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Sustained anti-Trump Hysteria in major neoliberal MSM

The main issue in this election is that the Neoliberal Imperial Oligarchy has now taken off the mask, they have abandoned the pretense of "Coke Pepsi" two party competition to unite behind the defender of status quo interests, with WikiLeaks detailing the gory details of their corruption and malfeasance

"Terrible things we expect from Donald Trump, we’ve actually already seen from Hillary Clinton" Jill Stein

The neoliberal MSM are completely dedicated to defeating Trump and do not even pretend to be objective anymore. As Trump mentioned they are enemy of the people (that does not mean that Trump is people's friend ;-). They fan out anti-Russian hysteria and want to "kick the can down the road" despite the crisis of neoliberalism

Russiagate actually is IntelliGate --  the story of “a stab-in-the-back” plot of neoliberal elite, trying to steal the election using Deep State capabilities. 

Is the curse of the TIME magazine cover helped Trump ? The neoliberals have the ultimate Super PAC: It’s called the mainstream media.

News Donald Trump Recommended Links Purple revolution against Trump Fake News scare and US NeoMcCartyism Trump betrayal of his election promises Blowback against neoliberal globalization Predator state Michael Wolff's "Fire and fury" revelations and slander of Trump administration
Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak MSM as attack dogs of color revolution Neoliberal Brainwashing -- Journalism in the Service of the Powerful Few Trump economic platform Trump foreign policy platform Trump on immigration Presidential debate trap staged by neoliberal media DNC emails leak: switfboating Bernie Sanders and blaming Vladimir Putin Swiftboating: Khan gambit against Trump at Democratic Convention
Neocons The Deep State Predator state Election Fraud Populism Neoliberalism as Trotskyism for the rich Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism Pope Francis on danger of neoliberalism Protestant church on danger of neoliberalism
The Iron Law of Oligarchy Amorality and criminality of neoliberal elite Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners" Myth about intelligent voter Trump GroupingGate Libertarian Philosophy Nation under attack meme Pluralism as a myth Bernie Sanders betrayal of his supporters
Foreign Agents Registration Act Corporatist Corruption   Myth about intelligent voter Resurgence of neo-fascism as reaction on neoliberalism Corporatism National Security State Non-Interventionism
Libertarian Philosophy The Iron Law of Oligarchy Principal-agent problem Neoliberalism US Presidential Elections of 2012 Paleoconservatism Skeptic Quotations Humor Etc
"There is one political party in this country, and that is the party of money. It has two branches, the Republicans and the Democrats, the chief difference between which is that the Democrats are better at concealing their scorn for the average man."

-- Gore Vidal

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

-- Leonard Pinkney

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

-- Daniel Estulin

In the “democracy” that America has evolved to, money counts more than people. In past elections, the votes were counted, now they are going to start weighing them.

America The Counter-Revolution - Salem-News.Com

(T)he rich elites of (the USA) have far more in common with their counterparts in London, Paris, and Tokyo than with their fellow American citizens … the rich disconnect themselves from the civic life of the nation and from any concern about its well being except as a place to extract loot. Our plutocracy now lives like the British in colonial India: in the place and ruling it, but not of it.”

-- Mike Lofgren

The intro article due to its size was moved to Trump folded but sustained anti-Trump Hysteria in major neoliberal MSM


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[Nov 24, 2020] 'Manipulative BULLS--T'- Glenn Greenwald defends calling NBC a CIA mouthpiece, mocks accusation of 'endangering journalists'

