship that the US has become.

Susan Lee Schwartz , July 4, 2018 at 9:47 pm

Caitlin, I just finished reading an article that I think you would love. "The Birth of Predatory Capitalism "at Eudaimonia and Co: https://eand.co/how-predatory-capitalism-imploded-the-future-6a6396b8f2fc

Herman , July 4, 2018 at 8:37 pm

Much of my time is spent reading commentary that I agree with and articles I agree with. Something to consider for the website, descriptive articles yes but more prescriptive ones. For example, articles by people who have ideas for change, addressing important policy questions like taxation, health insurance, technology stuff like robotics and how to spread its benefits. and of course, reform of the process of selecting and electing our leaders. Just a thought.

Kenny , July 4, 2018 at 5:43 pm

I can't disagree with this articles premise that capitalism has it's flaws but I also contend that socialism has just as sordid a track record with it's own set of oligarchs.

Jerry Alatalo , July 4, 2018 at 4:41 pm

Horrendous global economic conditions require new economic thinking that improves the health and well-being of the most number of people. Economist and author Henry George (1839-1897) nailed it decades ago in his multi-million copy, bestselling 1879 book "Progress and Poverty" – the "single tax" or land value tax.

Consortium News would do humanity a great service by bringing the writings of Henry George economic philosophy advocates to readers and CN's massive group of supporters around the world. For example, an excellent guest writer suggestion is Henry George expert, confirmed enthusiast, and author of many books on the subject, Mr. Fred Harrison.

System-wide implementation of Henry George economic principles addresses the real concerns raised by Caitlin Johnstone and so many others in this time of unprecedented wealth inequality, faulty economics, the new royals called corporate oligarchs, seeming endless war, and the great societal problems manifested as a consequence.

Peace.

Drew Hunkins , July 4, 2018 at 4:28 pm

Jefferson was very old when he first saw the fledgling stages of early corporate power, they called them "moneyed incorporations" or something like that. Jefferson warned that these new "moneyed incorporations" had the potential power to undermine everything the revolution accomplished.

John2o2o , July 4, 2018 at 4:18 pm

Sigh. I know I'm probably wasting my time saying this as Caitlin's groupies will not tolerate criticism of their anointed one.

The United States did not win independence from George III. Since 1689 the UK/Great Britain has been a CONSTITUTIONAL MONARCHY. (Now go look that up to see what it means.) That means that Parliament does not answer to the monarch. Period.

"In the Kingdom of England, the Glorious Revolution of 1688 led to a constitutional monarchy restricted by laws such as the Bill of Rights 1689 and the Act of Settlement 1701, although limits on the power of the monarch ('a limited monarchy') are much older than that (see Magna Carta). At the same time, in Scotland the Convention of Estates enacted the Claim of Right Act 1689, which placed similar limits on the Scottish monarchy." wikipedia.

George III was America's eighteenth century Putin. Someone they blame for all their problems, but who is not actually responsible for any of them. Americans, like their precious Second Amendment will not grow up and move on.

I know it suits some of you to believe that somehow the royals are super powerful, but they are not. They don't call the shots and haven't done so now for over 300 years.

Joe Lauria , July 4, 2018 at 4:43 pm

"War began in 1775 and was prolonged in 1779, *at the king's insistence,* to prevent copycat protests elsewhere. The British defeat in 1781 prompted North to resign. In 1783, North and the prominent Whig politician Fox formed a coalition government. Their plans to reform the East India Company gave George the chance to regain popularity. He *forced the bill's defeat* in Parliament, and the two resigned. In their place George *appointed* William Pitt the Younger."

George blocked legislation and he appointed the first minister, i.e. he had power over parliament.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/historic_figures/george_iii_king.shtml

cal , July 4, 2018 at 6:17 pm

The Continental Congress was primarily frustrated with Parliament, a resent that had been brewing since the conclusion of the Seven Years War. But, at the same time, royalist enthusiasm had been budding, with an increasing obsession within the colonies of being faithful servants of the crown. Thus, the Congress styled their petitions to the monarch, hoping he would quash his evil ministers, with George III being the hoped for "patriot king". When George attacked the colonies, and began efforts to crackdown on political unrest, the otherwise unpopular and extreme option of independence became feasible. George was not an absolute monarch or a tyrant, but he did have significant power, and he could, if he played parliamentary politics well enough, get his way. The Glorious Revolution did not disempower the monarchy or firmly establish parliamentary power, both of these phenomena began both before and after the events of 1688.

Brad Owen , July 5, 2018 at 4:20 am

The establishment of the Central Bank in City-of-London in 1694 or thereabouts, when William of Orange crossed the English Chanel, along with his retinue of immigrant Venetian banksters from the Netherlands, is the one pertinent fact worth remembering.

THIS is what the Founders actually declared their independence from, establishing the National Bank in the process (which was shut down relatively quickly thereafter, by agents loyal to City-of-London Central Bank). Independence has been a farce from the beginning and we never had our Republic, let alone keeping it, as Benjamin Franklin had warned us would be the problem.

We've had a phony Republic based on the model supplied by Venice (and established by Venetian "Dutch Masters" in The Netherlands in the 17th century) throughout the Medieval/Renaissance eras. It is the same old, ongoing, Citizens' Republic vs Oligarchs' Empire fight that Western Civilzation inherited from Roman times.

Jerry Alatalo , July 4, 2018 at 4:04 pm

Whether one envisages the traditional concept of royalty with precious stones-studded crowns and all the "royal" trapping, pomp and circumstance or multi-billionaire corporate tax-evading mega-moguls, the groups are essentially the same. Wealth inequality on Earth, ironically and sadly, has grown while so-called "royalty" as a visible phenomenon has slowly diminished. The problems associated with record concentration of wealth on Earth have grown in equal proportion, to the point where people are starting to consider newer, potentially more beneficial economic thought and viable alternative systems.

The ideas of economist and author of "Progress and Poverty" – HENRY GEORGE (1839-1897) "Single tax" proponent (or "land value tax") – are both disappointingly under-discussed and under-appreciated, while offering precisely the economic alternative for effectively dealing with today's orthodox economy-centric global, societal problems. People might take the time in researching Henry George's ideas when they understand (only one of many benefits) that implementation of Georgist economic principles means no more income tax taken out of their paychecks

Consortium News (CN) is the perfect platform for support of Henry George economic thought and raising awareness of an idea whose time may just have arrived. We might suggest Consortium News publish the writings of Henry George expert and author of many books on the subject Mr. Fred Harrison, who would likely happily provide his impressive writings for free.

We might also suggest the many millions of men and women from all regions of the Earth reading Consortium News consider finding out more on Henry George economic thought, do the researching, then understand the economic philosophy's virtually immeasurable, positive and transforming potential.

Source information search suggestion: Henry George School of Social Science.

Peace.

[Jul 05, 2018] We are an empire now

The problem is that the logic of neoliberalism dictates the necessary of converting the USA into empire and maintaining this empire at the expense of well-being and standard of living of US citizens. It is necessary to enforce globalization and Washington consensus.
Crash in the empire façade are now painted off with Russophobia...
Jul 05, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

Gary Weglarz , July 4, 2018 at 11:55 am

An excellent analysis of the sordid mess we euphemistically refer to as our vaunted -- "democracy." Given the total control of information through MSM, combined with oligarchic attempts to censor and essentially "disappear" dissenting voices in alternative media, the vast majority of Americans are tethered to domestic and global "realities" by a very thin thread indeed. Americans and Westerners in general are lost in a matrix -like propaganda system of the like the world has never before seen. We've essentially replaced the mythic "divine right of kings" and the "infallibility of the pope" with the equally mythic divine "rights of corporations" and the infallibility of the "invisible hand of the market." Strange how that "invisible hand" can always be found wrapped tightly around the throats of the world's poor everywhere and anywhere.

Challenging these myth systems with truthful counter-narratives is as heretical today as it was a thousand years ago in the West, while those oligarchic controlled institutions enforcing our current myth systems are just as greedy, violent, amoral and blood thirsty as they were during the height of the Holy Inquisition. The myths have changed, but the dynamics of absolute power through the control of societal myth systems remains unchanged. As Derrick Jensen has pointed out most Americans can more easily imagine the end of the world than they can imagine the end of capitalism. This is "brain-washing" of the highest order indeed.

Lois Gagnon , July 4, 2018 at 5:19 pm

Well put. Changing the narrative has to be our highest priority.

zhenry , July 4, 2018 at 10:50 pm

Should add 'Divine right and infallibility over a world nobody can live in.

David Stevenson - Progressive Soup , July 4, 2018 at 11:51 am

Reminds me of The Who song : "Won't Get Fooled Again !"

"Meet the new Boss, same as the old Boss".

"And parking on the left is now parking on the right".

Rob , July 4, 2018 at 11:31 am

It's good to see Caitlin and her no holds barred writing back on Consortium News. Her hard hitting analyses are usually spot-on.

rosemerry , July 4, 2018 at 11:18 am

Many important rights were fought for and won by earlier generations, and I think it was Ralph Nader who said that none have been won since 1970. Earnings for all but the rich have stagnated, long-established rights have been cast aside by the "courts of law", national and State.

As well as Jeffrey Clements' "Corporations are not People" and his fight for the repeal of "Citizens' United" (what happened to this surge of people power?) there is an excellent book by historian Nancy MacLean "Democracy in Chains" which traces the movement to deny rights to the people, except a select few, right up to the election of Donald J Trump. It is clear, fast-paced, well- referenced and very chilling. The last chapter, 'Get Ready' needs to be taken seriously by us all.

hetro , July 4, 2018 at 10:10 am

Now reading Ralph Nader's Crashing the Party, 2002, an account of his run for the presidency in 2000. Very enjoyable read. Things were very much as described by Caitlin back then, and have only gotten worse. I do fear that glib comments on "democracy as failed" have the wrong term in the phrase. It's plutocracy that has failed, not democracy. Then again democracy requires a lot of work, including thinking and assessing, and continually working to improve the concept. The forefathers got the project started. A capitalist system that encourages hedonism is not going to help much. From Nader's book I have been receiving, oddly, encouragement, in all the people he mentions who wanted change back then, and still do. I am grateful for Nader and Caitlin for expressing the reality of capitalism run amok so very effectively. I hope these efforts will influence further thinking.

Sam F , July 4, 2018 at 7:02 am

Caitlin refreshingly overlooks the distractions of US history between monarchy and oligarchy, the (1) early-federal-period unity around defense concerns, (2) pre-civil-war period of failed congressional debate, and (3) early-industrial emergence of the middle class. These should be ignored, because US history consists of failure of institutions and failure to fix them, and only distracted from the rise of oligarchy to prevent reform.

If democracy is ever restored in the US, it must be stabilized by amendments to protect elections and mass media debate from economic power, better checks and balances within the government branches, purging the corrupt judiciary and Congress, monitoring of government officials for corruption, and regulation of business so that oligarchic bullies and scammers do not rise to control economic power.

Only then can literature, media, education, and public interaction encourage moral community, and only then can public debate find the moral policies that honor the rights of all persons and seek justice for all.

Babyl-on , July 4, 2018 at 8:07 am

"Democracy" is an utter failure. You point this out clearly. Yet, it seems no progressive can accept that -- democracy is an utter failure.

The idea that the system of "democracy" is some sort of holy system, immutable and sacred is completely false. This is not the "end times" of history social and cultural evolution is taking place other systems are proving in the real world they can do a far better job of supporting their citizens than "democracy" ever has, not to mention that imperialism itself is under threat from these other systems -- while every powerful "democracy" has been imperialist.

We live in a multi-polar world now, the US no longer is the "global power" . The US is not #1 in anything but slaughter. This is what "democracy" has done sense August 6,1945 SLAUGHTERED INNOCENT PEOPLE ALL OVER THE WORLD EVERY SINGLE DAY FOR 2.600+ DAYS with plans to continue indefinitely. I would not wish "democracy" on my worst enemy.

Deep and fundamental changes are taking place the ideas of the Enlightenment were deeply flawed and have broken down, new ideas from other cultures are gaining in strength and showing their value to people everywhere.

I'd just like to point out that over the 73+ years of US slaughter of tens of millions of innocent people were accompanied by "elections" every two years -- so the democratic people of the US fully supported this continuous slaughter as being in their best interests (we kill "over there" in war -- but we kill at home too stimulated by deeply and systemically held racism.)

This slaughter machine we call government must be fully and completely dismantled, the great fortunes must be broken up -- no ashes -- no Phoenix.

Sam F , July 4, 2018 at 9:08 am

The problem is not democracy (the recognition that all humans have equal rights) but how democracy is structured; I noted some corrections needed.

The governments of China and Russia are variants of democracy with advantages and problems. The democracies of Scandinavia work better in part for cultural reasons. But it is not difficult to do far better than ours and be democratic: the problem is getting there.

Bob Van Noy , July 4, 2018 at 9:05 am

"If democracy is ever restored in the US,". Sam F.

Thank you, so true.

Our contemporary problem as Citizens, as Sam F. duly notes, is a totally failed democracy. The graphic accompanying this excellent piece is also appropriate, as it too describes our total lack of input as supposed Citizens.

It will be necessary to publicly demonstrate how America Failed, make specific accusations, and design an alternative, something not possible with our current failed state. In other words, a Truth and Reconciliation environment where the failures can adequately and freely be presented and responsibility assigned.

Bob Van Noy , July 4, 2018 at 9:16 am

Readers might enjoy this terrific reading list by Ralph Nader

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2018/07/03/recommendations-engrossing-summer-reading-and-viewing

Sam F , July 4, 2018 at 2:36 pm

Yes, demonstration of the failures of US democracy is the essential first step to public understanding, along with public study of potential solutions, so that steps can be taken when the public is sufficiently aroused, to restore democracy.

alley cat , July 4, 2018 at 6:51 am

We separated church and state, abolished slavery, and granted suffrage to women. Each of those advances in human rights was fought tooth, nail, and claw by tyrants and oligarchs.

Today's a good day to recall the famous words of one of the most courageous and eloquent of American patriots, Frederick Douglass, in a speech he gave on West India emancipation in 1857: "If there is no struggle there is no progress . . . . Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress."

And those wrongs include the wrongs we allow our government to impose on other peoples as well as on ourselves, as Martin Luther King declared in his Riverside Church speech in 1967: "I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today -- my own government."

Silly Me , July 4, 2018 at 9:47 am

Actually, the problem is that the unity of those in power and the peasants broke when the underlying ideology stopped functioning. These days, peasant are offered nothing, not the American Dream, not even a place in Heaven, for their sacrifice.

All those "advances" you mention were a one-way street to this end.

There is no ideal form of government. Democracy is a scam, and possibly the most expensive form of government, but Aristotle's "good king" functions only if the ideology works.(Aristotle despised democracy as the rule of the mob and the Constitution was theoretically meant to prevent that, but with hardly any of the Constitution left, one has to choose between corporate masters and mob rule. Oh, well, that is not even a choice, because the mob has been divided and compartmentalized.)

No revolution has ever succeeded that started from the bottom. For a successful revolution, you need to convince your rulers that giving you handouts is good for them. The more they give, the more they can take back. Unfortunately, they have already destroyed America and are abandoning it in droves, but they are not yet done with the planet.

MarB , July 4, 2018 at 11:36 pm

"not even a place in Heaven, for their sacrifice"
just the heartless illusory promise of endless vacuous consumption accompanied by the requisite endless diversion from reality.

Miranda Keefe , July 4, 2018 at 5:27 am

You know how conservatives like to pass legislation that does something that is against the interests of the people but they at the same time like to name that legislation with a name that is the exact opposite of what they are doing? So for instance legislation that would make it less likely to have clean air by letting corporations regulate themselves on air pollution is called "The Clean Air Act."

Well, this usage of Double-Speak is much older that George Orwell. You can find it in the writing of Thomas Jefferson that was signed by a bunch of plutocrats on July 4, 1776.

I'm talking about, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. 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."

It would be laughable ironic if it wasn't so tragic that a main reason so many of these plutocrats signed this document was because the British had proclaimed that all slaves of those in rebellion were free. Slaves were running away and joining the British cause.

Another tragic reality is that another reason these plutocrats signed is because they had bought vast tracts of land west of the Alleghenies cheaply and expected to make a fortune selling it at high prices to lower class farmers desperate for land. They'd done this with no consideration for the people actually living on this land as they had for millennia and without any compensation to them. Instead states far away declared they owned this land and then sold it to the plutocrats. But the British had put a stop to it, saying that land was reserved for the tribes who lived there. These plutocrats were furious that the British were keeping them from becoming even richer as if the native people who'd never signed away their land mattered like they did.

These 'founding fathers' were all hypocrites signing that document. They didn't believe all men were really equal. They didn't believe that Black Americans had a God given unalienable right to liberty. They didn't believe that Native Americans had a God given unalienable to the pursuit of happiness or even to life.

Plus they said that this was declaration to become independent of Britain was something the people were doing. They didn't bother to consult the people. The reality is one third of the people were loyal and one third were neutral and only one third wanted to be independent. A lot of these loyal people fled north to Canada as soon as they could when it became the clear the 'patriots' were winning. That was a flood of immigrants in the 1780s.

The final irony is that they claimed they were taking this action because of George's unfair taxation. Guess what. The Tea Act that sparked revolt with the Boston Tea Party a few years earlier actually lowered taxes. Yes. It lowered taxes. But the plutocrats were upset because it also created a monopoly in the tea trade giving it to Londoners, leaving them out. They lied that it was about regular people being upset that they had to pay high taxes when what they were really upset about was that they didn't get the contract that would have made them richer.

But the bamboozled those regular poor folk to join their Continental Army and paid them in IOUs. How did they plan on paying those IOUs? Well, by the various states raising taxes. Unfortunately for those poor vets they didn't get paid at first and they couldn't pay their taxes unless they sold their IOUs for pennies on the dollar to rich speculators- the very same plutocrats who declared Independence because of taxes. Then they'd get paid the full amount of the IOUs.

This scenario sounds exactly like the one in the document I quoted above from the Declaration, which purports that in that situation the people have a god given duty to rebel and change the government. What did these patriotic founding fathers do? They raised funds to buy a mercenary army to go and squash these rebels. They they broke the law to create a new constitution, filled with more Double-Speak about "We the People" and "general Welfare" and "Blessings of Liberty," that created a stronger central government with the power to tax and a standing army so such rebellion could never happen again.

Who am I talking about? I'm talking about Jefferson who was a slave owner. I'm talking about Adams who despised the idea of the 'rabble' and the 'mob' and as President passed laws to put in jail anyone who printed anything that was against his presidency. I'm talking about Washington who was "mortified beyond expression" about the rebels and declared that "mankind when left to themselves are unfit for their own Government." I'm talking about Franklin whose view of natives was ""If it be the design of Providence to extirpate these Savages in order to make room for cultivators of the Earth, it seems not improbable that rum may be the appointed means." If you don't know, 'extirpate' means 'to root out and destroy.'

Think on this. If the British had won, there would have been no native genocide in the Ohio Country. Instead it might have been like Manitoba, where natives and settlers became one people and got their own province. If the British had won then slavery would have been outlawed in America when it was in the British Empire in 1833.

Maybe there's a reason Canada is a kinder nation with universal single payer healthcare and legal marijuana and it gave sanctuary to USA draft dodgers? Maybe because it wasn't created like George Carlin tells us the USA was.

"This country was founded by slave owners who wanted to be free. Am I right? A group of slave owners who wanted to be free, so they killed a lot of white English people in order to continue owning their black African people so they could wipe out the rest of the red Indian people and move West and steal the rest of the land from the brown Mexican people giving them a place to take off and drop their nuclear weapons on the yellow Japanese people. You know what the motto of this country ought to be? 'You give us a color- we'll wipe it out.'"

Joe Tedesky , July 4, 2018 at 6:46 pm

Wow Miranda you hit it out of the ball yard with your comment, well done. It is hard for America to reconcile all of its myths, as I've often quoted my beloved departed mother who always said, one lie only leads to another lie until the truth jumps up and bites you in the ass your spot on commentary is a fantastic beginning to a readers journey towards them learning the truth. Thanks Miranda, you taught me something new today. Joe

Miranda Keefe , July 4, 2018 at 8:40 pm

Thanks, Joe.

Most of the stuff I summarized is explained in better depth in a series of articles by Danny Sjursen over on Truthdig called "American History for Truthdiggers."

Also having read Zinn's history is helpful. Plus I'm a big fan of Carlin. Do miss him. Not just his insight, but his cadence, which seemed to be flowing through me on that post.

Joe Tedesky , July 4, 2018 at 9:27 pm

Miranda your inspirational heroes are certainly appropriate for analyzing today's current events. I like Major Daniel Sjursen for he is a soldier who has learned from his experiences, and he doesn't sell the same old fluff we are used too. All in all you Miranda crafted this piece of fine commentary, and you should be congratulated for how you interpret what you have learned . and look at you now, your teaching all of us to be critical thinkers when appraising our nation's policies. Good post. Joe

Kalen , July 4, 2018 at 4:55 am

Few historical facts:

The counterrevolutionary US constitution of 1789 was nothing but a ploy for rich and powerful British aristocracy and oligarchy to wrestle their absolute control back and return to past regime of 1776 but this time sans King and with collective despotism instead, calling the whole revolutionary experiment they instigated themselves dead as too democratic threatening their profits from slavery.

It was British aristocracy and oligarchy with interest in American colonies who concocted "American Revolution" in order to steal land given them as a privilege by English King and hence avoid paying taxes considered by British government at that time. And shocked and dismayed by unexpected rise of social conscientiousness of poor/landless colonists who supposed to exhibit animal like qualities and not maturity of citizen, they pulled the plug and killed the American experiment in 1789 via illegal constitutional convection once for all.

It took them so long [13 years] since they had to think hard how to camouflage the "old" system of "collective" monarchy based on medieval fiefdoms [dropped names like colonies replaced by a term states that delegate some limited prerogatives to a states' GSE, a corporation domiciled on a strip of land called D.C., the only area that this GSE called Federal Government really directly controls] under propaganda of supposedly Greek and Roman democratic tradition that bombastic neo- classical monstrosities of Federal buildings suppose to convey.

Americans, It is time to remember Declaration of Independence, 1776 that states:
..But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

Corporate despotism reigns supreme, it is time to sharpen pitchforks as is duty of free citizenry as demanded by Declaration of Independence.

OlyaPola , July 4, 2018 at 4:18 am

"America Celebrates Lateral Move From Monarchy To Corporate Rule"

The move was linear within the linear paradigm of class societies using a similar mix of coercion including ideological tools for sustainabilty, obfuscated by the transition from "divine right of kings" modified by the "Glorious Revolution of 1688" to "We the people hold these truths to be self-evident", the assay of the amalgam of coercive tools remaining within the linear.

A lateral (qualitative) change is required to transcend "capitalism" and the misnamed "The United States of America" and why reform is self-defeating since it is also linear and hence facilitates the continued immersion in iterations of modulated status-quo ante and hence precludes lateral change.

Sam F , July 4, 2018 at 7:24 am

I interpret your "reform is self-defeating" to mean evolutionary or incremental reform, which as you note relies on existing powers, and therefore maintains oligarchy.

Even revolutions seldom do much better, because they are opposed by economic or external powers. A revolution would have worked in the US, having no major external powers, if it reformed economic power, but is not feasible against our totalitarian state.

Only the extreme conditions of poverty by external embargo, military defeats discrediting the warmongers, and rising gangsterism and corruption will bring enough anger among the middle class, probably 40-60 years hence. See Mexico, and we are not there yet. Meanwhile we pretend that fashion reforms lead somewhere.

OlyaPola , July 5, 2018 at 2:21 am

"Only the extreme conditions of poverty by external embargo, military defeats discrediting the warmongers, and rising gangsterism and corruption will bring enough anger among the middle class, probably 40-60 years hence."

One of the aspects of "exceptionalism" is to seek to assign significance to self that others do not assign to you.
Such hubris affords strategic opportunities for others.

Agency is a type of interaction and can be minimised through non-emulated interaction the process being accelerated through lateral modes of interaction perceived by opponents as linear (emulated) interaction -- which in some measure describes the trajectory of transcending the Soviet Union by the Russian Federation with the complicity of "The United States of America" facilitated by hubris such as the end of history and full spectrum dominance.

In such a scenario what the inhabitants of "The United States of America" do is of lesser import, a process accelerated by their self-absorption.

If the

Sam F , July 5, 2018 at 8:10 am

You appear to be saying that a fifth column effects more serious reforms, moving toward a parallel branch of history while seeming to effect lesser reforms. (Your usage of "lateral" suggests move toward greater reform, while in the article it refers to movement to something no better.)

OlyaPola , July 5, 2018 at 9:28 am

"a fifth column effects more serious reforms"

No, that is an integration within the opponents' linear paradigm.

If you need an example take a sample from a useful fool's blog http://www.thesaker.is who frames in 5th, 6th and nth columns, not necessarily newspaper columns, and generally bad people, evil doers and assorted rascals -- a passion play facilitating deflection, deflection and/or "children's crusades", although children generally have a lesser propensity to be rendered useful fools and why they require "socialisation" to get with the team.

"Your usage of "lateral" suggests move toward greater reform".

That is also an integration within the opponents' paradigm.

Lateral is qualitative change facilitated by fission -- a qualitative transcendence.

Ideology is akin to a swimming pool; when you start to emerge you still carry drop-lets.

Among the ideological notions with more resilient half-lives are "intuition", "beliefs", "framing" and "methods".

Some wish to remain in the present linear paradigm through "spheres of influence" which is presented as and constitutes "reform" thereby facilitating a mutation of the bacilli, not a transcendence.

"while in the article it refers to movement to something no better.)"

Spectators tend to ponder what is, some spectators bridging doubt by belief to attain pre-judgements.

Spectators also often conflate comment with agency to maintain the comfort zone of not expanding their definition of agency.

Practitioners test what is to formulate how to's which throughout the process are subjected to rigorous evaluation/modulation.

Spectating is a process described by Mr. Rove's observation which I paraphrase.

"We are an Empire now.
We create our own reality.
You react to our reality
And whilst you do so
We create another reality
To which you react"

Ergo immersion in iterations of the opponents linear paradigm.

Mr. Rove also observed the reducing scope and half-life of this process namely

"You can fool some of the people all of the time, and those are the one's you should concentrate on"

Blogs illustrate both observations of Mr. Rove.

Consequently practitioners normally do not "agree" with spectators' framing, including definition assigned to words, hopes and wishes but use the the spectators' hopes and wishes to transcend them, afforded the opportunities to do so by the spectators frames of "plausible belief", thereby adding the complicity of the spectators to the fissile material, since blogs are akin to petri-dishes wherein commentators add to "the culture" minimising unnecessary action by practitioners whilst "hiding" in open sight, although some commentators share hypotheses that others can test if so minded and others can iterate the process of bridging doubt by belief to attain pre-judgements and self-affirmation.

Chumpsky , July 4, 2018 at 2:09 am

Another brilliant analysis by Caitlin. "America is a corporatist oligarchy dressed in drag doing a bad impression of a bipartisan democracy."

It would be useful to show how the "elite class" has manipulated our monetary system to advance their nefarious agenda. Robbery or transfer of wealth via inflation to control the political economy has been di rigeur since the creation of the Federal Reserve, which is not federal but a private chartered monopoly. All political distortions can be traced to this seditious injustice to American labor as well as the Hamiltonian monetary principles of our founders.

[Jul 04, 2018] Former US Envoy to Moscow Calls Intelligence Report on Alleged Russian Interference 'Politically Motivated'

Notable quotes:
"... Nothing was permissable, that is, that might impede the deep state's pursuit of world hegemony. ..."
"... The procedure used was the same as that used in 2003 – most likely because the order to prepare it was an Executive, not an Intelligence Community decision. That's what they're trying to keep under wraps, and that's why Rosenstein is stonewalling Congress. ..."
"... Those of the US elite pushing this steaming load of a propaganda campaign (and a really scurrilous one the latest is), for all their learning and experience, are either incredibly stupid or just plain psychotic. ..."
"... Thank you for a very informative piece. You are clearly a diplomat. Only a diplomat could refrain from saying: And the most important politician in the country, the President, completely and utterly failed in his obligation to exercise critical judgement of the advice that he had been given and foolishly and dangerously imposed sanctions on a nuclear equal based on this political hit job of an analysis which hasn't been shot down in flames only by virtue of an incessant invocation of classification. ..."
"... The only more amazing thing is that the US government has been so monumentally stupid that it has kept the sanctions in place even though the basis for the sanctions has been thoroughly discredited. ..."
Jul 04, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

uncle tungsten , July 4, 2018 at 12:39 am

Thank you John Matlock The fraud of this allegation has been apparent from day one. The Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein started this witch hunt and Sessions permits him to continue. The stone walling of Congress is an insult to everyone watching. Yet the farce continues. It seems Rod Rosenstein is the president of the permanent state and Trump is a token president of the yankee snake oil corporation.

Please USA the world is weary of the permanent state script and hollywood movie based on the farce. Is Sessions a protected species or just a convenient foil while the Awans, Clintons, Comeys, Wasserman-Shultz team run past the statute of limitations finish line?
Trump is a failure on this most important measure. He might fool Kim Jong Un (or vice versa) but he doesn't fool the world.

Joe Mifsud is the key to the path that leads all the way through MI6 and back to Hillary Clinton and the 'permanent state'. Take a peek.

jacobo , July 4, 2018 at 12:33 am

After the Nov'16 election when Hillary Clinton, instead of acknowledging that she alone was to blame for her defeat (what with, among her other mistakes, her labeling a segment of the working class' as deplorables) resorted to attributing said defeat to Russian/Putin interference in America's "sacred" electoral system.

Clearly, thereby, she was signaling that her post-defeat game would consist of nothing but scapegoating.

Soon thereafter, though, as the deep state joined the hate Russia/Putin chorus, it was apparent that this scapegoating had as much to do with preventing Donald Trump from making good on his promises, however vague, to improve US-Russian relations + getting our nation out of the business of regime changing.

Nothing was permissable, that is, that might impede the deep state's pursuit of world hegemony. Subsequent events re: government hearings along with democratic party politics and MSM coverage of same have only confirmed, not only that the above initial observations were correct, but that the scapegoating is aimed not only at maintaining the status quo vis-a-vis US foreign policy, but to prevent any leftward shift in the Democratic Party – that the duopoly be preserved. .

F. G. Sanford , July 3, 2018 at 9:23 pm

The procedure used was the same as that used in 2003 – most likely because the order to prepare it was an Executive, not an Intelligence Community decision. That's what they're trying to keep under wraps, and that's why Rosenstein is stonewalling Congress. I suspect that James Clapper has nothing to worry about. It wasn't his idea in the first place.

Joe Tedesky , July 3, 2018 at 10:47 pm

F.G. are you saying the order came down from the president (Obama)? Joe

robjira , July 3, 2018 at 8:57 pm

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2018/07/02/trump-putin-peace-trade-and-friendship-talks.html
Sorry for the repeated posts, but this is a significant issue for me. Since 1990, when we had the perfect opportunity to cement a bilateral relationship with Russia (maybe even one of those "special" ones the UK, Germany, Japan, and Israel love reminding everyone of), the US has done nothing but pull this kind of petty, mean spirited BS when all Russia has been after is peaceful, profitable coexistence.

Those of the US elite pushing this steaming load of a propaganda campaign (and a really scurrilous one the latest is), for all their learning and experience, are either incredibly stupid or just plain psychotic. Eff them and the preening mandarins posing as national news outlets.

Thank the stars for CN.

Jim DiEugenio , July 3, 2018 at 8:46 pm

I agree with all the statements in this analysis. And so far, what Mueller has put together does not come close to the charges he was supposed to investigate. Maybe he will later. But why is it taking so long? He has been in business for over a year now.

Jeff Harrison , July 3, 2018 at 7:44 pm

Thank you for a very informative piece. You are clearly a diplomat. Only a diplomat could refrain from saying: And the most important politician in the country, the President, completely and utterly failed in his obligation to exercise critical judgement of the advice that he had been given and foolishly and dangerously imposed sanctions on a nuclear equal based on this political hit job of an analysis which hasn't been shot down in flames only by virtue of an incessant invocation of classification.

The only more amazing thing is that the US government has been so monumentally stupid that it has kept the sanctions in place even though the basis for the sanctions has been thoroughly discredited.

robjira , July 3, 2018 at 7:31 pm

I recall Jack Matlock relating the following anecdote; right around the dissolution of the USSR, the Soviet ambassador to the UN told Matlock, "This will be bad for us, but worse for you. We've just taken away your best enemy."

Sam F , July 3, 2018 at 6:45 pm

Well reasoned and well written, Mr. Matlock, and I hope that you write more.
You have added new insights to a cogent compilation of analyses of this issue.

mbob , July 3, 2018 at 6:00 pm

Very nice article -- thank you!

The most troublesome aspect, to me, is the complicity of the "legitimate" media, especially the New York Times, in promoting, rather than questioning, the dubious narrative of Russian electoral "interference." I have too many relatives who are too invested in trusting those so-called "trustworthy" sources. To them, I've become a Breitbart/Fox kinda guy (I'm not.) for suggesting that all media are manipulative and one needs to be skeptical of basically all sources these days. I've given up talking politics with them.

Joe Tedesky , July 3, 2018 at 6:21 pm

Welcome to 'the Consortium' mbob. Joe

DFC , July 3, 2018 at 7:52 pm

MBOB, I used to hate Fox News, which I thought was a lunatic screech-fest against anything Obama did, even when it was reasonable. I am not saying everything Obama did was reasonable, but Fox portrayed everything he did in the worst possible light. As far as Breitbart was concerned, I had not even heard of that organization until after the 2016 election. The way I ran into Breitbart was when I was trying to sort out why every single reputable news agency that I was reading said HRC was going to be the next President and then I read that there was one that reported the opposite (Breitbart). So, I guess the question I asked myself was: am I going to continue to read news sources that got the 2016 presidential election so wrong, or start to read Breitbart? And what else were they getting wrong? So, the first week I was on Breitbart, they were talking Trump's "movement" and how it was related to Brexit (no clue who Nigel Farage was at the tine) and how big Trump's crowd sizes had been at his rallies. I was literally blindsided by all this; being a regular consumer of WaPo, CNN, NYT, etc, I felt like I was totally left in the dark. Breitbart actually informed me about what really happened and what was going on (how the world was undergoing a populist revolution) vs having to swallow the idea that Putin and a bunch of xenophobic misogynistic racists had taken over the United States. I finally gave up entirely on my old news sources when time after time something I read in them would be debunked 3 days later (why spend all those reading hours to become informed when I was being misinformed?). Anyway, I still have not warmed up to Fox News entirely (if it were not for Tucker Carlson, it would be hard to tune in at all, and I suppose Hannity has been right about Trump-Russia but he is so far over the top ) and that is how I drifted here to Consortium News.

*I am not saying Breitbart is a balanced source of news, but can be indispensable at times.

David G , July 3, 2018 at 5:55 pm

I've read elsewhere as well that the State Department's INR has historically yielded some of the best intelligence analysis in the U.S. government. Perhaps not coincidentally, it also lacks the big budget and swagger of the other agencies.

voteforno6 , July 3, 2018 at 5:52 pm

For me, the giveaway on this report was that half of it was boilerplate security tips, the sorts of things that people see in their annual security training. It's almost like they were writing a college paper, and had to hit a certain page count, so they included anything they could.

Bill , July 3, 2018 at 5:26 pm

Yes the report is bad. I came to that conclusion just reading the contents. They didn't have enough words to fill all of the pages. Now the question is, when is the GOP going to go after Clapper for it?

mrtmbrnmn , July 3, 2018 at 5:15 pm

Intelligence Agencies "assessment" is weasel word for not exactly lying, just sayin'. The MSM malpracticers, on the other hand, have decided, in the total absence of ANY evidence in this long-running farcedy, to simply DECLARE their lies are truth. Paging George Orwell!!

and furthermore: http://news.jornal.us/article-681288.-THE-REAL-PUTINGATE-.html

Zim , July 3, 2018 at 5:05 pm

Thanks for the info. This reinforces how corrupt the DNC/DLC/HRC cabal truly are.

Antiwar7 , July 3, 2018 at 4:55 pm

What a cogent, well-written piece.

Shows a clear pattern of politically-motivated deception, implemented by a few appointees at the top (of a few agencies). Plus, why did the FBI never request access to Hillary Clinton's servers?

Herman , July 3, 2018 at 4:45 pm

I hope Mr. Matlock becomes a frequent contributor. I think he has a lot more to say beyond the subject he addresses.

John Kirsch , July 3, 2018 at 4:22 pm

Excellent article.
My understanding is that the FBI didn't examine the DNC computer that was allegedly hacked.
I find that very curious.

John Neal Spangler , July 3, 2018 at 4:20 pm

It was a coup attempt and the FBI/CIA plotters must be held accountable if we are going to regain a Democracy, instead of letting a few senile oligarchs dictate policy. Comey, Clapper, Brennan and some lesser figures must go to prison for all the disturbance that Russiagate has caused.

ranney , July 3, 2018 at 4:12 pm

Fabulous article with so much important info! THANK YOU!!!
But Ambassador Matlock, what took you so long??? Didn't it occur to you that we needed to know this months ago?
Thank you for for finally sharing your very important expertise. And thanks to Ray McGovern and Bill Binney for encouraging you to do so.

Sally Snyder , July 3, 2018 at 3:01 pm

As shown in this article, apparently it is not a two-way street when it comes to Russian/American propaganda:

https://viableopposition.blogspot.com/2018/06/the-united-states-and-russia-propaganda.html

Washington has a very, very thin skin when it comes to outside nations criticisms of its agenda.

jaycee , July 3, 2018 at 2:56 pm

There used to be a reasonably clear separation between objective news reporting and the expression of opinion – i.e. in print, news and editorial opinion appeared in distinct sections while on television there was hard news through the week and opinion and analysis on the Sunday morning programs.

