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Demexit: Abandonment of Democratic party by working class and lower middle class due to "Clinton betrayal"

After twenty year of betrayal of working class Democrats face the consequences of their "Clinton strategy" in full force: workers abandoned them in droves

News Crisis of legitimacy of neoliberal elite Recommended Links US Presidential Elections of 2016 Democratic Party Monday morning quarterbacking Superdelegates at Democratic National Convention Zombie state and coming collapse of neoliberalism
Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA Bernie Sanders as sheepdog for Hillary TTP, NAFTA and other supernational trade treates DNC emails leak: switfboating Bernie Sanders Populism Hillary Clinton and Obama created ISIS Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak
Clinton Cash and Hillary Clinton links to financial industry Hillary Clinton email scandal Swiftboating Trump: Khan gambit against Trump at the Democratic Convention Anti Trump Hysteria Anti-globalization movement Hillary as a pathological liar Lesser evil trick of legitimizing a disastrous, corrupt neoliberal politicians in US elections
Neoconservatism Obama: a yet another Neocon Hillary health issues Female Sociopaths Bill Clinton With Bill possibly again occupying White House bedroom his sexapades became Hillary campaign issue Hillary Clinton defense of the middle aged rapist of a 12 years old girl
Media-Military-Industrial Complex New American Militarism Corporatist Corruption: Systemic Fraud under Clinton-Bush-Obama Regime American Exceptionalism Color revolutions Deception as an art form Madeleine Albrigh as a model for Hillary
Clinton Cash The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich Crisis of Character A White House Secret Service Officer Discloses His Firsthand Experience with Hillary, Bill, and How They O Hillary the Other Woman Dolly Kyle Amazon.com Books The Clintons' War on Women Roger Stone, Robert Morrow Amazon.com Books Bill Clinton New Gilded Age President Patrick J. Maney 9780700621941 Amazon.com Books The Secret Life of Bill Clinton The Unreported Stories Ambrose Evans-Pritchard  Amazon.com Books Partners in Crime The Clintons' Scheme to Monetize the White House for Personal Profit Jerome Corsi  Amazon
Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism Neocons Credibility Scam Leo Strauss and the Neocons Lawrence Summers Sandy Weill: the banker who bought Bill Clinton Robert Rubin, the man who helped to convert the USA into banana republic
Diplomacy by deception Corruption of Regulators The Deep State Machiavellism Noble Lie Hillary role in cover up of Bill Clinton sexapades Nation under attack meme
Predator state The Iron Law of Oligarchy Elite [Dominance] Theory And the Revolt of the Elite Inverted Totalitarism == Managed Democracy == Neoliberalism Neoliberalism as Trotskyism for the rich Politically Incorrect Humor  Etc
   

Bill, Hillary, Barack and the rest should do the decent and honorable thing: disappear completely, along with the rest of their vicious elitist Neoliberal Democrat ilk. Progressives who have insisted on backing these criminals – and who have tried to bully those of us on the actual left into joining them in that ugly and viciously circular embrace – need to make themselves over or just drop off the face of the political landscape and let people who are more serious and radical step in.

www.counterpunch.org - Nov 12, 2016, 7:00 PM

 

Trump was right to point out that the Clintons and their allies atop the Democratic National Committee rigged the game against Bernie.

This rigging was consistent with the neoliberal corporate Democratic Party elite’s longstanding vicious hatred of left-wing of the party and anti-plutocratic populists. They hate and viciously fight them in the ranks of their pro-Wall Street Party. It's "Clinton Third Way Democrats" who essentially elected Trump, because Bernie for them is more dangerous than Trump.

The Democratic party became a neoliberal party of top 10% (may be top 20%), the party of bankers and white collar professionals. "Soft" neoliberals, to distinguish them from "hard" neoliberals (GOP).

Under Bill Clinton the Democrats have become the party of Financial Oligarchy. At this time corporate interests were moving to finance as their main activity and that was a very profitable betrayal for Clintons. They were royally remunerated for that.

Clintons have positioned the Dems as puppets of financial oligarchy and got in return two major things:

  1. Money for the Party (and themselves)
  2. The ability to control the large part of MSM, which was owned by the same corporations, who were instrumental in neoliberal takeover of the USA.

When the neoliberal media have to choose between their paymasters and the truth, their paymasters win every time. Like under Bolshevism, they are soldiers of the Party. In any case, starting from Clinton Presidency Democratic Party turned into a party of neoliberal DemoRats and lost any connection with the majority of the USA population.

Like Republicans they now completely depends on "divide and conquer" strategy. Essentially they became "Republicans light." And that's why they used "identity wedge" politics to attract African American votes and minorities (especially woman and sexual minorities; Bill Clinton probably helped to incarcerate more black males than any other president).

As if Spanish and African-American population as a whole have different economic interests than white working class and white lower middle class.

So Dems became a party which represents an alliance of neoliberal establishment and minorities, where minorities are duped again and again (as in Barack Obama "change we can believe in" bait and switch classic). This dishonest playing of race and gender cards was a trademark of Hillary Clinton campaign.

Clintons understood well that their  "The Third Way" turn represents the major betrayal of the working class, but they counted (and pretty successfully until 2016) on the fact that white working class "has nowhere to go" and will vote for them anyway, as a lesser evil. But in 2016 they were up to a big and unpleasant  surprise -- white working class turned to right wing populists. So Clinton Democrat are instrumentals in the big "Far right Renaissance". They essentially created all the necessary preconditions for it.

All those hissy hits of Democrats (and subservant to neoliberals MSM; see, for example Krugman in NYT) after Hillary Clinton landmark defeat just reflect this fact.

The best article on this issue that so far I managed to find is Sophia A. McClennen article in Salon:

10 reasons why #DemExit is serious Getting rid of Debbie Wasserman Schultz is not enough  by

Salon.com

Shortly after Bernie Sanders publicly endorsed Hillary Clinton a new hashtag trended on Twitter: #DemExit.  The hashtag offered Sanders supporters a chance to vent their frustrations with the Democratic Party and with the sense that their candidate had been pressured into an endorsement.  Rather than reach out to these disaffected voters, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) ignored them. Understood within the larger narrative that Sanders supporters were just whining brats who refused to concede and move on, #DemExit was dismissed as just more sour milk.

But now that the latest leak of DNC emails proves that Sanders supporters have a legitimate right to feel cheated, #DemExit increasingly seems like an appropriate response to a rigged system.

The new leak shows that the DNC never took the Sanders campaign seriously, even when he was winning state after state. Rather than recognize that Sanders was attracting new voters to the party, members of the DNC chose to mock them and close ranks around Clinton.

Here are 10 reasons why the #DemExit movement has a valid reason to want nothing to do with the DNC.  Having DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz resign is not enough for #DemExit supporters because their concerns run throughout the ranks of the DNC. Until party leaders take these concerns seriously they will have to spend their convention watching potential voters jump ship.

1.     Superdelegates

It is important to recognize that frustrations over party politics are not uniquely tied to the email leaks. The frustration over the superdelegate system is one clear example that distrust of the DNC goes deeper. The fact that the party even has superdelegates is a sign of its anti-democratic, pro-oligarchy stance. As Branko Marcetic of In These Times reports the superdelegate system was created specifically to challenge the will of voters. According to Marcetic, “When a Sanders supporter criticized superdelegate Howard Dean for sticking with Clinton despite Sanders’ landslide victory in Vermont, Dean tweeted back: “Superdelegates don’t represent the people.”

While there have been new negotiations to adjust the role of superdelegates, these concessions still give too much power to the party elite.

In addition, the fact that Clinton superdelegates were regularly reported by the media in her delegate tally contributed to the sense that Sanders couldn’t win.  So it was not just the existence of the superdelegates; it was the way they were covered by the corporate media that pissed off Sanders supporters. Any party with a superdelegate system should be prepared to alienate voters.  This time it worked.

2.     The Debate Schedule

The DNC created a debate schedule designed to make it hard for candidates to challenge Clinton’s status as the “presumptive” nominee.  Debates were held on weekends, at times that conflicted with other events, and were generally slotted to attract fewer viewers. From the start, well before it was clear that Sanders was gaining momentum, folks were already complaining that the debate schedule was slanted towards Clinton. According to a piece in The National Review from November some Democrats thought it was no accident the DNC scheduled a debate in Iowa on the night of a big Iowa Hawkeyes game.  The next two debates were also scheduled for less viewer heavy weekend slots.

The drama over the debate schedule got worse as the DNC refused to add more debates to give Sanders a chance to continue to build momentum.  As The Intercept reports the DNC laughed at the idea of adding another debate prior to the California primary, even though Fox News offered to host one.  Fox News wrote that, “the race is still contested, and given that you sanctioned a final trio of debates, the last of which has not yet been held, we believe a final debate would be an excellent opportunity for the candidates to, as you said when you announced these debates, ‘share Democrats’ vision for the country.’”  There never was a California debate set up. Not on Fox News or any other venue.

3.     Campaign finance

Back in April the Sanders campaign questioned “serious apparent violations” of campaign finance laws under a joint fundraising deal between Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee.  The Sanders camp alleged that the joint fundraising agreement offered Clinton a chance to “launder” money through the DNC.  “While the use of joint fundraising agreements has existed for some time — it is unprecedented for the DNC to allow a joint committee to be exploited to the benefit of one candidate in the midst of a contested nominating contest,” said Jeff Weaver, Sanders’ campaign manager.

Politico reported that legal experts gave conflicting views on whether the practice constituted a violation of campaign finance law.  But whether or not it was legal was not the only point.  Larry Noble, the general counsel of the Campaign Legal Center, who served for 13 years as general counsel at the Federal Election Commission, stated that “It clearly goes against what was intended for the joint fundraising committees.”  Given the already significant war chest Clinton had to run her campaign it is not surprising that Sanders supporters would find this news disturbing.

4.     Refusal to Address Claims of Election Fraud

According to a piece from the Observer on calls in California to have the DNC investigate election fraud, “Voter tampering has been frequently cited in California, with many alleging their party registration was changed without their consent. In Riverside County, district attorney Mike Hestrin confirmed voters’ party affiliations were changed without their knowledge.” And that was just one part of the story from California.

The primary elections were rife with claims of election fraud. From the purging of voter rolls (Brooklyn) to cutting poll locations (Arizona, Rhode Island, Puerto Rico), to the debacle of the California primary, there were numerous situations where the DNC could and should have called for an investigation. Despite the fact that in many cases it was Democratic voters that were directly affected, the DNC made no move to support voters’ claims of election fraud.

5.     The Democratic Party Platform

The recent fights over the DNC platform reveal a real lack of support for progressive policy, especially on key economic issues.  As Marcetic reported for In These Timesthere’s no denying that the platform compromises on certain core progressive values.”  While some suggested that the new platform was a “win” for Sanders, in the end the platform submits to corporate will on many issues

Committee delegates selected by Clinton and Wasserman Schultz voted down several measures dear to progressives’ hearts: “amendments advocating single-payer health care and a $15 minimum wage indexed to inflation, several proposals to halt climate change, language criticizing Israeli ‘occupation’ of Palestine and an amendment explicitly opposing the TPP trade agreement.” As Marcetic shows, delegates to the committee with corporate ties were among the most avid in promoting pro-business policy completely out of step with the sort of progressive values that once separated Democrats from Republicans. Unsurprisingly, those very same delegates were the ones connected to Clinton and Wasserman Schultz.

6.     Documented Attempts to Discredit / Dismiss Sanders

As if the previous issues were not evidence enough to justify the #DemExit movement, the Guccifer 2.0 leaks now offer Sanders supporters copious examples of ways that the DNC simply did not respect the Sanders campaign.  It is important to note that Wasserman Schultz was not alone in this general attitude. Even more disturbing, we have no examples of any DNC staffer suggesting that Sanders deserved a better shake than he was getting.  Some of the most egregious examples can be found here.

7.     DNC Collusion with Media

The corporate media was no ally to the Sanders campaign. With AP calling the primary for Clinton before California, New Mexico, New Jersey, Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota were set to vote, many Sanders’ supporters felt betrayed by the press. As Bill Boyarsky reports for Truthdig, “The story was not just a scoop. It fed the hostility and cynicism of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ fervent supporters.”

The Guccifer 2.0 leaks also reveal a disturbing pattern of collusion between the media and the DNC to support Clinton and not Sanders.  Luis Miranda, the national communications director for the DNC, communicated with reporters from both Politico and the Wall Street Journal in efforts to discredit Sanders. In one email thread, Miranda told Politico he would “point out… some of the issues” with Sen. Sanders’ DNC committee appointments, but only “off the record.”  Miranda also helped craft “talking points”  to be used by the Clinton campaign in response to the Hillary Victory Fund’s money laundering allegations referenced above.

DNC Press Secretary Mark Paustenbach also vetted a Politico story by reporter Ken Vogel before it was sent to editors:  “Vogel gave me his story ahead of time/before it goes to his editors as long as I didn’t share it,” Paustenbach wrote to Miranda. “Let me know if you see anything that’s missing and I’ll push back.”

And then there are the messages that show how Wasserman Schultz pressured MSNBC after it criticized her “unfair” treatment of Sanders.

8.     False Claims of Neutrality

Perhaps one of the most enervating features of the story is the fact that the leaked documents counter Wasserman Schultz’s claims that the DNC was neutral.  There simply is no evidence of neutrality at all–only evidence of bias. It makes moments like Wasserman Schultz’s interview with “The Daily Show” host Trevor Noah where he asked her to respond to allegations that she has been cock-blocking Sanders seem like an orchestrated cover-up exist and they make the DNC look really bad. Rather than worry about Russian hacks, the DNC should worry about its integrity.

Today the polling for a potential Donald Trump win is increasingly frightening.  Even Michael Moore is predicting a Trump win.  While there are a variety of forces that are working together to advance the Trump campaign, the DNC’s actions are certainly not helping. If Trump wins in November, the DNC will certainly bear a good portion of the blame.

Sophia A. McClennen is Professor of International Affairs and Comparative Literature at the Pennsylvania State University. She writes on the intersections between culture, politics, and society. Her latest book, co-authored with Remy M. Maisel, is, Is Satire Saving Our Nation? Mockery and American Politics


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Old News ;-)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Julian Assange 🔹 (@JulianAssange)

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

October 15, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here's more from the ICA:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So here's a question for critical minded readers:

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

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

Don't bet on it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

@Johnny Rico

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

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

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

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

Note the date.:

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

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

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

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

@Thorfinnsson

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

@Michael Kenny

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

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

  • having an opinion, even if that opinion is not the same as NY Times/CNN/US State Dept
  • expressing this opinion publicly, even spending money to spread that opinion
  • supporting the side in an election that you prefer – even in other countries (everybody does this all the time, Obama flew to UK to campaign against Brexit)
  • publishing negative stuff about those you dislike (or who dislike you), e.g. their emails, accounts, etc
  • spending money to spread your views – even on 'US-owned' platforms that are otherwise operating all over the world, e.g. Facebook has 700 million active users, they cannot all be in US
  • laughing or celebrating if what you preferred won (champagne for Trump)
  • meeting with foreigners from a country not in a state of war with you, or – God forbid! – meeting with their ambassador.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You can fool all people .

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

@jilles dykstra

Jilles,

I am thinking you take the article too literally.

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

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

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

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

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

Does anyone else smell a rat or two?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

From the Intelligence Community Assessment:

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

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

Here's more from the ICA:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So here's a question for critical minded readers:

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

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

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

Don't bet on it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Oct 11, 2017] US pseudo left does not resist wars and globalism and monopolistic corporations. They resist everyone who questions the war. They resist nationalism and localism.

Oct 11, 2017 | www.unz.com

polistra, Website October 11, 2017 at 1:29 pm GMT

Hedges doesn't seem to understand that the "Resistance" is openly and obviously working FOR Deepstate. They do not resist wars and globalism and monopolistic corporations. They resist everyone who questions the war. They resist nationalism and localism.

Nothing mysterious or hidden about this, no ulterior motive or bankshot. It's explicitly stated in every poster and shout and beating.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

... ... ...

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

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

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

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

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

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

DN: It goes the other way too?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Oct 09, 2017] After Nine Months, Only Stale Crumbs in Russia Inquiry by Scott Ritter

Highly recommended!
US Congress allowed to drag itself into this propaganda swamp by politized Intelligence community, which became a major political player, that can dictate Congress what to do and what not to do. Now it is not that easy to get out of this "intelligence swamp"
Notable quotes:
"... The 2017 ICA on Russia was conceived in an atmosphere of despair and denial, birthed by Democrats and Republicans alike who were stunned by Trump's surprise electoral victory in November 2016. To say that this issue was a political event would be a gross understatement; the 2017 Russian ICA will go down in history as one of the most politicized intelligence documents ever, regardless of the degree of accuracy eventually afforded its contents. The very fact that the document is given the sobriquet "Intelligence Community" is itself a political act, designed to impart a degree of scrutiny and community consensus that simply did not exist when it came to the production of that document, or the classified reports that it was derived from. ..."
"... This was a report prepared by handpicked analysts ..."
"... iven the firestorm of political intrigue and controversy initiated by the publication of this document, the notion of a "general consensus" regarding the level of trust imparted to it by the Senate Select Intelligence Committee does not engender confidence. ..."
"... It was this document that spawned the issue of "collusion." While Sens. Burr and Warner can state that "collusion" is still an open issue, the fact of the matter is that, in this regard, Trump and his campaign advisors have already been found guilty in the court of public opinion, especially among those members of the public and the media who were vehemently opposed to his candidacy and ultimate victory. ..."
"... One need only review the comments of the various Democratic members of the Senate Select Committee, their counterparts serving on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, as well as the various experts and pundits in the media, to underscore the degree to which prejudice has "worked its evil" when it comes to the issue of collusion and the Trump campaign in this regard. ..."
"... purchase of advertisements on various social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter, by the Russians or their proxies. With regard to these advertisements, Senator Burr painted a dire picture. "It seems," he declared, "that the overall theme of the Russian involvement in the US elections was to create chaos at every level." ..."
"... No one wants to be told that they have been victims of a con; this is especially true when dealing with the sacred trust imparted to the American citizenry by the Constitution of the United States regarding the free and fair election of those who will represent us in higher office. American politics, for better or worse, is about the personal connection a given candidate has with the voter, a gut feeling that this person shares common values and beliefs. ..."
"... the percentage of Americans that participate in national elections is low. Those that do tend to be people who care enough about one or more issues to actually get out and vote. To categorize these dedicated citizens as brain-dead dupes who are susceptible to social media-based click advertisements is an insult to American democracy. ..."
"... There is a world of difference between Russian intelligence services allegedly hacking politically sensitive emails and selectively releasing them for the sole purpose of undermining a given Presidential candidate's electoral prospects, and mimicking social media-based advertisements addressing issues that are already at play in an election. The Russians didn't invent the ongoing debate in the United States over gun control (i.e., the "Second Amendment" issue), race relations (the police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri) or immigration ("The Wall"). ..."
"... These were, and remain, core issues that are at the heart of the American domestic political discourse, regardless of where one stands. You either know the issues, or you don't; it is an insult to the American voter to suggest that they are so malleable that $100,000 of targeted social media-based advertisements can swing their vote, even if 10 million of them viewed it. ..."
Oct 09, 2017 | www.theamericanconservative.com

The 'briefing' is just another exercise in preferred narrative boosting.

The co-chairmen of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence held a press briefing Thursday on the status of their ongoing investigation into Russian meddling in the American electoral process. Content-wise, the press briefing and the question and answer session were an exercise in information futility -- they provided little substance and nothing new. The investigation was still ongoing, the senators explained, and there was still work to be done.

Nine months into the Committee's work, the best Sens. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.), could offer was that there was "general consensus" among committee members and their staff that they trust the findings of the Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA) of January 2017, which gave high confidence to the charge that Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election. The issue of possible collusion between Russia and members of the campaign of Donald Trump, however, "is still open."

Frankly speaking, this isn't good enough.

The 2017 ICA on Russia was conceived in an atmosphere of despair and denial, birthed by Democrats and Republicans alike who were stunned by Trump's surprise electoral victory in November 2016. To say that this issue was a political event would be a gross understatement; the 2017 Russian ICA will go down in history as one of the most politicized intelligence documents ever, regardless of the degree of accuracy eventually afforded its contents. The very fact that the document is given the sobriquet "Intelligence Community" is itself a political act, designed to impart a degree of scrutiny and community consensus that simply did not exist when it came to the production of that document, or the classified reports that it was derived from.

This was a report prepared by handpicked analysts from three of the Intelligence Community's sixteen agencies (the CIA, NSA, and FBI) who operated outside of the National Intelligence Council (the venue for the production of Intelligence Community products such as the Russian ICA), and void of the direction and supervision of a dedicated National Intelligence Officer. Overcoming this deficient family tree represents a high hurdle, even before the issue of the credibility of the sources and methods used to underpin the ICA's findings are discussed. Given the firestorm of political intrigue and controversy initiated by the publication of this document, the notion of a "general consensus" regarding the level of trust imparted to it by the Senate Select Intelligence Committee does not engender confidence.

It was this document that spawned the issue of "collusion." While Sens. Burr and Warner can state that "collusion" is still an open issue, the fact of the matter is that, in this regard, Trump and his campaign advisors have already been found guilty in the court of public opinion, especially among those members of the public and the media who were vehemently opposed to his candidacy and ultimate victory. Insofar as the committee's investigation serves as a legitimate search for truth, it does so as a post-conviction appeal. However, as the distinguished Supreme Court Justice Joseph McKenna noted in his opinion in Berger v. United States (1921):

The remedy by appeal is inadequate. It comes after the trial, and, if prejudice exist, it has worked its evil and a judgment of it in a reviewing tribunal is precarious. It goes there fortified by presumptions, and nothing can be more elusive of estimate or decision than a disposition of a mind in which there is a personal ingredient.

One need only review the comments of the various Democratic members of the Senate Select Committee, their counterparts serving on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, as well as the various experts and pundits in the media, to underscore the degree to which prejudice has "worked its evil" when it comes to the issue of collusion and the Trump campaign in this regard.

The two senators proceeded to touch on a new angle recently introduced into their investigation, that of the purchase of advertisements on various social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter, by the Russians or their proxies. With regard to these advertisements, Senator Burr painted a dire picture. "It seems," he declared, "that the overall theme of the Russian involvement in the US elections was to create chaos at every level."

No one wants to be told that they have been victims of a con; this is especially true when dealing with the sacred trust imparted to the American citizenry by the Constitution of the United States regarding the free and fair election of those who will represent us in higher office. American politics, for better or worse, is about the personal connection a given candidate has with the voter, a gut feeling that this person shares common values and beliefs.

Nevertheless, the percentage of Americans that participate in national elections is low. Those that do tend to be people who care enough about one or more issues to actually get out and vote. To categorize these dedicated citizens as brain-dead dupes who are susceptible to social media-based click advertisements is an insult to American democracy.

There is a world of difference between Russian intelligence services allegedly hacking politically sensitive emails and selectively releasing them for the sole purpose of undermining a given Presidential candidate's electoral prospects, and mimicking social media-based advertisements addressing issues that are already at play in an election. The Russians didn't invent the ongoing debate in the United States over gun control (i.e., the "Second Amendment" issue), race relations (the police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri) or immigration ("The Wall").

These were, and remain, core issues that are at the heart of the American domestic political discourse, regardless of where one stands. You either know the issues, or you don't; it is an insult to the American voter to suggest that they are so malleable that $100,000 of targeted social media-based advertisements can swing their vote, even if 10 million of them viewed it.

The take away from the press briefing given by Senator's Burr and Warner was two-fold: One, the Russians meddled, and two, we don't know if Trump colluded with the Russians. The fact that America is nine months into this investigation with little more to show now than what could have been said at the start is, in and of itself, an American political tragedy. The Trump administration has been hobbled by the inertia of this and other investigations derived from the question of Russian meddling. That this process may yet vindicate President Trump isn't justification for the process itself; in such a case the delay will have hurt more than the truth. As William Penn, the founder of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, so eloquently noted:

Delays have been more injurious than direct Injustice. They too often starve those they dare not deny. The very Winner is made a Loser, because he pays twice for his own; like those who purchase Estates Mortgaged before to the full value.

Our law says that to delay Justice is Injustice. Not to have a Right, and not to come of it, differs little. Refuse or Dispatch is the Duty of a Good Officer.

Senators Burr and Warner, together with their fellow members of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and their respective staffs, would do well to heed those words.

Scott Ritter is a former Marine Corps intelligence officer who served in the former Soviet Union implementing arms control treaties, in the Persian Gulf during Operation Desert Storm, and in Iraq overseeing the disarmament of WMD. He is the author of "Deal of the Century: How Iran Blocked the West's Road to War" (Clarity Press, 2017).

[Oct 08, 2017] Todays Republicans Democrats are just two sides of the same coin. We ought to just call them what they really all are -- Neocons.

Notable quotes:
"... I'd like to see this: President Rand Paul, VP Tulsi Gabbard, chief of staff Ron Paul, and Sec. of Defense Wesley Clark, for starters. ..."
"... "In the beginning of a change the patriot is a scarce man, and brave, and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." ..."
Oct 08, 2017 | steemit.com

steemihal last month

People need to learn, relearn, and talk to others about this. Let's admit it: today's Republicans & Democrats are just two sides of the same coin. We ought to just call them what they really all are -- "Neocons."

Both sides need to be replaced by truly independent voters giving strength to an administration that is neither R nor D, and that should be the Libertarians. Trump is not one, but he's going to end up making the way for them during his four years.

I'd like to see this: President Rand Paul, VP Tulsi Gabbard, chief of staff Ron Paul, and Sec. of Defense Wesley Clark, for starters.

cve3 2 months ago

It was either Mark Twain or Samuel Clemens who said "In the beginning of a change the patriot is a scarce man, and brave, and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot."

[Oct 04, 2017] The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity Whose Bright Idea Was RussiaGate by Paul Craig Roberts

Notable quotes:
"... The answer to the question in the title of this article is that Russiagate was created by CIA director John Brennan. The CIA started what is called Russiagate in order to prevent Trump from being able to normalize relations with Russia. The CIA and the military/security complex need an enemy in order to justify their huge budgets and unaccountable power. Russia has been assigned that role. The Democrats joined in as a way of attacking Trump. They hoped to have him tarnished as cooperating with Russia to steal the presidential election from Hillary and to have him impeached. I don't think the Democrats have considered the consequence of further worsening the relations between the US and Russia. ..."
"... The neoconservative ideology of US world hegemony requires the principal goal of US foreign policy to be to prevent the rise of other countries that can serve as a restraint on US unilateralism. This is the main basis for the hostility of US foreign policy toward Russia, and of course there also is the material interests of the military/security complex. ..."
"... Washington is fully aware that there was no Russian interference in the presidential election or in the state elections. The military/security complex, the neoconservatives, and the Democratic Party are merely using the accusations to serve their own agendas. ..."
"... These selfish agendas are a dire threat to life on earth ..."
"... Reprinted with permission from PaulCraigRoberts.org . ..."
Oct 03, 2017 | ronpaulinstitute.org

The answer to the question in the title of this article is that Russiagate was created by CIA director John Brennan. The CIA started what is called Russiagate in order to prevent Trump from being able to normalize relations with Russia. The CIA and the military/security complex need an enemy in order to justify their huge budgets and unaccountable power. Russia has been assigned that role. The Democrats joined in as a way of attacking Trump. They hoped to have him tarnished as cooperating with Russia to steal the presidential election from Hillary and to have him impeached. I don't think the Democrats have considered the consequence of further worsening the relations between the US and Russia.

Public Russia bashing pre-dates Trump. It has been going on privately in neoconservative circles for years, but appeared publicly during the Obama regime when Russia blocked Washington's plans to invade Syria and to bomb Iran.

Russia bashing became more intense when Washington's coup in Ukraine failed to deliver Crimea. Washington had intended for the new Ukrainian regime to evict the Russians from their naval base on the Black Sea. This goal was frustrated when Crimea voted to rejoin Russia.

The neoconservative ideology of US world hegemony requires the principal goal of US foreign policy to be to prevent the rise of other countries that can serve as a restraint on US unilateralism. This is the main basis for the hostility of US foreign policy toward Russia, and of course there also is the material interests of the military/security complex.

Russia bashing is much larger than merely Russiagate. The danger lies in Washington convincing Russia that Washington is planning a surprise attack on Russia. With US and NATO bases on Russia's borders, efforts to arm Ukraine and to include Ukraine and Georgia in NATO provide more evidence that Washington is surrounding Russia for attack. There is nothing more reckless and irresponsible than convincing a nuclear power that you are going to attack.

Washington is fully aware that there was no Russian interference in the presidential election or in the state elections. The military/security complex, the neoconservatives, and the Democratic Party are merely using the accusations to serve their own agendas.

These selfish agendas are a dire threat to life on earth .

Reprinted with permission from PaulCraigRoberts.org .

[Oct 03, 2017] Russian Ads On Facebook A Click-Bait Campaign

Highly recommended!
This is particular dirty campaign to implicate Trump and delegitimize his victory is a part of color revolution against Trump.
The other noble purpose is to find a scapegoat for the current problems, especially in Democratic Party, and to preserve Clinton neoliberals rule over the party for a few more futile years.
Notable quotes:
"... Congress is investigating 3,000 suspicious ads which were run on Facebook. These were claimed to have been bought by "Russia" to influence the U.S. presidential election in favor of Trump. ..."
"... The mini-ads were bought to promote click-bait pages and sites. These pages and sites were created and then promoted to sell further advertisement. The media though, has still not understood the issue. ..."
"... A few thousand users will come and look at a page. Some will 'like' the puppy pictures or the rant against LGBT and further spread the page. Some will click the promoted Google ads. Money then flows into the pockets of the page creator. One can automatize, rinse and repeat this scheme forever. Each such page is a small effort for a small revenue. But the scheme is highly scale-able and parts of it can be automatized. ..."
"... This is, in essence, the same business model traditional media publishers use. One creates "news" and controversies to attract readers. The attention of the readers is then sold to advertisers. The business is no longer a limited to a few rich oligarchic. One no longer needs reporters or a printing press to join in. Anyone can now take part in it. ..."
"... We learned after the election that some youths in Macedonia created whole "news"-websites filled with highly attractive but fake partisan stories. They were not interested in the veracity or political direction of their content. Their only interest was to attract viewers. They made thousands of dollars by selling advertisements on their sites: ..."
"... The teen said his monthly revenue was in the four figures, a considerable sum in a country where the average monthly pay is 360 euros ($383). As he navigated his site's statistics, he dropped nuggets of journalism advice. ..."
"... After the mystery of "Russian" $3 ads for "adorable puppies" pages on Facebook has been solved, Congress and the New York Times will have to move on. There next subject is probably the "Russian influence campaign" on Youtube. ..."
"... Russian Car Crash Compilations have for years attracted millions of viewers. The "Russians" want to increase road rage on U.S. highways. This again will - according to expert Clinton Watts - "amplify divisive political issues across the political spectrum". ..."
"... "Russian interference" in Western faux democracies is just more Fake News that distracts from the real issues. And all those real issues come down to this: the need to reign in the oligarchs. This is very easy to do via progressive taxation (with no loopholes). ..."
"... The two words that the establishment fears most: Progressive Taxation . ..."
"... Great article. I especially like the tactful way that modern clickbait farming is obliquely tied to the MSM business model. Facebook and Google have a lot to answer for. ..."
"... Russia gate, since it is unnecessarily mentally exhausting and intellectually futile, it is namely pure provocation and as such it should be ignored and not proliferated even in its criticism making a fakes news a real news by sole fact of mentioning it on the respectable independent sites. ..."
"... The whole digital media and ad business that have built the Google and Facebook media juggernauts is all a giant scam. Smart advertisers like P&G are recognizing it for what it is and will slowly pullback. It is only a matter of time before others catch on and these companies will bleed ad revenues. ..."
Oct 03, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

Congress is investigating 3,000 suspicious ads which were run on Facebook. These were claimed to have been bought by "Russia" to influence the U.S. presidential election in favor of Trump.

It now turns out that these Facebook ads had nothing to do with the election. The mini-ads were bought to promote click-bait pages and sites. These pages and sites were created and then promoted to sell further advertisement. The media though, has still not understood the issue.

On September 6 the NYT asserted :

Providing new evidence of Russian interference in the 2016 election, Facebook disclosed on Wednesday that it had identified more than $100,000 worth of divisive ads on hot-button issues purchased by a shadowy Russian company linked to the Kremlin.
...
The disclosure adds to the evidence of the broad scope of the Russian influence campaign, which American intelligence agencies concluded was designed to damage Hillary Clinton and boost Donald J. Trump during the election.

Like any Congress investigation the current one concerned with Facebook ads is leaking like a sieve. What oozes out makes little sense.

If "Russia" aimed to make Congress and U.S. media a laughing stock it surely achieved that.

Today the NYT says that the ads were posted "in disguise" by "the Russians" to promote variously themed Facebook pages:

There was "Defend the 2nd," a Facebook page for gun-rights supporters, festooned with firearms and tough rhetoric. There was a rainbow-hued page for gay rights activists, "LGBT United." There was even a Facebook group for animal lovers with memes of adorable puppies that spread across the site with the help of paid ads

No one has explained how these pages are supposed to be connected to a Russian "influence" campaign. It is unexplained how these are supposed to connected to the 2016 election. That is simply asserted because Facebook said, for unknown reasons, that these ads may have come from some Russian agency. How Facebook has determined that is not known.

With each detail that leaks from the "Russian ads" investigation the propaganda framework of "election manipulation" falls further apart:

Late Monday, Facebook said in a post that about 10 million people had seen the ads in question. About 44 percent of the ads were seen before the 2016 election and the rest after, the company said

The original story propagandized that "Russia" intended to influence the election in favor of Trump. But why then was the majority of the ads in questions run later after November 9? And how would an animal-lovers page with adorable puppy pictures help to achieve Trumps election victory?

More details via the Wall Street Journal:

Roughly 25% of the ads were never shown to anyone. That's because advertising auctions are designed so that ads reach people based on relevance, and certain ads may not reach anyone as a result.
...
For 50% of the ads, less than $3 was spent; for 99% of the ads, less than $1,000 was spent.

Of the 3,000 ads Facebook originally claimed were "Russian" only 2,200 were ever viewed. Most of the advertisements were mini-ads which, for the price of a coffee, promoted private pages related to hobbies and a wide spectrum of controversial issues. The majority of the ads ran after the election.

All that "adds to the evidence of the broad scope of the Russian influence campaign ... designed to damage Hillary Clinton and boost Donald J. Trump during the election"?

No.

But the NYT still finds "experts" who believe in the "Russian influence" nonsense and find the most stupid reasons to justify their claims:

Clinton Watts, a former F.B.I. agent now at the Foreign Policy Research Institute in Philadelphia, said Russia had been entrepreneurial in trying to develop diverse channels of influence. Some, like the dogs page, may have been created without a specific goal and held in reserve for future use.

Puppy pictures for "future use"? Nonsense. Lunacy! The pages described and the ads leading to them are typical click-bait, not a political influence op.

The for-profit scheme runs as follows: One builds pages with "hot" stuff that attracts lots of viewers. One creates ad-space on these pages and fills it with Google ads. One promotes the spiked pages by buying $3 Facebook mini-ads for them.

A few thousand users will come and look at a page. Some will 'like' the puppy pictures or the rant against LGBT and further spread the page. Some will click the promoted Google ads. Money then flows into the pockets of the page creator. One can automatize, rinse and repeat this scheme forever. Each such page is a small effort for a small revenue. But the scheme is highly scale-able and parts of it can be automatized.

This is, in essence, the same business model traditional media publishers use. One creates "news" and controversies to attract readers. The attention of the readers is then sold to advertisers. The business is no longer a limited to a few rich oligarchic. One no longer needs reporters or a printing press to join in. Anyone can now take part in it.

We learned after the election that some youths in Macedonia created whole "news"-websites filled with highly attractive but fake partisan stories. They were not interested in the veracity or political direction of their content. Their only interest was to attract viewers. They made thousands of dollars by selling advertisements on their sites:

The teen said his monthly revenue was in the four figures, a considerable sum in a country where the average monthly pay is 360 euros ($383). As he navigated his site's statistics, he dropped nuggets of journalism advice.

"You have to write what people want to see, not what you want to show," he said, scrolling through The Political Insider's stories as a large banner read "ARREST HILLARY NOW."

The 3,000 Facebook ads Congress is investigating are part of a similar scheme. The mini-ads promoted pages with hot button issues and click-bait puppy pictures. These pages were themselves created to generate ad-clicks and revenue. As Facebook claims that "Russia" is behind them, we will likely find some Russian teens who simply repeated the scheme their Macedonian friends were running on.

With its "Russian influence" scare campaign the NYT follows the same business model. It is producing fake news which attracts viewers and readers who's attention is then sold to advertisers. Facebook is also profiting from this. Its current piecemeal release of vague information keeps its name in the news.

After the mystery of "Russian" $3 ads for "adorable puppies" pages on Facebook has been solved, Congress and the New York Times will have to move on. There next subject is probably the "Russian influence campaign" on Youtube.

Russian Car Crash Compilations have for years attracted millions of viewers. The "Russians" want to increase road rage on U.S. highways. This again will - according to expert Clinton Watts - "amplify divisive political issues across the political spectrum".

The car crash compilations, like the puppy pages, are another sign that Russia is waging war against the people of the United States!

You don't believe that? You should. Trust your experienced politician!

Samantha Power @SamanthaJPower - 3:45 PM - 3 Oct 2017

This gets more chilling daily : now we learn Russia targeted Americans on Facebook by "demographics, geography, gender & interests," across websites & devices, reached millions, kept going after Nov. An attack on all Americans, not just HRC campaign washingtonpost.com/business/econo

It indeed gets more chilling. It's fall. It also generates ad revenue.

Posted by b on October 3, 2017 at 02:09 PM | Permalink

nmb | Oct 3, 2017 2:20:52 PM | 1

As Shock Therapy failed miserably in the 90s, the neocon dynasty seeks now direct confrontation with Russia
Jackrabbit | Oct 3, 2017 2:32:24 PM | 2
"Russian interference" in Western faux democracies is just more Fake News that distracts from the real issues. And all those real issues come down to this: the need to reign in the oligarchs. This is very easy to do via progressive taxation (with no loopholes).

<> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <>

The two words that the establishment fears most: Progressive Taxation .

Taxi | Oct 3, 2017 2:32:34 PM | 3
Oh dear intrepidus, why are you still talking about MSM's favorite weapon of mass distraction?

Even though you make a fine point or two, at this stage, you're actually adding to the whirling stupidity by indulging it it yourself, methinks.

I'm so very, very over Russiagate and it's non-existent tentacles. Pfft!

Grieved | Oct 3, 2017 2:49:24 PM | 4
Thanks, b.

You're presenting a very good concept/meme to understand: Fake news is click bait for gain.

The same can be said for any sensationalism or shocking event - like the Kurdish referendum, like the Catalonia referendum, like the Vegas shooting - or like confrontational or dogmatic comments in threads about those events.

Everywhere we turn someone is trying to game us for some kind of gain. What matters is to step back from the front lines where our sense is accosted and offended, to step back from the automatic reflex, and to remember that someone triggered that reflex, deliberately, for their gain, not ours.

We have to reside in reason and equanimity, because the moment we indulge in our righteous anger or our strong convictions, the odds are extremely good that someone is playing us.

It's a wicked world, but in fact we live in an age when we can see its meta characteristics like never before.

Anon | Oct 3, 2017 2:49:39 PM | 5
Jesus Christ, every friggin day we hear about Russians and then the next the lies falls apart, STILL the stupid dumb liberal media keep coming up with new conspiracies spread them as fact, and then try justify them even when they get debunked!
These people are indeed lunatic.

What we see is the biggest psyop., propaganda disinformation campaig ever in the western media, far more powerful than "nuclear Iraq" of 2003.
Still, and this should be a warning, majority of people in EU/US believe this nonsense.

the pair | Oct 3, 2017 3:07:19 PM | 6
$3 ads on facebook seen by nobody:

"russian meddling! their puppies hate our freedom!"

pharmaceutical ads on every evening news show and boeing/lockheed sponsoring the "p"bs news hour?"

"nothing to see here! take off your tin foil hat you f_cking alex jones putinbot!!!!"

you'd think by now most americans would realize the actual threat is other americans. the rest of the world realized it long ago.

sejomoje | Oct 3, 2017 3:08:47 PM | 7
I lol'd. But seriously the next step is a false flag implicating Russia. They're getting nowhere assassinating Russian diplomats and shooting down Russian aircraft, both military and civilian. Even overthrowing governments who are Russia-friendly hasn't seem to provoke a response.

But I consider the domestic Russia buzz to be performance art, and I imagine it's become even grating to some of its participants. How could it not be, unless everyone is heavily medicated(a lot certainly are)? Anyway it's by design that the western media and the political classes they serve need a script, they're incapable of discussing actual issues. Independence has been made quaint.

karlof1 | Oct 3, 2017 3:10:42 PM | 8
Hi Grieved--

I posted this link at the Vegas thread, but the item's contents are valid here too, and speaks to the content of your above comment, https://sputniknews.com/viral/201710031057912410-google-facebook-youtube-vegas-fake-news/

somebody | Oct 3, 2017 3:11:44 PM | 9
The line between politics and product marketing has gone.

But no matter if "the Russians" influenced the US election or not - after all that is what most countries do to each other - the FBI is correct that to be able to target audiences according to demographics and individual traits is a powerful tool.

Like the double hoax of " The War of Worlds broadcast ".

The newspapers had a clear agenda. An editorial in The New York Times, headlined In the Terror by Radio, was used to censure the relatively new medium of radio, which was becoming a serious competitor in providing news and advertising. "Radio is new but it has adult responsibilities. It has not mastered itself or the material it uses," said the editorial leader comment on November 1 1938. In an excellent piece in Slate magazine in 2013, Jefferson Pooley (associate professor of media and communication at Muhlenberg College) and Michael J Socolow (associate professor of communication and journalism at the University of Maine) looked at the continuing popularity of the myth of mass panic and they took to task NPR's Radiolab programme about the incident and the Radiolab assertion that "The United States experienced a kind of mass hysteria that we've never seen before." Pooley and Socolow wrote: "How did the story of panicked listeners begin? Blame America's newspapers. ... AND IT'S NOT A GOOD IDEA TO COPY ORSON WELLES . . . In February 1949, Leonardo Paez and Eduardo Alcaraz produced a Spanish-language version of Welles's 1938 script for Radio Quito in Ecuador. The broadcast set off panic. Quito police and fire brigades rushed out of town to fight the supposed alien invasion force. After it was revealed that the broadcast was fiction, the panic transformed into a riot. The riot resulted in at least seven deaths, including those of Paez's girlfriend and nephew. The offices Radio Quito, and El Comercio, a local newspaper that had participated in the hoax by publishing false reports of unidentified flying objects in the days preceding the broadcast, were both burned to the ground.
ashley albanese | Oct 3, 2017 3:13:06 PM | 10
Jackrabbit 2
No - the two words the Capital system fears the most are SURPLUS VALUE , the control of the 'profit principle' for social not private ends .
Lea | Oct 3, 2017 3:42:35 PM | 11
Jesus Christ, every friggin day we hear about Russians and then the next the lies falls apart, STILL the stupid dumb liberal media keep coming up with new conspiracies spread them as fact, and then try justify them even when they get debunked!
These people are indeed lunatic.

The "Russiadunnit" thingy has turned into a business in the US. And when a new market is launched in the US, as people depend on it for their living and careers, it generally doesn't go away.
https://consortiumnews.com/2017/09/28/the-slimy-business-of-russia-gate/

OJS | Oct 3, 2017 3:45:59 PM | 12
god bless amerika

somebody | Oct 3, 2017 3:11:44 PM | 9
The American panic was a myth, the Equadorian panic in 1949 not so much. I listened to this Radiolab podcast about same ... the details of how they pulled it off in a one-radio station country pre-internet are interesting and valuable (they widely advertised a very popular music program which was then "interrupted" by the hoax to ensure near-universal audience (including the police and other authorities). Very very fews were "in on the joke" and it wasn't a joke. whole page on WooW: http://www.radiolab.org/story/91622-war-of-the-worlds/

specific could it happen again? http://www.radiolab.org/story/91624-could-it-happen-again-and-again/

c1ue | Oct 3, 2017 3:58:38 PM | 14
Great article. I especially like the tactful way that modern clickbait farming is obliquely tied to the MSM business model. Facebook and Google have a lot to answer for.
Christian Chuba | Oct 3, 2017 3:58:49 PM | 15
Russian Trolls outed as kids from Oregon: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/taibbi-latest-fake-news-panic-appears-to-be-fake-news-w506396
"Lankford shocked the world this week by revealing that "Russian Internet trolls" were stoking the NFL kneeling debate. ... Conservative outlets like Breitbart and Newsmax and Fox played up the "Russians stoked the kneeling controversy" angle because it was in their interest to suggest that domestic support for kneeling protests is less than what it appears....

The Post reported that Lankford's office had cited one of "Boston Antifa's" tweets. But the example offered read suspiciously like a young net-savvy American goofing on antifa stereotypes "More gender inclusivity with NFL fans and gluten free options at stadiums We're liking the new NFL #NewNFL #TakeAKnee #TakeTheKnee." ...

The group was most likely a pair of yahoos from Oregon named Alexis Esteb and Brandon Krebs. "

Christian Chuba | Oct 3, 2017 4:00:46 PM | 16
Pity Rolling Stone got caught up in that fake college rape allegation, they have actually done some solid reporting. Every MSM outlet has had multiple fake stories, so should RS be shunned for life for one bad story?
Kalen | Oct 3, 2017 4:03:18 PM | 17
It is time that sane part of independent media understood that there is no more need to rationally respond to psychotic delusions of Deep State puppets in Russia gate, since it is unnecessarily mentally exhausting and intellectually futile, it is namely pure provocation and as such it should be ignored and not proliferated even in its criticism making a fakes news a real news by sole fact of mentioning it on the respectable independent sites.

There are only two effective responses to provocation namely silence or violence, anything else plays the book of provocateurs.

Susan Sunflower | Oct 3, 2017 4:13:28 PM | 18
Now they're seriously undermining their claims of intentionality ... as well as their wildly inflated claims effect on outcome or even effective "undermining" ... again, compared to Citizens United and the long-count of 2000 ... negligible....

And still insisting that Hillary Clinton is Russia's Darth Vader against whom unlimited resources are marshalled because she must be stopped ... even though she damn near won... and the reasons she lost seems unrelated to such vagaries as the DNC e-mails or facebook campaigns (unless you believe she had a god-given right to each and every vote)

Don Bacon | Oct 3, 2017 4:13:47 PM | 19

Lucky for us that television "news" doesn't use this business model. /s
Pnyx | Oct 3, 2017 5:02:54 PM | 20
Why do you think this is important enough to make the effort to write another blog entry B? Everyone who wants to know that this is all fantasy knows by now.
Mina | Oct 3, 2017 5:05:12 PM | 21
https://mobile.twitter.com/dgaytandzhieva/status/913545591757697024
brian | Oct 3, 2017 5:09:39 PM | 22
'Congress is investigating 3,000 suspicious ads which were run on Facebook. These were claimed to have been bought by "Russia" to influence the U.S. presidential election in favor of Trump.

This is the same US congress that regularly marches off to Israel to receive orders

https://www.amazon.com/They-Dare-Speak-Out-Institutions/dp/155652482X

those who dont obey orders: http://www.unz.com/pgiraldi/how-i-got-fired/

Susan Sunflower | Oct 3, 2017 5:36:59 PM | 23
@ Posted by: Pnyx | Oct 3, 2017 5:02:54 PM | 20

This isn't about the "truth" (or lies) wrt Russian involvement, it's about the increasingly rapid failure of the Government/Establishment's narrative ...

Increasingly they can't even keep their accusations "alive" for more than a few days ... and some of their accusations (like the one here, that some "Russian" sites were created and not used, but to be held for use at some future date) become fairly ridiculous ... and the "remedy" to "Russians" creating clickbait sites for some future nefarious use, I think can only be banning all Russians from creating sites ... or maybe using facebook altogether ... all with no evidence of evil-doers actually doing evil...

It's rather like Jared Kushner's now THIRD previously undisclosed private e-mail account ... fool me once versus how disorganized/dumb/arrogant/crooked is this guy?

Lochearn | Oct 3, 2017 6:43:01 PM | 24
Sorry to be off topic but yesterday the Saker of the Vineyard published a couple of articles about Catalonia. The first was a diatribe, a nasty hatchet job on the Catalan people which included the following referring to the Catalan people:

"The Problems they have because with their corruption, inefficiency, mismanagement, inability and sometimes the simplest stupidity, are always the fault of others (read Spaniards here) which gives them "carte blanche" to keep going on with it."

"... They (the independistas) are NATIONAL SOCIALIST (aka NAZI) in their Ideology"

Then Saker published an article by Peter Koenig that was reasonable and what we have come to expect. Then he forbade all comments on either of the two articles. My comment was banned, which simply said in my opinion from working for fourteen years in Spain that the Catalans were extremely efficient in comparison with their Madrid counterparts.

ToivoS | Oct 3, 2017 7:32:04 PM | 25
I must admit that I became a fan of watching those Russian car crashes that were captured by the cams many russian drivers keep on their dash boards. Some of these were very funny. I was not aware that made me a victim of Putin propaganda. In any case, they are not that interesting anymore once they were commercialized. That was about 10 years ago.
Susan Sunflower | Oct 3, 2017 7:43:29 PM | 26
I'm waiting for the expose of the Russian mail-order bride business (Do they still exist?)
ab initio | Oct 3, 2017 8:29:04 PM | 27
Very good analysis.

The whole digital media and ad business that have built the Google and Facebook media juggernauts is all a giant scam. Smart advertisers like P&G are recognizing it for what it is and will slowly pullback. It is only a matter of time before others catch on and these companies will bleed ad revenues.

ben | Oct 3, 2017 8:30:46 PM | 28
Jackrabbit @ 2: Yep!!