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Greenwald earlier this week said NBC "has always existed to disseminate US government, CIA and corporate propaganda." ..."
"... NBC also helped the CIA sell the Iraq War on its Meet the Press program, and sister network MSNBC was "ground zero for mindless CIA stenography of the most unhinged Russiagate conspiracy theories," he said. ..."
"... The C.I.A. owns anyone of any significance in the media. -William Colby. Former Director of the CIA. In 1974, the Rockefeller Commission was established to investigate shennanigans carried out by the Agency. President Ford fired William Colby and replaced him with George Herbert Walker Bush. Why? Because Gerald Ford thought that Colby was being too honest with the Commission about CIA wrong doings. ..."
"... Interestingly, Gerald Ford was often referred to as "The CIA's Best Friend in The Senate", which would explain his old appointment to the Warren Commission. It was Ford who ordered JFK's bullet wound in the back to be raised six inches up to his neck, thus allowing Arlen Specter to float his "Magic bullet Theory" ..."
"... As is not generally known, Bush I was lifetime CIA and became I believe the first CIA President. There is a little known picture of a young Bush standing outside the Texas Book Depository on the day of the assassination. ..."
"... The CIA controls the media in subtle ways. Blacklists for instance. I have experience after one of my buddies fell for the spiel of an agent provocateur. Never trust anyone, always assume they could be CIA and assess what damage they can do to you (and your associates) before you interact with them. Misleading them would be best. ..."
"... As shocking as it may sound, Glenn is stating the obvious. Even AFP and Reuters are CIA mouthpieces. Look up Operation Mockingbird. Look up "propaganda multiplier" by the Swiss policy research. ..."
"... Interesting that nobody even tried to deny it, they just come up with the same line they used to attack Wikileaks for telling the truth: exposing this might put out operatives at risk. ..."
"... Perilous Environments because the CIA is probably manipulating another of its regimes change, to very undemocratically put someone they control into office. Surely you remember Poroshenko? ..."
"... Operation Mockingbird was a secret CIA effort to influence and control the American media. The first report of the program came in 1979 in the biography of Katharine Graham, the owner of the Washington Post, written by Deborah Davis. Davis wrote that the program was established by Frank Wisner, the director of the Office of Policy Coordination, a covert operations unit created under the National Security Council. ..."
"... Reporters who work for the CIA are not spies, because the CIA is a lying agency, not a spying agency. If a terrorist accuses you of being a CIA agent, you can honestly reply that the CIA is the terrorist's friend. ..."
"... The CIA wants the world to believe that China, Russia and Iran are the leading state sponsors of terrorism, and that those seeking the overthrow of Syria's Bashar al-Assad are freedom fighters, not terrorists... ..."
Nov 22, 2020 | www.rt.com

Independent journalist Glenn Greenwald torched accusations that he endangered reporters by saying NBC News spouts CIA propaganda, saying he only spoke of a well-known fact, and the effort to shame him was "manipulative bulls**t."

"Profoundly sorry for endangering the lives of NBC executives and TV personalities by spilling the extremely well-kept secret of their close working relationship with the CIA," Greenwald tweeted sarcastically on Saturday. His message showed a picture of a headline about NBC's 2018 hiring of ex-CIA chief John Brennan as an NBC and MSNBC contributor.

Greenwald's retort came in reply to reporter Sulome Anderson, who accused him of endangering journalists who work in places where any CIA affiliation is "life-threatening." Greenwald earlier this week said NBC "has always existed to disseminate US government, CIA and corporate propaganda."

"This crosses a line," Anderson said. "Like some of his proteges, Glenn is endangering journalists working in perilous environments by telling his massive following that they are mouthpieces for US intelligence."

Greenwald said on Saturday that NBC has a "long-standing role" in spouting CIA propaganda, as evidenced by its hiring of Ken Dilanian, who was accused of sharing stories with the CIA press office prior to publication while working as a Los Angeles Times reporter. NBC also helped the CIA sell the Iraq War on its Meet the Press program, and sister network MSNBC was "ground zero for mindless CIA stenography of the most unhinged Russiagate conspiracy theories," he said.

"If you don't want to be known as a CIA outpost, then don't be one," Greenwald tweeted. He added that NBC hired "John Brennan, Ken Dilanian and every other operative puked up by the security state. People already know."

Anderson has written at least two opinion pieces on Lebanon for NBC in recent months. She has been critical of Hezbollah, designated a terrorist group by the US government, but also has interviewed some of its fighters.

Anderson, who said she is "morally opposed" to journalists working as intelligence agents, may have good reason for her sensitivity about alleged CIA ties. Her parents were both journalists who covered Lebanon's 15-year civil war, and she said her father was kidnapped by terrorists.