Fox News and right-wing talk radio was effectively responsible for clouding these distinctions, presenting opinion (informed and uninformed) in a format usually understood as factual reporting. It used to be a common observation fifteen years ago that Fox News viewers cognitive understanding of objective reality diminished according to their degree of consumption of the Fox product. (see the documentary film "Outfoxed"). But nowadays, most if not all of the mainstream/legacy/corporate news media operate using the Fox model whereby factual reporting and opinion have dissolved into one another – and opinion becomes fact without the consumer being quite aware of it. It has been a major step backwards socially and politically, and a real eye-opener for those who once believed in the ever upward trajectory of human progress.

Joe Tedesky , July 3, 2018 at 6:16 pm

Your comment jaycee should not go unnoticed. More Americans should study and contemplate the dynamics of what you point to, as our news isn't at all news reporting in as much as our news is slanted opinion based propaganda. This control method is why Robert Parry left the MSM, so as he could inform the voter as to allow the voter to have the knowledge required to make an informed decision . & here we are. Good comment. Joe

robjira , July 3, 2018 at 2:45 pm

I first became aware of Jack Matlock via an interview on Democracy Now. Somehow I don't think Amy Goodman will be having him on again anytime soon to discuss this issue.

lysias , July 3, 2018 at 8:29 pm

What has gotten into Amy Goodman? I used to find Democracy Now worth listening to.

GM , July 3, 2018 at 8:57 pm

She must have caught something contagious from David Corn

Gary Weglarz , July 3, 2018 at 9:00 pm

Democracy Now and Counterpunch have both shilled the CIA regime change propaganda aimed at Syria. One expects such things from the NYT's and mainstream media, but I found this quite amazing given both DN and Counterpunch used to be valuable "progressive sites." My suggestion is that they consider combining forces. They could appropriately call the new joint venture either: "Counter Democracy," or better yet, "Democracy Punch."

Realist , July 3, 2018 at 2:42 pm

The deep state figured that the much-loathed Trump was the perfect patsy for Hillary to roll in the general election, so they didn't prevent him from getting the Republican nomination, in fact, with the considerable aid of the mass media, they promoted his case. The puppet masters in Washington, Arlington and Langley never believed for a moment that Hillary would lose. They simply miscalculated on how much she, also, was hated by the public. They've orchestrated a soft, slow motion coup attempt ever since their bubble was popped on election night. What will happen to Trump is still uncertain, probably depending on how he continues to dance to their tune and walk back every promise made during the campaign. What is certain is that these shadows behind the scenes will never again allow an "outsider," someone they did not create and entirely control, to receive the nomination of either major party ever again.

Joe Tedesky , July 3, 2018 at 6:08 pm

Realist good to hear from you, and yes Trump was the decoy candidate whom Queen Hillary would run over with a stampede of her voters, but whoops then there was the Electoral College damn the details. There by with Hillary's surprising loss, all the long knives of the Deep State were drawn to take down the orange haired tv reality star turned president down. Now, I have a theory, and my theory all though it can be disputed, is that I believe Trump out did his rivals with his recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital. With this honor so bestowed upon the disruptive Zionist Trump rallied his Calvary to his rescue or something like that.

Kick it around Realist. Joe

KiwiAntz , July 3, 2018 at 6:56 pm

Trump's a "useful idiot" as a President & as long as he dances to the Deepstate & MIC tune, he will be left in place & not suffer the same fate as JFK! Trump's backdown of his Election promises confirm that he has been totally bought & paid for, by his DS masters & now follows that warmongering agenda of plunder for Elitist gain! Russiagate is the biggest, Propagandist lie that has ever been proported as Truth, despite 2 yrs of zero evidence & fabricated reports such as this latest nothingburger of a Intelligence Report! But they have to keep this nonsense going because to much time & money & energy has been invested, to preserve this propagandist lie that they can't back track from it! Is it any wonder that the general population are starting to despise & distrust all Politicians & the US Govt & it's institutions because of their immoral behaviour! And the RT Channel or Sputnik cannot be blamed for exposing this corruption which the MSM has failed to do!

GM , July 3, 2018 at 9:06 pm

They also overestimated the power of the media, which traditionally has had much sway over which neoliberal candidate gets elected President. Turns out that said industry has gradually lost the public trust over time, which condition happened to reach a critical mass at any inconvenient juncture.

I'm sure they'll address the problem next time round with strategies involving censorship, blacklisting, and the deployment of covert armies of online disinformation teams, all of which we have already begun to see take shape.

[Jul 04, 2018] Imran Awan and voting

Jul 04, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

soyungato Tue, 07/03/2018 - 16:15 Permalink

There is something we don't understand. We don't understand how the world works. We don't understand who controls the US of A. We kept on believing in voting. They fuck us day in day out and we got one chance every 4 years to vent our frustration in a carefully controlled manner.

We elected Trump and he is POWERLESS to stop this in-your-face lawlessness committed by none other than the Department of Obstruction of Justice.

There is no hope. I am this close to renouncing my citizenship and leave the US for good. Cannot stand this tyranny any more.

[Jul 03, 2018] Musings II The "Intelligence Community," "Russian Interference," and Due Diligence

Highly recommended!
Looks like Brennan abused his power as a head of CIA and should be held accountable for that.
Notable quotes:
"... Did the U.S. "Intelligence Community" judge that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election? ..."
"... it is not that ..."
"... even that is misleading ..."
"... the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence Research did, in fact, have a different opinion but was not allowed to express it ..."
"... The second thing to remember is that reports of the intelligence agencies reflect the views of the heads of the agencies and are not necessarily a consensus of their analysts' views. The heads of both the CIA and FBI are political appointments, while the NSA chief is a military officer; his agency is a collector of intelligence rather than an analyst of its import, except in the fields of cryptography and communications security. ..."
"... Among the assertions are that a persona calling itself "Guccifer 2.0" is an instrument of the GRU, and that it hacked the emails on the Democratic National Committee's computer and conveyed them to Wikileaks. What the report does not explain is that it is easy for a hacker or foreign intelligence service to leave a false trail. In fact, a program developed by CIA with NSA assistance to do just that has been leaked and published. ..."
"... Retired senior NSA technical experts have examined the "Guccifer 2.0" data on the web and have concluded that "Guccifer 2.0's" data did not involve a hack across the web but was locally downloaded. Further, the data had been tampered with and manipulated, leading to the conclusion that "Guccifer 2.0" is a total fabrication. ..."
"... "Disclosures through WikiLeaks did not contain any evident forgeries." ..."
"... DHS [the Department of Homeland Security] assesses that the types of systems Russian actors targeted or compromised were not involved in vote tallying ..."
"... Prominent American journalists and politicians seized upon this shabby, politically motivated, report as proof of "Russian interference" in the U.S. election without even the pretense of due diligence. They have objectively acted as co-conspirators in an effort to block any improvement in relations with Russia, even though cooperation with Russia to deal with common dangers is vital to both countries. ..."
Jun 29, 2018 | jackmatlock.com

Musings II The "Intelligence Community," "Russian Interference," and Due Diligence Posted on by Jack Did the U.S. "Intelligence Community" judge that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election?

Most commentators seem to think so. Every news report I have read of the planned meeting of Presidents Trump and Putin in July refers to "Russian interference" as a fact and asks whether the matter will be discussed. Reports that President Putin denied involvement in the election are scoffed at, usually with a claim that the U.S. "intelligence community" proved Russian interference. In fact, the U.S. "intelligence community" has not done so. The intelligence community as a whole has not been tasked to make a judgment and some key members of that community did not participate in the report that is routinely cited as "proof" of "Russian interference."

I spent the 35 years of my government service with a "top secret" clearance. When I reached the rank of ambassador and also worked as Special Assistant to the President for National Security, I also had clearances for "codeword" material. At that time, intelligence reports to the president relating to Soviet and European affairs were routed through me for comment. I developed at that time a "feel" for the strengths and weaknesses of the various American intelligence agencies. It is with that background that I read the January 6. 2017 report of three intelligence agencies: the CIA, FBI, and NSA.

This report is labeled "Intelligence Community Assessment," but in fact it is not that . A report of the intelligence community in my day would include the input of all the relevant intelligence agencies and would reveal whether all agreed with the conclusions. Individual agencies did not hesitate to "take a footnote" or explain their position if they disagreed with a particular assessment. A report would not claim to be that of the "intelligence community" if any relevant agency was omitted.

The report states that it represents the findings of three intelligence agencies: CIA, FBI, and NSA, but even that is misleading in that it implies that there was a consensus of relevant analysts in these three agencies. In fact, the report was prepared by a group of analysts from the three agencies pre-selected by their directors, with the selection process generally overseen by James Clapper, then Director of National Intelligence (DNI). Clapper told the Senate in testimony May 8, 2017, that it was prepared by "two dozen or so analysts -- hand-picked, seasoned experts from each of the contributing agencies." If you can hand-pick the analysts, you can hand-pick the conclusions. The analysts selected would have understood what Director Clapper wanted since he made no secret of his views. Why would they endanger their careers by not delivering?

What should have struck any congressperson or reporter was that the procedure Clapper followed was the same as that used in 2003 to produce the report falsely claiming that Saddam Hussein had retained stocks of weapons of mass destruction. That should be worrisome enough to inspire questions, but that is not the only anomaly.

The DNI has under his aegis a National Intelligence Council whose officers can call any intelligence agency with relevant expertise to draft community assessments. It was created by Congress after 9/11 specifically to correct some of the flaws in intelligence collection revealed by 9/11. Director Clapper chose not to call on the NIC, which is curious since its duty is "to act as a bridge between the intelligence and policy communities."

During my time in government, a judgment regarding national security would include reports from, as a minimum, the CIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), and the Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) of the State Department. The FBI was rarely, if ever, included unless the principal question concerned law enforcement within the United States. NSA might have provided some of the intelligence used by the other agencies but normally did not express an opinion regarding the substance of reports.

What did I notice when I read the January report? There was no mention of INR or DIA! The exclusion of DIA might be understandable since its mandate deals primarily with military forces, except that the report attributes some of the Russian activity to the GRU, Russian military intelligence. DIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency, is the U.S. intelligence organ most expert on the GRU. Did it concur with this attribution? The report doesn't say.

The omission of INR is more glaring since a report on foreign political activity could not have been that of the U.S. intelligence community without its participation. After all, when it comes to assessments of foreign intentions and foreign political activity, the State Department's intelligence service is by far the most knowledgeable and competent. In my day, it reported accurately on Gorbachev's reforms when the CIA leaders were advising that Gorbachev had the same aims as his predecessors.

This is where due diligence comes in. The first question responsible journalists and politicians should have asked is "Why is INR not represented? Does it have a different opinion? If so, what is that opinion? Most likely the official answer would have been that this is "classified information." But why should it be classified? If some agency heads come to a conclusion and choose (or are directed) to announce it publicly, doesn't the public deserve to know that one of the key agencies has a different opinion?

The second question should have been directed at the CIA, NSA, and FBI: did all their analysts agree with these conclusions or were they divided in their conclusions? What was the reason behind hand-picking analysts and departing from the customary practice of enlisting analysts already in place and already responsible for following the issues involved?

As I was recently informed by a senior official, the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence Research did, in fact, have a different opinion but was not allowed to express it . So the January report was not one of the "intelligence community," but rather of three intelligence agencies, two of which have no responsibility or necessarily any competence to judge foreign intentions. The job of the FBI is to enforce federal law. The job of NSA is to intercept the communications of others and to protect ours. It is not staffed to assess the content of what is intercepted; that task is assumed by others, particularly the CIA, the DIA (if it is military) or the State Department's INR (if it is political).

The second thing to remember is that reports of the intelligence agencies reflect the views of the heads of the agencies and are not necessarily a consensus of their analysts' views. The heads of both the CIA and FBI are political appointments, while the NSA chief is a military officer; his agency is a collector of intelligence rather than an analyst of its import, except in the fields of cryptography and communications security.

One striking thing about the press coverage and Congressional discussion of the January report, and of subsequent statements by CIA, FBI, and NSA heads is that questions were never posed regarding the position of the State Department's INR, or whether the analysts in the agencies cited were in total agreement with the conclusions.

Let's put these questions aside for the moment and look at the report itself. On the first page of text, the following statement leapt to my attention:

We did not make an assessment of the impact that Russian activities had on the outcome of the 2016 election. The US Intelligence Community is charged with monitoring and assessing the intentions, capabilities, and actions of foreign actors; it does not analyze US political processes or US public opinion.

Now, how can one judge whether activity "interfered" with an election without assessing its impact? After all, if the activity had no impact on the outcome of the election, it could not be properly termed interference. This disclaimer, however, has not prevented journalists and politicians from citing the report as proof that "Russia interfered" in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

As for particulars, the report is full of assertion, innuendo, and description of "capabilities" but largely devoid of any evidence to substantiate its assertions. This is "explained" by claiming that much of the evidence is classified and cannot be disclosed without revealing sources and methods. The assertions are made with "high confidence" or occasionally, "moderate confidence." Having read many intelligence reports I can tell you that if there is irrefutable evidence of something it will be stated as a fact. The use of the term "high confidence" is what most normal people would call "our best guess." "Moderate confidence" means "some of our analysts think this might be true."

Among the assertions are that a persona calling itself "Guccifer 2.0" is an instrument of the GRU, and that it hacked the emails on the Democratic National Committee's computer and conveyed them to Wikileaks. What the report does not explain is that it is easy for a hacker or foreign intelligence service to leave a false trail. In fact, a program developed by CIA with NSA assistance to do just that has been leaked and published.

Retired senior NSA technical experts have examined the "Guccifer 2.0" data on the web and have concluded that "Guccifer 2.0's" data did not involve a hack across the web but was locally downloaded. Further, the data had been tampered with and manipulated, leading to the conclusion that "Guccifer 2.0" is a total fabrication.

The report's assertions regarding the supply of the DNC emails to Wikileaks are dubious, but its final statement in this regard is important: "Disclosures through WikiLeaks did not contain any evident forgeries." In other words, what was disclosed was the truth! So, Russians are accused of "degrading our democracy" by revealing that the DNC was trying to fix the nomination of a particular candidate rather than allowing the primaries and state caucuses to run their course. I had always thought that transparency is consistent with democratic values. Apparently those who think that the truth can degrade democracy have a rather bizarre -- to put it mildly–concept of democracy.

Most people, hearing that it is a "fact" that "Russia" interfered in our election must think that Russian government agents hacked into vote counting machines and switched votes to favor a particular candidate. This, indeed, would be scary, and would justify the most painful sanctions. But this is the one thing that the "intelligence" report of January 6, 2017, states did not happen. Here is what it said: " DHS [the Department of Homeland Security] assesses that the types of systems Russian actors targeted or compromised were not involved in vote tallying ."

This is an important statement by an agency that is empowered to assess the impact of foreign activity on the United States. Why was it not consulted regarding other aspects of the study? Or -- was it in fact consulted and refused to endorse the findings? Another obvious question any responsible journalist or competent politician should have asked.

Prominent American journalists and politicians seized upon this shabby, politically motivated, report as proof of "Russian interference" in the U.S. election without even the pretense of due diligence. They have objectively acted as co-conspirators in an effort to block any improvement in relations with Russia, even though cooperation with Russia to deal with common dangers is vital to both countries.

This is only part of the story of how, without good reason, U.S.-Russian relations have become dangerously confrontational. God willin and the crick don't rise, I'll be musing about other aspects soon.

Thanks to Ray McGovern and Bill Binney for their research assistance.

Jack F. Matlock, Jr.
Booneville, Tennessee
June 29, 2018

[Jul 03, 2018] Secure transaction histories provided by blockchain (same technology as Bitcoin) allows for internet-based direct democracy

Notable quotes:
"... Obviously, redistribution is the main problem for neoliberal capitalists. In the 50's and 60's the west had the redistribution capitalist formula with capital controls and high taxes on the very rich which forced them to spend profits on expanding productive enterprises that produced jobs and benefits/wages that reduced corporate profits and corporate taxes, and a healthy middle class with spending power allowed their businesses to grow. ..."
Jul 03, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Peter AU 1, dh-mtl

Secure transaction histories provided by blockchain (same technology as Bitcoin) allows for internet-based direct democracy.

Under such a system, there will still be the need for government services like police, fire, inspection, schools, etc. but many (all?) of these can be outsourced. Auditors can report on their compliance/progress. Auditors can be themselves be audited, and a "government" that is responsive to the people would also support whistle-blowers instead of f*cking them over.

Direct democracy could greatly increase efficiency of public services and make government respond to the people instead of oligarchs and industry groups.

Defense? LOL! What is popularly termed "Defense" is offensive to the intelligence of any critical thinker.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jun 29, 2018 9:49:10 PM | 46


Peter AU 1 , Jun 29, 2018 9:58:40 PM | 47

Jackrabbit'I don't know much about blockchain but blockchain democracy sounds good.
Defense as in a force that only defends a country's sovereign territory, not this so called defending a country's interests which is no more than a politically correct term for aggression.
Diplomacy as a first line of defense.
Pft , Jun 30, 2018 3:39:27 AM | 62
Ramn Mazaheri from a link from kalrof 1 says

"Socialism is clearly based on two fundamental precepts: empowering the long-oppressed with democratic rights, and massive state-organised economic redistribution, which is anathema in capitalism. Thus, socialism is both a structure of government and an economic policy. Therefore, Iran certainly has socialism."

This might be the clearest definition of socialism I have read.

Obviously, redistribution is the main problem for neoliberal capitalists. In the 50's and 60's the west had the redistribution capitalist formula with capital controls and high taxes on the very rich which forced them to spend profits on expanding productive enterprises that produced jobs and benefits/wages that reduced corporate profits and corporate taxes, and a healthy middle class with spending power allowed their businesses to grow.

Globalism coupled with neoliberalism ended the Golden Age and those countries who try and reproduce social justice and reject globalism and free trade are sanctioned as enemies, or even worse, attacked or subject to regime change

dh-mtl , Jun 30, 2018 8:34:19 AM | 74
Some thoughts on 'Government'

1.Human societies are complex abstract systems.
2.The system is a set of rules (thus abstract) that govern how members of the society interact with each other, in order to collectively provide the necessities of life.
3.Government is the body (i.e. group of people) accepted by the members of the society at large to tend the system (i.e. to develop it, manage it, operate it, change it as required, etc.). Without a government there is no system, and no society.
4.Societies work best when the rules are set up to maximize the aggregate benefit of all members. This is best achieved when the members of the society collectively (i.e. democratically) choose the people (i.e. government) who develop and manage the rules that govern them.
5.Large societies require large complex systems. High societal performance requires high levels of complexity.
6.To function effectively, very large, highly complex abstract systems requires that authority be distributed throughout the system, and be based on the person's role within the system.
7.The most important function of societal governance is to organize the production and distribution of the necessities of life for the society's members, i.e. the economic system.
8. For those parts of the economic system that are not natural monopolies, markets are very effective tools for economic planning and organization.
9.Markets are, by definition, a set of rules. Markets work best when the rules are set by in an unbiased fashion to provide a fair playing field for all participants.

Some thoughts on what has gone wrong in the U.S.
1.The members of the U.S. society no longer collectively choose their leaders. Because the democratic system has been corrupted by money, a very small, very wealthy elite (many of them not even American), limit the choice to those who will serve the interests of the elite. The U.S. has turned into an 'Oligarchic Dictatorship'. The turning point was the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980.
2.This 'Oligarchic Dictatorship' works for the benefit of the elites, not the aggregate benefit of the society as a whole. Thus the system (while optimized for the few) is, in aggregate, sub-optimized.
3.Dictatorships are based on centralized authority, where as complex systems require distributed authority. The U.S.' oligarchic dictatorship, unable to handle complexity, tries to simplify the entire political-economic system. The result of trying to simplify the system, in order to make it compatible with centralized authority, is a system that increasingly fails to meet the needs of the people and is unable to effectively change and adapt as required to changing circumstances.
4.Market deregulation has not changed the fact that the markets are, by definition, a set of rules. It has only changed who makes the rules, from the government to market participants themselves. And in this case, as always, the 'Golden Rule' applies - he who has the gold makes the rules. And when market participants make the rules themselves, for the benefit of themselves, markets always tend towards monopoly. The U.S. economy is no longer a 'Market Economy' but rather a system of serial monopolies.

What can be done to redress the problems?
Until the people of the U.S. reclaim their democracy – Nothing!
The U.S.' system of government is not the problem. The problem is that the system has been hi-jacked and turned from a democracy into an 'Oligarchic Dictatorship'.

Geoff , Jun 30, 2018 9:00:34 AM | 75
How much time and study have gone into the observations posted just in this one thread. Many Americans I meet just aren't able to investigate that much. I find most people in the small american town that I live in, are just intersted in exchanging banal pleasantries, which isn't too bad in its own way, but provincial perhaps at best.

And amongst all the current epoch's american instiutionally educated I feel there is a lack of some indefineable quality of "experience," which I just don't have the wisdom to grasp in its entirety, but I kind of think of it as some people, if they can't see it directly, they just aren't capable of comprehending it. If you were to try to explain it to them, in the manner of these posts, they would become irriated or bewildered, or think you were eccentric .

Unfortunately, it's this same principal used by individuals and corporations, governments, which is, if they don't tell you, it won't harm you and you won't ever know. It's here where there's a problem I think, because it's been my experience that to be kept in the dark, is far more harmful, then it is to have delusions upended, as painful as that might be.

Curtis , Jun 30, 2018 9:50:17 AM | 78
PS
The US is at 16 on the CPI Corruption Perception Index for 2017. But keep in mind perception is something that can be manipulated. I think the US should be lower and and cheer when it moves lower because it could mean more are getting the idea of the nature of the beast.
https://www.transparency.org/news/feature/corruption_perceptions_index_2017
Curtis , Jun 30, 2018 9:50:17 AM | 78 b4real , Jun 30, 2018 10:02:35 AM | 79
@55 Peter

"It is not so much a delegating of authority but having someone to mediate between views and find a solution that is acceptable to all."

Respectfully, it is absolutely a delegation of authority. When that delegation is not tightly constrained to one particular issue it will be usurped by corrupt individuals. IMO elections are good for one purpose only and that is to identify the psychopaths among us who should not ever be allowed near the reins of power.

@57 Jen

"A national government is needed to approve going to war (or using diplomacy instead of war...

Your premise is based upon what I am arguing against, the existence of an entrenched government. While I fully concede that genie will not be put back in the bottle any time soon, it is government that allows the greed and evil of a few to disrupt and complicate the lives of the many.

All individuals are ultimately responsible for their own well being and safety. To depend upon the actions of others when your life or livelihood is threatened is foolish.

It is not possible to dismiss my argument using examples that exist today under an entrenched government.

Criminals are released from prison every day and relocate to new communities (or not) and continue their crimes. Vendettas between families are commonplace everywhere today. Crips, bloods, the mexican mafia, ms13, etc are present in almost every city in the usa. Just an FYI, but I have found that beating the shit out of people who invade my space has been very effective. It also dissuades others from trying the same. I live in a rough neighborhood, and this is simply a fact of life for me.

It is the laws of the 24/7 rule makers which allows them to strengthen and prosper.

A 'new' bridge recently collapsed in Miami killing and I can guarantee you, "No one could have foreseen" and there will be no consequences for those whom profited in its construction. This under existing government.

I appreciate your response, (you are one of my favorite posters) but I believe you along with the majority are too dependent on a structure that does not ever have your best interests at heart.


@59 Ashley

"When I talk to Anarchist friends they ALWAYS go silent when I mention railways and..."

I would say to you I have no problem with people who want railways building them and maintaining them. Should I choose to ride one, I would gladly purchase a ticket. I see no contradiction or hypocrisy in such. What I would object to is people who have no intention of utilizing it, being forced to subsidize it, lose their homestead in its construction and again being forced to subsidize it when the inevitable mismanagement of said train (due to greed) causes it to become unprofitable.

Hillary 'lost' six BILLION during her stint at state.
The Pentagon cannot account for between 6.5 and 21 TRILLION dollars of taxpayer money. Americans are subject to prison should they decide the government has not been a good custodian of their funds and decline to contribute any longer. They will take everything you have acquired and everything you may acquire in the future should any "free" american take this decision and act upon it.

@69 Russ

"Thomas Paine was right in the first place when he pointed out that the vast majority of people would be better off without governments and other trappings of centralized civilization, which of course are designed to subjugate the many to concentrate wealth, power, and luxury for the few."

This.

@71 Lysias
(another of my favorite posters)

" Most state positions were occupied by citizens chosen by lot for limited terms"

This would only slow the corruption not curtail. Now if "violation of the public trust" became a capital offense with public execution becoming mandatory upon conviction a democracy might have a chance to succeed. It really is that simple. I think Thomas Jefferson may have mentioned something about that...

@all

It was not my intent to hijack this thread.

To get back on topic, it should have been apparent to any thinking individual that Obama and Congress failure to prosecute the bush/cheney regime would lead to a continuation of the war crimes they unleashed. It is called precedent, and when Obama decided to look forward rather than reinforce the rule of law, he left the door open for a recurrence of torture by American soldiers. I can assure you that the full story is not being told, in regard the torture and disappearance of people in Yemen. Especially with trump stating that he has no qualms about using such means.

In a similar instance, congress voted to retroactively legalize illegal warrantless surveillance by the telecoms in 2007. I was not surprised when Snowden revealed the extent to which this process had grown. It is the same with the torture of Yemen people. It is the corruption that is inherent in people which gravitate to these positions. Hillary not being prosecuted for running her private server, (too many people do not understand the difference between using a personal email address and running a personal server) and I am certain that there is some other (non) surprise coming in the future by another government official for doing something similar or more extreme. Comey has already been found to have been using a gmail addy for government business.

It is their nature and will be proven time and time again. Also people, these are only the things they do which become known. Can you imagine what they are doing and have done that remains secret?

b4real

PeacefulProsperity , Jun 30, 2018 11:45:16 AM | 80
All roads of evil in this world lead to the City of London, as some of the commenters have already pointed out here on many occasions. The US is only the muscle man taking orders from the Brutish Crown Corporation and its peado-satanic "elites".

The butcher of Iraq, with Nazi family roots, gen. Schwarzkopf was knighted by Her fucking "Majesty" for his services for the global empire in destroying that ME country, just as many US commanders, officials before him and after him. Iran's P Mossadegh was removed by the CIA on orders by the BP, one of the most evil companies in the world. Much more sinister, dark company is SERCO, a name that only few people hear from the MSM:

http://www.theeventchronicle.com/study/serco-corporate-octopus-tentacles-wrapped-around-globe/

http://www.abeldanger.org/kelly-226-sercos-marine-corps-bleeding-patents-con-air-bridge-of-drew-clintons-wagering-buck/

At the same time the US is being managed by the British agents who monitor and influence, often shape, manage, distract the public opinion as needed: Frost, John Oliver, Simon Cowell, any more.

London have always been a cozy, safe home for many "divide and conquer" radical propaganda agents of the Empire: SOHR, Chowdhary, Qardawi, Osama bin Laden, Khomeini, Muslim Brotherhood, many more...

The most densely populated by millionaires, billionaires and security cameras.

That's were global trade of oil, finance "engineering", gold manipulation have been taking place.

Rooted in John Dee necromancy, Jewish Kabala, Francis Bacon group (aka "William Shakespeare") created anglosphere, in opium wars,...

Another interesting recent read:

NEOCONS Part 4: How Safari Club became real CIA - The Sordid History of British Manipulation of American Democracy Series: Read it and weep!


Trump will end this Brutish anti-human global empire, that's why they are so hell-bent on destroying him...

Kudos for great reporting and comments!

PS Germany lost the last game in World Cup on purpose, they did not want to win, look carefully again - something's up on the global geopolitical stage...

Noirette , Jun 30, 2018 11:55:35 AM | 81
astonishing .. the "liberal" media MSM or the corporate establishment press has always gone along with all the coverups. Babyl-on. on torture.

.. a recent poll showing US citizen support for torture that proved the misinformed nature of the public responding to the poll..... karlof, 30.

MSM (W, particularly Anglo, but not only..) is 100% on the side of the most hateful and sadistic parties / entities / orgs. / crowd. Simultaneously, a driver, motivator and a mirror.

This stance has infected and brainwashed USA citizens, who per their history and mind-set -- free market, revanchard immigrants, genocide, slavery, opportunities for incredible exploitation - have lost what one might call an 'integrative' mind set, where 'integrating' ppl in to *join* (as in the original touted melting-pot which wasn't what it was purported to be) is no longer of any value, interest.

Concurrently, collectivism (might be called community solidarity or other friendly terms, not argh communism!) is reduced to local contact on specific issues (protecting a park), p-to-p efforts (food bank, donations to charity) or very weak and useless pol moves.

Individualism and tribalism (the two actually go together) leave no room for any general societal schemes - including anarchism! weird.. -- > empathy becomes limited to close friends and family accompanied by the adoption of purely functionalist reasoning, very reductive, sketchy, as all other view-points are eliminated, scotched.. (A leads to B to C etc.)

Torture is good because it forces confessions that can save other lives. Separating families is necessary, it deters others from coming. Prisons need to be expanded, evil violent robbers, rapists shouldn't freely roam the streets, etc. Yes and even family bonds are subject to exclusion, blame, hate, violence

I upped the traits to make a point. You all get the picture.

Guerrero , Jun 30, 2018 12:07:37 PM | 82
"Third world people look to the government hoping
to able to apply for a benefit and, of course, they do receive certain benefits of the government.

Really? That's funny, everywhere I've looked throughout my adult life I've seen the rich and big corporations looking to the government for benefits, and hoo boy do they get them.

Guerrero , Jun 30, 2018 12:18:44 PM | 83
"Third world people look to the government hoping to able to apply for a benefit and, of course, they do receive certain benefits of the government. Really? That's funny, everywhere I've looked throughout my adult life I've seen the rich and big corporations looking to the government for benefits, and hoo boy do they get them.

I certainly agree that the richies have increasingly had the inside track on government economic support, however the poor people in Mexico still hope and expect that the government will provide them with benefits, as it has in the past.

"The education policy of President Lázaro Cárdenas's six-year term originated scholarships and opportunities to underprivileged youth, underscoring an implicit belief that the last Indian in the sierra is a Mexican as well, and that a person of humble origens might become President of the Republic, or a great man or woman of letters, or a creator or a collaborator of enormous importance to the Mexican nation.
The rural normal schools were founded to help the poorest among the poor to gradually rise from the miserable pains of marginalization to better living conditions for themselves and their families. The mission of these schools was the instruction of their students in theoretical-practical knowledge of biology, literature, history, mathematics, and pedagogy, to train and prepare the normalists to alphabetize the population; so to speak: to liberate it. In those years, wherever a normal school was opened, it became a modernizing agent, it's mission was to teach future teachers to plant the alphabet and other basic forms of social knowledge in the arable population, with the expectation that their future students might become morally free."

Hoarsewhisperer , Jun 30, 2018 12:31:30 PM | 84
...
What can be done to redress the problems?
Until the people of the U.S. reclaim their democracy – Nothing!
The U.S. system of government is not the problem. The problem is that the system has been hi-jacked and turned from a democracy into an 'Oligarchic Dictatorship'.
Posted by: dh-mtl | Jun 30, 2018 8:34:19 AM | 74

I agree with much of what you wrote to support this conclusion however, it seems that The People in AmeriKKKa would rather whinge about their govt than take action to reform it. The fact that they swallowed the indigestible trope that McCain is a War Hero, without a whimper of protest, suggests that Wimpiness is alive and well in the US of A.

The UK's victims of Oligarchical Dictatorship (and the subject of this thread) on the other hand, don't take kindly to being treated like docile obedient morons. And this latest example of Criminal Executive Malfeasance will be angrily discussed and added to a growing list of similar outrages.

If revolution comes to AmeriKKKa it is more likely to come from without, rather than within. If the Brits kick up a big enough stink about what their govt thinks it can get away with then AmeriKKKans will notice and begin to realise they are in the same boat. When Americans wanted Britain's jackboot removed from their neck, the Revolutionary French were happy to oblige. Funnier things have happened than the looming prospect that AmeriKKKans will be inspired, by Brit efforts to remove a home-grown jack-boot, to do likewise to relieve their own frustration.

Revolution doesn't have to be violent. It can be achieved by citizens uniting behind an effort to 'encourage' the govt to adopt a shortlist of reforms which will grant citizens the right to have grievances considered, acknowledged, and rectified by govt.

Switzerland has such a system. Here's a brief summary...

Switzerland has a tradition of direct democracy. For any change in the constitution, a referendum is mandatory. For any change in a law, a referendum can be requested by the people. In addition, the people may present a constitutional Popular Initiative to introduce amendments to the federal constitution. The people also assume a role similar to the constitutional court, which does not exist, and thus act as the guardian of the rule of law."

Jackrabbit , Jun 30, 2018 12:47:18 PM | 85
Reality check:

"Defense" becomes a racket as soon as it prompts others to increase THEIR "defense". The only answer to guns is more guns. It is a self-licking I've cream cone that is exploited by neocons, Zionists, MIC, and others to the detriment of everyone else.

Security forces are, by their nature, non transparent and therefore subject to corruption. Proper governance would REMOVE incentives for corruption. Examples: legalize drugs, prostitution, and gambling; create strong, respectful alliances, and deal fairly with other countries.

Absent adequate safeguards, security forces will quickly grow to a size where they serve themselves FIRST. Serving powerful elites is part of that.

We now have the technology to fundamentally change how we are governed. The establishment will fight that change tooth and nail.

PS Even the Judeo-Christian religious tradition is a protect racket. You must believe (as proved by donations and other visible support) or you will go to hell or be accused of being a witch or devil worshipper.

Jackrabbit , Jun 30, 2018 1:03:32 PM | 86
We have to understand and come to grips with the fact that we are now ruled by a corrupt establishment. It is composed of many groups that have gotten cozy with each other: mafia, "cartel", industry groups whose foot soldiers are "lobbyists", CIA, MIC, neocons, oligarchs, etc. each has a grip that is reinforced by the others.

AFAICT, Direct Democracy offers the only way to break the pervasive, pernicious grip that they collectively hold on society.

Jackrabbit , Jun 30, 2018 1:24:28 PM | 87
Of course, the main political parties, their faux "ground roots" propaganda ops and partisan media "assets" should be added to the list.
Jackrabbit , Jun 30, 2018 1:28:10 PM | 88
George Carlin was right: It's one big club - and you ain't in it!
juliania , Jun 30, 2018 2:46:46 PM | 89
I thought the biggest club was the disenfranchised, Jackrabbit@88.

According to some comments above only the very few enlightened atheists rise above the fray, us dumb unwashed peons who believe everything we hear, see, read. Well, good for you, but good for the rest of us as well. We are not so dumb as you make out. We are not as you have characterized us. We actually think! We actually make up our own minds, and lots of what we think and decide for ourselves comports with what you think and decide! And in addition, for goodness sake, some of us have faith. I know it's hard for you to fathom, but I assure you it is so.

The few are those currently in control, who have wrested power away from the people and do not serve them, the ones who refuse to let the truth be told, such as the PM in the UK, as the report makes Some folk suppose Americans are brain washed, revealing their own shortsightedness. One might say that about the citizens of any country, if all you see is what the media of that country presents to you.clear. It really has nothing to do with religion or the lack thereof, or even with the mass media.

juliania , Jun 30, 2018 2:50:06 PM | 90
Sorry, should have been "as the Report makes clear." And erase the 'clear' at the end of the penultimate sentence. (Hiccup occurred with copy and paste.)
ben , Jun 30, 2018 2:57:55 PM | 91
b4real @ 79 said:"It was not my intent to hijack this thread."

Then don't:)

For Libertarian b4real:

https://www.texasobserver.org/the-rise-and-fall-of-the-freest-little-city-in-texas/

Krollchem , Jun 30, 2018 3:23:47 PM | 92
Hoarsewhisperer@11

You may also appreciate the following article:
Empire's Double Edged Sword: Global Military + NGOs
Tearing down sovereign nations & replacing them with global system administrators.
by Tony Cartalucci
http://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/2012/02/empires-double-edged-sword-global.html

Interesting that even Western states are being replaced by "system administrators" The system is now feeding on itself...

Hausmeister , Jun 30, 2018 4:50:35 PM | 93
@ PeacefulProsperity | Jun 30, 2018 11:45:16 AM | 80

OT:

"PS Germany lost the last game in World Cup on purpose, they did not want to win, look carefully again - something's up on the global geopolitical stage..."

Sounds interesting. I looked carefully again but could not see anything mentionable. could you please be a bit more specific?

b4real , Jun 30, 2018 8:51:56 PM | 94
@91

Libertarian?

You've got some reading to do...

Did you even read the article you linked to?


b4real

Daniel , Jun 30, 2018 9:04:43 PM | 95
Decades back, the KUBARK Manuael from 1963 a CIA torture training manual, was made public. It includes all the techniques that so "outraged" the US Congress when CIA torture was revealed during the Bush II regime, and are now "outraging" the British Parliament today.

But of course, not only were these torture techniques not new in 2005, they were not knew in 1963 either. The "arts" of torture extend back to prehistory, but can fairly be described as having become a science during the Nazi era.

Which brings me to some news in today's British press.

A woman named Gudrun Burwitz recently died at age 88. If the name doesn't ring a bell, perhaps it would help if we referred to her by her father's family name. For she was the daughter of top Nazi, Heinrich Himmler, Commander of the SS (Schutzstaffel), and claimed to be the author of the entire racial cleansing, "Final Solution," Holocaust program.

We are also told that Himmler somehow took a poison pill while in prison awaiting his execution, thereby "cheating justice." But this is about his daughter and the thread that leads to the Report on British torture.