And here is another part to the puzzle:

http://therealnews.com/t2/story:19516:Empire-Files%3A-The-Hidden-Purging-of-Millions-of-Voters

Chipnik | Oct 3, 2017 8:42:54 PM | 29
Your answer can be found ...right ...here:
http://preview.tinyurl.com/yc7kskox
james | Oct 3, 2017 8:44:05 PM | 30
OT - more from comedy central - daily USA press briefing from today...

"QUESTION: On Iran, would you and the State Department say, as Secretary Mattis said today, that staying in the JCPOA would be in the U.S. national interest?

MS NAUERT: Yeah.

QUESTION: Is this a position you share?

MS NAUERT: So I'm certainly familiar with what Secretary Mattis said on Capitol Hill today. Secretary Mattis, of course, one of many people who is providing expertise and counsel to the President on the issue of Iran and the JCPOA. The President is getting lots of information on that. We have about 12 days or so, I think, to make our determination for the next JCPOA guideline.

The administration looks at JCPOA as – the fault in the JCPOA as not looking at the totality of Iran's bad behavior. Secretary Tillerson talked about that at length at the UN General Assembly. So did the President as well. We know that Iran is responsible for terror attacks. We know that Iran arms the Houthi rebels in Yemen, which leads to a more miserable failed state, awful situation in Yemen, for example. We know what they're doing in Syria. Where you find the Iranian Government, you can often find terrible things happening in the world. This administration is very clear about highlighting that and will look at Iran in sort of its totality of all of its bad behaviors, not just the nuclear deal.

I don't want to get ahead of the discussions that are ongoing with this – within the administration, as it pertains to Iran. The President has said he's made he's decision, and so I don't want to speak on behalf of the President, and he'll just have to make that determination when he's ready to do so."

https://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/dpb/2017/10/274592.htm

[Oct 01, 2017] Goodbye, American neoliberalism. A new era is here by Cornel West

Notable quotes:
"... The Bush and Clinton dynasties were destroyed by the media-saturated lure of the pseudo-populist billionaire with narcissist sensibilities and ugly, fascist proclivities. The monumental election of Trump was a desperate and xenophobic cry of human hearts for a way out from under the devastation of a disintegrating neoliberal order – a nostalgic return to an imaginary past of greatness. ..."
"... This lethal fusion of economic insecurity and cultural scapegoating brought neoliberalism to its knees. In short, the abysmal failure of the Democratic party to speak to the arrested mobility and escalating poverty of working people unleashed a hate-filled populism and protectionism that threaten to tear apart the fragile fiber of what is left of US democracy. And since the most explosive fault lines in present-day America are first and foremost racial, then gender, homophobic, ethnic and religious, we gird ourselves for a frightening future. ..."
"... In this sense, Trump's election was enabled by the neoliberal policies of the Clintons and Obama that overlooked the plight of our most vulnerable citizens. The progressive populism of Bernie Sanders nearly toppled the establishment of the Democratic party but Clinton and Obama came to the rescue to preserve the status quo. And I do believe Sanders would have beat Trump to avert this neofascist outcome! ..."
"... The neoliberal era in the United States ended with a neofascist bang ..."
"... The white house and congress are now dominated by tea party politicians who worship at the altar of Ayn Rand.....read Breitbart news to see how Thatcher and Reagan are idolised. ..."
"... if you think the era of "neo liberalism" is over, you are in deep denial! ..."
"... The age of Obama was the last gasp of neoliberalism. Despite some progressive words and symbolic gestures, Obama chose to ignore Wall Street crimes, reject bailouts for homeowners, oversee growing inequality and facilitate war crimes like US drones killing innocent civilians abroad. ..."
"... Didn't Obama say to Wall Street ''I'm the only one standing between you and the lynch mob? Give me money and I'll make it all go away''. Then came into office and went we won't prosecute the Banks not Bush for a false war because we don't look back. ..."
"... He did not ignore, he actively, willingly, knowingly protected them. At the end of the day Obama is wolf in sheep's clothing. Exactly like HRC he has a public and a private position. He is a gifted speaker who knows how to say all the right, progressive liberal things to get people to go along much better than HRC ever did. ..."
"... Even when he had the Presidency, House and Senate, he never once introduced any progressive liberal policy. He didn't need Republican support to do it, yet he never even tried. ..."
Nov 17, 2016 | www.theguardian.com

The neoliberal era in the United States ended with a neofascist bang. The political triumph of Donald Trump shattered the establishments in the Democratic and Republican parties – both wedded to the rule of Big Money and to the reign of meretricious politicians.

The Bush and Clinton dynasties were destroyed by the media-saturated lure of the pseudo-populist billionaire with narcissist sensibilities and ugly, fascist proclivities. The monumental election of Trump was a desperate and xenophobic cry of human hearts for a way out from under the devastation of a disintegrating neoliberal order – a nostalgic return to an imaginary past of greatness.

White working- and middle-class fellow citizens – out of anger and anguish – rejected the economic neglect of neoliberal policies and the self-righteous arrogance of elites. Yet these same citizens also supported a candidate who appeared to blame their social misery on minorities, and who alienated Mexican immigrants, Muslims, black people, Jews, gay people, women and China in the process.

This lethal fusion of economic insecurity and cultural scapegoating brought neoliberalism to its knees. In short, the abysmal failure of the Democratic party to speak to the arrested mobility and escalating poverty of working people unleashed a hate-filled populism and protectionism that threaten to tear apart the fragile fiber of what is left of US democracy. And since the most explosive fault lines in present-day America are first and foremost racial, then gender, homophobic, ethnic and religious, we gird ourselves for a frightening future.

What is to be done? First we must try to tell the truth and a condition of truth is to allow suffering to speak. For 40 years, neoliberals lived in a world of denial and indifference to the suffering of poor and working people and obsessed with the spectacle of success. Second we must bear witness to justice. We must ground our truth-telling in a willingness to suffer and sacrifice as we resist domination. Third we must remember courageous exemplars like Martin Luther King Jr, who provide moral and spiritual inspiration as we build multiracial alliances to combat poverty and xenophobia, Wall Street crimes and war crimes, global warming and police abuse – and to protect precious rights and liberties.

Feminists misunderstood the presidential election from day one Liza Featherstone By banking on the idea that women would support Hillary Clinton just because she was a female candidate, the movement made a terrible mistake Read more

The age of Obama was the last gasp of neoliberalism. Despite some progressive words and symbolic gestures, Obama chose to ignore Wall Street crimes, reject bailouts for homeowners, oversee growing inequality and facilitate war crimes like US drones killing innocent civilians abroad.

Rightwing attacks on Obama – and Trump-inspired racist hatred of him – have made it nearly impossible to hear the progressive critiques of Obama. The president has been reluctant to target black suffering – be it in overcrowded prisons, decrepit schools or declining workplaces. Yet, despite that, we get celebrations of the neoliberal status quo couched in racial symbolism and personal legacy. Meanwhile, poor and working class citizens of all colors have continued to suffer in relative silence.

In this sense, Trump's election was enabled by the neoliberal policies of the Clintons and Obama that overlooked the plight of our most vulnerable citizens. The progressive populism of Bernie Sanders nearly toppled the establishment of the Democratic party but Clinton and Obama came to the rescue to preserve the status quo. And I do believe Sanders would have beat Trump to avert this neofascist outcome!

Click and elect: how fake news helped Donald Trump win a real election Hannah Jane Parkinson The 'alt-right' (aka the far right) ensnared the electorate using false stories on social media. But tech companies seem unwilling to admit there's a problem

In this bleak moment, we must inspire each other driven by a democratic soulcraft of integrity, courage, empathy and a mature sense of history – even as it seems our democracy is slipping away.

We must not turn away from the forgotten people of US foreign policy – such as Palestinians under Israeli occupation, Yemen's civilians killed by US-sponsored Saudi troops or Africans subject to expanding US military presence.

As one whose great family and people survived and thrived through slavery, Jim Crow and lynching, Trump's neofascist rhetoric and predictable authoritarian reign is just another ugly moment that calls forth the best of who we are and what we can do.

For us in these times, to even have hope is too abstract, too detached, too spectatorial. Instead we must be a hope, a participant and a force for good as we face this catastrophe.

theomatica -> MSP1984 17 Nov 2016 6:40

To be replaced by a form of capitalism that is constrained by national interests. An ideology that wishes to uses the forces of capitalism within a market limited only by national boundaries which aims for more self sufficiency only importing goods the nation can not itself source.

farga 17 Nov 2016 6:35

The neoliberal era in the United States ended with a neofascist bang.

Really? The white house and congress are now dominated by tea party politicians who worship at the altar of Ayn Rand.....read Breitbart news to see how Thatcher and Reagan are idolised.

That in recent decades middle ground politicians have strayed from the true faith....and now its time to go back - popular capitalism, small government, low taxes.

if you think the era of "neo liberalism" is over, you are in deep denial!

Social36 -> farga 17 Nov 2016 8:33

Maybe, West should have written that we're now in neoliberal, neofascist era!

ForSparta -> farga 17 Nov 2016 14:24

Well in all fairness, Donald Trump (horse's ass) did say he'd 'pump' money into the middle classes thus abandoning 'trickle down'. His plan/ideology is also to increase corporate tax revenues overall by reducing the level of corporation tax -- the aim being to entice corporations to repatriate wealth currently held overseas. Plus he has proposed an infrastructure spending spree, a fiscal stimulus not a monetary one. When you add in tax cuts the middle classes will feel flushed and it is within that demographic that most businesses and hence jobs are created. I think his short game has every chance of doing what he said it would.

SeeNOevilHearNOevil 17 Nov 2016 6:36

The age of Obama was the last gasp of neoliberalism. Despite some progressive words and symbolic gestures, Obama chose to ignore Wall Street crimes, reject bailouts for homeowners, oversee growing inequality and facilitate war crimes like US drones killing innocent civilians abroad.

Didn't Obama say to Wall Street ''I'm the only one standing between you and the lynch mob? Give me money and I'll make it all go away''. Then came into office and went we won't prosecute the Banks not Bush for a false war because we don't look back.

He did not ignore, he actively, willingly, knowingly protected them. At the end of the day Obama is wolf in sheep's clothing. Exactly like HRC he has a public and a private position. He is a gifted speaker who knows how to say all the right, progressive liberal things to get people to go along much better than HRC ever did.

But that lip service is where his progressive views begin and stop. It's the very reason none of his promises never translated into actions and I will argue that he was the biggest and smoothest scam artist to enter the white house who got even though that wholly opposed centre-right policies, to flip and support them vehemently. Even when he had the Presidency, House and Senate, he never once introduced any progressive liberal policy. He didn't need Republican support to do it, yet he never even tried.

ProbablyOnTopic 17 Nov 2016 6:37

I agree with some of this, but do we really have to throw around hysterical terms like 'fascist' at every opportunity? It's as bad as when people call the left 'cultural Marxists'.

LithophaneFurcifera -> ProbablyOnTopic 17 Nov 2016 7:05

True, it's sloganeering that drowns out any nuance, whoever does it. Whenever a political term is coined, you can be assured that its use and meaning will eventually be extended to the point that it becomes less effective at characterising the very groups that it was coined to characterise.

Keep "fascist" for Mussolini and "cultural Marxist" for Adorno, unless and until others show such strong resemblances that the link can't seriously be denied.

I agree about the importance of recognising the suffering of the poor and building alliances beyond, and not primarily defined by, race though.

l0Ho5LG4wWcFJsKg 17 Nov 2016 6:40
Hang about Trump is the embodiment of neo-liberalism. It's neo-liberalism with republican tea party in control. He's not going to smash the system that served him so well, the years he manipulated and cheated, why would he want to change it.
garrylee -> l0Ho5LG4wWcFJsKg 17 Nov 2016 9:38
West's point is that it's beyond Trump's control. The scales have fallen from peoples eyes. They now see the deceit of neo-liberalism. And once they see through the charlatan Trump and the rest of the fascists, they will, hopefully, come to realize the only antidote to neo-liberalism is a planned economy.

Nash25 17 Nov 2016 6:40

This excellent analysis by professor West places the current political situation in a proper historical context.

However, I fear that neo-liberalism may not be quite "dead" as he argues.

Most of the Democratic party's "establishment" politicians, who conspired to sabotage the populist Sanders's campaign, still dominate the party, and they, in turn, are controlled by the giant corporations who fund their campaigns.

Democrat Chuck Schumer is now the Senate minority leader, and he is the loyal servant of the big Wall Street investment banks.

Sanders and Warren are the only two Democratic leaders who are not neo-liberals, and I fear that they will once again be marginalized.

Rank and file Democrats must organize at the local and state level to remove these corrupt neo-liberals from all party leadership positions. This will take many years, and it will be very difficult.


VenetianBlind 17 Nov 2016 6:42

Not sure Neo-Liberalism has ended. All they have done is get rid of the middle man.

macfeegal 17 Nov 2016 6:46

It would seem that there is a great deal of over simplifying going on; some of the articles represent an hysteric response and the vision of sack cloth and ashes prevails among those who could not see that the wheels were coming off the bus. The use of the term 'liberal' has become another buzz word - there are many different forms of liberalism and creating yet another sound byte does little to illuminate anything.

Making appeals to restore what has been lost reflects badly upon the central political parties, with their 30 year long rightward drift and their legacy of sucking up to corporate lobbyists, systems managers, box tickers and consultants. You can't give away sovereign political power to a bunch of right wing quangos who worship private wealth and its accumulation without suffering the consequences. The article makes no contribution (and neither have many of the others of late) to any kind of alternative to either neo-liberalism or the vacuum that has become a question mark with the dark face of the devil behind it.

We are in uncharted waters. The conventional Left was totally discredited by1982 and all we've had since are various forms of modifications of Thatcher's imported American vision. There has been no opposition to this system for over 40 years - so where do we get the idea that democracy has any real meaning? Yes, we can vote for the Greens, or one of the lesser known minority parties, but of course people don't; they tend to go with what is portrayed as the orthodoxy and they've been badly let down by it.

It would be a real breath of fresh air to see articles which offer some kind of analysis that demonstrates tangible options to deal with the multiple crises we are suffering. Perhaps we might start with a consideration that if our political institutions are prone to being haunted by the ghost of the 1930's, the state itself could be seen as part of the problem rather than any solution. Why is it that every other institution is considered to be past its sell by date and we still believe in a phantom of democracy? Discuss.

VenetianBlind -> macfeegal 17 Nov 2016 7:00

I have spent hours trying to see solutions around Neo-Liberalism and find that governments have basically signed away any control over the economy so nothing they can do. There are no solutions.

Maybe that is the starting point. The solution for workers left behind in Neo-Liberal language is they must move. It demands labor mobility. It is not possible to dictate where jobs are created.

I see too much fiddly around the edges, the best start is to say they cannot fix the problem. If they keep making false promises then things will just get dire as.

[Sep 28, 2017] The Russia-Blamers Think Youre Stupid by Thomas L. Knapp

Notable quotes:
"... Lets assume for a moment that the basic claim is true, although so far the actual evidence indicates a tiny propaganda operation in the scale of things. If its true, the conclusion it points to is: American voters are morons who can be gamed into doing anything by anyone with the ability to buy ads on Facebook and Twitter. ..."
"... I didnt say that. Russian hackers didnt say that, at least in public. Thats what the propagators of the new Red Scare are claiming. ..."
"... If the American electorate is really as abjectly stupid as the blame the Russians crowd insists, it seems to me that instead of blaming the Russians, they should get to work on either making the electorate smarter or coming up with a system that doesnt leave important political decisions in the hands of the gullible. Just sayin ..."
Sep 28, 2017 | www.antiwar.com

Russian operatives used Facebook ads to exploit Americas racial and religious divisions, the Washington Post claims in a September 25 headline .

Over at The Daily Beast , Dean Obeidallah explains How Russian Hackers Used My Face to Sabotage Our Politics and Elect Trump.

And US Senator James Lankford (R-OK) thinks that the Russians and their troll farms (as opposed to Donald Trump and professional football players) are behind the current take a knee kerfuffle between Donald Trump and professional football players.

Because, you know, Americans never had rowdy disagreements with each other over race and religion until last year, and wouldnt be having them now if not for those dirty, no-good Russian hackers who stole the 2016 presidential election from the second most hated candidate in history, on behalf of the most hated candidate in history, operating through subterfuge to achieve the outcome that some of us predicted months in advance, long before anyone mentioned Russian hackers. *

Evidence? Who needs evidence? The people who hated the outcome and have been railing against it for nearly a year now have told us what happened, and why, and whodunit, and theyd never lie to us about something like that, would they? They lied about Saddam Hussein having weapons of mass destruction, and about illegal wiretapping by the NSA, and about a thousand other things, but THIS is DIFFERENT.

Keep in mind that when all the most wild and baseless accusations (e.g. that !THEM RUSSIANS! hacked the voting machines) are discarded, the basic claim remaining is this: By spreading fake news through social media, !THEM RUSSIANS! fooled a bunch of Americans into voting the wrong way.

Lets assume for a moment that the basic claim is true, although so far the actual evidence indicates a tiny propaganda operation in the scale of things. If its true, the conclusion it points to is: American voters are morons who can be gamed into doing anything by anyone with the ability to buy ads on Facebook and Twitter.

I didnt say that. Russian hackers didnt say that, at least in public. Thats what the propagators of the new Red Scare are claiming.

If the American electorate is really as abjectly stupid as the blame the Russians crowd insists, it seems to me that instead of blaming the Russians, they should get to work on either making the electorate smarter or coming up with a system that doesnt leave important political decisions in the hands of the gullible. Just sayin

*In May of 2016, I predicted that Donald Trump would carry every state Mitt Romney carried in 2012, plus Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida. I didnt predict Wisconsin and Iowa, but 48 of 50 states from six months out aint too shabby, is it?

Thomas L. Knapp is director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism . He lives and works in north central Florida. This article is reprinted with permission from William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism.

[Sep 26, 2017] Is Foreign Propaganda Even Effective by Leon Hadar

Highly recommended!
I think the key to collapse of Soviet society and its satellites was the victory of neoliberal ideology over communism. It was pure luck for neoliberalism was that its triumphal march over the globe coincide with deep crisis of both communist ideology and the Soviet elite (nomenklatura) in the USSR. Hapless, mediocre Gorbachov, a third rate politician who became the leader of the USSR is a telling example here. Propaganda, especially "big troika" (BBC, Deutsche Welle and Voice of America), also played a very important role in this. Especially in Baltic countries and Ukraine.
Domestic fake new industry always has huge advantage over foreign one in the USA and other Western countries, because of general cultural dominance of the West.
The loss of effectiveness of neoliberal propaganda now is the same as the reason for loss of effectiveness of communist propaganda since 60th. In the first case it was the crisis of communist ideology, in the second is the crisis of neoliberal ideology. Everybody now understands that the neoliberal promises were fake, and "bait and switch" manuver that enriched the tiny percentage of population (top 1% and even more 0.01%).
When the society experience the crisis of ideology it became inoculated toward official propaganda -- it simply loses its bite.
Notable quotes:
"... As the The Economist notes, a 2015 survey of the top 94 cable channels in America by the research firm Nielsen found that RT did not even make it into the rankings, capturing only 0.04 percent of viewers, according to the Broadcast Audience Research Board. ..."
"... RT has claimed dominance on YouTube, an assertion that apparently caught the attention of the U.S. intelligence community, which noted that RT videos get 1 million views a day, far surpassing other outlets. ..."
"... Or as media-effects theorists explain the communication process, the intentions of the producer (Soviet Union) and the conventions of the content (communist propaganda) were interwoven in a strategy aimed at influencing the receiver (the American audience). But the majority of Americans, with the exception of a few hard-core ideologues, interpreted the content of the message as pitiful Soviet propaganda, assuming they even paid attention to it. ..."
"... There is no doubt that Moscow, which regarded President Harry Truman as its leading American political nemesis, was hoping that Progressive presidential candidate Henry Wallace would win the 1948 election -- and had tailored its propaganda effort in accordance with that goal. That pro-Wallace campaign took place at a time when the American Communist Party still maintained some influence in the United States, where many Americans still sympathized with the former World War II ally and a large number of Soviet spies were operating in the country. But then Wallace's Progressives ended up winning 2.5 percent of the vote, less than Strom Thurmond's Southern segregationist ticket. ..."
"... Yet we are supposed to believe that by employing RT, Sputnik, Facebook, Twitter, and a bunch of hackers, the Russians could help their American candidate "steal" the 2016 presidential election. Is there any evidence that those white blue-collar workers and rural voters in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Michigan -- the people who provided Trump with his margin of victory -- were even exposed to the reports distributed by RT and Sputnik, or by the memes constructed by Russian trolls or their posts on Facebook? ("Hey, did you watch RT last night?") ..."
"... Yet the assertion that a "silver bullet shot from a media gun" in the form of Russian propaganda was able "to penetrate a hapless audience" in the United States has been gaining more adherents in Washington and elsewhere. This conspiracy seems to correlate the intent of the Russian government and the content of their messages with the voting behavior of Americans. ..."
"... In a strange irony, those who are promoting this fallacious assertion may -- unlike their Russian scapegoat -- actually succeed in penetrating a hapless American audience. ..."
Sep 26, 2017 | www.theamericanconservative.com

The Russians can dish it out, but don't expect Americans to swallow everything.

During the Cold War, it became an article of faith among Western policymakers and journalists: One of the most effective ways to discredit the leaders of Communist countries would be to provide their citizens with information from the West. It was a view that was shared by Soviet Bloc regimes who were worried that listening to the Voice of America (VOA) or watching Western television shows would induce their people to take political action against the rulers.

So it was not surprising that government officials in East Germany, anxious that many TV stations from West Germany could be viewed by their citizens, employed numerous means!such as jamming the airwaves and even damaging TV antennas that were pointing west!in order to prevent the so-called "subversive" western broadcasts from reaching audiences over the wall.

After the Berlin Wall collapsed in 1989, communication researchers studying public attitudes in former East German areas assumed that they would discover that those who had access to West German television!and were therefore exposed to the West's political freedom and economic prosperity!were more politically energized and willing to challenge the communist regime than those who couldn't watch Western television.

But as Evgeny Morozov recalled in his Net Delusion: The Dark Side of Internet Freedom , a study conducted between 1966 and 1990 about incipient protests in the so-called "Valley of the Clueless"!an area in East Germany where the government successfully blocked Western television signals!raised questions about this conventional wisdom.

As it turns out, having access to West German television actually made life in East Germany more endurable. Far from radicalizing its citizens, it seemed to have made them more politically compliant. As one East German dissident quoted by Morozov lamented, "The whole people could leave the country and move to the West as a man at 8pm, via television."

Meanwhile, East German citizens who did not have access to Western German television were actually more critical of their regime, and more politically restless.

The study concluded that "in an ironic twist for Marxism, capitalist television seems to have performed the same narcotizing function in communist East Germany that Karl Marx had attributed to religious beliefs in capitalist society when he condemned religion as the 'opium of the people.'"

Morozov refers to the results of these and other studies to raise an interesting idea: Western politicians and pundits have predicted that the rise of the Internet, which provides free access to information to residents of the global village, would galvanize citizens in Russia and other countries to challenge their authoritarian regimes. In reality, Morozov contends that exposure to the Internet may have distracted Russian users from their political problems. The young men who should be leading the revolution are instead staying at home and watching online pornography. Trotsky, as we know, didn't tweet.

Yet the assumption that the content of the message is a "silver bullet shot from a media gun to penetrate a hapless audience," as communication theorists James Arthur Anderson and Timothy P. Meyer put it, remains popular among politicians and pundits today, despite ample evidence to the contrary.

Hence the common assertion that a presidential candidate who has raised a lots of money and can spend it on buying a lots of television commercials, has a clear advantage over rivals who cannot afford to dominate the media environment. But the loser in the 2016 presidential race spent about $141.7 million on ads, compared with $58.8 million for winner's campaign, according to NBC News . Candidate Trump also spent a fraction of what his Republican rivals had during the Republican primaries that he won.

Communication researchers like Anderson and Meyers are not suggesting that media messages don't have any effect on target audiences, but that it is quite difficult to sell ice to Eskimos. To put it in simple terms, media audiences are not hapless and passive. Although you can flood them with messages that are in line with your views and interests, audiences actively participate in the communication process. They will construct their own meaning from the content they consume, and in some cases they might actually disregard your message.

Imagine a multi-billionaire who decides to produce thousands of commercials celebrating the legacy of ISIS, runs them on primetime American television, and floods social media with messages praising the murderous terrorist group. If that happened, would Americans be rallying behind the flag of ISIS? One can imagine that the response from audiences would range from anger to dismissal to laughter.

In 2013 Al Jazeera Media Network purchased Current TV , which was once partially owned by former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, and launched an American news channel. Critics expressed concerns that the network, which is owned by the government of Qatar and has been critical of U.S. policies in the Middle East, would try to manipulate American audiences with their anti-Washington message.

Three years later, after hiring many star journalists and producing mostly straight news shows, Al Jazeera America CEO Al Anstey announced that the network would cease operations. Anstey cited the "economic landscape" which was another way of saying that its ratings were distressingly low. The relatively small number of viewers who watched Al Jazeera America 's programs considered them not anti-American but just, well, boring.

You don't have to be a marketing genius to figure out that in the age of the 24/7 media environment, foreign networks face prohibitive competition from American cable news networks like CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, social media, not to mention Netflix and yes, those online porno sites. Thus the chances that a foreign news organization would be able to attract large American audiences, and have any serious impact on their political views, remain very low.

That, indeed, has been the experience of not only the defunct Al Jazeera America , but also of other foreign news outlets that have tried to imitate the Qatar-based network by launching operations targeting American audiences. These networks have included CGTN (China Global Television Network), the English-language news channel run by Chinese state broadcaster China Central Television ; PressTV, a 24-hour English language news and documentary network affiliated with Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting ; or RT (formerly Russia Today), a Russian international television network funded by the Russian government that operates cable and satellite television channels directed to audiences outside of Russia.

After all, unless you are getting to paid to watch CTGN, PressTV, or RT -- or you are a news junkie with a lot of time on your hands -- why in the world would you be spending even one hour of the day watching these foreign networks?

Yet if you have been following the coverage and public debate over the alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, you get the impression that RT and another Russian media outlet, Sputnik (a news agency and radio broadcast service established by the Russian government-controlled news agency Rossiya Segodnya ), were central players in a conspiracy between the Trump presidential campaign and the Kremlin to deny the presidency to Hillary Clinton.

In fact, more than half of the much-cited January report on the Russian electoral interference released by U.S. intelligence agencies was devoted to warning of RT's growing influence in the United States and across the world, referring to the "rapid expansion" of the network's operations and budget to about $300 million a year, and citing the supposedly impressive audience numbers listed on the RT website.

According to America's spooks, the coordinated activities of RT and the online-media properties and social-media accounts that made up "Russia's state-run propaganda machine" have been employed by the Russian government to "undermine the U.S.-led liberal democratic order."

And in a long cover story in The New York Times Magazine this month, with the headline, " RT, Sputnik and Russia's New Theory of War, " Jim Rutenberg suggested that the Kremlin has "built one of the most powerful information weapons of the 21st century" and that it "may be impossible to stop."

But as the British Economist magazine reported early this year, while RT claims to reach 550 million people worldwide, with America and Britain supposedly being its most successful markets, its "audience" of 550 million refers to "the number of people who can access its channel, not those who actually watch it."

As the The Economist notes, a 2015 survey of the top 94 cable channels in America by the research firm Nielsen found that RT did not even make it into the rankings, capturing only 0.04 percent of viewers, according to the Broadcast Audience Research Board.

The Times' s Rutenberg argues that the RT's ratings "are almost beside the point." RT might not have amassed an audience that remotely rivals CNN's in conventional terms, "but in the new, 'democratized' media landscape, it doesn't need to" since "the network has come to form the hub of a new kind of state media operation: one that travels through the same diffuse online channels, chasing the same viral hits and memes, as the rest of the Twitter-and-Facebook-age media."

Traveling "through the same diffuse online channels" and "chasing the same viral hits and memes" sounds quite impressive. Indeed, RT has claimed dominance on YouTube, an assertion that apparently caught the attention of the U.S. intelligence community, which noted that RT videos get 1 million views a day, far surpassing other outlets.

But as The Economist points out, when it comes to Twitter and Facebook, RT's reach is narrower than that of other news networks. Its claim of YouTube success is mostly down to the network's practice of buying the rights to sensational footage -- for instance, Japan's 2011 tsunami -- and repackaging it with the company logo. It's not clear, however, how the dissemination of a footage of a natural disaster or of a dog playing the piano helps efforts to "undermine the U.S.-led liberal democratic order."

It is obvious that the Russian leaders have been investing a lot of resources in RT, Sputnik, and other media outlets, and that they employ them as propaganda tools aimed at promoting their government's viewpoints and interests around the world. From that perspective, these Russian media executives are heirs to the communist officials who had been in charge of the propaganda empire of the Soviet Union and its satellites during much of the 20th Century.

The worldwide communist propaganda machine did prove to be quite effective during the Great Depression and World War II, when it succeeded in tapping into the economic and social anxieties and anti-Nazi sentiments in the West and helped strengthen the power of the communist parties in Europe and, to some extent, in the United States.

But in the same way that Western German television programs failed to politically energize East Germans during the Cold War, much of the Soviet propaganda distributed by the Soviet Union at that time had very little impact on the American public and its political attitudes, as symbolized by the shrinking membership of the American Communist Party.

Or as media-effects theorists explain the communication process, the intentions of the producer (Soviet Union) and the conventions of the content (communist propaganda) were interwoven in a strategy aimed at influencing the receiver (the American audience). But the majority of Americans, with the exception of a few hard-core ideologues, interpreted the content of the message as pitiful Soviet propaganda, assuming they even paid attention to it.

Soviet propaganda may have scored limited success during the Cold War when it came to members of the large communist parties in France, Italy, and Japan, as well as exploited anti-American sentiments in some third-world countries. In these cases, the intentions of the producer and the convention of the message seemed to be in line with the interpretations of the receivers.

There is no doubt that Moscow, which regarded President Harry Truman as its leading American political nemesis, was hoping that Progressive presidential candidate Henry Wallace would win the 1948 election -- and had tailored its propaganda effort in accordance with that goal. That pro-Wallace campaign took place at a time when the American Communist Party still maintained some influence in the United States, where many Americans still sympathized with the former World War II ally and a large number of Soviet spies were operating in the country. But then Wallace's Progressives ended up winning 2.5 percent of the vote, less than Strom Thurmond's Southern segregationist ticket.

Yet we are supposed to believe that by employing RT, Sputnik, Facebook, Twitter, and a bunch of hackers, the Russians could help their American candidate "steal" the 2016 presidential election. Is there any evidence that those white blue-collar workers and rural voters in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Michigan -- the people who provided Trump with his margin of victory -- were even exposed to the reports distributed by RT and Sputnik, or by the memes constructed by Russian trolls or their posts on Facebook? ("Hey, did you watch RT last night?")

Yet the assertion that a "silver bullet shot from a media gun" in the form of Russian propaganda was able "to penetrate a hapless audience" in the United States has been gaining more adherents in Washington and elsewhere. This conspiracy seems to correlate the intent of the Russian government and the content of their messages with the voting behavior of Americans.

In a strange irony, those who are promoting this fallacious assertion may -- unlike their Russian scapegoat -- actually succeed in penetrating a hapless American audience.

Leon Hadar is a writer and author of the books Quagmire: America in the Middle East and Sandstorm: Policy Failure in the Middle East. His articles have appeared in the New York Times, The Washington Post, Washington Times, The Los Angeles Times, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, and the National Interest.

The Color of Celery , says: September 26, 2017 at 1:20 am

For an example of the success of propaganda, look at Breitbart. The messages online during the 2016 election were pervasive and insidious. I think this post underestimates the threat by focusing on traditional media instead of social interaction.

RT covered Assange during the election better than other outlets.

It's easy to see everything from a personal perspective and forget that we are very diverse. We don't live in an ABC, CBS, and NBC world anymore, with information controlled. Changes in thought and belief happen online now, in many, many different venues.

polistra , says: September 26, 2017 at 3:39 am
A government that has confidence in its own support doesn't need to fight foreign information. In the '30s and '40s the US government encouraged shortwave listening, and manufacturers made money by adding SW bands to their radios. We were going through a depression and then a war, but our government was CONFIDENT enough to encourage us to understand the world.

Since 1950 the government has been narrowing the focus of external input because it knows that it no longer has the natural consent of the governed. TV and the Web are intentional forms of jamming, filling our eyes and ears with internally produced nonsense to crowd out the external info.

Meddlesome , says: September 26, 2017 at 7:44 am
The ones you have to worry about are those much closer to home – "inside the tent".

Friends in the UK, Canada, and Europe are appalled at the distorting effect Israeli propaganda has on American news sources, and how unaware of it typical Americans seem to be.

Indeed, it is odd and more than a little worrying that all the concern about "foreign meddling" has so far failed to engage with Israel, which is hands down the best funded, most sophisticated and successful foreign meddler.

The FBI annually reports that Israel spies on us at the same level as Russia and China. But we have yet to fully register that Israeli spying includes systematic efforts to influence American elections and policies, efforts that dwarf those of Putin's Russia both in scale and impact.

Fran Macadam , says: September 26, 2017 at 9:24 am
I think that the corporate masters of propaganda media and politics in these United States, have, in the words of Edward G. Robinson's Rico in Little Caesar, "gotten to where you can dish it out, but you can't take it anymore."

It's counterfactual to conflate Soviet propaganda with the perspective of Russians today, unless Communism never really was the real point. In fact, it's our own leaders in media and politics who now increasingly issue dogmatic and insulting derogatory language, sounding more and more like late Soviet propagandists themselves.

Pelayo Viriato , says: September 26, 2017 at 10:20 am
@The Color of Celery:

So what? What's wrong with people being exposed to a broad array of points of view, trying to better understand the world and constantly challenging, refining, and reshaping their worldview in the process?

You're coming perilously close to suggesting that Americans who are critical of their government are dupes of hostile foreign powers ! an unfair, unhelpful, and undemocratic assertion.

ZGler , says: September 26, 2017 at 11:45 am
The problem with Russian trolls is that people don't know they are Russian trolls. They think they are their fellow Americans and neighbors on Facebook. The influence of foreign propaganda on Americans is not due to transparent media like Al Jazeera. It's due to propaganda disguised as your neighbor's opinion.
Mike Johnson , says: September 26, 2017 at 3:33 pm
this conversation cant be taken serious without a serious discussion on Israel, who by the way provides the perfect case and point of how effective foreign propaganda can be. They work through our media, school systems and even our churches. Just look at what happened to McGraw Hill for daring to show before and after maps of the Palestine over the years.

[Sep 25, 2017] Russophobia - Symptom Of US Implosion by Finian Cunningham

Implosion or not, it is definitely an attempt to internal problems including the collapse of neoliberal ideology by unleashing a witch hunt in best Senator McCarthy style. One motivation might be suppressing any critique of neoliberalism by equating it to pro-Russian propaganda. This is very much in best USSR traditions, where propaganda was preoccupied with foreign enemies which were constantly trying to undermine the state...
So far it proved to be a very effective tool for marginalizing the dissent. As in 1984: "Oceania was at war with Eurasia; therefore Oceania had always been at war with Eurasia."
Mar 24, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Finian Cunningham, via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

There was a time when Russophobia served as an effective form of population control – used by the American ruling class in particular to command the general US population into patriotic loyalty. Not any longer. Now, Russophobia is a sign of weakness, of desperate implosion among the US ruling class from their own rotten, internal decay.

This propaganda technique worked adequately well during the Cold War decades when the former Soviet Union could be easily demonized as "godless communism" and an "evil empire". Such stereotypes, no matter how false, could be sustained largely because of the monopoly control of Western media by governments and official regulators.

The Soviet Union passed away more than a quarter of a century ago, but Russophobia among the US political class is more virulent than ever.

This week it was evident from Congressional hearings in Washington into alleged Russian interference in US politics that large sections of American government and establishment media are fixated by Russophobia and a belief that Russia is a malign foreign adversary.

However, the power of the Russophobia propaganda technique over the wider population seems to have greatly diminished from its Cold War heyday. This is partly due to more diverse global communications which challenge the previous Western monopoly for controlling narrative and perception. Contemporary Russophobia – demonizing Russian President Vladimir Putin or Russian military forces – does not have the same potency for scaring the Western public. Indeed, due to greater diversity in global news media sources, it is fair to say that "official" Western depictions of Russia as an enemy, for example allegedly about to invade Europe or allegedly interfering in electoral politics, are met with a healthy skepticism – if not ridicule by many Western citizens.

What is increasingly apparent here is a gaping chasm between the political class and the wider public on the matter of Russophobia. This is true for Western countries generally, but especially in the US. The political class – the lawmakers in Washington and the mainstream news media – are frenzied by claims that Russia interfered in the US presidential elections and that Russia has some kind of sinister leverage on the presidency of Donald Trump.

But this frenzy of Russophobia is not reflected among the wider public of ordinary American citizens. Rabid accusations that Russia hacked the computers of Trump's Democrat rival Hillary Clinton to spread damaging information about her; that this alleged sabotage of American democracy was an "act of war"; that President Trump is guilty of "treason" by "colluding" with a "Russian influence campaign" – all of these sensational claims seem to be only a preoccupation of the privileged political class . Most ordinary Americans, concerned about making a living in a crumbling society, either don't buy the claims or view them as idle chatter.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov this week dismissed the Congressional hearings into alleged Russian interference in US politics. He aptly said that US lawmakers and the corporate media have become "entangled" in their own fabrications. "They are trying to find evidence for conclusions that they have already made", said Peskov.

Other suitable imagery is that the US political class are tilting at windmills, chasing their own tails, or running from their own shadows. There seems to be a collective delusional mindset.

Unable to accept the reality that the governing structure of the US has lost legitimacy in the eyes of the people, that the people rebelled by electing an outsider in the form of business mogul-turned-politician Donald Trump, that the collapse of American traditional politics is due to the atrophy of its bankrupt capitalist economy over several decades – the ruling class have fabricated their own excuse for demise by blaming it all on Russia.

The American ruling class cannot accept, or come to terms, with the fact of systemic failure in their own political system. The election of Trump is a symptom of this failure and the widespread disillusionment among voters towards the two-party train wreck of Republicans and Democrats. That is why the specter of Russian interference in the US political system had to be conjured up, by necessity, as a way of "explaining" the abject failure and the ensuing popular revolt.

Russophobia was rehabilitated from the Cold War closet by the American political establishment to distract from the glaring internal collapse of American politics.

The corrosive, self-destruction seems to know no bounds. James Comey, the head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, told Congress this week that the White House is being probed for illicit contacts with Russia. This dramatic notice served by Comey was greeted with general approval by political opponents of the Trump administration, as well as by news media outlets.

The New York Times said the FBI was in effect holding a "criminal investigation at the doorstep of the White House".

Other news outlets are openly airing discussions on the probability of President Trump being impeached from office.

The toxic political atmosphere of Russophobia in Washington is unprecedented. The Trump administration is being crippled at every turn from conducting normal political business under a toxic cloud of suspicion that it is guilty of treason from colluding with Russia.

President Trump has run afoul with Republicans in Congress over his planned healthcare reforms because many Republicans are taking issue instead over the vaunted Russian probe.

When Trump's Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was reported to be skipping a NATO summit next month but was planning to visit Moscow later in the same month, the itinerary was interpreted as a sign of untoward Russian influence.

What makes the spectacle of political infighting so unprecedented is that there is such little evidence to back up allegations of Trump-Russia collusion. It is preponderantly based on innuendo and anonymous leaks to the media, which are then recycled as "evidence".

Devin Nunes, the ranking Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, said earlier this week that he has seen no actual evidence among classified documents indicating any collusion between the Trump campaign team and the Russian government.

Even former senior intelligence officials, James Clapper and Michael Morell who are no friends of Trump, have lately admitted in media interviews that there is no such evidence.

Yet, FBI chief James Comey told Congress that his agency was pursuing a potentially criminal investigation into the Trump administration, while at the same time not confirming or denying the existence of any evidence.

And, as already noted, this declaration of open-ended snooping by Comey on the White House was met with avid approval by political opponents of Trump, both on Capitol Hill and in the corporate media.

Let's just assume for a moment that the whole Trump-Russia collusion story is indeed fake. That it is groundless, a figment of imagination. There are solid reasons to believe that is the case. But let's just assume here that it is fake for the sake of argument.

That then means that the Washington seat of government and the US presidency are tearing themselves apart in a futile civil war.

The real war here is a power struggle within the US in the context of ruling parties no longer having legitimacy to govern.

This is an American implosion. An historic Made-in-America meltdown. And Russophobia is but a symptom of the internal decay at the heart of US politics.

trulz4lulz -> Logan 5 •Mar 24, 2017 9:15 PM

I've been MSM-free for so long now, I forgot who I'm supposed to be hating this week!! I see the effects in sooo many of my friends though, more so on the left, than the right. Which is odd....? Or maybe it isn't, due to their mental retardation. Ohh well...game on.
stizazz -> trulz4lulz •Mar 24, 2017 9:44 PM

Russophobia has been ongoing since W Bush. They just want to keep Trump on the World War 3 track.

http://biblicisminstitute.wordpress.com/2015/03/17/the-truth-about-the-c...

oncemore -> Logan 5 •Mar 25, 2017 5:11 AM

Bolsevism, apart being a russian word, is at home in US, originated in US, was nurtured by US money and was, still is, the main US export (topic: imperial US wars).

hoyeru (not verified) •Mar 24, 2017 9:17 PM

Whether the Soviet Union exists or not has nothing to do with it. USA MUST always have an enemy to divert the sheeple's attention that their so called American dream is really a nightmare.

Besides, USA's empire is failing and Russia is getting stronger. of course USA will be pissed off about it.

daveO -> hoyeru •Mar 24, 2017 9:34 PM

"Oceania was at war with Eurasia; therefore Oceania had always been at war with Eurasia."

I'm glad to have lived to see them almost fail. When I first read this in 1984, by coincidence, there seemed to be no end in sight.

As soon as the USSR failed they replaced it with terrorism(Eastasia)...

MEFOBILLS -> daveO •Mar 25, 2017 3:31 AM

Oceania is always against a land power arising, including Eurasia.

Another wrinkle that is important: Feminized Western Societies. Russia is now a traditional masculine society, while the west has been feminized. (Judaized and Feminized are similar - both operate with deception)

http://www.heretical.com/sgs-2014/fem-war.html

Femine societies lash out, don't forgive, make dubious alliances, and fight underhanded.

The table at the bottom of link above describes the differences in wartime behavior between the two types of societies.

Since Trump is masculine, he naturally will be more instinctively in alignment with Putin and Russia.

nmewn •Mar 24, 2017 9:22 PM

Isn't it interesting that Russian government officials simply say "Veee don't comment on state spying activities" while in American government officials simply pass it directly to their media cronies who are quoted in newspapers and on TeeeVeee?

Anonymously...of course ;-)

DuneCreature •Mar 24, 2017 9:31 PM

Did we declare war on Russia while I was taking a nap?

What is the hell is going on with the raving Russian hacker meltdown horseshit? ... Bill Gates and the NSA camps out on my network every time I turn it on? .. Do I get to declare war and run to the UN for sanctions on Ft Meade?

Will Insane McCain get charged for fraternizing with ISIS Big Bagdaddy?
... ... ...

Cabreado •Mar 24, 2017 9:49 PM

"This is an American implosion. An historic Made-in-America meltdown. And Russophobia is but a symptom of the internal decay at the heart of US politics."

More importantly, it is a decay in the electorate and how it relates to the elected (isn't that the real heart of US politics?)

And so the elected, naturally, have become a corrupt mass of opportunists. This is why they ("We") invented Rule of Law. We just have to give a damn like We mean it.

francis scott f... •Mar 24, 2017 10:14 PM

Russophobia - Symptom Of US Implosion ? may be Symptom of Deep State implosion

dark_matter •Mar 24, 2017 10:36 PM

The Americans are poor haters in international affairs because of their innate feeling of superiority over all foreigners. An American's hatred for a fellow American (for Hoover or Roosevelt) is far more virulent than any antipathy he can work up against foreigners. Should Americans begin to hate foreigners wholeheartedly, it will be an indication that they have lost confidence in their own way of life. ~Eric Hoffer in True Believer

Escapeclaws -> dark_matter •Mar 25, 2017 2:49 AM

That book was written eons ago in "historical time". Now Americans, being ever more stomped upon and ground down are identifying with the victims of totalitarian ideologies, like the Russians under Bolshevism. We have our our own Bolsheviks. Like the Bolsheviks, they will kill millions of their fellow citizens if all goes according to plan (20 Million in Russia under the Bolsheviks). History doesn't rhyme, it repeats. THE NEOCONS--THEY WANT YOU DEAD!

Batman11 •Mar 25, 2017 3:37 AM

Look at US inequality:

http://static5.businessinsider.com/image/557ef766ecad04fe50a257cd-960/screen shot 2015-06-15 at 11.28.56 am.png

A picture paints a thousand words. American philanthropists sponsor right wing think-tanks to make people believe those at the top need more.
Look behind Trump when he talks from one of his residences, not everything is covered in gold leaf. He does need more. The US is being ransacked by its own elite and who are not going to take any responsibility for their own greed, so they are blaming the Russians.

Looking on the bright side. A nation with military bases in almost every nation on Earth is ransacked by its own elite, a source of great amusement for generations to come (outside the US). American exceptionalism – exceptionally stupid.

Batman11 -> Batman11 •Mar 25, 2017 4:03 AM

Add it to the list of things that will last forever: The British Empire, The Thousand Year Reich, American exceptionalism

krage_man •Mar 25, 2017 5:02 AM

Russophobia is just the result of the clash of 2 irreconcilable things. The first one is about USA being the superpower, controlling world affairs. The second one is that Russia's economy, influence, military power and state management by Putin government actually prevent USA from dominating Russia and its affairs.

It is internal conflict in the mind of Deep State figures. The only way is to either prove that the USA status by dominating Russia, or to adjust self vision as the only superpower and accept the changing world. Trump was elected to follow the later, but the deep state/establishment is unable to see anything other that the former as the way forward. So Russophobia is to keep all society following the way of dominance and to prevent Trump adopting more rational way of agreeing on sphere of influence with Russia.

BritBob •Mar 25, 2017 6:15 AM

Can Russia be trusted?

Russia tells Britain give back Gibraltar & Falklands before telling US what to do.
RUSSIA has told Britain it should "clean its conscience" and give back Gibraltar and the Falkland Islands before it criticises them over their involvement in Ukraine.

Moscow's ambassador to the UN, Vitaly Churkin made the shocking remarks when responding to his British counterpart Matthew Rycroft at a UN security council meeting in New York. (Daily Express 4 Feb 2017)

Do the Spanish have a claim to the Rock? Gibraltar - Some Relevant International Law: https://www.academia.edu/10575180/Gibraltar_-_Some_Relevant_Internationa...

Perhaps not.

Funny thing to say when Argentina has never legally owned the Falklands. So how can they 'be returned' ?

Falklands- Never Belonged to Argentina:

https://www.academia.edu/31111843/Falklands_Never_Belonged_to_Argentina

brushhog -> BritBob •Mar 25, 2017 7:42 AM

No, of course Russia cannot be "trusted". Their governmen is no better than anyone elses.

Mimir -> BritBob •Mar 25, 2017 9:44 AM

Spain is continuously claiming the return of Gibraltar to Spain. (Was conquered in 1704)

When it comes to Falkland Islands, according to all International maritime agreements and especially United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, it is very difficult to argue that the Falkland Islands is part of the UK. It would be for the International Court of Justice to solve the dispute.

I think Russia has a point.

d edwards -> Last of the Middle Class •Mar 25, 2017 8:12 AM

Seems the only one's with Russophobia are the f ing neomarxist dems who need a scapegoat for their loses over the last eight years under 0dumbo.

brushhog •Mar 25, 2017 7:40 AM

Its very simple, those in charge need an outside enemy to blame and to try to unite the people against. The worse things get, the louder they will cry wolf and the more threatening they will become towards Russia.

The global elitists would rather end the world in a nuclear holocaust then let go of power and admit they're to blame.

Beans •Mar 25, 2017 7:53 AM

The whole Russophobia gimmick in the West is purely a Zionist fiction created to punish the White Christian Russians for daring to assert themselves. Connect the dots between Jewish political/business interests in Ukraine, Russia and the US Congress/Executive branch/Governmental agencies and you quickly see how everything falls into place. Free yourselves, White Christian Americans.

Faeriedust -> Beans •Mar 25, 2017 1:38 PM

Not all Jews are Bankers. Not all Bankers are Jewish. There is, however, a significant overlap.

Beans -> Faeriedust •Mar 25, 2017 4:16 PM

Yeah sure, you're absolutely right. Another way of putting it is by saying; 'Not all Jews were Bolsheviks. Not all Bolsheviks were Jews'... The historically indisputable fact however, is that about 85 to 90% of the members of the first Bolshevik government of 'Soviet' Russia was indeed Jewish ;)

Faeriedust -> StopBeingParanoid •Mar 25, 2017 12:51 PM

Of course they try to influence our elections. Now step back. Ever heard the name Victoria Nuland? Phillip of Makedon? Or perhaps The Great Game? In point of fact, major players in world domination ALWAYS try to influence both rivals and all the bit players who have something they want. And the Russians play hardball, no question about that. But generally, with their OWN dissidents, not other people's. Ask Trotsky's ghost. Politics is a full-contact sport. The only exception is when all the players belong to the same League, and the League bans anyone who breaks the rules. Right now, there IS no league. So yes, Putin plays hard. The CIA does, too.

aloha_snakbar •Mar 25, 2017 9:44 AM

However, the power of the Russophobia propaganda technique over the wider population seems to have greatly diminished from its Cold War heyday.

Im hiding under a desk... I cant hear you...

VW Nerd •Mar 25, 2017 10:46 AM

Commiey is a stooge of the deep state. Someone has some serious dirt on him.

Caleb Abell -> VW Nerd •Mar 25, 2017 11:01 AM

Along those lines, Comey may have derailed Clinton because elements of the deep state wanted her gone, and they were willing to accept Trump on a temporary basis. Now that Clinton is out of the picture, they can work on replacing Trump (one way or the other) with the much more compliant Pence.