"They tortured him again and again for years, calling him CIA," she said Saturday on Twitter. "'I am not a spy,' he would scream. 'I am a reporter.' It never stopped them."

Anderson acknowledged journalists being used as intelligence-agency assets, but said such cases are rare. "Time and again, American hostages – journalists and otherwise – have been falsely called spies, tortured and killed," she said. "I have been in many situations where I've had to convince the very dangerous men I am with that I am not a spy. My saving grace has always been that I am not."

Greenwald came to international fame by breaking the Edward Snowden NSA whistleblower story in 2013. He later co-founded the Intercept but quit the outlet last month after saying editors there suppressed his coverage of Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden.


fezzie035fezzm 19 hours ago 21 Nov, 2020 11:52 PM

The C.I.A. owns anyone of any significance in the media. -William Colby. Former Director of the CIA. In 1974, the Rockefeller Commission was established to investigate shennanigans carried out by the Agency. President Ford fired William Colby and replaced him with George Herbert Walker Bush. Why? Because Gerald Ford thought that Colby was being too honest with the Commission about CIA wrong doings.

Bush, as the new Director, stonewalled the hearings and put the lid on any information coming out, which would explain why CIA Headquarters in Langley was named after Bush. Colby is no longer among the living. Let's just say that he didn't die from "natural causes".

Interestingly, Gerald Ford was often referred to as "The CIA's Best Friend in The Senate", which would explain his old appointment to the Warren Commission. It was Ford who ordered JFK's bullet wound in the back to be raised six inches up to his neck, thus allowing Arlen Specter to float his "Magic bullet Theory"

JOHNCHUCKMAN fezzie035fezzm 1 hour ago 22 Nov, 2020 05:48 PM
Yes, Colby was an unusually frank man at times. He also told us about the ghastly Operation Phoenix in Vietnam, a CIA run assassination scheme of village leaders and prominent men. They killed 30 or 40 thousand people by sending in belly-crawling special forces guys to enter villages at night and cut throats.

As is not generally known, Bush I was lifetime CIA and became I believe the first CIA President. There is a little known picture of a young Bush standing outside the Texas Book Depository on the day of the assassination. You'll find it on my site Chuckman's Words in Comments on Wordpress. Its title to search is: A REMARKABLE DULL LITTLE PHOTOGRAPH OF GEORGE H W BUSH WITH EXPLOSIVE SUGGESTIONS. Sorry, but RT doesn't like links.

Of course, Colby himself may have been assassinated. He had a very odd boating accident.

Ally Hauptmann-Gurski 20 hours ago 21 Nov, 2020 11:14 PM
The CIA controls the media in subtle ways. Blacklists for instance. I have experience after one of my buddies fell for the spiel of an agent provocateur. Never trust anyone, always assume they could be CIA and assess what damage they can do to you (and your associates) before you interact with them. Misleading them would be best.
Enorm 22 hours ago 21 Nov, 2020 09:01 PM
NBC operatives don't have an opinion. They follow da money,. I feel sorry for folks glued to propaganda TV.
Oregon Observer Enorm 21 hours ago 21 Nov, 2020 09:41 PM
WikiLeaks and other investigative outfits have looked at the conglomerates over the years and over half of them are CIA "assets"...
Chris Cottrell 22 hours ago 21 Nov, 2020 08:25 PM
Are they spies? Probably not. Are they tools of the CIA even if unwittingly, yes.
Oregon Observer Chris Cottrell 21 hours ago 21 Nov, 2020 09:43 PM
Most ARE spies in every sense of the term. They look for specific information that they pass onto their handler(s). It bears noting that the FBI and the 10,000 or so outfits that contract with them and NSA and DHS and the pentagon and the various state Fusion programs are as bad or worse and every stinking one if those outfits recruits reporters.
fakiho2 21 hours ago 21 Nov, 2020 09:28 PM
As shocking as it may sound, Glenn is stating the obvious. Even AFP and Reuters are CIA mouthpieces. Look up Operation Mockingbird. Look up "propaganda multiplier" by the Swiss policy research.
shadow1369 fakiho2 6 hours ago 22 Nov, 2020 12:30 PM
Interesting that nobody even tried to deny it, they just come up with the same line they used to attack Wikileaks for telling the truth: exposing this might put out operatives at risk. My response to that is good, time to have these roaches taken out.
Edward698 18 hours ago 22 Nov, 2020 01:43 AM
You can bet on Glenn to tell you the truth unlike the main stream media which fed us with lots of non sense on Syria. Read his interview with "Democracy now": .... Glenn Greenwald on "Submissive" Media's Drumbeat for War and "Despicable" Anti-Muslim Scapegoating By Democracy Now! ....