Ms. Burwitz never disavowed Nazism and defended her father's reputation. She remained prominent in far-right politics throughout her life. She was reported to be a prominent member of Stille Hilfe (Silent Help), a secretive group known to provide legal and financial support to former SS members. She was also known to attend other neo-Nazi events and rallies before her death.

Oh, and she did hold jobs, too. She worked at BND (West German Secret Police/Intelligence) headquarters during the time the organisation was under the control of Reinhard Gehlen. Nazi General Reinhard Gehlen, of course, had headed the Russia Desk in the Oberkommando der Wermacht (OKW - Hitler's Supreme Headquarters). Later, he had been recruited by OSS/CIA Director Allen Dulles in the closing days of WW II and brought to service in the US.

This is a "rabbit hole" of considerable depth. I recommend reading "NATO's Nazi Beginnings: How the West implemented Hitler's goals" by Robert S. Rodvik.

psychohistorian , Jun 30, 2018 9:04:46 PM | 96
@ b4real with his call for some level of anarchism

Do you agree that humans are community oriented beasts at some level? What do you call that level of organization and how does one scale it...or is that a bad idea to you?

Is it anarchy all the way down?

I am fine to move this to the next open thread and feel some responsibility for my ongoing contextualization of stuff.

Daniel , Jun 30, 2018 9:22:23 PM | 97
Peter AU1 @27.

I agree that the Internet provided an awesome medium for the spread of information, much of which had only been available to readers of low-circulation alternative sources. We were witness to a "Golden Age" of largely unrestricted information flow.

And that is why the Internet in Europe and the US is being clamped down. Private companies people relied on, like youtube and facebook are deleting accounts and "throttling" traffic. Google is "deranking" sites such that some have seen traffic drop by 75%. "Net neutrality" has been overturned, so all of this and more is about to become much worse in the US.

A reminder for those who sometimes fall into a Pollyanna hopefulness.... as bad as our Western internet censorship is becoming, it's still a beacon of freedom compared to what China already has.

Daniel , Jun 30, 2018 9:58:02 PM | 98
Jen @57. Thanks for interjecting some real world examples into the theoretical "utopian" government/no government ideas being floated.

I'd add that internet voting has not shown itself to be trustworthy. Right now Estonia (or e-Estonia as it's now calling itself) is establishing an entirely internet-based life way. Everyone gets a bio-ID card. All financial transactions will go through that card, as is voting, medical records, education, etc. etc. etc.

Is this really "hack-proof?" If/when someone's entire life is hacked, will we even be allowed to know it happened?

China is developing their "social score" system similar to e-Estonia. In their case, they're bragging that whatever black box is keeping score will have the authority to prevent people from purchasing property, or boarding a train, or going to school, or voting or really anything at all.... all based on some algorithms programmed by some faceless bureaucrats.

Back to the "Venus Project" which someone linked earlier, such high-tech autocratic societies may be a big improvement for most people's lives. Maybe I'm some sort of Luddite to prefer things like paper ballots, filled out in ink and hand counted multiple times with observers from any interested parties.

But that still looks like a technology that isn't broken, and so doesn't need to be "fixed."

Peter AU 1 , Jun 30, 2018 10:01:09 PM | 99
@ Daniel
When in China I could not access anything google. Google browser, google search, google blogs. As I mostly used yandex everything else was fine. I could access all western propaganda and alternative news/blogs that were not on a google platform. I take it google was blocked because they were heavily involved in color revolutions and regime change operations.
Daniel , Jun 30, 2018 10:13:49 PM | 100
Peter AU 1. I think you're reading too much literalism into the folk tales written down by bronze age nomads as they took up an agrarian lifestyle. You might enjoy the book, "The Evolution of God" by Robert Wright. He is a bit too "evo/psych"" for my tastes, but overall his description of the current understanding of the archaeological, anthropological, paleographical and historical evidence is quite well presented.

[Jun 27, 2018] jack daniels

Notable quotes:
"... Today we see anti-racism being elevated into a quasi-religion that may be used to justify totalitarian policies. One benefit of this initiative is that it allows the elite to preserve the gap in material wealth between themselves and the victim class. Ending racism is less expensive than ending inequality! ..."
Jun 27, 2018 | www.unz.com

says: June 5, 2018 at 6:32 pm GMT 300 Words @John Baker How are they 'checked?'

Numerous sources give very high figures for Jews and these have tended to be memory-holed and maligned as you know what.

Consequently sources which report a low number of jews (do you know of any?) from the period are at least as suspect, and ones from a later period and embraced by Jewish scholars more so.

And one must remember that apart from the many name changes by Jews in the Old Bolshevik era (lots of name changes amongst Israel's 'founders' too) they made substantial effort to hide their jewishness, as have later sources.

One might consider the attempted Bokshevik coup in Germany a year after the Russian one.

Even wikipedia has to report that this 'Spartacus uprising' was led almost wholly by Jews. What would they have done had they won? Might the conflation of anti-nationalist communist violence and Jewish Supremacy have been what led in part to Hitler and his racial nationalists? There was also a coup in Hungary led by Bela Kun. I agree with you that the threat of Communism played a role in the rise of militant nationalism and its anti-Semitic aspect. The role of Jews in the leadership of every Communist uprising is crisply documented by Winston Churchill in his 1920 article http://www.fpp.co.uk/bookchapters/WSC/WSCwrote1920.html Paul Johnson in Modern Times claims that Jews did not make up a large percentage of party members but that is less impressive than their domination of the top ranks. Germany in the 20s and 30s had an abundance of motives to support a strong nationalist leader since the terms of the Versailles Treaty were unjust and unendurable, and the solution seemed to involve at least the willingness to use force to remove the burden. The democratic parties were insufficiently decisive and would likely have succumbed to Communist agitation or at best preserved a very unpleasant status quo. The weakness of Communism is that it reduces everything to economics and the material dimension. It demands the right to dictate without addressing the spiritual dimension of life. Hitler, by contrast, appealed to national pride and national unity, in addition to the national need to escape from poverty.

Today we see anti-racism being elevated into a quasi-religion that may be used to justify totalitarian policies. One benefit of this initiative is that it allows the elite to preserve the gap in material wealth between themselves and the victim class. Ending racism is less expensive than ending inequality!

[Jun 27, 2018] The mechanics of identity wedge in politics

Jun 27, 2018 | www.unz.com

anon [317] Disclaimer , June 5, 2018 at 5:44 pm GMT

@Rational

responding to PG's comments and the comments of Rational
Zionist, among them, being many NY Intellectuals, invented mugged reality (Neoconism) , but party slithering is a another name for divide and conquer.

Fudmier's example as to how to control the vote:
You present an idea to 6 people (there are seven votes including yours, you are the one); virtually everyone is indifferent or against your idea. Before the vote, how can you make the outcome favorable to your side? Divide the opinions on a related subject so that the people must vote for your idea if they take a side on the related subject. I am always either a Democrat or a Republican, cannot vote for anything the other party presents, no matter how good it is. So make the idea Republican or Democratic.

them me Total vote for against my idea
no division 1 2 3 4 5 6 ME 7 Me 6 I lose
divide by party D R D R D R ME 7 Me+3 3 I win

As the simple analysis suggests: it is easy to win a vote when the idea is Glued to the two AAs (glue, attached, or associated). The unpopular idea Glued and attached or associated with the political party issue splits the vote (such activity divides and weakens the political power inherent in the voting power of the masses). For example, if we make the vote to turn off all of the drinking water. the only vote will be mine, but if we say turn off the drinking water to all but those who are green, we divide the vote. and control the outcome.

This brings us to the democratic dilemma: should the non green people be included in vote on that issue? In fact, it is exactly this problem that those who wrote the constitution intended to establish.

The aggressive foreign policies and national security positions mentioned by PG have been attached to the standard Jewish line; in other words the duty of a Jew to recognize him/herself as a Jew and to vote as a member of the clan has been glued to the AAs. It is nearly impossible to vote for Jewish interest and not vote to demolish Palestinian homes.

I am hoping this list can develop ways to analyse current events into a set of fair play rules, reading, learning and analyzing books, journals and events and writing about them is not enough; some kind of action is needed to bring into reality the findings of these readings, learning and analysis produce. The best way to offset misleading, false or invented propaganda is to force it to into a rule based debunking process. Simple rules that everyone can learn, understand and adopt.

Capitalist Russia and its resources represent a major competitor to the resources and schemes of the capitalist neocon led west. Hating Russia is like being a democrat or a republican,it keeps the pharaoh options open.

[Jun 27, 2018] How Cynical Is the Democratic Party's Support for Identity Politics (Plus a Note on the Ocasio-Crowley Contest)

DemoRats use identity politics to achieve their goals. And if it does not suit their goals it is thrown in the garbage can as used napkin.
Also it is stupid to view candidates from the prism of identity politics: "In a mature society, it would not matter if someone was black, white, gay, Jewish, young, old, whatever but what policies they bring to the party. This article, going out of its way to label Nixon as LGBT and Sanders as Jewish, really only means that they are letting the other side set the rules and that is never a winning position. Unfortunately we do not live in a mature society."
Notable quotes:
"... Albright: "Younger women, Hillary Clinton will always be there for you" plus that other thing she said. ..."
Jun 26, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
By Gaius Publius , a professional writer living on the West Coast of the United States and frequent contributor to DownWithTyranny, digby, Truthout, and Naked Capitalism. Follow him on Twitter @Gaius_Publius , Tumblr and Facebook . GP article archive here . Originally published at DownWithTyranny

https://www.youtube.com/embed/QRimyfmz0MA

Albright: "Younger women, Hillary Clinton will always be there for you" plus that other thing she said.

How cynical is the Democratic Party's support for identity politics? To this observer, it seems impossible not to notice that those in control of the Democratic Party care about "identity politics" -- about supporting more women, more people of color, more LGBTQ candidates, etc. -- only when it suits them. Which means, if you take this view, that their vocal support for the underlying principles of "identity politics" is both cynical and insincere.

As I said, this has been apparent for some time. I've never seen it documented so well in one place, however, until this recent piece by Glenn Greenwald.

For example, Hillary Clinton supporters in 2016 not only encouraged a vote for Clinton because men and women had a duty to support her as a woman, yet they attacked support for Sanders as specifically misogynist:

The 2016 presidential election was the peak, at least thus far, for the tactics of identity politics in U.S. elections. In the Democratic primary, Hillary Clinton's potential status as the first female candidate was frequently used not only to inspire her supporters but also to shame and malign those who supported other candidates, particularly Bernie Sanders.

In February 2016 -- at the height of the Clinton-Sanders battle -- former Clinton Secretary of State Madeleine Albright introduced Hillary Clinton at a New Hampshire rally by predicting a grim afterlife for female supporters of Sanders, while Clinton and Cory Booker cheered: "There's a special place in hell for women who don't help each other!" she announced.

Though Albright apologized in the New York Times for her insensitive phrasing after a backlash ensued, she did reaffirm her central point: "When women are empowered to make decisions, society benefits. They will raise issues, pass bills and put money into projects that men might overlook or oppose."

At roughly the same time, Clinton supporter Gloria Steinem said female supporters of Sanders were motivated by a primitive impulse to follow "the boys," who, she claimed, were behind Sanders. Just this week, the Clinton loyalist and Salon writer Amanda Marcotte said Trump won "because some dudes had mommy issues," then clarified that she was referring to left-wing misogynists who did not support Clinton: "I also have those moments where I'm like, 'Maybe we need to run Bland White Guy 2020 to appease the fake socialists and jackass mansplainers.'"

Greenwald notes in passing that no one was making the case for supporting Sanders because he would be the first Jewish president, and he doesn't expect that case to be made in 2020 should Sanders run again.

He concludes from this that "despite the inconsistencies, one of the dominant themes that emerged in Democratic Party discourse from the 2016 election is that it is critically important to support female candidates and candidates of color, and that a failure or refusal to support such candidates when they present a credible campaign is suggestive evidence of underlying bigotry."

The Past as Prologue: Cynthia Nixon

Apparently, however, Democratic Party interest in electing strong progressive women (Hillary Clinton includes herself on that list) has dissipated in the smoke of the last election. As Greenwald notes, "Over and over, establishment Democrats and key party structures have united behind straight, white male candidates (including ones tainted by corruption), working to defeat their credible and progressive Democratic opponents who are women, LGBT people, and/or people of color. Clinton herself has led the way."

The article is replete with examples, from the Brad Ashford–Kara Eastman battle in Nebraska, to the Bob Menendez–Michael Starr Hopkins–Lisa McCormick three-way contest in New Jersey, to the Ben Cardin–Chelsea Manning primary in Maryland. In all cases, the Party backed the white male candidate (or in Menendez's case, the whiter male candidate) against the woman, the person of color, and the LGBTQ candidate. Not even the smoke of 2016's identity fire remains.

Which brings us to the 2018 candidacies of Cynthia Nixon and Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez.

Let's start with Cynthia Nixon, running against corrupt , anti-progressive NY Governor Andrew Cuomo. Cuomo sides with Republicans to defeat progressive measures, rules with an iron hand, is white and male. Yet he's also supported and endorsed by almost every national Democrat who matters:

In New York state, Cynthia Nixon is attempting to become the first female governor, as well as the first openly LGBT governor, in the state's history. She's running against a dynastic politician-incumbent, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, whom the New York Times denounced this year for being "tainted" by multiple corruption scandals.

But virtually the entire Democratic establishment has united behind the white male dynastic prince, Cuomo, over his female, LGBT challenger. That includes Clinton herself, who enthusiastically endorsed Cuomo last month, as well as Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand , who -- despite starting a political action committee with the explicit purpose of supporting women running for office -- also endorsed Cuomo over Nixon in March. [emphasis mine]

To make the main point again: How cynical and insincere is the Democratic Party's support for identity politics? Very.

A Local Race with National Consequences: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez vs. Joe Crowley

This cynical drama is also playing out in the race between corrupt Joe Crowley , the likely next Democratic leader of the House (if he survives this election) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

The same dynamic is now driving the Democratic Party primary campaign in New York's 14th Congressional District, a district that is composed of 70 percent nonwhite voters. The nine-term Democratic incumbent, Joe Crowley, is a classic dynastic machine politician . His challenger, a 28-year-old Latina woman, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, has generated nationwide excitement for her campaign after her inspiring introduction video went viral . At a fundraising event, Crowley accused his opponent of playing identity politics, saying she was trying to make the campaign "about race."

Despite all that, virtually the entire Democratic establishment has united behind the white male incumbent, and virtually none is supporting the woman of color who is challenging him. Yesterday, the very same Gillibrand who has a PAC to support female candidates and who endorsed Cuomo over Nixon announced that she was supporting Crowley over Ocasio-Cortez. [emphasis added]

Note that these are not low-profile, low-consequence races. Both are positions of enormous power -- in Nixon's case, due to the office; in Crowley's case, due to his position as the Dauphin to Nancy Pelosi's soon-to-step-down monarch.

These are races with exponentially greater consequences than usuals. And where is the Democratic Party in this? With the (corrupt) white male and against the woman, as always these days.

"Identity Politics" Is Not a Cookie-Cutter Solution to Electoral Choices

I'd like to make two additional points. First, by any intelligent standard, candidates "identities" should only be one factor only in considering support for them. Only the right wing and 2016 Clinton advocates like Madeleine Albright, quoted above, make the most simplistic argument about "identity" support -- and even then, the simplistic argument seemed to apply only to support for Clinton herself and never to other women.

For example, would even Clinton supporters have supported Carly Fiorina against a male Democrat for president? Obviously not. And Clinton herself, a former New York senator, did not support Zephyr Teachout in 2014 when Teachout ran against Andrew Cuomo for governor . Nor did then-Democratic primary candidate Hillary Clinton campaign for Zephyr Teachout in her 2016 race for the the NY-19 House seat .

Ideological concerns also drive decisions like these, as in fact they should. Fiorina would likely be too far right for Clinton to support, and Teachout too far left. This is a fair basis on which to decide. It was also a fair basis on which to decide support for Clinton as well.

The Ocasio-Crowley Battle Is a Very High-Leverage Fight

A second point: I recently wrote about the importance of progressive involving themselves heavily in high-leverage races -- like the Bernie Sanders 2016 race, for example -- where the payoff would have been huge relative to the effort. (You can read that piece and its argument here: " Supporting Aggressive Progressives for Very High-Leverage Offices ".)

The Ocasio-Crowley contest is similarly high-leverage -- first, because he's perceived as vulnerable and acting like he agrees , and second because it would, to use a chess metaphor, eliminate one of the most powerful (and corrupt) anti-progressive players from House leadership in a single move.

Again, Crowley is widely seen as the next Democratic Speaker of the House. He would be worse by far than Nancy Pelosi, and he's dangerous. He has blackmailed, as I see it, almost all of his colleagues into supporting him by the implicit threat of, as Speaker, denying them committee assignments and delaying or thwarting their legislation. He also controls funding as Speaker via the leadership PAC and the DCCC. Even Mark Pocan, co-chair of the CPC and normally a reliable progressive voice and vote, is reportedly whipping support for Crowley among his colleagues.

Crowley plays for keeps. Taking him off the board entirely, removing him from the House for the next two years, would produce a benefit to progressives far in excess of the effort involved.

Progressives, were they truly smart, would have nationalize this race from the beginning and worked tirelessly to win it. The payoff from a win like this is huge. Larry Coffield , June 26, 2018 at 5:27 am

I think identity politics has always served as a diversion for elites to play within the neoliberal bandwidth of decreasing public spending. Fake austerity and an unwillingness to use conjured money for public QE are necessary for pursuing neoliberal privatization of public enterprises. Therefore Bernie and his MMT infrastructure are anathema to corporate democrats and their Wall St. benefactors.

Moral Monday represents what I deem as people over profit. I would rather be a spoiler than enable corporate sociopaths to.expand mass incarceration, end welfare as we know it, consider the killing of a half-million Iraqi children an acceptable cost, or oversee the first inverted debt jubilee in 2008 to forgive the liabilities of fraudsters by pauperizing debtors.

[Jun 26, 2018] Douglas Valentine wrote an extremely interesting article on Ellsberg's CIA connections in 2003

Jun 26, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Posted by: J | Jun 26, 2018 7:45:25 PM | 18

I have a budding theory that Daniel Ellsberg is not trustworthy.

Douglas Valentine wrote an extremely interesting article on Ellsberg's CIA connections in 2003 here:

https://www.counterpunch.org/2003/03/08/will-the-real-daniel-ellsberg-please-stand-up/

and did an interview talking about it here:

https://www.corbettreport.com/interview-709-douglas-valentine-on-ellsberg-and-the-cia/

I'm wondering whether he may have been posing as a heroic whistleblower for all these years when the whole time the Pentagon Papers were extremely useful for the CIA in hiding their drug smuggling operation in Southeast Asia and for the FBI hiding COINTELPRO while also bringing down Nixon. And whether he could since be using his status to befriend all these whistlebowers, who he would then have great influence over (eg. Kirakou, Snowden both love him, Freedom of the Press Foundation) . And the surely CIA-sponsored film The Post, which minimised the journalism done by the NYT, and hugely backed the WaPo. With their new "democracy dies in darkness" slogan it seems like they're honeytrapping whistleblowers like The Intercept with Reality Winner etc, while simultaneously bigging up Ellsberg as a hero.

Also, on 16 November 2014 Sue Gardner, then the executive director of Wikipedia,, made some changes to Ellsberg's wiki page at his request. Some of the changes were strange, such as this one: https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Daniel_Ellsberg&diff=634026472&oldid=634026053

which removes a reference to Ellsberg's high security clearance after serving in Vietnam, at the RAND corporation, for the given reason: "Ellsberg says he didn't have a high security clearance while in Vietnam: I can't find explicit support for it in the citation".

But the removed part wasn't talking about when he was in Vietnam.

Also this edit:

https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Daniel_Ellsberg&diff=634026053&oldid=634025889

which removes a comment about Ellsberg being at the Gulf of Tonkin, reporting the incident to McNamara, because:

"Ellsberg says this isn't true (and it should probably come out regardless -- if it's only worth a parenthetical it's probably not sufficiently notable/interesting to be in the article".

But in Ellsberg's own memoir he writes about the incident, and how he was the first to receive the cable from the courier about the Gulf of Tonkin:

http://www.pbs.org/pov/mostdangerousman/excerpt-ellsberg-memoir/2/

It all seems very suspicious to me and I think it could use some more attention, Valentine is incredibly knowledgeable about the CIA and I think he makes a good case.

[Jun 26, 2018] Identity politics has always served as a diversion for elites to pursue stealth neoliberal policies like decreasing public spending. Fake austerity is necessary for pursuing neoliberal privatization of public enterprises

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... In a mature society, it would not matter if someone was black, white, gay, Jewish, young, old, whatever but what policies they bring to the party. This article, going out of its way to label Nixon as LGBT and Sanders as Jewish, really only means that they are letting the other side set the rules and that is never a winning position. Unfortunately we do not live in a mature society. ..."
"... Not until people are done with identity politics will it be really possible to bring a new order into focus. Support Kamala Harris, for example, because she is not white and a woman? Not unless she has policies that the bulk of Americans want and is not just the old party in a new guise. I suspect that this use of the term 'progressive' is just a term to describe what the majority of Americans want out of their governments. People like Clinton, Pelosi, Waters and Albright can not and will not do this so time for them to be pushed aside. I think that the US Presidential election of 2020 will be very telling of how things play out as the results of the 2018 mid-terms are absorbed. ..."
"... I think identity politics has always served as a diversion for elites to play within the neoliberal bandwidth of decreasing public spending. Fake austerity and an unwillingness to use conjured money for public QE are necessary for pursuing neoliberal privatization of public enterprises. Therefore Bernie and his MMT infrastructure are anathema to corporate democrats and their Wall St. benefactors. ..."
"... Moral Monday represents what I deem as people over profit. I would rather be a spoiler than enable corporate sociopaths to.expand mass incarceration, end welfare as we know it, consider the killing of a half-million Iraqi children an acceptable cost, or oversee the first inverted debt jubilee in 2008 to forgive the liabilities of fraudsters by pauperizing debtors. ..."
"... Once you abandon class-based politics, and all parties accept the neoliberal consensus, you still have the problem of attracting support. You can only do that by turning to the politics of identity, as practised in Africa or the Balkans, where you seek to corral entire groups to vote for you, based on ethnicity, skin colour etc. ..."
"... Modern parties of the "Left" have taken over the methods, if not the ideology, of the old Communist parties, which is to say they present themselves as natural leaders, whom the membership should follow and vote for. ..."
"... Readers should examine the recent book Asymmetric Politics. The key point is that the Democratic Party is as described by David in some fair part an identity-based party, so it is supported by, e.g., many African-Americans. The Republican Party, unusual in the Western World, is not an identity based party; it is an idea-based party. It may not be very good at putting its ideas into effect, but it is an idea-based party that anyone can support. ..."
"... The Republicans are an "ideas-based" party? Well, I guess if you consider the interest-motivated "product" of Overclass-funded think tanks to be "idea-based," then OK. Me, I've haven't seen the Republicans as anything other than a class and (white) race-based party since I was a youth half a century ago. ..."
"... As for the cynicism of how the Democrats use identity politics: granted. Nevertheless, African-Americans have some tangible and valid reasons for voting for them, awful as they are. ..."
"... George Phillies didn't say the Republicans had "good" ideas. He just noted that the Republicans have "ideas". A "bad" idea is still an "idea". ..."
"... So Pelosi's final bequest to the public is a corrupt successor? What a world! ..."
"... Pelosi's been quoted a number of times saying, "we lead with our values". You certainly do, Mrs. Speaker! Thanks for making it clear! ..."
"... Come on, folks. By now you should have learned that what politicians say doesn't mean a damn thing -- it's what they do. The establishment is only interested in perpetuating the establishment. ..."
"... As far as I've seen, they trot out identity politics only when it suits their aims and it has nothing to do with what the voters actually want. ..."
"... Identity politics are to Democrats what religious politics are to Republicans: A pious high ground they use whenever they want to denounce anyone opposed to them as corrupt and immoral, but immediately gets shelved the moment it interferes with the money and power. ..."
"... To me, it's a dishonest policy erasure tactic for favoring establishment candidates. If you're against Hillary Clinton, it's must be ..."
"... Of course the most important identity is that of the worker, the person who must sell their labor power in the marketplace to survive. But you will rarely hear the Democrats discuss that identity. You might hear about "working families" and the "middle class" but it really means nothing. The Republicans use the same language and they are just as mendacious. ..."
"... Working families: Groups of people related genetically or by choice, all of whom, regardless of age, have to work to ensure they have food, clothing, and shelter. ..."
"... I can think of a couple of identity-words to offer to see if anyone identifies with them. Ex-middle class. Nouveau poor. ..."
"... Western Democrats focus too much on a minority which has barely any impact on the economy at the expense of the majority which actually dictates the general economic trend and therefore also creates the byproduct welfare/life quality of all the meme minorities to whom it trickles down. That's the issue here. The difference between normal people and minorities is that normal people know they don't matter in the larger picture, while minorities think they matter while at the same time asking to be treated as part of the normal people even though their very mentality is a paradox towards being normal. ..."
"... The West is simply too bankrupt on things that matter in the bigger picture and too involved in things that don't, a complete lack of prioritization. ..."
Jun 26, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

sgt_doom , June 26, 2018 at 2:07 pm

Eric Holder: Please declare for the US presidency

Eric Holder, former attorney general of the USA under President Obama, has publicly announced that he is considering a run for the White House in 2020. (Thanks to that WikiLeaked email awhile back, we know that Citigroup directed a newly elected President Obama to appoint him to the position of A.G.)

I fervently pray that Eric Holder, of Covington & Burling, declares himself a candidate!

Only then will the opportunity again present itself to expose Eric Holder -- and Covington & Burling -- in their involvement with the creation and operation of MERS (Mortgage Electronic Reporting System) and its connection to the global economic meltdown (2007 -- 2009), the greatest illegal wealth transfer and insurance swindle in human history!

How we would welcome such transparency of evil, how BlackRock profited from that economic meltdown, then oversaw the disbursement of those TARP bailout funds.

Exposure of the network of BlackRock and Vanguard and State Street and Fidelity; exposure of their major investors. Further exposure of the Blackstone Group and Carlyle Group and other such PE/LBO giants!

How the InterContinental Exchange (ICE) was involved in nefarious commodity price rigging, etc., manipulated derivatives dealing and how today they oversee LIBOR rates!

The further exposure of the influence and perfidy of the Group of Thirty (www.group30.org) and the Bretton Woods Committee (www.brettonwoods.org) -- oh how we'd love to see such exposure!

Please declare for the presidency, Mr. Holder!

drumlin woodchuckles , June 26, 2018 at 4:28 pm

Holder for President? Oh boy Mr. Peabody! That's great!

If a critical difference-making margin of non-voting Black non-voters in Milwaukee were willing to non-vote between Clinton and Trump even at the price of letting Trump take Wisconsin, that could mean that the Race Card is wearing thin. Who exactly would Mr. Holder be able to fool in Milwaukee? He would do well in Hyde Park though . . . getting the Guilty White Privilege Expiation vote. Will that be enough? Will the Madison vote be enough to make up for the Milwaukee non-vote?

You know who would be a perfect pair? Holder and Harris. Or Holder and Booker. Or some such. Seriously, if the DemParty nominates Holder, I will vote for Trump all over again. And at the Senate or Representative level, I would vote for an old legacy New Deal Democrat if there is one. But if they run a Clintonite, some protest Third Party looks very attractive by comparison.

The Rev Kev , June 26, 2018 at 1:54 am

In a mature society, it would not matter if someone was black, white, gay, Jewish, young, old, whatever but what policies they bring to the party. This article, going out of its way to label Nixon as LGBT and Sanders as Jewish, really only means that they are letting the other side set the rules and that is never a winning position. Unfortunately we do not live in a mature society.

If push came to shove you would have to describe both the Republican and Democrat parties as bastions of neoliberalism and both parties play games with identity politics as it fractures those who would oppose them and encourages internecine warfare. Like a kaleidoscope shifting focus, the 2008 crash has started off a shift in how politics is done and the success of Trump in the US, Brexit in the UK as well as other leaders is this shift in its first efforts of readjusting.

Not until people are done with identity politics will it be really possible to bring a new order into focus. Support Kamala Harris, for example, because she is not white and a woman? Not unless she has policies that the bulk of Americans want and is not just the old party in a new guise. I suspect that this use of the term 'progressive' is just a term to describe what the majority of Americans want out of their governments. People like Clinton, Pelosi, Waters and Albright can not and will not do this so time for them to be pushed aside. I think that the US Presidential election of 2020 will be very telling of how things play out as the results of the 2018 mid-terms are absorbed.

Larry Coffield , June 26, 2018 at 5:27 am

I think identity politics has always served as a diversion for elites to play within the neoliberal bandwidth of decreasing public spending. Fake austerity and an unwillingness to use conjured money for public QE are necessary for pursuing neoliberal privatization of public enterprises. Therefore Bernie and his MMT infrastructure are anathema to corporate democrats and their Wall St. benefactors.

Moral Monday represents what I deem as people over profit. I would rather be a spoiler than enable corporate sociopaths to.expand mass incarceration, end welfare as we know it, consider the killing of a half-million Iraqi children an acceptable cost, or oversee the first inverted debt jubilee in 2008 to forgive the liabilities of fraudsters by pauperizing debtors.

David , June 26, 2018 at 5:47 am

The obvious answer is "very" and this applies pretty much to every major allegedly leftist party in the western world.

The fact is that if you want to form a political party and take power, or even make good careers, you have to find supporters and get them to vote for you. Historically, after the growth of modern political parties, they differentiated themselves by reference to social and economic groups. In most countries there was a traditionalist party, often rural, with links to church and aristocracy and the socially conservative, a middle-class professional/small business party and a mass working class party often under middle-class leadership. Depending on the country, this could, in practice, be more than three or less than three distinct parties.

Once you abandon class-based politics, and all parties accept the neoliberal consensus, you still have the problem of attracting support. You can only do that by turning to the politics of identity, as practised in Africa or the Balkans, where you seek to corral entire groups to vote for you, based on ethnicity, skin colour etc. The problem is that whilst the old political distinctions were objective, the new ones are much more subjective, overlapping and sometimes in conflict with each other. After all, you are objectively employed or unemployed, a shareholder or landowner or not, an employee or an employer, you have debt or savings, you earn enough to live on or you don't. It's therefore easier to construct political parties on that basis than on the basis of ascriptive, overlapping and conflicting subjective identities.

Modern parties of the "Left" have taken over the methods, if not the ideology, of the old Communist parties, which is to say they present themselves as natural leaders, whom the membership should follow and vote for. This worked well enough when the markers were economic, much less well when they are identity based. Trying to herd together middle-class professional socially-liberal voters, and immigrants from a socially conservative background afraid of losing their jobs backfired disastrously for the Socialist party in the 2017 elections in France, and effectively destroyed the party. People don't like being instructed who it is their duty to vote for.

The other very clarifying moment of that election was the complete absence, up and down the western world, of voices supporting Marine Le Pen for President. Not a single voice was raised in her support, although her victory would have been epoch-making in terms of French politics, and certainly not Albright's.

That tells you everything you need to know, really.

George Phillies , June 26, 2018 at 11:31 am

Readers should examine the recent book Asymmetric Politics. The key point is that the Democratic Party is as described by David in some fair part an identity-based party, so it is supported by, e.g., many African-Americans. The Republican Party, unusual in the Western World, is not an identity based party; it is an idea-based party. It may not be very good at putting its ideas into effect, but it is an idea-based party that anyone can support.

Note that many Democrats are totally terrified by the idea that the Republican Party would become an identity-based party, namely the white people's party, because if the white vote supported the Republicans nationally the way it already does in the south the Democrats would, in the immortal words of Donald Trump, be schlonged.

Indeed, that support is now advancing up through the Appalachians into central Pennsylvania and the Southern Tier of New York. West Virginia was once heavily Democratic.

And while some Democrats propose that America is becoming a majority-minority country, others have worked out that, e.g., persons of Hispanic or Chinese ancestry may over several generations follow the Irish and the Italians and the Hungarians and the Jews, none of whom were originally viewed* as being white, by being reclassified in the popular mind as being part of the white majority.

*Some readers will recall that quaint phrase "the colored races of Europe". At the time, a century and then a fair amount ago, it was meant literally. Anglo-Saxons were a race. Irishmen were a distinct race.

Michael Fiorillo , June 26, 2018 at 12:46 pm

The Republicans are an "ideas-based" party? Well, I guess if you consider the interest-motivated "product" of Overclass-funded think tanks to be "idea-based," then OK. Me, I've haven't seen the Republicans as anything other than a class and (white) race-based party since I was a youth half a century ago.

That Republicans will distract, misdirect and dissemble to mask their class and race-based identity doesn't change the reality of it.

As for the cynicism of how the Democrats use identity politics: granted. Nevertheless, African-Americans have some tangible and valid reasons for voting for them, awful as they are.

drumlin woodchuckles , June 26, 2018 at 4:36 pm

George Phillies didn't say the Republicans had "good" ideas. He just noted that the Republicans have "ideas". A "bad" idea is still an "idea".

blennylips , June 26, 2018 at 7:25 am

Stephen Fry is back, taking another idea out for a walk in the latest Munk Debate:

Political Correctness
Be it resolved, what you call political correctness, I call progress
MAY 18, 2018
https://www.munkdebates.com/The-Debates/Political-Correctness

On the Con side: Stephen Fry, Jordan Peterson
On the Pro side: Michael Dyson, Michelle Goldberg

Stephen and Jordan complained at the end that it ended up about identity politics rather than the PC debate they'd rather have had.

IguanaBowtie , June 26, 2018 at 10:19 am

Dyson neatly derailed the whole thing with his 'mean white man' line. Could have just been Fry vs Goldberg too, Peterson talked past the others yhe whole time. Whole thing deserves a do-over.

blennylips , June 26, 2018 at 11:14 am

I agree IguanaB, Dyson was as awful as Mr. Fry was magnificent – but I could be as deluded as the next guy of course.

I loved how Fry gritted his teeth at being on the same side as Jordan, but considered the issues too important for a personal tantrum.

johnnygl , June 26, 2018 at 8:08 am

I'm really worried about a repeat of 2016 with a heavy dose of voter purges and reregistrations. Ocasio-Cortez will need a strong GOTV ground game to pull off the upset.

DJG , June 26, 2018 at 9:07 am

Cuomo may be part of a political dynasty, but I recall that when Mario Cuomo was sending out feelers about running for president, there was plenty of "Who's the furriner?" I can't find the quote, but some Southern politician opined that there weren't many Marios and fewer Cuomos in the South. (And when Geraldine Ferraro was on the ticket with Mondale, journalists and columnists "miraculously" discovered that her husband was a mafioso.) So there's white and there's white.

Not that I'd vote for Cuomo. And I certainly agree with Glenn Greenwald. But ethnic politics cut all different ways.

DJG , June 26, 2018 at 9:09 am

From the quotes above: 'Maybe we need to run Bland White Guy 2020 to appease the fake socialists and jackass mansplainers.'"

Just in case you wanted to have the National Conversation on the Deep Insights that Rebecca Solnit Has Bestowed on Us with Her Term "Mansplaining."

Carolinian , June 26, 2018 at 9:15 am

So Pelosi's final bequest to the public is a corrupt successor? What a world!

JohnnyGL , June 26, 2018 at 11:06 am

Pelosi's been quoted a number of times saying, "we lead with our values". You certainly do, Mrs. Speaker! Thanks for making it clear!

sharonsj , June 26, 2018 at 10:55 am

Come on, folks. By now you should have learned that what politicians say doesn't mean a damn thing -- it's what they do. The establishment is only interested in perpetuating the establishment.

Here in Pennsylvania, Republican senator Pat Toomey has stayed in office only because the Dem establishment here has refused to back Joe Sestak, a terrific but rebellious candidate, for years. Last time around, it endorsed a woman over Sestak and another fantastic male candidate–but she was as crappy as they come. As far as I've seen, they trot out identity politics only when it suits their aims and it has nothing to do with what the voters actually want.

drumlin woodchuckles , June 26, 2018 at 4:41 pm

If Sestak and his supporters started a little Third Party just for Pennsylvania, how many votes would he get? If he and his supporters called it the Revenge Against Betrayal Party, how many votes would he get?

Big Tap , June 26, 2018 at 4:56 pm

Exactly

PKMKII , June 26, 2018 at 11:10 am

Identity politics are to Democrats what religious politics are to Republicans: A pious high ground they use whenever they want to denounce anyone opposed to them as corrupt and immoral, but immediately gets shelved the moment it interferes with the money and power.

Jeff W , June 26, 2018 at 6:05 pm

To me, it's a dishonest policy erasure tactic for favoring establishment candidates. If you're against Hillary Clinton, it's must be because she's a woman, not because she's, say, a neoliberal, corporatist warmonger -- it deliberately supplants legitimate policy differences with identity. Not only is it breathtakingly dopey as a psychological theory -- because it's pretty obvious that someone could oppose a person based on those policy differences -- it's also obnoxiously presumptuous: "I'm going to substitute my statements as to motivation for yours." None of that matters, of course, as long as the work of erasing policy from the discourse is done.

Lee , June 26, 2018 at 11:38 am

And while it surely matters who is in congress and who sits in the oval office, possibly we should all become more focused and engaged with system change rather than just individuals running for office. (although damn am I impressed with Alexandria's keen appreciation of democracy), To that end I offer ideas from the brain of Gar Alperovitz https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k1-Ss5h9F9k

HotFlash , June 26, 2018 at 2:14 pm

Thank you, Lee. About a quarter of the way through Gar's talk and may need to take a little rest to let my soul catch up. For me, in my community which is being hard hit by gentrification and rents are, for many long-time residents, becoming unaffordable, this might be the exactly the right ideas at the right time. Tomorrow I will be going to the last meeting of our neighbourhood food co-op as it dissolves, after 10 years, and I can't decide whether I am more angry or sad. It was well-intentioned, but just couldn't make it work. Perhaps a bad plan, or maybe no systematic plan at all. Anyway. I never really expected to see my $1000 again when I bought that bond 10 years ago.