CRM114 •Mar 25, 2017 12:31 PM

This article would have an even stronger case if it weren't based on a false premise. The Soviet Union WAS a threat to the West; that wasn't propaganda. Now Russia isn't a threat and it is propaganda.

Thus it is even more obvious that the US/Western elite are hunting for a way to demonize Russia, and we need look no further than Russia/China's efforts to escape the World banking structure for the reason.

Faeriedust -> CRM114 •Mar 25, 2017 12:42 PM

That's really debateable. Remember, the Soviet Union was our ALLY in WWII. Stalin was a batshit thug, and we (not to mention the Russians) were well rid of him. BUT -- immediately after his death the USSR was taken over by a committee of Experienced Old Men who were willing and able to be pragmatic.

Try to remember that when the Bolshevik Revolution started, both the English and the Americans weren't sure whether to support it or oppose it. Then Lenin and Trotsky decided to default on the Russian war debt -- which they had NO way of paying. Suddenly they became the world's greatest evil. Many high-ranking foreign service specialists in Britain even supported Hitler, initially, with the idea that they would turn him loose against the Russians and sit back to watch the fireworks. Of course, that was before Hitler repudiated Germany's WWI war debt. Do you see a pattern yet?

The issue was ALWAYS the wealth, profit, and survival of the banks. ALWAYS.

CRM114 -> Faeriedust •Mar 25, 2017 1:12 PM

I suggest you read some more history. You are making links for which there is only circumstantial evidence, whereas the alternatives have an abundance of evidence. I am vehently against the current role of the bankers, but...

Now, the bankers sought to exploit all of this and make a profit, immoral or otherwise, but they didn't start it,and they couldn't have stopped it.

I am prepared to consider the idea that they now can exert such a high level of influence, and are doing so, but this was not true in the past.

Faeriedust •Mar 25, 2017 12:35 PM

Washington has had a problem with groupthink for a long time, but now it's become obvious to the entire world, not to mention the mythical Average American. Neither Millenials nor Boomers were ever likely to fall for McCarthyism 2.0. Instead, they see the political leadership for what it is -- a senile elite that has entirely lost its grip on reality. This is common in dying empires; in fact it's the fundamental reason why empires collapse.

Yes, running through all your resources, hollowing out your military, and destroying international goodwill aren't exactly the way to Win Friends And Influence People. But they happen, because the 1% at the top of the totem pole become so divorced from what life is like for the other 99%, that they lose the ability to make intelligent or rational decisions.

It's like an oil tanker trying to thread its way through a gap in a reef -- with good steering and a willing crew, it can be done. But if the captain's passed out drunk and the Exec is high on meth, with half the crew already taking off in the lifeboats against orders . . . it takes a miracle to avoid the rocks.

[Sep 24, 2017] Mark Ames When Mother Jones Was Investigated for Spreading Kremlin Disinformation by Mark Ames

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Adam Hochschild, the founding editor of Mother Jones (and author of some great books including King Leopold's Ghost), responded publicly to the threats coming out of the Senate in the early Reagan years. In a New York Times op-ed published in late 1981, "Dis-(Mis-?)Information", Hochschild wrote about a Republican Senate mailer sent out to 290 radio stations that accused Mother Jones of being Kremlin disinformation dupes. ..."
"... "In it, the writer Arnaud de Borchgrave accuses Mother Jones, the Village Voice, the Soho News, the Progressive magazine of serving as disseminators of K.G.B. 'disinformation' – the planting of false or misleading items in news media. "Mr. de Borchgrave provided no specific examples of facts or articles. But, then, the trouble with the K.G.B. is that you don't know what disinformation it is feeding you because you don't know who its myriad agents are. So the only safe thing is to distrust any author or magazine too critical of the United States. Because anyone who is against, say, the MX or the B-1 bomber could be working for the Russians." ..."
"... The communist/leftist imagery is there for a reason. In case you haven't noticed, Clinton supporters have waged a crude PR campaign to blame their candidate's loss on leftists, whom they equate with neo-Nazis and Trump. I've been smeared as "alt-left" by a Vanity Fair columnist, who equated me with Breitbart and other far-right journalists, for the crime of not sufficiently supporting Hillary Clinton. The larger goal of this crude PR effort is to equate opposition to Hillary Clinton with treason and Nazism. Which was exactly the goal of Reagan's "Kremlin disinformation" hysteria - the whole point was to smear critics of Reagan and his right-wing politics as pro-Kremlin traitors, whether they knew it or not. ..."
"... Even the words and the terminology are plagiarized from the Reagan Right witch-hunting campaign - "Kremlin active measures"; "Kremlin disinformation"; "Kremlin dupes" - terms introduced by right-wing novelists and intelligence hucksters, and repeated ad nauseam until they transformed into something plausible, giving quasi-academic cover to some very old-fashioned state repression, harassment, surveillance . . . and a lot of ruined lives. That's what happened last time, and if history is any guide, it's how this one will end up too. ..."
"... The Reagan Era kicked off with a lot of dark fear-mongering about the Kremlin using disinformation and active measures to destroy our way of life. Everything that the conservative Establishment loathed about 1970s - defeat in Vietnam, Church Committee hearings gutting the CIA and FBI, the cult of Woodward & Bernstein & Hersh, peace marchers, minority rights radicals - was an "active measures" treason conspiracy. ..."
"... The image at the top of this article comes from a lead article in Columbia University's student newspaper, the Spectator, published a few weeks after Reagan took office, on SST committee's assault on Mother Jones. The headline read: The New McCarthyism / Are You Now, Or Have You Ever Been and the the full-page article begins, If you subscribe to Mother Jones, give money to the American Civil Liberties Union, or support the Institute for Policy Studies, Senator Jeremiah Denton's new Subcommittee on Security and Terrorism may be interested in you. ..."
"... It describes how in the 1970s Americans finally got rid of HUAC and the Senate Internal Security Committee, the Red Scare witch-hunting Congressional committees - only to have them revived one election cycle later in the Reagan Revolution. ..."
"... Sexual immorality -- it's a common theme in all the Russia panics of the past 100 years-whether the sexually liberated Emma Goldmans of the Red Scare, the homosexual-panic of the McCarthy witch-hunts, the hippie orgies of Denton's nightmares, or Trump's supposed golden shower fetish with immoral Russian prostitutes in our current panic. . . . ..."
"... To fight the Kremlin disinformation demons, Denton set up the Senate Subcommittee on Security and Terrorism (SST), with two other young Republican senators-Orrin Hatch, who's still haunting Capitol Hill today; and John East of North Carolina, a Jesse Helms protege who later did his country a great service by committing suicide in his North Carolina garage, before the end of his first term in office in 1986. ..."
"... Sen. East's staffers leaned Nazi-ward, like their boss. One Sen. East staffer was Samuel Francis - now famous as the godfather of the alt-Right, but who in 1981 was known as the guru behind the Senate's "Russia disinformation" witch hunt. Funny how that works - today's #Resistance takes its core idea, that America is under the control of hostile Kremlin disinformation sorcerers - is culturally appropriated from the alt-Right's guru. ..."
"... Another staffer for Sen. East was John Rees, one of the most loathsome professional snitches of the post-McCarthy era, who collected files on suspected leftists, labor activists and liberal donors. I'll have to save John Rees for another post - he really belongs in a category by himself, proof of Schopenhauer's maxim that this world is run by demons. ..."
"... These were the people who first cooked up the "disinformation" panic. You can't separate the Sam Francises, Orrin Hatches, John Easts et al from today's panic-mongering over disinformation - you can only try to make sense of why, what is it about our culture's ruling factions that brings them together on this sort of xenophobic witch-hunt, even when they see themselves as so diametrically opposed on so many other issues. ..."
"... The subversion scare and moral panic were crucial in resetting the culture for the Reagan counter-revolution. Those who opposed Reagan's plans, domestically and overseas, would be labeled "dupes" of Kremlin "active measures" and "disinformation" conspiracies, acting on behalf of Moscow whether they knew it or not. The panic incubated in Denton's subcommittee investigations provided political cover for vast new powers given to the CIA, FBI, NSA and other spy and police agencies to spy on Americans. Fighting Russian "active measures" grew over the years into a massive surveillance program against Americans, particularly anyone involved in opposing Reagan's dirty wars in Central America, anyone opposing nuclear weapons and nuclear power plants, and anyone involved in providing sanctuary to refugees from south of the border. The "active measures" panic even led to FBI secret investigations into liberal members of Congress, some of whom wound up in a secret "FBI terrorist photo album". ..."
"... 'Russia is a bigger threat to America than Islamic State.' is almost certainly true. If one insists, as the US has done, on standing at the border of the bears lair and poking it with a very short stick, then there may well be consequences. On the other hand, Islamic State is no threat to the US in any way, shape or form. ..."
"... The Cold War is over, so now the US can reveal its truly feral nature. ..."
"... American slogan Violence R Us. Not judging, just being honest. We were no more interested in the common good of the Vietnamese back then, any more than we are interested in the common good of the Syrians today. ..."
"... It's always 'Russia this, Russia that', how we're going to bring democracy to some other part of the world, how some country's leader is a dictator. These are excuses we can do reverse Robin Hood wherever we can and enrich the 1%. ..."
"... It's my duty to point out that the glaring similarities in this brand of cold war Russophobia with that of pre-WW2 anti-Comintern material coming out of Nazi Germany (or even the anti-Semitic material from the early 1900s) are no coincidence. ..."
"... Among the Nazi intelligence officers and scientists we spirited away before the Russians could get their hands on them [ Operation Paperclip ] were a few sly operators who immediately started filling our elected leaders' ears with stories of Reds under the bed. One of these reps was Senator Joe McCarthy and the rest, as they say ..."
"... American-produced historical documentaries tell it like we were united as a country in support of Stalin against Hitler. This reluctance is usually credited to not wanting to get into another bloodbath like WW1 but let's be straight- about half the country (proto-deplorables?) wanted nothing to do with helping the commies beat the Nazis and actually thought the Germans weren't the bad guys. Anti-communism, big brother to anti-unionism and first cousin to anti-Semitism, was all the rage before we helped Uncle Joe beat Hitler, making it all the easier to revive after the war was over and it looked like the only threat to US world domination was a war-weakened Soviet Union. ..."
"... A few years ago, with the advent of internet freeness, I'd added MJ ..."
"... It is sensible but really too polite to say that NATO expanded because "that is what bureaucracies do and it became a way for U.S. presidents to show their 'toughness.'" To expand a bureaucracy by subversion of Ukraine and false reports of Russian aggression, to show toughness by aggression rather than defense, requires the mad power grasping of tyrants in the military, the intel agencies, the NSC, the administration, Congress. and the mass media. ..."
"... They are joined in a tyranny of inventing foreign monsters, to pose falsely as protectors, and to accuse their moral superiors of disloyalty, as Aristotle warned. This is the domestic political power grab of tyrants, a far greater danger. ..."
"... Apart from NATO and a few other treaties, the US would have no constitutional power to wage foreign wars, just to repel invasions and suppress insurrections, and that is the way it should be. Any treaty becomes part of the Supreme Law of the land, and must be rigorously restricted to defense, with provisions for international resolution of conflicts. NATO has been nothing but an excuse for warmongering since 1989. ..."
"... I think this is much closer to the mark than the association of the anti-russia fearmongering with sincere xenophobia. Russia is the go-to foreign enemy because there is such a huge and convenient stockpile of propaganda material lying around in stockpiles, but left unused because of the tragic and abrupt end of Cold War 1.0. And Russia is a great target because it is distant, and has a weird alphabet. Anyone who knows enough about Russia to contradict the disinformation (like by mentioning that they are not commies, but US-style authoritarian oligarchs) is suspicious ipso facto ..."
"... Both parties being pro wall street deficit and war hawks differing in perhaps degree .with the Demos supporting a more generous portion of calf's foot jelly being distributed to peasants of more varied hue as they also support privatization, more subtle tax cuts and deregulation for the rich, R2P wars, and globalization's race to the bottom. People seem to inhabit their own Plato's Cave each opposing their own particular artfully projected phantom menace. ..."
"... Brilliant, as Ames usually is. Especially the point that this is a manifestation of consistent anti-left sentiment within the establishment whether R or D. The confounding of Putin's Russia with some imagined communist threat always amazes me. D's got to keep up the hippie-punching at all times though! ..."
"... The Russophobia is stuck on an endless loop. I wish they'd at least come up with new lies or some fresh enemy for us all to fear. ..."
"... Without defending Trump, it is wrong of the Dems to push this stuff when Ukrainians helped Clinton's campaign and Clinton approved Uranium One getting 20% of US uranium when they gave $100 million to the Foundation. ..."
Jun 03, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

By Mark Ames, founding editor of the Moscow satirical paper The eXile and co-host of the Radio War Nerd podcast with Gary Brecher (aka John Dolan). Subscribe here. Originally published at The eXiled

Mother Jones recently announced it's "redoubling our Russia reporting"-in the words of editor Clara Jeffery. Ain't that rich. What passes for "Russia reporting" at Mother Jones is mostly just glorified InfoWars paranoia for progressive marks - a cataract of xenophobic conspiracy theories about inscrutable Russian barbarians hellbent on subverting our way of life, spreading chaos, destroying freedom & democracy & tolerance wherever they once flourished. . . . because they hate us, because we're free.

Western reporting on Russia has always been garbage, But the so-called "Russia reporting" of the last year has taken the usual malpractice to unimagined depths - whether it's from Mother Jones or MSNBC, or the Washington Post or Resistance hero Louise Mensch.

But of all the liberal media, Mother Jones should be most ashamed for fueling the moral panic about Russian "disinformation". It wasn't too long ago that the Reagan Right attacked Mother Jones for spreading "Kremlin disinformation" and subverting America. There were threats and leaks to the media about a possible Senate investigation into Mother Jones serving as a Kremlin disinformation dupe, a threat that hung over the magazine throughout the early Reagan years. A new Senate Subcommittee on Security and Terrorism (SST for short) was set up in 1981 to investigate Kremlin "disinformation" and "active measures" in America, and the American "dupes" who helped Moscow subvert our way of life. That subcommittee was created to harass and repress leftist anti-imperial dissent in America, using "terrorism" as the main threat, and "disinformation" as terrorism's fellow traveller. The way the the SST committee put it, "terrorism" and "Kremlin disinformation" were one and the same, a meta-conspiracy run out of Moscow to weaken America.

And Mother Jones was one of the first American media outlets in the SST committee's sites.

Adam Hochschild, the founding editor of Mother Jones (and author of some great books including King Leopold's Ghost), responded publicly to the threats coming out of the Senate in the early Reagan years. In a New York Times op-ed published in late 1981, "Dis-(Mis-?)Information", Hochschild wrote about a Republican Senate mailer sent out to 290 radio stations that accused Mother Jones of being Kremlin disinformation dupes. The mailer, on Senate letterhead, featured a tape recording of an interview between the chairman of the SST subcommittee, Sen. Jeremiah Denton of Alabama, and a committee witness- a "disinformation expert" named Arnaud de Borchgrave, author of a bestselling spy novel called "The Spike" - about a fictional Kremlin plot to subvert the West with disinformation, and thereby rule the world.

Here's how Hochschild described the Republican Senate mailer in his NYTimes piece:

"In it, the writer Arnaud de Borchgrave accuses Mother Jones, the Village Voice, the Soho News, the Progressive magazine of serving as disseminators of K.G.B. 'disinformation' – the planting of false or misleading items in news media. "Mr. de Borchgrave provided no specific examples of facts or articles. But, then, the trouble with the K.G.B. is that you don't know what disinformation it is feeding you because you don't know who its myriad agents are. So the only safe thing is to distrust any author or magazine too critical of the United States. Because anyone who is against, say, the MX or the B-1 bomber could be working for the Russians."

Here, the Mother Jones founder describes the menacing logic of pursuing the "Kremlin disinformation" conspiracy: any American critical of US military power, police power, corporate power, overseas power . . . anyone critical of anything that powerful Americans do, is a Kremlin disinformation dupe whether they know it or not. That leaves only the appointed accusers to decide who is and who isn't a Kremlin agent.

Hochschild called this panic over Kremlin disinformation another "Red Scare", warning,

"[T]o accuse critical American journalists of serving as its unwitting dupes makes as little sense as Russians accusing rebellious Poles of being unwitting agents of American imperialism. When Mr. de Borchgrave accuses skeptical journalists of being unwitting purveyors of disinformation, the accusation is more slippery, less easy to definitively disprove, and less subject to libel law than if he were to accuse them of being conscious Communist agents.

" Although if you believe the K.G.B. is successfully infiltrating America's news media, then anything must seem possible."

It's a damn shame today's editorial staff at Mother Jones aren't aware of their own magazine's history.

Then again, who am I fooling? Mother Jones wouldn't care if you shoved their faces in their own recent history - they're way too donor-deep invested in pushing this "active measures" conspiracy. Trump has been a goldmine of donor cash for anyone willing to carry the #Resistance water.

PutinTrump was a project set up last fall by tech plutocrat Rob Glaser, CEO and founder of RealNetworks, to scare voters into believing that voting for Trump is treason. God knows I can't stand Trump or his politics, but of all the inane campaign ideas to run on - this?

One would've thought that the smart people would learn their lesson from the election, that running against a Kremlin conspiracy theory is a loser. But instead, they seem to think the problem is they didn't fear-monger enough, so they're "redoubling" on the Russophobia. Donor money is driving this - donor cash is quite literally driving Mother Jones' editorial focus. And it really is this crude.

Take for example a PutinTrump section titled "Russian Expansion" - the scary Red imagery and language are lifted straight out of the Reagan Cold War playbook from the early-mid 80s, when, it so happens, Mother Jones was targeted as a Kremlin dupe. Featuring a lot of shadowy red-colored alien soldiers over an outline of Crimea, Mother Jones' donor-partner promotes a classic Cold War propaganda line about Russian/Soviet expansionism-a lie that has been the basis for so many wars launched to "stop" this alleged "expansionism" in the past, wars that Mother Jones is supposed to oppose. Here's what MJ's partner writes now:

RUSSIAN EXPANSION

Through unknowing manipulation, or by direct support, Trump will become an accessory to the continual expansionism committed by Putin. Might does not equal right-and it never has for Americans-but Putin's Russia plays by different rules. Or maybe no rules at all.

The communist/leftist imagery is there for a reason. In case you haven't noticed, Clinton supporters have waged a crude PR campaign to blame their candidate's loss on leftists, whom they equate with neo-Nazis and Trump. I've been smeared as "alt-left" by a Vanity Fair columnist, who equated me with Breitbart and other far-right journalists, for the crime of not sufficiently supporting Hillary Clinton. The larger goal of this crude PR effort is to equate opposition to Hillary Clinton with treason and Nazism. Which was exactly the goal of Reagan's "Kremlin disinformation" hysteria - the whole point was to smear critics of Reagan and his right-wing politics as pro-Kremlin traitors, whether they knew it or not.

* * *

What's kind of shocking to me as someone who was alive in the Reagan scare is how unoriginal this current one is. Even the words and the terminology are plagiarized from the Reagan Right witch-hunting campaign - "Kremlin active measures"; "Kremlin disinformation"; "Kremlin dupes" - terms introduced by right-wing novelists and intelligence hucksters, and repeated ad nauseam until they transformed into something plausible, giving quasi-academic cover to some very old-fashioned state repression, harassment, surveillance . . . and a lot of ruined lives. That's what happened last time, and if history is any guide, it's how this one will end up too.

Today we're supposed to remember how cheerful and optimistic the Reagan Era was. But that's now how I remember it, it's not how it looked to Mother Jones at the time - and it's not how it looks when you go back through the original source material again and relive it. The Reagan Era kicked off with a lot of dark fear-mongering about the Kremlin using disinformation and active measures to destroy our way of life. Everything that the conservative Establishment loathed about 1970s - defeat in Vietnam, Church Committee hearings gutting the CIA and FBI, the cult of Woodward & Bernstein & Hersh, peace marchers, minority rights radicals - was an "active measures" treason conspiracy.

As soon as the new Republican majority in the Senate took power in 1981, they set up a new subcommittee to investigate Kremlin disinformation dupes, called the Senate Subcommittee on Security and Terrorism. Staffers leaked to the media they intended to investigate Mother Jones. Panic spread across the progressive media world, and suddenly all those cool Ivy League kids who invested everything in becoming the next Woodward-Bernsteins - the cultural heroes at the time - got scared. The image at the top of this article comes from a lead article in Columbia University's student newspaper, the Spectator, published a few weeks after Reagan took office, on SST committee's assault on Mother Jones. The headline read: The New McCarthyism / Are You Now, Or Have You Ever Been and the the full-page article begins, If you subscribe to Mother Jones, give money to the American Civil Liberties Union, or support the Institute for Policy Studies, Senator Jeremiah Denton's new Subcommittee on Security and Terrorism may be interested in you.

It describes how in the 1970s Americans finally got rid of HUAC and the Senate Internal Security Committee, the Red Scare witch-hunting Congressional committees - only to have them revived one election cycle later in the Reagan Revolution.

By the end of Reagan's first year in office, there was still no formal investigation into Mother Jones, but the harassment was there and it wasn't subtle at all - such as the Republican Senate mailer accusing the magazine of being KGB disinformation dupes. At the end of 1981, MJ editor/founder Adam Hochschild announced he was stepping aside, and in his final note to readers and the public, he wrote:

To Senator Jeremiah Denton, chair of the Subcommittee on Security and Terrorism: If your committee investigates Mother Jones, a plan hinted at some months ago, I demand to be subpoenaed. I would not want to miss telling off today's new McCarthyites.

So here we are a few decades later, and Mother Jones' editor Clara Jeffery is denouncing WikiLeaks - yesterday's journalism stars, today's traitors - as "Russia['s] willing dupes and propagandists" while Mother Jones magazine turned itself into a mouthpiece for America's spies peddling the same warmed-over conspiracy theories that once targeted Mother Jones.

* * *

Jeremiah Denton - the New Right senator from Alabama who led the SST committee investigation into Kremlin "disinformation" and its dupes like Mother Jones - believed that America was being weakened from within and had only a few years left at most to turn it around. As Denton saw it, the two most dangerous threats to America's survival were a) hippie sex, and b) Kremlin disinformation. The two were inseparable in his mind, linked to the larger "global terrorism" plot masterminded by Moscow.

To fight hippie sex and teen promiscuity, the freshman senator introduced a "Chastity Bill" funding federal programs that promoted the joys of chastity to Americans armies of bored, teen suburban long-hairs. A lot of clever people laughed at that, because at the time the belief in linear historical progress was strong, and this represented something so atavistic that it was like a curiosity more than anything - Pauly Shore's "Alabama Man" unfrozen after 10,000 years and unleashed on the halls of Congress.

Less funny were Denton's calls for death penalty for adulterers, and laws he pushed restricting women's right to abortion.

Jeremiah Denton was once a big name in this country. Americans have since forgotten Denton, because John McCain pretty much stole his act. But back in the 70s and early 80s, Denton was America's most famous Vietnam War hero/POW. Like McCain, Denton was a Navy pilot shot down over Vietnam and taken prisoner. Denton spent 1965-1973 in North Vietnamese POW camps-two years longer than McCain-and he was America's most famous POW. His most famous moment was when his North Vietnamese captors hauled him before the cameras to acknowledge his crimes, and instead Denton famously blinked out a Morse code message: "T-O-R-T-U-R-E".

In the 1973 POW exchange deal between Hanoi and Nixon, "Operation Homecoming," it was Denton who was the first American POW to come off the plane and speak to the American tv crews (McCain was on the same flight, but not nearly as prominent as Denton). I keep referring back to McCain here because not only were they both famous Navy pilot POWs, but they both wind up becoming the most pathologically obsessive Russophobes in the Senate. Just a few days ago, McCain said that Russia is a bigger threat to America than Islamic State. Something real bad must've happened in those Hanoi Hiltons, worse than anything they told us about, because those guys really, really hate Russians - and they reallywant the rest of us to hate Russians too.

Everything they loathed about America, everything that was wrong with America, had to be the fault of a hostile alien culture. There was no other explanation for what happened in the 1970s. The America that Denton came home to in 1973 was under some kind of hostile power, an alien-controlled replica of the America he last saw in 1965. Popular morality had been turned on its head: Hollywood blockbusters with bare naked bodies and gutter language! Children against their parents! Homosexuals on waterskis! Sex and treason! Patriots were the enemy, while America-haters were heroes! Denton re-appeared like some reactionary Rip Van Winkle who went to sleep in the safe feather-bed world of J Edgar Hoover's America - only to wake up eight years later on Bernadine Dohrn's futon, soaked in Bill Ayers' bodily fluids. For Denton, the post-60s cultural shock came on all at once - as sudden and as jarring as, well, the shock so many Blue State Americans experienced when Donald Trump won the election last November.

Sex, immorality & military defeat-these were inseparable in Denton's mind, and in a lot of reactionaries' minds. Attributing all of America's social convulsions of the previous 15 years to immorality and a Kremlin disinformation plot was a neat way of avoiding the complex and painful realities - then, as now.

"No nation can survive long unless it can encourage its young to withhold indulgence in their sexual appetites until marriage." - Jeremiah Denton

What hit Denton hardest was all the hippie sex and the pop culture glorification of hippie sex. It's hard to convey just how deeply all that smug hippie sex wounded tens of millions of Americans. It's a hate wound that's still raw, still burns to the touch. A wound that fueled so much reactionary political fire over the past 50 years, and it doesn't look like it'll burn out any time soon.

Back in 1980, Denton blamed all that pop culture sex on Russian active measures, and he did his best to not just outlaw it, but to demonize sex as something along the lines of treason.

Just as so many people today cannot accept the idea that Trumpism is Made In America-so Denton and his Reagan Right constituents believed there had to be some alien force to explain why Americans had changed so drastically, seeming to adopt values that were the antithesis of Middle America's values in 1965. It had to be the fault of an alien voodoo beam! It had to be a Russian plot!

And so, therefore, it was a Russian plot.

A 1981 Time magazine profile of the freshman Senator begins, Denton believes that America is being destroyed by sexual immorality and Soviet-sponsored political 'disinformation'-and that both are being promoted by dupes, or worse, in the media. By the mid-1980s, he warns, "we will have less national security than we had proportionately when George Washington's troops were walking around barefoot at Valley Forge."

Sexual immorality -- it's a common theme in all the Russia panics of the past 100 years-whether the sexually liberated Emma Goldmans of the Red Scare, the homosexual-panic of the McCarthy witch-hunts, the hippie orgies of Denton's nightmares, or Trump's supposed golden shower fetish with immoral Russian prostitutes in our current panic. . . .

To fight the Kremlin disinformation demons, Denton set up the Senate Subcommittee on Security and Terrorism (SST), with two other young Republican senators-Orrin Hatch, who's still haunting Capitol Hill today; and John East of North Carolina, a Jesse Helms protege who later did his country a great service by committing suicide in his North Carolina garage, before the end of his first term in office in 1986.

Sen. East's staffers leaned Nazi-ward, like their boss. One Sen. East staffer was Samuel Francis - now famous as the godfather of the alt-Right, but who in 1981 was known as the guru behind the Senate's "Russia disinformation" witch hunt. Funny how that works - today's #Resistance takes its core idea, that America is under the control of hostile Kremlin disinformation sorcerers - is culturally appropriated from the alt-Right's guru.

Another staffer for Sen. East was John Rees, one of the most loathsome professional snitches of the post-McCarthy era, who collected files on suspected leftists, labor activists and liberal donors. I'll have to save John Rees for another post - he really belongs in a category by himself, proof of Schopenhauer's maxim that this world is run by demons.

These were the people who first cooked up the "disinformation" panic. You can't separate the Sam Francises, Orrin Hatches, John Easts et al from today's panic-mongering over disinformation - you can only try to make sense of why, what is it about our culture's ruling factions that brings them together on this sort of xenophobic witch-hunt, even when they see themselves as so diametrically opposed on so many other issues. I don't think this is something as simple as hypocrisy - it's actually quite consistent: Establishment faction wakes up to a world it doesn't recognize and loathes and feels threatened by, and blames it not on themselves or anything domestic, but rather on the most plausible alien conspiracy they can reach for: Russian barbarians. Anti-Russian xenophobia is burned into the Establishment culture's DNA; it's a xenophobia that both dominant factions, liberal or conservative, view as an acceptable xenophobia. When poorer "white working class" Americans feel threatened and panic, their xenophobia tends to be aimed at other ethnics - Latinos and Muslims these days - a xenophobia that the Establishment views as completely immoral and unacceptable, completely beyond the pale. The thought never occurs to them that perhaps all forms of xenophobia are bad, all bring with them a lot of violence and danger, it just depends on who's threatened and who's doing the threatening

The subversion scare and moral panic were crucial in resetting the culture for the Reagan counter-revolution. Those who opposed Reagan's plans, domestically and overseas, would be labeled "dupes" of Kremlin "active measures" and "disinformation" conspiracies, acting on behalf of Moscow whether they knew it or not. The panic incubated in Denton's subcommittee investigations provided political cover for vast new powers given to the CIA, FBI, NSA and other spy and police agencies to spy on Americans. Fighting Russian "active measures" grew over the years into a massive surveillance program against Americans, particularly anyone involved in opposing Reagan's dirty wars in Central America, anyone opposing nuclear weapons and nuclear power plants, and anyone involved in providing sanctuary to refugees from south of the border. The "active measures" panic even led to FBI secret investigations into liberal members of Congress, some of whom wound up in a secret "FBI terrorist photo album".

I'll get to that "FBI Terrorist Photo Album" story later. There's a lot of recent "Kremlin disinformation" history to recover, since it seems every last memory cell has been zapped out of existence.

After Reagan's inauguration (the most expensive, lavish inauguration ball in White House history), Senator Denton sent a chill through the liberal and independent media world with all the talk coming out of his committee about targeting activists, civil rights lawyers and journalists. Denton tried to come off as reasonable some of the times; other times, he came right out and said it: "disinformation" is terrorism: When I speak of a threat, I do not just mean that an organization is, or is about to be, engaged in violent criminal activity. I believe many share the view that support groups that produce propaganda, disinformation or legal assistance may be even more dangerous than those who actually throw the bombs.

Congratulations Mother Jones, you've come a long way, baby! Next post, I'll recover some of the early committee hearings, and the rightwing hucksters, creeps and spooks who fed Denton's committee.

glmmph , June 3, 2017 at 7:00 am

I think that John McCain may well be correct, if for the wrong reasons. 'Russia is a bigger threat to America than Islamic State.' is almost certainly true. If one insists, as the US has done, on standing at the border of the bears lair and poking it with a very short stick, then there may well be consequences. On the other hand, Islamic State is no threat to the US in any way, shape or form.

Disturbed Voter , June 3, 2017 at 7:23 am

This is now, that was then. There is no comparison. The Cold War is over, so now the US can reveal its truly feral nature. It seems both parties are struggling to bring back the 1960s with Cold War 2.0. We need to pull out of the Middle East, and invade Vietnam, again ;-( And yes, probably even back then, Mother Jones was controlled opposition. They just don't bother hiding it anymore.

John Zelnicker , June 3, 2017 at 3:18 pm

@Disturbed Voter – Dontcha know. We just signed deals with Viet Nam that will bring "billions of dollars" to the U.S. Trump said so last week after meeting with the Vietnamese Prime Minister, so it must be true. They're safe for now. :-)

witters , June 3, 2017 at 7:29 am

"Might does not equal right-and it never has for Americans-" Is there a Darwin Award for this?

Disturbed Voter , June 3, 2017 at 9:30 am

American slogan Violence R Us. Not judging, just being honest. We were no more interested in the common good of the Vietnamese back then, any more than we are interested in the common good of the Syrians today.

oh , June 3, 2017 at 3:18 pm

Our nation worries about other countries' problems but we never care about ours! It's always 'Russia this, Russia that', how we're going to bring democracy to some other part of the world, how some country's leader is a dictator. These are excuses we can do reverse Robin Hood wherever we can and enrich the 1%.

Magazines (tabloids) and (fake)news organization are cheer leaders to this effort because they cash in on the chant du jour.

Baby Gerald , June 3, 2017 at 8:16 am

Thank you so much for exposing in such great detail the hypocrisy regarding MJ s recent neo-Red Scare leanings. If only the editorial staff at dear MJ would educate themselves not only about their own organization's history, but history in general, they might avoid looking like complete fools and enemies to their own institution's founding principles when we collectively reminisce on this bizarre era at some point in the future.

It's my duty to point out that the glaring similarities in this brand of cold war Russophobia with that of pre-WW2 anti-Comintern material coming out of Nazi Germany (or even the anti-Semitic material from the early 1900s) are no coincidence.

Among the Nazi intelligence officers and scientists we spirited away before the Russians could get their hands on them [ Operation Paperclip ] were a few sly operators who immediately started filling our elected leaders' ears with stories of Reds under the bed. One of these reps was Senator Joe McCarthy and the rest, as they say

American-produced historical documentaries tell it like we were united as a country in support of Stalin against Hitler. This reluctance is usually credited to not wanting to get into another bloodbath like WW1 but let's be straight- about half the country (proto-deplorables?) wanted nothing to do with helping the commies beat the Nazis and actually thought the Germans weren't the bad guys. Anti-communism, big brother to anti-unionism and first cousin to anti-Semitism, was all the rage before we helped Uncle Joe beat Hitler, making it all the easier to revive after the war was over and it looked like the only threat to US world domination was a war-weakened Soviet Union.

As a kid in the 80s I remember MJ being singled out as a leftist commie rag by Reaganites of the day. Through college this was about all I knew about the magazine– as an epithet for what hippie commie liberals read before trying to ruin our country. Despite it leaning to my political inclinations, I never paid it any attention.

A few years ago, with the advent of internet freeness, I'd added MJ to my news stream. Once Sanders- then later Trump- started looking like an actual threat to the Clinton campaign, their headlines started turning snippy and trite toward her opposition. I turned them off my feed last year, so the only exposure to their drivel is thanks to the links here at NC . Now with the advent of twitter, their staff have taken the extra step of proving how twisted their personal Russophobian views really are. Between just Corn and Jeffery, there's enough material to make any McCarthyite proud.*

[* – I was going to close with ' and make Adam Hochschild roll in his grave' but then I googled him and discovered that he's still alive. Wonder what he thinks about this current turn at the magazine he co-founded?]

Damson , June 3, 2017 at 8:40 am

Reposting a comment that IMV, snapshots the reality of Russophobia far better than Ames (it was in response to a Ray McGovern article on Trump's visit to NATO HQ) :

"Ray has written well to the general audience, bridging the information gap for those heavily propagandized. He has properly shown the expansion of NATO as an act of calculated betrayal, a policy of aggression in the face of zero threat.

It is sensible but really too polite to say that NATO expanded because "that is what bureaucracies do and it became a way for U.S. presidents to show their 'toughness.'" To expand a bureaucracy by subversion of Ukraine and false reports of Russian aggression, to show toughness by aggression rather than defense, requires the mad power grasping of tyrants in the military, the intel agencies, the NSC, the administration, Congress. and the mass media.

They are joined in a tyranny of inventing foreign monsters, to pose falsely as protectors, and to accuse their moral superiors of disloyalty, as Aristotle warned. This is the domestic political power grab of tyrants, a far greater danger.

Tyranny is a subculture, a groupthink of bullies who tyrannize each other and compete for the most radical propositions of nonexistent foreign threats. They fully well know that they are lying to the people of the United States to serve a personal and factional agenda that involves the murder of millions of innocents, the diversion of a very large fraction of their own and other nations' budgets from essential needs, and they have not an ounce of humanity or moral restraint among them. Those who waver are cast aside, and the worst of the bullies rise to the top. This is why the nation's founders opposed a standing military, and they were right.

Apart from NATO and a few other treaties, the US would have no constitutional power to wage foreign wars, just to repel invasions and suppress insurrections, and that is the way it should be. Any treaty becomes part of the Supreme Law of the land, and must be rigorously restricted to defense, with provisions for international resolution of conflicts. NATO has been nothing but an excuse for warmongering since 1989.

Let us hope that Trump pulls the plug on NATO interventionism, accidentally or otherwise. The Dem leaders have now joined the Reps in their love of bribes for genocide, but at the least the Reps still don't like paying for it. Perhaps the last duopoly imitation of civilization."

nowhere , June 3, 2017 at 11:26 am

Hmm "but at the least the Reps still don't like paying for it." I strongly disagree. War is the only thing Rs don't mind openly supporting.

Ptolemy Philopater , June 3, 2017 at 3:15 pm

One can not repeat often enough: War Crimes Tribunals! How to disincentivize the madness.

Skip Intro , June 4, 2017 at 2:14 am

I think this is much closer to the mark than the association of the anti-russia fearmongering with sincere xenophobia. Russia is the go-to foreign enemy because there is such a huge and convenient stockpile of propaganda material lying around in stockpiles, but left unused because of the tragic and abrupt end of Cold War 1.0. And Russia is a great target because it is distant, and has a weird alphabet. Anyone who knows enough about Russia to contradict the disinformation (like by mentioning that they are not commies, but US-style authoritarian oligarchs) is suspicious ipso facto .

Mary Wehrhein , June 3, 2017 at 9:40 am

Having lived in Kansas for 60 some years which is the poster-child for trickle-down necromancy and a land heavily infused with rural, German-Catholic sensibilities, I can vouch for the deeply felt attitudes towards sex as a primary issue. "Family Values" being the code word for the whole sex and reproductive moral prism.

Like Cuba with its 50s autos, the conservatives have never given up their 60s conception of the Democrats as the party of free love, peace-nicks (soft on commies hard on guns) and tax and spend bleeding hearts coddling dependent malingerers.

The GOP here campaigns against a democrat party that no longer exists (if it ever did). They seem oblivious to the fact that the democrats have become the moderate republicans of yore. Both parties being pro wall street deficit and war hawks differing in perhaps degree .with the Demos supporting a more generous portion of calf's foot jelly being distributed to peasants of more varied hue as they also support privatization, more subtle tax cuts and deregulation for the rich, R2P wars, and globalization's race to the bottom. People seem to inhabit their own Plato's Cave each opposing their own particular artfully projected phantom menace.

GERMO , June 3, 2017 at 9:42 am

Brilliant, as Ames usually is. Especially the point that this is a manifestation of consistent anti-left sentiment within the establishment whether R or D. The confounding of Putin's Russia with some imagined communist threat always amazes me. D's got to keep up the hippie-punching at all times though!

Pespi , June 3, 2017 at 10:33 am

This is a great piece. The Russophobia is stuck on an endless loop. I wish they'd at least come up with new lies or some fresh enemy for us all to fear. Tell me about why South African dupes are causing all the problems in society, tell me that the people of the Maldives each own a nuclear capable artillery piece and are burning American flags.

Susan the other , June 3, 2017 at 11:25 am

Thanks for this post down memory lane. I assumed MJ was liberal. And Jane Fonda was a conservative. And by 1981 I was completely confused about where the media stood on any given issue. And now finally the mask is coming off and we can see (Phillip K. Dick style) that left is right and right is left. And we are all fascists. Will the real Atilla please stand up? #Resistance is a little over the top and so is putintrump. But what looks like actual progress is the fact that Bernie was not completely destroyed by the state paranoia. There has to be a certain bed-rock decency that can rise above this eternal crap. Just a note of interest on the young Orrin Hatch being on the SST as a freshman senator. Orrin was the subject of local rumors that claimed he had been put in the senate by the mafia (some mormon-mafia connection in las vegas) and the fact that they did use entrapment with a hooker to disgrace his opponent was mafia-enough to make the story convincing. The story died out fast. But we should all remember that the mafia was involved in its own anti-commie terrorist tactics for decades.

Susan the other , June 3, 2017 at 2:28 pm

file under Too Weird: 15 minutes after I posted the above I got a call from Orrin Hatch's robo-computer inviting me to a local discussion call me paranoid.

John Zelnicker , June 3, 2017 at 2:45 pm

@Susan the other – It's not paranoia if someone really is out to get you. Or, to get all of us. Or, demonstrates that they have the ability to do so at will.

REDPILLED , June 3, 2017 at 11:39 am

Only 16% of people surveyed are very worried about climate change.

Corporate news is consumed with covering the Trump/Russia affair, but whatever the truth of all this turns out to be, it pales in significance to the real existential threat that is upon us. Largely due to a lack of coverage by corporate television news, there is a dangerous lack of public awareness of it.

Susan the other , June 3, 2017 at 11:42 am

land of the free and home of the brave you have to be brave to live in this free-for-all. Just want to pass on this killer quote from Discover Magazine: "It is sometimes argued that the illusion of free will arises from the fact that we can't adequately judge all possible moves with the result that our choices are based on imperfect or impoverished information." what a nightmare world.

mpalomar , June 3, 2017 at 9:43 pm

"It is sometimes argued that the illusion of free will arises from the fact that we can't adequately judge all possible moves with the result that our choices are based on imperfect or impoverished information."

Accepting that premise does not rule out the possibility of free will, it only suggests that our free will is likely mired in a blind stumbling, darkness of unknowing.
Hallelujah.

sunny129 , June 3, 2017 at 1:57 pm

If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear. George Orwell. Every one has that 'right', right or wrong! But it is your right & duty to develop 'critical' thinking to DISCERN the difference

Darn , June 4, 2017 at 4:48 am

Without defending Trump, it is wrong of the Dems to push this stuff when Ukrainians helped Clinton's campaign and Clinton approved Uranium One getting 20% of US uranium when they gave $100 million to the Foundation. The book "Shattered" says her campaign did internal polling which found Uranium One was the most damaging line to use against Clinton so she decided to get her retaliation in first and use the Russia charge at every opportunity. And on election night when they realised they had been defeated they decided to blame Russia again. What has Trump done for Russia so far? He's kept up sanctions and bombed their client state Syria. Whereas Clinton had a pattern of arms sales to Foundation donors. Prefer Clinton? Fine, but not over this.

[Sep 23, 2017] The Crazy Imbalance of Russia-gate by Robert Parry

Notable quotes:
"... In response to this political pressure – at a time when Facebook is fending off possible anti-trust legislation – its chief executive Mark Zuckerberg added that he is expanding the investigation to include "additional Russian groups and other former Soviet states." ..."
"... But why stop there? If the concern is that American political campaigns are being influenced by foreign governments whose interests may diverge from what's best for America, why not look at countries that have caused the United States far more harm recently than Russia? ..."
"... After all, Saudi Arabia and its Sunni Wahabbi leaders have been pulling the U.S. government into their sectarian wars with the Shiites, including conflicts in Yemen and Syria that have contributed to anti-Americanism in the region, to the growth of Al Qaeda, and to a disruptive flow of refugees into Europe. ..."
"... Although the military disaster in Iraq threw a wrench into those plans, the Israeli/neocon agenda never changed. Along with Israel's new regional ally, Saudi Arabia , a proxy war was fashioned to remove Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. ..."
"... Israel's influence over U.S. politicians is so blatant that presidential contenders queue up every year to grovel before the Israel Lobby's conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. In 2016, Donald Trump showed up and announced that he was not there to "pander" and then pandered his pants off. ..."
"... And, if you want a historical review, throw in the British and German propaganda around the two world wars; include how the South Vietnamese government collaborated with Richard Nixon in 1968 to sabotage President Lyndon Johnson's Paris peace talks; take a serious look at the collusion between Ronald Reagan's campaign and Iran thwarting President Jimmy Carter's efforts to free 52 American hostages in Tehran in 1980; open the books on Turkey's covert investments in U.S. politicians and policymakers; and examine how authoritarian regimes of all stripes have funded important Washington think tanks and law firms. ..."
"... But the Russia-gate investigation is not about fairness and balance; it's a reckless scapegoating of a nuclear-armed country to explain away – and possibly do away with – Donald Trump's presidency. Rather than putting everything in context and applying a sense of proportion, Russia-gate is relying on wild exaggerations of factually dubious or relatively isolated incidents as an opportunistic means to a political end. ..."
"... As reckless as President Trump has been, the supposedly wise men and wise women of Washington are at least his match. ..."
Sep 23, 2017 | www.informationclearinghouse.info

The core absurdity of the Russia-gate frenzy is its complete lack of proportionality. Indeed, the hysteria is reminiscent of Sen. Joe McCarthy warning that "one communist in the faculty of one university is one communist too many" or Donald Trump's highlighting a few "bad hombres" raping white American women.

It's not that there were no Americans who espoused communist views at universities and elsewhere or that there are no "bad hombre" rapists; it's that these rare exceptions were used to generate a dangerous overreaction in service of a propagandistic agenda. Historically, we have seen this technique used often when demagogues seize on an isolated event and exploit it emotionally to mislead populations to war.

Today, we have The New York Times and The Washington Post repeatedly publishing front-page articles about allegations that some Russians with "links" to the Kremlin bought $100,000 in Facebook ads to promote some issues deemed hurtful to Hillary Clinton's campaign although some of the ads ran after the election.

Initially, Facebook could find no evidence of even that small effort but was pressured in May by Sen. Mark Warner, D-Virginia. The Washington Post reported that Warner, who is spearheading the Russia-gate investigation in the Senate Intelligence Committee, flew to Silicon Valley and urged Facebook executives to take another look at possible ad buys.

Facebook responded to this congressional pressure by scouring its billions of monthly users and announced that it had located 470 suspect accounts associated with ads totaling $100,000 – out of Facebook's $27 billion in annual revenue.

Here is how the Times described those findings: "Facebook officials disclosed that they had shut down several hundred accounts that they believe were created by a Russian company linked to the Kremlin and used to buy $100,000 in ads pushing divisive issues during and after the American election campaign." (It sometimes appears that every Russian -- all 144 million of them -- is somehow "linked" to the Kremlin.)

Last week, congressional investigators urged Facebook to expand its review into "troll farms" supposedly based in Belarus, Macedonia and Estonia – although Estonia is by no means a Russian ally; it joined NATO in 2004.

"Warner and his Democratic counterpart on the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Adam B. Schiff of California, have been increasingly vocal in recent days about their frustrations with Facebook," the Post reported

Facebook Complies

So, on Thursday, Facebook succumbed to demands that it turn over to Congress copies of the ads, a move that has only justified more alarmist front-page stories about Russia! Russia! Russia!

In response to this political pressure – at a time when Facebook is fending off possible anti-trust legislation – its chief executive Mark Zuckerberg added that he is expanding the investigation to include "additional Russian groups and other former Soviet states."

So, it appears that not only are all Russians "linked" to the Kremlin, but all former Soviet states as well.

But why stop there? If the concern is that American political campaigns are being influenced by foreign governments whose interests may diverge from what's best for America, why not look at countries that have caused the United States far more harm recently than Russia?

After all, Saudi Arabia and its Sunni Wahabbi leaders have been pulling the U.S. government into their sectarian wars with the Shiites, including conflicts in Yemen and Syria that have contributed to anti-Americanism in the region, to the growth of Al Qaeda, and to a disruptive flow of refugees into Europe.

And, let's not forget the 8,000-pound gorilla in the room: Israel. Does anyone think that whatever Russia may or may not have done in trying to influence U.S. politics compares even in the slightest to what Israel does all the time?

Which government used its pressure and that of its American agents (i.e., the neocons) to push the United States into the disastrous war in Iraq? It wasn't Russia, which was among the countries urging the U.S. not to invade; it was Israel and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Indeed, the plans for "regime change" in Iraq and Syria can be traced back to the work of key American neoconservatives employed by Netanyahu's political campaign in 1996. At that time, Richard Perle, Douglas Feith and other leading neocons unveiled a seminal document entitled " A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm ," which proposed casting aside negotiations with Arabs in favor of simply replacing the region's anti-Israeli governments.

However, to make that happen required drawing in the powerful U.S. military, so after the 9/11 attacks, the neocons inside President George W. Bush's administration set in motion a deception campaign to justify invading Iraq, a war which was to be followed by more "regime changes" in Syria and Iran.

A Wrench in the Plans

Although the military disaster in Iraq threw a wrench into those plans, the Israeli/neocon agenda never changed. Along with Israel's new regional ally, Saudi Arabia , a proxy war was fashioned to remove Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

As Israel's Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren explained , the goal was to shatter the Shiite "strategic arc" running from Iran through Syria to Lebanon and Israel's Hezbollah enemies.

How smashing this Shiite "arc" was in the interests of the American people – or even within their consciousness – is never explained. But it was what Israel wanted and thus it was what the U.S. government enlisted to do, even to the point of letting sophisticated U.S. weaponry fall into the hands of Syria's Al Qaeda affiliate.

Israel's influence over U.S. politicians is so blatant that presidential contenders queue up every year to grovel before the Israel Lobby's conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. In 2016, Donald Trump showed up and announced that he was not there to "pander" and then pandered his pants off.

And, whenever Prime Minister Netanyahu wants to show off his power, he is invited to address a joint session of the U.S. Congress at which Republicans and Democrats compete to see how many times and how quickly they can leap to their feet in standing ovations. (Netanyahu holds the record for the number of times a foreign leader has addressed joint sessions with three such appearances, tied with Winston Churchill.)

Yet, Israeli influence is so engrained in the U.S. political process that even the mention of the existence of an "Israel Lobby" brings accusations of anti-Semitism. "Israel Lobby" is a forbidden phrase in Washington.

However, pretty much whenever Israel targets a U.S. politician for defeat, that politician goes down, a muscle that Israel flexed in the early 1980s in taking out Rep. Paul Findley and Sen. Charles Percy , two moderate Republicans whose crime was to suggest talks with the Palestine Liberation Organization.

So, if the concern is the purity of the American democratic process and the need to protect it from outside manipulation, let's have at it. Why not a full-scale review of who is doing what and how? Does anyone think that Israel's influence over U.S. politics is limited to a few hundred Facebook accounts and $100,000 in ads?

A Historical Perspective

And, if you want a historical review, throw in the British and German propaganda around the two world wars; include how the South Vietnamese government collaborated with Richard Nixon in 1968 to sabotage President Lyndon Johnson's Paris peace talks; take a serious look at the collusion between Ronald Reagan's campaign and Iran thwarting President Jimmy Carter's efforts to free 52 American hostages in Tehran in 1980; open the books on Turkey's covert investments in U.S. politicians and policymakers; and examine how authoritarian regimes of all stripes have funded important Washington think tanks and law firms.