Meantime, I will listen to Gar finish his talk, and pro'ly get his book from the library.

So here is Gar talking about the Evergreen Co-ops of Cleveland: "That is a community-building, wealth-democratizing, decentralized, combination of community and worker ownership, supported by quasi-public procurement, through a planning system using quasi-public moneys. That is a planning system. {It} begins with a vision of community which starts by democratizing as far as you can from the ground up, building capacity at the national level or the regional level, to purchase and thereby stabilize the system in a form of economic planning. Now think about those things. Those are ideas in a fragmentary developmental process as the pain of the system grows and there are no other solutions. "

It is strong stuff, but reading it seems dense and dull, but Gar makes it all make sense on first hearing. So, in anyone interested in community economic action, do check it out.

Synoia , June 26, 2018 at 12:46 pm

Which means, if you take this view, that their vocal support for the underlying principles of "identity politics" is both cynical and insincere.

There, removed the superfluous words.

Left in Wisconsin , June 26, 2018 at 1:44 pm

Also noticing that Emily's List has failed to endorse either Nixon or Ocasio-Cortez. Why am I not shocked.

Livius Drusus , June 26, 2018 at 3:34 pm

Of course the most important identity is that of the worker, the person who must sell their labor power in the marketplace to survive. But you will rarely hear the Democrats discuss that identity. You might hear about "working families" and the "middle class" but it really means nothing. The Republicans use the same language and they are just as mendacious.

I wouldn't mind the slogans and euphemisms if there was some substance behind them. I get that Americans generally like to think of themselves as "middle class" whether they are making minimum wage or millions of dollars but at least put some substance behind your rhetoric.

Both parties are using identity politics to win elections while avoiding the economic issues that every poll indicates Americans care about the most. The result is an increasingly disillusioned and depressed population that hates the entire political system. Almost half of the eligible electorate stays home during election years. Non-voters tend to be poorer while the political junkies who are increasingly shrill, angry and unreasonable tend to be wealthier. These are the people who form the base for identity politics because they have the luxury to worry about such nonsense.

Elizabeth Burton , June 26, 2018 at 6:10 pm

Working families: Groups of people related genetically or by choice, all of whom, regardless of age, have to work to ensure they have food, clothing, and shelter.

drumlin woodchuckles , June 26, 2018 at 4:44 pm

I can think of a couple of identity-words to offer to see if anyone identifies with them. Ex-middle class. Nouveau poor.

Jean , June 26, 2018 at 6:20 pm

"It's about the children " Madeline Albright, when asked about 500,000+ dead Iraqi children caused by the sanctions she promoted said "We think the price was worth it " When will this nauseating hag slink off the public stage? https://fair.org/extra/we-think-the-price-is-worth-it/

Somebody , June 26, 2018 at 6:35 pm

An average person with their limited lifespan can barely manage a quota of about a dozen people to truly care about and about 70 to be acquainted with. Chances of any of those belonging to some of those special category people are low to the point of it being irrelevant and worthless to get acquainted with the categories themselves and their cultures/language, unless they live in a few congregation capitals on this planet like San Francisco, capitals which can be numbered on both my hands.

Unless the average person decides for themselves to care, trying to convince them to care about special identity is tantamount to attempting to rob them of their precious lifespan, over what? Superficial identities. There are religions which worship the supernatural. Now there's a religion which worships the superficial called Identity Politics or Social Justice Evangelism as i like to call it (as usual it has about as much to do with social justice as Christianity had to do with world peace, and all to do with identity masturbation), arisen jointly as a result of inflated and growing narcissism and unwarranted sense of self-importance personality disorders influenced by spending too much time on social media such as Facebook and Twitter.

Bah. Western Democrats focus too much on a minority which has barely any impact on the economy at the expense of the majority which actually dictates the general economic trend and therefore also creates the byproduct welfare/life quality of all the meme minorities to whom it trickles down. That's the issue here. The difference between normal people and minorities is that normal people know they don't matter in the larger picture, while minorities think they matter while at the same time asking to be treated as part of the normal people even though their very mentality is a paradox towards being normal.

The West is simply too bankrupt on things that matter in the bigger picture and too involved in things that don't, a complete lack of prioritization.

[Jun 26, 2018] Was Sanders a Trojan horse?

Jun 26, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Debsisdead @43. I love your piece detailing things I've seen you post here. You've got my CT juices flowing more this time, though.

But regarding your query about CounterPunch, I've been a reader for a long time. Then, shortly after Bernie Sanders announced his campaign, CP began running what ended up being dozens of articles denouncing him.

Now, I was very slow in endorsing Sanders. I was aware of his record, and once he announced, I really dug into it, and found even more troubling stuff. Mostly it was his rather spotty foreign policy record. But eventually, I decided that he was not so much a 'lesser evil" as the "best good" that the Democratic Party could ever nominate. Having campaigned for alternative candidates many times, I decided to give this "Occupy the DP" thing a chance.

But since I was delving into his record as CP was writing these articles, I noticed that they misstated, exaggerated and sometimes out and out lied about Sanders. I won't f*ckbook, so didn't reply to them, but did post their statements with citations to the correct information all over the place.

For everywhere I went, I conversed with other lefties about giving Bernie a chance in the Primaries. Sure, maybe he'll sheepdog if he loses, but why not help him win and not have to deal with that? Surely getting even a "democratic socialist" in would awaken much of the public who would then say "I'll have some more of that, thank you very much." But everywhere I came across people citing CP and other "lefty" sites that denounced him as "not pure" enough.

Just before the actual election, St. Clair actually wrote an entire book on how " Sanders campaign faltered, undone by the missteps of its leader and by sabotage from the elites of the Democratic Party."

Well, the DP and the lefties who denounced Sanders and ridiculed his followers might have played a role, eh?

Then, last summer, CP launched a full on attack on Caitlin Johnstone.


They did publish an "In Defense of Caitlin Johnstone" the next week, but the meme that Johnstone was some sort of shill for the alt-right had been planted, and is still sprouting shoots to this day.

But even though they'd published Johnstone before, they refused to publish the rebuttal she and Cobb wrote to the piece smearing them.

Caitlin Johnstone and David Cobb Respond to Counterpunch

And of course, as regards your post, Caitlin is one of the most active defenders/supporters of Julian Assange.


Then there was that whole thing where they were publishing articles written by an avatar going by the name of Alice Donovan. I don't know what to make that whole thing. I will say that some of her articles did discuss inconvenient truths that the MSM tries to play up as "conspiracy theories" (eg. Obama Administration sent weapons to Syria that ISIL received). But, she also wrote really bizarre stuff indicating she was not whom she claimed to be.

For any who care:

Democratic Party organ, "Think Progress" on the Alice scandal:

CounterPunch's mea culpa:

So, what's happened to CounterPunch since the Cockburn Dynasty splintered? I don't know, but it's weird.

Posted by: Daniel | Jun 25, 2018 12:05:56 AM | 50

[Jun 26, 2018] Trump and Obama both follow the same political model, that of the faux populist leader. They both claimed to be outsiders. They both faced crazy opposition that called into question their loyalty to America. They both had amorphous apologists (Obamabots, Trumptards) that excuse any betrayal by Jackrabbit

Notable quotes:
"... Trump was trumped up as the foil, same as Sanders, to sweep up all the anti-establishment sentiment on the other side of the isle, and really as an ace in the hole for Hillary, as he was considered a completely unelectable buffoon who would do nothing but make a laughingstock out of all Republicans. If you recall, Hillary and the establishment press were actually giving Trump all the love early, to make him the strongest poison pill possible. Of course, much later when there began to be fears that he was actually a threat (largely because of Hillary being so painfully phony and unlikeable), all political and press guns were turned against him, but since he had positioned himself as anti-establishment, this had the unexpected effect of actually increasing his popularity. ..."
"... Any time Trump gets off script (which is what makes me think he might have had some actual populist tendencies), he is quickly "corrected." So in the end, the Deep State doesn't have to actively field sleeper candidates; it has become so entrenched that it knows it can ultimately control whoever wins, and so while it has its preferences (Hillary), and will actively assist them, I don't think it feels the need to fear those it doesn't control at the outset. ..."
Jun 25, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jackrabbit | Jun 24, 2018 10:38:59 AM | 10

Catlin Johnson and Wikileaks suspect Qanon to be a "pied piper" psyop .

As early as January, Catlin voiced suspicion when she tweeted:

There's good conspiracy theory and there's bad conspiracy theory. #QAnon is bad conspiracy theory. It's either a really good LARPer or a really bad psyop. Informed insiders do not leak via 4chan. Does not happen. It's an anonymous message board for trolls. Always has been.

But Catlin recently goes a bit further, warning that:

This administration is advancing longstanding neoconservative agendas with increasing aggression, perpetuating the Orwellian surveillance state of Bush and Obama, and actively pursuing the extradition and imprisonment of Julian Assange. Ignore the narratives and watch the behavior, and he [Trump] looks very much like his predecessor. So cut out the narratives. Cut out the manipulators. Cut out QAnon from the equation and look at what's really happening here.

This is very much in line my comment at MoA on March 12

My take [on Qanon] : it is similar to the Obamabots promising good things to come. Those 'good things' never came, of course.

Further proof, IMHO, that Trump is the Republican Obama. The play book is the same.

I've written, here and at my blog (over a year ago!), that Trump and Obama both follow the same political model , that of the faux populist leader . They both claimed to be outsiders. They both faced crazy opposition that called into question their loyalty to America. They both had amorphous apologists (Obamabots, Trumptards) that excuse any betrayal.

Furthermore, I've said that it is logical to assume that the election of these faux populists have been arranged (by the Deep State). We have many tantalizing clues that this is so, like:

  1. The nature of the US political system. No real populist has a chance in our money-driven political system
  2. Non-starter opponents. McCain, Hillary are the embodiment of the establishment that everyone loves to hate.
  3. Clear manipulations. In a time of great dissatisfaction, there were only TWO populists that ran for President in 2016 - Trump and Sanders. Sanders was a 'sheepdog' (bogus candidate) who pulled many punches and betrayed his base.
  4. Very different stated agendas, yet staying true to Deep State goals. Tax cuts, military adventures, etc.
  5. Forgiveness. "No drama Obama" refused to pursue legal action against Bush Administration officials and, immediately upon his election, Trump said that he would not pursue Hillary, saying that they Clintons had been thru enough.

J Swift , Jun 24, 2018 12:57:43 PM | 14

@ Jackrabbit
"I've said that it is logical to assume that the election of these faux populists have been arranged (by the Deep State)."

While this is of course possible, and likely sometimes happens (might have been true with Obama's first run), I think the Deep State has such firm grip on power they aren't really worried about their ability to co-opt and control whoever wins. It's more about bleeding off steam from the masses, preserving the illusion of democracy. So "populists" serve a useful function, dividing would-be contenders, which along with general voter disgust means it actually takes a very small number of votes to control the ultimate outcome of the election.

Sanders was allowed to continue to energize pissed off people of the left, with the PTB knowing that when he was eventually canned and turned the vast bulk of his voters would either not vote at all or vote for their completely owned Hillary. But his presence in the Democratic mix meant the Democrats could at least pretend to have some relation to the more socially minded Dems of old.

Trump was trumped up as the foil, same as Sanders, to sweep up all the anti-establishment sentiment on the other side of the isle, and really as an ace in the hole for Hillary, as he was considered a completely unelectable buffoon who would do nothing but make a laughingstock out of all Republicans. If you recall, Hillary and the establishment press were actually giving Trump all the love early, to make him the strongest poison pill possible. Of course, much later when there began to be fears that he was actually a threat (largely because of Hillary being so painfully phony and unlikeable), all political and press guns were turned against him, but since he had positioned himself as anti-establishment, this had the unexpected effect of actually increasing his popularity.

No worries. Plenty of preemptive sabotage had been implanted prior to the election, such that long before he was even sworn in any actual populist tendencies he may have had (I suspect some were real, some were electioneering) were completely hamstrung. The Deep State flexed its muscles, and once again the US had its "populist," but the Deep State was again holding the reigns. Any time Trump gets off script (which is what makes me think he might have had some actual populist tendencies), he is quickly "corrected." So in the end, the Deep State doesn't have to actively field sleeper candidates; it has become so entrenched that it knows it can ultimately control whoever wins, and so while it has its preferences (Hillary), and will actively assist them, I don't think it feels the need to fear those it doesn't control at the outset.

Incidentally, along the same lines and to revive some of the Korea discussion, here's an interesting article discussing how the Deep State is ramping up its opposition to real peace in Korea. https://consortiumnews.com/2018/06/21/an-elite-coalition-emerges-against-a-trump-kim-agreement/

goldhoarder , Jun 24, 2018 1:44:18 PM | 16
J Swift,
I dont' know if that is completely true. Although maybe the higher ups believe that. You can tell by the texts they really didn't want Trump. At least the lower level grunt workers in the deep state. Probably because they aren't completely sure he won't go off script. I do believe if they thought he would be a problem they would just kill him.
Hoarsewhisperer , Jun 24, 2018 2:21:57 PM | 19
...
Incidentally, along the same lines and to revive some of the Korea discussion, here's an interesting article discussing how the Deep State is ramping up its opposition to real peace in Korea.
(link omitted by HW)
Posted by: J Swift | Jun 24, 2018 12:57:43 PM | 14

That thought bubble seems to contradict the paragraph immediately preceding it.
i.e. The Deep State/ Swamp wants to perpetuate tensions with NK/ China to keep arms sales flourishing and it's worried that Trump will cause peace to break out (which he will do - and make it look like either an accident, or (that old Right Wing Chestnut) Someone Else's Fault.

Jackrabbit , Jun 24, 2018 6:09:19 PM | 26
J Swift @14

You make some good points. There was a time when I also believed that Hillary and her cronies had masterfully set up the election so that she could win. But as it became clear how much Trump's politics resembled Obama's, I began to believe that TRUMP was meant to win all along.

My view is underscored by what I believe was a need to turn the page on the Obama years. Hillary could not have done that because she was so closely associated with Obama. This is especially true wrt USA's support for extremist proxies. A 'political reversal' can best excuse what many extremist supporters would otherwise see as a 'betrayal'. (Note: The elevation of MbS may also be a part of the necessary 'shift' - the alternative was conflict with Russia/WWIII) .

I think the Deep State has such firm grip on power they aren't really worried about their ability to co-opt and control whoever wins.

That may be. But even that mild view indicates that the US govt has a legitimacy problem. A problem that they would be acutely aware of.

It seems very likely to me that the role of the President is so key that it must be secured by someone that is sure to "play ball". That means an ambitious money-driven, narcissist social climber that explicitly agrees to serve the establishment (as per our 'inverted totalitarian' form of government).

Trump was trumped up as the foil, same as Sanders ...

Maybe. One could make a case that this is how it was planned to be but Hillary's email troubles (and the need to "turn the page" on the Obama years) caused the establishment to turn on her. In fact, the efforts to paint Trump as a dupe of Putin via the 'Trump dossier' began in earnest in Spring 2016 after it was clear that Hillary's email troubles could not be swept under the rug (which prompted Bloomberg's offer to run so as to prevent the 'disaster' of Trump or Sanders winning the Presidency) .

By June 2016 Trump was no longer a foil (if he ever was). Trump pushed back HARD on Hillary after the Orlando Pulse Nightclub attack. He didn't defer to Hillary's experience and the Democratic Party's ties to the gay community.

In July 2016, Hillary made herself even more hated by hiring a disgraced DWS into a high position in her campaign. That is as self-defeating as using a private email server for State Dept business. Such 'sloppiness' calls into question her desire to win the Presidency.

Trump also said, at one point, that he could kill someone in Times Square without consequence. That is a very strange statement to make. Anyone that says such a thing is either looney or believes that he has full and complete support from powerful interests.

Lastly, Hillary is simply not a populist and has too much baggage. The 'smart move' for a Deep State that is fully in control is to 'hire' someone that can perform as a faux populist. In fact, Hillary might be viewed as dangerous because Clinton loyalists that constitute a political machine.

Daniel , Jun 24, 2018 6:44:29 PM | 28
Jackrabbit. The very best I can say to defend the narrative we were told during and about the 2016 election is that the 0.01% were going to win whether Trump or HRC moved into the White House.

But like you, I long ago came to think it more likely that Trump was the chosen one from before he even took his escalator ride down into history (where paid actors wearing MAGA gear given to them cheered and jeered on cue).

Everyone knew this was the "election of rejection." Establishment politics was no longer acceptable by either the "left" or the "right." The Democratic Primary was so crooked that even many Democratic partisans couldn't bring themselves to support HRC. Especially after she doubled down with DWS and Tim Kaine.

In retrospect, the entire show appears to have been what they call in professional wrestling, "a work." A brilliant piece of propaganda.

Lochearn , Jun 24, 2018 6:53:49 PM | 29
@ 28

No, Trump was not the chosen one. Hillary had been schooled and trained specifically for this. Trump was considered perfect opposition - dumb-ass but clever and likely to score with a few punches - unlike the miserable row of other Republicans. Trump is merely a symbol of an Empire coming to an end. Do you not get this?

Daniel , Jun 24, 2018 8:40:57 PM | 31
Yep, Lockhearn @29, I read all that stuff, and totally believed it myself right up until about the time of the Conventions.

There it was right there, HRC's team demanding MSM to promote Trump as the "pied piper."

It was all laid out so brilliantly. We were almost all led down that pied piper path, following all the bread crumbs laid out for us to "discover," and feel so smart for having read the "hacked" emails and DNC documents (the latter of which were actually published by that Guccifer 2.0 creation).

We're to believe that CNN's Jeff Zucker did everything in his power to stop Trump. The same Jeff Zucker who broke into live programming to show Trump's escalator ride (the ONLY candidate who got live coverage of his announcement). Then, CNN aired hour after hour of live and uninterrupted coverage of Trump rallies.

"Uninterrupted" is the key word there as it puts to lie the claim he did it for "ratings." No advertising sold means ratings were not the goal. Besides, Sanders was drawing larger crowds, so if Jeff wanted ratings, he would have shown Sanders rallies, too.

Oh, and that same Jeff Zucker used to be CEO of NBC, back when it was wholly owned by GE (one of the world's largest military contractors). And he gave Trump his very own Reality TV Show which imprinted the Trump character on the minds of USAmerica. And even though its ratings dropped year after year, Jeff kept pumping more and more resources into the Trump Project.

Oh, but Jeff made fun of Trump you say. And he also ridiculed Trump supporters.

Bearing in mind that polls before the Primaries showed that at best 1/3 of USAmericans trusted the MSM, and hated MSM for condescending to us and telling us what to believe and do....

How would the brilliant propagandists behind MSM expect voters to react to being ridiculed on national TV?

You're quite intelligent enough to engage your critical thinking and reconsider the past few years of MSM coverage on all things leading up to the campaign and the campaign and Trump Administration.

Once again I ask, "what would a propaganda designed for people who know the MSM is propaganda look like?"

Grieved , Jun 24, 2018 9:36:34 PM | 39
@31 Daniel and #32 james

I think it's important to note that even within the clever and long practiced trickery of the powers that be, everything changes. Every move that they make means one less time that the same move can be made in the future.

Every time they perceive how the people feel, and run another lie to accord with this feeling, they come closer to burning out the entire system of trickery and foolery. And no one knows quite how burned it is today.

To think that the PTB have it all under control is - in my opinion - an error on the same scale of magnitude as thinking that the people of the US are going to keep taking it forever. Actually, no one knows what will happen. There's a lot of calculation of risk that goes into deception, and frankly I don't see the current elites as possessing much acumen in this risk evaluation. Hubris saturates deep into the bone, as deep as the state.

I haven't seen the PTB do one thing right in the last few years. They misunderstand the forces of history marching against them. Or rather, they are completely wary of these forces but don't know how to learn new ways to triumph in the face of them. They are separated from the source-beds and aquifers of real experience which feed learning. So they keep screwing up. In my view, although I don't think it matters much either way, it's more likely that Trump is in office because they screwed up than because they brilliantly planned and executed it that way.

2 cents, fwiw.

Daniel , Jun 24, 2018 10:34:23 PM | 46
Grieved @39. I absolutely agree that TPTSB are quite ready and willing to make changes to their tactics in response to reactions "on the ground." Of course, as both Milton Friedman and Rahm Emanuel said, a crucial part of their planning is to have alternative plans already in place. Like in chess, it's often a matter of how many possible moves ahead they have planned.

But if a plan really "goes south" on them, they are quite able to step in and do whatever is necessary. And yet, no matter how much we're told the "Deep State" hates Trump, well, there he is. And his supporters even get to use the Obama-bots' 8-year long apologia that The President is being FORCED to continue/escalate US policies by those dark forces.

Similarly, I think it wrong to assume that TPTSB are some sort of monolith. Within any group there are competitions and sometimes those are very severe differences. Recently we reread Winston Churchill's 1920s oped about the "International Jewish Conspiracy." He posited that even they were divided into the globalist Bolsheviks and the nationalistic Zionists (and that Britain should back the Zionists).

You write, "I haven't seen the PTB do one thing right in the last few years."

But of course, you are assuming you know what were their goals. I don't pretend to know. I'm mostly listing facts - things we can all see that have happened. And I ask cui bono?

Again, the 0.01% were going to win whichever of their candidates was (s)elected. But looking back at everything from the suddenly greatly increased MSM racial divisionism and Russia-demonizing starting in 2013/2014, right up to the present non-stop hysteria about the latest shocking Tweet (while no one notices Congress pass another record-breaking military budget), and I am suspicious of the official MSM narrative.

And I find it fascinating that both Trump supporters and Trump haters are completely sucked into the story the MSM presents us.

But having us divided over everything sure does help TPTSB.

Daniel , Jun 25, 2018 12:05:56 AM | 50
Debsisdead @43. I love your piece detailing things I've seen you post here. You've got my CT juices flowing more this time, though.

But regarding your query about CounterPunch, I've been a reader for a long time. Then, shortly after Bernie Sanders announced his campaign, CP began running what ended up being dozens of articles denouncing him.

Now, I was very slow in endorsing Sanders. I was aware of his record, and once he announced, I really dug into it, and found even more troubling stuff. Mostly it was his rather spotty foreign policy record. But eventually, I decided that he was not so much a 'lesser evil" as the "best good" that the Democratic Party could ever nominate. Having campaigned for alternative candidates many times, I decided to give this "Occupy the DP" thing a chance.

But since I was delving into his record as CP was writing these articles, I noticed that they misstated, exaggerated and sometimes out and out lied about Sanders. I won't f*ckbook, so didn't reply to them, but did post their statements with citations to the correct information all over the place.

For everywhere I went, I conversed with other lefties about giving Bernie a chance in the Primaries. Sure, maybe he'll sheepdog if he loses, but why not help him win and not have to deal with that? Surely getting even a "democratic socialist" in would awaken much of the public who would then say "I'll have some more of that, thank you very much." But everywhere I came across people citing CP and other "lefty" sites that denounced him as "not pure" enough.

Just before the actual election, St. Clair actually wrote an entire book on how " Sanders campaign faltered, undone by the missteps of its leader and by sabotage from the elites of the Democratic Party."

Well, the DP and the lefties who denounced Sanders and ridiculed his followers might have played a role, eh?

Then, last summer, CP launched a full on attack on Caitlin Johnstone.


They did publish an "In Defense of Caitlin Johnstone" the next week, but the meme that Johnstone was some sort of shill for the alt-right had been planted, and is still sprouting shoots to this day.

But even though they'd published Johnstone before, they refused to publish the rebuttal she and Cobb wrote to the piece smearing them.

Caitlin Johnstone and David Cobb Respond to Counterpunch

And of course, as regards your post, Caitlin is one of the most active defenders/supporters of Julian Assange.


Then there was that whole thing where they were publishing articles written by an avatar going by the name of Alice Donovan. I don't know what to make that whole thing. I will say that some of her articles did discuss inconvenient truths that the MSM tries to play up as "conspiracy theories" (eg. Obama Administration sent weapons to Syria that ISIL received). But, she also wrote really bizarre stuff indicating she was not whom she claimed to be.

For any who care:

Democratic Party organ, "Think Progress" on the Alice scandal:

CounterPunch's mea culpa:

So, what's happened to CounterPunch since the Cockburn Dynasty splintered? I don't know, but it's weird.

Jackrabbit , Jun 25, 2018 12:52:45 AM | 53
Grieved @39:
To think that the PTB have it all under control is - in my opinion - an error ...
"PTB" is a shorthand that conflates many different power centers (Banks, MIC, AIPAC, etc.).

While its true that they can't control everything, they don't have to. They don't have to control every member of Congress, for example. But the Presidency - which is the linchpin of foreign policy as well as holder of the "bully pulpit" - is important enough that some degree of control would make sense. Especially when the country is stressed and discontent is high. Then, MAYBE, you don't want to leave anything to chance. MAYBE, you want a guy that will lie well, and do what he's told.

Noirette , Jun 25, 2018 10:23:09 AM | 62
J Swift @14 tempers Jack's post and goldhoarder @16 goes one step further. (No criticism, just another view. See also Jack @26.) More:

The expression Deep State: implies a 'state' which the various strands of power behind the scenes are not; the word 'deep' implies hidden, again, not specially, at least some vague description can be made.

The US is a corporate oligarchy and the politicians are brokers of influence and votes (in congress, senate, and from their constituents..) They are paid to 'support' or 'champion' this or that in a complex criss-cross of relationships and money/favor exchanges. The complexity makes for obscurity. The fake Dem-Rep duopoly in fine rests only on a kind of tribal preference linked to cultural issues (abortion, sex, race, identity politics, hate of communism, religion, splinter oddities, etc.) as touted to Joe Public.

Behind the scenes, in no order of importance:

Banking and Finance, Big Energy/Oil, Military-industrial (entwined with the two previous), Social (medical, insurance, Big Pharma, education, all partly controlled by non-Gov. and/or privatised to the max), Real Estate + Territorial (linked to banking and finance, water control, mining, energy and transport), Big Agri (Monsanto, etc.) Manufacturing is not up there (see Trump trying to correct) except in small splintered stakes. For ex. one might speak of a Security Industry which includes TSA employees (fastest growing employment) to airbags (car industry) to anti-virus programs to Guns sales who are they supposed to pay? etc.

The joker in the pack is the MSM coupled with a section of the performance arts (Hollywood) and communications in general (internet, Silicon Valley, etc.)

Overall, the free-wheeling secretive corrupt system of deal-making and pretend-governance makes it that the USA has not a Gvmt for the people and is thus, it follows inexorably, extremely vulnerable to any outside influence. First is of course the Israel lobby/infiltration, but others, very varied, try the same tricks and succeed. Globalisation, in a kind of supposedly 'more moral', purely greed-based, i.e. commercial vein, move, is implemented to re-create a better, different Empire (as compared to the British, too heavy handed..) is another facet of the picture. That is now failing.

PavewayIV , Jun 25, 2018 3:15:26 PM | 68
Noirette@62 - Well said. Deep state is a hopelessly nebulous term, but one I have grown fond of using lately precisely because of the qualifier deep . The 'problem' with the U.S. government should be defined by the mechanism of it's vulnerability to usurpation , not the individual psychopathic oligarchs or agents of foreign governments/potentates that invariably line up to exploit that vulnerability. Start listing all the players, and US citizens' eyes will glaze over in - oh - 15 seconds, give or take.

That mechanism is beyond the comprehension (or the willingness to comprehend) of most of us in the US. No matter, as we would only try to fix the problem with the two tools of democracy intentionally corrupted to be incapable of fixing it: voting and the law. That's not to say that concepts of voting and the law are inherently flawed - that's just an observation of their current debased and useless form in the US for fixing our government. Which is why the Deep State has no problem encouraging a mindless, religiously slavish devotion to them, i.e., "We are a nation of laws. It's your responsibility to vote. How dare you question the power of the divine tools bestowed upon you by the magnanimous God of State!"

Deep State at least emphasizes the intentionally hidden aspect. I'll settle for the effect of that less-than-precise, but comic book-simple single concept to stick in the minds of my fellow Americans. Where we would go from there is anyone's guess, but we're in no danger (at least in the US) of having to worry about that anytime soon. I mean, if there ever was a treasonous, seditious deep state here, then the FBI would be furious and arrest them all. Thank God! See? Impossible...

Jackrabbit , Jun 25, 2018 3:59:14 PM | 72
Guerrero @66: WHAT is the source of the badness of the current system?

You're right that corruption is not new. IMO What's different is the extent of mal-investment, disenfranchisement, and control.

>> ME wars : trillions of dollars, thousands of US lives lost and millions of local lives lost or disrupted

>> New Cold War : trillions to upgrade nukes and maintain an aggressive posture;

>> Ponzi Finance : Global Financial Crisis is estimated to have cost on the order of 1 year of global gdp (trillions)

>> "I got mine!" price gouging and corporate welfare :

- healthcare
It is estimated that Americans pay four times as much for healthcare as other developed countries;

- environment:
Monsanto, and other chemical/agricuture companies destroy our environment (bye bye bees, hello gmo); global warming (or the potential for global warming) is largely ignored;

- finance:
legal usury in the form of payday loans and credit card interest rates; Dodd-Frank rules were mostly written by the financial industry and even those weak protections are now being rolled back.

- defense:
over-priced weapons systems; virtually impossible to close bases or reduce the defense budget;

- and more!
Virtually every industry gets their profit-maximizing perks.

Piotr Berman , Jun 25, 2018 9:32:40 PM | 98
Furthermore, I've said that it is logical to assume that the election of these faux populists have been arranged (by the Deep State). We have many tantalizing clues that this is so, like:

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jun 24, 2018 10:38:59 AM | 10

I have several objections here. One is "nature or nurture" problem, how political leaders divert from popular positions that they were promising, were they already "brainwashed/trained" before political campaigns in which they claimed those positions or afterwards. I do not have enough empirical data either way, but upon reaching an elected office politicians are swamped with information and they must rely on "filters" in the form of staff etc., moreover they get media attention with concomitant media pressure. And under that pressure and perceived "consensus" their positions evolve in the rotten direction. Rather painfully, many "training moments" are well documented. As the First Lady, Hillary Clinton was polite when hosting the wife of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafats which got her vilified for years. Giving speeches to AIPAC meetings is much less traumatic. Obama tried to move Israel/Palestinian situation in a positive direction for something like a year, and then he gave up when it look futile and seemed to conflict with "other priorities". Very recently we could observe "training" of Jeremy Corbyn resulting in admission that "of course he does not trust Russia" and some perfunctory purge of "anti-Semites".

Basically, without a supporting and lasting political movements solidifying their positions, politicians abandon those positions or are eliminated. This allows to keep some hopes about "Corbynism", and in the case of USA, a more remote hope that a wider progressive and/or sensitive movements will grow beyond their current narrow niches.

dh-mtl , Jun 25, 2018 9:50:33 PM | 100
dh@97

I have no intention to promote populism/nationalism. I am simply stating that when one strips a population of its sovereignty and democracy, as the 'Globalist' project does, eventually it leads to a revolt.

At this point the revolt is being led by the 'populists/nationalists'. As the devastation that is being caused by the 'Globalist' project continues there will be fewer and fewer people who to drink the 'Globalism' kool-aid.

[Jun 23, 2018] The Christians have one thing right - no one is without sin. But I think there are some puppet masters that actually want a civil war to occur in the USA. In hope of regaining power Demorats elite are certainly behaving in a most incendiary and irresponsible manner.

Jun 23, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

[Jun 22, 2018] IG confirms Comey under investigation over memo handling by Brooke Singman

Jun 22, 2018 | www.foxnews.com

Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz confirmed publicly Monday that his office is investigating James Comey for his handling of classified information as part of memos he shared documenting discussions with President Trump.

The inspector general's comments confirmed reports dating back to April that the ex-FBI director was facing scrutiny, amid revelations that at least two of the memos he shared with his friend, Columbia University Professor Daniel Richman, contained information now deemed classified.

The confirmation came during Monday's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, where Horowitz and FBI Director Christopher Wray testified on the findings in the IG's report on the handling of the Hillary Clinton email probe.

"We received a referral on that from the FBI," Horowitz said, in response to questioning from Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, about the Comey memos. "We are handling that referral and we will issue a report when the matter is complete and consistent with the law and rules." Comey, back in April, confirmed to Fox News' Bret Baier that the IG's office had interviewed him with regard to the memos, but downplayed the questions over classified information as "frivolous" -- saying the real issue was whether he complied with internal policies.

Grassley, though, told Horowitz on Monday, "I don't happen to think that is frivolous."

Comey, in testimony before Congress last year, acknowledged he shared the memos with the intention of leaking to the press and spurring the appointment of a special counsel.

In April, Fox News initially learned that Horowitz was looking into whether classified information was given to unauthorized sources as part of a broader review of Comey's communications outside the bureau -- including media contact.

Comey, whom Trump fired in May 2017, denied that sharing the memos with his legal team constituted a leak of classified information. Instead, he compared the process to keeping "a diary."

"I didn't consider it part of an FBI file," Comey said. "It was my personal aide-memoire I always thought of it as mine."

In his testimony last year before the Senate Intelligence Committee, Comey said he made the decision to document the interactions in a way that would not trigger security classification.

But in seven Comey memos handed over to Congress in April, eight of the 15 pages had redactions under classified exceptions.

[Jun 21, 2018] The neoliberal agenda is agreed and enacted by BOTH parties:

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... the progressive left has been destroyed. All that's left is the Democratic Party which CALLS ITSELF "progressive" but actually acts in a way that undermines progressive ideals. ..."
"... Both Obama and Trump are faux populists. Both were probably thrust upon us in very slick operations. Proof? In hindsight, their political opponents (McCain, Hillary) were so flawed as to be ridiculous, especially because they were each the very embodiment of an establishment that most people KNOW works against them. In our current, money-driven political system electing a real progressive is virtually impossible. ..."
Jun 21, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jackrabbit | Jun 21, 2018 10:16:05 PM | 34

Fernando, Almand

You may be interested to know:

Civil Rights Attorney Asked Obama To Close Migrant "Baby Jails" In 2015

Why The "Abject Silence" From The Left About Child Migrant Detentions Under Obama?

This shows how hypocritical and partisan the left is in the U.S. That's because the progressive left has been destroyed. All that's left is the Democratic Party which CALLS ITSELF "progressive" but actually acts in a way that undermines progressive ideals.

karlof1 is right. Revolutions happen from the bottom up. Not by electing those who have been selected to run for office. Both Obama and Trump are faux populists. Both were probably thrust upon us in very slick operations. Proof? In hindsight, their political opponents (McCain, Hillary) were so flawed as to be ridiculous, especially because they were each the very embodiment of an establishment that most people KNOW works against them. In our current, money-driven political system electing a real progressive is virtually impossible.

The establishment agenda is agreed and enacted by BOTH parties:

  1. neo-feudalism : low taxes on the wealthy and roll-back of social programs;
  2. legal usury : very low interest rates for best credit / very high interest rates to ordinary people;
  3. neolib taking of the commons ; Example from the neolib Sith Lord himself: Obamaland Fiasco Worsens
    A presidential library became Obamaland... The center will not be a presidential library because Obama's archives and documents won't be there there and it won't be federally run.

    [Furthermore] The taxpayer bill for the Obama Center to be built on Chicago's Southside is now $224 million, not $172 million as initially reported, and it's certainly not privately funded as initially promised.

  4. global hegemony via massive spending on military & spying; It's for the children. No, not YOUR children.
  5. divisive politics to keep lower classes occupied; Let's talk about bathrooms and statues and "rocketman".
  6. militarized police & massive propaganda . You are now a consumer of government services not a citizen. Have a nice day.

[Jun 18, 2018] 'Deep Throat' was fiction, the CIA had all the info, the CIA fake 'leaker' is another big distraction game getting repeated

Notable quotes:
"... Counting the shooting of JFK in 1963, and the shooting-wouding of Ronald Reagan in 1981 by a guy whose father was working for George Bush's brother (!), plus the two arguably-staged 'impeachments' of Richard Nixon (ending 1974) and Bill Clinton (ending 1999), you have a 40% removal-programme hit rate on the previous 10 US Presidents. ..."
Jun 18, 2018 | www.unz.com

Brabantian , Website June 18, 2018 at 8:42 am GMT

Nice account of 'getting woke' from Ron Unz quite appreciate the tidbits such as the mention of the once-very-famous Dorothy Kilgallen of the 'What's My Line?' TV show (1950-67)

Counting the shooting of JFK in 1963, and the shooting-wouding of Ronald Reagan in 1981 by a guy whose father was working for George Bush's brother (!), plus the two arguably-staged 'impeachments' of Richard Nixon (ending 1974) and Bill Clinton (ending 1999), you have a 40% removal-programme hit rate on the previous 10 US Presidents.

Maybe even more hidden from public knowledge, is the truth of the Watergate 'Silent Coup' (Colodny / Gettlin book). Bob Woodward was a US Navy intelligence agent under Admiral Maurer, and when Maurer became head of the US Joint Chiefs and thus the entire US military, Woodward was planted at the CIA's Washington Post to be the fake 'brave reporter' for the coup d'état of 'Watergate', entirely a US Joint Chiefs -- CIA operation. Bob Woodward was apparently such an idiot re journalism at first he needed lots of remedial coaching to meet minimal standards.

'Deep Throat' was fiction, the CIA had all the info, the CIA fake 'leaker' is another big distraction game getting repeated (Daniel Ellsberg; Deep Throat; Wikileaks Assange who was admitted by both Brzezinski and Netanyahu to be fake, seems he isn't even really 'living' at the London Ecuador Embassy, faker Edward Snowden , first 'leaking' to the CIA's Washington Post, ha!, with Glenn Greenwald posing as the latest Jewish 'brave journalist'; Mossad-historian-supervised 'Panama Papers', etc.)