If such an effort were ever proposed, you would get a sense of how sensitive this topic is in Official Washington, where foreign money and its influence are rampant. There would be accusations of anti-Semitism in connection with Israel and charges of conspiracy theory even in well-documented cases of collaboration between U.S. politicians and foreign interests.

So, instead of a balanced and comprehensive assessment of this problem, the powers-that-be concentrate on the infinitesimal case of Russian "meddling" as the excuse for Hillary Clinton's shocking defeat. But the key reasons for Clinton's dismal campaign had virtually nothing to do with Russia, even if you believe all the evidence-lite accusations about Russian "meddling."

The Russians did not tell Clinton to vote for the disastrous Iraq War and play endless footsy with the neocons ; the Russians didn't advise her to set up a private server to handle her State Department emails and potentially expose classified information; the Russians didn't lure Clinton and the U.S. into the Libyan fiasco nor suggest her ghastly joke in response to Muammar Gaddafi's lynching ("We came, we saw, he died"); the Russians had nothing to do with her greedy decision to accept millions of dollars in Wall Street speaking fees and then try to keep the speech contents secret from the voters; the Russians didn't encourage her husband to become a serial philanderer and make a mockery of their marriage; nor did the Russians suggest to Anthony Weiner, the husband of top Clinton aide Huma Abedin, that he send lewd photos to a teen-ager on a laptop also used by his wife, a development that led FBI Director James Comey to reopen the Clinton-email investigation just 11 days before the election; the Russians weren't responsible for Clinton's decision not to campaign in Wisconsin and Michigan; the Russians didn't stop her from offering a coherent message about how she would help the struggling white working class; and on and on.

But the Russia-gate investigation is not about fairness and balance; it's a reckless scapegoating of a nuclear-armed country to explain away – and possibly do away with – Donald Trump's presidency. Rather than putting everything in context and applying a sense of proportion, Russia-gate is relying on wild exaggerations of factually dubious or relatively isolated incidents as an opportunistic means to a political end.

As reckless as President Trump has been, the supposedly wise men and wise women of Washington are at least his match.

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America's Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com ).

This article was first published by Consortium News -

[Sep 23, 2017] Would Putin Make a Better President Than Obama by Mike Whitney

Notable quotes:
"... Today we are witnessing an almost uncontained hyper use of force – military force – in international relations, force that is plunging the world into an abyss of permanent conflicts. As a result we do not have sufficient strength to find a comprehensive solution to any one of these conflicts. Finding a political settlement also becomes impossible. ..."
"... We are seeing a greater and greater disdain for the basic principles of international law. And independent legal norms are, as a matter of fact, coming increasingly closer to one state's legal system. One state and, of course, first and foremost the United States, has overstepped its national borders in every way. This is visible in the economic, political, cultural and educational policies it imposes on other nations. Well, who likes this? Who is happy about this? ..."
"... Can you see why Washington gave up on Putin? The speech identifies the United States reckless behavior as the single greatest threat to global security today. Putin says that the unipolar world-model which operates from "one centre of authority, one centre of force, one centre of decision-making" is unacceptable, has no "moral foundation", and "plunges the world into an abyss of permanent conflicts." The speech is a straightforward repudiation of Washington's lunatic ambition to rule the world, which is why Putin is presently on America's list of enemies. ..."
"... Putin's domestic vision also conflicts with US policy, which is dominated by neoliberal, trickle-down, austerity-crazed, deficit hawkery that transfers the nations wealth to the 1 percent plutocrats at the top of the economic foodchain. The Russian president has made great strides in reducing poverty, eliminating illiteracy, improving healthcare, and raising the standard of living for millions of working people. Here's an excerpt from a speech by Putin that outlines his domestic priorities: ..."
"... "Russia is a social welfare state .Social policy has many objectives and many dimensions. It entails providing support for the poor and those who are unable to earn a living for valid reasons. It means implementing social mobility and providing a level playing field for every person on the basis of his or her capabilities and talents. The effectiveness of social policy is measured by whether popular opinion believes the society we live in is a just one or not. ..."
"... The glaring income disparity is unacceptably high. Every eighth Russian citizen still lives below the official poverty line . ..."
"... People, primarily the "middle class," well-educated and well-paid individuals, are dissatisfied with the level of social services on the whole. The quality of education and healthcare is still quite low, despite higher budgetary allocations. Services that you have to pay for in these areas are still rife. The goal of creating a comfortable living environment is still a long way off ..."
"... The decline in the national workforce and an increasingly ageing population means the efficiency of social spending has to be increased. We simply have no choice, if we want to preserve and improve the situation . ..."
"... Every country looks upon its teachers, doctors, scientists and cultural workers as the backbone of the "creative class", as the people who contribute to the sustained development of society and serve as the pillar of public morality . ..."
"... I believe that healthcare and education reforms are only possible when they guarantee decent pay for public sector professionals. A doctor, teacher or professor should be able to earn enough on their basic jobs not to have to seek outside earnings. If we fail to fulfill this condition our efforts to change the organisation of the economic mechanisms and renew the material base of these sectors will come to nothing . ..."
"... Starting on September 1, we will raise the pay of lecturers in state educational establishments – up to the average salary for the region. In the course of 2013-2018, the average salary of professors and lecturers will be gradually increased twofold to double the average in the economy .In the case of doctors and researchers, the target for 2018 is the same as for higher school lecturers – 200% of the average pay across the region .. ..."
"... Together with the trade unions we have to consider legislation to broaden the participation of workers in the management of enterprises. This kind of participation is practiced, for example, in Germany in the form of what are known as works councils . ..."
"... In the next few years, we must create a system to help every disabled person who is able and willing to learn and work find their educational and professional niche in life: from specialised educational programmes to jobs adapted to an individual's specific requirements . ..."
"... While incomes are growing, the gap between the richest and the poorest population groups is decreasing too slowly. Income disparity in Russia is comparable to that in the Untied States but is considerably higher than in Western Europe. A certain degree of income differentiation is logical for a mature market economy, but too large a gap can be seen as inequality and can fuel social tensions. Hence our priority is to reduce material inequality by making social policy more targeted and effective, but above all by giving people an opportunity to earn enough to ensure a desirable level of income ..This will allow us to perceive Russia as a more equitable country where everyone earns his or her income with their own labour and talent . ..."
"... And the government will provide targeted assistance to those who cannot earn an income or are too young to work . ..."
"... The government is taking measures to support families' desire to have two or more children . ..."
"... It is absolutely unacceptable for the birth of a child to bring a family to the edge of poverty. A national goal for the next three or four years is to make this totally impossible. Today the regional governments approve the size of most child benefits, and it should be said that they are scandalously small in many regions .However, such assistance should not be provided to families with high incomes (Read the whole speech here: http://premier.gov.ru/eng/events/news/18071/ ..."
"... Sure, it's a political speech, but when was the last time you heard Obama talk about "social mobility" or "support for the poor" or "glaring income disparity" or "healthcare and education reforms" (that didn't involve privatization) or "decent pay for public sector professionals" or strengthening unions or doubling the "salary of professors and lecturers" or increasing "child benefits and education" or "creating a system to help every disabled person" or "providing targeted assistance to those who cannot earn an income or are too young to work" etc etc etc. On every issue, Putin's platform is more progressive than Obama's, and yet, idiot Americans still think President Hopium is working for them. Right. ..."
"... Putin's motto is: "Each rouble spent in the social sphere must 'produce justice.'" That alone proves that he'd make a better president than Obama. ..."
"... MIKE WHITNEY lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion . He can be reached at fergiewhitney@msn.com ..."
Jul 20, 2012 | www.unz.com

"Every rouble spent in the social sphere should 'generate justice.' An equitable social and economic system is the main requirement for ensuring our sustained development during these years."

– Russian President Vladimir Putin

Is Vladimir Putin really the "KGB thug" the US media makes him out to be?

Take a look at this except from a book review in the New York Times and see what you think.

"A decade ago it was possible to imagine two inner Putins wrestling for his soul: the K.G.B. thug versus the modernizer. Sadly, events since then suggest that the inflexible misanthrope we see is the only Putin we get

Even the most casual Putin-watcher has marveled at his narcissism, manifested in his odd habit of inviting cameras to record him bare-chested on horseback, swimming the butterfly stroke in a Siberian river, scuba diving and collecting skin samples from whales, among other stunts. Gessen traces his self-absorption back to his youth.

Putin's childhood ambition was to be a spy in the K.G.B., but Gessen reveals that his actual experience was more Walter Mitty than James Bond. He was basically a paper-pusher, collecting press clippings in Dresden while the East German Stasi did the real dirty work of recruiting informers and policing dissent .Putin soon hitched himself to the first of a series of flawed, small-d democrats, who would propel him to power." ("Reclaiming the Kremlin", Bill Keller, New York Times)

Read enough?

Okay, so according to the Times, Putin is an ass-kissing, paper-pushing, self-adsorbed, autocratic thug who has dreams of greatness. Did we miss something? Oh yeah, he's also a misanthropic slacker who let's everyone else do the heavy lifting.

Is that what they call objective journalism at the NYT? Its worth noting that this laughable bit of propaganda was written by the Times editor himself, Bill Keller! Can you believe it? I mean, wouldn't you think that the editor of the nation's number 1 newspaper would make some effort to hide his bias?

But, no, when it comes to serving the folks in power, Keller is just as willing to run his credibility through the mud as the next guy. And, so he has, but what does that tell us about Putin?

It tells us that Putin is despised by powerful members of the US policy establishment. That's what it tells us. After all, it's their views that are reflected in the mainstream media via propagandists like Keller.

But, why? Putin is not a fiery leftist like Hugo Chavez or Fidel Castro. He's a right-of-center nationalist who's not particularly ideological, confrontational, or unreasonable. so, what's the problem? Besides, Putin has bent over backwards to accommodate the US on everything from nuclear disarmament to the War on Terror. So why the hostility?

It's because Putin wants to be a partner on global issues, particularly security issues. But the US doesn't want partners; it wants lackeys and puppets who will follow orders. And that's why the NY Times and the others in the moron media are ganging up on him, because–in Washington's eyes–if your not a lackey, your the enemy. It's that simple.

If you want to know why Russian-US relations have steadily deteriorated, you might want to read this excerpt from an article by Pat Buchanan who asks "Doesn't Putin Have a Point?"

"Though the Red Army had picked up and gone home from Eastern Europe voluntarily, and Moscow felt it had an understanding we would not move NATO eastward, we exploited our moment. Not only did we bring Poland into NATO, we brought in Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia, and virtually the whole Warsaw Pact, planting NATO right on Mother Russia's front porch. Now, there is a scheme afoot to bring in Ukraine and Georgia in the Caucasus, the birthplace of Stalin.

Second, America backed a pipeline to deliver Caspian Sea oil from Azerbaijan through Georgia to Turkey, to bypass Russia.

Third, though Putin gave us a green light to use bases in the old Soviet republics for the liberation of Afghanistan, we now seem hell-bent on making those bases in Central Asia permanent.

Fourth, though Bush sold missile defense as directed at rogue states like North Korea, we now learn we are going to put anti-missile systems into Eastern Europe. And against whom are they directed?

Fifth, through the National Endowment for Democracy, its GOP and Democratic auxiliaries, and tax-exempt think tanks, foundations, and "human rights" institutes such as Freedom House, headed by ex-CIA director James Woolsey, we have been fomenting regime change in Eastern Europe, the former Soviet republics, and Russia herself.

U.S.-backed revolutions have succeeded in Serbia, Ukraine, and Georgia, but failed in Belarus. Moscow has now legislated restrictions on the foreign agencies that it sees, not without justification, as subversive of pro-Moscow regimes.

Sixth, America conducted 78 days of bombing of Serbia for the crime of fighting to hold on to her rebellious province, Kosovo, and for refusing to grant NATO marching rights through her territory to take over that province. Mother Russia has always had a maternal interest in the Orthodox states of the Balkans.

These are Putin's grievances. Does he not have a small point?"

There it is in a nutshell. The world's biggest troublemaker (guess who?) has broken its promises, surrounded Russia with military bases, put NGOs on the ground to incite revolution in all the former Soviet states (and Russia), and now wants to situate nuclear missile sites a few hundred miles from Moscow. This is how Washington strengthens ties with its former adversaries, by poking a thumb in their eye at every opportunity.

The Obama administration has assured Putin that its anti-ballistic missile defense system, which will be deployed in former Warsaw pact countries in E Europe, is strictly defensive and will only be aimed at Iran. But it isn't true. In fact, the system will be aimed at Russia and poses a direct threat to Russian national security. Everyone knows this, even though the media continues to soft-peddle the dangers of the proposed system. The Washington Post even characterized it as "a small missile defense system" which has set off "waves of paranoia about domestic and foreign opponents".

Sure, what's a few nuclear weapons among friends?

Naturally, Putin has seen through this ruse and protested. Here's what he at a press conference 6 years ago:

"Once the missile defense system is put in place it will work automatically with the entire nuclear capability of the United States. It will be an integral part of the US nuclear capability.

"For the first time in history there will be elements of the US nuclear capability on the European continent. It simply changes the whole configuration of international security ..Of course, we have to respond to that."

Putin is right. The "so-called" defense system is actually an expansion (and integration) of America's existing nuclear weapons system which will now function as one unit. The dangers of this are obvious.

The US (under Bush and Obama) wants to achieve what Nuclear weapons specialist, Francis A. Boyle, calls the "longstanding US policy of nuclear first-strike against Russia". That's what missile defense is all about.

In Boyle's article "US Missiles in Europe: Beyond Deterrence to First Strike Threat" he states:

"By means of a US first strike about 99%+ of Russian nuclear forces would be taken out. Namely, the United States Government believes that with the deployment of a facially successful first strike capability, they can move beyond deterrence and into "compellence."

By "compellence" Boyle means that first strike capability will allow the US to force Moscow to meet its demands or face certain annihilation.

So what should Putin do? Should he sit back on his haunches and wait for the US to come to its senses or threaten to remove the new installations by force? The issue remains unresolved.

As for the US NGOs, it's long been known that they're up to no good, and that they function as the civilian component of a larger military strategy to rule the world. There was an interesting piece by Paul Craig Roberts in CounterPunch on Thursday which fleshes out the activities of these groups and their real purpose. Here's an excerpt from the article:

"The Russian government has finally caught on that its political opposition is being financed by the US taxpayer-funded National Endowment for Democracy and other CIA/State Department fronts in an attempt to subvert the Russian government and install an American puppet state in the geographically largest country on earth, the one country with a nuclear arsenal sufficient to deter Washington's aggression ..

Much of the Russian political opposition consists of foreign-paid agents .. The Itar-Tass News Agency reported on July 3 that there are about 1,000 organizations in Russia that are funded from abroad and engaged in political activity .

The Washington-funded Russian political opposition masquerades behind "human rights" and says it works to "open Russia." What the disloyal and treasonous Washington-funded Russian "political opposition" means by "open Russia" is to open Russia for brainwashing by Western propaganda, to open Russia to economic plunder by the West, and to open Russia to having its domestic and foreign policies determined by Washington."

That sums it up pretty well, doesn't it? Of course, any action taken by Putin to impede the the activities of foreign spies (and agents for global capital) is denounced in the media as an attack on civil liberties and democracy.

Talk about hypocrisy? Do we really need to hear the world's biggest civil rights abuser scold Russia for defending itself from foreign invasion? When was the last time Putin bombed a wedding party in Pakistan or blew up one of its own citizens in a drone attack or incarcerated and tortured mere "suspects" without charging them with a crime? Isn't this the pot calling the kettle black?

Did you know that the Bush administration thought they could co-opt Putin and bring him into the imperial fold like America's other puppets around the world?

It's true. Bush actually liked Putin and tried to get him to fall in line. But then something happened at a Conference on Security Policy in Munich in February 2007, where all the top brass in the administration and the far-right think tanks realized that Putin couldn't be co-opted; that he was ferociously nationalistic and would not do their bidding. So the entire strategy was scrapped and the demonisation began. Here's a clip from the speech that Putin gave in Munich that turned things around. It's a rather long because I wanted you to get a sense of the man, his sincerity, his earnestness, and his genuine desire for fundamental change in US-Russian relations:

"Only two decades ago the world was ideologically and economically divided and it was the huge strategic potential of two superpowers that ensured global security.

This global stand-off pushed the sharpest economic and social problems to the margins of the international community's and the world's agenda. And, just like any war, the Cold War left us with live ammunition, figuratively speaking. I am referring to ideological stereotypes, double standards and other typical aspects of Cold War bloc thinking.

The unipolar world that had been proposed after the Cold War did not take place.

The history of humanity certainly has gone through unipolar periods and seen aspirations to world supremacy. And what hasn't happened in world history?

However, what is a unipolar world? However one might embellish this term, at the end of the day it refers to one type of situation, namely one centre of authority, one centre of force, one centre of decision-making.

It is world in which there is one master, one sovereign. And at the end of the day this is pernicious not only for all those within this system, but also for the sovereign itself because it destroys itself from within.

And this certainly has nothing in common with democracy. Because, as you know, democracy is the power of the majority in light of the interests and opinions of the minority.

Incidentally, Russia – we – are constantly being taught about democracy. But for some reason those who teach us do not want to learn themselves.

I consider that the unipolar model is not only unacceptable but also impossible in today's world. And this is not only because if there was individual leadership in today's – and precisely in today's – world, then the military, political and economic resources would not suffice. What is even more important is that the model itself is flawed because at its basis there is and can be no moral foundations for modern civilisation.

Along with this, what is happening in today's world – and we just started to discuss this – is a tentative to introduce precisely this concept into international affairs, the concept of a unipolar world.

And what have the results been?

Unilateral and frequently illegitimate actions have not resolved any problems. Moreover, they have caused new human tragedies and created new centres of tension. Judge for yourselves: wars as well as local and regional conflicts have not diminished. And no less people perish in these conflicts – even more are dying than before. Significantly more, significantly more!

Today we are witnessing an almost uncontained hyper use of force – military force – in international relations, force that is plunging the world into an abyss of permanent conflicts. As a result we do not have sufficient strength to find a comprehensive solution to any one of these conflicts. Finding a political settlement also becomes impossible.

We are seeing a greater and greater disdain for the basic principles of international law. And independent legal norms are, as a matter of fact, coming increasingly closer to one state's legal system. One state and, of course, first and foremost the United States, has overstepped its national borders in every way. This is visible in the economic, political, cultural and educational policies it imposes on other nations. Well, who likes this? Who is happy about this?

In international relations we increasingly see the desire to resolve a given question according to so-called issues of political expediency, based on the current political climate.

And of course this is extremely dangerous. It results in the fact that no one feels safe. I want to emphasise this ! no one feels safe! Because no one can feel that international law is like a stone wall that will protect them. Of course such a policy stimulates an arms race.

The force's dominance inevitably encourages a number of countries to acquire weapons of mass destruction. Moreover, significantly new threats – though they were also well-known before – have appeared, and today threats such as terrorism have taken on a global character.

I am convinced that we have reached that decisive moment when we must seriously think about the architecture of global security." (Russian President Vladimir Putin, Conference on Security Policy in Munich in February 2007)

Can you see why Washington gave up on Putin? The speech identifies the United States reckless behavior as the single greatest threat to global security today. Putin says that the unipolar world-model which operates from "one centre of authority, one centre of force, one centre of decision-making" is unacceptable, has no "moral foundation", and "plunges the world into an abyss of permanent conflicts." The speech is a straightforward repudiation of Washington's lunatic ambition to rule the world, which is why Putin is presently on America's list of enemies.

Putin's domestic vision also conflicts with US policy, which is dominated by neoliberal, trickle-down, austerity-crazed, deficit hawkery that transfers the nations wealth to the 1 percent plutocrats at the top of the economic foodchain. The Russian president has made great strides in reducing poverty, eliminating illiteracy, improving healthcare, and raising the standard of living for millions of working people. Here's an excerpt from a speech by Putin that outlines his domestic priorities:

"Russia is a social welfare state .Social policy has many objectives and many dimensions. It entails providing support for the poor and those who are unable to earn a living for valid reasons. It means implementing social mobility and providing a level playing field for every person on the basis of his or her capabilities and talents. The effectiveness of social policy is measured by whether popular opinion believes the society we live in is a just one or not.

The glaring income disparity is unacceptably high. Every eighth Russian citizen still lives below the official poverty line .

People, primarily the "middle class," well-educated and well-paid individuals, are dissatisfied with the level of social services on the whole. The quality of education and healthcare is still quite low, despite higher budgetary allocations. Services that you have to pay for in these areas are still rife. The goal of creating a comfortable living environment is still a long way off

The decline in the national workforce and an increasingly ageing population means the efficiency of social spending has to be increased. We simply have no choice, if we want to preserve and improve the situation .

Every country looks upon its teachers, doctors, scientists and cultural workers as the backbone of the "creative class", as the people who contribute to the sustained development of society and serve as the pillar of public morality .

I believe that healthcare and education reforms are only possible when they guarantee decent pay for public sector professionals. A doctor, teacher or professor should be able to earn enough on their basic jobs not to have to seek outside earnings. If we fail to fulfill this condition our efforts to change the organisation of the economic mechanisms and renew the material base of these sectors will come to nothing .

Starting on September 1, we will raise the pay of lecturers in state educational establishments – up to the average salary for the region. In the course of 2013-2018, the average salary of professors and lecturers will be gradually increased twofold to double the average in the economy .In the case of doctors and researchers, the target for 2018 is the same as for higher school lecturers – 200% of the average pay across the region ..

Together with the trade unions we have to consider legislation to broaden the participation of workers in the management of enterprises. This kind of participation is practiced, for example, in Germany in the form of what are known as works councils .

In the next few years, we must create a system to help every disabled person who is able and willing to learn and work find their educational and professional niche in life: from specialised educational programmes to jobs adapted to an individual's specific requirements .

While incomes are growing, the gap between the richest and the poorest population groups is decreasing too slowly. Income disparity in Russia is comparable to that in the Untied States but is considerably higher than in Western Europe. A certain degree of income differentiation is logical for a mature market economy, but too large a gap can be seen as inequality and can fuel social tensions. Hence our priority is to reduce material inequality by making social policy more targeted and effective, but above all by giving people an opportunity to earn enough to ensure a desirable level of income ..This will allow us to perceive Russia as a more equitable country where everyone earns his or her income with their own labour and talent .

And the government will provide targeted assistance to those who cannot earn an income or are too young to work .

The government is taking measures to support families' desire to have two or more children .

It is absolutely unacceptable for the birth of a child to bring a family to the edge of poverty. A national goal for the next three or four years is to make this totally impossible. Today the regional governments approve the size of most child benefits, and it should be said that they are scandalously small in many regions .However, such assistance should not be provided to families with high incomes (Read the whole speech here: http://premier.gov.ru/eng/events/news/18071/

Sure, it's a political speech, but when was the last time you heard Obama talk about "social mobility" or "support for the poor" or "glaring income disparity" or "healthcare and education reforms" (that didn't involve privatization) or "decent pay for public sector professionals" or strengthening unions or doubling the "salary of professors and lecturers" or increasing "child benefits and education" or "creating a system to help every disabled person" or "providing targeted assistance to those who cannot earn an income or are too young to work" etc etc etc. On every issue, Putin's platform is more progressive than Obama's, and yet, idiot Americans still think President Hopium is working for them. Right.

Putin's motto is: "Each rouble spent in the social sphere must 'produce justice.'" That alone proves that he'd make a better president than Obama.

MIKE WHITNEY lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion . He can be reached at fergiewhitney@msn.com

[Sep 18, 2017] The NYT's Yellow Journalism on Russia by Rober Parry

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The New York Times is prepping the American people for what could become World War III. The daily message is that you must learn to hate Russia and its President Vladimir Putin so much that, first, you should support vast new spending on America's Military-Industrial Complex and, second, you'll be ginned up for nuclear war if it comes to that. ..."
"... At this stage, the Times doesn't even try for a cosmetic appearance of objective journalism. Look at how the Times has twisted the history of the Ukraine crisis, treating it simply as a case of "Russian aggression" or a "Russian invasion." The Times routinely ignores what actually happened in Ukraine in late 2013 and early 2014 when the U.S. government aided and abetted a violent coup that overthrew Ukraine's elected President Viktor Yanukovych after he had been demonized in the Western media. ..."
"... The Times and much of the U.S. mainstream media refuses even to acknowledge that there is another side to the Ukraine story. Anyone who mentions this reality is deemed a "Kremlin stooge" in much the same way that people who questioned the mainstream certainty about Iraq's WMD in 2002-03 were called "Saddam apologists." ..."
"... Many liberals came to view the dubious claims of Russian "meddling" in the 2016 election as the golden ticket to remove Trump from the White House. So, amid that frenzy, all standards of proof were jettisoned to make Russia-gate the new Watergate. ..."
"... For one, even if the U.S. government were to succeed in destabilizing nuclear-armed Russia sufficiently to force out President Putin, the neocon dream of another malleable Boris Yeltsin in the Kremlin is far less likely than the emergence of an extreme Russian nationalist who might be ready to push the nuclear button rather than accept further humiliation of Mother Russia. ..."
"... The truth is that the world has much less to fear from the calculating Vladimir Putin than from the guy who might follow a deposed Vladimir Putin amid economic desperation and political chaos in Russia. But the possibility of nuclear Armageddon doesn't seem to bother the neocon/liberal-interventionist New York Times. Nor apparently does the principle of fair and honest journalism. ..."
"... America's Stolen Narrative, ..."
"... The Trans-Atlantic Empire of banking cartels rest upon enmity with the only other Great Powers in the World: Russia and China, while keeping USA thoroughly within their orbit, relying on our Great Power as the engine that powers this Western Bankers' Empire (the steering room lies in City-of-London, who has LONG maneuvered, via their Wall Street assets, to bring us into Empire). Should peaceful, cooperative and productive relations break out between USA, Russia, and China, this would undermine everything the Western Empire has worked to build. ..."
"... THIS is why the phony Russiagate issue is flogged to get rid of Trump (who seeks cooperation with Russia and China), AND keeping Russia as "The Enemy", keeping the MIC, Intel community, various police-state ops, in high demand for "National Security" reasons (also positioned to foil any democratic uprisings, should they see past the progs daily curtain and see their plight). ..."
"... The funny thing about living through the 'fake news' era, is that now everyone thinks that their news source is the correct news source. Many believe that outside of the individual everyone else reads or listens too 'fake news'. It's like all of a sudden no one has credibility, yet everyone may have it, depending on what news source you subscribe to. I mean there's almost no way of knowing what the truth is, because everyone is claiming that they are getting their news from reputable news outlets, but some or many aren't, and who are the reputable news sources, if you don't mind my asking you this just for the record? ..."
"... To learn how to deal with this 'fake news', I would suggest you start studying the JFK assassination, or any other ill defined tragic event, and then you might learn how to decipher the 'fake news' matrix of confusion to learn what you so desire to learn. I chose this route, because when was the last time the Establishment brokered the truth in regard to a happening such as the JFK assassination? Upon learning of what a few well written books has to say, you will then need to rely on your own brain to at least give you enough satisfaction to allow you to believe that you pretty well got it right, and there go you. In other words, the truth is out there, hiding in plain sight, and if you are persistent enough you just might find it. Good luck. ..."
Sep 18, 2017 | consortiumnews.com

The NYT's Yellow Journalism on Russia September 15, 2017

Exclusive: The New York Times' descent into yellow journalism over Russia recalls the sensationalism of Hearst and Pulitzer leading to the Spanish-American War, but the risks to humanity are much greater now, writes Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

Reading The New York Times these days is like getting a daily dose of the "Two Minutes Hate" as envisioned in George Orwell's 1984, except applied to America's new/old enemy Russia. Even routine international behavior, such as Russia using fictitious names for potential adversaries during a military drill, is transformed into something weird and evil.

In the snide and alarmist style that the Times now always applies to Russia, reporter Andrew Higgins wrote – referring to a fictitious war-game "enemy" – "The country does not exist, so it has neither an army nor any real citizens, though it has acquired a feisty following of would-be patriots online. Starting on Thursday, however, the fictional state, Veishnoriya, a distillation of the Kremlin's darkest fears about the West, becomes the target of the combined military might of Russia and its ally Belarus."

This snarky front-page story in Thursday's print editions also played into the Times' larger narrative about Russia as a disseminator of "fake news." You see the Russkies are even inventing "fictional" enemies to bully. Hah-hah-hah -- The article was entitled, "Russia's War Games With Fake Enemies Cause Real Alarm."

Of course, the U.S. and its allies also conduct war games against fictitious enemies, but you wouldn't know that from reading the Times. For instance, U.S. war games in 2015 substituted five made-up states – Ariana, Atropia, Donovia, Gorgas and Limaria – for nations near the Caucasus mountains along the borders of Russia and Iran.

In earlier war games, the U.S. used both fictitious names and colors in place of actual countries. For instance, in 1981, the Reagan administration conducted "Ocean Venture" with that war-game scenario focused on a group of islands called "Amber and the Amberdines," obvious stand-ins for Grenada and the Grenadines, with "Orange" used to represent Cuba.

In those cases, the maneuvers by the powerful U.S. military were clearly intended to intimidate far weaker countries. Yet, the U.S. mainstream media did not treat those war rehearsals for what they were, implicit aggression, but rather mocked protests from the obvious targets as paranoia since we all know the U.S. would never violate international law and invade some weak country -- (As it turned out, Ocean Venture '81 was a dress rehearsal for the actual U.S. invasion of Grenada in 1983.)

Yet, as far as the Times and its many imitators in the major media are concerned, there's one standard for "us" and another for Russia and other countries that "we" don't like.

Yellow Journalism

But the Times' behavior over the past several years suggests something even more sinister than biased reporting. The "newspaper of record" has slid into yellow journalism, the practice of two earlier New York newspapers – William Randolph Hearst's New York Journal and Joseph Pulitzer's New York World – that in the 1890s manipulated facts about the crisis in Cuba to push the United States into war with Spain, a conflict that many historians say marked the beginning of America's global empire.

Except in today's instance, The New York Times is prepping the American people for what could become World War III. The daily message is that you must learn to hate Russia and its President Vladimir Putin so much that, first, you should support vast new spending on America's Military-Industrial Complex and, second, you'll be ginned up for nuclear war if it comes to that.

At this stage, the Times doesn't even try for a cosmetic appearance of objective journalism. Look at how the Times has twisted the history of the Ukraine crisis, treating it simply as a case of "Russian aggression" or a "Russian invasion." The Times routinely ignores what actually happened in Ukraine in late 2013 and early 2014 when the U.S. government aided and abetted a violent coup that overthrew Ukraine's elected President Viktor Yanukovych after he had been demonized in the Western media.

Even as neo-Nazi and ultranationalist protesters hurled Molotov cocktails at police, Yanukovych signaled a willingness to compromise and ordered his police to avoid worsening violence. But compromise wasn't good enough for U.S. neocons – such as Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland; Sen. John McCain; and National Endowment for Democracy President Carl Gershman. They had invested too much in moving Ukraine away from Russia.

Nuland put the U.S. spending at $5 billion and was caught discussing with U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt who should be in the new government and how to "glue" or "midwife this thing"; McCain appeared on stage urging on far-right militants; and Gershman was overseeing scores of NED projects inside Ukraine, which he had deemed the "biggest prize" and an important step in achieving an even bigger regime change in Russia, or as he put it: "Ukraine's choice to join Europe will accelerate the demise of the ideology of Russian imperialism that Putin represents. Putin may find himself on the losing end not just in the near abroad but within Russia itself."

The Putsch

So, on Feb. 20, 2014, instead of seeking peace , a sniper firing from a building controlled by anti-Yanukovych forces killed both police and protesters, touching off a day of carnage. Immediately, the Western media blamed Yanukovych. Sen. John McCain appearing with Ukrainian rightists of the Svoboda party at a pre-coup rally in Kiev.

Shaken by the violence, Yanukovych again tried to pacify matters by reaching a compromise -- guaranteed by France, Germany and Poland -- to relinquish some of his powers and move up an election so he could be voted out of office peacefully. He also pulled back the police.

At that juncture, the neo-Nazis and ultra-nationalists spearheaded a violent putsch on Feb. 22, 2014, forcing Yanukovych and other officials to flee for their lives. Ignoring the agreement guaranteed by the three European nations, Nuland and the U.S. State Department quickly deemed the coup regime "legitimate."

However, ethnic Russians in Crimea and eastern Ukraine, which represented Yanukovych's electoral base, resisted the coup and turned to Russia for protection. Contrary to the Times' narrative, there was no "Russian invasion" of Crimea because Russian troops were already there as part of an agreement for its Sevastopol naval base. That's why you've never seen photos of Russian troops crashing across Ukraine's borders in tanks or splashing ashore in Crimea with an amphibious landing or descending by parachute. They were already inside Crimea.

The Crimean autonomous government also voted to undertake a referendum on whether to leave the failed Ukrainian state and to rejoin Russia, which had governed Crimea since the Eighteenth Century. In that referendum, Crimean citizens voted by some 96 percent to exit Ukraine and seek reunion with Russia, a democratic and voluntary process that the Times always calls "annexation."

The Times and much of the U.S. mainstream media refuses even to acknowledge that there is another side to the Ukraine story. Anyone who mentions this reality is deemed a "Kremlin stooge" in much the same way that people who questioned the mainstream certainty about Iraq's WMD in 2002-03 were called "Saddam apologists."

But what is particularly remarkable about the endless Russia-bashing is that – because it started under President Obama – it sucked in many American liberals and even some progressives. That process grew even worse when the contempt for Russia merged with the Left's revulsion over Donald Trump's election.

Many liberals came to view the dubious claims of Russian "meddling" in the 2016 election as the golden ticket to remove Trump from the White House. So, amid that frenzy, all standards of proof were jettisoned to make Russia-gate the new Watergate.

The Times, The Washington Post and pretty much the entire U.S. news media joined the "resistance" to Trump's presidency and embraced the neocon "regime change" goal for Putin's Russia. Very few people care about the enormous risks that this "strategy" entails.

For one, even if the U.S. government were to succeed in destabilizing nuclear-armed Russia sufficiently to force out President Putin, the neocon dream of another malleable Boris Yeltsin in the Kremlin is far less likely than the emergence of an extreme Russian nationalist who might be ready to push the nuclear button rather than accept further humiliation of Mother Russia.

The truth is that the world has much less to fear from the calculating Vladimir Putin than from the guy who might follow a deposed Vladimir Putin amid economic desperation and political chaos in Russia. But the possibility of nuclear Armageddon doesn't seem to bother the neocon/liberal-interventionist New York Times. Nor apparently does the principle of fair and honest journalism.

The Times and rest of the mainstream media are just having too much fun hating Russia and Putin to worry about the possible extermination of life on planet Earth.

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America's Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com ).

jo6pac , September 15, 2017 at 4:51 pm

Amerikas way of bring the big D to your nation. Death

http://www.globalresearch.ca/unknown-snipers-and-western-backed-regime-change/27904

Thanks RP for reading the times so I don't have to not that would.

Common Tater , September 16, 2017 at 2:05 pm

Thanks for the link, I knew about the use of snipers in Venezuela '02, did not realize there were so many more.

BayouCoyote , September 18, 2017 at 11:13 am

Kinda reminds me of what our only "Ally in the ME" did to our Marines in Iraq.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GIiGfUjZnbU

JWalters , September 16, 2017 at 7:29 pm

Bingo -- In a surely related story, the mainstream press is equally relentless in AVOIDING telling Americans the facts about Israel, and especially about its control over the American press.
"Israel lobby is never a story (for media that is in bed with the lobby)"
http://mondoweiss.net/2017/09/israel-lobby-never/

Virtually everything average Americans have been told about Israel has been, amazingly, an absolute lie. Israel was NOT victimized by powerful Arab armies. Israel overpowered and victimized a defenseless, civilian Arab population. Military analysts knew the Arab armies were in poor shape and would be unable to resist the zionist army. Muslim "citizens" of Israel do NOT have all the same rights as Jews. Israelis are NOT under threat from the indigineous Palestinians, but Palestinians are under constant threats of theft and death from the Israelis. Israel does NOT share America's most fundamental values, which rest on the principle of equal human rights for all.

How has this gigantic package of outright lies has been foisted upon the American public for so long? And how long can it continue? It turns out they did not foresee the internet, and the facts are leaking out everywhere. So it appears they're desperately coercing facebook and google to rig their rankings, trying to hide the facts. But one day soon there will be a 'snap' in the collective mind, and everybody will know that everybody knows.

For readers who haven't seen it yet,
"War Profiteers and the Roots of the War on Terror"
http://warprofiteerstory.blogspot.com

Common Tater , September 17, 2017 at 3:48 am

JWalters
I can tell you are angry. I too was angry when I figured it out.
Long before I figured it out, I was a soldier. Our unit was prepared for an exercise and we were all sleeping at the regiment compound, the buses would arrive at zero-dark thirty. I was reading a book about the ME(this was shortly after 9-11). A friend, came up and asked what I was reading. I told him I was reading about the Balfour paper and how that had a significant effect on the ME. He began explaining to me how the zionist movement had used the idea that no one lived on that land, to force the people from that land, out of that land.
I quickly responded that Israel had defended that land against 5 Arab armies and managed to hold on to that land. I informed him he was mistaken.
He agreed to disagree, and walked away.
This happened way back in 2002 if only I could pick his mind now. How did he know about this, way back before the internet was in any shape to wake people up?
There is hope still that guys who are young as i was, will say "Fuck You I defend this line and no further."
Without their compliance, there can be no wars.

Bernard Fisher , September 17, 2017 at 8:57 am

CommonTater your story parallels mine -- I was in the military, went to Vietnam to 'defend our nation against communism', felt horror at the Zionist stories of how Palestinians rocketed them, was told by senior officer about what Zionism is really about and I, like you, disbelieved him. That was in 1974 -- -- Now, with all the troubles in the world I won't read the MSP but look towards the alternative news sources. They make more sense. But as I try to educate others on what I have learned I am as disappointed as my senior officer must have been back them. Articles such as this one reproduced by ICH are gems: I save and print them in a compendium detailing ongoing war crimes.

Common Tater , September 17, 2017 at 2:35 pm

Bernard Fisher
Thanks for your response.
Good Idea to save and print these "gems" on consortiumnews.
Hopefully they wake more Americans.
Cheers

michael fish , September 15, 2017 at 5:44 pm

Thanks Mr. Parry,
You are a voice in the hurricane of hatred and lies propagated by the richest people on the planet.
Eventually some moron who believes this new York Times garbage will actually unleash the bomb and we will all be smoke.
That has always been the result of such successful propaganda. And it is very successful. It has almost occluded any truth for the vast majority of westerners .
Michael Fish

Yomamama , September 16, 2017 at 1:58 am

Agreed. I wish this clear and comprehensive article could be stapled on every American voter's door (wanted to say forehead but violence is bad). Many would toss it in the trash. Many would not agree even with full comprehension because of their own horrid beliefs. But maybe a few would read it and have an epiphany. It's very hard work to find an avenue to change the minds of millions of people who've been inculcated by nationalist propaganda since birth. Since 4 years old seeing the wonderful National Anthem and jets fly over the stadium of their favorite sports team. Since required to recite the Pledge of Allegiance in school.

I refused to stand for or recite the Pledge when I was seven or eight years old. I was sent to detention. My awesome mom though intervened and afterwards I could remain seated while most or all other kids stood up to do the ritual. I refuse to stand up and place hand-on-heart and remove cap during any sporting contests when the Anthem is played. I've been threatened with physical violence by many strangers around me.

https://medium.com/insurge-intelligence/exclusive-documents-expose-direct-us-military-intelligence-influence-on-1-800-movies-and-tv-shows-36433107c307

Thanks Mr. Parry, your voice is appreciated, your articles and logic are top-notch. Very valuable stuff, available for the curious, the skeptical. Well, until Google monopolizes search algorithms and calls this a Russian fake news site, perhaps or Congress the same

Virginia , September 16, 2017 at 1:49 pm

Excellent link, Yomamama.

Common Tater , September 16, 2017 at 2:20 pm

My hat is off to you sir, I have not been to any sporting events since I woke up, but I imagine it would be very difficult to remain seated and hatted during the opening affirmation of nationalism. My waking up coincides with a drastic drop in sports viewing. I used to be an NFL fan, rooted for the Niners (started watching NFL in the late eighties), the last full season I followed was the 2013-14 season.

It was the Ukraine coup that woke me up. It started when watching videos on youtube of guys stomping on riot cops, using a fire hose on them like a reverse water cannon. Then I realized these guys were the peaceful protesters being talked about on t.v. It was like a thread hanging in front of me, I began pulling and pulling until the veil in front of my eyes came apart. It was during this time I discovered consortiumnews.com.

Thomas Dickinson , September 16, 2017 at 3:03 pm

Mr Common Tater–just appreciating reading that someone else "woke up". That is the way it has felt to me. For me it was Oct 2002 and Bush's speech that was clearly heading us to war in Iraq. The "election" (appointment) of Bush in 2000 though was the first alarm clock that I started to hear. Most recent wake up is connected to Mr Parry's relentless (I hope) and necessary debunking of the myth of Russian nastiness and corresponding myth of US rectitude. Been watching The Untold History of the United States and have been dealing with the real bedrock truth that my government invented and invents enemies as a tactic in a game–ie. it's a bunch of boys thinking foreign relationship building is first and foremost a game. It has been hard to wash away all this greasy insidious smut from my life.

Common Tater , September 16, 2017 at 4:28 pm

Thomas Dickinson

It sucks to wake up, in a way. Once one gets past the denial, Tom Clancy novel type movies lose some of it's fun, although still entertaining. One secretly knows the audience in the cinema is just eating it all up and loving it. The American hero yells "yippie kayay mother f -- -r" as he defeats the post-Soviet Russian villain in Russia blowing up buildings, and destroying s–t as he saves the world for democracy. The Russian authorities amount to some guy in Soviet peaked hat, and long coat, begging for a bribe.

Oliver Stone's series is really good, it turns history on his head and shakes all the pennies out his pockets. Another good reporter is John Pilger, he has a long list of docs he has done over several decades.

Cheers

Homer Jay , September 16, 2017 at 5:44 pm

I have been watching that same series, about 3 episodes in. The most mind blowing part to think about is how the establishment consipired to block the nomination of the progressive Henry Wallace as a repeat VP for Roosevelt, leading instead to Harry Truman's nomination as VP, and then you know the rest of the story.

Funny how history repeated itself with the nomination of Clinton instead of Sanders. Btw, after Sanders mistakenly jumped on the Russia bashing bandwagon he was one of the few who voted against the recent sanctions being imposed against Russia, Iran, and North Korea. So yeah, I'd feel alot better with a Sanders president at this point.

Mulga Mumblebrain , September 16, 2017 at 5:21 pm

Apart from the obvious Exceptionalist and Zionazi imperative to destroy Russia and China in order that God's Kingdom of 'Full Spectrum Dominance' be established across His world by his various 'Chosen People', the USA always needs an enemy. Now, more than ever, as the country crumbles into disrepair and unprecedented inequality, poverty and elite arrogance, the proles must be led to blame their plight on some Evil foreign daemon.

Only this time its no Saddam or Gaddaffi or Assad that can be easily bombed back to that Stone Age that all the non-Chosen must inhabit. This time the bullying thugs will get a, thermo-nuclear, bloody nose if they do not back off. Regretably, their egos refuse to withdraw, even in the interest of self-survival.

Paranam Kid , September 16, 2017 at 6:13 am

" It has almost occluded any truth for the vast majority of westerners."

You are so right about that, I notice it every day on other forums on which I discuss current affairs with others: the US views are the accepted ones, and I get a lot of stick for stating different views. It is actually frightening to see how few people can think for themselves.

mike k , September 15, 2017 at 5:47 pm

The American people are being systematically lied to, and they don't have a clue that it is happening. There is no awake and intelligent public to prevent what is unfolding. The worst kind of criminals are in charge of our government, media, and military. The sleeping masses are making their way down the dark mountain to the hellish outcome that awaits them.

"These grand and fatal movements toward death: the grandeur
of the mass
Makes pity a fool, the tearing pity
For the atoms of the mass, the persons, the victims, makes it
seem monstrous
To admire the tragic beauty they build.
It is beautiful as a river flowing or a slowly gathering
Glacier on a high mountain rock-face,
Bound to plow down a forest, or as frost in November,
The gold and flaming death-dance for leaves,
Or a girl in the night of her spent maidenhood, bleeding and
kissing.
I would burn my right hand in a slow fire
To change the future I should do foolishly. The beauty
of modern
Man is not in the persons but in the
Disastrous rhythm, the heavy and mobile masses, the dance of the
Dream-led masses down the dark mountain."

Robinson Jeffers

HopeLB , September 15, 2017 at 10:36 pm

Great, Dark and Accurate poem -- Thank You -- Think I'll send it to Rachel Maddow, Wapo and the NYTimes.Might do them some good. Wouldn't that be lovely.

Patrick Lucius , September 16, 2017 at 12:42 am

Which poem is that? Not Shine, perishing Republic, is it?

Thomas Dickinson , September 16, 2017 at 3:22 pm

Rearmament by Robinson Jeffers. I liked that a lot, too, so looked it up. https://www.poemhunter.com/poem/rearmament/

Jeff Davis , September 18, 2017 at 11:35 am

Fabulous reply. Back atcha:

Dulce et Decorum Est
BY WILFRED OWEN

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs,
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots,
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of gas-shells dropping softly behind.

Gas -- GAS -- Quick, boys -- -- An ecstasy of fumbling
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time,
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime. --
Dim through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

In all my dreams before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams, you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues, --
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.

******************************

And this, from Bob Dylan's "Jokerman" .

Freedom just around the corner for you
But with the truth so far off, what good will it do?

******************************

I love life and am by nature a cockeyed optimist, but I find myself intermittently gloomy, my optimism overwhelmed by cynicism, when I see the abundance of moronic belligerence so passionately snarled out in the comments sections across the internet. Clearly, humans are cursed with an addiction to violence For my part, I am old and will die soon and have no children, plus I live in a quiet backwater far away from the nuclear blast zone. Humanity seems on course for a major "culling". Insane and sad.

Mike Morrison , September 15, 2017 at 5:48 pm

Over three years now the war in Donbass, Ukraine. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4BoKj39HKls

Dr. Ando Arike , September 15, 2017 at 5:49 pm

I'd like to see more investigative reporting on the NYT's and other major media outlets' links to the CIA and other Deep State info-war bureaus. What the Times is doing now is reminiscent of the Michael Gordon-Judith Miller propaganda in the run up to the invasion of Iraq. Operation Mockingbird, uncovered during the mid-70s Church Hearings, is an ongoing effort, it would seem. Revealing hard links to CIA information ops would be a great service to humanity.

SteveK9 , September 15, 2017 at 7:22 pm

After 'Michael Gordon-Judith Miller' I stopped reading the Times.

Beard681 , September 18, 2017 at 11:52 am

I am amazed at how many conspiracy types there are who want to see some sort of oligarch, capitalist, zionist or deep state cabal behind it all. (That is a REALLY optimistic view of the human propensity for violent conflict.) It is just a bunch of corporate shills pushing for war (hopefully cold) because war sells newspapers.

Rich Rubenstein , September 15, 2017 at 5:53 pm

Robert Parry has gotten this exactly right -- I'm a regular NYTimes subscriber /-have been for years -- and I have NEVER read anything about Russia that has not been written by professional Russia-haters like Higgins. Frankly, I don't get it. What accounts for this weird and dangerous bias?

mike k , September 15, 2017 at 6:03 pm

Have you looked into who owns the NYT?

Paranam Kid , September 16, 2017 at 6:32 am

Why do you keep reading the NYT? Not only the Russia stories are heavily biased, but all their stories are. Most op-ed's about Israel/Palestine are written by zealous pro-Israel/pro-Zionists, against very few pro-Palestine people.

Brad Owen , September 16, 2017 at 8:07 am

The Trans-Atlantic Empire of banking cartels rest upon enmity with the only other Great Powers in the World: Russia and China, while keeping USA thoroughly within their orbit, relying on our Great Power as the engine that powers this Western Bankers' Empire (the steering room lies in City-of-London, who has LONG maneuvered, via their Wall Street assets, to bring us into Empire). Should peaceful, cooperative and productive relations break out between USA, Russia, and China, this would undermine everything the Western Empire has worked to build.

THIS is why the phony Russiagate issue is flogged to get rid of Trump (who seeks cooperation with Russia and China), AND keeping Russia as "The Enemy", keeping the MIC, Intel community, various police-state ops, in high demand for "National Security" reasons (also positioned to foil any democratic uprisings, should they see past the progs daily curtain and see their plight).

Brad Owen , September 16, 2017 at 8:08 am

Progs=propaganda stupid iPad.

Mulga Mumblebrain , September 16, 2017 at 5:30 pm

Here in Aust-failure I read the papers for many years until they became TOO repulsive, particularly the Murdoch hate and fear-mongering rags. I also, and still do, masochistically listen to the Government ABC and SBS. In all those years I really cannot recall any articles or programs that reported on Russia or China in a positive manner, save when Yeltsin, a true hero to all our fakestream media, was in charge. That sort of uniformity of opinion, over generations, is almost admirable. And the necessity to ALWAYS follow the Imperial US ('Our great and powerful friend') line leads to some deficiencies in the quality of the personnel employed, as I one again reflected upon the other day when one hackette referred to (The Evil, of course)Kim Jong-un as 'President Un', several times.

Jeff Davis , September 18, 2017 at 12:31 pm

"What accounts for this weird and dangerous bias?"

Several points:

The Russian -- formerly Commie -- -- boogieman is a profit center for the military, their industrial suppliers, and the political class. That's the major factor. But also, the Zionist project requires a bulked up US military "tasked" with "full spectrum" military dominance -- the Wolfowitz Doctrine, the American jackboot on the world's throat forever -- to insure the eternal protection of Israel. Largely unseen in this Israeli/Zionist factor is the thousand-year-old blood feud between the Jews and Russians. They are ancient enemies since the founding of Czarist Russia. No amount of time or modernity can diminish the passion of that animus. (I suspect that the Zionist aim to "destroy" Russia will eventually backfire and lead instead to the destruction of Israel, but really, we shouldn't talk about that.)

mike k , September 15, 2017 at 6:26 pm

The richest man in the world has the controlling interest in the NYT. Draw your own conclusions.

http://freebeacon.com/issues/mexican-billionaire-carlos-slim-becomes-top-owner-of-new-york-times/

Brad Owen , September 16, 2017 at 8:36 am

Mexico, ground zero for the world fascist movement in the 20s and 30s (going by name Synarchy Internationale still does) throuout Ibero-America, centered in PAN. The Spanish-speaking World had to contend with Franco, and Salazar being in power so long in the respective "Mother Countries" of the Iberian Peninsula. This was the main trail for the ratlines to travel.

I saw a dead coyote on the side of the road the other day. I know you know what that means to me, Mike. Omens are a lost art in these modern times, and I have no expertise in these matters, but it struck my attention hard. It was on the right side of the road: trouble for Trump coming from The Right? They are more potent than the ineffective Left, so this might be the way Trump is pulled down.

Sfomarco , September 16, 2017 at 3:37 pm

Carlos Slim (f/k/a Salim)

Mulga Mumblebrain , September 16, 2017 at 5:31 pm

Yes, but who bankrolls Slim?

Stiv , September 15, 2017 at 6:51 pm

I wouldn't even need to read this to know what's going to be said. After the last article from Parry, which was very good and interesting .plowing new ground for him he's back to rehashing the same old shit. Not that it's necessarily wrong, only been said about a hundred times. Yawn

D.H. Fabian , September 16, 2017 at 2:46 am

After months of so many people pointing out how and why the "Russia stole the election" claim is false, it came roaring back (in liberal media) in recent days. It demands a response.

mike k , September 16, 2017 at 7:26 am

No one is required to read anything on CN.

Virginia , September 16, 2017 at 1:58 pm

RP brought lots of new things into play in his article and showed how they mesh together and support one another "against Trump." I almost skipped it because so familiar with the topic, but RP brought new light to the subject, in my humble opinion.

Common Tater , September 16, 2017 at 2:40 pm

I do not need to read or watch established "news" media to know what's going to be said. After the last b.s. story from the usual talking heads which was low brow and insulting to the intelligence of the audience, they are back at it again same ol'shit by the same talking heads. It is most definitely wrong, and it needs to be countered as much as possible not yawning.

Gregory Herr , September 16, 2017 at 8:18 pm

That's what struck me just how absurdly insulting will the Times get?

And I think the point that trying to destabilize the Russian Federation may very well bring about a more militant hardline Russia is important to stress.

anon , September 17, 2017 at 9:02 am

"Stiv" is a troll who makes this junk comment every time. Better to ignore him.

Colin , September 18, 2017 at 11:54 am

Were you planning to contribute anything useful to the discussion?

SteveK9 , September 15, 2017 at 7:19 pm

I always wonder what motivation the accusers believe you have when they call you a 'Putin stooge'. Why would you be one? Are you getting paid? Of course not, so this is just a judgment on your part. They could call you a fool, but accuse you of 'carrying water for the Kremlin' as I heard that execrable creature, Adam Schiff say to Tucker Carlson? That just makes no sense. Of course, none of it is rational.

Mulga Mumblebrain , September 16, 2017 at 5:38 pm

They're insane. A crumbling Empire which was supposed to rule the world forever, 'Under God' through Full Spectrum Dominance, but which, in fact, is disintegrating under its own moral, intellectual and spiritual rottenness, is bound to produce hate-crazed zealots looking for foreign scape-goats. Add the rage of the Clintonbots whose propaganda had told then for months that the She-Devil would crush the carnival-huckster, and her vicious post-defeat campaign to drive for war with Russia (what a truly Evil creature she is)and you get this hysteria. Interestingly, 'hysteria' is the word used to describe Bibi Nutty-yahoo, the USA's de facto 'capo di tutti capi', in Sochi recently when Putin refused to follow orders.

David Grace , September 15, 2017 at 7:30 pm

I have another theory I'd like to get reviewed. These are corporate wars, and not aimed at the stability of nations. It is claimed that in 1991, at the fall of the Soviet Union, the oligarchs were created by the massive purchasing of the assets of the collapsing nation. The CIA was said to have put together a 'bond issue' worth some $480 Billion, and it was used to buy farms, factories, mineral rights and other formerly common holdings of the USSR. This 'bond issue' was never repaid to the US taxpayers, and the deeds are in the hands of various oligarchs. Not all of the oligarchs are tied to the CIA, as there were other wells of purchasers of the country, but the ties to Trump are actually ties to dirty CIA or other organized crime entities.

The NY Times may be trying to capture certain assets for certain clients, and their editorial policy reflects this.

I'd appreciate feedback on this.

Thanks,
David

David Grace , September 15, 2017 at 7:33 pm

There are many on-line videos on this theme. Searching 'Black Eagle Trust' is one form. Here is one link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hhBZJEqoe0A

stephen sivonda , September 15, 2017 at 9:51 pm

David Grace . what have we here, a thinking man? I like your premise, and I haven't even watched the link you supplied. That being said, I'll sign off and investigate that link.

D.H. Fabian , September 16, 2017 at 2:39 am

Conspiracy theories upon conspiracy theories, ensuring that the public will never be able to root out the facts. People still argue about the Kennedy assassination 54 years later.

Mulga Mumblebrain , September 16, 2017 at 5:39 pm

There is no rational 'argument' about what really happened to JFK.

Zhu Bajie , September 17, 2017 at 7:12 pm

Most conspiracy theories are fantasy fiction. If you have real evidence, based on verifiable facts, then it's not a theory any more. But most of the conspiracy theories popular in the USA just serve popular vanity. We never have to accept our mistakes, our crimes against humanity, etc. It's always THEIR fault.

We Americans over all are like small children, always making excuses.

mark , September 16, 2017 at 5:23 pm

Some of the material on the Black Eagle Trust are suspect. It gives figures for stolen Japanese war loot, for example, that are simply ludicrous. Figures of so many thousand tons of gold, for example, when the references should probably be to OUNCES of gold.

RBHoughton , September 15, 2017 at 8:03 pm

One sniper in Ukraine overthrew the democratic government. Previously one sniper in Dallas overthrew another democratic government. Are there any other examples?

Is our infatuation with democracy just a propaganda thing – to fool citizens into supposing they have value beyond their labour?

AshenLight , September 15, 2017 at 10:13 pm

> Is our infatuation with democracy just a propaganda thing – to fool citizens into supposing they have value beyond their labour?

It's about control -- those who know they are slaves will resist and fight, but those who mistakenly believe they are free will not (and if you give them even just a little comfort, they'll tenaciously defend their own enslavement). It turns out this "inverted totalitarianism" thing works a lot better than the old-fashioned kind.

mike k , September 16, 2017 at 7:19 am

Indeed. Gurdjieff told the tale of a farmer whose sheep were always wandering off due to his being unable to afford fences to keep them in. Then he had an idea, and called them all together. He told some of them they were eagles, and others lions etc. They were now so proud of their new identities that it never occurred to them anymore to escape from their master's small domain.

mike k , September 16, 2017 at 7:23 am

MLK is another example, as is Robert Kennedy.

Anna , September 16, 2017 at 12:53 pm

The American patriots are coming out: "CIA Agent Whistleblower Risks All To Expose The Shadow Government" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XHbrOg092G That would be the end of the Lobby, mega oilmen and the FedReserve criminals

mark , September 16, 2017 at 5:30 pm

Yes, snipers on rooftops in Deraa, southern Syria, in 2011. These mysterious figures fired into crowds, deliberately targeting women and young children to inflame the crowd. At the same time the same snipers killed 7 police officers. Unarmed police had been sent in to deal with unrest without bloodshed. These police officers were armed only with batons.

This is a standard page from the CIA playbook. The mysterious snipers in Maidan Square in 2014 are believed to have been Yugoslavian mercenaries hired by the CIA.

Zhu Bajie , September 17, 2017 at 7:14 pm

The US has had oligarchy since 1789.

BobH , September 15, 2017 at 8:06 pm

We all have some kind of a bias but fortunately most of us here know the difference between bias and propaganda. Bias based on facts and our own values is often constructive but the N.Y. Times(like most msm) has descended into disseminating insidious propaganda. Unfortunately the search for truth requires a bit more research and time than most people are willing to invest. Thankfully, Robert Parry continues his quest but the dragons are not easy to slay. My own quest for truth once led to a philosophical essay. The cartoon at the bottom(SH Chambers) sums it up.
https://crivellistreetchronicle.blogspot.com/2016/07/truth-elusive-concept.html

mike k , September 16, 2017 at 7:13 am

I put a comment on your blog.

BobH , September 16, 2017 at 11:15 am

Mike, thanks so much, I'll look forward to reading it(so far, I don't see it Moderation?)

Virginia , September 16, 2017 at 2:20 pm

If we have a bias towards honesty, that helps. It keeps one's mind more open and provides a willingness to entertain various points of view. It's not naivete, however, but thoughtful consideration coupled with awareness and that protects one from being easily manipulated. But then, oppositely, there's a human tendency to want to be popular which inclines one towards groupthink. But why that so entrenches itself, making people impervious to truth, is a conundrum -- Maybe if the "why" can be answered, the "how" will become apparent -- how to reach individuals with the truth as so oft told, though hard on the ears, at CN.

Jacob Leyva , September 15, 2017 at 10:12 pm

So what do you think of the Russia-Facebook dealings? When will we get an article on that?

Fuzzy , September 18, 2017 at 7:19 am

Really? You think this is important?

http://davidswanson.org/warlist/?link_id=3&can_id=ed31bf4cbc8f991980718b21b49ca26d&source=email-how-outlawing-war-changed-the-world-in-1928-2&email_referrer=email_232560&email_subject=how-outlawing-war-changed-the-world-in-1928

John , September 15, 2017 at 10:47 pm

The Russian /Iranian vs the Ashkenazi has been going on for many, many years ..The USA is to a large extent controlled by the Ashkenazi / Zionist agenda which literally owns most of the MSM outlets .Agendas must be announced through propaganda to sway the sleeping public toward conformity .The only baffling question that remains is why do Americans allow Zionist to control such a large part of their great republic ?

Art , September 16, 2017 at 1:43 am

Robert, you come from intelligence. Why don't you look at Russia-gate from all possible angles?
I suggest the following. Putin is an American spy. Russia-gate is created to make him a winner, a hero.
And the specious confrontation is a good cover for Putin.
This is in a nutshell.
I can obviously say mu-uch more.

D.H. Fabian , September 16, 2017 at 2:33 am

Throughout 2017, we've seen a surge of efforts by both parties -- via the media that serve them -- to build support for a final nuclear war. The focus jumps from rattling war sabers at China (via Korea, at the moment) to rattling them at Russia, two nuclear-armed world powers. This has been working to bring Russia and China together, resolving their years of conflict in view of a potential world threat -- the US. Whatever their delusions, and regardless of their ideology, our political leaders are setting the stage for the deaths of millions of us, and the utter destruction of the US.

mike k , September 16, 2017 at 6:59 am

Our political leaders have betrayed us.

Mulga Mumblebrain , September 16, 2017 at 5:42 pm

Thermo-nuclear war would cause human extinction, not just billions of casualties.

Jim Glover , September 16, 2017 at 3:15 am

It is the same now with North Korea and China. So what would happen if those nations were destabilized by Sanctions or worse Russia, China Iran and more would support Kim. How to make peace?

Dennis Rodman has the guts to suggest call and talk with Kim or "Try it you might like it better than total mutual destruction". Think Love and Peace it can't hurt like all the war, hate and fear the media keeps pushing for advertising profits. War and Fear is the biggest racket on the planet. What can I do? Fighting a losing battle but it is fun tryin' to win.

mike k , September 16, 2017 at 6:57 am

We may be losing now, but who knows? It ain't over till it's over. Hang in there.

GMC , September 16, 2017 at 3:20 am

Great article- again . I used to live in the US, I used to live in Alaska, I used to live in Crimea, Ukraine but now I live in Crimea, Russia and Smolensk, Ru. I watched this all go down but it took awhile to see the entire picture. I seldom get any more emails from the states – even my brother doesn't get it. They think I'm now a " commie" , I guess. I see it as the last big gasp of hot, dangerous air from an Empire -- Exposed. Unfortunately, its not over yet and maybe we/you will have more bad times ahead. Crimea this summer is doing well with much work going on – from the badly needed new infrastructure to the new bridge, the people are much better off than in Ukraine. They made the right choice in returning to Mother Russia even though it was a no-brainer for them. The world is lucky to have free writers like, Parry, Roberts, Vltchek, Pepe', the Saker and the intelligent commenters are as important as the writers in spreading the Pravda. Spacibo Mr. Parry

mike k , September 16, 2017 at 6:54 am

Thanks for sharing with us GMC. And good luck to you.

ranney , September 16, 2017 at 4:22 am

YES -- -- -- -- -- Yes to all that you wrote Robert -- Thank you again for writing clearly and saying what obviously needs to be said, but no one else will. We've been down this road before -i.e. the media pulling us into wars of Empire – first the Spanish- American one, then a bunch of others working up to Viet Nam, and then Iraq. Each one gets worse and now we're reaching for a nuclear one. Keep writing; your voice gives some of us hope that just maybe others will join in and stop the media from their constant "messages of hate" and the urging of the public to a suicidal conflagration.

Joe Tedesky , September 16, 2017 at 8:55 am

The funny thing about living through the 'fake news' era, is that now everyone thinks that their news source is the correct news source. Many believe that outside of the individual everyone else reads or listens too 'fake news'. It's like all of a sudden no one has credibility, yet everyone may have it, depending on what news source you subscribe to. I mean there's almost no way of knowing what the truth is, because everyone is claiming that they are getting their news from reputable news outlets, but some or many aren't, and who are the reputable news sources, if you don't mind my asking you this just for the record?

Come to think of it, the 'fake news' theme is brilliant considering that now we have no bench mark for what the truth is, and by not having that bench mark for the truth we all go our separate ways believing what we believe, because certainly my news source is the only truthful one, and your news source is beyond questionable of how the news should be reported.

People read headlines, but hardly do they ever read the article. Many hear news sound bites, but never do they do the research required, in order to verify the stories accuracy. Hear say works even more to rain in the clouds of mass deception. Then there are those who sort of buy whatever it is the established news outlets are selling based on their belief that it doesn't much matter anyway, because 'the establishment' lies to us all the time as a rule, so what's the big deal to keep up on the news, because it's all obviously one big lie isn't it? So not only do we have irresponsible news journalist, we also have a very large number of a monopolized unqualified news gatherers who must accept what the various news agencies report, regardless of what the truth may be. It's better the Establishment keep it this way, because then the Establishment has better control over the 'mob grabbing the pitchforks and sickles' and crying out justice for somebody's head. It's kind of like job security for the Establishment, but in their case it's more like a 'keeping your elitist head' security, if you know what I mean.

To learn how to deal with this 'fake news', I would suggest you start studying the JFK assassination, or any other ill defined tragic event, and then you might learn how to decipher the 'fake news' matrix of confusion to learn what you so desire to learn. I chose this route, because when was the last time the Establishment brokered the truth in regard to a happening such as the JFK assassination? Upon learning of what a few well written books has to say, you will then need to rely on your own brain to at least give you enough satisfaction to allow you to believe that you pretty well got it right, and there go you. In other words, the truth is out there, hiding in plain sight, and if you are persistent enough you just might find it. Good luck.

mike k , September 16, 2017 at 11:29 am

The truth has never been that easy to find Joe. Actually all the beyond obvious propaganda on the MSM might wake some people up to do the searching necessary to get closer to what is really happening in their world. Maybe the liars have finally overplayed their hand? Or are we the people really that dumb? (I am scared to hear the answer to that one -- )

Joe Tedesky , September 16, 2017 at 12:04 pm

I could be a wise guy, and say to you 'or so you say' in reply to your kind comment, but then that would make me a troll.

All I'm saying mike is that in this era of 'fake news' we are all running about on different levels, and never shall the two of us meet. That is unless you and I get our news from the same source, but what are the odds of all of us getting the same news? It's impossible, and I'm not quite that sure that that would be what we want either. Still without an objective, and honest large media to set the correct narrative we end up in this place, where you might find yourself doing a spread sheet study to come to some conclusion of what is true, and what isn't.

Case in point, read about Russia-Gate here on consortiumnews, and then go listen to Rachel Maddow report on the same thing. Two different sets of stories. Just try and reconcile what you read on sites like this one concerning Ukraine, then go watch MSNBC or CNN. Never a match. So you mike read consortiumnews, and your in laws read the NYT and watch CNN, and there you go, a controversy arises between you and the in laws and with that life goes on, but where is the correct news to be found to settle the score?

Once upon a time the established news agencies such as CNN, and the NYT, were the hallmark of the news, and sites such as this one were the ones on the edge, now I'm convinced this conviction has reversed itself.

Thanks mike for the reply. Joe

Joe Tedesky , September 17, 2017 at 9:07 am

Wouldn't it be hilarious mike, if the dumbed down people attacked the Bastille under false pretense? Especially if the lie had been concocted by the blinded by their own hubris sitting powers to be. Talk about poetic justice, and well placed irony. Priceless --

Virginia , September 16, 2017 at 2:38 pm

Joe, Apparently people take the easy way out. And that's just it -- "the way out." Extinction -- Maybe they haven't learned there's something worth learning about and living for. I'm gonna concentrate on that. Open eyes that they might see

Joe Tedesky , September 17, 2017 at 8:08 am

You are right Virginia, it is probably 'a way out', and God bless them for it. My late Mother was like that, but I'll tell you why. When my Mother was growing up in a family of eleven children, her father would rent out their street level basement to the voting polls. A block away my uncle who was quite older than my Mother owned a corner saloon. Now on Election Day my Mother said how the men in suits would pull up in their big expensive cars, and they would descend upon my uncles corner bar. Soon after one by one drunks would come out of the tavern wearing Republican buttons then they would go into grandpap's basement voting booth, and vote. Not long after my Mom said, the same drunks would come pouring out of my uncles tavern and this time they were wearing Democratic buttons, and they would go vote once or as many times as it would take to thank the big guys in the suits for the free drinks. My Mom said this went on all day. She said a lot dead people voted whether they knew it or not, and that's the truth. She would follow up by saying, 'yeah a lot of politicians won on the drunk vote'.

So Virginia some can't take the decept and lying, and with that they give up. I myself don't feel this way, but then there are the times I can't help but think of how my dear sweet Mother probably did have it right for the sake of living your life in the most upright and honest way. Sadly, there is no virtue in politics, or so it seems.

Oh yeah, that uncle who owned the corner saloon, he did go into politics holding nominee appointed positions, until he got wise and got a honest job, as he would jokingly say.

For the record my Mother did vote, but she was the lady standing in line who looked reluctant and pissed off to be there, but never the less my Mum was a voter. Oh, the candidate my Mother loved the most was JFK. John F Kennedy's was the only presidential picture my Mother ever hung in our humble home.

My message here, was only meant to give some cover, and an explanation for those who shy away from politics, and not an excuse to stay uninvolved. For even my non political Mum did at least in the end break down, and do the right thing. We should all at least try, and keep up on the events of our time, and vote with the best intentions we can muster up.

Okay, I'm sorry for the length of my reply, but you are always worth taking time for me to give a reasonable answer to. I also hope I'm entertaining with these stories I seem to tell from time to time. Take care Virginia. Joe

Tannenhouser , September 17, 2017 at 7:28 pm

Humans are approximately 90% water, give or take depending on evaporation (Age). Water always takes the path of least resistance. Oh I wish and hope for the day when most realize they are much more than 'just' water:)

Mulga Mumblebrain , September 16, 2017 at 5:47 pm

The fakestream media lies incessantly, and has for generations. Chomsky and Herman's 'Manufacturing Consent' outlines the propaganda role of the 'mass media', and is twenty-five years old, in which period things have gotten MUCH worse (just look at the fate of the UK 'Guardian' for an example). Yet the fakestream presstitutes STILL have the unmitigated gall to call others 'fake' and demand that we believe their unbelievable narratives. That's real chutzpah.

Joe Tedesky , September 17, 2017 at 8:26 am

You know Mulga you are correct, many generations have listened to many, many, lies upon their way to the voting booths. It goes without saying, how the aristocrats when they find it necessary, as they often do find it necessary, they lie to their flock for a whole host of reasons. Why we could pick anytime in history, and find out where lies have paved the way to a leaders greater conquest, or a leaders said greater conquest if not met with defeat, but never the less the public was used to propel some leaders wishes onward and upward whether for the good or the bad.

But here we are Mulga, you and the rest of us here, straddling on the fence over what might be right to what possibly could be wrong. Without a responsible press you and us Mulga need to learn from each other. Like when comment posters leave links, that's always been something good for me to follow through on.

We live in a unique time, but a time not that unique, as much as it is our time. Our great, great, grandparents were straddling the same fence, and I'm guessing they too relied on each other to navigate there way through the twisting maze of politics, and basically what they all wanted, was a little peace on earth. So Mulga I also guess that you and we the people are just carrying on a tradition that us common folk have been assigned too continue.

Like reading your comments Mulga, good to see you here. Joe

Zhu Bajie , September 17, 2017 at 7:44 pm

Fake news has always been common. Critical thinking has never been popular because Occam's Razor might slice your favorite story to shreds. Personally, I give full credence to few things in life, but suspect many more, to some degree. I trust my own experiences more than what I read in the media and try to reject conventional wisdom as much as possible.

Herman , September 16, 2017 at 9:39 am

Observing Putin's behavior, you have to be impressed with his continue willingness to extend the olive branch and to seek a reasonable settlement of differences. His language always leaves open the possibility of détente with the understanding that Russia is not going to lay down to be run over. On the contrary, the language of Obama and Trump, and their representatives is consistently take it or leave and engaging in school yard insults of Russia, Putin, Lavrov and others. We have consistently played the bully in the school yard encouraging others to join in the bullying. We talk about the corrosive discourse at home, but observe the discourse in foreign affairs. Trump and his associates are guilty, but slick talking Obama and his subordinates was often worse. .As has so often been said, we have only two arrows in our foreign affairs quiver, war and sanctions. We lack the imagination and will to actually engage in civil discussions with those on our enemies' list.

Parry is of course correct in his opinion of the New York Times but it doesn't stop there, only that the New York Times undeservedly is the "newspaper of record." His citing of Orwell is on the mark. Just turn your TV on for the news and see for yourself.

Dave P. , September 16, 2017 at 8:27 pm

Very well said, Herman. Very true.

Patricia Victour , September 16, 2017 at 9:54 am

I don't subscribe to the NYT for this reason, and it is galling to me that our local rag, "The Santa Fe New Mexican," while featuring excellent local coverage for the most part, gets all it's "national" news from the likes of the NYT, WaPo, and AP. These stories, much of it "fake news" in my opinion, are offered as gospel by the "New Mexican", with no journalistic effort to print opposing views. People I know seem so proud of themselves that they subscribe to "The Times," and I don't even dare try to point out to them that they are being duped and propagandized into believing the most outrageous (and dangerous) crap.

To add another dimension, these sources are so jealous of their position as the ultimate word on what Americans are to believe, and also so worried about their waning influence, that now RT and Sputnik, both Russia-sponsored news outlets, may be forced to register as "foreign agents" in the U.S. I am not familiar with Sputnik, but I have been watching RT on TV for several years and find it to be an excellent source of national and foreign news. Stories I see first on RT are usually confirmed soon after by other reliable sources, such as this excellent site – Consortiumnews. At no point did I feel I was being coerced by Russia during the 2016 election – I needed no confirmation that both Trump and Clinton were probably the worst candidates ever to run for President.

Joe Tedesky , September 17, 2017 at 9:31 am

You know what I find interesting is how a reporter such as Robert Parry will pinpoint his details to a critique of say the NYT, but when or if a NYTer is to write a likewise article of the Alternative Internet Press the NYTer will just simply critique their internet rival as a 'conspiracy theorist' or as now as in 2017 they refer to them as 'fake news artist'. I mean no rebuttal back referencing certain details such as what Parry mentioned, but just rhetorical words written over tabloid written headlines finalized under the heading of 'fake news'. This must be being taught in journalism school these days, because it's popular in the MSM.

Just like you have never heard or read from the MSM a detailed answered rebuttal to the pointed questions of say the '911 Truthers' or a 'JFK Assassination Researcher' a valid bona fide answer. No, but you do hear the masters and mistresses of the corporate media world call writers such as Parry, Roberts, and St Clair, 'fake newscasters', 'Putin Puppets', and or a whole host of other nasty names, as they feel fit to write, but never a honest too goodness rebuttal. Then they talk about Trump not sounding or acting presidential hmm the nerve of these wordsmiths.

BTW, I don't care much for Trump, and I even care less for our MSM. Just wanted to get that straight.

Nice comment Patricia. Joe

hatedbyu , September 16, 2017 at 10:57 am

let's not forget about the nytimes grossly negligent reporting on syria and libya. judith miller? russian doping scandal. lying about the holdomor . man i could do this all day ..

Joe Tedesky , September 17, 2017 at 10:12 am

You mean the on air hours of punditry explaining away their professions mistakes, or the honest rebuttal? It's at those particular times and occurrences of ignored self reflection our honorable (not) MSM falls back on Orwell's 1984. Like it never happened. The dog didn't eat no home work, because there never was a dog, nor was there any homework .stupid us. Life goes on uninterrupted and non commercial time can be filled with an update on Bill Cosby's past alleged sexual predator attacks, and this is our professional news casting doing its best to entertain us, not inform us god forbid, but entertain us the ignorant masses of their workless society.

One day hatedbyu the ignorant masses may just show the corporate infotainment duchess and dudes that they 'the people' ain't so ignorant, and things must change. Well at least that's the dream, but it's still a work in progress, and then there's the historical seesaw.

I think it's the power of empire to expand, just like a balloon, until it reaches it's bursting point. But just what that bursting point is, is without a doubt the most disputable of arguments to be made. I am coming to the belief we are, as always, continually getting to that point, and we may of course be very close to igniting that spark in the not so far off future. I would prefer the spark to be completely financial, and dealt with accordingly, but I'm a dreamer purest and a conspiracy theorist, so that means when the crap starts going down, I'll be the old man on the hill lighting up a big fat doobie cue soundtrack 'Fool On the Hill'.

Sorry just had to get carried away, but it's Sunday morning hatedbyu and I'm home alone and nobody's trying to break in .. Good comment hatedbyu. Joe

Stephen J. , September 16, 2017 at 11:27 am

A Compilation Not seen in Corporate Media: See Link Below:
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
US Wars and Hostile Actions: A List
By David Swanson

http://davidswanson.org/warlist/?link_id=3&can_id=ed31bf4cbc8f991980718b21b49ca26d&source=email-how-outlawing-war-changed-the-world-in-1928-2&email_referrer=email_232560&email_subject=how-outlawing-war-changed-the-world-in-1928

Bob Van Noy , September 16, 2017 at 9:42 pm

Stephen J. Thank you for introducing me to David Swanson. Great link.

Joe Tedesky , September 17, 2017 at 11:29 am

Im with you on that Bob, Stephen J providing the Swanson link should be a must read, to keep things fair and balanced. I also do wonder if Swanson's message isn't getting out there, and we all don't already know it? I'm a glass half full kind of guy, but what do we really know about each other, other than what the corporate media instills on us? I wish cable news would air a program made up of Swanson, Pilger, and Parry, for that at least could put some well needed balance finality back, if it ever was there in the first place, back into the public narrative .but there go I.

Good to see you Bob. Joe

Hank , September 16, 2017 at 11:32 am

The deep state sticks with what works: controlling the media keeps the masses ignorant and malleable. "Remember the Maine"
Germans are bayoneting Belgium babies and "remember the Lusitania" , some evidence shows higher ups knew the Japanese fleet was 400 miles from Hawaii, recall "Tonkin Gulf" episode, Iran Contra , invasion of Granada, Panama, and of course 911 and war on terror, patriot act, weapons of mass destruction, and Russia hacking the election. The masses "believe" these to be true and react and respond accordingly.

"
"Naturally the common people don't want war: Neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, IT IS THE LEADERS of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is TELL THEM THEY ARE BEING ATTACKED, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. IT WORKS THE SAME IN ANY COUNTRY."

–Goering at the Nuremberg Trials

mike k , September 16, 2017 at 12:53 pm

Thanks Hank. Same ole same ole, eh? When will we ever learn?

mike k , September 16, 2017 at 11:32 am

"Trump might well go down in history of the President who screwed-up a historical opportunity to really change our entire planet for the better and who, instead, by his abject lack of courage and honor, his total lack of political and diplomatic education and by his groveling subservience to the "swamp" he had promised to drain ended up being as pathetically clueless as Obama was." (The Saker)

My sentiments exactly.

Voytenko , September 16, 2017 at 11:49 am

What a glaring lie this article is, its' author being either "useful idiot" played by Kremlin, or maybe not so much of an idiot. What are you talking about here in comments, those who applaud this article, this bunch of lies? You live in Ukraine, you know anything about that so-called "putch"? How dare you to insult the whole nation – Ukrainian nation? Shame on you, people. You don't know (author of the article including) anything about Russia, Ukraine and that bloody Putin, but you have problems with the US and its' politics. US are your business, Ukraine definitely not. Find some other examples of NYT and USA malfeasance, some you know something about. Stop insulting other nations.

anon , September 17, 2017 at 9:53 am

You are not from Ukraine, and you care not for Ukraine, or you would seek unity not dominance of East over West Ukraine. Tell us about your life in Ukraine, and show us the evidence of "that bloody Putin."

Abe , September 16, 2017 at 1:31 pm

Yellow journalism now employs "open source and social media investigation" scams foisted by Eliot Higgins and the Bellingcat disinformation site.

Bellingcat is allied with the New York Times and the Washington Post, the two principal mainstream media organs for "regime change" propaganda, via the First Draft Coalition "partner network".

In a triumph of Orwellian Newspeak, this Google-sponsored "post-Truth" Propaganda 3.0 coalition declares that member organizations will "work together to tackle common issues, including ways to streamline the verification process".

The New York Times routinely hacks up Bellingcat "reports" and pretends they're "verification"

Malachy Browne, "Senior Story Producer" at the New York Times, cited Bellingcat to embellish the media "story" about the Khan Shaykhun chemical incident in Idlib Syria.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/01/insider/the-times-uses-forensic-mapping-to-verify-a-syrian-chemical-attack.html

Before joining the Times, Browne was an editor at "social news and marketing agency" Storyful and at Reported. ly, the "social reporting" arm of Pierre Omidyar's First Look Media.

Browne generously "supplemented" his "reporting" on the Khan Shaykun incident with "videos gathered by the journalist Eliot Higgins and the social media news agency Storyful".

Browne encouraged Times readers to participate in the Bellingcat-style "verification" charade: "Find a computer, get on Google Earth and match what you see in the video to the streets and buildings"

Browne of Storyful and Higgins of Bellingcat are founding members of the Google-funded "First Draft" coalition.

Browne demonstrates how the NYT and other "First Draft" coalition media outlets use video to "strengthen" their "storytelling".

In 2016, the NYT video department hired Browne and Andrew Glazer. a senior producer on the team that launched VICE News, to help "enhance" the "reporting" at the Times.

Browne represents the Times' effort to package its dubious "reporting" using the Storyful marketing strategy of "building trust, loyalty, and revenue with insight and emotionally driven content" wedded with Bellingcat style "digital forensics" scams.

In other words, we should expect the New York Times, Washington Post, BBC, UK Guardian, and all the other "First Draft" coalition media "partners" to barrage us more Bellingcat / Atlantic Council-style Facebook and YouTube video mashups, crazy fun with Google Earth, and Twitter campaigns.

mike k , September 16, 2017 at 1:47 pm

Thanks Abe. Sounds like these guys all read 1984, and decided it was just the thing for 2017 Amerika.

Abe , September 16, 2017 at 1:49 pm

"Our investigation debunks the claims"

Browne keeps the April 2017 NYT video positioned at the top of his Twitter feed
https://twitter.com/malachybrowne/status/857290743068721152

Obviously Browne is proud of the "investigation" even though merely shared a "story" fed to him by Higgins' Bellingcat and the Atlantic Council .

Abe , September 16, 2017 at 1:58 pm

Higgins and Bellingcat receives direct funding from the Open Society Foundations (OSF) founded by business magnate George Soros, and from Google's Digital News Initiatives (DNI).

Google's 2017 DNI Fund Annual Report describes Higgins as "a world–leading expert in news verification".

Higgins claims the DNI funding "allowed us to push this to the next level".
https://digitalnewsinitiative.com/news/case-study-codifying-social-conflict-data/

In their zeal to propagate the story of Higgins as a courageous former "unemployed man" now busy independently "Codifying social conflict data", Google neglects to mention Higgins' role as a "research fellow" for the NATO-funded Atlantic Council "regime change" think tank.

Despite their claims of "independent journalism", Eliot Higgins and the team of disinformation operatives at Bellingcat depend on the Atlantic Council to promote their "online investigations".

The Atlantic Council donors list includes:

– US government and military entities: US State Department, US Air Force, US Army, US Marines.

– The NATO military alliance

– Large corporations and major military contractors: Chevron, Google, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, BP, ExxonMobil, General Electric, Northrup Grumman, SAIC, ConocoPhillips, and Dow Chemical

– Foreign governments: United Arab Emirates (UAE; which gives the think tank at least $1 million), Kingdom of Bahrain, City of London, Ministry of Defense of Finland, Embassy of Latvia, Estonian Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Defense of Georgia

– Other think tanks and think tankers: Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Nicolas Veron of Bruegel (formerly at PIIE), Anne-Marie Slaughter (head of New America Foundation), Michele Flournoy (head of Center for a New American Security), Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings Institution.

Higgins is a Research Associate of the Department of War Studies at King's College, and was principal co-author of the Atlantic Council "reports" on Ukraine and Syria.

Damon Wilson, Executive Vice President of Programs and Strategy at the Atlantic Council, a co-author with Higgins of the report, effusively praised Higgins' effort to bolster anti-Russian propaganda:

Wilson stated, "We make this case using only open source, all unclassified material. And none of it provided by government sources. And it's thanks to works, the work that's been pioneered by human rights defenders and our partner Eliot Higgins, uh, we've been able to use social media forensics and geolocation to back this up." (see Atlantic Council video presentation minutes 35:10-36:30)

However, the Atlantic Council claim that "none" of Higgins' material was provided by government sources is an obvious lie.

Higgins' primary "pieces of evidence" are a video depicting a Buk missile launcher and a set of geolocation coordinates that were supplied by the SBU (Security Service of Ukraine) and the Ukrainian Ministry of Interior via the Facebook page of senior-level Ukrainian government official Arsen Avakov, the Minister of Internal Affairs.

Higgins and the Atlantic Council are working in support of the Pentagon and Western intelligence's "hybrid war" against Russia.

The laudatory bio of Higgins on the Kings College website specifically acknowledges his service to the Atlantic Council:

"an award winning investigative journalist and publishes the work of an international alliance of fellow investigators using freely available online information. He has helped inaugurate open-source and social media investigations by trawling through vast amounts of data uploaded constantly on to the web and social media sites. His inquiries have revealed extraordinary findings, including linking the Buk used to down flight MH17 to Russia, uncovering details about the August 21st 2013 Sarin attacks in Damascus, and evidencing the involvement of the Russian military in the Ukrainian conflict. Recently he has worked with the Atlantic Council on the report "Hiding in Plain Sight", which used open source information to detail Russia's military involvement in the crisis in Ukraine."

While it honors Higgins' enthusiastic "trawling", King's College curiously neglects to mention that Higgins' "findings" on the Syian sarin attacks were thoroughly debunked.

King's College also curiously neglects to mention the fact that Higgins, now listed as a Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council's "Future Europe Initiative", was principal co-author of the April 2016 Atlantic Council "report" on Syria.

The report's other key author was John E. Herbst, United States Ambassador to Ukraine from September 2003 to May 2006 (the period that became known as the Orange Revolution) and Director of the Atlantic Council's Eurasia Center.

Other report authors include Frederic C. Hof, who served as Special Adviser on Syrian political transition to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2012. Hof was previously the Special Coordinator for Regional Affairs in the US Department of State's Office of the Special Envoy for Middle East Peace, where he advised Special Envoy George Mitchel. Hof had been a Resident Senior Fellow in the Atlantic Council's Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East since November 2012, and assumed the position as Director in May 2016.

There is no daylight between the "online investigations" of Higgins and Bellingcat and the "regime change" efforts of the NATO-backed Atlantic Council.

Thanks to the Atlantic Council, Soros, and Google, it's a pretty well-funded gig for fake "citizen investigative journalist" Higgins.

Dave P. , September 17, 2017 at 12:26 am

Abe – Thanks for all the invaluable information you have been providing.

jaycee , September 16, 2017 at 1:52 pm

The meme of an aggressive assertive Russia, based on what happened in Crimea, is a deliberate lie expressed with the utmost contempt towards principled diplomacy. The average consumer of mainstream news is also being shamelessly and contemptuously manipulated.

First, the people of Crimea did not want to be part of Ukraine after the USSR dissolved, and had previously expressed their opinion through referenda. The events of 2014 were part of an obvious pattern of previously expressed opinion.

Second, around the time of the so-called Orange Revolution, NATO analysts forecast what would probably happen should Ukraine embrace European "security architecture" (i.e. NATO), and concluded that Russia would take steps to protect their naval facilities in Crimea. Yet, in 2014, NATO officials would disingenuously express their utmost shock and surprise at the event.

Third, Viktor Yushchenko, who came to power in Ukraine in 2005 through the NED-financed Orange Revolution, consistently described his intention to join Ukraine with European institutions, including its "security architecture" (NATO), although acknowledging that the Ukrainian citizenry would have to be manipulated into accepting such a controversial and adversarial position. He would downplay presumed Russian reaction to potential removal from Crimea despite the obviousness and predictability of a serious crisis (see Sept 23, 2008 "Conversation with Viktor Yushchenko" Council On Foreign Relations). Yushchenko polled at 5.45% when he lost the Presidency in 2010, running on a platform of European integration.

Fourth, Russian officials at the highest level told their American counterparts in 2009 that any attempt to integrate Ukraine into NATO, and a corresponding threat to the Crimean naval facilities, would result in moves similar to what would later happen in 2014. Yet the United States, after instigating and legitimizing the Ukraine coup, would react to the Crimean referendum as an aggressive act which represented an unexpected security crisis requiring a reluctant but firm response of militarizing the entire region, and portraying the Russian state to the public as a dangerous and aggressive rogue power.

The deliberate omission of relevant contextual background by politicians, military officials, and the mainstream media demonstrates that none of these institutions can be trusted, and it is they who represent the greatest threat to international security. Putin has been relentlessly demonized, but it can be argued that his swift and essentially bloodless moves in Crimea in 2014 avoided what could have been a major international crisis on the level of the Berlin blockade in 1961. It appears, in hindsight, that such a crisis is exactly what the NATO alliance desired all along.

Sam F , September 17, 2017 at 9:58 am

Well said.

Joe Tedesky , September 17, 2017 at 12:02 pm

Nicely put jaycee. What you wrote took me back to a time of some eight months before Maiden Square, when my niece decided to live in Kiev. A bit of a ways away from Pittsburgh, so I started researching Ukraine. I also discovered RT & Moonofalabama, and sites like that.

What you wrote jaycee, in my humble opinion should be said in our MSM news. If for no other reason but to give an alternative fair and balance to say the likes of Rachel Maddow, or Joy Ann Reed. The way the MSM picks and chooses, and skims across important events in Ukraine, like Odessa, are criminal if ever the Press is to be judged for crimes of war. To the crys of a destroyed empire's vanquished population would then your small essay be heard jaycee, and yet that's the world we live in, but at least you said it.

Thanks jaycee (that's the first time I wrote your name and the j didn't go capital what does that mean? Who cares.)
Joe

rosemerry , September 16, 2017 at 2:04 pm

Of course the NYT liars would not bother to watch Oliver Stone's interviews with Pres. Putin, but during them he explained at length about his cooperation during the years after Ukraine elected a pro-Western president, managing to carry out mutual agreements and policies, but after the new pro- Russian president was elected, the USA did not accept him and overthrew him, which preceded the antics of Nuland et al in 2014 and the rest which followed.

MaDarby , September 16, 2017 at 2:05 pm

It appears to me that the elites decided long ago that the best solution to overpopulation is just to let climate change take care of three or four billion people while the Saud family and the Cargill family live on in their sheltered paradises with every convenience AI can provide.

It is clear these mega-rich families DO NOT CARE about society, about mass human extension or even about nature itself. They are the pinnacle of human evolution. Psycho-pathological loss of empathy might have been a bad evolutionary experiment.

This is derangement on a human specie scale, no leader no one in power has been willing to do anything but exploit every opportunity to make money and increase global domination, the great powers knew this day was coming when they made their decisions to hide it 50 years ago. The consequences are acceptable to the decision makers.

A mass extension of organic life is taking place before our eyes, nothing can stop it, THEY DO NOT CARE.

They sure as hell don't care if millions don't believe the Russia crap they just move ahead as the Imperial power, might makes right. In the end it is a religious project, the biblical slaughter of the innocents to appease a vengeful god and rid the world of evil.

Joe Tedesky , September 17, 2017 at 12:19 pm

What you bring up MaDarby takes me towards the direction of wondering what all those other Departments, other than State & Defense, of the Presidential Cabinet are up too? If our news were done and somehow properly organized, in such away as to educate us peons, then whatever the time allowed would be to broadcast and print out what each Federal Agency is up to. Now I know a citizen can seek out this information, but why can't there be a suitable mass media representation to reach us clunkheads like me, not you?

What should be exposed is the corporate ownership of the very agencies that were put in place to protect the 'Commons' has been corrupted to the point of no return. This dilemma will take a huge public referendum short of a mob revolution to change this atmosphere of complacency. The public will get blamed, but the real blame should be put on the massive leadership programs which were bolted down on to their citizens masses knowledge of said events, and there in lies the total crime of deception.

MaDarby your concern for nature is where a smart person should put their number one priority concern, no arguing there, but just a lifting word of approval of how you put it. Joe

Donald Patterson , September 16, 2017 at 2:45 pm

Consortium has been a clear voice on the lunacy of the Russia-Gate scandal. But to paint Yanukovych former President of the Ukraine as an injured party considering his history in government with what appears to be large scale corruption is part of the story as well. A treason trial started in May. More info needed on what looks like a complicated story. This would be a good piece of investigative journalism as well.

mike k , September 16, 2017 at 9:03 pm

Can you imagine what a huge can of worms would be revealed if there was a thorough investigation on every congressperson and public official in Washington DC? It would make Yanukovych look like a saint. And in addition, let's investigate the 10,000 richest people in the US, including all their offshore fortunes gained by illegal means. Wouldn't it make sense to do that? Isn't there enough evidence of probable criminal activity to open these investigations? Where is our ethical sense when it comes to our own dirty laundry? I guess it's easier to speculate about other's crimes than look into our own, eh?

Joe Tedesky , September 17, 2017 at 12:40 pm

The focus I get isn't so much focused on Yanukovych, even Putin wasn't all that crazy about his style of leadership, but my focus on a viable democratically created government doesn't necessarily start with an armed public coup. Yes, leading up to the violence, peaceful protesters took to the streets, but as we both know this is always the case until the baton twirling thugs come to finally ramp up the protest to a marathon of violent clashes and whatever else gets heads busted, until we have a full fledged revolution on our hands pass out the cookies. I mean by by-passing the voting polls, even to somehow ad hoc a temporary government in some manner of government overthrow were done peacefully, well then maybe I could get on board with this new Ukrainian government, but even the NYT finds it impossible to cover up everything.

And what about the people of Donbass? Shouldn't they have a say in this new government realignment? Ukraine has, and has always had a East meets West kind of problem. That area has been ruled over for centuries by each other, and one another, to a point of who's who and what's what is hard to figure out. Donbass, should in my regard be separate from the Now Kiev government. (Be kind with your critique of me for I am just an average American telling you what I see from here)

It's like everything else, where we should let the people of the region sit down with each other and work it out, we instead blame it on Putin, or whoever else Putin appears to be, and there you have it MIC spending up the ying-yang, for the lack of a better portrayal, but still a portrayal of what ills our modern geopolitical society.

mike k , September 16, 2017 at 2:49 pm

"The best thing which could happen to this country and its people would be the collapse of this Empire. The support, even tacit and passive, of this Empire by people like yourself only delays this outcome and allows this abomination to to bring even more misery and pain upon millions of innocent people, including millions of your fellow Americans. This Empire now also threatens my country, Russia, with war and possibly nuclear war and that, in turn, means that this Empire threatens the survival of the human species. Whether the US Empire is the most evil one in history is debatable, but the fact that it is by far the most dangerous one is not. Is that not a good enough reason for you to say "enough is enough"? What would it take for you to switch sides and join the rest of mankind in what is a struggle for the survival of our species? Or will it take a nuclear winter to open your eyes to the true nature of the Empire you apparently are still supporting against all evidence?" (the Saker)

Please go to the entire article on today's Saker Blog.

Voytenko , September 16, 2017 at 3:48 pm

Sick edition consortiumnews, sick readers. Elites, Deep State, Evil Empire USA Dove Putin with olive branch Guys, why don't you watch, say for a week, Russian TV, if you have somebody around who can translate from Russian. If you want to hear real nazi racist alt-whatever crap, Russian TV is the place. But you'll enjoy it, most probably. Thankfully, you guys, are obviously, minority, with all your pseudo intellectual delusions, discussions and ideas. "Useful idiots" – that's what Lenin said about the likes of you.

Abe , September 16, 2017 at 7:00 pm

There is no reason to assume that the trollish rants of "Voytenko" are from some outraged flag-waving "patriot" in Kiev. There are plenty of other "useful idiots" ready, willing and able to make mischief.

For example, about a million Jews emigrated to Israel ("made Aliyah") from the post-Soviet states during the 1990s. Some 266,300 were Ukrainian Jews. A large number of Ukrainian Jews also emigrated to the United States during this period. For example, out of an estimated 400 thousand Russian-speaking Jews in Metro New York, the largest number (thirty-six percent) hail from Ukraine. Needless to say, many among them are not so well disposed toward the nations of Russia or Ukraine, and quite capable of all manner of mischief.

A particularly "useful idiot" making mischief the days is Sergey Brin of Google. Brin's parents were graduates of Moscow State University who emigrated from the Soviet Union in 1979 when their son was five years old.

Google, the company that runs the most visited website in the world, the company that owns YouTube, is very snugly in bed with the US military-industrial-surveillance complex.

In fact, Google was seed funded by the US National Security Agency (NSA) and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The company now enjoys lavish "partnerships" with military contractors like SAIC, Northrop Grumman and Blackbird.

Google's mission statement from the outset was "to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful".

In a 2004 letter prior to their initial public offering, Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin explained their "Don't be evil" culture required objectivity and an absence of bias: "We believe it is important for everyone to have access to the best information and research, not only to the information people pay for you to see."

The corporate giant appears to have replaced the original motto altogether. A carefully reworded version appears in the Google Code of Conduct: "You can make money without doing evil".

This new gospel allows Google and its "partners" to make money promoting propaganda and engaging in surveillance, and somehow manage to not "be evil". That's "post-truth" logic for you.

Google has been enthusiastically promoting Eliot Higgins "arm chair analytics" since 2013
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qbWhcWizSFY

Indeed, a very cozy cross-promotion is happening between Google and Bellingcat.

In November 2014, Google Ideas and Google For Media, partnered the George Soros-funded Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) to host an "Investigathon" in New York City. Google Ideas promoted Higgins' "War and Pieces: Social Media Investigations" song and dance via their YouTube page.

Higgins constantly insists that Bellingcat "findings" are "reaffirmed" by accessing imagery in Google Earth.

Google Earth, originally called EarthViewer 3D, was created by Keyhole, Inc, a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) funded company acquired by Google in 2004. Google Earth uses satellite images provided by the company Digital Globe, a supplier of the US Department of Defense (DoD) with deep connections to both the military and intelligence communities.

The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) is both a combat support agency under the United States Department of Defense, and an intelligence agency of the United States Intelligence Community. Robert T. Cardillo, director of the NGA, lavishly praised Digital Globe as "a true mission partner in every sense of the word". Examination of the Board of Directors of Digital Globe reveals intimate connections to DoD and CIA.

Google has quite the history of malicious behavior. In what became known as the "Wi-Spy" scandal, it was revealed that Google had been collecting hundreds of gigabytes of payload data, including personal and sensitive information. First names, email addresses, physical addresses, and a conversation between two married individuals planning an extra-marital affair were all cited by the FCC. In a 2012 settlement, the Federal Trade Commission announced that Google will pay $22.5 million for overriding privacy settings in Apple's Safari browser. Though it was the largest civil penalty the Federal Trade Commission had ever imposed for violating one of its orders, the penalty as little more than symbolic for a company that had $2.8 billion in earnings the previous quarter.

Google is a joint venture partner with the CIA. In 2009, Google Ventures and In-Q-Tel invested "under $10 million each" into Recorded Future shortly after the company was founded. The company developed technology that strips information from web pages, blogs, and Twitter accounts.

In addition to funding Bellingcat and joint ventures with the CIA, Brin's Google is heavily invested in Crowdstrike, an American cybersecurity technology firm based in Irvine, California.

Crowdstrike is the main "source" of the "Russians hacked the DNC" story.

Dmitri Alperovitch, co-founder and chief technology officer of CrowdStrike, is a Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council "regime change" think tank.

Alperovitz said that Crowdstrike has "high confidence" it was "Russian hackers".

"But we don't have hard evidence," Alperovitch admitted in a June 16, 2016 Washington Post interview.

Allegations of Russian perfidy are routinely issued by private companies with lucrative US Department of Defense (DoD) contracts. The companies claiming to protect the nation against "threats" have the ability to manufacture "threats".

The US and UK possess elite cyber capabilities for both cyberspace espionage and offensive operations.

Both the US National Security Agency (NSA) and the British Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) are intelligence agencies with a long history of supporting military operations. US military cyber operations are the responsibility of US Cyber Command, whose commander is also the head of the NSA.