Another 'impeachment' farce was the Deep State 'Monica Lewinsky' nonsense against Bill Clinton, fired up when Bill balked in nausea, at the thought of ordering the war-crime bombing of Serbia that would kill thousands. For Clinton-Lewinsky, another Jewish figure, Matt Drudge, was propped up to play the Woodward role of 'great investigative reporter' When Clinton consented to approve the war as his way to stay alive, he was 'acquitted' -- the bombings of Serbia began shortly afterwards. Clearly, the Deep State cannot even trust its highly pre-vetted White House occupants.

Now that the Unz site is on board with collusion in US President removals, we still have to get Unz site writers woke on the laughably fake 9 'trips to the moon' with 6 alleged 'moon landings' of 1968-72 regarding which director Stanley Kubrick even admitted before in March 1999 before he died, that he faked the 'moon landing' NASA videos (CIA movie studios, Laurel Canyon, California) 50th anniversary of the 'trips to the moon' starts this December a good time for Unz debunking

[Jun 16, 2018] Neither party serves the people. Both parties serve only themselves. They have morphed into two sides of the same neoliberal coin.

Jun 16, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Cloud9.5 -> Bill of Rights Fri, 06/15/2018 - 18:24 Permalink

The Democratic Party was founded in 1828. The Republican Party was founded in 1854. Neither party serves the people. Both parties serve only themselves. They have morphed into two sides of the same neoliberal coin. The primary reason Trump won the election was the simple. Even though he ran on the Republican ticket, he was not a Republican. He was the best choice open to the populist. Whether he is a populist or not does not matter. What matters is that people want an America first, Populist Party. We are tired of the wars. We are tired of the government. And, we are tired of the neocons...

edotabin -> Bill of Rights Fri, 06/15/2018 - 16:31 Permalink

"Ha ha ha ha ha the party of losers and users is OVER"

Instead of worrying who will fill the void, they should focus on the void of their ways. As Nietzsche said, " And if you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss also gazes into you. " It's no wonder they are consuming themselves.

The people are starting to see through the lower end of their BS. Oddly enough, it's figuring out the low end stuff that will create the most rage. Zombie awakening.

As for Obama, I think he realizes what's going on and probably wants no part of it.

null Fri, 06/15/2018 - 15:33 Permalink

Debbie's DNC-cesspool member calling Clinton "toxic"?

The party is toxic ... literally corrosive to American People.

But not just toxic ... look how it infected the other party ... toxic and contagious ... LBJ would be sooooo proud.

momololo Fri, 06/15/2018 - 15:42 Permalink

Biggest rallies in US presidential history were for Bernie Sanders who ran as a Democrat. Dems don't want him because they don't want to get off the corporate lobbyist gravytrain. They would rather lose the presidency.

The republicans are the same. Crooks. All this bullshit on Zero Hedge comments about one being better than the other is simpleton thinking.

hooligan2009 -> momololo Fri, 06/15/2018 - 16:32 Permalink

its the lessor of two weevils.

the choice will always be between a douche and a turd sandwich.

the difference between trumps faults and clintons faults was a chasm.

if there ever was a leader for either party that halved the pentagon budget by making it "smart", eliminating waste, repatriating troops, closing overseas bases AND came up with a plan to make QUALITY portable and fungible across the country, AND found a way to educate rather than indoctrinate children AND found a way to repay the national debt whilst funding medicare/medicaid (both bankrupt) AND found a way to get the federal government completely out of the housing market (get rid of fraudie and funny and the FHA) and, etc etc.. the country would be back on track.

clinton wanted the opposite of all that, trump wants less of it and at least understands what a fucking pain in the ass federal involvement in anything actually is.

[Jun 14, 2018] The IG report is finally out

Jun 14, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

AMERICA-HYSTERICA. The IG report is finally out. A conspiracy involving, inter alia, the US, British, Baltic and Ukrainian organs of state security to prevent Trump being elected and then, when he was, to bring him down. " We'll stop it. " Serious stuff that will reverberate for a long time and lead investigators in many directions. I reiterate: there was no Trump-Russia collusion of any sort and there was no Russian government interference in the election of any sort. If Moscow had wanted to support a candidate it would have been Clinton: it had already bought her once and had plenty of kompromat on her . Mueller's indictment of Concord et al is bunkum as is proven by his desperate manoeuvres to avoid having to show his "evidence" .

[Jun 14, 2018] Trump Facing Renewed Pressure To Sit For Mueller Interview After Kim Summit Zero Hedge

Jun 14, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

During their push to turn public opinion against Mueller, Trump's lawyers, led by Jay Sekulow and Rudy Giuliani, have engaged in selective leaking, including back in early May when they leaked a list of 49 questions purportedly turned. As one lawyer who spoke with Bloomberg pointed out, the ongoing negotiations have turned into "a bit of a game." Others have claimed that the leak was intended to pressure Mueller into killing the interview (of course, we all know how that turned out).

"It's a little bit of a game," said Harry Sandick, a former federal prosecutor who's now a partner with law firm Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler. "Mueller could subpoena the president but probably doesn't want to. He faces some litigation risk. Trump could fight the subpoena, but he also faces a political risk."

The interview is key to Mueller's investigation into whether Trump or any of his associates helped Russia interfere in the 2016 U.S. election and whether Trump acted to obstruct the probe, one official said.

Meanwhile, Giuliani claimed late last month that he and Trump have already been rehearsing for an in-person interview with Mueller after the special counsel summarily rejected the Trump legal team's request to conduct some of the interview in a written format.

However, since FBI agents raided Trump attorney Michael Cohen's home, office and hotel room and are reportedly preparing to charge him with a crime, the president has grown increasingly wary of an interview.

One problem for Trump, though, is that if Mueller wins at the Supreme Court, he could compel Trump to sit for a Grand Jury for as long as he wants, and subject Trump to questions on a range of topics without providing any advanced warning.

"I think the Supreme Court will rule in Mueller's favor, but we don't really know," Sandick said. "If Mueller wins, he can actually put Trump in the grand jury without his lawyer for as long as he wants and ask about any subject he wants."

Furthermore, if Trump chooses the court battle route, Mueller's probe would encounter further delays, as the ruling likely wouldn't arrive until October at the earliest, after the Court returns from its summer recess. That would mean the investigation likely wouldn't wrap up until late this year - or early next year - at the very earliest. It also would open the Republican Party up to a high degree of political risk, because the Court's final ruling could arrive just before the midterms.

But since the beginning of the probe, the biggest obstacle to a direct interview is Trump. The president's legal team came within a hair's breadth of an agreement back in January. But as Trump got cold feet, his team sent Mueller a 20-page letter arguing that Trump isn't entitled to answer Mueller's questions as they invoked Trump's executive privilege.

Regardless of whether the interview happens, Mueller has told Trump's team that he will prepare a report summarizing his findings that will be turned over to the DOJ and, eventually, Congress. Then it will be up to Congress whether to release the report.

That will ultimately depend on the outcome of the midterm vote.


cankles' server -> natronic Wed, 06/13/2018 - 23:51 Permalink

Why Mueller is still investigating.

BorisTheBlade -> cankles' server Wed, 06/13/2018 - 23:54 Permalink

Hell of a racket, investigating something nonexistent can take years.

glenlloyd -> cankles' server Thu, 06/14/2018 - 00:25 Permalink

This is becoming the biggest shit show in the US. There is no evidence of Russian collusion at all Mueller has nothing. There's nothing to find but it drags on and wastes tax payer dollars.

You can't impeach a President for performing his duties as set out in the Constitution. Firing Comey was perfectly legitimate, especially now that the facts are coming out that the FBI needs to be completely purged from top to bottom.

Mueller needs to pack his bags and conclude this sucker and admit there was never anything to find, either that or arrest Hillary for the actual collusion with Russians plus go after her for the hacked email server.

D503 -> BorisTheBlade Wed, 06/13/2018 - 23:55 Permalink

I hear Mueller's next investigation is Bigfoot.

The First Rule -> D503 Wed, 06/13/2018 - 23:59 Permalink

Mueller is a Crooked Cop.

Rosenstein is an outright Criminal.

Trump should Fire them both. Get rid of Sessions while he's at it, and install Pruitt on a temp basis.

There are no lasting political consequences. The Republicans in Congress wouldn't dare move against Trump; it would be political suicide.

And all the Democrats/Press can do is bitch and whine; they are utterly, completely powerless - like a 5 year old with a temper tantrum.

Under NO CIRCUMSTANCES WHATSOEVER, should Trump agree to sit down with these CRIMINAL DEEP STATE SCUM.

MuffDiver69 Thu, 06/14/2018 - 01:02 Permalink

Watched an interview with Rudy tonight. He started going after Weismann and the other corrupt thugs Mueller hired. Always a plan within and it was tailored for IG report today...I expect Trump to crank it up on this obvious Deep State axis of hitmen populating DOJ and FBI...Rosenstein was getting pummeled today as well....

In politics, as in professional wrestling, it's always important to have a heel.

Trump understands this.

Hillary was the perfect heel in 2016.

>The lack of a single heel in 2018 was always going to be a challenge for him, but media/Mueller etc are doing an incredible job of filling that role.

[Jun 10, 2018] Trump and National Neoliberalism by Sasha Breger Bush

Highly recommended!
This is prophetic article, no question about it. "National neoliberalism" and interesting term.
Notable quotes:
"... Political theorist Sheldon Wolin writes in Democracy, Inc. ..."
"... By contrast, in Trump's America -- where an emergent "national neoliberalism" may be gradually guiding us to a more overt and obvious totalitarian politics -- we can expect a similar fusion of state and market interests, but one in which the marketplace and big business have almost total power and freedom of movement (I think that labor will do poorly in this configuration). State and market in the U.S. will fuse further together in the coming years, leading some to make close parallels with European fascism. But it will do so not because of heavy handed government dictates and interventions, but rather because domestic privatization initiatives, appointments of businessmen to government posts, fiscal stimulus and the business community's need for protection abroad will bring them closer. Corporate interests will merge with state interests not because corporations are commanded to, but rather because the landscape of risk and reward will shift and redirect investment patterns to a similar effect. This may be where a budding U.S. totalitarianism differs most starkly from its European cousins. ..."
Dec 24, 2016 | www.commondreams.org
Originally published by Dollars & Sense

And why the world is about to get much more dangerous The election of Donald Trump "represents a triumph of neoliberal thinking and values." (Photo: Carlo Allegri/ Reuters) Many writers and pundits are currently framing Trump's election in terms of a dispossessed and disenfranchised white, male working class, unsatisfied with neoliberal globalization and the insecurity and hardship it has unleashed -- particularly across regions of the United States that were formerly manufacturing powerhouses (like the Rust Belt states of Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin, four states believed to have cost Hillary Clinton the election). While there is much truth to this perspective and substantial empirical evidence to support it, it would be a mistake to see Trump's election wholly in these terms.

"What Trump's election has accomplished is an unmasking of the corporate state."

Trump's election is in some ways a neoliberal apex, an event that portends the completion of the U.S. government's capture by wealthy corporate interests. While in my opinion Trump's election does not signal the beginning of a rapid descent into European-style fascism, it appears to be a key stage in the ongoing process of American democratic disintegration. American democracy has been under attack from large and wealthy corporate interests for a long time, with this process accelerating and gaining strength over the period of neoliberal globalization (roughly the early 1970s to the present). This time period is associated with the rise of powerful multinational corporations with economic and political might that rivals that of many national governments.

In terms of the political consequences of these trends in the U.S., certain thinkers have argued that the U.S. political system is not democratic at all, but rather an "inverted totalitarian" system. Political commentator Chris Hedges notes: "Inverted totalitarianism is different from classical forms of totalitarianism. It does not find its expression in a demagogue or charismatic leader but in the faceless anonymity of the corporate state." Citing the American political theorist Sheldon Wolin, Hedges continues, "Unlike the Nazis, who made life uncertain for the wealthy and privileged while providing social programs for the working class and poor, inverted totalitarianism exploits the poor, reducing or weakening health programs and social services, regimenting mass education for an insecure workforce threatened by the importation of low-wage workers." Our inverted totalitarian system is one that retains the trappings of a democratic system -- e.g. it retains the appearance of loyalty to "the Constitution, civil liberties, freedom of the press, [and] the independence of the judiciary" -- all the while undermining the capacity of citizens to substantively participate and exert power over the system.

In my view, what Trump's election has accomplished is an unmasking of the corporate state. Trump gives inverted totalitarianism a persona and a face, and perhaps marks the beginning of a transformation from inverted totalitarianism to totalitarianism proper. In spite of this, it makes no sense to me to call the system toward which we are heading (that is, if we do not stand up and resist with all our might right this second) "fascism" or to make too close comparisons to the Nazis. Whatever totalitarian nightmare is on our horizon, it will be uniquely American. And it will bear a striking resemblance to the corporate oriented system we've been living in for decades. Indeed, if the pre-Trump system of inverted totalitarianism solidified in the context of global neoliberalism, the period we are entering now seems likely to be one characterized by what I call "national neoliberalism."

Trump's Election Doesn't Mean the End of Neoliberalism

Trump's election represents a triumph of neoliberal thinking and values. Perhaps most importantly, we should all keep in mind the fact that Americans just elected a businessman to the presidency. In spite of his Wall Street background and billionaire status, Trump successfully cast himself as the "anti-establishment" candidate. This configuration -- in which a top-one-percenter real estate tycoon is accepted as a political "outsider" -- is a hallmark of neoliberal thinking. The fundamental opposition between market and government is a central dichotomy in the neoliberal narrative. In electing Trump, American voters are reproducing this narrative, creating an ideological cover for the closer connections between business and the state that are in store moving forward (indeed, Trump is already using the apparatus of the U.S. federal government to promote his own business interests). As states and markets further fuse in coming years, this representation of Trump and his administration -- as being anti-government -- will help immunize his administration from accusations of too-cozy relationships with big business. Trump's attempts to "drain the swamp" by imposing Congressional term limits and constraints on lobbying activities by former political officials will also help to hide this relationship. (Has anyone else noticed that Trump only addresses half of the "revolving door," i.e., he plans to limit the lobbying of former politicians, but not the political roles of businessmen?)

"Whatever totalitarian nightmare is on our horizon, it will be uniquely American."

Trump's Contract with the American Voter, his plan for the first 100 days in office, discusses policies and programs many of which are consistent with neoliberal thinking. (I understand the term "neoliberalism" to emphasize at its core the importance of private property rights, market-based social organization, and the dangers of government intervention in the economy.) Trump's plan redirects the activities of the U.S. government along the lines touted by neoliberal "market fundamentalists" like Milton Friedman, who advocate limiting government's role to market-supportive functions like national defense (defense stocks are doing very well since the election) and domestic law and order (Trump's proposals have a lot to do with altering immigration policy to "restore security"). Trump also plans to use government monies to revitalize physical infrastructure and create jobs. Other government functions, for example, health care provision and education as well as protecting the environment and public lands, are open for privatization and defunding in Trump's agenda. Under Trump, the scope of federal government activities will narrow, likely to infrastructure, national defense, and domestic policing and surveillance, even if overall government spending increases (as bond markets are predicting).

Trump also seems content to take neoliberal advice in regard to business regulation (less is best) and the role of the private sector in regulating itself (industry insiders understand regulatory needs better than public officials). Trump's plan for the first 100 days specifies "a requirement that for every new federal regulation, two existing regulations must be eliminated." As of the time of this writing, his selection of cabinet appointees illustrate a broad willingness to appoint businesspeople to government posts. As of mid-December 2016, a Goldman Sachs veteran, Steven Mnuchin, has been appointed Secretary of the Treasury; billionaire investor Wilbur Ross has been appointed Secretary of Commerce; fossil fuel industry supporter and Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt has been appointed as EPA administrator; and fast-food mogul Andrew Puzder has been appointed as Secretary of Labor. Trump's business council is staffed by the CEOs of major U.S. corporations including JP Morgan Chase, IBM and General Motors. To be fair, the "revolving door" between government and industry has been perpetuated by many of Trump's predecessors, with Trump poised to continue the tradition. But this is not to say that neoliberalism will continue going in a "business as usual" fashion. The world is about to get much more dangerous, and this has serious implications for patterns of global trade and investment.

Trump's Election Does Mean the End of Globalism

The nationalism, xenophobia, isolationism, and paranoia of Donald Trump are about to replace the significantly more cosmopolitan outlook of his post-WWII predecessors. While Trump is decidedly pro-business and pro-market, he most certainly does not see himself as a global citizen. Nor does he intend to maintain the United States' extensive global footprint or its relatively open trading network. In other words, while neoliberalism is not dead, it is being transformed into a geographically more fragmented and localized system (this is not only about the US election, but also about rising levels of global protectionism and Brexit, among other anti-globalization trends around the world). I expect that the geographic extent of the US economy in the coming years will coincide with the new landscape of U.S. allies and enemies, as defined by Donald Trump and his administration.

Trump's Contract with the American Voter outlines several policies that will make it more expensive and riskier to do business abroad. All of these need not occur; I think that even one or two of these changes will be sufficient to alter expectations in business communities about the benefits of certain cross-border economic relationships. Pulling the United States out of the TPP, along with threats to pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement and attempts to renegotiate NAFTA, is already signaling to other countries that we are not interested in international cooperation and collaboration. A crackdown on foreign trading abuses will prompt retaliation. Labelling China a currency manipulator will sour relations between the two countries and prompt retaliation by China. As Trump goes forward with his anti-immigration and anti-Muslim rhetoric and policies, he will alienate the United States' traditional allies in Europe (at least until Europe elects its own nationalist and xenophobic leaders) and communities across the Global South. The U.S. election has already undermined performance in emerging markets, and bigoted rhetoric and policy will only increase anti-American sentiment in struggling economies populated largely by people of color. Add to this the risk of conflict posed by any number of the following: his antagonizing China, allying with Russia, deploying ground troops to stop ISIS, and pulling out of the Korean DMZ, among other initiatives that seem likely to contribute to a more confrontational and violent international arena. All of this is to say that Trump will not have to intervene directly in the affairs of business in order to nationalize it. The new global landscape of conflict and risk, combined with elevated domestic spending on infrastructure and security, will bring U.S. business and investment back home nonetheless.

National Neoliberalism and State-Market Relations

Fascist states are corporatist in nature, a state of affairs marked by a fusion of state and business functions and interests, with an often significant role for labor interests as well. In the fascist states on the European continent in the 1930s and 1940s -- systems that fall under the umbrella of "national socialism" -- the overwhelming power of the state characterized this tripartite relationship. Political theorist Sheldon Wolin writes in Democracy, Inc. in regard to Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy (as well as Stalinist Russia), "The state was conceived as the main center of power, providing the leverage necessary for the mobilization and reconstruction of society".

By contrast, in Trump's America -- where an emergent "national neoliberalism" may be gradually guiding us to a more overt and obvious totalitarian politics -- we can expect a similar fusion of state and market interests, but one in which the marketplace and big business have almost total power and freedom of movement (I think that labor will do poorly in this configuration). State and market in the U.S. will fuse further together in the coming years, leading some to make close parallels with European fascism. But it will do so not because of heavy handed government dictates and interventions, but rather because domestic privatization initiatives, appointments of businessmen to government posts, fiscal stimulus and the business community's need for protection abroad will bring them closer. Corporate interests will merge with state interests not because corporations are commanded to, but rather because the landscape of risk and reward will shift and redirect investment patterns to a similar effect. This may be where a budding U.S. totalitarianism differs most starkly from its European cousins.

Of course it helps that much of the fusion of state and market in the United States is already complete, what with decades of revolving doors and privatization initiatives spanning the military, police, prison, healthcare and educational sectors, among others. It will not take much to further cement the relationship. © 2018 Dollars & Sense

Sasha Breger Bush is an assistant professor of political science at the University of Colorado–Denver and author of Derivatives and Development: A Political Economy of Global Finance, Farming, and Poverty (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012).

[Jun 10, 2018] Trump and National Neoliberalism, Revisited by Sasha Breger Bush

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... But if we take seriously the idea that Trump is a consequence of the disintegration of American democracy rather than the cause of it, this "blame game" becomes especially problematic. Partisan bickering, with one party constantly pointing to the other as responsible for the country's ills, covers up the fact that Democrats and Republicans alike have presided over the consolidation of corporate power in the United States. To paraphrase Ralph Nader, the U.S. corporate state is a two-headed beast. Sure, President Trump and the Republican Party are currently handing over public lands to oil and gas companies, eliminating net neutrality, introducing pro-corporate tax legislation, kowtowing to the military industrial complex, defunding the welfare state, and attempting to privatize education and deregulate finance. But let's not forget our recent Democratic presidents, for example, who are also guilty of empowering and enriching big business and disempowering and impoverishing ordinary Americans. ..."
"... All of this is to say that I'm considerably less excited about 2018 and 2020 than many others -- on what counts as the U.S. left -- appear to be. Democratic Party victories at the ballot box would certainly reduce some of the pressures on a variety of marginalized groups who are suffering mightily under President Trump. This is, of course, a good thing. But, Democratic victories will not "fix" the structural problems that underpin our current political crisis nor will they ensure a freer and more just future. ..."
Jun 10, 2018 | www.dollarsandsense.org

This article is from Dollars & Sense : Real World Economics, available at http://www.dollarsandsense.org

Last winter, in the wake of the 2016 Presidential election, I wrote an article for Dollars & Sense in which I argued that Trump's election represented a transition toward "national neoliberalism" in the United States ("Trump and National Neoliberalism: Trump's ascendance means the end of globalism -- but not of neoliberalism," January/February 2017).

I argued that this emergent state of affairs would be marked by a completion of the takeover of the U.S. government by corporate interests. I saw the election of Trump -- a top one-percenter and real estate tycoon firmly rooted in the culture and logic of big business, who has somehow convinced many Americans that he is an anti-establishment "outsider" -- as an "unmasking" of the corporate state, a revelation of the ongoing merger between state and market that has arguably been ongoing since the 1970s. In short, I envisioned a movement away from "global neoliberalism," a state of affairs characterized by the increasing preeminence of transnational corporate capital in a relatively open global political-economic system, and towards "national neoliberalism," a state of affairs in which transnational corporate dominance is cemented in the context of an ever more fragmented and dangerous global system.

About ten years ago, political theorist Sheldon Wolin published Democracy Incorporated , diagnosing American democracy with a potentially fatal corporate disease. Referring to the specter of "inverted totalitarianism," Wolin writes in his preface:

Primarily it represents the political coming of age of corporate power and the political demobilization of the citizenry. Unlike the classic forms of totalitarianism [e.g. Germany, Italy], which openly boasted of their intentions to force their societies into preconceived totality, inverted totalitarianism is not expressly conceptualized as an ideology or objectified in public policy. Typically it is furthered by power-holders and citizens who often seem unaware of the deeper consequences of their actions or inactions. There is a certain heedlessness, an inability to take seriously the extent to which a pattern of consequences may take shape without having been preconceived. Wolin paints a picture of a gradual process of change in which many different actors, some wealthy and powerful and others not, unwittingly push the country's politics, bit by bit in piecemeal fashion, towards an undemocratic, corporate-controlled end. Many of these actors may have good intentions. Many of them may see themselves as champions of the people. Many of them may actually speak out against the very interests that they in other ways empower.

This framework for thinking about the plight of the United States, which has for me been legitimated over and over again during Trump's first year in office, conditions how I think about President Trump and the Republican Party, and how I think about our opportunities for nonviolent social transformation, freedom, and social justice. It's hard not to point to President Trump and blame him for our problems. He is a bigot who has struck out at immigrants, Muslims, Arabs, African-Americans, Mexicans, women, LGBT people, and disabled people. He lacks the basic knowledge of politics and foreign policy that are a necessary condition for competent leadership. He picked up a congratulatory call from the President of Taiwan in December 2016, disrupting relations with China, and called North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un "short" and "fat." He is a paranoid and narcissistic demagogue who has scorned and marginalized journalists, and made the terms "fake news" and "alternative facts" household words. He is a corrupt businessman who is using the levers of power that he controls to enrich Big Business, as well as his cronies, his friends, and himself. I could go on.

It's also hard not to point to Republicans in Congress. After the election, there was hope that the "never Trump" Republicans would win out and that Trump's agenda would be blocked. This has not happened. While some in Congress, like Senators McCain (R-Ariz.), Corker (R-Tenn.), Collins (R-Maine), Flake (R-Ariz.) and Murkowski (R-Alaska) have defied Trump in certain contexts (e.g. on foreign policy), on many issues congressional Republicans have simply fallen in line (e.g. with tax reform). Today, the Republican Party is often discussed by liberals in the same breath as Trump, with everyone hoping for good news in 2018 and 2020.

But if we take seriously the idea that Trump is a consequence of the disintegration of American democracy rather than the cause of it, this "blame game" becomes especially problematic. Partisan bickering, with one party constantly pointing to the other as responsible for the country's ills, covers up the fact that Democrats and Republicans alike have presided over the consolidation of corporate power in the United States. To paraphrase Ralph Nader, the U.S. corporate state is a two-headed beast. Sure, President Trump and the Republican Party are currently handing over public lands to oil and gas companies, eliminating net neutrality, introducing pro-corporate tax legislation, kowtowing to the military industrial complex, defunding the welfare state, and attempting to privatize education and deregulate finance. But let's not forget our recent Democratic presidents, for example, who are also guilty of empowering and enriching big business and disempowering and impoverishing ordinary Americans.

President Obama presided over the modernization of the U.S. nuclear arsenal, a process that President Trump is continuing. As William Hartung recently reported in Mother Jones , "There is, in fact, a dirty little secret behind the massive U.S. arsenal: It has more to do with the power and profits of weapons makers than it does with any imaginable strategic considerations." President Obama also helped corporations get richer and more powerful in other ways. He negotiated the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a multilateral trade deal that, if Trump had not withdrawn us, would have expanded U.S. corporate access to overseas markets and given multinational corporates new policy leverage over governments (via investor-state dispute settlement mechanisms). (See Robin Brand, "Remembering the 'Tokyo No'," Dollars & Sense , January/February 2015.) In 2012, as he was running for his second term, Obama proposed a reduction in the corporate tax rate to 28%, not much different from the bill just passed by Congress. He also lobbied Congress for the $700 billion Wall Street bailouts after the Great Recession, continuing on the policy path set by his Republican predecessor, President Bush. (Obama received huge campaign contributions from finance, insurance, and real estate.) In terms of income inequality, CNBC had to reluctantly conclude that the gap widened under Obama, in spite of all his powerful rhetoric about equity and equality.

President Clinton negotiated and signed NAFTA into law, a trade agreement that created hardship for millions of American manufacturing workers and farmers, and generated large profits for multinational industrial and agricultural corporations. Clinton also pushed for welfare reform, signing into law a "workfare" system that required recipients to meet strict job and employment related conditions. Millions of people became ineligible for payments under the new system, and poverty increased especially among households in which members were long-term unemployed. Clinton's 1997 tax proposal advocated cutting estate taxes and capital gains taxes, and did not favor lower-income Americans. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities noted, "Analyses by the Treasury Department indicate that when fully in effect, the Clinton plan would give the 20 percent of Americans with the highest incomes about the same amount in tax cuts as the bottom 60 percent combined. This is an unusual characteristic for a tax plan proposed by a Democratic President."

All of this is to say that I'm considerably less excited about 2018 and 2020 than many others -- on what counts as the U.S. left -- appear to be. Democratic Party victories at the ballot box would certainly reduce some of the pressures on a variety of marginalized groups who are suffering mightily under President Trump. This is, of course, a good thing. But, Democratic victories will not "fix" the structural problems that underpin our current political crisis nor will they ensure a freer and more just future.

I plan to support third-party candidates at the ballot box in coming years, in the hopes of contributing to the creation of a new kind of political infrastructure that can help us to unmake the corporate state.

SASHA BREGER-BUSH is an assistant professor of political science at the University of Colorado–Denver.

[Jun 09, 2018] Still Waiting for Evidence of a Russian Hack by Ray McGovern

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... That did not prevent the "handpicked" authors of that poor excuse for intelligence analysis from expressing "high confidence" that Russian intelligence "relayed material it acquired from the Democratic National Committee to WikiLeaks." Handpicked analysts, of course, say what they are handpicked to say. ..."
"... The June 12, 14, & 15 timing was hardly coincidence. Rather, it was the start of a pre-emptive move to associate Russia with anything WikiLeaks might have been about to publish and to "show" that it came from a Russian hack. ..."
"... "No one has challenged the authenticity of the original documents of Vault 7, which disclosed a vast array of cyber warfare tools developed, probably with help from NSA, by CIA's Engineering Development Group. That Group was part of the sprawling CIA Directorate of Digital Innovation – a growth industry established by John Brennan in 2015. [ (VIPS warned President Obama of some of the dangers of that basic CIA reorganization at the time.] ..."
"... "Scarcely imaginable digital tools – that can take control of your car and make it race over 100 mph, for example, or can enable remote spying through a TV – were described and duly reported in the New York Times and other media throughout March. But the Vault 7, part 3 release on March 31 that exposed the "Marble Framework" program apparently was judged too delicate to qualify as 'news fit to print' and was kept out of the Times at the time, and has never been mentioned since . ..."
"... "More important, the CIA reportedly used Marble during 2016. In her Washington Post report , Nakashima left that out, but did include another significant point made by WikiLeaks; namely, that the obfuscation tool could be used to conduct a 'forensic attribution double game' or false-flag operation because it included test samples in Chinese, Russian, Korean, Arabic and Farsi." ..."
"... The CIA's reaction to the WikiLeaks disclosure of the Marble Framework tool was neuralgic. Then Director Mike Pompeo lashed out two weeks later, calling Assange and his associates "demons," and insisting; "It's time to call out WikiLeaks for what it really is, a non-state hostile intelligence service, often abetted by state actors like Russia."Our July 24 Memorandum continued: "Mr. President, we do not know if CIA's Marble Framework, or tools like it, played some kind of role in the campaign to blame Russia for hacking the DNC. Nor do we know how candid the denizens of CIA's Digital Innovation Directorate have been with you and with Director Pompeo. These are areas that might profit from early White House review. [ President Trump then directed Pompeo to invite Binney, one of the authors of the July 24, 2017 VIPS Memorandum to the President, to discuss all this. Binney and Pompeo spent an hour together at CIA Headquarters on October 24, 2017, during which Binney briefed Pompeo with his customary straightforwardness. ] ..."
"... Another false flag operation? Suddenly false flag operations have become the weapon of choice. Interestingly enough, they are nefariously (always) committed by the US or US allies. MH17 was a false flag with an SU-25 Ukraine jet responsible for downing the passenger jet (to blame Russia). All of the chemical attacks in Syria were false flag operations with the supply of sarin/chlorine made in Turkey or directly given to the "rebels" by the CIA or US allies. The White Helmets were of course in on all of the details. Assad was just simply not capable of doing that to "his" people. Forget that the sarin had the chemical signature of the Assad regime sarin supply. Next it was the snipers who used a false flag operation during the Maidan revolution to shoot protesters and police to oust Yanukovych. Only the neo-Nazis could be capable of shooting the Maidan protesters so they could take power. And then Seth Rich was murdered so he couldn't reveal he was the "real" source of the leak. This was hinted by Assange when he offered a reward to find the killers. ..."
"... The author tosses out that the DNC hack was (potentially) a false flag operation by the CIA obviously to undermine Trump while victimizing Russia. ..."
"... I don't seen any cause to say that any false-flag theory you don't like is merely "tossed out" propaganda. One cannot tell in your comment where you think the accounts are credible and where not. No evidence that the Syria CW attacks "had the chemical signature of the Assad regime sarin supply." ..."
"... There can be no doubt that counterintelligence tools would be pursued by our intelligence agencies as a means to create narratives and false evidence based on the production of false flags which support desired geopolitical outcomes. There would be a need to create false flags using technology to support the geopolitical agenda which would be hard or impossible to trace using the forensic tools used by cyber sleuths. ..."
"... Russia-gate is American Exceptionalism writ large which takes on a more sinister aspect as groups like BLM and others are "linked" to alleged "Russian funding"on one and and Soros funding on another ..."
"... (FWIW, this is a new neoliberal phenomenon when the ultra-rich "liberals" can quietly fund marches on Washington and "grassroots" networking making those neophyte movements too easy targets with questionable robust foundation (color revolutions are possible when anyone is able to foot the cost of 1,000 or 2000 "free" signs or t-shirts -- impecccably designed and printed. ..."
"... Excellent post. Thanks also for reminding me I need to revisit the Vault 7 information as source material. These are incredibly important leaks that help connect the dots of criminal State intelligence activities designed to have remained forever hidden. ..."
"... Actually, both Brennan and Hayden testified to Congress that only 3 agencies signed off on their claim. They also said that they'd "hand picked" a special team to run their "investigation," and no other people were involved. So, people known to be perjurers cherry picked "evidence" to make a claim. Let's invade Iraq again. ..."
"... Mueller is not interested in the truth. He can't handle the truth. His purpose is not to divulge the truth. He has no use for truthtellers including the critical possessors of the truth whom you mentioned. This aversion to the truth is the biggest clue that Mueller's activities are a complete sham. ..."
"... Thanks, Ray, for revealing that the CIA's Digital Innovation Directorate is the likely cause of the Russiagate scams. ..."
"... Your disclaimer is hilarious: "We speak and write without fear or favor. Consequently, any resemblance between what we say and what presidents, politicians and pundits say is purely coincidental." ..."
"... For whatever reason, Ray McGovern chose not to mention the murder of Seth Rich, which pretty clearly points to the real source of the leak being him, as hinted by Assange offering a reward for anyone uncovering his killer. The whole thing stinks of a democratic conspiracy. ..."
"... Ray, from what I have seen in following his writing for years, meticulously only deals in knowns. The Seth Rich issue is not a known, it is speculation still. Yes, it probably is involved, but unless Craig Murray states that Seth Rich was the one who handed him the USB drive, it is not a known. ..."
"... There is a possibility that Seth Rich was not the one who leaked the information, but that the DNC bigwigs THOUGHT he was, in which case, by neither confirming nor denying that Seth Rich was the leaker, it may be that letting the DNC continue to think it was him is being done in protection of the actual leaker. Seth Rich could also have been killed for unrelated reasons, perhaps Imran Awan thought he was on to his doings. ..."
"... Don't forget this Twitter post by Wikileaks on October 30, 2016: Podesta: "I'm definitely for making an example of a suspected leaker whether or not we have any real basis for it." https://www.wikileaks.org/podesta-emails/emailid/36082#efmAGSAH- ..."
"... Mueller has nothing and he well knows it. He was willingly roped into this whole pathetic charade and he's left grasping for anything remotely tied to Trump campaign officials and Russians. Even the most tenuous connections and weak relationships are splashed across the mass media in breathless headlines. Meanwhile, NONE of the supposed skulduggery unearthed by Mueller has anything to do with the Kremlin "hacking" the election to favor Trump. Which was the entire raison d'etre behind Rosenstein and Mueller's crusade on behalf of the deplorable DNC and Washington militarist-imperialists. Sure be interesting to see how Mueller and his crew ultimately extricate themselves from this giant fraudulent edifice of deceit. Will they even be able to save the most rudimentary amount of face? ..."
"... If they had had any evidence to inculpate Russia, we would have all seen it by now. They know that by stating that there is an investigation going on: they can blame Russia. The Democratic National Committee is integrated by a pack of liars. ..."
"... My question is simple, when will we concentrate on reading Hillary's many emails? After all wasn't this the reason for the Russian interference mania? Until we do, take apart Hillary's correspondence with her lackeys, nothing will transpire of any worth. I should not be the one saying this, in as much as Bernie Sanders should be the one screaming it for justice from the highest roof tops, but he isn't. So what's up with that? Who all is involved in this scandalous coverup? What do the masters of corruption have on everybody? ..."
Jun 09, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

If you are wondering why so little is heard these days of accusations that Russia hacked into the U.S. election in 2016, it could be because those charges could not withstand close scrutiny . It could also be because special counsel Robert Mueller appears to have never bothered to investigate what was once the central alleged crime in Russia-gate as no one associated with WikiLeaks has ever been questioned by his team.

Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity -- including two "alumni" who were former National Security Agency technical directors -- have long since concluded that Julian Assange did not acquire what he called the "emails related to Hillary Clinton" via a "hack" by the Russians or anyone else. They found, rather, that he got them from someone with physical access to Democratic National Committee computers who copied the material onto an external storage device -- probably a thumb drive. In December 2016 VIPS explained this in some detail in an open Memorandum to President Barack Obama.

On January 18, 2017 President Obama admitted that the "conclusions" of U.S. intelligence regarding how the alleged Russian hacking got to WikiLeaks were "inconclusive." Even the vapid FBI/CIA/NSA "Intelligence Community Assessment of Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent U.S. Elections" of January 6, 2017, which tried to blame Russian President Vladimir Putin for election interference, contained no direct evidence of Russian involvement. That did not prevent the "handpicked" authors of that poor excuse for intelligence analysis from expressing "high confidence" that Russian intelligence "relayed material it acquired from the Democratic National Committee to WikiLeaks." Handpicked analysts, of course, say what they are handpicked to say.

Never mind. The FBI/CIA/NSA "assessment" became bible truth for partisans like Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, who was among the first off the blocks to blame Russia for interfering to help Trump. It simply could not have been that Hillary Clinton was quite capable of snatching defeat out of victory all by herself. No, it had to have been the Russians.

Five days into the Trump presidency, I had a chance to challenge Schiff personally on the gaping disconnect between the Russians and WikiLeaks. Schiff still "can't share the evidence" with me or with anyone else, because it does not exist.