US offensive cyber operations have emphasized political coercion and opinion shaping, shifting public perception in NATO countries as well as globally in ways favorable to the US, and to create a sense of unease and distrust among perceived adversaries such as Russia and China.

The Snowden revelations made it clear that US offensive cyber capabilities can and have been directed both domestically and internationally. The notion that US and NATO cyber operations are purely defensive is a myth.

Recent US domestic cyber operations have been used for coercive effect, creating uncertainty and concern within the American government and population.

The perception that a foreign attacker may have infiltrated US networks, is monitoring communications, and perhaps considering even more damaging actions, can have a disorienting effect.

In the world of US "hybrid warfare" against Russia, offensive cyber operations work in tandem with NATO propaganda efforts, perhaps best exemplified by the "online investigation" antics of the Atlantic Council's Eliot Higgins and his Bellingcat disinformation site.

mike k , September 16, 2017 at 8:50 pm

Thanks Abe. Your insights are invaluable.

GMC , September 17, 2017 at 4:53 am

I live in Russia and see those shows that you speak of. The Nazi rants are from the Ukraine folks invited on the show – you want to see Ukraine shows like the ones in RU. – well, you won't see any Russians invited to talk -- -- NONE --

Gregory Herr , September 17, 2017 at 10:33 am

Your posts are so blatantly contrived it's almost funny. Do you write for sitcoms as well?

mrtmbrnmn , September 16, 2017 at 4:48 pm

Is this a great country, or wot???

Stupid starts at the very top and there is no bottom to it .

Dominic Pukallus , September 16, 2017 at 10:13 pm

The Washington Post has its own ironically self-describing slogan. Perhaps that of the NYT these days should be, in the same vein, "The Sleep of Reason begets monsters". And who will soon then be able to whistle in the darkness full of these things?

mike k , September 17, 2017 at 8:03 am

When looking for monsters, the WaPo should start by looking at themselves.

Walter DuBlanica , September 17, 2017 at 2:26 pm

The chaos in Ukraine was engineered by Victoria Nuland at Hillary's request. Good that she is not president. The Ukrainians and Russians are one and the same people, same DNA, same religion Orthodoxy., Slavic, languages very close to each other, Cyrillic alphabet and a long common history .

Russian_angel , September 17, 2017 at 9:43 pm

Thank you for the truth about Russia, it hurts the Russians to read about themselves in the American newspapers a lie.

Florin , September 18, 2017 at 2:15 am

Gershman, Nuland, Pyland, Feltman . essentially ths four biggest US (quasi) diplomats, like Volodymyr Groysman, Petro Poroshenko and perhaps 'our guy' Yats – are Jewish.

Add to this the role of Israeli 'ex' military, some hundreds, which means Mossad, and of Jewish oligarchs in Ukraine – and consider that Jews are less than 1% of the population.

The point is if we were free to speak plainly, the Ukraine coup looks to be one in which American and Ukrainian Jews acted in concert to benefit Jewish power. There is more to be said on this, but this glimpse will suffice because, of course, one is not free to speak plainly even where plain speaking is, on the face of it, encouraged.

Jamie , September 18, 2017 at 12:03 pm

Where was fake Antifa when Obama armed Nazi's in the Ukraine?

https://consortiumnews.com/2015/06/12/u-s-house-admits-nazi-role-in-ukraine/

Obama then put Joe Biden's sleazy son, Hunter, on the board of the largest gas company there:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2014/05/14/hunter-bidens-new-job-at-a-ukrainian-gas-company-is-a-problem-for-u-s-soft-power/

By ignoring the fascism of one political party, Antifa is actually pro-fascist. This fits in well with their Hitler-like disdain for freedom of press, speech and assembly. And their absolute love of violence, we also saw in the 1930s among Nazi groups

[Sep 18, 2017] Amazon.com Customer reviews What Happened

Notable quotes:
"... It's pathetic and immature that Clinton can't accept personal responsibility for her loss. She was a terrible candidate and had a hard time defeating Bernie. Only for the super-delegates in California, Bernie would have beaten her. ..."
"... But of course Donald Trump didn't play any part in her losing. She simply did not connect with people. To her it was like she had an entitlement because of her name. ..."
Sep 12, 2017 | www.amazon.com

RJ Parker, September 12, 2017

Anything and everything but herself .. 'Covfefe'

It's pathetic and immature that Clinton can't accept personal responsibility for her loss. She was a terrible candidate and had a hard time defeating Bernie. Only for the super-delegates in California, Bernie would have beaten her.

But, according to Hillary, 'What Happened' was ...

  1. Suburban women didn't like her
  2. The Russians interferred
  3. The FBI and James Comey
  4. Facebook
  5. Twitter
  6. Wikileaks
  7. Bernie Sanders
  8. TV Executives
  9. Cable News
  10. Fake News
  11. The Democrats
  12. The Republicans
  13. Low informed voters
  14. The 'Deplorables'
  15. Content farms in Macedonia
  16. Obama winning two terms
  17. Bad polling numbers

But of course Donald Trump didn't play any part in her losing. She simply did not connect with people. To her it was like she had an entitlement because of her name.

[Sep 18, 2017] The Russian Hacking Story Continues to Unravel by Mike Whitney

The key problem with the "official" story of DNS hack is the role of Crowdstrike and strangely coincident murder of Seth Rich. Que bono analysis here might also help: the main beneficiary of "Russian hack" story was Hillary camp as it allowed them to put a smoke screen shadowing allegation that they nefariously has thrown Sanders under the bus. A very serious allegation which has substantial supporting evidence. In a way they were fighting for their lives. Also Imran Awan story is omitted from the official narrative. Was not this another proved large scale hacking case? They also have a motive and opportunity in DNC case.
Notable quotes:
"... The reason Assange keeps saying that Russia wasn't involved is because Russia wasn't involved. There's nothing more to it than that. ..."
"... As for the other eyewitness, Craig Murray, he has also flatly denied that Russia provided WikiLeaks with the DNC emails. ..."
"... He claims he had a clandestine hand-off near American University with one of the email sources. Murray said the leakers' motivation was 'disgust at the corruption of the Clinton Foundation and the 'tilting of the primary election playing field against Bernie Sanders' ..."
"... Murray says: 'The source had legal access to the information. The documents came from inside leaks, not hacks'. 'Regardless of whether the Russians hacked into the DNC, the documents Wikileaks published did not come from that,' Murray insists." . ..."
"... Murray said he was speaking out due to claims from intelligence officials that Wikileaks was given the documents by Russian hackers as part of an effort to help Donald Trump win the U.S. presidential election. ..."
"... 'I don't understand why the CIA would say the information came from Russian hackers when they must know that isn't true,' he said. 'Regardless of whether the Russians hacked into the DNC, the documents Wikileaks published did not come from that." ..."
"... Is Craig Murray, the former British ambassador to Uzbekistan and human rights activist, a credible witness? There's one way to find out, isn't there? The FBI should interview Murray so they can establish whether he's telling the truth or not. And, naturally, one would assume that the FBI has already done that since the Russia hacking story has been splashed across the headlines for more than a year now. ..."
"... But that's not the case at all. The FBI has never questioned Assange or Murray, in fact, the FBI has never even tried to get in touch with either of them. Never. Not even a lousy phone call. It's like they don't exist. Why? Why hasn't the FBI contacted or questioned the only two witnesses in the case? ..."
"... Could it be because Assange and Murray's knowledge of the facts doesn't coincide with the skewed political narrative the Intel agencies and their co-collaborators at the DNC what to propagate? Isn't that what's really going on? Isn't Russia-gate really just a stick for beating Russia and Trump? How else would one explain this stubborn unwillingness of the FBI to investigate what one senator called "The crime of the century"? ..."
"... "It is no secret that NSA has the technology to trace a web event, e.g., a cyber attack, back to its source. There has been no public claim, nor is it implied in either Grizzly Steppe or the ICA that the NSA has trace routing to Russia on any of these purported Russian hacks." ("The Non-Existent Foundation for Russian Hacking Charge", Skip Folden) ..."
"... What the author is saying is that: If Russia hacked the DNC computers, the NSA would know about it. It's that simple. ..."
"... But no one at the NSA has ever verified the claims or produced one scintilla of evidence that connects Russia to the emails. In fact, the NSA has never even suggested that such evidence exists. Nor has anyone in the media asked Director Michael Rogers point blank whether the NSA has hard evidence that Russia hacked the DNC servers? ..."
"... The only logical explanation is that there's no proof that Russia was actually involved. Why else would the NSA withhold evidence on a matter this serious? It makes no sense. ..."
"... "The FBI, having asked multiple times at different levels, was refused access to the DNC server(s). It is not apparent that any law enforcement agency had access. ..."
"... 4. Not the FBI, CIA, nor NSA organizations analyzed the information from Crowdstrike. Only picked analysts of these agencies were chosen to see this data and write the ICA ." ..."
"... The DNC computers are Exhibit A. The FBI has to have those computers, and they are certainly within their rights to seize them by any means necessary. So why haven't they? Does the FBI think they can trust the second-hand analysis from some flunkey organization whose dubious background casts serious doubt on their conclusions? ..."
"... It's a joke! The only rational explanation for the FBI's behavior, is that they've been told to "stand down" so they don't unwittingly expose the truth about what's really going on, that the whole Russia hacking fiction is a complete and utter fraud, and that the DNC, the CIA and the media are all having a good laugh at the expense of the clueless American people. ..."
"... "Adam Carter: the FBI do not have disk images from any point during or following the alleged email hack. CrowdStrike's failure to produce evidence. – With Falcon installed between April and May (early May), they should have had evidence on when files/emails/etc were copied or sent. – That information has never been disclosed." ..."
"... What people want is proof that Russia hacked the DNC servers or that Trump cozied up to Russia to win the election. Nothing else matters. All these diversions prove is that, after one full year of nonstop, headline sensationalism, the investigation has produced nothing; a big, fat goose-egg. ..."
"... Remember the January 6, Intelligence Community Assessment? The ICA report was supposed to provide iron-clad proof that Russia hacked Democratic emails and published them at WikiLeaks. The media endlessly reiterated the claim that all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies took part in the assessment and that it's conclusions represented the collective, objective analysis of America's finest. ..."
"... Right. The whole thing was a fraud. As it happens, only four of the agencies participated in the project (the CIA, the NSA, the FBI, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.) and the agents who provided the analysis were hand-picked for the task. Naturally, when a director hand-picks particular analysts for a given assignment, one assumes that they want a particular outcome. Which they did. Clearly, in this case, the intelligence was tailored to fit the policy. The intention was to vilify Russia in order to further isolate a country that was gradually emerging as a global rival. ..."
"... Lastly, Folden's report sheds light on the technical inconsistencies of the hacking allegations. Cyber-forensic experts have now shown that "The alleged "hack" was effectively impossible in mid-2016. The required download speed of the "hack" precludes an internet transfer of any significant distance." In other words, the speed at which the emails were transferred could only have taken place if they were "Downloaded onto external storage, e.g., 2.0 thumb drive." (The report also provides evidence that the transfers took place in the Eastern time zone, which refutes the theory that the servers were hacked from Romania.) ..."
"... "There was no hack of the Democratic National Committee's system on July 5 last year!not by the Russians, not by anyone else. Hard science now demonstrates it was a leak!a download executed locally with a memory key or a similarly portable data-storage device. In short, it was an inside job by someone with access to the DNC's system." ("A New Report Raises Big Questions About Last Year's DNC Hack", Patrick Lawrence, The Nation) ..."
"... Read the whole report here: " Non-Existent Foundation for Russian Hacking Charge ", Skip Folden, Word Press. ..."
Sep 14, 2017 | www.unz.com

A new report by a retired IT executive at IBM, debunks the claim that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential campaign by hacking Democratic computers and circulating damaging information about Hillary Clinton. The report, which is titled " The Non-Existent Foundation for Russian Hacking Charge ", provides a rigorous examination of the wobbly allegations upon which the hacking theory is based, as well as a point by point rejection of the primary claims which, in the final analysis, fail to pass the smell test. While the report is worth reading in full, our intention is to zero-in on the parts of the text that disprove the claims that Russia meddled in US elections or hacked the servers at the DNC.

Let's start with the fact that there are at least two credible witnesses who claim to know who took the DNC emails and transferred them to WikiLeaks. We're talking about WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and WikiLeaks ally, Craig Murray. No one is in a better position to know who actually took the emails than Assange, and yet, Assange has repeatedly said that Russia was not the source. Check out this clip from the report:

Assange has been adamant all along that the Russian government was not a source; it was a non-state player.

ASSANGE: Our source is not a state party

HANNITY (Conservative talk show host): Can you say to the American people unequivocally that you did not get this information about the DNC, John Podesta's emails -- can you tell the American people 1,000 percent you did not get it from Russia

ASSANGE: Yes.

HANNITY: or anybody associated with Russia?

ASSANGE: We -- we can say and we have said repeatedly over the last two months, that our source is not the Russian government and it is not a state party

("The Non-Existent Foundation for Russian Hacking Charge", Skip Folden)

Can you think of a more credible witness than Julian Assange? The man has devoted his entire adult life to exposing the truth about government despite the risks his actions pose to his own personal safety. In fact, he is currently holed up at the Ecuador embassy in London for defending the public's right to know what their government is up to. Does anyone seriously think that a man like that would deliberately lie just to protect Russia's reputation?

No, of course not, and the new report backs him up on this matter. It states: "No where in the Intelligence Community's Assessment (ICA) was there any evidence of any connection between Russia and WikiLeaks." The reason Assange keeps saying that Russia wasn't involved is because Russia wasn't involved. There's nothing more to it than that.

As for the other eyewitness, Craig Murray, he has also flatly denied that Russia provided WikiLeaks with the DNC emails. Check out this except from an article at The Daily Mail:

(Murray) "flew to Washington, D.C. for emails. He claims he had a clandestine hand-off near American University with one of the email sources. Murray said the leakers' motivation was 'disgust at the corruption of the Clinton Foundation and the 'tilting of the primary election playing field against Bernie Sanders'

Murray says: 'The source had legal access to the information. The documents came from inside leaks, not hacks'. 'Regardless of whether the Russians hacked into the DNC, the documents Wikileaks published did not come from that,' Murray insists." .

Murray said he was speaking out due to claims from intelligence officials that Wikileaks was given the documents by Russian hackers as part of an effort to help Donald Trump win the U.S. presidential election.

'I don't understand why the CIA would say the information came from Russian hackers when they must know that isn't true,' he said. 'Regardless of whether the Russians hacked into the DNC, the documents Wikileaks published did not come from that."

(EXCLUSIVE: Ex-British ambassador who is now a WikiLeaks operative claims Russia did NOT provide Clinton emails", Daily Mail)

Is Craig Murray, the former British ambassador to Uzbekistan and human rights activist, a credible witness? There's one way to find out, isn't there? The FBI should interview Murray so they can establish whether he's telling the truth or not. And, naturally, one would assume that the FBI has already done that since the Russia hacking story has been splashed across the headlines for more than a year now.

But that's not the case at all. The FBI has never questioned Assange or Murray, in fact, the FBI has never even tried to get in touch with either of them. Never. Not even a lousy phone call. It's like they don't exist. Why? Why hasn't the FBI contacted or questioned the only two witnesses in the case?

Could it be because Assange and Murray's knowledge of the facts doesn't coincide with the skewed political narrative the Intel agencies and their co-collaborators at the DNC what to propagate? Isn't that what's really going on? Isn't Russia-gate really just a stick for beating Russia and Trump? How else would one explain this stubborn unwillingness of the FBI to investigate what one senator called "The crime of the century"?

Here's something else from the report that's worth mulling over:

"It is no secret that NSA has the technology to trace a web event, e.g., a cyber attack, back to its source. There has been no public claim, nor is it implied in either Grizzly Steppe or the ICA that the NSA has trace routing to Russia on any of these purported Russian hacks." ("The Non-Existent Foundation for Russian Hacking Charge", Skip Folden)

This is a crucial point, so let's rephrase that in simple English. What the author is saying is that: If Russia hacked the DNC computers, the NSA would know about it. It's that simple.

But no one at the NSA has ever verified the claims or produced one scintilla of evidence that connects Russia to the emails. In fact, the NSA has never even suggested that such evidence exists. Nor has anyone in the media asked Director Michael Rogers point blank whether the NSA has hard evidence that Russia hacked the DNC servers?

Why? Why this conspiracy of silence on a matter that is so fundamental to the case that the NSA and the other Intel agencies are trying to make?

The only logical explanation is that there's no proof that Russia was actually involved. Why else would the NSA withhold evidence on a matter this serious? It makes no sense.

According to the media, Intelligence agents familiar with the matter have "high confidence' that Russia was involved.

Okay, but where's the proof? You can't expect to build a case against a foreign government and a sitting president with just "high confidence". You need facts, evidence, proof. Where's the beef?

We already mentioned how the FBI never bothered to question the only eyewitnesses in the case. That's odd enough, but what's even stranger is the fact that the FBI never seized the DNC's servers so they could conduct a forensic examination of them. What's that all about? Here's an excerpt from the report:

"The FBI, having asked multiple times at different levels, was refused access to the DNC server(s). It is not apparent that any law enforcement agency had access.

The apparent single source of information on the purported DNC intrusion(s) was from Crowdstrike.

3. Crowdstrike is a cyber security firm hired by the Democratic Party.

4. Not the FBI, CIA, nor NSA organizations analyzed the information from Crowdstrike. Only picked analysts of these agencies were chosen to see this data and write the ICA ."

( "The Non-Existent Foundation for Russian Hacking Charge)

Have you ever read anything more ridiculous in your life? The FBI's negligence in this case goes beyond anything I've ever seen before. Imagine if a murder was committed in the apartment next to you and the FBI was called in to investigate. But when they arrive at the scene of the crime, they're blocked at the door by the victim's roommate who refuses to let them in. Speaking through the door, the roommate assures the agents that the victim was shot dead with a single bullet to the head, and that the smoking gun that was used in the murder is still on the floor. But "don't worry", says the obstructing roommate, "I've already photographed the whole thing and I'll send you the pictures as soon as I get the chance."

Do you really think the agents would put up with such nonsense?

Never! They'd kick down the door, slap the roommate in handcuffs, cordon-off the murder scene, and start digging-around for clues. That's what they'd do. And yet we are supposed to believe that in the biggest case of the decade, a case that that allegedly involves foreign espionage and presidential treason, that the FBI has made no serious effort to secure the servers that were allegedly hacked by Russia?

The DNC computers are Exhibit A. The FBI has to have those computers, and they are certainly within their rights to seize them by any means necessary. So why haven't they? Does the FBI think they can trust the second-hand analysis from some flunkey organization whose dubious background casts serious doubt on their conclusions?

It's a joke! The only rational explanation for the FBI's behavior, is that they've been told to "stand down" so they don't unwittingly expose the truth about what's really going on, that the whole Russia hacking fiction is a complete and utter fraud, and that the DNC, the CIA and the media are all having a good laugh at the expense of the clueless American people.

Here's another interesting clip from the report:

"Adam Carter: the FBI do not have disk images from any point during or following the alleged email hack. CrowdStrike's failure to produce evidence. – With Falcon installed between April and May (early May), they should have had evidence on when files/emails/etc were copied or sent. – That information has never been disclosed."

("The Non-Existent Foundation for Russian Hacking Charge", Skip Folden)

Read that excerpt over again. It's mind boggling. What Carter is saying is that, they have nothing, no evidence, no proof, no nothing. If you don't have a disk image, then what do you have?

You have nothing, that's what. Which means that everything we've read is 100 percent conjecture, not a shred of evidence anywhere. Which is why the focus has shifted to Manafort, Flynn, Trump Jr and the goofy Russian lawyer?

Who gives a rip about Manafort? Seriously? The investigation started off with grave allegations of foreign espionage and presidential collusion (treason?) and quickly downshifted to the illicit financial dealings of someone the American people could care less about. Talk about mission creep!

What people want is proof that Russia hacked the DNC servers or that Trump cozied up to Russia to win the election. Nothing else matters. All these diversions prove is that, after one full year of nonstop, headline sensationalism, the investigation has produced nothing; a big, fat goose-egg.

A few words about the ICA Report

Remember the January 6, Intelligence Community Assessment? The ICA report was supposed to provide iron-clad proof that Russia hacked Democratic emails and published them at WikiLeaks. The media endlessly reiterated the claim that all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies took part in the assessment and that it's conclusions represented the collective, objective analysis of America's finest.

Right. The whole thing was a fraud. As it happens, only four of the agencies participated in the project (the CIA, the NSA, the FBI, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.) and the agents who provided the analysis were hand-picked for the task. Naturally, when a director hand-picks particular analysts for a given assignment, one assumes that they want a particular outcome. Which they did. Clearly, in this case, the intelligence was tailored to fit the policy. The intention was to vilify Russia in order to further isolate a country that was gradually emerging as a global rival. And the report was moderately successful in that regard too, except for one paradoxical disclaimer that appeared on page 13. Here it is:

"Judgments are not intended to imply that we have proof that shows something to be a fact. Assessments are based on collected information, which is often incomplete or fragmentary, as well as logic, argumentation, and precedents."

What the authors are saying is that, 'Everything you read in this report could be complete baloney because it's all based on conjecture, speculation and guesswork.'

Isn't that what they're saying? Why would anyone waste their time reading a report when the authors openly admit that their grasp of what happened is "incomplete or fragmentary" and they have no "proof" of anything?

Gregory Copley, President, International Strategic Studies Association (ISSA) summed it up best when he said: "This is a highly politically motivated and a subjective report which was issued by the intelligence community. does not present evidence of successful or even an attempt to actually actively manipulate the election process."

Like we said, it's all baloney.

Lastly, Folden's report sheds light on the technical inconsistencies of the hacking allegations. Cyber-forensic experts have now shown that "The alleged "hack" was effectively impossible in mid-2016. The required download speed of the "hack" precludes an internet transfer of any significant distance." In other words, the speed at which the emails were transferred could only have taken place if they were "Downloaded onto external storage, e.g., 2.0 thumb drive." (The report also provides evidence that the transfers took place in the Eastern time zone, which refutes the theory that the servers were hacked from Romania.)

The Nation summed it up perfectly in this brief paragraph:

"There was no hack of the Democratic National Committee's system on July 5 last year!not by the Russians, not by anyone else. Hard science now demonstrates it was a leak!a download executed locally with a memory key or a similarly portable data-storage device. In short, it was an inside job by someone with access to the DNC's system." ("A New Report Raises Big Questions About Last Year's DNC Hack", Patrick Lawrence, The Nation)

Bingo.

Bottom line: A dedicated group of independent researchers and former Intel agents joined forces and produced the first hard evidence that "the official narrative implicating Russia" is wrong. This is a stunning development that will, in time, cut through the fog of government propaganda and reveal the truth. Skip Folden's report is an important contribution to that same effort.

Read the whole report here: " Non-Existent Foundation for Russian Hacking Charge ", Skip Folden, Word Press.

MIKE WHITNEY lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition . He can be reached at fergiewhitney@msn.com .

Seamus Padraig > , September 14, 2017 at 12:43 pm GMT

In related news, Craig Murray is now being sued for libel in the UK over specious accusations stemming from the Jeremy Corbyn 'anti-Semitism' scandal. Murry writes:

I am being sued for libel in the High Court in England by Jake Wallis Simons, Associate Editor of the Daily Mail Online. Mr Wallis Simons is demanding £40,000 in damages and the High Court has approved over £100,000 in costs for Mark Lewis, Mr Wallis Simons' lawyer. I may become liable for all of this should I lose the case, and furthermore I have no money to pay for my defence. I am currently a defendant in person. This case has the potential to bankrupt me and blight the lives of my wife and children. I have specifically been threatened by Mr Lewis with bankruptcy.

Source: https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2017/09/save-craig-murray/

Britain is notorious for having libel laws with a reversed burden of proof , meaning that the defendant (in this case, Murray) must prove himself innocent! Some shady plaintiffs, when jurisdiction-shopping for a libel case, have been known to try and file libel charges in Britain for this very reason.

Somebody's after Craig Murray big-time.

elmer t. jones > , September 14, 2017 at 7:09 pm GMT

The ICA report was a joke to anyone with rudimentary internet skills. It had a page of infographics featuring the iconic hacker-in-a-hoodie, a short list of perps ("hairyBear69″ etc etc) and the rest of it looked like a generic corporate PowerPoint on good cyber security practices. The media of course acted like it was all damning evidence of collusion.

Jonathan Mason > , September 15, 2017 at 12:56 am GMT
Reading Unz Review you will be better off replacing the word "Jew" with the term "the member of financial oligarchy". That's also will be more correct as tribal interests of financial oligarchy are the same as attributed to Jews in Protocols of Zion Elders...

The media endlessly reiterated the claim that all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies took part in the assessment and that it's (sic) conclusions represented the collective, objective analysis of America's finest.

Well, at the time, I, and probably most other people of moderate intelligence, said: "It is highly unlikely that all seventeen intelligence agencies have carried out independent investigations and come to identical conclusions without any of them being able to produce hard evidence. So this can safely be dismissed as bullshit."

People are not stupid, just like almost no one believed in Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq. Apparently Colin Powell and Hillary Clinton were the only people who were fooled. And Hillary Clinton also believed that she came under fire in Serbia, having been sent as First Lady to a place where it was too dangerous for the President to go, even though he had been there in person only a few months earlier.

There is a pattern here, I think.

Miro23 > , September 15, 2017 at 3:29 am GMT

The only rational explanation for the FBI's behavior, is that they've been told to "stand down" so they don't unwittingly expose the truth about what's really going on, that the whole Russia hacking fiction is a complete and utter fraud, and that the DNC, the CIA and the media are all having a good laugh at the expense of the clueless American people.

The same that they were told to "stand down " on the plentiful 9/11 evidence that contradicts the government story (see especially what they were doing down in Florida, Daniel Hopsicker "Welcome to Terrorland" https://www.amazon.com/Welcome-Terrorland-Mohamed-Cover-up-Florida/dp/0970659164/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1505445435&sr=8-2&keywords=daniel+hopsicker ).

I'm not sure that the FBI and CIA operatives are having a good laugh. To some extent they ARE the American people, and will have some basic ideas of justice and honesty. Their political masters can bribe and coerce them but there are limits to the efficiency of a (US) system run on fear and greed.

exiled off mainstreet > , September 15, 2017 at 3:36 am GMT

Despite the massive amount of evidence exposing the fraudulent nature of the story the media keeps going along based on the assumption that the lies are facts. Many if not most of those who consume the media propaganda continue to believe this crap. It is a sort of 21st century iteration of Goebbels propaganda but with the risk of nuclear war.

dc.sunsets > , September 15, 2017 at 8:31 pm GMT

Fake news is gonna be fake.

Until recently, people believed. They believed in The System (and the System's Narrative) more fervently than did their 14th Century European ancestors believe in Christianity.

They believed we could all get rich by Government and corporations issuing more and more and more debt. They believed that a promise to pay future cash flows, from Social Security or a Teacher's Pension or a Treasury Bond maturing, it was ALL as certain as if the money was already sitting on a table in front of their eyes.

Every institution in the West is being destroyed from within by the very people who staff it and who count on it for financial income. Those working in The News make stuff up out of whole cloth, apparently believing that a public that sees their output as fiction will continue to fund the channel that accrues to their paycheck. The same holds true of FB and social media. Government officials can't keep their lies straight anymore, and everywhere we look we see a wave of awakening, as members of the public each come to reframe that which they can see.

We are past apogee on the wave of pathological trust. The path ahead is of growing distrust, and while healthy in part, it will likely overshoot a better place by as much on the downside as it trust overshot wisdom on the upside.

View everything with distrust and suspicion; by doing so now, you'll be the rush.

Backwoods Bob > , September 15, 2017 at 9:48 pm GMT

It's exasperating but the strategy from the beginning has been psychological, not evidence-based, and it has been working.

All they have to do is keep repeating the three words Russia, Trump, and Hacking in close proximity to one another. They got the vast majority of people to believe Saddam Hussein did 9/11. I visit my mother in a retirement home and the mainstream television media has them completely in their grip.

I occasionally check in with the nauseating mainstream press or talking head shows, and watched a gaggle of clowns devolve into a shouting match over Trump/Russia. It was perfectly choreographed to make sure no coherent sentence, no complete thought was ever uttered. It was just noise – which is what the CIA is paying for and the producers are serving up.

In the meantime the Awan spy ring in Congress is being investigated by citizen journalists and studiously ignored by both Congress and the media. Does that tell you anything? They're mostly either safely blackmailed or paid off. The FBI can't find a crime being committed right in front of them in broad daylight so long as the criminal is helping out the country with weapons deliveries to Al Qaeda and ISIS, opium from Afghanistan, and other charitable efforts.

CalDre > , September 16, 2017 at 7:38 am GMT

Whilst I share the view there is no credible evidence of this "Russian hacking", this article does not provide any evidence against. How is Assange a witness? Did the leaker/hacker walk into the Ecuadorian embassy in London and hand it to him? No, no doubt he thinks that because that is what Murray told him. Now Murray could be lying, or he could have been fooled: if indeed it was Russia behind the hacks, they could have hired anyone / used any asset to deliver the goods to Murray.

This just doesn't advance the ball one iota.

The Alarmist > , September 16, 2017 at 11:06 am GMT

The term "Stand Down" seems to crop up a lot in matters involving Hillary Clinton, no?

Anonymous > , Disclaimer September 16, 2017 at 11:16 am GMT

I put some effort into editing the original text by Skip Folden and put into into .odt and .pdf. Also checked the links and highlighted some problems.

Have a go, I put it on Amazon S3 (imma supporting Bezos, here), it's easier to read on the train, too:

The+Non+Existent+Foundation+of+the+Russian+Hacking+Charge.pdf

The+Non+Existent+Foundation+of+the+Russian+Hacking+Charge.odt

Logging is off BTW.

El Dato > , September 16, 2017 at 12:38 pm GMT

Meanwhile, Stripped Nuts and Loose Screws:

https://www.lgraham.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press-releases?ID=66BF6DAD-0C50-4279-8EA2-018A8B17CAD7

"There is no credible doubt that Russia attacked our election infrastructure in 2016," said Gillibrand. "We need a public accounting of how they were able to do it so effectively, and how we can protect our country when Russia or any other nation tries to attack us again. The clock is ticking before our next election, and these questions are urgent. We need to be able to defend ourselves against threats to our elections, our democracy, and our sacred right to vote. I am proud to introduce this bipartisan legislation to create a 9/11-style Commission to defend our democracy and protect ourselves against future attacks on our country."

Lying and not realising you created the problem in the first place (Closed-source Diebold QUALITY machines etc.)

Just go back to paper, you fcsking idiots.

Seamus Padraig > , September 16, 2017 at 3:07 pm GMT

@CalDre Whilst I share the view there is no credible evidence of this "Russian hacking", this article does not provide any evidence against. How is Assange a witness? Did the leaker/hacker walk into the Ecuadorian embassy in London and hand it to him? No, no doubt he thinks that because that is what Murray told him. Now Murray could be lying, or he could have been fooled: if indeed it was Russia behind the hacks, they could have hired anyone / used any asset to deliver the goods to Murray.

This just doesn't advance the ball one iota.

Whilst I share the view there is no credible evidence of this "Russian hacking", this article does not provide any evidence against.

Oh? You want us to reverse the burden of proof, do you? Look, I don't know what country you come from, but in the US, a man is always innocent until proven guilty.

Now Murray could be lying, or he could have been fooled: if indeed it was Russia behind the hacks, they could have hired anyone / used any asset to deliver the goods to Murray.

Like Seth Rich, for example? Now that would be an elaborate plot!

Backwoods Bob > , September 16, 2017 at 6:44 pm GMT

@El Dato I can't remember hearing much about Sibel Edmond's revelations either recently.

That story disappeared faster than Oswald exiting a bookstore.

At least she's still alive. So true, El Dato. Even after the 29 pages came out and pointed to Saudi Arabian involvement like suspected, it was just dropped.

Or any number of other ghastly acts like Fast and Furious, the IRS and other organs of government being used to harass and suppress. We overthrew Ukraine and the mockingbird media made it sound like it was a Russian invasion, the story could not have been more backwards.

It's the Church Committee, Iran-Contra, and the Rosenberg's except bigger. Judicial Watch keeps digging out pay-to-play emails. A person would have to be brain dead not to see Comey obstructed investigations and let them destroy evidence. It is clear Congressmen are implicated directly, both parties, Clinton and McCain represent all the worst of our corruption. Aiding Al Qaeda and ISIS.

We have whole shipping containers at a time going to and fro from our ports under diplomatic immunity. Talk about a grotesque corruption of the diplomatic "pouch" immunity. The USSR did its industrial and defense espionage through diplomatic immunity, read Major Jordan's Diaries on the ratline through Alaska via the Lend-Lease program. But now instead of brief cases, it is international shipping containers.

Clear and Present Danger.

CalDre > , September 16, 2017 at 6:47 pm GMT

@Seamus Padraig

Whilst I share the view there is no credible evidence of this "Russian hacking", this article does not provide any evidence against.
Oh? You want us to reverse the burden of proof, do you? Look, I don't know what country you come from, but in the US, a man is always innocent until proven guilty.
Now Murray could be lying, or he could have been fooled: if indeed it was Russia behind the hacks, they could have hired anyone / used any asset to deliver the goods to Murray.
Like Seth Rich, for example? Now that would be an elaborate plot!

You want us to reverse the burden of proof

First, I never claimed that. It was the author's claim that he was "disproving" it. Second, it's not reversing the burden of proof – in a trial both sides submit evidence. The "burden of proof" only indicates who will win if there is no evidence at all. Once the part with the burden of proof submits evidence, it is up to the other side to disprove it.

Like Seth Rich, for example? Now that would be an elaborate plot!

Has Murray, who allegedly met the leaker, ever claimed it was Seth Rich? Craig isn't dead, you know.

Lawrence Fitton > , September 16, 2017 at 7:51 pm GMT

in 1947 the national security act was passed which meant politicians can lie to the American public as long as the lie is to protect national security. everything is a national security issue now. Not that politicians weren't liars before the act. but today they have cover. Remember james clapper's lies on tv? But he also lied to congress. Congress has no balls or they would have prosecuted him. they have given up their power, of which they have much. particularly when it comes to war. congress declares it; congress funds it; congress can end it. The bums we elect just know to do one thing – hold out their hands.

JackOH > , September 16, 2017 at 11:51 pm GMT

I'm not even a close follower of the "Russian hacking" theory, or whatever the hell it is, but as an ordinary, thinking human being, I find the explanation that a disgruntled Seth Rich (?) leaked those e-mails much more parsimonious than a bunch of Ivans messing about in the DNC's skivvies.

CalDre > , September 17, 2017 at 3:25 am GMT

@JackOH I'm not even a close follower of the "Russian hacking" theory, or whatever the hell it is, but as an ordinary, thinking human being, I find the explanation that a disgruntled Seth Rich (?) leaked those e-mails much more parsimonious than a bunch of Ivans messing about in the DNC's skivvies. Absolutely, Seth Rich, a leftist Jew who supported Bernie Sanders, a leftist Jew, being disgusted by the conspiring at the DNC to screw Sanders makes perfect sense.

Except Craig Murray has never claimed (or AFAIK denied) that it was Seth. One could understand him not revealing it since Wikileaks promises anonymity, and they need to keep that promise even posthumous to be effective.

Only chance of getting at that truth is if Seth's family authorizes Wikileaks to claim or disclaim Seth as the source (if they would honor such a request is another issue), but they won't do that because they are Democrat loyalists and would rather their son's death go unsolved than implicate the Democrats in a huge scandal. Seth's family actually disgusts me.

Seamus Padraig > , September 17, 2017 at 2:45 pm GMT

@CalDre

You want us to reverse the burden of proof
First, I never claimed that. It was the author's claim that he was "disproving" it. Second, it's not reversing the burden of proof - in a trial both sides submit evidence. The "burden of proof" only indicates who will win if there is no evidence at all. Once the part with the burden of proof submits evidence, it is up to the other side to disprove it.
Like Seth Rich, for example? Now that would be an elaborate plot!
Has Murray, who allegedly met the leaker, ever claimed it was Seth Rich? Craig isn't dead, you know.

First, I never claimed that. It was the author's claim that he was "disproving" it.

In a technical sense, you are right. Whitney did once above use (or misuse, actually) the word 'disprove' to mean that the other side had failed to prove it's case. But in our legal system, simply showing that the prosecution has failed to prove it's case is quite sufficient to get your man acquitted. You don't have to have proof positive of your man's innocence, so long as the prosecution has no proof of his guilt. Why? Because the burden of proof rests with the prosecution. Whitney's semantic gaffe here doesn't change that fundamental fact.

Has Murray, who allegedly met the leaker, ever claimed it was Seth Rich? Craig isn't dead, you know.

He confirmed having met the leaker in person inside the US, though it's true he never mentions Rich by name. Wikileaks strives to protect the anonymity of their sources wherever possible. However–and rather tellingly–Assange did offer a cash reward for information leading the arrest of Rich's murderer(s). Again, Assange did not come out and say plainly that Rich was the source, but it's hard to imagine him offering a reward for just anybody out there in world with no connection to Wikileaks whatsoever.

And while Craig Murray may still be alive, as I pointed out above in comment #1, he is now facing a potentially ruinous trial in Britain. A bit like the mysterious Swedish rape allegations against Assange, one could argue that this is all just some remarkably timed coincidence; but then again, it could just as well be the system's way of signalling its displeasure with Murray for cooperating with Wikileaks.

FKA Max > , Website September 18, 2017 at 1:48 am GMT

This is a pretty amusing and insightful article, that might interest Unz Review readers:

'I Get Called a Russian Bot 50 Times a Day'

How a network of little-known Twitter "rooms" helps die-hard fans amplify Trump's message, attack CNN, and spread #MAGA to the world.

[Hide MORE]

Microchip, a Twitter user who uses several different accounts and is routinely banned from the site, told POLITICO the pro-Trump rooms help him spread racist and otherwise controversial material. His dual aims are to prod the left and entice the media into covering the latest online controversy he helped stoke.

Microchip said he started several rooms in November 2015. A handful of people in other rooms confirmed that he was an "early player." But he has been blocked from many rooms because of his "wild claims," one said, as well as anti-Semitic and inflammatory remarks.
[...]
But Microchip, who described himself as an "atheist liberal that just hates immigration" and transgender people, has open contempt for most of Trump's base.

"Conservatives are generally morons," he said. "It's like herding cats."

He's just as frank about what he's peddling to Trump supporters.

"You know how I know they're spreading lies?" Microchip asked one die-hard this week. "Because I do the same thing, it's fake news and spin."
[...]
Lotan said Microchip's claims explain the link between the boomer generation in the mainstream rooms and the younger meme producers on 4chan and reddit.

"The boomers are there, thirsty for ammunition. And 4chan is so good at generating ammunition," Lotan said. "But the boomers will not go to 4chan."

People in the mainstream pro-Trump rooms said Microchip had not been active there for many months. In turn, Microchip said he maintains pseudonymous accounts to hide his identity from "brain dead" Trump supporters.

http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/08/09/twitter-trump-train-maga-echo-chamber-215470

... ... ...

JackOH > , September 18, 2017 at 8:34 am GMT

@CalDre Absolutely, Seth Rich, a leftist Jew who supported Bernie Sanders, a leftist Jew, being disgusted by the conspiring at the DNC to screw Sanders makes perfect sense.

Except Craig Murray has never claimed (or AFAIK denied) that it was Seth. One could understand him not revealing it since Wikileaks promises anonymity, and they need to keep that promise even posthumous to be effective.

Only chance of getting at that truth is if Seth's family authorizes Wikileaks to claim or disclaim Seth as the source (if they would honor such a request is another issue), but they won't do that because they are Democrat loyalists and would rather their son's death go unsolved than implicate the Democrats in a huge scandal. Seth's family actually disgusts me. CalDre, thanks. This whole story stinks badly, and the "Russian hack" blather put out on the TV blab shows by Washington gamesmen just seems to me self-serving careerism.

We're asked to believe that Russian intelligence has gathered damaging information on Hillary Clinton, then the front-runner among Democrat candidates, by hacking the DNC's computers. Then, instead of reserving this information to blackmail a future President Hillary Clinton, they turn the information over to Julian Assange. Why in hell would I, i. e ., Russian intelligence, squander good leverage over President Hillary? Are we expected to believe Russian intelligence actually thought it could swing an election by using Assange as a sort of sub-contractor?

Seth Rich, on the other hand, is an idealistic, low-level guy who has a strong motive to hurt the organization that's betrayed him.

As I mentioned, my knowledge of the story is pretty superficial, but it really does seem to me a pile of horse dung.

jilles dykstra > , September 18, 2017 at 10:50 am GMT

Even if Russia tried to interfere in USA elections, what is it in comparison with the CIA organising the murder of Allende, or Soros trying to change Hungarian law ?

Joe Hide > , September 18, 2017 at 1:13 pm GMT

This is great news. The fraudulent stories about Russia and Trump are great news. The other deep state and shadow government false propaganda are great news. This is because the level of this false propaganda is so low, so poor, so unbelievable, that sane people wake up and withdraw any allegiance to the sources of this misinformation. It is great news, because many of the politically insane citizens are becoming sane due to the misinformation being so obviously a pack of lies, that even they have to think differently.
By the way, Great Article!

Wizard of Oz > , September 18, 2017 at 1:16 pm GMT

@Seamus Padraig Forgive me if I am out of date but to say that there is a reverse burden of proof in libel cases in Britain (sic – Scotland too?) is BS according to my recollection. (I set aside the possibility that you S P are confusing a civil tort action with a criminal prosecution although your use of the wòrd "innocence" suggests that you may be).

Here's how it was for at least 150 years. Once the court decided that the words complained of were defamatory so at least some general damages were possibly claimable (maybe a farthing which meant the plaintiff would have to pay the defendant's costs) the defendant had several possible avenues of defence. One was that the words were true. If you call a man a thief you have committed an assault on his reputation and you had better have some justification for that. Are you really complaining about that? Complain all you like about so-called "stop writs" where a (typically) rich plaintiff starts proceedings which he suspects the defendant will not have the means to defend properly, and then just sits on the cade having achieved intimidation.

Then there is the defense of "fair comment on a matter of public interest" which is available to the defendant even if he can't prove the truth of his libel. Logically that can't succeed if the defendant is found to have been actuated by malice.

Finally, without pretending to cover the whole subject, the defendant can contend and provide evidence that the plaintiff had no good reputation to lose.

Having read the link I see that it does look like a move to shut him up. If the plaintiff wanted real compensation he would be suing Sky Television which didn't cut the defamatory remarks. Or has that been settled by an apology – which wouldn't be usual for Sky would it?

I am intrigued by the £100,000 costs approved by the court. Presumably this is some procedural innovation which was introduced well after I learned about libel actions and which could be justified .. except it surely leaves the law looking like an ass if the damages clImed are only £40,000!

Finally .can you tell us what the actual libel was? What did Murray say? This is a US site so the First Amendment should look after us.

Wizard of Oz > , September 18, 2017 at 1:31 pm GMT

@Grandpa Charlie

The most interesting thing in your Comment is what you claimed to have found by your "background checks" on the new Senator Obama. What can you tell us to substantiate the novel assertion that Obama was closely connected to the CIA. What sources? What relationships? What facts?

[Sep 17, 2017] The So-called Russian Hack of the DNC Does Not Make Sense by Publius Tacitus

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... 6 May 2016 when CrowdStrike first detected what it assessed to be a Russian presence inside the DNC server. Follow me here. One week after realizing there had been a penetration, the DNC learns, courtesy of the computer security firm it hired, that the Russians are doing it. Okay. Does CrowdStrike shut down the penetration. Nope. The hacking apparently continues unabated. ..."
"... I introduce Seth Rich at this point because he represents an alternative hypothesis. Rich, who reportedly was a Bernie Sanders supporter, was in a position at the DNC that gave him access to the emails in question and the opportunity to download the emails and take them from the DNC headquarters. Worth noting that Julian Assange offered $20,000 for information leading to the arrest of Rich's killer or killers. 8. 22 July 2016. Wikileaks published the DNC emails starting on 22 July 2016. Bill Binney, a former senior official at NSA, insists that if such a hack and electronic transfer over the internet had occurred then the NSA has in it possession the intelligence data to prove that such activity had occurred. ..."
"... Notwithstanding the claim by CrowdStrike not a single piece of evidence has been provided to the public to support the conclusion that the emails were hacked and physically transferred to a server under the control of a Russian intelligence operative. ..."
"... Please do not try to post a comment stating that the "Intelligence Community" concluded as well that Russia was responsible. That claim is totally without one shred of actual forensic evidence. Also, Julian Assange insists that the emails did not come from a Russian source. ..."
"... Wikileaks, the protector of the accountability of the top, has announced a reward for finding the murderers of Seth Rich. In comparison, the DNC has not offered any reward to help the investigation of the murder of the DNC staffer, but the DNC found a well-connected lawyer to protect Imran Awan who is guilty (along with Debbie Wasserman-Schultz) in the greatest breach of national cybersecurity: http://dailycaller.com/2017/07/29/wasserman-schultz-seemingly-planned-to-pay-suspect-even-while-he-lived-in-pakistan/ ..."
"... I'm afraid you're behind the times. Wheeler is no longer relevant now that Sy Hersh has revealed an FBI report that explicitly says Rich was in contact with Wikileaks offering to sell them DNC documents. ..."
"... Alperovitch is not just an incompetent "expert" in cybersecurity - he is a willing liar and war-mongering, for money. ..."
"... The DNC hacking story has never been about national security; Alperovitch (and his handlers) have no loyalty to the US. ..."
"... LeaNder , 05 September 2017 at 09:59 AM ..."
"... PT, I make a short exception. Actually decided to stop babbling for a while. But: Just finished something successfully. ..."
"... And since I usually need distraction by something far more interesting then matters at hand. I was close to your line of thought yesters. ..."
"... But really: Shouldn't the timeline start in 2015, since that's supposedly the time someone got into the DNC's system? ..."
"... One could of course start earlier. What is the exact timeline of the larger cyberwar post 9/11, or at least the bits and pieces that surfaced for the nitwits among us, like: Stuxnet? ..."
"... But nevermind. Don't forget developments and recent events around Eugene or Jewgeni Walentinowitsch Kasperski? ..."
"... LondonBob , 05 September 2017 at 03:27 PM ..."
"... The Russia thing certainly seems to have gone quiet. ..."
"... Bannon's chum says the issue with pursuing the Clinton email thing is that you would end up having to indict almost all of the last administration, including Obama, unseemly certainly. Still there might be a fall guy, maybe Comey, and obviously it serves Trump's purposes to keep this a live issue through the good work of Grassley and the occasional tweet. ..."
"... Would be amusing if Trump pardoned Obama. Still think Brennan should pay a price though, can't really be allowed to get away with it ..."
"... Scott Ritter's article referenced in PT's post is terrific, covering a ton of issues related to CrowdStrike and the DNC hack. You need to read it, not just PT's timeline. In case you missed the link in PT's post: ..."
"... Dumbstruck: How CrowdStrike Conned America on the Hack of the DNC https://medium.com/homefront-rising/dumbstruck-how-crowdstrike-conned-america-on-the-hack-of-the-dnc-ecfa522ff44f ..."
"... The article by Jeffrey Carr on CrowdStrike referenced from back in 2012 is also worth reading: Where's the "Strike" in CrowdStrike? https://jeffreycarr.blogspot.com/2012/09/wheres-strike-in-crowdstrike.html ..."
"... Also, the article Carr references is very important for understanding the limits of malware analysis and "attribution". Written by Michael Tanji, whose credentials appear impressive: "spent nearly 20 years in the US intelligence community. Trained in both SIGINT and HUMINT disciplines he has worked at the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, and the National Reconnaissance Office. At various points in his career he served as an expert in information warfare, computer network operations, computer forensics, and indications and warning. A veteran of the US Army, Michael has served in both strategic and tactical assignments in the Pacific Theater, the Balkans, and the Middle East." ..."
"... Malware Analysis: The Danger of Connecting the Dots: https://www.oodaloop.com/technology/2012/09/11/malware-analysis-the-danger-of-connecting-the-dots/ ..."
"... His article echoes and reinforces what Carr and others have said about the difficulty of attribution of infosec breaches. Namely that the basic problem of both intelligence and infosec operations is that there is too much obfuscation, manipulation, and misdirection involved to be sure of who or what is going on. ..."
"... None of this proves that Russian intelligence - or Russians of some stripe - or for that matter hackers from literally anywhere - couldn't or didn't ALSO do a hack of the DNC. But it does prove that the iron-clad attribution of the source of Wikileaks email release to Russia is at best flawed, and at worst a deliberate cover up of a leak. ..."
"... And Russiagate depends prima rily on BOTH alleged "facts" being true: 1) that Russia hacked the DNC, and 2) that Russia was the source of Wikileaks release. And if the latter is not true, then one has to question why Russia hacked the DNC in the first place, other than for "normal" espionage operations. "Influencing the election" then becomes a far less plausible theory. ..."
"... The general takeaway from an infosec point of view is that attribution by means of target identification, tools used, and "indicators of compromise" is a fatally flawed means of identifying, and thus being able to counter, the adversaries encountered in today's Internet world, as Tanji proves. Only HUMINT offers a way around this, just as it is really the only valid option in countering terrorism. ..."
Sep 05, 2017 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Notwithstanding the conventional wisdom that Russia hacked into the DNC computers, downloaded emails and a passed the stolen missives to Julian Assange's crew at Wikileaks, a careful examination of the timeline of events from 2016 shows that this story is simply not plausible.

Let me take you through the known facts:

1. 29 April 2016 , when the DNC became aware its servers had been penetrated (https://medium.com/homefront-rising/dumbstruck-how-crowdstrike-conned-america-on-the-hack-of-the-dnc-ecfa522ff44f). Note. They apparently did not know who was doing it. 2, 6 May 2016 when CrowdStrike first detected what it assessed to be a Russian presence inside the DNC server. Follow me here. One week after realizing there had been a penetration, the DNC learns, courtesy of the computer security firm it hired, that the Russians are doing it. Okay. Does CrowdStrike shut down the penetration. Nope. The hacking apparently continues unabated. 3. 25 May 2016. The messages published on Wikileaks from the DNC show that 26 May 2016 was the last date that emails were sent and received at the DNC. There are no emails in the public domain after that date. In other words, if the DNC emails were taken via a hacking operation, we can conclude from the fact that the last messages posted to Wikileaks show a date time group of 25 May 2016. Wikileaks has not reported nor posted any emails from the DNC after the 25th of May. I think it is reasonable to assume that was the day the dirty deed was done. 4. 12 June 2016, CrowdStrike purged the DNC server of all malware. Are you kidding me? 45 days after the DNC discovers that its serve has been penetrated the decision to purge the DNC server is finally made. What in the hell were they waiting for? But this also tells us that 18 days after the last email "taken" from the DNC, no additional emails were taken by this nasty malware. Here is what does not make sense to me. If the DNC emails were truly hacked and the malware was still in place on 11 June 2016 (it was not purged until the 12th) then why are there no emails from the DNC after 26 May 2016? an excellent analysis of Guccifer's role : Almost immediately after the one-two punch of the Washington Post article/CrowdStrike technical report went public, however, something totally unexpected happened -- someone came forward and took full responsibility for the DNC cyber attack. Moreover, this entity -- operating under the persona Guccifer 2.0 (ostensibly named after the original Guccifer , a Romanian hacker who stole the emails of a number of high-profile celebrities and who was arrested in 2014 and sentenced to 4 ½ years of prison in May 2016) -- did something no state actor has ever done before, publishing documents stolen from the DNC server as proof of his claims.
Hi. This is Guccifer 2.0 and this is me who hacked Democratic National Committee.

With that simple email, sent to the on-line news magazine, The Smoking Gun , Guccifer 2.0 stole the limelight away from Alperovitch. Over the course of the next few days, through a series of emails, online posts and interviews , Guccifer 2.0 openly mocked CrowdStrike and its Russian attribution. Guccifer 2.0 released a number of documents, including a massive 200-plus-missive containing opposition research on Donald Trump.

Guccifer 2.0 also directly contradicted the efforts on the part of the DNC to minimize the extent of the hacking, releasing the very donor lists the DNC specifically stated had not been stolen. More chilling, Guccifer 2.0 claimed to be in possession of "about 100 Gb of data" which had been passed on to the online publisher, Wikileaks, who "will publish them soon." 7. Seth Rich died on 10 July 2016. I introduce Seth Rich at this point because he represents an alternative hypothesis. Rich, who reportedly was a Bernie Sanders supporter, was in a position at the DNC that gave him access to the emails in question and the opportunity to download the emails and take them from the DNC headquarters. Worth noting that Julian Assange offered $20,000 for information leading to the arrest of Rich's killer or killers. 8. 22 July 2016. Wikileaks published the DNC emails starting on 22 July 2016. Bill Binney, a former senior official at NSA, insists that if such a hack and electronic transfer over the internet had occurred then the NSA has in it possession the intelligence data to prove that such activity had occurred. Notwithstanding the claim by CrowdStrike not a single piece of evidence has been provided to the public to support the conclusion that the emails were hacked and physically transferred to a server under the control of a Russian intelligence operative. Please do not try to post a comment stating that the "Intelligence Community" concluded as well that Russia was responsible. That claim is totally without one shred of actual forensic evidence. Also, Julian Assange insists that the emails did not come from a Russian source.

Fool , 05 September 2017 at 09:01 AM

Where was it reported that Rich was a Sanders supporter?
Publius Tacitus -> Fool... , 05 September 2017 at 09:15 AM
This is one of the reports, http://heavy.com/news/2016/08/seth-rich-julian-assange-source-wikileaks-wiki-dnc-emails-death-murder-reward-video-interview-hillary-clinton-shawn-lucas/.
Anna -> Publius Tacitus ... , 05 September 2017 at 10:56 AM
Wikileaks, the protector of the accountability of the top, has announced a reward for finding the murderers of Seth Rich. In comparison, the DNC has not offered any reward to help the investigation of the murder of the DNC staffer, but the DNC found a well-connected lawyer to protect Imran Awan who is guilty (along with Debbie Wasserman-Schultz) in the greatest breach of national cybersecurity: http://dailycaller.com/2017/07/29/wasserman-schultz-seemingly-planned-to-pay-suspect-even-while-he-lived-in-pakistan/
Stephanie -> Publius Tacitus ... , 06 September 2017 at 12:12 PM
Seth Rich's family have pleaded, and continue to plead, that the conspiracy theorists leave the death of their son alone and have said that those who continue to flog this nonsense around the internet are only serving to increase their pain. I suggest respectfully that some here may wish to consider their feelings. (Also, this stuff is nuts, you know.)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/were-seth-richs-parents-stop-politicizing-our-sons-murder/2017/05/23/164cf4dc-3fee-11e7-9869-bac8b446820a_story.html?utm_term=.b20208de48d3

"We also know that many people are angry at our government and want to see justice done in some way, somehow. We are asking you to please consider our feelings and words. There are people who are using our beloved Seth's memory and legacy for their own political goals, and they are using your outrage to perpetuate our nightmare."

http://www.businessinsider.com/seth-rich-family-response-lawsuit-rod-wheeler-2017-8

"Wheeler, a former Metropolitan Police Department officer, was a key figure in a series of debunked stories claiming that Rich had been in contact with Wikileaks before his death. Fox News, which reported the story online and on television, retracted it in June."

Richardstevenhack -> Stephanie... , 07 September 2017 at 07:43 PM
I'm afraid you're behind the times. Wheeler is no longer relevant now that Sy Hersh has revealed an FBI report that explicitly says Rich was in contact with Wikileaks offering to sell them DNC documents.

It's unfortunate for the Rich family, but now that the connection is pretty much confirmed, they're going to have to allow the truth to come out.

Anna , 05 September 2017 at 09:20 AM
Mr. Dmitri Alperovitch, of Jewish descent (and an emigre from Russia), has been an "expert" at the Atlantic Council, the same organization that cherishes and provides for Mr. Eliot Higgins. These two gentlemen - and the directorate of Atlantic Council - are exhibit one of opportunism and intellectual dishonesty (though it is hard to think about Mr. Higgins in terms of "intellect").

Here is an article by Alperovitch: http://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/new-atlanticist/russian-cyber-attacks-in-the-united-states-will-intensify

Take note how Alperovitch coded the names of the supposed hackers: "Russian intelligence services hacked the Democratic National Committee's computer network and accessed opposition research on Donald Trump, according to the Atlantic Council's Dmitri Alperovitch.

Two Russian groups!codenamed FancyBear and CozyBear!have been identified as spearheading the DNC breach." Alperovitch is not just an incompetent "expert" in cybersecurity - he is a willing liar and war-mongering, for money.

The DNC hacking story has never been about national security; Alperovitch (and his handlers) have no loyalty to the US.

LeaNder , 05 September 2017 at 09:59 AM
PT, I make a short exception. Actually decided to stop babbling for a while. But: Just finished something successfully.

And since I usually need distraction by something far more interesting then matters at hand. I was close to your line of thought yesters.

But really: Shouldn't the timeline start in 2015, since that's supposedly the time someone got into the DNC's system?

One could of course start earlier. What is the exact timeline of the larger cyberwar post 9/11, or at least the bits and pieces that surfaced for the nitwits among us, like: Stuxnet?

But nevermind. Don't forget developments and recent events around Eugene or Jewgeni Walentinowitsch Kasperski?

LondonBob , 05 September 2017 at 03:27 PM
The Russia thing certainly seems to have gone quiet.

Bannon's chum says the issue with pursuing the Clinton email thing is that you would end up having to indict almost all of the last administration, including Obama, unseemly certainly. Still there might be a fall guy, maybe Comey, and obviously it serves Trump's purposes to keep this a live issue through the good work of Grassley and the occasional tweet.

Would be amusing if Trump pardoned Obama. Still think Brennan should pay a price though, can't really be allowed to get away with it

Richardstevenhack , 05 September 2017 at 06:23 PM
Scott Ritter's article referenced in PT's post is terrific, covering a ton of issues related to CrowdStrike and the DNC hack. You need to read it, not just PT's timeline. In case you missed the link in PT's post:

Dumbstruck: How CrowdStrike Conned America on the Hack of the DNC https://medium.com/homefront-rising/dumbstruck-how-crowdstrike-conned-america-on-the-hack-of-the-dnc-ecfa522ff44f

The article by Jeffrey Carr on CrowdStrike referenced from back in 2012 is also worth reading: Where's the "Strike" in CrowdStrike? https://jeffreycarr.blogspot.com/2012/09/wheres-strike-in-crowdstrike.html

Also, the article Carr references is very important for understanding the limits of malware analysis and "attribution". Written by Michael Tanji, whose credentials appear impressive: "spent nearly 20 years in the US intelligence community. Trained in both SIGINT and HUMINT disciplines he has worked at the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, and the National Reconnaissance Office. At various points in his career he served as an expert in information warfare, computer network operations, computer forensics, and indications and warning. A veteran of the US Army, Michael has served in both strategic and tactical assignments in the Pacific Theater, the Balkans, and the Middle East."

Malware Analysis: The Danger of Connecting the Dots: https://www.oodaloop.com/technology/2012/09/11/malware-analysis-the-danger-of-connecting-the-dots/

His article echoes and reinforces what Carr and others have said about the difficulty of attribution of infosec breaches. Namely that the basic problem of both intelligence and infosec operations is that there is too much obfuscation, manipulation, and misdirection involved to be sure of who or what is going on.

The Seth Rich connection is pretty much a done deal, now that Sy Hersh has been caught on tape stating that he knows of an FBI report based on a forensic analysis of Rich's laptop that shows Rich was in direct contact with Wikileaks with an attempt to sell them DNC documents and that Wikileaks had access to Rich's DropBox account. Despite Hersh's subsequent denials - which everyone knows are his usual impatient deflections prior to putting out a sourced and organized article - it's pretty clear that Rich was at least one of the sources of the Wikileaks email dump and that there is zero connection to Russia.

None of this proves that Russian intelligence - or Russians of some stripe - or for that matter hackers from literally anywhere - couldn't or didn't ALSO do a hack of the DNC. But it does prove that the iron-clad attribution of the source of Wikileaks email release to Russia is at best flawed, and at worst a deliberate cover up of a leak.

And Russiagate depends prima

rily on BOTH alleged "facts" being true: 1) that Russia hacked the DNC, and 2) that Russia was the source of Wikileaks release. And if the latter is not true, then one has to question why Russia hacked the DNC in the first place, other than for "normal" espionage operations. "Influencing the election" then becomes a far less plausible theory.

The general takeaway from an infosec point of view is that attribution by means of target identification, tools used, and "indicators of compromise" is a fatally flawed means of identifying, and thus being able to counter, the adversaries encountered in today's Internet world, as Tanji proves. Only HUMINT offers a way around this, just as it is really the only valid option in countering terrorism.

[Sep 02, 2017] No Russian Hacking In Durham Election - NY Times Report Belies Its Headline

NYT = neocon/neolib fear mongering and neo-McCarthyism.
If we assume that Russians can control election machine, the question arise about the CIA role in the US elections. They are much more powerful and that's their home turf. And they can pretend to be Russians of Chinese at will. Then they can cry "Thief" to divert attention. Does this that promoting Russia hacking story they implicitly reveal to us that elections are controlled by Deep State and electronic voting machines and voter rosters are just a tool to this end. They allow to get rid of human vote counting and that alone makes hijacking of the election results really easy. machine magically calculates the votes and you are done. As Stalin said it doesn't matter how people are voting, what matters is who is calculating the votes.
Dems should concentrate on removing neoliberal/Clinton wing of the Party from the leadership and making it at lease "A New Deal" Party, not sold to Wall Steer bunch of fear mongering neocons. Anti-Russian campaign is designed to sabotage those efforts.
Notable quotes:
"... All of the reported troubles are simple computer hiccups that would not have occurred in a more reasonable election system build on paper and pencil balloting. All the computer troubles have various innocent causes ..."
"... Moreover, there was no chance that these troubles in one district would have effected the general election. There was thereby no motive for anyone to hack these systems: ..."
"... The NYT headline is an outrageous lie. It promotes as causal fact completely unproven interference and troubles for which, as the article notes, plenty of other reason might exist. It is politically irresponsible. Only two out of ten people read beyond the headlines. Even fewer will read down to paragraph five and recognize that the headline lies. All others will have been willfully misled by the editors of the New York Times. ..."
"... The whole "Russian hacking" issue is a series of big lies designed and promulgated by Democratic partisans (specifically Brennan and Clapper who were then at the head of U.S. intelligence services) ..."
"... The New York Times, and other media, present these lies as facts while not providing any evidence for them. In many cases they hide behind " intelligence reports " without noting suspiciously mealymouthed caveats in those subjective "assessments" of obviously partisan authors. Hard facts contradicting their conclusions are simply ignored and not reported at all. ..."
"... "Never trust a computer with anything important." I have been relentlessly campaigning against the use of voting machines, particularly voting computers, since 2004. I have demanded openly hand counted paper ballots in hundreds of blog posts, and even have a website promoting this. ..."
"... At the end of the day it is obvious that the Deep State Syndicate controls the machines, and thus the elections. And then they have the nerve to demand that we must beware of "Russian hacking"! ..."
"... The whole Russia stole my homework meme is getting fairly old and it makes me wonder what they are really hiding with this ongoing obfuscation of the facts......if the drums of war are loud enough will they drown out the calls for justice by any of the current or recent politicians? ..."
Sep 02, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

The last piece pointed out that the NYT headline " U.N. Peacekeepers in Lebanon Get Stronger Inspection Powers for Hezbollah Arms " was 100% fake news. The UNIFIL U.N. peacekeepers in Lebanon were not getting any stronger inspection powers. The relevant UN Security Resolution, which renewed UNIFIL's mandate, had made no such changes. No further inspection powers were authorized.

Today we find another similarly lying headline in the New York Times.

Russian Election Hacking Efforts, Wider Than Previously Known, Draw Little Scrutiny

By NICOLE PERLROTH, MICHAEL WINES and MATTHEW ROSENBERGSEPT. 1, 2017

The piece is about minor technical election trouble in a district irrelevant to the presidential election outcome. Contradicting the headline it notes in paragraph five:

There are plenty of other reasons for such breakdowns -- local officials blamed human error and software malfunctions -- and no clear-cut evidence of digital sabotage has emerged, much less a Russian role in it
"We don't know if any of the problems were an accident, or the random problems you get with computer systems, or whether it was a local hacker, or actual malfeasance by a sovereign nation-state," said Michael Daniel, who served as the cybersecurity coordinator in the Obama White House. "If you really want to know what happened, you'd have to do a lot of forensics, a lot of research and investigation, and you may not find out even then."

...

the firm had not conducted any malware analysis or checked to see if any of the e-poll book software was altered, adding that the report produced more questions than answers.

All of the reported troubles are simple computer hiccups that would not have occurred in a more reasonable election system build on paper and pencil balloting. All the computer troubles have various innocent causes. The officials handling these systems deny that any "Russian hacking" was involved. Moreover, there was no chance that these troubles in one district would have effected the general election. There was thereby no motive for anyone to hack these systems:

Despite the disruptions, a record number of votes were cast in Durham, following a pattern there of overwhelming support for Democratic presidential candidates , this time Hillary Clinton.

The NYT headline is an outrageous lie. It promotes as causal fact completely unproven interference and troubles for which, as the article notes, plenty of other reason might exist. It is politically irresponsible. Only two out of ten people read beyond the headlines. Even fewer will read down to paragraph five and recognize that the headline lies. All others will have been willfully misled by the editors of the New York Times.

This scheme is the gist of ALL reporting about the alleged "Russian hacking" of the U.S. presidential election. There exists zero evidence that Russia was involved in anything related to it. No evidence -none at all- links the publishing of DNC papers or of Clinton counselor Podesta's emails to Russia. Thousands of other circumstances, people or political entities might have had their hands in the issue. There is zero evidence that Russia was involved at all.

The whole "Russian hacking" issue is a series of big lies designed and promulgated by Democratic partisans (specifically Brennan and Clapper who were then at the head of U.S. intelligence services) to:

The New York Times, and other media, present these lies as facts while not providing any evidence for them. In many cases they hide behind " intelligence reports " without noting suspiciously mealymouthed caveats in those subjective "assessments" of obviously partisan authors. Hard facts contradicting their conclusions are simply ignored and not reported at all.

Posted by b on September 1, 2017 at 11:26 PM | Permalink

WG | Sep 2, 2017 1:27:08 AM | 1

Look at what happened today in San Francisco - after ordering the Russians to shut down their embassy there in an unreasonably short timeframe, they then had the fire department respond to smoke coming out of the chimney of the building. Conveniently this brings attention to the situation and continues the narrative of 'ongoing conflict' to the American people.

The end of this story has already decided. It didn't matter who won the election, it doesn't matter that the people chose the candidate who wanted peace, and it doesn't matter that there wasn't any Russian election hacking.

blues | Sep 2, 2017 1:37:27 AM | 2
"Never trust a computer with anything important." I have been relentlessly campaigning against the use of voting machines, particularly voting computers, since 2004. I have demanded openly hand counted paper ballots in hundreds of blog posts, and even have a website promoting this.

At the end of the day it is obvious that the Deep State Syndicate controls the machines, and thus the elections. And then they have the nerve to demand that we must beware of "Russian hacking"!

Get strategic hedge simple score voting today!

psychohistorian | Sep 2, 2017 1:59:38 AM | 3
The whole Russia stole my homework meme is getting fairly old and it makes me wonder what they are really hiding with this ongoing obfuscation of the facts......if the drums of war are loud enough will they drown out the calls for justice by any of the current or recent politicians?

Yes, of course.....thats the plan.....is it working?

If not, invade Venezuela on some pretext and claim ownership of their oil....someone has to make Israel look reasonable.

Bob | Sep 2, 2017 2:01:39 AM | 4
What a bizarre article.
"We don't know if any of the problems were an accident, or the random problems you get with computer systems, or whether it was a local hacker, or actual malfeasance by a sovereign nation-state," said Michael Daniel, who served as the cybersecurity coordinator in the Obama White House. "If you really want to know what happened, you'd have to do a lot of forensics, a lot of research and investigation, and you may not find out even then."

...

the firm had not conducted any malware analysis or checked to see if any of the e-poll book software was altered, adding that the report produced more questions than answers.

They don't even know what happened. Best blame it on the Russians anyway.

Perimtr | Sep 2, 2017 3:07:52 AM | 5
The "paper of record" is just another outlet for the Ministry of Propaganda.
Kalen | Sep 2, 2017 3:22:15 AM | 6
B of course realizes that the headline of an article is almost never written by author but by an editor.

Such as blatant nonsense at NYT and elsewhere I think is possible when author wanting to get published on good NYT page would lie to editor about its contents.

Of course Editor is no idiot and in old American tradition of pretending and deniability does not read it to cover his/her butt and hence this obvious crap get published epitomizing a failure {actually Orwellian success] of editor to vet the paper, as long as bosses are happy with insinuations however baseless.

Shakesvshav | Sep 2, 2017 3:31:33 AM | 7
The Guardian still sees mileage in Pussy Riot, or at least one former member: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/sep/01/pussy-riot-mariya-alyokhina-russian-activist-jailed-white-house
Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 2, 2017 7:21:37 AM | 8
...
Of course Editor is no idiot and in old American tradition of pretending and deniability does not read it to cover his/her butt and hence this obvious crap get published epitomizing a failure {actually Orwellian success] of editor to vet the paper, as long as bosses are happy with insinuations however baseless.
Posted by: Kalen | Sep 2, 2017 3:22:15 AM | 6

I like the theory that NYT's sub-editors are too lazy/busy/careless to read the articles they're paid to summarise and add an appealing headline. It's certainly food for thought when pondering possible Chain Of Command issues within the MSM.

When I was a regular lurker at What's Left, one notable aspect was the frequency with which Gowans' most stunning revelations were sourced from the nether regions of articles published in the NYT, WaPo et al.

Lawrence Smith | Sep 2, 2017 9:59:42 AM | 9
What this all speaks of is ineptitude and malfeasance at all levels of government. Lies covering more lies. The only things that gets done in Washington iare covering asses and those, like their wars without end, are complete and utter failures. That the Clinton mob are sore losers and press on with delegitimization of a clown president who, unlike the wicked witch of the West, feigned disinterest in war and won what's left of a hollowed out presidency is theatre of the absurd par excellence. Build the fence around the beltway and keep the psychopaths in the asylum in.
doug | Sep 2, 2017 10:44:46 AM | 10
Moreover, there was no chance that these troubles in one district would have effected the general election. There was thereby no motive for anyone to hack these systems:

Plenty wrong with that logic...gosh...give it some thought...a tiny bit will help there...

james | Sep 2, 2017 11:01:34 AM | 12
yeah - more stories on pussy riot.. a story like how pussy riot ate george soros, or putins breakfast would be good..... when i read the nyt, i want a story filled with lies and deception... i'm running away from reality and heading straight for the nyt, lol..
Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 2, 2017 11:20:17 AM | 14
...
Plenty wrong with that logic...gosh...give it some thought...a tiny bit will help there...
Posted by: doug | Sep 2, 2017 10:44:46 AM | 10

It would only be a logical fallacy if it said... "Moreover, there was no chance that these troubles in more than one district would have effected the general election." ...but it doesn't, so it isn't.

[Sep 01, 2017] Warren and DemoRat friends

Sep 01, 2017 | theintercept.com

September 1 2017

Mass Independent Joshua88 September 1 2017, 3:29 p.m. Interested in knowing what you think Sen Warren is consistent about.

She has recently joined the Gramps McCain war monger club and told TYT's Cenk Uygur in an interview that she thinks "Russia" is the most important issue for 2018. She gone full Dem idiot and has lost my vote (yes, in Mass) but then again, every vote I ever cast for DemocRATs has been a disappointment. Kerry for Senator and POTUS, Obomber once, Warren once. It's too much, and I'm done with them for good. Reply Joshua88 Mass Independent September 1 2017, 3:45 p.m. Her economic message and message of equity/fairness are consistent.

I know about her support for the defense industry.
I did not know how she feels about Russia.
I know she didn't vote against sanctions and war funding, as well as not speaking out against drones, etc.

All I can tell you is that, as an Independent, I am extremely harsh, disgusted, and fed up with the Dems. They are the hopeless party. I listened to Rep Joe Crowley early this morning. Christalmighty – these people ought to be put out of their misery.

What gives me optimism is that: How easy is it to tweet Ms Slaughter to say, Nobody believes you; Joe Crowley, you are out of your mind. Keep thinking these thoughts and you will LOSE 2018? Very easy, I am sure.

Your nicknames are so sophomoric – are you about twelve/thirteen? Reply Mass Independent Joshua88 September 1 2017, 5:39 p.m. So while we basically agree on our politicians, you take issue with my nicknames for them? How sophomoric of you.

I am equally disgusted and fed up with them, so I try to get under their skin (too). Reply sglover September 1 2017, 2:42 p.m. Google aside, Slaughter's perch at this Beltway feeding trough just goes to show how for somebody like her, the sweet gigs keep on coming no matter how much or how often you fuck up. How many idiotic military adventures has Slaughter advocated? Naturally, neither she nor anybody she knows ever has to pay the cost of her crackpot enthusiasms .. Reply Mass Independent sglover September 1 2017, 3:24 p.m. For all her liberal schooling, her "evolution" as a Hillary NeoCon type is complete. These are the DemocRATS who are ruining the country–with the help of their corporately owned counterparts, the Rethuglicans. Reply free September 1 2017, 2:12 p.m. Corporatins are a creation of the US state and proxies of the US state. That's particularly clear in the case of google-NSA, facebook-NSA, amazon,NSA. PAYPAL-EBAY-NSA etc.

It's quite unlkely tht the US nazi government is going to do anything against those companies because the US gov't has no reason to cut its own arms. Reply Nonsenseyousay free September 1 2017, 2:19 p.m. Welcome to Earth, but that is not how things work here in the United States. Reply free Nonsenseyousay September 1 2017, 3:18 p.m. What the fuck do you mean. That is exactly how things work in the american cesspool. Reply Alferrer September 1 2017, 12:37 p.m. Our politicians are for sale. Reply GhostofTeddyRoosevelt September 1 2017, 11:59 a.m. As a libertarian, i am pretty much hands off the market. However, many tech firms have gotten to a point of no return. At some point the Sherman Act needs to be enlisted.
In the 70s Standard Oil was busted for a lot less. Google, Amazon, Fakebook, Apple, need strutiny and likely busted as well.
I also would put a few large ag & chemical interests into this mix.
The control they wield is no longer acceptable. Reply Joe September 1 2017, 11:10 a.m. This goes to show you how Google is using its monopoly power to crush dissent and destroy its rivals. If there was ever a textbook case of monopolistic abuse that calls out for antitrust action, this is it. Reply Darren Douglas September 1 2017, 10:04 a.m. Time to split up Google (search, Gmail, YouTube, etc.) and maybe Amazon (Washington Post, Whole Foods, etc.). Google in particular is a potentially harmful monopoly for freedom of speech. Reply Elizabeth September 1 2017, 9:46 a.m. Great reporting! THANK YOU Reply Benito Mussolini September 1 2017, 9:45 a.m. Washington is a marketplace for buying and selling influence. If you drain the swamp, it doesn't make the marketplace disappear, just renders it transparent. Google's behavior does not seem exceptional, at least when compared with the machinations of Big Oil and the Military-Industrial complex. As far as I know, Google isn't agitating for the invasion of any foreign countries.

[Aug 26, 2017] Court Admits DNC and Debbie Wasserman Schulz Rigged Primaries Against Sanders by Michael Sainato

Notable quotes:
"... In evaluating Plaintiffs' claims at this stage, the Court assumes their allegations are true -- that the DNC and Wasserman Schultz held a palpable bias in favor Clinton and sought to propel her ahead of her Democratic opponent, ..."
"... The order reaffirmed that the primaries were tipped in Hillary Clinton's favor, but the court's authority to intervene in a court of law is limited. ..."
"... "The Court thus assumes that the DNC and Wasserman Schultz preferred Hillary Clinton as the Democratic candidate for president over Bernie Sanders or any other Democratic candidate. It assumes that they stockpiled information useful to the Clinton campaign. It assumes that they devoted their resources to assist Clinton in securing the party's nomination and opposing other Democratic candidates. And it assumes that they engaged in these surreptitious acts while publically proclaiming they were completely neutral, fair, and impartial. This Order therefore concerns only technical matters of pleading and subject-matter jurisdiction." ..."
Aug 26, 2017 | observer.com

In June 2016, a class action lawsuit was filed against the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and former DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz for violating the DNC Charter by rigging the Democratic presidential primaries for Hillary Clinton against Bernie Sanders. Even former Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid admitted in July 2016, ""I knew!everybody knew!that this was not a fair deal." He added adding that Debbie Wasserman Schultz should have resigned much sooner than she did. The lawsuit was filed to push the DNC to admit their wrongdoing and provide Bernie Sanders supporters, who supported him financially with millions of dollars in campaign contributions, with restitution for being cheated.

On August 25, 2017, Federal Judge William Zloch, dismissed the lawsuit after several months of litigation in which DNC attorneys argued that the DNC would be well within their rights to rig primaries and select their own candidate. " In evaluating Plaintiffs' claims at this stage, the Court assumes their allegations are true -- that the DNC and Wasserman Schultz held a palpable bias in favor Clinton and sought to propel her ahead of her Democratic opponent, " the court order dismissing the lawsuit stated.

The order then explained why the lawsuit would be dismissed. "The Court must now decide whether Plaintiffs have suffered a concrete injury particularized to them, or one certainly impending, that is traceable to the DNC and its former chair's conduct!the keys to entering federal court. The Court holds that they have not." The court added that it did not consider this within its jurisdiction. "Federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction, possessing 'only that power authorized by Constitution and statute.'"

The order reaffirmed that the primaries were tipped in Hillary Clinton's favor, but the court's authority to intervene in a court of law is limited.

"The Court thus assumes that the DNC and Wasserman Schultz preferred Hillary Clinton as the Democratic candidate for president over Bernie Sanders or any other Democratic candidate. It assumes that they stockpiled information useful to the Clinton campaign. It assumes that they devoted their resources to assist Clinton in securing the party's nomination and opposing other Democratic candidates. And it assumes that they engaged in these surreptitious acts while publically proclaiming they were completely neutral, fair, and impartial. This Order therefore concerns only technical matters of pleading and subject-matter jurisdiction."

At this time, it's unclear if the attorneys who filed the class action lawsuit, Jared and Elizabeth Beck, will pursue other legal recourse regarding the 2016 Democratic primaries.

[Aug 20, 2017] The chattering political classes have converged on the belief that Trump is not only incompetent, but dangerous. They use identity politics to discredit his base.

The USA started to imitate post-Maydan Ukraine: another war with statues... "Identity politics" flourishing in some unusual areas like history of the country. Which like in Ukraine is pretty divisive.
McAuliffe was co-chairman of Hillary Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign, and was one of her superdelegates at the 2008 Democratic National Convention.
Notable quotes:
"... The thrust appears to be to undercut components of his base while ratcheting up indignation. WaPo and the Times dribble out salacious "news" stories that, often as not, are substance free but written in a hyperbolic style that assumes a kind of intrinsic Trump guilt and leaps from there. They know better. No doubt they rationalize this as meeting kind with kind. ..."
"... It reminds me of the coverage in the run up to Nixon's resignation. Except this one's on steroids. I believe the DC folks fully expect Trump to be removed and now are focusing on the strategy that accrues the maximum benefit to their party. Unfortunately, things strongly favor the Democrats. ..."
"... Democrats want to drag this out as long as possible and enjoy the chipping away at segments of the Republican base while the Republicans want to clear the path before the midterms. However, the Republican officials, much as many or most can't stand Trump, have to weave a thin line because taking action against Trump would kill them in the primaries and possibly in the general. ..."
"... So the Democrats are licking their chops and hoping this can continue until the midterms with the expectation they will then control Congress. ..."
"... Some of you still don't get it. Trump isn't our last chance. Its your last chance. Yet still so many of you oxygen thieves still insist RUSSIA is the reason Hillary lost. You guys are going to agitate your way into a CW because you can't accept you lost. Many of you agitating are fat, slow, and stupid, with no idea how to survive. ..."
"... From day one after the unexpected (for the punditry class and their media coherts) elections results everybody was piling on Trump. The stories abound about his Russia Collusion (after one year of investigation not even a smoke signal) or his narcistic attitudes (mind you LeeG Trump always addresses people as We where as Humble Obama always addresses in the first person). ..."
"... I get this feeling the Swamp doesn't want a President who will at least try to do something for the American people rather than promises (Remember Hope and Change ala Obama, he got the Change quite a bit of it for him and his Banker Pals from what is left of the treasury and we the people are left with Hope). ..."
"... Someone on the last thread said in a very elegant way that what binds us Americans together is one thing, economic opportunity for all. I believe that was Trump's election platform, with the "for all" emphasized frequently. ..."
"... There is quite the precedent for the media treating trump as they do, Putin has been treated quite similarly, as well as any other politician the media cars disagree with [neocons/neolibs]... ..."
"... I think, during the election campaign, the negative media coverage may have well be a boon to him. Anyone who listened to the media, and then actually turned up at a Trump rally to see for himself, immediately got the idea that the media is full of shit. I think this won Trump a fair number of converts. ..."
"... But I think by now they are just over the top. It almost reminds me of Soviet denunciations of old communists who have fallen out of favor. ..."
"... The one clear thing is that there is a coup attempt to get rid of Donald Trump led by globalist media and supra-national corporate intelligence agents. Charlottesville may well be due to the total incompetence of the democratic governor and mayor. ..."
"... On the other hand, the razing of Confederate Memorials started in democrat controlled New Orleans and immediately spread to Baltimore. This is purposeful like blaming Russia for losing the 2016 election. ..."
"... The unrest here at home is due to the forever wars, outsourcing jobs, tax cuts for the wealthy and austerity. Under stress societies revert to their old beliefs and myths. John Brennon, Lindsey Graham, John McCain, George Soros and Pierre Omidyar are scorpions; they can't help themselves. After regime change was forced on Iraq, Libya, Syria and Ukraine; a color revolution has been ignited here in the USA; damn the consequences. We are the only ones that can stop it by pointing out what is really happening. ..."
"... What I see in my Democrat dominated county is that the blue collar folks are noting this overt coup attempt and while they didn't vote for Trump are beginning to become sympathetic towards him. I sense this is in part due to the massive mistrust of the MSM and the political establishment who are viewed as completely self-serving. ..."
"... I read a transcript of the entirety of Trump's news conference upon which CBS and others are basing their claims that Trump is "defending white supremacists," and at no point did he come within hand grenade distance of doing anything of the sort. What he did do is accuse the left wing group of being at fault along with the right wing group in causing the violence, and he did not even claim that they were equally at fault. ..."
"... There is no doubt whatever that his statement was entirely accurate, if in no other respect in that the left's decision to engage in proximate confrontation was certain to cause violence and was, in fact, designed to do so regardless of who threw the first punch. CBS and other media of its caliber are completely avoiding mentioning that aspect of the confrontation. ..."
"... CBS et. al. have been touting the left's possession of not one but two permits for public assembly, but they carefully do not point out that the permits were for two areas well removed from the area where the conflict occurred, and that they did not have a permit to assemble in that area. ..."
"... The media is flailing with the horror of Trump's advocacy of racial division, but it is the Democratic Party which has for more than a decade pursued the policy of "identity politics," and the media which has prated endlessly about "who will get the black vote" or "how Hispanics will vote" in every election. ..."
"... As a firm believer in the media efforts to sabotage Trump and a former supporter (now agnostic, trending negative - Goldman Sachs swamp creatures in the Oval Office????), he greatly disappointed me. First, i will state, that I do not believe Trump is antisemitic (no antisemite will surround himself with rich Jewish Bankers). ..."
"... It doesn't matter whether Trump is getting a raw deal or not. Politics has nothing to do with fairness. ..."
"... But when you've lost Bob Corker, and even Newt Gingrich is getting wobbly, when Fox News is having a hard time finding Republicans willing to go on and defend Trump, you don't need to be Nostradamus to see what's going to happen. ..."
Aug 20, 2017 | turcopolier.typepad.com

doug , 17 August 2017 at 04:54 PM

The media, and political elite, pile on is precisely what I expect. The chattering political classes have converged on the belief that Trump is not only incompetent, but dangerous. And his few allies are increasingly uncertain of their future.

The thrust appears to be to undercut components of his base while ratcheting up indignation. WaPo and the Times dribble out salacious "news" stories that, often as not, are substance free but written in a hyperbolic style that assumes a kind of intrinsic Trump guilt and leaps from there. They know better. No doubt they rationalize this as meeting kind with kind. Trump is the epitome of the salesman that believes he can sell anything to anyone with the right pitch. Reporters that might normally be restrained by actual facts and a degree of fairness simply are no longer so constrained.

It reminds me of the coverage in the run up to Nixon's resignation. Except this one's on steroids. I believe the DC folks fully expect Trump to be removed and now are focusing on the strategy that accrues the maximum benefit to their party. Unfortunately, things strongly favor the Democrats.

Democrats want to drag this out as long as possible and enjoy the chipping away at segments of the Republican base while the Republicans want to clear the path before the midterms. However, the Republican officials, much as many or most can't stand Trump, have to weave a thin line because taking action against Trump would kill them in the primaries and possibly in the general.

So the Democrats are licking their chops and hoping this can continue until the midterms with the expectation they will then control Congress. After that they will happily dispatch Trump with some discovered impeachable crime. At that point it won't be hard to get enough Republicans to go along.

The Republicans can only hope to convince Trump to resign well prior to the midterms. They hope they won't have to go on record with a vote and get nailed in the elections.

In the meantime the country is going to go through hell.

turcopolier , 17 August 2017 at 05:19 PM
kerim,

Yes, we are staring into the depths and the abyss has begun to take note of us. BTW the US was put back together after the CW/WBS on the basis of an understanding that the Confederates would accept the situation and the North would not interfere with their cultural rituals.

There was a general amnesty for former Confederates in the 1870s and a number of them became US senators, Consuls General overseas and state governors.

That period of attempted reconciliation has now ended. Who can imagine the "Gone With the Win" Pulitzer and Best Picture of the Year now? pl

Tyler , 17 August 2017 at 05:30 PM
Some of you still don't get it. Trump isn't our last chance. Its your last chance. Yet still so many of you oxygen thieves still insist RUSSIA is the reason Hillary lost. You guys are going to agitate your way into a CW because you can't accept you lost. Many of you agitating are fat, slow, and stupid, with no idea how to survive.
Murali -> LeeG... , 17 August 2017 at 05:38 PM
I totally disagree with you LeeG. From day one after the unexpected (for the punditry class and their media coherts) elections results everybody was piling on Trump. The stories abound about his Russia Collusion (after one year of investigation not even a smoke signal) or his narcistic attitudes (mind you LeeG Trump always addresses people as We where as Humble Obama always addresses in the first person).

I get this feeling the Swamp doesn't want a President who will at least try to do something for the American people rather than promises (Remember Hope and Change ala Obama, he got the Change quite a bit of it for him and his Banker Pals from what is left of the treasury and we the people are left with Hope). I hope he will succeed but I learnt that we will always be left with Hope!

AK -> Dr.Puck... , 17 August 2017 at 06:27 PM
Dr. Puck,

The calls have begun:

That last tweet is from the Green Party candidate for VP. Those are just a few examples from a quick Google search before I get back to work. Those of you with more disposable time will surely find more.

BillWade , 17 August 2017 at 06:47 PM
Someone on the last thread said in a very elegant way that what binds us Americans together is one thing, economic opportunity for all. I believe that was Trump's election platform, with the "for all" emphasized frequently.

I believe Charlottsville was a staged catalyst to bring about Trump's downfall, there seems now to be a "full-court press" against him. If he survives this latest attempt, I'll be both surprised and in awe of his political skills. If he doesn't survive I'll (and many others, no matter the "legality of the process") will consider it a coup d'etat and start to think of a different way to prepare for the future.

A.I.Schmelzer , 17 August 2017 at 07:20 PM
There is quite the precedent for the media treating trump as they do, Putin has been treated quite similarly, as well as any other politician the media cars disagree with [neocons/neolibs]...

I think, during the election campaign, the negative media coverage may have well be a boon to him. Anyone who listened to the media, and then actually turned up at a Trump rally to see for himself, immediately got the idea that the media is full of shit. I think this won Trump a fair number of converts.

But I think by now they are just over the top. It almost reminds me of Soviet denunciations of old communists who have fallen out of favor.

As far as statue removal goes: There should be legal ways of deciding such things democratically. There should also be the possibility of relocating the statues in question. I imagine that there should be plenty of private properties who are willing to host these statues on their land. This should be quite soundly protected by the US constitution.

That these monuments got, iirc, erected long after the war is nothing unusual. Same is true for monuments to the white army, of which there are now a couple in Russia.

As far as the civil war goes, my sympathies lie with the Union, I would not be, more then a 100 years after the war, be averse to monuments depicting the common Confederate Soldier.

I can understand the statue toppler somewhat. If someone would place a Bandera statue in my surroundings, I would try to wreck it. I may be willing to tolerate a Petljura statue, probably a also Wrangel or Denikin statue, but not a Vlassov or Shuskevich statue. Imho Lees "wickedness", historically speaking, simply isn't anything extraordinary.

Haralambos -> turcopolier ... , 17 August 2017 at 07:29 PM
Col., thank you for this comment. I grew up in the "North" and recall the centenary of the Civil War as featured in _Life_ magazine. I was fascinated by the history, the uniforms and the composition of the various armies as well as their arms. I would add to that the devastating use of grapeshot. I knew the biographies of the various generals on both sides and their relative effectiveness. I would urge others to read Faulkner's _Intruder in the Dust_ to gain some understanding of the Reconstruction and carpetbagging.

I believe the choice to remove the monument as opposed to some other measure, such as the bit of history you offer, was highly incendiary. I also find it interesting that the ACLU is taking up their case in regard to free-speech: http://tinyurl.com/ybdkrcaz

I was living in Chicago when the Skokie protest occurred.

Fred -> Lars... , 17 August 2017 at 07:36 PM
Lars,

"They came to Charlottesville to do harm. They came armed and were looking for a fight."

I agree. This means Governor McAuliffe failed in his duty to the people of the Commonwealth and so did the Mayor of Charlottesville and the senior members of the police forces present in the city. Congradulations to the alt-left.

They - the left - previously came to DC to do harm - on flag day no less. Namely the Bernie Bro James Hodgkinson, domestic terrorist, who attempted to assasinate Steve Scalise and a number of other elected representatives. The left did not denounce him nor his cause. Sadly they did not even denounce the people who actually betrayed him - those who rigged the Democratic primary: Donna Brazile and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz.

Seamus Padraig -> Dr.Puck... , 17 August 2017 at 07:40 PM
"I know of no call by anybody to remove all statues of the slaveholders. Please edify."

Well, it appears that Al Sharpton is now in favor of defunding the Jefferson Memorial. That's close, isn't it? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gg4XKIX1bs4&feature=youtu.be&t=5

VietnamVet , 17 August 2017 at 08:32 PM
PT

The one clear thing is that there is a coup attempt to get rid of Donald Trump led by globalist media and supra-national corporate intelligence agents. Charlottesville may well be due to the total incompetence of the democratic governor and mayor.

On the other hand, the razing of Confederate Memorials started in democrat controlled New Orleans and immediately spread to Baltimore. This is purposeful like blaming Russia for losing the 2016 election.

The protestors on both divides were organized and spoiling for a fight.

The unrest here at home is due to the forever wars, outsourcing jobs, tax cuts for the wealthy and austerity. Under stress societies revert to their old beliefs and myths. John Brennon, Lindsey Graham, John McCain, George Soros and Pierre Omidyar are scorpions; they can't help themselves. After regime change was forced on Iraq, Libya, Syria and Ukraine; a color revolution has been ignited here in the USA; damn the consequences. We are the only ones that can stop it by pointing out what is really happening.

James , 17 August 2017 at 09:32 PM
It seems to me that this brouhaha may work in Trump's favor. The more different things they accuse Trump of (without evidence), the more diluted their message becomes.

I think the Borg's collective hysteria can be explained by the "unite the right" theme of the Charlottesville Rally. A lot of Trump supporters are very angry, and if they start marching next to people who are carrying signs that blame "the Jews" for America's problems, then anti-Zionist (or even outright anti-Semitic) thinking might start to go mainstream. The Borg would do well to work to address the Trump supporters legitimate grievances. There are a number of different ways that things might get very ugly if they don't. Unfortunately the establishment just wants to heap abuse on the Trump supporters and I think that approach is myopic.

Jack , 17 August 2017 at 09:56 PM
There will always be an outrage du jour for the NeverTrumpers. The Jake Tapper, Rachel Maddow, Morning Joe & Mika ain't gonna quit. And it seems it's ratings gold for them. Of course McCain and his office wife and the rest of the establishment crew also have to come out to ring the obligatory bell and say how awful Trump's tweet was.

What I see in my Democrat dominated county is that the blue collar folks are noting this overt coup attempt and while they didn't vote for Trump are beginning to become sympathetic towards him. I sense this is in part due to the massive mistrust of the MSM and the political establishment who are viewed as completely self-serving.

Cvillereader -> turcopolier ... , 17 August 2017 at 10:17 PM
It is illegal in the Commonwealth of Virginia to wear a mask that covers one's face in most public settings.

LEOs in Central Va encountered this exact requirement when a man in a motorcycle helmet entered a Walmart on Rt 29 in 2012. Several customers reported him to 911 because they believed him to being acting suspiciously. He was detained in Albemarle County and was eventually submitted for mental health evaluation.

This is not a law that Charlottesville police would be unfamiliar with.

luxetveritas , 17 August 2017 at 10:45 PM
Chomsky: "As for Antifa, it's a minuscule fringe of the Left, just as its predecessors were. "It's a major gift to the Right, including the militant Right, who are exuberant."

"what they do is often wrong in principle – like blocking talks – and [the movement] is generally self-destructive."

"When confrontation shifts to the arena of violence, it's the toughest and most brutal who win – and we know who that is. That's quite apart from the opportunity costs – the loss of the opportunity for education, organizing, and serious and constructive activism."

Bill H , 18 August 2017 at 02:02 AM
I read a transcript of the entirety of Trump's news conference upon which CBS and others are basing their claims that Trump is "defending white supremacists," and at no point did he come within hand grenade distance of doing anything of the sort. What he did do is accuse the left wing group of being at fault along with the right wing group in causing the violence, and he did not even claim that they were equally at fault.

There is no doubt whatever that his statement was entirely accurate, if in no other respect in that the left's decision to engage in proximate confrontation was certain to cause violence and was, in fact, designed to do so regardless of who threw the first punch. CBS and other media of its caliber are completely avoiding mentioning that aspect of the confrontation.

CBS et. al. have been touting the left's possession of not one but two permits for public assembly, but they carefully do not point out that the permits were for two areas well removed from the area where the conflict occurred, and that they did not have a permit to assemble in that area. A pundit on CBS claimed that "if they went" to the park in question, which of course they did, "they would not have been arrested because it was a public park." He failed to mention that large groups still are required to have a permit to assemble in a public park.

The media is flailing with the horror of Trump's advocacy of racial division, but it is the Democratic Party which has for more than a decade pursued the policy of "identity politics," and the media which has prated endlessly about "who will get the black vote" or "how Hispanics will vote" in every election.

Old Microbiologist -> Lars... , 18 August 2017 at 03:53 AM
Lars, but they came with a legal permit to protest and knew what they would be facing. The anti-protestors including ANTIFA had a large number of people being paid to be there and funded by Soros and were there illegally. The same mechanisms were in place to ramp up protests like in Ferguson which were violent and this response was no different.

However, the Virginia Governor a crony of the Clintons, ordered a police stand down and no effort was made to separate the groups. I remind you also that open carry is legal in Virginia.

So, IMHO this was deliberately set up for a lethal confrontation by the people on the left. I will also remind you that the American Nazi Party and the American Communist Party among others, are perfectly legal in the US as is the KKK. Believing and saying what you want, no matter how offensive, is legal under the First Amendment. Actively discriminating against someone is not legal but speech is. Say what you want but that is the Constitution.

AK -> Richardstevenhack ... , 18 August 2017 at 04:02 AM
Richardstevenshack,

Your last paragraph is a suitably Leftist post-modern ideological oversimplification of an infinitely complex phenomenon. It also reveals a great deal of what motivates the SJW Left:

" As for the notion that this is a 'cultural issue', I quote: 'Whenever I hear the word culture, I reach for my revolver.' 'Culture' is the means by which some people oppress others. It's much like 'civilization' or 'ethics' or 'morality' - a tool to beat people over the head who have something you want. "

First, it is a cultural issue. It's an issue between people who accept this culture as a necessary but flawed, yet incrementally improvable structure for carrying out a relatively peaceful existence among one another, and those whose grudging, bitter misanthropy has led them to the conclusion that the whole thing isn't fair (i.e. easy) so fuck it, burn it all down. In no uncertain terms, this is the ethos driving the radical Left.

Second, I don't know exactly which culture created you, but I'm fairly sure it was a western liberal democracy, as I'm fairly certain is the case with almost all Leftists these days, regardless of how radical. And I'm also fairly certain the culture you decry is the western liberal democratic culture in its current iterations. But before you or anyone else lights the fuse on that, remember that the very culture you want to burn down because it's so loathsome, that's the thing that gave you that shiny device you use to connect with the world, it's the thing that taught you how to articulate your thoughts into written and spoken word, so that you could then go out and bitch about it, and it even lets you bitch about it, freely and with no consequences. This "civilization" is the thing that gives rise to the "morals" and "ethics" that allow you to take your shiny gadgets to a coffee shop, where the barista makes your favorite beverage, instead of simply smashing you over the head and taking your shiny gadgets because he wants them. These principles didn't arise out of thin air, and neither did you, me, or anyone else. This culture is an agreed-upon game that most of us play to ensure we stand a chance at getting though this with as little suffering as possible. It's not perfect, but it works better than anything else I've seen in history.

Old Microbiologist -> FourthAndLong... , 18 August 2017 at 04:12 AM
Not as significant but along a similar trend to re-write history is this pastor asking Chicago mayor Emmanuel to rename parks named for Presidents because they were also slave owners. http://legalinsurrection.com/2017/08/inevitable-chicago-pastor-demands-washington-name-be-removed-from-park-because-of-slavery-ties/
AK -> Tyler... , 18 August 2017 at 04:33 AM
In his inimitable fashion, I'll grant Tyler (and the Colonel, as well) the creditable foresight to call this one. Those of you who find yourselves wishing, hoping, agitating, and activisting for an overturn of the election result, and/or of traditional American culture in general would do well to take their warnings seriously.

If traditional American culture is so deeply and irredeemably corrupt, I must ask, what's your alternative? And how do you mean to install it? I would at least like to know that. Regardless of your answer to question one, if your answer to question two is "revolution", well then you and anyone else on that wagon better be prepared to suffer, and to increase many fold the overall quotient of human suffering in the world. Because that's what it will take.

You want your revolution, but you also want your Wi-Fi to keep working.
You want your revolution, but you also want your hybrid car.
You want your revolution, but you also want your safe spaces, such as your bed when you sleep at night.

If you think you can manage all that by way of shouting down, race baiting, character assassinating, and social shaming, without bearing the great burden of suffering that all revolutions entail, you have bitter days ahead. And there are literally millions of Americans who will oppose you along the way. And unlike the kulaks when the Bolsheviks rode into town, they see you coming and they're ready for you. And if you insist on taking it as far as you can, it won't be pretty, and it won't be cinematic. Just a lot of tragedy for everyone involved. But one side will win, and my guess is it'll be the guys like Tyler. It's not my desire or aim to see any of that happen. It's just how I see things falling out on their current trajectory.