WikiLeaks

It was on June 12, 2016, just six weeks before the Democratic National Convention, that Assange announced the pending publication of "emails related to Hillary Clinton," throwing the Clinton campaign into panic mode, since the emails would document strong bias in favor of Clinton and successful attempts to sabotage the campaign of Bernie Sanders. When the emails were published on July 22, just three days before the convention began, the campaign decided to create what I call a Magnificent Diversion, drawing attention away from the substance of the emails by blaming Russia for their release.

Clinton's PR chief Jennifer Palmieri later admitted that she golf-carted around to various media outlets at the convention with instructions "to get the press to focus on something even we found difficult to process: the prospect that Russia had not only hacked and stolen emails from the DNC, but that it had done so to help Donald Trump and hurt Hillary Clinton." The diversion worked like a charm. Mainstream media kept shouting "The Russians did it," and gave little, if any, play to the DNC skullduggery revealed in the emails themselves. And like Brer' Fox, Bernie didn't say nothin'.

Meanwhile, highly sophisticated technical experts, were hard at work fabricating "forensic facts" to "prove" the Russians did it. Here's how it played out:

June 12, 2016: Assange announces that WikiLeaks is about to publish "emails related to Hillary Clinton."

June 14, 2016: DNC contractor CrowdStrike, (with a dubious professional record and multiple conflicts of interest) announces that malware has been found on the DNC server and claims there is evidence it was injected by Russians.

June 15, 2016: "Guccifer 2.0" affirms the DNC statement; claims responsibility for the "hack;" claims to be a WikiLeaks source; and posts a document that the forensics show was synthetically tainted with "Russian fingerprints."

The June 12, 14, & 15 timing was hardly coincidence. Rather, it was the start of a pre-emptive move to associate Russia with anything WikiLeaks might have been about to publish and to "show" that it came from a Russian hack.

Enter Independent Investigators

A year ago independent cyber-investigators completed the kind of forensic work that, for reasons best known to then-FBI Director James Comey, neither he nor the "handpicked analysts" who wrote the Jan. 6, 2017 assessment bothered to do. The independent investigators found verifiable evidence from metadata found in the record of an alleged Russian hack of July 5, 2016 showing that the "hack" that day of the DNC by Guccifer 2.0 was not a hack, by Russia or anyone else.

Rather it originated with a copy (onto an external storage device – a thumb drive, for example) by an insider -- the same process used by the DNC insider/leaker before June 12, 2016 for an altogether different purpose. (Once the metadata was found and the "fluid dynamics" principle of physics applied, this was not difficult to disprove the validity of the claim that Russia was responsible.)

One of these independent investigators publishing under the name of The Forensicator on May 31 published new evidence that the Guccifer 2.0 persona uploaded a document from the West Coast of the United States, and not from Russia.

In our July 24, 2017 Memorandum to President Donald Trump we stated , "We do not know who or what the murky Guccifer 2.0 is. You may wish to ask the FBI."

Our July 24 Memorandum continued: "Mr. President, the disclosure described below may be related. Even if it is not, it is something we think you should be made aware of in this general connection. On March 7, 2017, WikiLeaks began to publish a trove of original CIA documents that WikiLeaks labeled 'Vault 7.' WikiLeaks said it got the trove from a current or former CIA contractor and described it as comparable in scale and significance to the information Edward Snowden gave to reporters in 2013.

"No one has challenged the authenticity of the original documents of Vault 7, which disclosed a vast array of cyber warfare tools developed, probably with help from NSA, by CIA's Engineering Development Group. That Group was part of the sprawling CIA Directorate of Digital Innovation – a growth industry established by John Brennan in 2015. [ (VIPS warned President Obama of some of the dangers of that basic CIA reorganization at the time.]

Marbled

"Scarcely imaginable digital tools – that can take control of your car and make it race over 100 mph, for example, or can enable remote spying through a TV – were described and duly reported in the New York Times and other media throughout March. But the Vault 7, part 3 release on March 31 that exposed the "Marble Framework" program apparently was judged too delicate to qualify as 'news fit to print' and was kept out of the Times at the time, and has never been mentioned since .

"The Washington Post's Ellen Nakashima, it seems, 'did not get the memo' in time. Her March 31 article bore the catching (and accurate) headline: 'WikiLeaks' latest release of CIA cyber-tools could blow the cover on agency hacking operations.'

"The WikiLeaks release indicated that Marble was designed for flexible and easy-to-use 'obfuscation,' and that Marble source code includes a "de-obfuscator" to reverse CIA text obfuscation.

"More important, the CIA reportedly used Marble during 2016. In her Washington Post report , Nakashima left that out, but did include another significant point made by WikiLeaks; namely, that the obfuscation tool could be used to conduct a 'forensic attribution double game' or false-flag operation because it included test samples in Chinese, Russian, Korean, Arabic and Farsi."

A few weeks later William Binney, a former NSA technical, and I commented on Vault 7 Marble, and were able to get a shortened op-ed version published in The Baltimore Sun

The CIA's reaction to the WikiLeaks disclosure of the Marble Framework tool was neuralgic. Then Director Mike Pompeo lashed out two weeks later, calling Assange and his associates "demons," and insisting; "It's time to call out WikiLeaks for what it really is, a non-state hostile intelligence service, often abetted by state actors like Russia."Our July 24 Memorandum continued: "Mr. President, we do not know if CIA's Marble Framework, or tools like it, played some kind of role in the campaign to blame Russia for hacking the DNC. Nor do we know how candid the denizens of CIA's Digital Innovation Directorate have been with you and with Director Pompeo. These are areas that might profit from early White House review. [ President Trump then directed Pompeo to invite Binney, one of the authors of the July 24, 2017 VIPS Memorandum to the President, to discuss all this. Binney and Pompeo spent an hour together at CIA Headquarters on October 24, 2017, during which Binney briefed Pompeo with his customary straightforwardness. ]

We also do not know if you have discussed cyber issues in any detail with President Putin. In his interview with NBC's Megyn Kelly he seemed quite willing – perhaps even eager – to address issues related to the kind of cyber tools revealed in the Vault 7 disclosures, if only to indicate he has been briefed on them. Putin pointed out that today's technology enables hacking to be 'masked and camouflaged to an extent that no one can understand the origin' [of the hack] And, vice versa, it is possible to set up any entity or any individual that everyone will think that they are the exact source of that attack.

"'Hackers may be anywhere,' he said. 'There may be hackers, by the way, in the United States who very craftily and professionally passed the buck to Russia. Can't you imagine such a scenario? I can.'

New attention has been drawn to these issues after I discussed them in a widely published 16-minute interview last Friday.

In view of the highly politicized environment surrounding these issues, I believe I must append here the same notice that VIPS felt compelled to add to our key Memorandum of July 24, 2017:

"Full Disclosure: Over recent decades the ethos of our intelligence profession has eroded in the public mind to the point that agenda-free analysis is deemed well nigh impossible. Thus, we add this disclaimer, which applies to everything we in VIPS say and do: We have no political agenda; our sole purpose is to spread truth around and, when necessary, hold to account our former intelligence colleagues.

"We speak and write without fear or favor. Consequently, any resemblance between what we say and what presidents, politicians and pundits say is purely coincidental." The fact we find it is necessary to include that reminder speaks volumes about these highly politicized times.

Ray McGovern works for Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Savior in inner-city Washington. He was an Army infantry/intelligence officer before serving as a CIA analyst for 27 years. His duties included preparing, and briefing one-on-one, the President's Daily Brief.


ThomasGilroy , June 9, 2018 at 9:44 am

"More important, the CIA reportedly used Marble during 2016. In her Washington Post report, Nakashima left that out, but did include another significant point made by WikiLeaks; namely, that the obfuscation tool could be used to conduct a 'forensic attribution double game' or false-flag operation because it included test samples in Chinese, Russian, Korean, Arabic and Farsi."

Another false flag operation? Suddenly false flag operations have become the weapon of choice. Interestingly enough, they are nefariously (always) committed by the US or US allies. MH17 was a false flag with an SU-25 Ukraine jet responsible for downing the passenger jet (to blame Russia). All of the chemical attacks in Syria were false flag operations with the supply of sarin/chlorine made in Turkey or directly given to the "rebels" by the CIA or US allies. The White Helmets were of course in on all of the details. Assad was just simply not capable of doing that to "his" people. Forget that the sarin had the chemical signature of the Assad regime sarin supply. Next it was the snipers who used a false flag operation during the Maidan revolution to shoot protesters and police to oust Yanukovych. Only the neo-Nazis could be capable of shooting the Maidan protesters so they could take power. And then Seth Rich was murdered so he couldn't reveal he was the "real" source of the leak. This was hinted by Assange when he offered a reward to find the killers.

The author tosses out that the DNC hack was (potentially) a false flag operation by the CIA obviously to undermine Trump while victimizing Russia. It must be the Gulf of Tonkin all over again. While Crowdstrike might have a "dubious professional record and multiple conflicts of interest", their results were also confirmed by several other cyber-security firms (Wikipedia):

cybersecurity experts and firms, including CrowdStrike, Fidelis Cybersecurity, Mandiant, SecureWorks, ThreatConnect, and the editor for Ars Technica, have rejected the claims of "Guccifer 2.0" and have determined, on the basis of substantial evidence, that the cyberattacks were committed by two Russian state-sponsored groups (Cozy Bear and Fancy Bear).

Then there was Papadopoulas who coincidentally was given the information that Russia had "dirt" on Hillary Clinton in the form of thousands of emails. Obviously, they were illegally obtained (unless this was another CIA false flag operation). This was before the release of the emails by WikiLeaks. This was followed by the Trump Tower meeting with Russians with connections to the Russian government and the release of the emails by WikiLeaks shortly thereafter. Additionally, Russia had the motive to defeat HRC and elect Trump. Yesterday, Trump pushed for the reinstatement of Russia at the G-7 summit. What a shock! All known evidence and motive points the finger directly at Russia.

Calling everything a false flag operation is really the easy way out, but ultimately, it lets the responsible culprits off of the hook.

anon , June 9, 2018 at 11:28 am

I don't seen any cause to say that any false-flag theory you don't like is merely "tossed out" propaganda. One cannot tell in your comment where you think the accounts are credible and where not. No evidence that the Syria CW attacks "had the chemical signature of the Assad regime sarin supply."

CitizenOne , June 8, 2018 at 11:40 pm

There can be no doubt that counterintelligence tools would be pursued by our intelligence agencies as a means to create narratives and false evidence based on the production of false flags which support desired geopolitical outcomes. There would be a need to create false flags using technology to support the geopolitical agenda which would be hard or impossible to trace using the forensic tools used by cyber sleuths.

In pre computer technology days there were also many false flags which were set up to create real world scenarios which suited the geopolitical agenda. Even today, there are many examples of tactical false flag operations either organized and orchestrated or utilized by the intelligence agencies to create the narrative which supports geopolitical objectives.

Examples:

The US loaded munitions in broad daylight visible to German spies onto the passenger ship Lusitania despite German warnings that they would torpedo any vessels suspected of carrying munitions. The Lusitania then proceeded to loiter unaccompanied by escorts in an area off the Ireland coast treading over the same waters until it was spotted by a German U-Boat and was torpedoed. This was not exactly a false flag since the German U-Boat pulled the trigger but it was required to gain public support for the entrance of the US into WWI. It worked.

There is evidence that the US was deliberately caught "off guard" in the Pearl Harbor Attack. Numerous coded communication intercepts were made but somehow the advanced warning radar on the island of Hawaii was mysteriously turned off in the hours before and during the Japanese attack which guaranteed that the attack would be successful and also guaranteed that our population would instantly sign on to the war against Japan. It worked.

There is evidence that the US deliberately ignored the intelligence reports that UBL was planning to conduct an attack on the US using planes as bombs. The terrorists who carried out the attacks on the twin towers were "allowed" to conduct them. The result was the war in Iraq which was sold based on a pack of lies about WMDs and which we used to go to war with Iraq.

The Tonkin Gulf incident which historians doubt actually happened or believe if it did was greatly exaggerated by intelligence and military sources was used to justify the war in Vietnam.

The Spanish American War was ginned up by William Randolph Hearst and his yellow journalism empire to justify attacking Cuba, Panama and the Philippines. The facts revealed by forensic analysis of the exploded USS Maine have shown that the cataclysm was caused by a boiler explosion not an enemy mine. At the time this was also widely believed to not be caused by a Spanish mine in the harbor but the news sold the story of Spanish treachery and war was waged.

In each case of physical false flags created on purpose, or allowed to happen or just made up by fictions based on useful information that could be manipulated and distorted the US was led to war. Some of these wars were just wars and others were wars of choice but in every case a false flag was needed to bring the nation into a state where we believed we were under attack and under the circumstances flocked to war. I will not be the judge of history or justice here since each of these events had both negative and positive consequences for our nation. What I will state is that it is obvious that the willingness to allow or create or just capitalize on the events which have led to war are an essential ingredient. Without a publicly perceived and publicly supported cause for war there can be no widespread support for war. I can also say our leaders have always known this.

Enter the age of technology and the computer age with the electronic contraptions which enable global communication and commerce.

Is it such a stretch to imagine that the governments desire to shape world events based on military actions would result in a plan to use these modern technologies to once again create in our minds a cyber scenario in which we are once again as a result of the "cyber" false flag prepared for us to go to war? Would it be too much of a stretch to imagine that the government would use the new electronic frontier just as it used the old physical world events to justify military action?

Again, I will not go on to condemn any action by our military but will focus on how did we get there and how did we arrive at a place where a majority favored war.

Whether created by physical or cyberspace methods we can conclude that such false flags will happen for better or worse in any medium available.

susan sunflower , June 8, 2018 at 7:52 pm

I'd like "evidence" and I'd also like "context" since apparently international electoral "highjinks" and monkey-wrenching and rat-f*cking have a long tradition and history (before anyone draws a weapon, kills a candidate or sicc's death squads on the citizenry.

The DNC e-mail publication "theft" I suspect represents very small small potatoes for so many reasons As Dixon at Black Agenda Report put it . Russia-gate is American Exceptionalism writ large which takes on a more sinister aspect as groups like BLM and others are "linked" to alleged "Russian funding"on one and and Soros funding on another

https://www.blackagendareport.com/russia-gate-and-crisis-american-exceptionalism

(FWIW, this is a new neoliberal phenomenon when the ultra-rich "liberals" can quietly fund marches on Washington and "grassroots" networking making those neophyte movements too easy targets with questionable robust foundation (color revolutions are possible when anyone is able to foot the cost of 1,000 or 2000 "free" signs or t-shirts -- impecccably designed and printed.

Gary Weglarz , June 8, 2018 at 11:08 am

Excellent post. Thanks also for reminding me I need to revisit the Vault 7 information as source material. These are incredibly important leaks that help connect the dots of criminal State intelligence activities designed to have remained forever hidden.

Skip Scott , June 8, 2018 at 1:07 pm

I can't think of any single piece of evidence that our MSM is under the very strict control of our so-called intelligence agencies than how fast and completely the Vault 7 releases got flushed down the memory hole. "Nothing to see here folks, move along."

Realist , June 9, 2018 at 1:36 am

http://www.unz.com/mwhitney/dems-put-finishing-touches-on-one-party-surveillance-superstate/

Skip Scott , June 9, 2018 at 7:05 am

Mbob-

I don't think anyone can predict whether or not Sanders would have won as a 3rd party candidate. He ran a remarkable campaign, but when he caved to the Clinton machine he lost a lot of supporters, including me. If he had stood up at the convention and talked of the DNC skullduggery exposed by Wikileaks, and said "either I run as a democrat, or I run as a Green, but I'm running", he would have at least gotten 15 pct to make the TV debates, and who knows what could have happened after that. 40 pct of registered voters didn't vote. That alone tells you it is possible he might have won.

Instead he expected us to follow him like he was the f'ing Pied Piper to elect another Wall St. loving warmonger. That's why he gets no "pass" from me. He (and the Queen of Chaos) gave us Trump. BTW, Obama doesn't get a "pass" either.

willow , June 8, 2018 at 9:24 pm

It's all about the money. A big motive for the DNC to conjure up Russia-gate was to keep donors from abandoning any future
Good Ship Hillary or other Blue Dog Democrat campaigns: "Our brand/platform wasn't flawed. It was the Rooskies."

Vivian O'Blivion , June 8, 2018 at 8:22 am

An earlier time line.

March 14th. Popadopoulos has first encounter with Mifsud.
April 26th. Mifsud tells Popadopoulos that Russians have "dirt" on Clinton, including "thousands of e-mails".
May 4th. Trump last man standing in Republican primary.
May 10th. Popadopoulos gets drunk with London based Australian diplomat and talks about "dirt" but not specifically e-mails.
June 9th. Don. Jr meets in Trump tower with Russians promising "dirt" but not specifically in form of e-mails.

It all comes down to who Mifsud is, who he is working for and why he has been "off grid" to journalists (but not presumably Intelligence services) for > 6 months.

Specific points.
On March 14th Popadopoulos knew he was transferring from team Carson to team Trump but this was not announced to the (presumably underwhelmed) world 'till March 21st. Whoever put Mifsud onto Popadopoulos was very quick on their feet.
The Australian diplomat broke chain of command by reporting the drunken conversation to the State Department as opposed to his domestic Intelligence service. If Mifsud was a western asset, Australian Intelligence would likely be aware of his status.
If Mifsud was a Russian asset why would demonstrably genuine Russians be trying to dish up the dirt on Clinton in June?

There are missing pieces to this jigsaw puzzle but it's starting to look like a deep state operation to dirty Trump in the unlikely event that he went on to win.

Realist , June 8, 2018 at 4:28 pm

Ms. Clinton was personally trying to tar Trump with allusions to "Russia" and being "Putin's puppet" long before he won the presidency, in fact, quite conspicuously during the two conventions and most pointedly during the debates. She was willing to use that ruse long before her defeat at the ballot box. It was the straw that she clung to and was willing to use as a pretext for overturning the election after the unthinkable happened. But, you are right, smearing Trump through association with Russia was part of her long game going back to the early primaries, especially since her forces (both in politics and in the media) were trying mightily to get him the nomination under the assumption that he would be the easiest (more like the only) Republican candidate that she could defeat come November.

Wcb , June 8, 2018 at 5:25 pm

Steven Halper?

Rob Roy , June 8, 2018 at 1:33 am

I might add to this informative article that the reason why Julian Assange has been ostracized and isolated from any public appearance, denied a cell phone, internet and visitors is that he tells the truth, and TPTB don't want him to say yet again that the emails were leaked from the DNC. I've heard him say it several times. H. Clinton was so shocked and angry that she didn't become president as she so confidently expected that her, almost knee-jerk, reaction was to find a reason that was outside of herself on which to blame her defeat. It's always surprised me that no one talks about what was in those emails which covered her plans for Iran and Russia (disgusting).
Trump is a sociopath, but the Russians had nothing to do with him becoming elected. I was please to read here that he or perhaps just Pompeo? met with Binney. That's a good thing, though Pompeo, too, is unstable and war hungry to follow Israel into bombing yet another innocent sovereign country. Thank, Mr. McGovern for another excellent coverage of this story.

MLS , June 7, 2018 at 9:59 pm

"no one associated with WikiLeaks has ever been questioned by his team"

Do tell, Ray: How do you know what the GOP Congress appointed Special Prosecutor's investigation – with its unlimited budget, wide mandate, and notable paucity of leaks – has and has not done?

strgr-tgther , June 8, 2018 at 12:14 am

MLS: Thank you! No one stands up for what is right any more. We have 17 Intelligency agencies that say are election was stolen. And just last week the Republicans Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnel and Trey Gowdy (who I detest) said the FBI and CIA and NSA were just doing there jobs the way ALL AMERICANS woudl want them to. And even Adam Schiff, do you think he will tell any reporter what evidence he does have? #1 It is probably classified and #2 he is probably saving it for the inpeachment. We did not find out about the Nixon missing 18 minutes until the end anyways. All of these articles sound like the writer just copied Sean Hannity and wrote everything down he said, and yesterday he told all suspects in the Mueller investigation to Smash and Bleach there mobile devices, witch is OBSTRUCTION of justice and witness TAMPERING. A great American there!

Rob Roy , June 8, 2018 at 1:48 am

strgr-tgther:

Sean Hannity??? Ha, ha, ha.

As Mr. McGoven wrote .."any resemblance between what we say and what presidents, politicians and pundits say is purely coincidental."

John , June 8, 2018 at 5:48 am

Sorry I had to come back and point out the ultimate irony of ANYONE who supports the Butcher of Libya complaining about having an election stolen from them (after the blatant rigging of the primary that caused her to take the nomination away from the ONE PERSON who was polling ahead of Trump beyond the margin of error of the polls.)

It is people like you who gave us Trump. The Pied Piper Candidate promoted by the DNC machine (as the emails that were LEAKED, not "hacked", as the metadata proves conclusively, show.)

incontinent reader , June 8, 2018 at 7:14 am

What is this baloney? Seventeen Intelligence agencies DID NOT conclude what you are alleging, And in fact, Brennan and his cabal avoided using a National intelligence Estimate, which would have shot down his cherry-picked 'assessment' before it got off the ground – and it would have been published for all to read.

The NSA has everything on everybody, yet has never released anything remotely indicating Russian collusion. Do you think the NSA Director, who, as you may recall, did not give a strong endorsement to the Brennan-Comey assessment, would have held back from the Congress such information, if it had existed, when he was questioned? Furthermore, former technical directors of the NSA, Binney, Wiebe and Loomis- the very best of the best- have proven through forensics that the Wikileaks disclosures were not obtained by hacking the DNC computers, but by a leak, most likely to a thumb drive on the East Coast of the U.S. How many times does it have to be laid out for you before you are willing and able to absorb the facts?

As for Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan, (and Trey Gowdy, who was quite skilled on the Benghazi and the Clinton private email server investigations- investigations during which Schiff ran interference for Clinton- but has seemed unwilling to digest the Strozk, Page, McCabe, et al emails and demand a Bureau housecleaning), who cares what they think or say, what matters is the evidence.

I suggest you familiarize yourself with the facts- and start by rereading Ray's articles, and the piece by Joe diGenova posted on Ray's website.

Realist , June 8, 2018 at 4:12 pm

The guy's got Schiff for brains. Everyone who cares about the truth has known since before Mueller started his charade that the "17 intelligence agency" claim was entirely a ruse, bald-faced confected propaganda to anger the public to support the coup attempted by Ms. Clinton and her zombie followers. People are NOT going to support the Democratic party now or in the future when its tactics include subverting our public institutions, including the electoral process under the constitution–whether you like the results or not! If the Democratic party is to be saved, those honest people still in it should endeavor to drain the septic tank that has become their party before we can all drain the swamp that is the federal government and its ex-officio manipulators (otherwise known as the "deep state") in Washington.

Farmer Pete , June 8, 2018 at 7:30 am

"We have 17 Intelligency agencies that say are election was stolen."

You opened up with a talking point that is factually incorrect. The team of hand-picked spooks that slapped the "high confidence" report together came from 3 agencies. I know, 17 sounds like a lot and very convincing to us peasants. Regardless, it's important to practice a few ounces of skepticism when it comes to institutions with a long rap sheet of crime and deception. Taking their word for it as a substitute for actual observable evidence is naive to say the least. The rest of your hollow argument is filled with "probably(s)". If I were you, I'd turn off my TV and stop looking for scapegoats for an epically horrible presidential campaign and candidate.

strgr-tgther , June 8, 2018 at 12:50 pm

/horrible presidential campaign and candidate/ Say you. But we all went to sleep comfortable the night before the election where 97% of all poles said Clinton was going to be are next President. And that did not happen! So Robert Mueller is going to find out EXACTLY why. Stay tuned!!!

irina , June 8, 2018 at 3:40 pm

Not 'all'. I knew she was toast after reading that she had cancelled her election night fireworks
celebration, early on the morning of Election Day. She must have known it also, too.

And she was toast in my mind after seeing the ridiculous scene of her virtual image
'breaking the glass ceiling' during the Democratic Convention. So expensively stupid.

Realist , June 8, 2018 at 3:50 pm

Mueller is simply orchestrating a dramatic charade to distract you from the obvious reason why she lost: Trump garnered more electoral votes, even after the popular votes were counted and recounted. Any evidence of ballot box stuffing in the key states pointed to the Democrats, so they gave that up. She and her supporters like you have never stopped trying to hoodwink the public either before or after the election. Too many voters were on to you, that's why she lost.

Realist , June 8, 2018 at 3:57 pm

Indeed, stop the nonsense which can't be changed short of a coup d'etat, and start focusing on opposing the bad policy which this administration has been pursuing. I don't see the Dems doing that even in their incipient campaigns leading up to the November elections. Fact is, they are not inclined to change the policies, which are the same ones that got them "shellacked" at the ballot box in 2016. (I think Obama must own lots of stock in the shellack trade.)

Curious , June 8, 2018 at 6:27 pm

Ignorance of th facts keep showing up in your posts for some unknown reason. Sentence two: "we have 17 intelligency (sic) agencies that say ". this statement was debunked a long time ago.

Have you learned nothing yet regarding the hand-picked people out of three agencies after all this time? Given that set of lies it makes your post impossible to read.
I would suggest a review of what really happened before you perpetuate more myths and this will benefit all.

Also, a good reading of the Snowden Docs and vault 7 should scare you out of your shell since our "intelligeny" community can pretend to be Chinese, Russian, Iranian just for starters, and the blame game can start after hours instead of the needed weeks and/or months to determine the veracity of a hack and/or leak.

It's past trying to win you over with the actual 'time lines' and truths. Mr McGovern has re-emphasized in this article the very things you should be reading.
Start with Mr Binney and his technical evaluation of the forensics in the DNC docs and build out from there This is just a suggestion.

What never ceases to amaze me in your posts is the 'issue' that many of the docs were bought and paid for by the Clinton team, and yet amnesia has taken over those aspects as well. Shouldn't you start with the Clintons paying for this dirt before it was ever attributed to Trump?

Daniel , June 8, 2018 at 6:38 pm

Actually, both Brennan and Hayden testified to Congress that only 3 agencies signed off on their claim. They also said that they'd "hand picked" a special team to run their "investigation," and no other people were involved. So, people known to be perjurers cherry picked "evidence" to make a claim. Let's invade Iraq again.

More than 1/2 of their report was about RT, and even though that was all easily viewable public record, they got huge claims wrong. Basically, the best they had was that RT covered Occupy Wall Street and the NO DAPL and BLM protests, and horror of horrors, aired third party debates! In a democracy! How dare they?

Why didn't FBI subpoena DNC's servers so they could run their own forensics on them? Why did they just accept the claims of a private company founded by an Atlantic Council board member? Did you know that CrowdStrike had to backpedal on the exact same claim they made about the DNC server when Ukraine showed they were completely wrong regarding Ukie artillery?

Joe Lauria , June 8, 2018 at 2:12 am

Until he went incommunicado Assange stated on several occasions that he was never questioned by Muellers team. Craig Murray has said the same. And Kim Dotcom has written to Mueller offering evidence about the source and he says they have never replied to him.

Realist , June 8, 2018 at 3:40 pm

Mueller is not interested in the truth. He can't handle the truth. His purpose is not to divulge the truth. He has no use for truthtellers including the critical possessors of the truth whom you mentioned. This aversion to the truth is the biggest clue that Mueller's activities are a complete sham.

Miranda Keefe , June 8, 2018 at 3:28 pm

MLS wrote, "How do you know what the GOP Congress appointed Special Prosecutor's investigation – with its unlimited budget, wide mandate, and notable paucity of leaks – has and has not done?"

Robert Mueller is NOT a Special Prosecutor appointed by the Congress. He is a special counsel appointed by the Deputy Attorney General, Rod Rosenstein, and is part of the Department of Justice.

I know no one who dislikes Trumps wants to hear it. But all Mueller's authority and power to act is derived from Donald J. Trump's executive authority because he won the 2016 presidential election. Mueller is down the chain of command in the Executive Department.

That's why this is all nonsense. What we basically have is Trump investigating himself. The framers of the Constitution never intended this. They intended Congress to investigate the Executive and that's why they gave Congress the power to remove him or her via impeachment.

As long as we continue with this folly of expecting the Justice Department to somehow investigate and prosecute a president we end up with two terrible possibilities. Either a corrupt president will exercise his legitimate authority to end the investigation like Nixon did -or- we have a Deep State beyond the reach of the elected president that can effectively investigate and prosecute a corrupt president, but also then has other powers with no democratic control.

The solution to this dilemma? An empowered Congress elected by the People operating as the Constitution intended.

As to the rest of your post? It is an example of the "will to believe." Me? I'll not act as if there is evidence of Russian interference until I'm shown evidence, not act as if it must be true, because I want to believe that, until it's fully proven that it didn't happen.

F. G. Sanford , June 7, 2018 at 8:22 pm

There must be some Trump-Russia ties.
Or so claim those CIA spies-
McCabe wants a deal, or else he won't squeal,
He'll dissemble when he testifies!

No one knows what's on Huma's computer.
There's no jury and no prosecutor.
Poor Adam Schiff hopes McCabe takes the fifth,
Special council might someday recruit her!

Assange is still embassy bound.
Mueller's case hasn't quite come unwound.
Wayne Madsen implies that there might be some ties,
To Israelis they haven't yet found!

Halper and Mifsud are players.
John Brennan used cutouts in layers.
If the scheme falls apart and the bureau is smart,
They'll go after them all as betrayers!

They needed historical fiction.
A dossier with salacious depiction!
Some urinous whores could get down on all fours,
They'd accomplish some bed sheet emiction!

Pablo Miller and Skripal were cited.
Sidney Blumenthal might have been slighted.
Christopher Steele offered Sidney a deal,
But the dossier's not copyrighted!

That story about Novichok,
Smells a lot like a very large crock.
But they can't be deposed or the story disclosed,
The Skripals have toxic brain block!

Papadopolis shot off his yap.
He told Downer, that affable chap-
There was dirt to report on the Clinton cohort,
Mifsud hooked him with that honey trap!

She was blond and a bombshell to boot.
Papadopolis thought she was cute.
She worked for Mifsud, a mysterious dude,
Now poor Paps is in grave disrepute!

But the trick was to tie it to Russians.
The Clinton team had some discussions.
Their big email scandal was easy to handle,
They'd blame Vlad for the bad repercussions!

There must have been Russian collusion.
That explained all the vote count confusion.
Guccifer Two made the Trump team come through,
If he won, it was just an illusion!

Lisa Page and Pete Strzok were disgusted
They schemed and they plotted and lusted.
If bald-headed Clapper appealed to Jake Tapper,
Brennan's Tweets might get Donald Trump busted!

There had to be cyber subversion.
It would serve as the perfect perversion.
They would claim it was missed if it didn't exist,
It's a logically perfect diversion!

Ray McGovern , June 8, 2018 at 1:03 am

BRAVO, F.G. and thanks.
Ray

Rob Roy , June 8, 2018 at 1:41 am

F.G., you've done it again, and I might add, topped even yourself! Thanks.

KiwiAntz , June 7, 2018 at 7:30 pm

What a joke, America, the most dishonest Country on Earth, has meddled, murdered & committed coups to overturn other Govts & interfered & continues to do so in just about every Country on Earth by using Trade sanctions, arming Terrorists & illegal invasions, has the barefaced cheek to puff out its chest & hypocritcally blame Russia for something that it does on a daily basis?? And the point with Mueller's investigation is not to find any Russian collusion evidence, who needs evidence when you can just make it up? The point is provide the US with a list of unfounded lies & excuses, FIRSTLY to slander & demonise RUSSIA for something they clearly didn't do! SECONDLY, was to provide a excuse for the Democrats dismal election loss result to the DONALD & his Trump Party which just happens to contain some Republicans? THIRDLY, to conduct a soft Coup by trying to get Trump impeached on "TRUMPED UP CHARGES OF RUSSIAN COLLUSION"? And FOURTLY to divert attention away from scrutiny & cover up Obama & Hillary Clinton's illegal, money grubbing activities & her treasonous behaviour with her private email server?? After two years of Russiagate nonsense with NOTHING to show for it, I think it's about time America owes Russia a public apology & compensation for its blatant lying & slander of a innocent Country for a crime they never committed?

Sam F , June 7, 2018 at 7:11 pm

Thanks, Ray, for revealing that the CIA's Digital Innovation Directorate is the likely cause of the Russiagate scams.

I am sure that they manipulate the digital voting machines directly and indirectly. True elections are now impossible.

Your disclaimer is hilarious: "We speak and write without fear or favor. Consequently, any resemblance between what we say and what presidents, politicians and pundits say is purely coincidental."

Antiwar7 , June 7, 2018 at 6:23 pm

Expecting the evil people running the show to respond to reason is futile, of course. All of these reports are really addressed to the peanut gallery, where true power lies, if only they could realize it.

Thanks, Ray and VIPS, for keeping up the good fight.

mike k , June 7, 2018 at 5:55 pm

For whatever reason, Ray McGovern chose not to mention the murder of Seth Rich, which pretty clearly points to the real source of the leak being him, as hinted by Assange offering a reward for anyone uncovering his killer. The whole thing stinks of a democratic conspiracy.

And BTW people have become shy about using the word conspiracy, for fear it will automatically brand one as a hoaxer. On the contrary, conspiracies are extremely common, the higher one climbs in the power hierarchy. Like monopolies, conspiracies are central to the way the oligarchs do business.

John , June 8, 2018 at 5:42 am

Ray, from what I have seen in following his writing for years, meticulously only deals in knowns. The Seth Rich issue is not a known, it is speculation still. Yes, it probably is involved, but unless Craig Murray states that Seth Rich was the one who handed him the USB drive, it is not a known.

There is a possibility that Seth Rich was not the one who leaked the information, but that the DNC bigwigs THOUGHT he was, in which case, by neither confirming nor denying that Seth Rich was the leaker, it may be that letting the DNC continue to think it was him is being done in protection of the actual leaker. Seth Rich could also have been killed for unrelated reasons, perhaps Imran Awan thought he was on to his doings.

Unfettered Fire , June 8, 2018 at 10:44 am

Don't forget this Twitter post by Wikileaks on October 30, 2016: Podesta: "I'm definitely for making an example of a suspected leaker whether or not we have any real basis for it." https://www.wikileaks.org/podesta-emails/emailid/36082#efmAGSAH-

Unfettered Fire , June 8, 2018 at 10:47 am

" whether or not"?!! Wow. That's an imperialistic statement.

Drew Hunkins , June 7, 2018 at 5:50 pm

Mueller has nothing and he well knows it. He was willingly roped into this whole pathetic charade and he's left grasping for anything remotely tied to Trump campaign officials and Russians. Even the most tenuous connections and weak relationships are splashed across the mass media in breathless headlines. Meanwhile, NONE of the supposed skulduggery unearthed by Mueller has anything to do with the Kremlin "hacking" the election to favor Trump. Which was the entire raison d'etre behind Rosenstein and Mueller's crusade on behalf of the deplorable DNC and Washington militarist-imperialists. Sure be interesting to see how Mueller and his crew ultimately extricate themselves from this giant fraudulent edifice of deceit. Will they even be able to save the most rudimentary amount of face?

So sickening to see the manner in which many DNC sycophants obsequiously genuflect to their godlike Mueller. A damn prosecutor who was arguably in bed with the Winter Hill Gang!

jose , June 7, 2018 at 5:13 pm

If they had had any evidence to inculpate Russia, we would have all seen it by now. They know that by stating that there is an investigation going on: they can blame Russia. The Democratic National Committee is integrated by a pack of liars.

Jeff , June 7, 2018 at 4:35 pm

Thanx, Ray. The sad news is that everybody now believes that Russia tried to "meddle" in our election and, since it's a belief, neither facts nor reality will dislodge it. Your disclaimer should also probably carry the warning – never believe a word a government official says especially if they are in the CIA, NSA, or FBI unless they provide proof. If they tell you that it's classified, that they can't divulge it, or anything of that sort, you know they are lying.

john wilson , June 7, 2018 at 4:09 pm

I suspect the real reason no evidence has been produced is because there isn't any. I know this is stating the obvious, but if you think about it, as long as the non extent evidence is supposedly being "investigated" the story remains alive. They know they aren't going to find anything even remotely plausible that would stand up to any kind of scrutiny, but as long as they are looking, it has the appearance that there might be something.

Joe Tedesky , June 7, 2018 at 4:08 pm

I first want to thank Ray and the VIPS for their continuing to follow through on this Russia-Gate story. And it is a story.

My question is simple, when will we concentrate on reading Hillary's many emails? After all wasn't this the reason for the Russian interference mania? Until we do, take apart Hillary's correspondence with her lackeys, nothing will transpire of any worth. I should not be the one saying this, in as much as Bernie Sanders should be the one screaming it for justice from the highest roof tops, but he isn't. So what's up with that? Who all is involved in this scandalous coverup? What do the masters of corruption have on everybody?

Now we have Sean Hannity making a strong case against the Clinton's and the FBI's careful handling of their crimes. What seems out of place, since this should be big news, is that CNN nor MSNBC seems to be covering this story in the same way Hannity is. I mean isn't this news, meant to be reported as news? Why avoid reporting on Hillary in such a manner? This must be that 'fake news' they all talk about boy am I smart.

In the end I have decided to be merely an observer, because there are no good guys or gals in our nation's capital worth believing. In the end even Hannity's version of what took place leads back to a guilty Russia. So, the way I see it, the swamp is being drained only to make more room for more, and new swamp creatures to emerge. Talk about spinning our wheels. When will good people arrive to finally once and for all drain this freaking swamp, once and for all?

Realist , June 7, 2018 at 5:25 pm

Ha, ha! Don't you enjoy the magic show being put on by the insiders desperately trying to hang onto their power even after being voted out of office? Their attempt to distract your attention from reality whilst feeding you their false illusions is worthy of Penn & Teller, or David Copperfield (the magician). Who ya gonna believe? Them or your lying eyes?