The situation calls to mind a quote from a black radical, spoken-word group from Harlem who were around in the early to mid 60s, called the Last Poets. The line goes, "Speak not of revolution until you are willing to eat rats to survive." Just something to think about when you advocate burning it all down.

johnklis56@gmail.com -> rick... , 18 August 2017 at 07:19 AM
Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe (D) has added his name to a growing list of public officials in state governments encouraging the removal of Confederate statues and memorials throughout the South. Late in the day on Wednesday McAuliffe released an official statement saying monuments of Confederate leaders have now become "flashpoints for hatred, division and violence" in a reference to the weekend of violence which shook Charlottesville as white nationalists rallied against the city's planned removal of a Robert E. Lee statue. McAuliffe further described the monuments as "a barrier to progress" and appealed to state and local governments to take action. The governor said:

As we attempt to heal and learn from the tragic events in Charlottesville, I encourage Virginia's localities and the General Assembly – which are vested with the legal authority – to take down these monuments and relocate them to museums or more appropriate settings. I hope we can all now agree that these symbols are a barrier to progress, inclusion and equality in Virginia and, while the decision may not be mine to make...

It seems the push for monument removal is now picking up steam, with cities like Baltimore simply deciding to act briskly while claiming anti-racism and concern for public safety. Of course, the irony in all this is that the White nationalist and supremacist groups which showed up in force at Charlottesville and which are even now planning a major protest in Lexington, Kentucky, are actually themselves likely hastening the removal of these monuments through their repugnant racial ideology, symbols, and flags.

Bishop James Dukes, a pastor at Liberation Christian Center located on Chicago's south side, is demanding that the city of Chicago re-dedicate two parks in the area that are named after former presidents George Washington and Andrew Jackson. His reasons? Dukes says that monuments honoring men who owned slaves have no place in the black community, even if those men once led the free world.

Just a few I've seen....

James F , 18 August 2017 at 07:29 AM
Salve, Publius. Thanks for the article. Col. Lang made an excellent point in the comments' section that the Confederate memorials represent the reconciliation between the North and the South. The same argument is presented in a lengthier fashion in this morning's TAC http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/when-confederate-monuments-represent-reconciliation/ . That reconciliation could have been handled much better, i.e. without endorsing Jim Crow. I wish more monuments were erected to commemorate Longstreet and Cleburne, JB Hood and Hardee. I wish there was more Lee and less Forrest. Nonetheless, the important historical point is that a national reconciliation occurred. Removing the statues is a symbolic act which undoes the national reconciliation. The past which is being erased is not the Civil War but the civil peace which followed it. That is tragic.
Ishmael Zechariah -> Dr.Puck... , 18 August 2017 at 08:14 AM
Dr. Puck,
Do you agree w/ this elected representative's statement: ""I hope Trump is assassinated!" Missouri state Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal, D-University City, wrote during a morning Facebook exchange, referring to Republican President Donald Trump."
http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/chappelle-nadal-posts-deletes-facebook-post-hoping-for-trump-s/article_406059d6-1aa4-52fc-89ee-2a6a69baaf2e.html
Ishmael Zechariah
Kooshy -> Richardstevenhack ... , 18 August 2017 at 09:21 AM
IMO, most of the problems majority of people (specially the ruling class) have with Donald Trump' presidency is that, he acts and is an accidental president, Ironically, everybody including, him, possibly you, and me who voted for him knows this and is not willing to take his presidency serious and act as such. IMO, he happens to run for president, when the country, due to setbacks and defeat on multiple choice wars, as well as national economic misfortunes and misshapes, including mass negligence of working class, was in dismay and a big social divide, as of the result, majority decided to vote for some one outside of familiar cemented in DC ruling class knowing he is not qualified and is a BS artist. IMO that is what took place, which at the end of the day, ends of to be same.
Croesus -> doug... , 18 August 2017 at 09:52 AM
Netanyahu is under pressure for failing to speak out forcefully against Trump

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/benjamin-netanyahu-resists-calls-to-denounce-trumps-response-to-charlottesville/

Bibi has keen political skills. He hasn't lasted this long based on his mastery of judo.

Fred -> James F... , 18 August 2017 at 10:03 AM
James F,

" Removing the statues is a symbolic act which undoes the national reconciliation."

That is the intent. The coalition of urban and coastal ethnic populists and economic elites has been for increased concentration and expansion of federal power at the expense of the states, especially the Southern states, for generations. This wave of agitprop with NGO and MSM backing is intended to undo the constitutional election and return the left to power at the federal level.

TV , 18 August 2017 at 10:18 AM
I agree with most of Trump's policy positions, but he is negating these positions with his out-of-control mouth and tweets.
As much as I have nothing but contempt and loathing for the "establishment" (Dems, Republicans, especially the media, the "intelligence" community and the rest of the permanent government), Trump doesn't seem to comprehend that he can't get anything done without taming some of these elements, all of whom are SERIOUSLY opposed to him as a threat to their sinecures and riches.
"Who is this OUTSIDER to come in and think that he in charge of OUR government?"
blowback , 18 August 2017 at 10:33 AM
What seems like a balanced eyewitness account of Charlottesville that suggests that although the radicals on both sides brought the violence, it was the police who allowed it to happen.

https://newrepublic.com/article/144365/cops-dropped-ball-charlottesville

The need to keep protesters away from counter-protesters particular when both are tooled should be obvious to anyone, but not so with the protest in Charlottevlle.

doug -> Tyler... , 18 August 2017 at 10:40 AM
-"Trump isnt our last chance. Its your last chance."

Reminds me of the 60's and the SDS and their ilk. A large part of the under 30 crowd idolized Mao's Little Red Book and convinced themselves the "revolution" was imminent. So many times I heard the phrase "Up Against the Wall, MFs." Stupid fools. Back then people found each other by "teach-ins" and the so called "underground press." In those days it took a larger fraction to be able to blow in each other's ear and convince themselves they were the future "vanguard."

These days, with the internet, it is far easier for a smaller fraction to gravitate to an echo chamber, reinforce group think, and believe their numbers are much larger than what, in reality, exists. This happens across the board. It's a rabbit hole Tyler. Don't go down it.

turcopolier , 18 August 2017 at 10:45 AM
Booby

Yes, Forts Bragg, Hood, Lee, AP Hill, Benning, etc., started as temporary camps during WW1 and were so named to encourage Southern participation in the war. The South had been reluctant about the Spanish War. Wade Hampton, governor of SC said of that war, "Let the North fight. the South knows the cost of war." pl

ISL , 18 August 2017 at 10:53 AM
I would like to share my viewpoint. As a firm believer in the media efforts to sabotage Trump and a former supporter (now agnostic, trending negative - Goldman Sachs swamp creatures in the Oval Office????), he greatly disappointed me. First, i will state, that I do not believe Trump is antisemitic (no antisemite will surround himself with rich Jewish Bankers).

But violence on all sides is absolute BS. Nazi violence gets its own sentence and language at least as strong as the language he has no trouble hitting ISIS with. Didn't hear that. So I guess in his mind, the threat the US faced from Nazis during WW2 was less than a ragtag, 3rd world guerilla force whose only successes are because of 1. US, Saudi, and other weapons, and their war on unstable third world countries. Give me a break - did he never watch a John Wayne movie as a kid?

When I discuss nazi's, F-bombs are dropped. I support the right of nazi's to march and spew their vitriolic hatred, and even more strongly support the right of free speech to counter their filth with facts and arguments and history.

I am sorry, but Antifa was not fighting against the US in WW2. If one wants to critique Antifa, or another group, that criticism belongs in a separate paragraph or better in another press conference. Taking 2 days to do so, and then walking it back, is the hallmark of a political idiot (or a billionaire who listens to no one and lives in his own mental echo chamber).

If Trump gets his info and opinions from TV news, despite having the $80+ billion US Intel system at his beck and call, he is the largest idiot on the planet.

sid_finster , 18 August 2017 at 11:29 AM
It doesn't matter whether Trump is getting a raw deal or not. Politics has nothing to do with fairness.

But when you've lost Bob Corker, and even Newt Gingrich is getting wobbly, when Fox News is having a hard time finding Republicans willing to go on and defend Trump, you don't need to be Nostradamus to see what's going to happen.

[Aug 18, 2017] Russia-gate Hoax About To Be Exposed by Justin Raimondo

Aug 18, 2017 | original.antiwar.com

Julian Assange has the evidence – but will he reveal it?

There's an exciting new development in the "Russia-gate" investigation, one that has the potential to blast apart what is arguably the biggest hoax in the history of American politics.

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-California) has met with Julian Assange – the first US congressman to do so – and returned with some spectacular news:. The Hill reports :

"Julian Assange told a U.S. congressman on Tuesday he can prove the leaked Democratic Party documents he published during last year's election did not come from Russia and promised additional helpful information about the leaks in the near future."

Assange has maintained all along that the Russians had nothing to do with procuring the DNC/Podesta emails, despite the intelligence community's assertions – offered without evidence – that Vladimir Putin personally approved the alleged "hack." Yet credible challenges to this view have emerged in recent days, including from a group of former intelligence officials, that throw considerable doubt on the idea that there was even a "hack" to begin with. "Pressed for more detail on the source of the documents," says The Hill ,

"Rohrabacher said he had information to share privately with President Trump. 'Julian also indicated that he is open to further discussions regarding specific information about the DNC email incident that is currently unknown to the public,' he said."

What this looks like is an attempt by Assange to negotiate with the US government over his current status as a political prisoner: he has been confined to the Ecuadorian embassy in London for many years. Hanging over him is the threat of arrest should he leave and his rendition to the United States to face charges. Could he be making a bid for freedom, offering to provide evidence of how he got his hands on the DNC/Podesta emails in exchange for a pardon?

Rohrabacher, who has a history as a libertarian fellow traveler, has been the target of a smear campaign due to his unwillingness to go along with the Russophobic hysteria that's all the rage in Washington, D.C. these days. Politico attacked him in a piece calling him "Putin's favorite congressman," and "news" accounts of this meeting with Assange invariably mention his "pro-Russian" views – as if a desire to get along with Russia is in itself somehow "subversive."

It's a brave stance to take when even the ostensibly libertarian and anti-interventionist Cato Institute has jumped on the hate-on-Russia bandwagon. Cato cut their ties to former Czech Republic president Vaclav Klaus because he refused to accept the War Party's line on the US-sponsored Ukrainian coup that overthrew the country's democratically elected chief of state. But it gets worse. Here 's Cato senior fellow Andrei Illarionov saying we are already at war with Russia:

"First of all, it is necessary to understand that this is a war. This is not a joke, this is not an accident, this is not a mistake, this is not a bad dream. It will not go away by itself. This is a war. As in any war, you either win or lose. And it is up to you what choice you will make."

And it's not just a cold war: the conflict must, says Illarionov, contain a military element:

"First, in purely military area, it is quite clear that victory in this war cannot be achieved without serious adjustments made to the existing military doctrine. Certainly, soft power is wonderful, but by itself it does not deter the use of force."

While the rest of the country is going about its business with nary a thought about Russia, in Washington the craziness is pandemic. Which is why Democratic National Committee spokeswoman Adrienne Watson felt safe vomiting up the usual bile in response to Rohrabacher's initiative: "We'll take the word of the US intelligence community over Julian Assange and Putin's favorite Congressman."

The power of groupthink inside the Washington Beltway has energized both the neo-cold warrior hysterics – epitomized by the imposition of yet more sanctions -- and the "Russia-gate" hoax to the point where it is unthinkable for anyone to challenge either. Yet Rohrabacher, whom I don't always agree with, has the balls to stand up to both, and for that he should be supported.

Assange has stubbornly resisted revealing anything about the provenance of the DNC/Podesta emails, allowing the CIA/NSA to claim that it was the Russians who "hacked the election," and also giving them a free hand to smear WikiLeaks as an instrument of the Kremlin. This meeting with Rohrabacher, and the promise of revelations to come, indicate that he is reconsidering his stance – and that we are on the verge of seeing "Russia-gate" definitively debunked.

We here at Antiwar.com have challenged the "mainstream" media's wholesale swallowing of the government's line from the very beginning. That's because there hasn't been one iota of solid proof for blaming the Russians, or even for the assertion that the DNC was "hacked." We don't accept government pronouncements at face value: indeed, we don't accept the "conventional wisdom" at face value, either. We always ask the question: " Where's the evidence? "

[Aug 07, 2017] The US propaganda machines has accused Russia of arming the Taliban

Notable quotes:
"... The fact that now the US propaganda machines has accused Russia of "arming the Taliban" ..."
"... I've been expecting this for some time. ..."
"... No sooner had WW II ended than the West started on the Cold War, designed to create fear, panic and hysteria in the US–and Europe–so the Deep State types could regal Americans with tales of a nuclear weapons, missiles, bombers and the like 'gaps' that those devious Rooskies had on the US and we just had to spend all sorts of money to build machines of death to keep 'Old Glory' flying high. And use that excuse to go after people and head-hunt those who didn't goose step to this new artificial reality. ..."
"... When the Iron Curtain fell, within 18 months, the West had a new boogeyman, Saddam and on 9/11, that was enlarged to include the Islamic world, who we just have to fight over there so we don't fight them in Baltimore, not that any sane nation would want to invade most of our big cities, it's too dangerous. ..."
Aug 07, 2017 | www.unz.com

Si1ver1ock, August 5, 2017 at 10:21 am GMT

The fact that now the US propaganda machines has accused Russia of "arming the Taliban"

I've been expecting this for some time. Funny how the blame falls on the Russians–without proof as usual. Little if any mention of the 16 years of U.S. occupation.

http://www.cnn.com/2017/07/25/asia/taliban-weapons-afghanistan/index.html

Greg Bacon, Website August 6, 2017 at 4:40 pm GMT

@restless94110

Churchill started making speeches; the recent book on the brothers Dulles documents extensively Allen Dulles' extreme beliefs about Communism, so radical that he favored fascism and Nazis over the Commies. He became the father of the CIA, and made sure that many in the Nazi spy apparatus found homes in the United States, then went on a decade long crusade to crush communism in Italy and several other countries.

It is you who is silly. Writing some nonsense about something in the archives somewhere when there is evidence in the West that's been right in front of your face? You couldn't be that stupid, could you?

And by the way, do you know the difference between Trotsky and Stalin? Trotsky wanted world-wide revolution; Stalin wanted communism in the USSR, no world-wide revolution. Do you know who won that argument?

You probably don't. Stalin did.

Furthermore, are you familiar with the Game theory basis for the Cold War? It was the lunatic schizoprhenic John Nash, who was certifiably insane when he cooked it up, and years later, when he his schizophrenia was on the wane, repudiated his own theory!

The Cold War was cooked up in the West by state actors. Don't talk your nonsense. I agree. No sooner had WW II ended than the West started on the Cold War, designed to create fear, panic and hysteria in the US–and Europe–so the Deep State types could regal Americans with tales of a nuclear weapons, missiles, bombers and the like 'gaps' that those devious Rooskies had on the US and we just had to spend all sorts of money to build machines of death to keep 'Old Glory' flying high. And use that excuse to go after people and head-hunt those who didn't goose step to this new artificial reality.

When the Iron Curtain fell, within 18 months, the West had a new boogeyman, Saddam and on 9/11, that was enlarged to include the Islamic world, who we just have to fight over there so we don't fight them in Baltimore, not that any sane nation would want to invade most of our big cities, it's too dangerous.

[Aug 01, 2017] The New York Times Pushes Propaganda War Against Russia

Notable quotes:
"... Exercise Saber Guardian 17 is a U.S. European Command, U.S. Army Europe-led annual exercise taking place in Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria in the summer of 2017. This exercise involves more than 25,000 service members from over 20 ally and partner nations. The largest of the Black Sea Region exercises, Saber Guardian 17 is a premier training event for U.S. Army Europe and participating nations that will build readiness and improve interoperability under a unified command, executing a full range of military missions to support the security and stability of the Black Sea Region. It is deterrence in action. ..."
"... Some of the more notable aspects of SG17 include: the massing of 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division (3/4ID) from several locations across the Operation Atlantic Resolve area of operation to the exercise joint operations area (JOA) in Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria; and the movement of 2nd Cavalry Regiment (2CR) from Vilseck, Germany, to numerous locations throughout the JOA. ..."
"... it all makes sense once you understand from the perspective of the Washington borg, the world is comprised of semi-autonomous zones subject to broad oversight from the 'benign' hegemon. ..."
"... From time to time, some of these zones assert their sovereignty, which is a clear aggression against the Global Administrative Political Economy. The small ones are District Thirteen-ed, the large ones are treated as malevolent beasts who have seceded from humanity. ..."
"... If I may. Having looked at this a while, I noticed a synchronicity that manifests itself often in the intellectually barren Corridors of NYT, WaPo and CNN. All 3 seem to operate almost like a mutually supporting Machine with each sharing similar Naratives, getting convenient 'Leaks' that help these Naratives and each often quoting the others reporting. ..."
Aug 01, 2017 | turcopolier.typepad.com

There is no longer any doubt that the New York Times is nothing more than a willing cog in the establishment war machine and is happy to serve as a propaganda platform. While there are times that newspapers and electronic media outlets are unwitting dupes for propaganda, the article penned by MICHAEL R. GORDON and ERIC SCHMITT (published on 31 July 2017) is the work of willing puppets masquerading as journalists:

Russia's Military Drills Near NATO Border Raise Fears of Aggression

This screed starts with this piece of artful dishonesty:

Russia is preparing to send as many as 100,000 troops to the eastern edge of NATO territory at the end of the summer, one of the biggest steps yet in the military buildup undertaken by President Vladimir V. Putin and an exercise in intimidation that recalls the most ominous days of the Cold War.

Since when is it an act of "aggression" for a country -- Russia in this case--to conduct military exercises in its own territory? Gordon and Schmitt also conveniently omit the facts that the United States has been engaged in a variety of military exercises on the border of Russia for the last year. Yet, rather than acknowledge that truth, Gordon and Schmitt push the lie that this is an unprovoked action by a militaristic Russia hell bent on conquering the world.

How else is one to interpret the following quotes:

The military exercise . . . .is part of a larger effort by Mr. Putin to shore up Russia's military prowess, and comes against the backdrop of an increasingly assertive Russia. Beyond Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election in support of the Trump campaign, which has seized attention in the United States, its military has in recent years deployed forces to Syria, seized Crimea and intervened in eastern Ukraine, rattled the Baltic States with snap exercises and buzzed NATO planes and ships . . . .

"There is only one reason you would create a Guards Tank Army, and that is as an offensive striking force," General Hodges said. "This is not something for homeland security. That does not mean that they are automatically going to do it, but in terms of intimidation it is a means of putting pressure on allies."

If you read only this article you would be excused for assuming that Russia is on the prowl for no good reason. Fortunately, our media is not totally subservient to the war machine. NPR reported last week that the United States is actually carrying out the largest military operations on Russia's border in 27 years :

The U.S. and NATO are staging their largest military exercises since the end of the Cold War, and they're doing it in countries of 3 former members of the Warsaw Pact: Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary

DAVID WELNA, BYLINE: Yes, I did. This is all part of what's been called the European Deterrence Initiative, and it's a reinforcement of U.S. forces that had been depleted in Eastern Europe before Russia annexed Crimea three years ago. And as part of this sort of hardening of the U.S. presence here, there was an armored combat brigade team of about 4,000 Army troops from Fort Carson, Colo., that arrived here in Eastern Europe early this year. And they're here in Romania, and they're taking part in military exercises along with about 20,000 other troops.

On Saturday, I was in the Carpathian Mountains, and I watched a pretty impressive live fire, land and air assault there on an imagined enemy. And then yesterday, along the banks of the Danube River here, there was another assault staged to retake the other side of the river from another imagined enemy.

GREENE: You keep saying imagined enemy. Who is the imagined enemy?

WELNA: Well, no doubt it's Russia. And, you know, while this wasn't really a D-Day invasion along the Danube - there was no fire return from the other side - there was a lot of sound and fury. And here's a bit of what it sounded like.

The US military exercise is dubbed Saber Guardian :

Exercise Saber Guardian 17 is a U.S. European Command, U.S. Army Europe-led annual exercise taking place in Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria in the summer of 2017. This exercise involves more than 25,000 service members from over 20 ally and partner nations. The largest of the Black Sea Region exercises, Saber Guardian 17 is a premier training event for U.S. Army Europe and participating nations that will build readiness and improve interoperability under a unified command, executing a full range of military missions to support the security and stability of the Black Sea Region. It is deterrence in action.

Some of the more notable aspects of SG17 include: the massing of 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division (3/4ID) from several locations across the Operation Atlantic Resolve area of operation to the exercise joint operations area (JOA) in Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria; and the movement of 2nd Cavalry Regiment (2CR) from Vilseck, Germany, to numerous locations throughout the JOA.

But that's not all. The United States also has been busy in the Baltics in early June 2017 :

The U.S.'s European Command, which is based in Germany, said Thursday it had deployed an unspecified number of F-16 Fighting Falcons from Aviano Air Base in Italy to the Krzesiny Air Base in Poland in support of Baltic Operations (BALTOPS) and Saber Strike , two massive annual drills intended to boost the U.S.'s military presence in Europe and to support regional allies. European Command's statement came a day after it said a number of B-1B Lancers had been sent from Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota to join three B-52H Stratofortresses at the Royal Air Force base in Fairford, U.K. Meanwhile, 800 U.S. airmen in Europe were poised to train with NATO allies this month as the Western military alliance escalates its rivalry with Russia.

And there was US activity in Poland in January :

U.S. troops arrived in the small town of Drawsko Pomorskie, Poland, as part of the largest armed military brigade deployed in Europe since the end of the Cold War

The U.S. troops, along with 53 track vehicles, including the M109 Paladin self-propelled howitzer, reached Poland after a three-day journey through Germany. The show of force falls under Operation Atlantic Resolve, designed to show the United States' commitment to its European allies in the face of what NATO sees as Russian aggression.

This is not a comprehensive list. If you take time to do further research you will discover that the United States military in tandem with other countries has carried out several military exercises from the Black Sea in the south, all along the western border of Russia and in the Baltic Sea in the north.

If you are Russia and you are witnessing repeated deployments of U.S. infantry, armor, air and naval units on the frontier that produced that last military invasion of Russia (which left at least 20 million dead) would you sit back and do nothing?

What would the United States do if Russia managed to convince Mexico to sign a mutual defense treaty and then proceeded to conduct tank and military air exercises along our southern border? Would we do nothing?

Gordon and Schmitt are an embarrassment to the profession of journalism. Rather than actually report facts and place them in their proper context, they chose instead to push lies as truth and try to help shape public opinion into believing that Russia poses an imminent threat to the west.

One other point worth remembering--Russia spends $60 billion annually on defense spending while the United States is slated for $650 billion. How much is the US spending on just EUCOM exercises targeted at Russia? Sadly, there is bipartisan stupidity and ignorance when it comes to the issue of properly assessing Russia and the threat it does (or does not) pose to the United States. My cynical conclusion is that as long as Russia is portrayed as the great Red menace bent on world domination we can justify spending $650 billion dollars to thwart an invasion that is not coming.

Posted at 01:20 PM in Borg Wars , Russia Permalink

Anna , 01 August 2017 at 02:11 PM
The two presstitutes, and the NYT at large, do their job for the propagators of Wolfowitz the Trotskyist' doctrine, according to which "Washington must conserve its advance over the rest of the world by hindering the development of all potential competitors." http://www.voltairenet.org/article197288.html
Meyssan writes, "We therefore find ourselves faced with the equation with which we started – one one side, the outsider President of " the People's America ", and on the other, all of the Washington ruling class supported by the deep state (meaning that part of the administration charged with the continuity of the state over and above political alternances). It is apparent that this coalition is supported by the United Kingdom and Israël."
Kooshy , 01 August 2017 at 02:17 PM
PT- incase you missed it, Michael Gordon and Judith Miller are the two NYT propaganda sonography couple to go to, in case you need to start and sell a war choice that the American public will have to pay with blood and savings.
Peter AU , 01 August 2017 at 02:24 PM
All western media singing in tune. All US senate minus two singing in tune. All US house of representatives minus three singing in tune. With the latest Russia/Iran/NK sanctions, the US president has just been rendered obsolete. Whoever owns US 'democracy' now must be congratulating themselves.
Dr. K. , 01 August 2017 at 02:27 PM
Please include VP Pence stirring the pot in the Baltic States.
Anna -> Dr. K.... , 01 August 2017 at 08:44 PM
and in Ukraine: "Adding fuel to the fire': Russia blasts US plans to supply lethal arms to Ukraine" https://www.rt.com/news/398253-us-weapon-supplies-ukraine-russia/
Lemur , 01 August 2017 at 03:04 PM
it all makes sense once you understand from the perspective of the Washington borg, the world is comprised of semi-autonomous zones subject to broad oversight from the 'benign' hegemon.

From time to time, some of these zones assert their sovereignty, which is a clear aggression against the Global Administrative Political Economy. The small ones are District Thirteen-ed, the large ones are treated as malevolent beasts who have seceded from humanity.

Grazhdanochka , 01 August 2017 at 03:48 PM
If I may. Having looked at this a while, I noticed a synchronicity that manifests itself often in the intellectually barren Corridors of NYT, WaPo and CNN. All 3 seem to operate almost like a mutually supporting Machine with each sharing similar Naratives, getting convenient 'Leaks' that help these Naratives and each often quoting the others reporting.

There is Quote some here will be familiar with - "Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action" , whenever they each start to sing the same Tune I take more particular note.

For this Reason, I while ago suggested they represent a Media Form of the 3 Horsemen

iffen , 01 August 2017 at 04:01 PM
Beginning of NPR story:
After Russia annexed Crimea three years ago, the U.S. started reversing a military pullout from Eastern Europe.
From the body of the story:
PRESIDENT KLAUS IOHANNIS: This is living proof of the fact that our soldiers not only talk together. They are able, when it is necessary, to fight together.
WELNA: Could they deter Russia?
IOHANNIS: Of course they could. And I think they do it.
WELNA: But Romania's top military official, General Nicolae Ciuca, is less sanguine.
You are on the shore of the Black Sea. So is Russia. How worried are you about Russia?
NICOLAE CIUCA: I am as worried as the alliance is. We are not apart from the alliance.
WELNA: But is there reason to worry?
CIUCA: Always there's a reason to worry. We are not living in a full peace environment.

If our allies, who are quite familiar with an invasion from Russia, are worried, isn't the least we can do is act like we are prepared to act?
Lyttenburgh -> iffen... , 01 August 2017 at 07:17 PM
"If our allies, who are quite familiar with an invasion from Russia, are worried, isn't the least we can do is act like we are prepared to act?"

Are you aware when and under which circumstances did Romania experienced "an invasion from Russia", whose ally it have been at the moment etc.?

Btw, what do you understand by "our ally" pertaining to Romania? A sattelite state?

rkka -> Lyttenburgh... , 01 August 2017 at 09:03 PM
It was so funny when then Ukrainian PM Yatsenyuk announced to the world that the USSR invaded Europe through Ukraine in 1944 and that Ukraine would prevent such an awful event in the future.

So now it appears that the Banderastani mental disease has spread the Romanian general staff...

rkka -> iffen... , 01 August 2017 at 08:54 PM
"CIUCA: Always there's a reason to worry. We are not living in a full peace environment."

One wonders whether poor trembling Nicolae was similarly and fearful when the US was bombing Bosnia and Serbia back in the 1990s. The question answers itself.

What really has the Anglosphere Foreign Policy Elite & Punditocracy's (AFPE&P) knickers in a twist is that Russia and China now have the military capacity to deter them conventionally.

The AFPE&P are consumed, indeed, fixated, on having 'leverage' and 'freedom of action' and it drives them utterly out of their minds to be deprived of both.

VietnamVet , 01 August 2017 at 04:46 PM
PT

Russiagate shows that American citizens don't matter. Not a shred of evidence has been made public to document a Russian involvement. A war that could annihilate mankind could break out any second with no justification. Even, Germany staged the Gleiwitz Incident with Nazi S.S. troops wearing Polish uniforms to feed their propaganda machine to start WWII. With the rise of Major General (ret.) John F. Kelly to Chief of Staff, the military now controls the White House. To end the global media/intelligence community coup attempt; perhaps, a diversionary war with Iran is in the cards. North Korea has nuclear weapons. It is not clear if the relative sanity of General Martin Dempsey and Admiral Mike Mullen has returned to DC. Still, absolutely no one advocates for Peace and Prosperity.

blowback , 01 August 2017 at 05:49 PM
Aaah, Michael R Gordon, the s**t who didn't resign over the aluminium tubes story used as fake evidence to support the invasion of Iraq. And he and the NY Times have been spouting fake news ever since.

https://thinkprogress.org/after-propagating-false-iraq-intel-nyts-michael-gordon-now-echoing-bush-claims-on-iran-40881c2ed9fe

Cortes -> blowback... , 01 August 2017 at 08:01 PM
Delightful to see the use of maskirovka in the names of the two authors of the NYT article. Anyone might think that they're not Zionist.
Anna -> Cortes... , 01 August 2017 at 09:19 PM
Meanwhile, the MSM silence re Awan affair (the greatest national cyber-security breach) is deafening. It seems that the "deciders" made some orders for the presstitutes to not mention the well-documented (unlike "Russian hacking") breach. https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/08/01/did-hillary-scapegoat-russia-to-save-her-campaign/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PgKCNaDFl_U
Anna -> blowback... , 01 August 2017 at 08:49 PM
" Michael R Gordon, the s**t who didn't resign over the aluminium tubes story "
The families of the wounded and fallen soldiers -- the victims of the war-profiteers including Michael R Gordon -- should start a nice lawsuit against the scoundrel. There, for sure, is a line in the Nuremberg protocols that addresses the agitators of a war of aggression.
English Outsider , 01 August 2017 at 06:36 PM

A valuable over-view of where we are now in what has become a dangerous and unnecessary confrontation. Many thanks.

I'd like to ask about the Russian populations in the Baltic states.

Their position could be similar to that of the Russians in the Donbass in 2014. The Russian or pro-Russian population of the Donbass was at risk from the post-coup Ukrainian Government. That put the Russian Government in a cleft stick. It couldn't abandon the Donbass Russians even had it wanted to because Russian public opinion wouldn't let it. Nor could it simply order the Russian armed forces to move in to the Donbass and protect them. The compromise solution of assisting the rebels to the extent of not allowing them to be over-run was eventually adopted.

That task was simplified in that some of the Donbass Russians were trained soldiers and had been able to form effective fighting units on their own. It's also said that they were initially more or less self-sufficient in weapons and ammunition.

Although the Donbass resistance was initially piecemeal and uncoordinated it had the advantage of being unexpected and the further advantage that the forces sent against it were also poorly coordinated. The regular Ukrainian army was ill-prepared and the only Ukrainian forces eager to fight were untrained street fighters. NATO participation was initially restricted to advisers and covert assistance.

The position would be entirely different now in all respects. What happens if the Russians living in the Baltic states were similarly at risk from their governments? It would be difficult now for the Russian Government to assist them. Are the Baltic Russians in a position to protect themselves as the Donbass Russians did? Do they have access to arms? Or would we see what was avoided in the Donbass, forced expulsion of Russians living in the near-abroad?

Grazhdanochka -> English Outsider ... , 01 August 2017 at 07:23 PM
Situations for Russians in Donbass and Baltics differs of course...

Without going so deeply to this Matter, simply in Ukraine Russians and well all People sympathetic to Russian Identity were not only significant in Demographic and Political Weight but also have considerably involvement in Security Establishment....

When Events of Maidan through Crimea Events and into early Days of Donbas happened you saw the defections of Berkut, Interior Ministry (Regionally) and in case of Khodakovskiy and his Men - Regional SBU Unit...

This Groups made the Nucleus of Indigenous Resistance that expanded as Times went by (Ukrainian Military also defected with some Armor), this also helped to gain access to Arms and provided direct Inspiration regardless Moscow.

Russian Government support simply ensured that they would never lose...

Baltics by comparison has a Military which is far more Homogenous, Manned and Structured and Culturally distinct from most Post Soviet Militaries, it also carries NATO Membership making even just basic Perception of Support from Moscow a more risky consideration...

I think in general Russians in Baltics simply will do as always.... Sit and Deal with it demoralised, Emigrate, in some cases Assimilate or simply be flattened by local Power Structures should they express to much Anger.

For Russia, the Priority I think should be to how best bring them Home

Anna -> Grazhdanochka... , 01 August 2017 at 09:07 PM
The Baltic states had started a Russophobic complain under a slogan of the "native language" immediately after their "liberation." Even those Russian families that have been living in the Baltic states for generations must hold an exam in the "native" language in order to maintain their citizenship there. The statistics for the citizens of Baltic States tells that a large percent of the educated, intelligent, and ambitious have already left the new NATO launching pads against Russia. https://worldview.stratfor.com/analysis/baltics-emigration-and-demographic-decline
rkka -> English Outsider ... , 01 August 2017 at 08:45 PM
"What happens if the Russians living in the Baltic states were similarly at risk from their governments?"

It is surpassingly unlikely that ethnic Russians in the Baltics are similarly at risk from their governments. While they discriminate heavily against their ethnic Russians, they have never shown any propensity to actively harm them, unlike the Banderastanis.

AriusArmenian , 01 August 2017 at 06:39 PM
This is it. It's another Cold War or probably worse. The US Congress has spiked our future.
mike , 01 August 2017 at 07:05 PM
Trump's sidekick, Mike Pence, visited blisis where he stated: "US strongly condemns the occupation" that "sees Russian tanks parked on Georgian soil". Then visited Podgorica as a show of support after Montenegro's entrance into the NATO sparked bitter opposition from Moscow.
Lyttenburgh , 01 August 2017 at 07:07 PM
"One other point worth remembering--Russia spends $60 billion annually on defense spending while the United States is slated for $650 billion. "

Actually, I'm against such blanked exercises in the monetary phallometry . The amount of money spent doesn't mean anything without the context. It was here, on SSC, when I read about a multi million $ waste on overpriced DoD office equipment and such. How much $ does the US spend on TP compared to Russia? Whatever the answer, I can safely predict that US will be winner here as well. But... but... [you see what I'm doing here? ;)] does the overpriced US military TP is somehow better than the one we used in Russian military? Does it have some hitherto unknown properties, which might explain its higher cost? Some, pardon me, "magickal power"?

Once again, unadjusted flat budget numbers mean nothing . They might make someone feel good, that's for sure. But let me remind you of a something. Throughout the 2016 a certain wing of the political spectrum in the US flaunted their budget. They had more time on the TV. More so - the Intelligence community sympathetic to them had more money than the "potential enemy"... Now they are claiming that FSB (or whatever the crazy scheme of the week says) hacked them. Now they say that RT and Sputnik managed to (SOMEHOW!) dupe the populace of the Republic using a tiny fraction of CNN's budget alone.

Makes you feel... useless, doesn't it?

P.S.

Relax! Remember that Saudi Arabia military still spends humongous amount of money, more than the supposedly "traditional" powers of yore. It doesn't translate into the battlefield prowess. Money =/= assured victory.

[Aug 01, 2017] Groupthink at the CIA by

Looks like tail wags the dog -- CIA controls the US foreign policy and in the last elections also played active role in promoting Hillary. A the level of top brass we have several people mentioned by Giraldi who are probably as dangerous as Allen Dulles was. Brennan is one example.
The parade of rogues that Philip describes is really alarming. Each with agenda that directly harms the USA as a country promoting the interest of military-industrial complex and neocon faction within the government...
Notable quotes:
"... Indeed, one can start with Tenet if one wants to create a roster of recent CIA Directors who have lied to permit the White House to engage in a war crime. Tenet and his staff knew better than anyone that the case against Saddam did not hold water, but President George W. Bush wanted his war and, by gum, he was going to get it if the CIA had any say in the matter. ..."
"... Back then as now, international Islamic terrorism was the name of the game. It kept the money flowing to the national security establishment in the false belief that America was somehow being made "safe." But today the terror narrative has been somewhat supplanted by Russia, which is headed by a contemporary Saddam Hussein in the form of Vladimir Putin. If one believes the media and a majority of congressmen, evil manifest lurks in the gilded halls of the Kremlin. Russia has recently been sanctioned (again) for crimes that are more alleged than demonstrated and President Putin has been selected by the Establishment as the wedge issue that will be used to end President Donald Trump's defiance of the Deep State and all that pertains to it. The intelligence community at its top level would appear to be fully on board with that effort. ..."
"... Remarkably, he also said that there is only "minimal evidence" that Russia is even fighting ISIS. The statement is astonishing as Moscow has most definitely been seriously and directly engaged in support of the Syrian Arab Army. Is it possible that the head of the CIA is unaware of that? It just might be that Pompeo is disparaging the effort because the Russians and Syrians have also been fighting against the U.S. backed "moderate rebels." That the moderate rebels are hardly moderate has been known for years and they are also renowned for their ineffectiveness combined with a tendency to defect to more radical groups taking their U.S. provided weapons with them, a combination of factors which led to their being denied any further American support by a presidential decision that was revealed in the press two weeks ago. ..."
"... Pompeo's predecessor John Brennan is, however, my favorite Agency leader in the category of totally bereft of his senses. ..."
"... Brennan is certainly loyal to his cause, whatever that might be. At the same Aspen meeting attended by Pompeo, he told Wolf Blitzer that if Trump were to fire special counsel Robert Mueller government officials should "refuse to carry out" his orders. In other words, they should begin a coup, admittedly non-violent (one presumes), but nevertheless including federal employees uniting to shut the government down. ..."
"... And finally, there is Michael Morell, also a former Acting Director, who was closely tied to the Hillary Clinton campaign, apparently driven by ambition to become Director in her administration. Morell currently provides commentary for CBS television and is a frequent guest on the Charlie Rose show. Morell considerably raised the ante on Brennan's pre-electoral speculation that there had been some Russian recruitment of Trump people. He observed in August that Putin, a wily ex-career intelligence officer, "trained to identify vulnerabilities in an individual and to exploit them [did exactly that] early in the primaries. Mr. Putin played upon Mr. Trump's vulnerabilities In the intelligence business, we would say that Mr. Putin had recruited Mr. Trump as an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation." ..."
"... Nothing new. In the '50s CIA was making foreign wars and cultivating chaos at home, and blaming all of it on Russia. In the '80s CIA was cultivating anti-nuke groups to undermine Reagan, and blaming it on Russia. CIA has been the primary wellspring of evil for a long time. ..."
"... Yes you read that right and they are going to the rotten core of this coup against the United States by presenting a report stating that the DNC was "Leaked" not hacked. The real hacking came from President Obama's weaponizing of our intelligence agencies against Russia. ..."
"... As has been the case for decades the Deep State allows Presidents and legislators to make minor decisions in our government as long as those decisions do not in any way interfere with the Deep State's goals of total world hegemony and increase in overwhelming power and wealth. Those who make the important decisions in this country are not elected. The elected 'officials' are sycophants of the Deep State. ..."
"... The term is appropriated from the use to describe the mutually loyal corps of Ataturkians in the Turkish military and intelligence services who were united in service to uphold the ideal of Ataturkian secular modernisation. The term implies no public accountability or publicity unnecessary to its purposes. ..."
"... The CIA's source, its birth, is from British secret service. Brit spying. And Brit secret service, long before the official founding of MI5, did exactly the kinds of things you note the CIA has done. ..."
"... The Mossad is another direct fruit of Brit secret service, as is the Saudi General Intelligence Presidency. ..."
"... I am a retired CIA operations officer (something none of the men mentioned by Giraldi are – Brennan was a failed wanna be, couldn't cut it as an ops officer). He is spot on in his comments. The majority of people in the CIA, the ones who do the heavy lifting, are patriotic Americans who are proud of serving their country. I am sure that most voted for Trump as they all know too well the truth about the Clintons and Obama. ..."
"... Giraldi is not the only one to notice the upward progress of the most incompetent yes-men in the Agency. A close look at most of them reveals a track record of little or no operational success balanced by excellent sucking up skills. These characters quickly figured out how to get ahead and doing your job in the field is not it. Of course, most are ego maniacs so they are totally oblivious to their own uselessness. ..."
"... How "Russiagate" began: After the primaries, both Hillary and Donald faced divided political parties even though they had won the nomination. These divisions were worse than the normal situation after contested primaries. On the Democratic side, Hillay had just subverted the will of the voters of her party, who seemed to favor Bernie Sanders over her. Hillay had won with corrupt collusion and rigging amongst the DNC, the higher ranks of the Democratic Party, and major media such as the NYT and CNN. ..."
"... Then, a leak of emails from the DNC HQ publicized her interference in the democratic processes of the Democratic Party. This threatened to ene the Hillary for President campaign right then and there. If the majority of Democrats who'd favored Bernie refused to support Hillary because of her corruption and collusion in denying democracy within the party, she was a sure loser in the fall election. The Hillary camp then immediately started blaming Russia for the exposure of her corruption and rigging of the Democratic process. And that's how "Russiagate" began. ..."
"... Take that bunch of mediocre thinkers, and then make most of them obsessed with their own career advancement above all else. The most dangerous place for a career-obsessed individual is outside the group consensus. ..."
"... So, for instance, Trump should veto the act of war known as the recent sanctions bill. Who cares if it gets overridden? Then he goes back to the voters, who are clearly sick of endless war and who for obvious reasons don't want a nuclear war, and he says this is where I stand. Support me by electing Fill-In-The-Blank to Congress. With the nuclear Doomsday Clock pushing ever closer to midnight, he might just win that fight over the big money and media opposition he's sure to face. ..."
"... Not only has Trump failed to even try to fight the Deep State, but he's also failing to set himself up for success in the next elections. ..."
Aug 01, 2017 | www.unz.com

Long ago, when I was a spear carrying middle ranker at CIA, a colleague took me aside and said that he had something to tell me "as a friend," that was very important. He told me that his wife had worked for years in the Agency's Administrative Directorate, as it was then called, where she had noticed that some new officers coming out of the Career Trainee program had red tags on their personnel files. She eventually learned from her boss that the tags represented assessments that those officers had exceptional potential as senior managers. He added, however, that the reverse appeared to be true in practice as they were generally speaking serial failures as they ascended the bureaucratic ladder, even though their careers continued to be onward and upward on paper. My friend's wife concluded, not unreasonably, that only genuine a-holes had what it took to get promoted to the most senior ranks.

I was admittedly skeptical but some recent activity by former and current Directors and Acting Directors of CIA has me wondering if something like my friend's wife's observation about senior management might indeed be true. But it would have to be something other than tagging files, as many of the directors and their deputies did not come up through the ranks and there seems to be a similar strain of lunacy at other U.S. government intelligence agencies. It might be time to check the water supply in the Washington area as there is very definitely something in the kool-aid that is producing odd behavior.

Now I should pause for a moment and accept that the role of intelligence services is to identify potential threats before they become active, so a certain level of acute paranoia goes with the job. But at the same time, one would expect a level of professionalism which would mandate accuracy rather than emotion in assessments coupled with an eschewing of any involvement in the politics of foreign and national security policy formulation. The enthusiasm with which a number of senior CIA personnel have waded into the Trump swamp and have staked out positions that contradict genuine national interests suggests that little has been learned since CIA Director George Tenet sat behind Secretary of State Colin Powell in the UN and nodded sagaciously as Saddam Hussein's high crimes and misdemeanors were falsely enumerated.

Indeed, one can start with Tenet if one wants to create a roster of recent CIA Directors who have lied to permit the White House to engage in a war crime. Tenet and his staff knew better than anyone that the case against Saddam did not hold water, but President George W. Bush wanted his war and, by gum, he was going to get it if the CIA had any say in the matter.

Back then as now, international Islamic terrorism was the name of the game. It kept the money flowing to the national security establishment in the false belief that America was somehow being made "safe." But today the terror narrative has been somewhat supplanted by Russia, which is headed by a contemporary Saddam Hussein in the form of Vladimir Putin. If one believes the media and a majority of congressmen, evil manifest lurks in the gilded halls of the Kremlin. Russia has recently been sanctioned (again) for crimes that are more alleged than demonstrated and President Putin has been selected by the Establishment as the wedge issue that will be used to end President Donald Trump's defiance of the Deep State and all that pertains to it. The intelligence community at its top level would appear to be fully on board with that effort.

The most recent inexplicable comments come from the current CIA Director Mike Pompeo, speaking at the Aspen Institute Security Forum. He began by asserting that Russia had interfered in the U.S. election before saying that the logic behind Russia's Middle Eastern strategy is to stay in place in Syria so Moscow can "stick it to America." He didn't define the "it" so one must assume that "it" stands for any utensil available, ranging from cruise missiles to dinner forks. He then elaborated, somewhat obscurely, that "I think they find anyplace that they can make our lives more difficult, I think they find that something that's useful."

Remarkably, he also said that there is only "minimal evidence" that Russia is even fighting ISIS. The statement is astonishing as Moscow has most definitely been seriously and directly engaged in support of the Syrian Arab Army. Is it possible that the head of the CIA is unaware of that? It just might be that Pompeo is disparaging the effort because the Russians and Syrians have also been fighting against the U.S. backed "moderate rebels." That the moderate rebels are hardly moderate has been known for years and they are also renowned for their ineffectiveness combined with a tendency to defect to more radical groups taking their U.S. provided weapons with them, a combination of factors which led to their being denied any further American support by a presidential decision that was revealed in the press two weeks ago.

Pompeo's predecessor John Brennan is, however, my favorite Agency leader in the category of totally bereft of his senses. In testimony before the House Intelligence Committee back in May, he suggested that some Trump associates might have been recruited by the Russian intelligence service. He testified that "I encountered and am aware of information and intelligence that revealed contacts and interactions between Russian officials and US persons involved in the Trump campaign that I was concerned about because of known Russian efforts to suborn such individuals. It raised questions in my mind whether or not Russia was able to gain the co-operation of those individuals."

In his testimony, Brennan apparently forgot to mention that the CIA is not supposed to keep tabs on American citizens. Nor did he explain how he had come upon the information in the first place as it had been handed over by foreign intelligence services, including the British, Dutch and Estonians, and at least some of it had been sought or possibly inspired by Brennan unofficially in the first place. Brennan then used that information to request an FBI investigation into a possible Russian operation directed against potential key advisers if Trump were to somehow get nominated and elected, which admittedly was a longshot at the time. That is how Russiagate started.

Brennan is certainly loyal to his cause, whatever that might be. At the same Aspen meeting attended by Pompeo, he told Wolf Blitzer that if Trump were to fire special counsel Robert Mueller government officials should "refuse to carry out" his orders. In other words, they should begin a coup, admittedly non-violent (one presumes), but nevertheless including federal employees uniting to shut the government down.

A lesser known former CIA senior official is John McLaughlin, who briefly served as acting Director in 2004. McLaughlin was particularly outraged by Trump's recent speech to the Boy Scouts, which he described as having the feel "of a third world authoritarian's youth rally." He added that "It gave me the creeps it was like watching the late Venezuelan [President Hugo] Chavez."

And finally, there is Michael Morell, also a former Acting Director, who was closely tied to the Hillary Clinton campaign, apparently driven by ambition to become Director in her administration. Morell currently provides commentary for CBS television and is a frequent guest on the Charlie Rose show. Morell considerably raised the ante on Brennan's pre-electoral speculation that there had been some Russian recruitment of Trump people. He observed in August that Putin, a wily ex-career intelligence officer, "trained to identify vulnerabilities in an individual and to exploit them [did exactly that] early in the primaries. Mr. Putin played upon Mr. Trump's vulnerabilities In the intelligence business, we would say that Mr. Putin had recruited Mr. Trump as an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation."

I and others noted at the time that Putin and Trump had never met, not even through proxies, while we also wondered how one could be both unwitting and a recruited agent as intelligence recruitment implies control and taking direction. Morell was non-plussed, unflinching and just a tad sanctimonious in affirming that his own intelligence training (as an analyst who never recruited a spy in his life) meant that "[I] call it as I see it."

One could also cite Michael Hayden and James Clapper, though the latter was not CIA. They all basically hew to the same line about Russia, often in more-or-less the same words, even though no actual evidence has been produced to support their claims. That unanimity of thinking is what is peculiar while academics like Stephen Cohen, Stephen Walt, Andrew Bacevich, and John Mearsheimer, who have studied Russia in some depth and understand the country and its leadership far better than a senior CIA officer, detect considerable nuance in what is taking place. They all believe that the hardline policies current in Washington are based on an eagerness to go with the flow on the comforting inside-the- beltway narrative that paints Russia as a threat to vital interests. That unanimity of viewpoint should surprise no one as this is more of less the same government with many of the same people that led the U.S. into Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. They all have a vested interested in the health and well-being of a fully funded national security state.

And the other groupthink that seems to prevail among the senior managers except Pompeo is that they all hate Donald Trump and have done so since long before he won the election. That is somewhat odd, but it perhaps reflects a fear that Trump would interfere with the richly rewarding establishment politics that had enabled their careers. But it does not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of CIA employees. Though it is admittedly unscientific analysis on my part, I know a lot of former and some current CIA employees but do not know a single one who voted for Hillary Clinton. Nearly all voted for Trump.

Beyond that exhibition of tunnel vision and sheer ignorance, the involvement of former senior intelligence officials in politics is itself deplorable and is perhaps symptomatic of the breakdown in the comfortable bipartisan national security consensus that has characterized the past fifty years. Once upon time former CIA officers would retire to the Blue Ridge mountains and raise Labradors, but we are now into something much more dangerous if the intelligence community, which has been responsible for most of the recent leaks, begins to feel free to assert itself from behind the scenes. As Senator Chuck Schumer recently warned "Let me tell you: You take on the intelligence community -- they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you."

exiled off mainstreet, August 1, 2017 at 5:06 am GMT

In jumping this fascist nihilist shark, the groupthinkers have closed themselves off from the logical conclusion to their viewpoint, which is final annihilation.

Dan Hayes, August 1, 2017 at 5:47 am GMT

Schumer's statement is true (and probably the only such one in his political career!).

annamaria, August 1, 2017 at 6:03 am GMT

Brennan, Morell, and Pompeo should better find ways to justify their salaries: the U.S. has suffered the greatest breach in cybersecurity on their watch:

" an enormous breach of the United States Security Apparatus by as many as 80 Democrat members of Congress (past and present). We rail on about the Russians and Trump, but t he media avoids providing nightly updates about these 5 spies that have compromised Congress ."