Joe Tedesky , June 7, 2018 at 10:00 pm

Realist, You can bet they will investigate everything but what needs investigated, as our Politico class devolves into survivalist in fighting, the mechanism of war goes uninterrupted. Joe

F. G. Sanford , June 7, 2018 at 5:34 pm

Joe, speaking of draining the swamp, check out my comment under Ray's June 1 article about Freddy Fleitz!

Sam F , June 7, 2018 at 6:59 pm

That is just what I was reminded of; here is an antiseptic but less emphatic last line:
"Swamp draining progresses apace.
It's being accomplished with grace:
They're taking great pains to clean out the drains,"
New swamp creatures will need all that space!

Unfettered Fire , June 8, 2018 at 11:00 am

We must realize that to them, "the Swamp" refers to those in office who still abide by New Deal policy. Despite the thoroughly discredited neoliberal economic policy, the radical right are driving the world in the libertarian direction of privatization, austerity, private bank control of money creation, dismantling the nation-state, contempt for the Constitution, etc.

[Jun 09, 2018] Spooks Spooking Themselves by Daniel Lazare

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... the Obama administration intelligence agencies worked with Clinton to block " Siberian candidate " Trump. ..."
"... The template was provided by ex-MI6 Director Richard Dearlove , Halper's friend and business partner. Sitting in winged chairs in London's venerable Garrick Club, according to The Washington Post , Dearlove told fellow MI6 veteran Christopher Steele, author of the famous "golden showers" opposition research dossier, that Trump "reminded him of a predicament he had faced years earlier, when he was chief of station for British intelligence in Washington and alerted US authorities to British information that a vice presidential hopeful had once been in communication with the Kremlin." ..."
"... Apparently, one word from the Brits was enough to make the candidate in question step down. When that didn't work with Trump, Dearlove and his colleagues ratcheted up the pressure to make him see the light. A major scandal was thus born – or, rather, a very questionable scandal. Besides Dearlove, Steele, and Halper, a bon-vivant known as "The Walrus" for his impressive girth , other participants include: Robert Hannigan, former director Government Communications Headquarters, GCHQ, UK equivalent of the NSA. Alexander Downer, top Australian diplomat. Andrew Wood, ex-British ambassador to Moscow. Joseph Mifsud, Maltese academic. James Clapper, ex-US Director of National Intelligence. John Brennan, former CIA Director (and now NBC News analyst). ..."
"... Dearlove and Halper are now partners in a private venture calling itself "The Cambridge Security Initiative." Both are connected to another London-based intelligence firm known as Hakluyt & Co. Halper is also connected via two books he wrote with Hakluyt representative Jonathan Clarke and Dearlove has a close personal friendship with Hakluyt founder Mike Reynolds, yet another MI6 vet. Alexander Downer served a half-dozen years on Hakluyt's international advisory board, while Andrew Wood is linked to Steele via Orbis Business Intelligence, the private research firm that Steele helped found, and which produced the anti-Trump dossier, and where Wood now serves as an unpaid advisor . ..."
"... Everyone, in short, seems to know everyone else. But another thing that stands out about this group is its incompetence. Dearlove and Halper appear to be old-school paranoids for whom every Russian is a Boris Badenov or a Natasha Fatale . In February 2014, Halper notified US intelligence that Mike Flynn, Trump's future national security adviser, had grown overly chummy with an Anglo-Russian scholar named Svetlana Lokhova whom Halper suspected of being a spy – suspicions that Lokhova convincingly argues are absurd. ..."
"... As head of Britain's foreign Secret Intelligence Service, as MI6 is formally known, Dearlove played a major role in drumming up support for the 2003 Anglo-American invasion of Iraq even while confessing at a secret Downing Street meeting that "the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the [regime-change] policy." When the search for weapons of mass destruction turned up dry, Clapper, as then head of the National Imagery and Mapping Agency, argued that the Iraqi military must have smuggled them into neighboring Syria, a charge with absolutely no basis in fact but which helped pave the way for US regime-change efforts in that country too. ..."
"... Brennan was meanwhile a high-level CIA official when the agency was fabricating evidence against Saddam Hussein and covering up Saudi Arabia's role in 9/11. Wood not only continues to defend the Iraqi invasion, but dismisses fears of a rising fascist tide in the Ukraine as nothing more than "a crude political insult" hurled by Vladimir Putin for his own political benefit. Such views now seem distressingly misguided in view of the alt-right torchlight parades and spiraling anti-Semitism that are now a regular feature of life in the Ukraine. ..."
"... The New York Times ..."
"... describes Mifsud as "an enthusiastic promoter of President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia" and "a regular at meetings of the Valdai Discussion Club, an annual conference held in Sochi, Russia, that Mr. Putin attends," which tried to suggest that he is a Kremlin agent of some sort. ..."
"... But WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange later tweeted photos of Mifsud with British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and a high-ranking British intelligence official named Claire Smith at a training session for Italian security agents in Rome. Since it's unlikely that British intelligence would rely on a Russian agent in such circumstances, Mifsud's intelligence ties are more likely with the UK. ..."
"... Stefan Halper then infiltrated the Trump campaign on behalf of the FBI as an informant in early July, weeks before the FBI launched its investigation. Halper had 36 years earlier infiltrated the Carter re-election campaign in 1980 using CIA agents to turn information over to the Reagan campaign. Now Halper began to court both Page and Papadopoulous, independently of each other. ..."
"... The rightwing Federalist website speculates that Halper was working with Steele to flesh out a Sept. 14 memo claiming that "Russians do have further 'kompromat' on CLINTON (e-mails) and [are] considering disseminating it." Clovis believes that Halper was trying "to create an audit trail back to those [Clinton] emails from someone in the campaign so they could develop a stronger case for probable cause to continue to issue warrants and to further an investigation." Reports that Halper apparently sought a permanent post in the new administration suggest that the effort was meant to continue after inauguration. ..."
"... Notwithstanding Clovis's nutty rightwing politics , his description of what Halper may have been up to makes sense as does his observation that Halper was trying " to build something that did not exist ." Despite countless hyper-ventilating headlines about mysterious Trump Tower meetings and the like, the sad truth is that Russiagate after all these months is shaping up as even more of a "nothing-burger" than Obama administration veteran Van Jones said it was back in mid-2017. Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller has indicted Papadopoulos and others on procedural grounds, he has indicted former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort for corruption, and he has charged a St. Petersburg company known as the Internet Research Agency with violating US election laws. ..."
"... As The Washington Post noted in an oddly, cool-headed Dec. 2 article , 2, 700 suspected Russian-linked accounts generated just 202,000 tweets in a six-year period ending in August 2017, a drop in a bucket compared to the one billion election-related tweets sent out during the fourteen months leading up to Election Day. ..."
"... Opposition research is intended to mix truths and fiction, to dig up plausible dirt to throw at your opponent, not to produce an intelligence assessment at taxpayer's expense to "protect" the country. And Steele was paid for it by the Democrats, not his government. ..."
"... Although Kramer denies it, The New Yorker ..."
"... But how could Trump think otherwise? As Consortium News founding editor Robert Parry observed a few days later, the maneuver "resembles a tactic out of FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover's playbook on government-style blackmail: I have some very derogatory information about you that I'd sure hate to see end up in the press." ..."
"... It sounds more like CIA paranoia raised to the nth degree. But that's what the intelligence agencies are for, i.e. to spread fear and propaganda in order to stampede the public into supporting their imperial agenda. In this case, their efforts are so effective that they've gotten lost in a fog of their own making. If the corporate press fails to point this out, it's because reporters are too befogged themselves to notice. ..."
"... "Russiagate" continues to attract mounting blowback at Clinton, Obama and the Dems. Might well be they who end up charged with lawbreaking, though I'd be surprised if anyone in authority is ever really punished. https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-06-02/fbi-spying-trump-started-london-earlier-thought-new-texts-implicate-obama-white ..."
"... I've always thought that the great animus between Obama and Trump stemmed from Trump's persistent birtherist attacks on Obama followed by Obama's public ridicule of Trump at the White House Correspondants' Dinner. Without the latter, Trump probably would not have been motivated to run for the presidency. Without the former, Obama would probably not have gotten into the gutter to defeat and embarrass Trump at all costs. Clinton and Obama probably never recruit British spooks to sabotage and provide a pretense for spying on the campaigns of Jeb, Ted or Little Marco. Since these were all warmongers like Hillary and Obama, the issues would have been different, Russia would not have been a factor, and Putin would have had no alleged "puppet." ..."
"... The irony is that Clinton and Obama wanted Trump as her opponent. They cultivated his candidacy via liberal media bias throughout the primaries. (MSNBC and Rachel Maddow were always cutting away to another full length Trump victory speech and rally, including lots of jibber jabber with the faithful supporters.) Why? Because they thought he was the easiest to beat. The polls actually had Hillary losing against the other GOP candidates. The Dems beat themselves with their own choice of candidate and all the intrigue, false narratives and other questionable practices they employed in both the primaries and the general. That's what really happened. ..."
"... I agree that Hillary wanted Trump as an opponent, thought she could easily win. I've underestimated idiot opponents before, always to my detriment. Why is it that they are always the most formidable? The "insiders" are so used to voters rolling over, taking it on the chin. They gave away their jobs, replaced them with the service industry, killed their sons and daughters in wars abroad, and still the American people cast their ballots in their favor. This time was different. The insiders just did not see the sea change, not like Trump did. ..."
"... Long-time CIA asset named as FBI's spy on Trump campaign By Bill Van Auken https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/05/21/poli-m21.html ..."
"... What the MSM really needed was a bait which they could use to lure more dollars just like a horse race where the track owners needed a fast underdog horse to clean up. I believe the term is to be "hustled". The con men of the media hustlers decided they needed a way to cause all of the candidates to squirm uneasily and to then react to the news that Donald Trump was "in the lead". ..."
"... Those clever media folks. What a gift the Supreme Court handed them. But there was one little (or big) problem. The problem was the result of the scam put Trump in the White House. Something that no conservative republican would ever sign onto. Trump had spent years as a democrat, hobnobbed with the Clinton's and was an avowed agnostic who favored the liberal ideology for the most part. ..."
"... The new guy in the White House with his crazy ideas of making friends with Vladimir Putin horrified a national arms industry funded with hundreds of billions of our tax dollars every year propped up by all the neocons with their paranoid beliefs and plans to make America the hegemon of the World. Our foreign allies who use the USA to fight their perceived enemies and entice our government to sell them weapons and who urge us to orchestrate the overthrow of governments were all alarmed by the "not a real republican" peace-nick occupying the White House. ..."
"... It is probable that the casino and hotel owner in the White House posed an very threatening alternate strategy of forming economic ties with former enemies which scared the hell out of the arms industry which built its economy on scaring all of us and justifying its existence based on foreign enemies. ..."
"... So the MSM and the MIC created a new cold war with their friends at the New York Times and the Washington Post which published endless stories about the new Russian threat we faced. It had nothing to do with the 0.02% Twitter and Facebook "influence" that Russia actually had in the election. It was billed as the crime of the century. The real crime was that they committed the crime of the century that they mightily profited from by putting Trump in the White House in the first place with a plan to grab all the election cash they could grab. ..."
May 31, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

As the role of a well-connected group of British and U.S. intelligence agents begins to emerge, new suspicions are growing about what hand they may have had in weaving the Russia-gate story, as Daniel Lazare explains.

Special to Consortium News

With the news that a Cambridge academic-cum-spy named Stefan Halper infiltrated the Trump campaign, the role of the intelligence agencies in shaping the great Russiagate saga is at last coming into focus.

It's looking more and more massive. The intelligence agencies initiated reports that Donald Trump was colluding with Russia, they nurtured them and helped them grow, and then they spread the word to the press and key government officials. Reportedly, they even tried to use these reports to force Trump to step down prior to his inauguration. Although the corporate press accuses Trump of conspiring with Russia to stop Hillary Clinton, the reverse now seems to be the case: the Obama administration intelligence agencies worked with Clinton to block " Siberian candidate " Trump.

The template was provided by ex-MI6 Director Richard Dearlove , Halper's friend and business partner. Sitting in winged chairs in London's venerable Garrick Club, according to The Washington Post , Dearlove told fellow MI6 veteran Christopher Steele, author of the famous "golden showers" opposition research dossier, that Trump "reminded him of a predicament he had faced years earlier, when he was chief of station for British intelligence in Washington and alerted US authorities to British information that a vice presidential hopeful had once been in communication with the Kremlin."

Apparently, one word from the Brits was enough to make the candidate in question step down. When that didn't work with Trump, Dearlove and his colleagues ratcheted up the pressure to make him see the light. A major scandal was thus born – or, rather, a very questionable scandal. Besides Dearlove, Steele, and Halper, a bon-vivant known as "The Walrus" for his impressive girth , other participants include: Robert Hannigan, former director Government Communications Headquarters, GCHQ, UK equivalent of the NSA. Alexander Downer, top Australian diplomat. Andrew Wood, ex-British ambassador to Moscow. Joseph Mifsud, Maltese academic. James Clapper, ex-US Director of National Intelligence. John Brennan, former CIA Director (and now NBC News analyst).

In-Bred

A few things stand out about this august group. One is its in-bred quality. After helping to run an annual confab known as the Cambridge Intelligence Seminar, Dearlove and Halper are now partners in a private venture calling itself "The Cambridge Security Initiative." Both are connected to another London-based intelligence firm known as Hakluyt & Co. Halper is also connected via two books he wrote with Hakluyt representative Jonathan Clarke and Dearlove has a close personal friendship with Hakluyt founder Mike Reynolds, yet another MI6 vet. Alexander Downer served a half-dozen years on Hakluyt's international advisory board, while Andrew Wood is linked to Steele via Orbis Business Intelligence, the private research firm that Steele helped found, and which produced the anti-Trump dossier, and where Wood now serves as an unpaid advisor .

Everyone, in short, seems to know everyone else. But another thing that stands out about this group is its incompetence. Dearlove and Halper appear to be old-school paranoids for whom every Russian is a Boris Badenov or a Natasha Fatale . In February 2014, Halper notified US intelligence that Mike Flynn, Trump's future national security adviser, had grown overly chummy with an Anglo-Russian scholar named Svetlana Lokhova whom Halper suspected of being a spy – suspicions that Lokhova convincingly argues are absurd.

Halper: Infiltrated Trump campaign

In December 2016, Halper and Dearlove both resigned from the Cambridge Intelligence Seminar because they suspected that a company footing some of the costs was tied up with Russian intelligence – suspicions that Christopher Andrew, former chairman of the Cambridge history department and the seminar's founder, regards as " absurd " as well.

As head of Britain's foreign Secret Intelligence Service, as MI6 is formally known, Dearlove played a major role in drumming up support for the 2003 Anglo-American invasion of Iraq even while confessing at a secret Downing Street meeting that "the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the [regime-change] policy." When the search for weapons of mass destruction turned up dry, Clapper, as then head of the National Imagery and Mapping Agency, argued that the Iraqi military must have smuggled them into neighboring Syria, a charge with absolutely no basis in fact but which helped pave the way for US regime-change efforts in that country too.

Brennan was meanwhile a high-level CIA official when the agency was fabricating evidence against Saddam Hussein and covering up Saudi Arabia's role in 9/11. Wood not only continues to defend the Iraqi invasion, but dismisses fears of a rising fascist tide in the Ukraine as nothing more than "a crude political insult" hurled by Vladimir Putin for his own political benefit. Such views now seem distressingly misguided in view of the alt-right torchlight parades and spiraling anti-Semitism that are now a regular feature of life in the Ukraine.

The result is a diplo-espionage gang that is very bad at the facts but very good at public manipulation – and which therefore decided to use its skill set out to create a public furor over alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

It Started Late 2015

The effort began in late 2015 when GCHQ, along with intelligence agencies in Poland, Estonia, and Germany, began monitoring what they said were " suspicious 'interactions' between figures connected to Trump and known or suspected Russian agents."

Since Trump was surging ahead in the polls and scaring the pants off the foreign-policy establishment by calling for a rapprochement with Moscow, the agencies figured that Russia was somehow behind it. The pace accelerated in March 2016 when a 30-year-old policy consultant named George Papadopoulos joined the Trump campaign as a foreign-policy adviser. Traveling in Italy a week later, he ran into Mifsud, the London-based Maltese academic, who reportedly set about cultivating him after learning of his position with Trump. Mifsud claimed to have "substantial connections with Russian government officials," according to prosecutors. Over breakfast at a London hotel, he told Papadopoulos that he had just returned from Moscow where he had learned that the Russians had "dirt" on Hillary Clinton in the form of "thousands of emails."

This was the remark that supposedly triggered an FBI investigation. The New York Times describes Mifsud as "an enthusiastic promoter of President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia" and "a regular at meetings of the Valdai Discussion Club, an annual conference held in Sochi, Russia, that Mr. Putin attends," which tried to suggest that he is a Kremlin agent of some sort.

But WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange later tweeted photos of Mifsud with British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and a high-ranking British intelligence official named Claire Smith at a training session for Italian security agents in Rome. Since it's unlikely that British intelligence would rely on a Russian agent in such circumstances, Mifsud's intelligence ties are more likely with the UK.

After Papadopoulos caused a minor political ruckus by telling a reporter that Prime Minister David Cameron should apologize for criticizing Trump's anti-Muslim pronouncements, a friend in the Israeli embassy put him in touch with a friend in the Australian embassy, who introduced him to Downer, her boss. Over drinks, Downer advised him to be more diplomatic. After Papadopoulos then passed along Misfud's tip about Clinton's emails, Downer informed his government, which, in late July, informed the FBI.

Was Papadopoulos Set Up?

Suspicions are unavoidable but evidence is lacking. Other pieces were meanwhile clicking into place. In late May or early June 2016, Fusion GPS, a private Washington intelligence firm employed by the Democratic National Committee, hired Steele to look into the Russian angle.

On June 20, he turned in the first of eighteen memos that would eventually comprise the Steele dossier , in this instance a three-page document asserting that Putin "has been cultivating, supporting and assisting TRUMP for at least 5 years" and that Russian intelligence possessed "kompromat" in the form of a video of prostitutes performing a "golden showers" show for his benefit at the Moscow Ritz-Carlton. A week or two later, Steele briefed the FBI on his findings. Around the same time, Robert Hannigan flew to Washington to brief CIA Director John Brennan about additional material that had come GCHQ's way, material so sensitive that it could only be handled at "director level."

One player was filling Papadopoulos's head with tales of Russian dirty tricks, another was telling the FBI, while a third was collecting more information and passing it on to the bureau as well.

Page: Took Russia's side.

On July 7, 2016 Carter Page delivered a lecture on U.S.-Russian relations in Moscow in which he complained that " Washington and other western capitals have impeded potential progress through their often hypocritical focus on ideas such as democratization, inequality, corruption, and regime change." Washington hawks expressed " unease " that someone representing the presumptive Republican nominee would take Russia's side in a growing neo-Cold War.

Stefan Halper then infiltrated the Trump campaign on behalf of the FBI as an informant in early July, weeks before the FBI launched its investigation. Halper had 36 years earlier infiltrated the Carter re-election campaign in 1980 using CIA agents to turn information over to the Reagan campaign. Now Halper began to court both Page and Papadopoulous, independently of each other.

On July 11, Page showed up at a Cambridge symposium at which Halper and Dearlove both spoke. In early September, Halper sent Papadopoulos an email offering $3,000 and a paid trip to London to write a research paper on a disputed gas field in the eastern Mediterranean, his specialty. "George, you know about hacking the emails from Russia, right?" Halper asked when he got there, but Papadopoulos said he knew nothing. Halper also sought out Sam Clovis, Trump's national campaign co-chairman, with whom he chatted about China for an hour or so over coffee in Washington.

The rightwing Federalist website speculates that Halper was working with Steele to flesh out a Sept. 14 memo claiming that "Russians do have further 'kompromat' on CLINTON (e-mails) and [are] considering disseminating it." Clovis believes that Halper was trying "to create an audit trail back to those [Clinton] emails from someone in the campaign so they could develop a stronger case for probable cause to continue to issue warrants and to further an investigation." Reports that Halper apparently sought a permanent post in the new administration suggest that the effort was meant to continue after inauguration.

Notwithstanding Clovis's nutty rightwing politics , his description of what Halper may have been up to makes sense as does his observation that Halper was trying " to build something that did not exist ." Despite countless hyper-ventilating headlines about mysterious Trump Tower meetings and the like, the sad truth is that Russiagate after all these months is shaping up as even more of a "nothing-burger" than Obama administration veteran Van Jones said it was back in mid-2017. Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller has indicted Papadopoulos and others on procedural grounds, he has indicted former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort for corruption, and he has charged a St. Petersburg company known as the Internet Research Agency with violating US election laws.

But the corruption charges have nothing to do with Russian collusion and nothing in the indictment against IRA indicates that either the Kremlin or the Trump campaign were involved. Indeed, the activities that got IRA in trouble in the first place are so unimpressive – just $46,000 worth of Facebook ads that it purchased prior to election day, some pro-Trump, some anti, and some with no particular slant at all – that Mueller probably wouldn't even have bothered if he hadn't been under intense pressure to come up with anything at all.

The same goes for the army of bots that Russia supposedly deployed on Twitter. As The Washington Post noted in an oddly, cool-headed Dec. 2 article , 2, 700 suspected Russian-linked accounts generated just 202,000 tweets in a six-year period ending in August 2017, a drop in a bucket compared to the one billion election-related tweets sent out during the fourteen months leading up to Election Day.

The Steele dossier is also underwhelming. It declares on one page that the Kremlin sought to cultivate Trump by throwing "various lucrative real estate development business deals" his way but says on another that Trump's efforts to drum up business were unavailing and that he thus "had to settle for the use of extensive sexual services there from local prostitutes rather than business success."

Why would Trump turn down business offers when he couldn't generate any on his own? The idea that Putin would spot a U.S. reality-TV star somewhere around 2011 and conclude that he was destined for the Oval Office five years later is ludicrous. The fact that the Democratic National Committee funded the dossier via its law firm Perkins Coie renders it less credible still, as does the fact that the world has heard nothing more about the alleged video despite the ongoing deterioration in US-Russian relations. What's the point of making a blackmail tape if you don't use it?

Steele: Paid for political research, not intelligence.

Even Steele is backing off. In a legal paper filed in response to a libel suit last May, he said the document "did not represent (and did not purport to represent) verified facts, but were raw intelligence which had identified a range of allegations that warranted investigation given their potential national security implications." The fact is that the "dossier" was opposition research, not an intelligence report. It was neither vetted by Steele nor anyone in an intelligence agency. Opposition research is intended to mix truths and fiction, to dig up plausible dirt to throw at your opponent, not to produce an intelligence assessment at taxpayer's expense to "protect" the country. And Steele was paid for it by the Democrats, not his government.

Using it Anyway

Nonetheless, the spooks have made the most of such pseudo-evidence. Dearlove and Wood both advised Steele to take his "findings" to the FBI, while, after the election, Wood pulled Sen. John McCain aside at a security conference in Halifax, Nova Scotia, to let him know that the Russians might be blackmailing the president-elect. McCain dispatched long-time aide David J. Kramer to the UK to discuss the dossier with Steele directly.

Although Kramer denies it, The New Yorker found a former national-security official who says he spoke with him at the time and that Kramer's goal was to have McCain confront Trump with the dossier in the hope that he would resign on the spot. When that didn't happen, Clapper and Brennan arranged for FBI Director James Comey to confront Trump instead. Comey later testified that he didn't want Trump to think he was creating "a J. Edgar Hoover-type situation – I didn't want him thinking I was briefing him on this to sort of hang it over him in some way."

But how could Trump think otherwise? As Consortium News founding editor Robert Parry observed a few days later, the maneuver "resembles a tactic out of FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover's playbook on government-style blackmail: I have some very derogatory information about you that I'd sure hate to see end up in the press."

Since then, the Democrats have touted the dossier at every opportunity, The New Yorker continues to defend it , while Times columnist Michelle Goldberg cites it as well, saying it's a "rather obvious possibility that Trump is being blackmailed." CNN, for its part, suggested not long ago that the dossier may actually be Russian disinformation designed to throw everyone off base, Republicans and Democrats alike.

It sounds more like CIA paranoia raised to the nth degree. But that's what the intelligence agencies are for, i.e. to spread fear and propaganda in order to stampede the public into supporting their imperial agenda. In this case, their efforts are so effective that they've gotten lost in a fog of their own making. If the corporate press fails to point this out, it's because reporters are too befogged themselves to notice.

Daniel Lazare is the author of The Frozen Republic: How the Constitution Is Paralyzing Democracy (Harcourt Brace, 1996) and other books about American politics. He has written for a wide variety of publications from The Nation to Le Monde Diplomatique , and his articles about the Middle East, terrorism, Eastern Europe, and other topics appear regularly on such websites as Jacobin and The American Conservative.


Vivian O'Blivion , June 4, 2018 at 6:36 am

Interesting technical detail.

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/06/04/mueller-russia-troll-case-620653

Mueller is trying to omit the normal burden of legal liability, "wilful intent" in his charges against the St Petersburg, social media operation. In a horrifically complex area such as tax, campaign contributions or lobbying, a foreign entity can be found guilty of breaking a law that they cannot reasonably have been expected to have knowledge of.

But the omission or inclusion of "wilful intent" is applied on a selective basis depending on the advantage to the deep state. From a practical standpoint, omission of "wilful intent" makes it easier for Mueller to get a guilty verdict (in adsentia assuming this is legally valid in America). Once the "guilt" of the St Petersburg staff is established, any communication between an American and them becomes "collusion".

This stinks.

Realist , June 3, 2018 at 4:50 am

"Russiagate" continues to attract mounting blowback at Clinton, Obama and the Dems. Might well be they who end up charged with lawbreaking, though I'd be surprised if anyone in authority is ever really punished. https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-06-02/fbi-spying-trump-started-london-earlier-thought-new-texts-implicate-obama-white

I've always thought that the great animus between Obama and Trump stemmed from Trump's persistent birtherist attacks on Obama followed by Obama's public ridicule of Trump at the White House Correspondants' Dinner. Without the latter, Trump probably would not have been motivated to run for the presidency. Without the former, Obama would probably not have gotten into the gutter to defeat and embarrass Trump at all costs. Clinton and Obama probably never recruit British spooks to sabotage and provide a pretense for spying on the campaigns of Jeb, Ted or Little Marco. Since these were all warmongers like Hillary and Obama, the issues would have been different, Russia would not have been a factor, and Putin would have had no alleged "puppet."

The irony is that Clinton and Obama wanted Trump as her opponent. They cultivated his candidacy via liberal media bias throughout the primaries. (MSNBC and Rachel Maddow were always cutting away to another full length Trump victory speech and rally, including lots of jibber jabber with the faithful supporters.) Why? Because they thought he was the easiest to beat. The polls actually had Hillary losing against the other GOP candidates. The Dems beat themselves with their own choice of candidate and all the intrigue, false narratives and other questionable practices they employed in both the primaries and the general. That's what really happened.

backwardsevolution , June 3, 2018 at 2:50 pm

Realist – good post. I think what you say is true. Trump got too caught up in the birther crap, and Obama retaliated. But I think that Trump had been thinking about the presidency long before Obama came along. He sees the country differently than Obama and Clinton do. Trump would never have built up China to the point where all American technology has been given away for free, with millions of jobs lost and a huge trade deficit, and he would have probably left Russia alone, not ransacked it.

I saw Obama as a somewhat reluctant globalist and Hillary as an eager globalist. They are both insiders. Trump is not. He's interested in what is best for the U.S., whereas the Clinton's and the Bush's were interested in what their corporate masters wanted. The multinationals have been selling the U.S. out, Trump is trying to put a stop to this, and it is going to be a fight to the death. Trump is playing hardball with China (who ARE U.S. multinationals), and it is working. Beginning July 1, 2018, China has agreed to reduce its tariffs:

"Import tariffs for apparel, footwear and headgear, kitchen supplies and fitness products will be more than halved to an average of 7.1 percent from 15.9 percent, with those on washing machines and refrigerators slashed to just 8 percent, from 20.5 percent.

Tariffs will also be cut on processed foods such as aquaculture and fishing products and mineral water, from 15.2 percent to 6.9 percent.

Cosmetics, such as skin and hair products, and some medical and health products, will also benefit from a tariff cut to 2.9 percent from 8.4 percent.

In particular, tariffs on drugs ranging from penicillin, cephalosporin to insulin will be slashed to zero from 6 percent before.

In the meantime, temporary tariff rates on 210 imported products from most favored nations will be scrapped as they are no longer favorable compared with new rates."

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-economy-tariffs/china-to-cut-import-tariffs-for-some-consumer-goods-from-most-favored-nations-idUSKCN1IW1PY

Trade with China has been all one way. At least Trump is leveling the playing field. He at least is trying to bring back jobs, something the "insiders" could care less about.

I agree that Hillary wanted Trump as an opponent, thought she could easily win. I've underestimated idiot opponents before, always to my detriment. Why is it that they are always the most formidable? The "insiders" are so used to voters rolling over, taking it on the chin. They gave away their jobs, replaced them with the service industry, killed their sons and daughters in wars abroad, and still the American people cast their ballots in their favor. This time was different. The insiders just did not see the sea change, not like Trump did.

Abe , June 2, 2018 at 2:20 am

"Pentagon documents indicate that the Department of Defense's shadowy intelligence arm, the Office of Net Assessment, paid Halper $282,000 in 2016 and $129,000 in 2017. According to reports, Halper sought to secure Papadopoulos's collaboration by offering him $3,000 and an all-expenses-paid trip to London, ostensibly to produce a research paper on energy issues in the eastern Mediterranean.

"The choice of Halper for this spying operation has ominous implications. His deep ties to the US intelligence apparatus date back decades. His father-in-law was Ray Cline, who headed the CIA's Directorate of Intelligence at the height of the Cold War. Halper served as an aide to Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney and Alexander Haig in the Nixon and Ford administrations.

"In 1980, as the director of policy coordination for Ronald Reagan's presidential campaign, Halper oversaw an operation in which CIA officials gave the campaign confidential information on the Carter administration and its foreign policy. This intelligence was in turn utilized to further back-channel negotiations between Reagan's campaign manager and subsequent CIA director William Casey and representatives of Iran to delay the release of the American embassy hostages until after the election, in order to prevent Carter from scoring a foreign policy victory on the eve of the November vote.

"Halper subsequently held posts as deputy assistant secretary of state for political-military affairs and senior adviser to the Pentagon and Justice Department. More recently, Halper has collaborated with Richard Dearlove, the former head of MI6, the British intelligence service, in directing the Cambridge Security Initiative (CSi), a security think tank that lists the US and UK governments as its principal clients.

"Before the 2016 election, Halper had expressed his view – shared by predominant layers within the intelligence agencies – that Clinton's election would prove 'less disruptive' than Trump's.

"The revelations of the role played by Halper point to an intervention in the 2016 elections by the US intelligence agencies that far eclipsed anything one could even imagine the Kremlin attempting."

Long-time CIA asset named as FBI's spy on Trump campaign By Bill Van Auken https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/05/21/poli-m21.html

CitizenOne , June 1, 2018 at 11:19 pm

Sorry for not commenting on other posts as of yet. But I think I have a different perspective. Russia Gate is not about Hillary Clinton or Putin but it is about Donald Trump. Specifically an effort to get rid of him by the intelligence agencies and the MSM. The fact is the MSM created Trump and were chiefly responsible for his election. Trump is their brainchild starlet used to fleece all the republican campaigns like a huckster fleeces an audience. It all ties to key Supreme Court rulings eliminating campaign finance regulations which ushered in the age of dark money.

When billionaires can donate unlimited amounts of money anonymously to the candidate of their choosing what ends up is a field of fourteen wannabes in a primary race each backed by their own investor(s). The only way these candidates can win is to convince us to vote. The only way they can do that is to spend on advertising.

What the MSM dreamed of in a purely capitalistic way was a way to drain the wallets of every single one of the republican Super PACs. The mission was fraught with potential checkmates. Foe example, there could be an early leader who snatched up the needed delegates for the nomination early on which would have stopped the flow of advertising cash flowing to the MSM. Such possibilities worried the MSM and caused great angst since this might just be the biggest haul they ever took in during a primary season. How would they prevent a premature end of the money river. Like financial vampire bats, ticks and leeches they needed a way to keep the money flowing from the veins of the republican Super PACs until they were sucked dry.

What the MSM really needed was a bait which they could use to lure more dollars just like a horse race where the track owners needed a fast underdog horse to clean up. I believe the term is to be "hustled". The con men of the media hustlers decided they needed a way to cause all of the candidates to squirm uneasily and to then react to the news that Donald Trump was "in the lead".

It was a pure stroke of genius and it worked so well that Carl Rove is looking for a job and Donald Trump is sitting in the White House.

Those clever media folks. What a gift the Supreme Court handed them. But there was one little (or big) problem. The problem was the result of the scam put Trump in the White House. Something that no conservative republican would ever sign onto. Trump had spent years as a democrat, hobnobbed with the Clinton's and was an avowed agnostic who favored the liberal ideology for the most part.

What to do? Trump was now the Commander in Chief and was spouting nonsense that the establishment recoiled at such as Trumps plans to form economic ties with Russia rather than continue to wage a cold war spanning 65 years which the MIC used year after year to spook us all and guarantee their billions annual increase in funding. Trump directly attacked defense projects and called for de-funding major initiatives like F35 etc.

The new guy in the White House with his crazy ideas of making friends with Vladimir Putin horrified a national arms industry funded with hundreds of billions of our tax dollars every year propped up by all the neocons with their paranoid beliefs and plans to make America the hegemon of the World. Our foreign allies who use the USA to fight their perceived enemies and entice our government to sell them weapons and who urge us to orchestrate the overthrow of governments were all alarmed by the "not a real republican" peace-nick occupying the White House.

What to do? There was clearly a need to eliminate this bad guy since his avowed policies were in direct opposition to the game plan that had successfully compromised the former administration. They felt powerless to dissuade the Administration to continue the course and form strategies to eliminate Iran, Syria, North Korea, Libya, Ukraine and other vulnerable targets swaying toward China and Russia. They faced a new threat with the Trump Administration which seemed hell bent to discontinue the wars in these regions robbing them of many dollars.

It is probable that the casino and hotel owner in the White House posed an very threatening alternate strategy of forming economic ties with former enemies which scared the hell out of the arms industry which built its economy on scaring all of us and justifying its existence based on foreign enemies.

So the MSM and the MIC created a new cold war with their friends at the New York Times and the Washington Post which published endless stories about the new Russian threat we faced. It had nothing to do with the 0.02% Twitter and Facebook "influence" that Russia actually had in the election. It was billed as the crime of the century. The real crime was that they committed the crime of the century that they mightily profited from by putting Trump in the White House in the first place with a plan to grab all the election cash they could grab.

In the interim, they also forgot on purpose to tell anyone about the election campaign finance fraud that they were the chief beneficiaries of. They also of course forgot to tell anyone what the fight was about for the Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch. Twenty seven million dollars in dark money was donated by dark money donors enabled by the Supreme Court's decisions to eliminate campaign finance regulations which enabled these donors to buy out Congress and elect and confirm a Supreme Court Justice who would uphold the laws which eliminate all the election rules and campaign finance regulations dating back to the Tillman Act of 1907 which was an attempt to eliminate corporate contributions in political campaigns with associated meager fines as penalties. The law was weak then and has now been eliminated.

In an era of dark money in politics protected by revisionist judges laying at the top of our federal judicial branch posing as strict constructionists while being funded by the corporatocracy that viciously fights over control of the highest court by a panicked republican party that seeks to tie up their domination in our Congress by any means including the abdication of the Constitutional authority granted to the citizens of the nation we now face a new internal enemy.

That enemy is not some foreign nation but our own government which conspires to represent the wealthy and the powerful and which exalts them and which enacts laws to defend their control of our nation. Here is a quote:

When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time, a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.

Frederic Bastiat – (1801-1850) in Economic Sophisms

Realist , June 1, 2018 at 4:32 am

Different journalist covering much the same ground:

http://www.unz.com/mwhitney/why-is-the-new-york-times-misleading-the-american-people-about-the-paid-informant-who-was-spying-on-the-trump-campaign/

"Russiagate" is strictly a contrivance of the Deep State, American & British Spookery, and the corporate media propagandists. It clearly needs to be genuinely investigated (unlike the mockery being orchestrated by Herr Mueller from the Ministry of Truth), re-christened "Intellgate" (after the real perpetrators of crime), pursued until all the guilty traitors (including Mueller) who really tried to steal our democratic election are tried, convicted and incarcerated (including probably hundreds complicit from the media) and given its own lengthy chapter in all the history books about "The Election They Tried to Steal and Blame on Russia: How America Nearly Lost its Constitution." If not done, America will lose its constitution, or rather the incipient process will become totally irreversible.

Vivian O'Blivion , June 1, 2018 at 6:25 am

Your timing of events is confused.
The deep state didn't try and steal the election because they were overly complacent that their woman would win. Remember, they didn't try to use the dodgy, Steele dossier before the election.
What the deep state has done is reactively try to overcome the election outcome by launching an investigation into Trump. The egregious element of the investigation is giving it the title "investigation into collusion" when they in all probability knew that collusion was unlikely to have taken place. To achieve their aim (removing Trump) they included the line "and matters arising" in the brief to give them an open ended remit which allowed them to investigate Trump's business dealings of a Russian / Ukrainian nature (which may venture uncomfortably close to Semion Mogilevich).
If as you state (and I concur) there was no Russian collusion, then barring fabrication of evidence by Mueller (and there is little evidence of that to date) you have nothing to worry about on the collusion front. Remember, to date, Mueller has stuck (almost exclusively) to meat and potatoes charges like tax evasion and money laundering. If however the investigation leads to credible evidence that Trump broke substantive laws in the past for financial gain, then it is not reasonable to cry foul.

Seer , June 1, 2018 at 7:02 am

The Deep State assisted the DNC in knocking out Sanders. THAT was ground zero. Everything since then has been to cover this up and to discredit Trump (using him as the distraction). Consider that the Deep State never bothered to investigate the DNC servers/data; reason being is that they'd (Deep State) be implicated.

Skip Scott , June 1, 2018 at 7:29 am

Very true Seer. That is the real genesis of RussiaGate. It was a diversion tactic to keep people from looking at the DNC's behavior during the primaries. They are the reason Trump is president, not the evil Ruskies.

Vivian O'Blivion , June 1, 2018 at 8:13 am

We all seem agreed that the Russia collusion is an exercise in distraction. I can't say I know enough to comment with authority on whether the DNC would require assistance from the deep state to trash Bernie. From an outsider perspective it looked more like an application of massively disproportionate spending and standard, back room dirty tricks.
There is a saying; don't attribute to conspiracy that which can be explained by incompetence. In this case, try replacing incompetence with MONEY.

dikcheney , June 2, 2018 at 5:09 pm

Totally agree with you Skip and the Mueller performance is there to keep up the intimidation and distraction by regularly finding turds to throw at Trump. Mueller doesnt need to find anything, he just needs to create vague intimations of 'guilty Trump' and suspicious associates so that no one will look at the DNC or the Clinton corruption or the smashing of the Sanders campaign.

Their actual agenda is to smother analysis and clear thinking. Thankfully there is the forensicator piecing the jigsaw as well as consortium news.

robjira , June 1, 2018 at 11:55 am

Spot on, Seer.

michael , June 1, 2018 at 4:49 pm

Those servers probably had a lot more pay-to-play secrets from the Clinton Foundation and ring-kissing from foreign big donors than what was released by Wikileaks, which mostly was just screwing over Bernie, which the judge ruled was Hillary's prerogative. Some email chains were probably construed as National Security and were discreetly not leaked.
The 30,000 emails Hillary had bit bleached from her private servers are likely in the hands of Russians and every other major country, all biding their time for leverage. This was the carrot the British (who undoubtedly have copies as well) dangled over idiot Popodopolous.

Uncle Bob , June 1, 2018 at 10:33 pm

Seth Rich

anon , June 1, 2018 at 7:42 am

Realist is likely referring to events before the election which involved people with secret agency connections, such as the opposition research (Steele dossier and Skripal affair).

Realist , June 1, 2018 at 9:32 am

Realist responded but is being "moderated" as per usual.

Realist , June 1, 2018 at 9:31 am

Hillary herself was a prime force in cooking up the smear against Trump for being "Putin's puppet." This even before the Democratic convention. Then she used it big time during the debates. It wasn't something merely reactive after she lost. Certainly she and her collaborators inside the deep state and the intelligence agencies never imagined that she would lose and have to distract from what she and her people did by projecting the blame onto Trump. That part was reactive. The rest of the conspiracy was totally proactive on her part and that of the DNC, even during the primaries.

Don't forget, the intel agencies led by Clapper, Brennan and Comey were all working for Obama at the time and were totally acquiescent in spying on the Trump campaign and "unmasking" the identities and actions of his would-be administration, including individuals like General Flynn. The cooked up Steele dossier was paid for by money from the Clinton campaign and used as a pretext for the intel agencies to spy on the Trump campaign. There is no issue on timing. The establishment was fully behind Clinton by hook or crook from the moment Trump had the delegates to win the GOP nomination. (OBTW, I am not a Trump supporter or even a Republican, so I KNOW that I "have nothing to worry about on the collusion front." I'm a registered Dem, though not a Hillary supporter.)

Moreover, if you think that Mueller (and the other intel chiefs) have been on the impartial up-and-up, why did the FBI never seize and examine the DNC servers? Why simply accept the interpretation of events given by the private cybersecurity firm (Crowdstrike) that the Clinton campaign hired to very likely mastermind a cover-up? That is exceptional (nay, unheard of!) "professional courtesy." Why has Mueller to this day not deposed Julian Assange or former British Ambassador Craig Murray, both of whom admit to knowing precisely who provided the leaked (not hacked) Podesta and DNC emails to Wikileaks? Why has Mueller not pursued the potential role of the late Seth Rich in the leaking of said emails? Why has Mueller not pursued the robust theory, based on actual evidence, proposed by VIPS, and supported by computer experts like Bill Binney and John McAfee, that the emails were not, as the Dems and the intel agencies would have you believe on NO EVIDENCE, hacked (by the "Russians" or anyone else) but were downloaded to a flash drive directly from the DNC servers? Why has Mueller not deposed Binney or Ray McGovern who claim to have evidence to bear on this and have discussed it freely in the media (to the miniscule extent that the corporate media will give them an audience)? Is Mueller after the truth, or is this a kangaroo court he is running? Is the media really independent and impartial or are they part of a cover-up, perpetrating numerous sins of both commission and omission in their highly flawed reportage?

I don't see clarity in what has been thus far been propounded by Mueller or any of Trump's other accusers, but I don't think I am the one who is confused here, Vivian. If you want to meet a thoroughly confused individual on what transpired leading up to this moment in American political history, just go read Hillary's book. Absolutely everyone under the sun shares in the blame but her for the fact that she does not presently reside in the White House.

Vivian O'Blivion , June 1, 2018 at 1:48 pm

You have presented your case with a great deal more detail and clarity than the original post that prompted my reply. You are also a great deal more knowledgeable than I on the details. I think we are 98% in agreement and I wouldn't like to say who's correct on the remaining 2%.
For clarity, I didn't follow the debates and wouldn't do so now if they were repeated. Much heat very little light.
The "pretext" that the intel agencies claim launched their actions against Trump was not the Steele dossier, at least that is what the intel agencies say. Either way your assertion that it was the dossier that set things off is just that, an assertion. I think this is a minor point.
On the DNC servers and the FBI we are 100% singing from the same hymn book and it all sticks. Mueller's apparent disinterest in the question of hack or USB drive does rather taint his investigation and thanks for pointing this out, I hadn't thought of that angle. I still think Mueller will stick to tax and money laundering and stay well clear of "collusion", so yes he may be running a kangaroo court investigation but the charges will be real world.
The MSM as a whole are a sick joke which is why we collectively find ourselves at CN, Craig Murray's blog, etc. I wouldn't like to attribute "collaboration" to any individual in the media. It was the reference to hundreds of journalists being sent to jail in your original post that set me off in the first place. When considering the "culpability" of any individual journalist you can have any position on a spectrum from; fully cognisant collaborator with a deep state conspiracy, to; a bit dim and running with the "sexy" story 'cause it's the biggest thing ever, the bosses can't get enough of it and the overtime is great. If American journalists are anything like their UK counterparts, 99% will fall into the latter category.
Don't have any issue with your final point. Hillary on stage and on camera was phoney as rocking horse s**te and everyone outside her extremely highly remunerated team could see it.
Sorry for any inconvenience, but your second post makes your points a hell of a lot clearer than the original.

Realist , June 1, 2018 at 4:26 pm

My purpose for the first post in this thread was to direct readers to the article in Unz by Mike Whitney, not to compress a full-blown amateur expose' by myself into a three-sentence paragraph. You would have found much more in the way of facts, analysis and opinion in his article to which my terse comments did not even serve as an abstract.

Quoting his last paragraph may give you the flavor of this piece, which is definitely not a one-off by him or other actual journalists who have delved into the issues:

"Let's see if I got this right: Brennan gets his buddies in the UK to feed fake information on Russia to members of the Trump campaign, after which the FBI uses the suspicious communications about Russia as a pretext to unmask, wiretap, issue FISA warrants, and infiltrate the campaign, after which the incriminating evidence that was collected in the process of entrapping Trump campaign assistants is compiled in a legal case that is used to remove Trump from office. Is that how it's supposed to work?

It certainly looks like it. But don't expect to read about it in the Times."

backwardsevolution , June 1, 2018 at 4:49 pm

Vivian – 90% of all major media is owned by six corporations. There most definitely was and IS collusion between some of them to bring down the outsider, Trump.

As far as individual journalists go, yeah, they're trying to pay their mortgage, I get it, and they're going to spin what their boss bloody well tells them to spin. But there is evidence coming out that "some" journalists did accept money from either Fusion GPS, Perkins Coie (sp) or Christopher Steele to leak information, which they did.

Bill Clinton passed the Telecommunications Act of 1996 that enabled these six media conglomerates to dominate the news. Of course they're political. They need to be split up, like yesterday, into a thousand pieces (ditto for the banks). They have purposely and with intent been feeding lies to the American people. Yes, some SHOULD go to jail.

As Peter Strzok of the FBI said re Trump colluding with Russia, "There was never any there, there." The collusion has come from the intelligence agencies, in cahoots with Hillary Clinton, perhaps even as high as Obama, to prevent Trump being elected. When that failed, they set out to get him impeached on whatever they could find. Of course Mueller is going to stick with tax and money laundering because he already KNOWS there was never any collusion with Russia.

This is the Swamp versus the People.

backwardsevolution , June 1, 2018 at 1:52 pm

Realist – another excellent post. "Is Mueller after the truth, or is this a kangaroo court he is running?" As you rightly point out, Mueller IS being very selective in what he examines and doesn't examine. He's not after the whole truth, just a particular kind of truth, one that gets him a very specific result – to take down or severely cripple the President.

Evidence continues to trickle out. Former and active members of the FBI are now even begging to testify as they are disgusted with what is being purposely omitted from this so-called "impartial" investigation. This whole affair is "kangaroo" all the way.

I'm not so much a fan of Trump as I am a fan of the truth. I don't like to see him – anyone – being railroaded. That bothers me more than anything. But he's right about what he calls "the Swamp". If these people are not uncovered and brought to justice, then the country is truly lost.

Realist , June 1, 2018 at 4:38 pm

Precisely. Destroy the man on false pretenses and you destroy our entire system, whether you like him and his questionable policies or not.

Some people would say it's already gone, but we do what we can to get it back or hold onto to what's left of it. Besides, all the transparent lies and skullduggery in the service of politics rather than principles are just making our entire system look as corrupt as hell.

michael , June 1, 2018 at 5:00 pm

When Mueller arrested slimy Manafort for crimes committed in the Ukraine and gave a pass to the Podesta Brothers who worked closely with Manafort, it was clear that Russiagate was a partisan operation.

backwardsevolution , June 1, 2018 at 6:17 pm

Michael – good point!

KiwiAntz , June 1, 2018 at 1:00 am

Its becoming abundantly clear now, that the whole Russiagate charade was had nothibg to do with Russia & is about a elaborate smokescreen & shellgame coverup designed to divert attention away from, firstly the Democratic Party's woeful defeat & its lousy Candidate choice in the corrupt Hillary Clinton? & also the DNC's sabotaging of Bernie Saunders campaign run! But the most henious & treacherous parts was Obama's, weaponising the intelligence agencies to spy (Halper) on the imaginary Mancharian Candidate Trump & to set him up as a Russia stooge? Obama & Hillary Clinton are complicent in this disgraceful & illegal activity to get dirt on Trump withe goal of ensuring Clinton's election win? This is bigger than Watergate & more scandalous? But despite the cheating & stacking of the card deck, she still lost out to the Donald? And this isn't just illegal its treasonous & willful actions deserving of a lengthy jail incarceration? HRC & her crooked Clinton foundation's funding of the fraudulent & discredited "Steele Dosier" was also used to implement Trump & Russia in a made up, pile of fictitious gargage that was pure offal? Obama & HRC along with their FBI & CIA spys need to be rounded up, convicted & thrown in jail? Perhaps if Trump could just shut his damn mouuth for once & get off twitter long enough to be able too get some Justice Dept officials looking into this, without being distracted by this Russiagate shellgame fakery, then perhaps the real criminal's like Halpert, Obama,HRC & these corrupt spooks & spies can be rounded up & held to account for this treasonous behaviour?

Sean Ahern , May 31, 2018 at 7:25 pm

Attention should be paid also to the role of so called progressive media outlets such as Mother Jones which served as an outlets for the disinformation campaign described in Lazare's article.
Here from David Corn's Mother Jones 2016 article:

"And a former senior intelligence officer for a Western country who specialized in Russian counterintelligence tells Mother Jones that in recent months he provided the bureau with memos, based on his recent interactions with Russian sources, contending the Russian government has for years tried to co-opt and assist Trump -- and that the FBI requested more information from him."
https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/10/veteran-spy-gave-fbi-info-alleging-russian-operation-cultivate-donald-trump/

Not only was Corn and Mother Jones selected by the spooks as an outlet, but these so called progressives lauded their 'expose' as a great investigative coup on their part and it paved the way for Corn's elevation on MSNBC for a while as a 'pundit.'

Paul G. , May 31, 2018 at 8:46 pm

In that vein did the spooks influence Rachel Maddow or is her $30,000. a day salary adequate to totally compromise her microscopic journalistic integrity.

dikcheney , June 3, 2018 at 6:57 am

Passing around references to Mother Jones is like passing round used toilet paper for another try. MJ is BS it is entirely controlled fake press.

Abby , May 31, 2018 at 6:23 pm

Stefan Halper was being paid by the Clinton's foundation during the time he was spying on the Trump campaign. This is further evidence that Hillary Clinton's hands are all over getting Russia Gate started. Then there's the role that Obama's justice department played in setting up the spying on people who were working with the Trump campaign. This is worse than Watergate, IMO.

Rumors are that a few ex FBI agents are going to testify to congress in Comey's role in covering up Hillary's crimes when she used her private email server to send classified information to people who did not have clearance to read it. Sydney Bluementhol was working for Hillary's foundation and sending her classified information that he stole from the NSA.

Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills were concerned about Obama knowing that Hillary wasn't using her government email account after he told the press that he only found out about it at the same time they did. He had been sending and receiving emails from her Clintonone email address during her whole tenure as SOS.

Obama was also aware of her using her foundation for pay to play which she was told by both congress and Obama to keep far away from her duties. Why did she use her private email server? So that Chelsea could know where Hillary was doing business so she could send Bill there to give his speeches to the same organizations, foreign governments and people who had just donated to their foundation.

Has any previous Secretary of State in history used their position to enrich their spouses or their foundations? I think not.

The secrets of how the FBI covered for Hillary are coming out. Whether she is charged for her crimes is a different matter.

F. G. Sanford , May 31, 2018 at 7:48 pm

If Hillary paid a political operative using Clinton Foundation funds – those are tax exempt charitable contributions – she would be guilty of tax fraud, charity fraud and campaign finance violations. Hillary may be evil, but she's not stupid. The U.S.Government paid Halper, which might be "waste, fraud and abuse", but it doesn't implicate Hillary at all. Not that she's innocent, mind you

Rob , June 1, 2018 at 2:14 am

I need some references to take any of your multitude of claims seriously. With all due respect, this sound like something taken from info wars and stylized in smartened up a little bit.

chris m , May 31, 2018 at 2:52 pm

the idea that Stefan Halper was some sort a of mastermind spy behind the so called "Russiagate" fiasco
seems very implausible considering what he seems to have spent doing for the past 40 years
going back to the Iran hostage crisis of 1979-1980 and his efforts then.

i think he must have had a fairly peripheral role as to whatever or not was going on behind the scenes from 2016 election campaign, and the campaign to first stop Trump getting elected, and secondly, when that failed, to bring down his Presidency.

of course, the moment his name was revealed in recent days, would have shocked or surprised those of in the general
public, but not certainly amongst those in Government aka FBI/CIA/Military-industrial circles.

backwardsevolution , May 31, 2018 at 4:36 pm

chris m – Halper is probably one of those people who hide behind their professor (or other legitimate) jobs, but are there at the ready to serve the Deep State. "I understand. You want me to set up some dupes in order to make it look like there was or could be actual Russian meddling. Gotcha." All you've got to do is make it "look like" something nefarious was going on. This facilitates a "reason" to have a phony investigation, and of course they make it as open-ended an investigation as possible, hoping to get the target on something, anything.

Well, they've no doubt looked long and hard for almost two years now, but zip. However, in their zeal to get rid of their opponent, who they did not think would win the election, they left themselves open, left a trail of crimes. Whoops!

This is the Swamp that Trump talked about during the election. He's probably not squeaky clean either, but he pales in comparison to what these guys have done. They have tried to take down a duly-elected President.

F. G. Sanford , May 31, 2018 at 5:09 pm

His role may have been peripheral, but I seem to recall that the Office of Net Assessments paid him roughly a million bucks to play it. That office, run from the Pentagon, is about as deep into the world of "black ops" spookdom as you can get. Hardly "peripheral", I'd say.

backwardsevolution , May 31, 2018 at 7:13 pm

F. G. Sanford – yes, a million bucks implies something more than just a peripheral involvement, more like something essential to the plot, like the actual setting up of the plot. Risk of exposure costs money.

ranney , May 31, 2018 at 6:17 pm

Chris, I think the Halper inclusion in this complex tale is simply an example of how these things work in the ultra paranoid style of spy agencies. As Lazare explains, every one knew every one else – at least at the start of this, and it just kind of built from there, and Halper may have been the spark – but the spark landed on a highly combustible pile of paranoia that caught on fire right away. This is how our and the UK agencies function. There is an interesting companion piece to this story today at Common Dreams by Robert Kohler titled The American Way of War. It describes basically the same sort of mind set and action as this story. I'd link it for you if I knew how, but I'm not very adept at the computer. (Maybe another reader knows how?)

We (that is the American people who are paying the salaries of these brain blocked, stiff necked idiots) need to start getting vocal and visible about the destructive path our politicians, banks and generals have rigidly put us on. Does any average working stiff still believe that all this hate, death and destruction is to "protect" us?

backwardsevolution , May 31, 2018 at 7:07 pm

ranney – when you are on the page that you want to link to, take your cursor (the little arrow on your screen) to the top of the page to the address bar (for instance, the address for this article is:
"https://consortiumnews.com/2018/05/31/spooks-spooking ")

Once your cursor is over the address bar, right click on your mouse. A little menu will come up. Then position your cursor down to the word "copy" and then left click on your mouse. This will copy the link.

Then proceed back to the blog (like Consortium) where you want to provide the link in your post. You might say, "Here is the link for the article I just described above." Then at this point you would right click on your mouse again, position your cursor over the word "paste", and then left click on your mouse. Voila, your link magically appears.

If you don't have a mouse and are using a laptop pad, then someone else will have to help you. That's above my pay grade. Good luck, ranney.

irina , May 31, 2018 at 8:13 pm

If you are using a Mac, either laptop w/touch screen or with a mouse, the copy/paste function
works similarly. Use either the mouse (no need to 'right click, left click') or the touch screen
to highlight the address bar once you have the cursor flashing away on the left side of it.
You may need to scroll right to highlight the whole address. Then go up to Edit (there's also
a keyboard command you can use, but I don't) in your tool bar at the top of your screen.
Click on 'copy'. Now your address is in memory. Then do the same as described above to
get back to where you want to paste it. Put your cursor where you want it to be 'pasted'.
Go back to 'edit' and click 'paste'. Voila !

This is a very handy function and can be used to copy text, web addresses, whatever you want.
Explore it a little bit. (Students definitely overuse the 'paste and match style' option, which allows
a person to 'paste' text into for example an essay and 'match the style' so it looks seamless, although
unless carefully edited it usually doesn't read seamlessly !)

Remember that whatever is in 'copy' will remain there until you 'copy' something else. (Or your
computer crashes . . . )

ranney , June 1, 2018 at 3:39 pm

Irina and Backwards Evolution – Thanks guys for the computer advice! I'll try it, but I think I need someone at my shoulder the first time I try it.

backwardsevolution , June 1, 2018 at 8:53 pm

ranney – you're welcome! Snag one of your kids or a friend, and then do it together. Sometimes I see people posting things like: "Testing. I'm trying to provide a link, bear with me." Throw caution to the wind, ranney. I don't worry about embarrassing myself anymore. I do it every day and the world still goes on.

I heard a good bit of advice once, something I remind my kids: when you're young, you think everybody is watching you and so you're afraid to step out of line. When you're middle-aged, you think everybody is watching you, but you don't care. When you're older, you realize nobody is really watching you because they're more concerned about themselves.

Good luck, ranney.

irina , June 2, 2018 at 10:00 pm

I find it helpful to write down the steps (on an old fashioned piece of paper, with old fashioned ink)
when learning to use a new computer tool, because while I think I'll remember, it doesn't usually
'stick' until after using it for quite a while. And yes, definitely recruit a member of the younger set
or someone familiar with computers. My daughter showed me many years ago how to 'cut & paste'
and to her credit she was very gracious about it. Remember that you need a place to 'paste' what-
ever you copied -- either a comment board like this, or a document you are working on, or (this is
handy) an email where you want to send someone a link to something. Lots of other possibilities too!

mike , June 1, 2018 at 7:43 pm

No one is presenting Halper as a mastermind spy. He was a tool of the deep state nothing more.

Gary Weglarz , May 31, 2018 at 1:57 pm

It seems a mistake to frame the "Russiagate" nonsense as a "Democrat vs Republican" affair, except at the most surface level of understanding in terms of our political realities. If one considers that the Bush family has been effectively the Republican Party's face of the CIA/deep state nexus for decades, as the Clinton/Obama's have been the Democratic Party's face for decades now, what comes into focus is Trump as a sort of unknown, unexpected wild card not appropriately tethered to the control structure. Simply noting that the U.S. and Russia need not be enemies is alone enough to require an operation to get Trump into line.
This hardly means this is some sort of "partisan" issue as the involvement of McCain and others demonstrates.

One of the true "you can't make this stuff up" ironies of the Bush/Clinton CIA/deep state nexus history is worth remembering if one still maintains any illusions about how the CIA vets potential presidents since they killed JFK. During Iran/Contra we had Bush, the former CIA director now vice president, running a drugs for arms operation out the White House through Ollie North, WHILE then unknown Arkansas governor Bill Clinton was busy squashing Arkansas State Police investigations into said narcotics trafficking. Clinton obviously proved his bona fides to the CIA/deep state with such service and was appropriately rewarded as an asset who could function as a reliable president. Here in one operation we had two future presidents in Bush and Clinton both engaged in THE SAME CIA drug running operation. You truly can't make this stuff up.

Russiagate seems to be in the end all about keeping deep state policy moving in the "right direction" and "hating Russia" is the only entree on the menu at this time for the whole cadre of CIA/deep state, MIC, neocons, Zionists, and all their minions in the MSM. The Obama White House would have gladly supported Vlad the Impaler as the Republican candidate that beat Hillary if Vlad were to have the appropriate foaming at the mouth "hate-Russia" vibe going on.

backwardsevolution , May 31, 2018 at 7:18 pm

Gary – great post.

irina , May 31, 2018 at 8:18 pm

Roger that. I would really like to see an inquiry re-opened into the
teenage boys who died 'on the train tracks' in Arkansas during the
early years of the Clinton-Bush trafficking. Many questions are still
unanswered. Speculation is that they saw something they weren't
supposed to see.

Mark Thomason , May 31, 2018 at 1:12 pm

This all grows out of the failure to clean up the mess revealed by the Iraq fiasco. Instead, those who did that remained, got away with it, and are doing more of the same.

Babyl-on , May 31, 2018 at 12:46 pm

So, here is my question – Who, ultimately does the permanent/bureaucratic/deep/Imperial* state finally answer to? Who's interests are they serving? How do they know what those interests are?

It could be, and increasingly it looks as if, the answer is – no one in particular – but the Saud family, the Zionist cabal of billionaires, the German industrialist dynasties, the Japanese oligarchy and never forget the arms dealers, all of them once part of the Empire now fighting for themselves so we end up with the high level apparatchiks not knowing what to do or who to follow so they lie outright to Congress and go on TV and babble more lies for money.

It's a great contradiction that the greatest armed force ever assembled with cutting edge robotics and AI yet at the same time so weak and pathetic it can not exercise hegemony over the Middle East as it seems to desire more than anything. Being defeated by forces with less than 20% of the US spend.

Abby , May 31, 2018 at 6:36 pm

You're right. They answer to no one because they are not just working in this country, but they think that the whole world is theirs.

To these people there are no borders. They meet at places like the G20, Davos and wherever the Bilderberg group decides to meet every year. No leader of any country gets to be one unless they are acceptable to the Deep State. The council of foreign relations is one of the groups that run the world. How we take them down is a good question.

Abe , May 31, 2018 at 12:43 pm

Following the pattern of mainstream media, Daniel Lazare assiduously avoids mentioning Israel and pro-Israel Lobby interference in the 2016 presidential election, and the Israel-gate reality underlying all the Russia-gate fictions.

For example, George Papadopoulos is directly connected to the pro-Israel Lobby, right wing Israeli political interests, and Israeli government efforts to control regional energy resources.

Lazare mentions that Papadapoulos had "a friend in the Israeli embassy".

But Lazare conspicuously neglects to mention numerous Israeli and pro-Israel Lobby players interested in "filling Papadopoulos's head" with "tales of Russian dirty tricks".

Papadopoulos' LinkedIn page lists his association with the right wing Hudson Institute. The Washington, D.C.-based think tank part of pro-Israel Lobby web of militaristic security policy institutes that promote Israel-centric U.S. foreign policy.

https://rightweb.irc-online.org/profile/hudson_institute/

The Hudson Institute confirmed that Papadopoulos was an intern who left the pro-Israel neoconservative think tank in 2014.

In 2014, Papadopoulos authored op-ed pieces in Israeli publications.

In an op-ed published in Arutz Sheva, media organ of the right wing Religionist Zionist movement embraced by the Israeli "settler" movement, Papadopoulos argued that the U.S. should focus on its "stalwart allies" Israel, Greece, and Cyprus to "contain the newly emergent Russian fleet".

In another op-ed published in Ha'aretz, Papadopoulos contended that Israel should exploit its natural gas resources in partnership with Cyprus and Greece rather than Turkey.

In November 2015, Papadapalous participated in a conference in Tel Aviv, discussing the export of natural gas from Israel with a panel of current and past Israeli government officials including Ron Adam, a representative of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Eran Lerman, a former Israeli Deputy National Security Adviser.

Among Israel's numerous violations of United Nations Resolution 242 was its annexation of the Syrian Golan Heights in 1981. Recent Israeli threatened military threats against Lebanon and Syria have a lot to do with control of natural gas resources, both offshore from Gaza and on land in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights region.

Israeli plans to develop energy resources and expand territorial holdings in the Syrian Golan are threatened by the Russian military presence in Syria. Russian diplomatic efforts, and the Russian military intervention that began in September 2015 after an official request by the Syrian government, have interfered with the Israeli-Saudi-U.S. Axis "dirty war" in Syria.

Israeli activities and Israel-gate realities are predictably ignored by the mainstream media, which continues to salivate at every moldy scrap of Russia-gate fiction.

Lazare need no be so circumspect, unless he has somehow been spooked.

Herman , May 31, 2018 at 4:13 pm

"Among Israel's numerous violations of United Nations Resolution 242 was its annexation of the Syrian Golan Heights in 1981. Recent Israeli threatened military threats against Lebanon and Syria have a lot to do with control of natural gas resources, both offshore from Gaza and on land in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights region."

And water. Rating energy and water, what's at the top for Israel. Israel would probably say both but Israel shielded by the US will take what it wants. That is already true with the Palestinians.. The last figure I heard is that the Palestinians are allocated one fifth per capita what is allocated to Israel's

mike k , May 31, 2018 at 11:59 am

A large swamp is actually an ancient and highly organized ecosystem. Only humans could create a lawless madness like Washington DC.

irina , May 31, 2018 at 8:24 pm

Yes that is a good description of a swamp. BUT, if it loses what sustains it --
water, in the case of a 'real' swamp and money in the case of this swamp --
it changes character very quickly and becomes first a bog, then a meadow.

I am definitely ready for more meadowland ! But the only way to create it
is to voluntarily redirect federal taxes into escrow accounts which stipulate
that the funds are to be used for (fill in the blank) Public Services at the
Local and Regional levels. Much more efficient than filtering them through
the federal bureaucracy !

Sam F , May 31, 2018 at 10:21 pm

But how would one avoid prosecution for nonpayment of taxes?
That seems a very quiet way to be rendered ineffective as a resister.

irina , June 1, 2018 at 2:30 am

The thing is, you don't 'nonpay' them. The way it used to work, through the
Con$cience and Military Tax Campaign Escrow Account, was that you filed
your taxes as usual. (This does require having less withholding than you owe).
BUT instead of paying what is due to the IRS, you send it to the Escrow Account.
You attach a letter to your tax return, explaining where the money is and why it
is there. That is, you want it to be spent on _________________(fill in the blank)
worthy public social service. Then you send your return to the IRS.

When I used to do this, I stated that I wanted my tax dollars to be spent to develop
public health clinics at neighborhood schools. Said clinics would be staffed by nurse
practitioners, would be open 24-7 and nurses would be equipped with vans to make
House Calls. Security would be provided.

So you're not 'nonpaying' your taxes, you are (attempting) to redirect them. Eventually,
after several rounds of letters back and forth, the IRS would seize the monies from the
escrow account, which would only release them to the IRS upon being told to by the
tax re-director. Unfortunately, not enough people participated to make it a going concern.
But the potential is still there, and the template has been made and used. It's very scale-
able, from local to international. And it would not take that many 're-directors' to shift the
focus of tax liability from the collector to the payor. Because ultimately we are liable for
how our funds are used !

Bill , June 2, 2018 at 3:19 pm

this was done a lot during the Vietnam conflict, especially by Quakers. the first thing, if you are a wage earner, is to re-file a W2 with maximum withholdings-that has two effects: 1) it means you owe all your taxes in April. 2) it means the feds are deprived of the hidden tax in which they use or invest your withholding throughout the year before it's actually due(and un-owed taxes if you over over-withhold). Pretty sure that if a large number of people deprive the government of that hidden tax by under-withholding, they will begin to take notice.

Abe , May 31, 2018 at 11:54 am

Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) is an intelligence agency of the government and armed forces of the United Kingdom.

In 2013, GCHQ received considerable media attention when the former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden revealed that the agency was in the process of collecting all online and telephone data in the UK. Snowden's revelations began a spate of ongoing disclosures of global surveillance and manipulation.

For example, NSA files from the Snowden archive published by Glenn Greenwald reveal details about GCHQ's Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group (JTRIG) unit, which uses "dirty trick" tactics to covertly manipulate and control online communities.

JTRIG document: "The Art of Deception: Training for Online Covert Operations"
https://edwardsnowden.com/docs/doc/the-art-of-deception-training-for-a-new.pdf

In 2017, officials from the UK and Israel made an unprecedented confirmation of the close relationship between the GCHQ and Israeli intelligence services.

Robert Hannigan, outgoing Director-General of the GCHQ, revealed for the first time that his organization has a "strong partnership with our Israeli counterparts in signals intelligence." He claimed the relationship "is protecting people from terrorism not only in the UK and Israel but in many other countries."

Mark Regev, Israeli ambassador to the UK, commented on the close relationship between British and Israeli intelligence agencies. During remarks at a Conservative Friends of Israel reception, Regev opined: "I have no doubt the cooperation between our two democracies is saving British lives."

Hannigan added that GCHQ was "building on an excellent cyber relationship with a range of Israeli bodies and the remarkable cyber industry in Be'er Sheva."

The IDF's most important signal intelligence–gathering installation is the Urim SIGINT Base, a part of Unit 8200, located in the Negev desert approximately 30 km from Be'er Sheva.

Snowden revealed how Unit 8200 receives raw, unfiltered data of U.S. citizens, as part of a secret agreement with the U.S. National Security Agency.

After his departure from GCHQ, Hannigan joined BlueteamGlobal, a cybersecurity services firm, later re-named BlueVoyant.

BlueVoyant's board of directors includes Nadav Zafrir, former Commander of the Israel Defense Forces' Unit 8200. The senior leadership team at BlueVoyant includes Ron Feler, formerly Deputy Commander of the IDF's Unit 8200, and Gad Goldstein, who served as a division head in the Israel Security Agency, Shin Bet, in the rank equivalent to Major General.

In addition to their purported cybersecurity activities, Israeli. American, and British private companies have enormous access and potential to promote government and military deception operations.

mike k , May 31, 2018 at 12:23 pm

Thanks Abe. Sounds like a manual for slave owners and con men. What a tangled wed the rich bastards weave. The simple truth is their sworn enemy.

Sam F , May 31, 2018 at 10:19 pm

Interesting that a foreign power would be given all US communications data, which implies that the US has seized it all without a warrant and revealed it all in violation of the Constitution. If extensive, this use of information power amounts to information warfare against the US by its own secret agencies in collusion with a foreign power, an act of treason.

Seer , June 1, 2018 at 7:18 am

This has been going on for a LONG time, it's nothing new. I seem to recall 60 Minutes covering it way back in the 70s(?). UK was allowed to do the snooping in the US (and, likely, vice versa) and then providing info to the US. This way the US govt could claim that it didn't spy/snoop on its citizens. Without a doubt Israel has been extensively intercepting communications in the US..

Secrecy kills.

Sam F , June 1, 2018 at 8:23 am

Yes, but the act of allowing unregulated foreign agencies unwarranted access to US telecoms is federal crime, and it is treason when it goes so far as to allow them full access, and even direct US bulk traffic to their spy agencies. If this is so, these people should be prosecuted for treason.

F. G. Sanford , May 31, 2018 at 11:36 am

To listen to the media coverage of these events, it is tempting to believe that two entirely different planets are being discussed. Fox comes out and says Mueller was "owned" by Trump. Then, CNN comes out and says Trump was "owned" by Clapper. Clapper claims the evidence is "staggering", while video clips of his testimony reveal irrefutable perjury. Some of President Trump's policies are understandably abhorrent to Democrats, while Clinton's email server and charity frauds are indisputably violations of Federal statutes. Democrats are attempting to claim that a "spy" in the Trump campaign was perfectly reasonable to protect "national security", but evidence seems to indicate that the spy was placed BEFORE there was a legitimate national security concern. Some analysts note that, while Mueller's team appears to be Democratic partisan hacks, their native "skill set" is actually expertise in money laundering investigations. They claim that although Mr. Trump may not be compromised by the Russian government, he is involved with nefarious Russian organized crime figures. It follows, according to them, that given time, Mueller will reveal these illicit connections, and prosecution will become inevitable.

Let's assume, for argument, that both sides are right. That means that our entire government is irretrievably corrupt. Republicans claim that it could " go all the way to Obama". Democrats, of course, play the "moral high ground" card, insinuating that the current administration is so base and immoral that somehow, the "ends justify the means". No matter how you slice it, the Clinton campaign has a lot more liability on its hands. The problem is, if prosecutions begin, people will "talk" to save their own skins. The puppet masters can't really afford that.

"All the way to Obama", you say? I think it could go higher than that. Personally, I think it could go all the way to Dick Cheney, and the 'powers that be' are in no mood to let that happen.

Vivian O'Blivion , May 31, 2018 at 12:19 pm

The issue as I see it is that from the start everyone was calling the Mueller probe an investigation into collusion and not really grasping the catch all nature of his brief.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special_Counsel_investigation_(2017–present)

It's the "any matters arising " that is the real kicker. So any dodgy dealing / possible criminal activity in the past is fair game. And this is exactly what in happening with Manafort.
Morally you can apply the Nucky Johnson defence and state that everyone knew Trump was a crook when they voted for him, but legally this has no value.
There is an unpleasant whiff of deep state interference with the will of the people (electoral college). Perhaps if most bodies hadn't written Trump's chances off in such an off hand manner, proper due diligence of his background would have uncovered any liabilities before the election.
If there is actionable dirt, can't say I am overly sympathetic to Trump. Big prizes sometimes come with big risks.

David G , May 31, 2018 at 5:14 pm

My own feeling from the start has been that Mueller was never going to track down any "collusion" or "meddling" (at least not to any significant degree) because the whole, sprawling Russia-gate narrative – to the extent one can be discerned – is obviously phony.

But at the same time, there's no way the completely lawless, unethical Trump, along with his scummy associates, would be able to escape that kind of scrutiny without criminal conduct being exposed.

So far, on both scores, that still seems to me to be a likely outcome, and for my part I'm fine with it.

Vivian O'Blivion , June 1, 2018 at 5:29 am

My thoughts exactly. Collusion was never a viable proposition because the Russians aren't that stupid. Regardless of any personal opinion regarding the intelligence and mental stability of Donald Snr., the people he surrounds himself with are weapons grade stupid. I don't see the Russians touching the Trump campaign with a proverbial barge pole.

Bill , June 2, 2018 at 3:26 pm

it just happens that Trump appears to have been involved (wittingly or not), with the laundering a whole lot of Russian money and so many of his friends seem to be connected with wealthy Russian oligarchs as well plus they are so stupid, they keep appearing to (and probably are) obstructing justice. The Cohen thing doesn't get much attention here, but it's significant that they have all this stuff on a guy who is clearly Trump's bagman.

Steve Naidamast , May 31, 2018 at 3:15 pm

There is also quite an indication that the entire Mueller investigation is a complete smoke screen to be used as cannon fodder in the mainstream media.

On the one hand, Mueller and his hacks have found nothing of import to link Trump to anything close to collusion with members of the Russian government. And I am by no means a Trump supporter by any stretch of the imagination, except as a foil to Clinton. However, even my minimalist expectations for Trump have not worked out either.

In addition. the Mueller investigation has been spending what appears to be a majority of its time on ancillary matters that were not within the supposed scope and mandate of this investigation. Further, a number of indictments have come down against people involved with such ancillary matters.

The result is that if Mueller is going beyond the scope of his investigatory mandate, this may come in as a technicality that will allow indicted persons to escape prosecution on appeal.

Such a mandate, I would think, is the same thing as a police warrant, which can find only admissible evidence covered by the warrant. Anything else found to be criminally liable must be found to be as a result of a completely different investigation that has nothing to do with the original warrant.

In other words, it appears that the Mueller investigation was allowed to commence under a Republican controlled Congress fo