GLENN GREENWALD: Well, first of all, that clip is unbelievable. It is literally one of the three most important military officials of the entire war on terror, General Flynn, who was the head of the Defense Intelligence Agency. He's saying that the U.S. government knew that by creating a vacuum in Syria and then flooding that region with arms and money, that it was likely to result in the establishment of a caliphate by Islamic extremists in eastern Syria -- which is, of course, exactly what happened.

They knew that that was going to happen, and they proceeded to do it anyway. So when the U.S. government starts trying to point the finger at other people for helping ISIS, they really need to have a mirror put in front of them, because, by their own documents, as that extraordinary clip demonstrates, they bear huge responsibility for that happening, to say nothing of the fact that, as I said, their closest allies in the region actually fund it.

Debra Edward698 14 hours ago 22 Nov, 2020 05:37 AM
The US was not only counting on their ISIS creation to destabilize Syria in the hope of an Assad exit but also to decimate the Hezbollah. I credit the Hezbollah for saving Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq, but they suffered heavy, heavy losses. "So when the U.S. government starts trying to point the finger at other people for helping ISIS, they really need to have a mirror put in front of them, because, by their own documents, as that extraordinary clip demonstrates, they bear huge responsibility for that happening, to say nothing of the fact that, as I said, their closest allies in the region actually fund it."
frankfalseflag 19 hours ago 22 Nov, 2020 12:08 AM
** "Glenn is endangering journalists working in perilous environments by telling. . ." ** . . Perilous Environments because the CIA is probably manipulating another of its regimes change, to very undemocratically put someone they control into office. Surely you remember Poroshenko? ...
pogohere 21 hours ago 21 Nov, 2020 10:16 PM
Operation Mockingbird was a secret CIA effort to influence and control the American media. The first report of the program came in 1979 in the biography of Katharine Graham, the owner of the Washington Post, written by Deborah Davis. Davis wrote that the program was established by Frank Wisner, the director of the Office of Policy Coordination, a covert operations unit created under the National Security Council.

According to Davis, Wisner recruited Philip Graham of the Washington Post to head the project within the media industry. Davis wrote that, "By the early 1950s, Wisner 'owned' respected members of The New York Times, Newsweek, CBS and other communications vehicles."

Davis also writes that Allen Dulles convinced Cord Meyer, who later became Mockingbird's "principal operative," to join the CIA in 1951.

The Taliban Won the War 7 hours ago 22 Nov, 2020 12:28 PM
It is true and it is an undisputed fact that all Western governments use Journalists, aid workers and so called human relief organisations as cover for espionage, undercover and dark operations. Not just that, they also use exchange teachers and students, they use priests and pastors. They use anything and anyone that can hid
Isiah Steele 8 hours ago 22 Nov, 2020 11:45 AM
The Motion Picture Industry of Hollywood, too are CIA! Propagates: war and constant US Military dominated narratives.
Sergio Weigel 16 hours ago 22 Nov, 2020 03:31 AM
I'm pretty sure that most journalists don't know, or don't wanna know, the dirty open secret that editorial lines of most outlets are indeed determined or influenced by the CIA. The trouble is their working conditions. There are far more journalists than job openings, and they already earn badly. In order to keep the job, they just play ball, and as humans are, they make themselves believe that what they were doing was just right. Cognitive dissonance, and the result is outrage and defensive anger when someone points out their hypocrisy. That is also why they avoid to even read alternative media, they don't have their noses pointed to it. In a way, we can pity them. Then again, why become a journalist these days?
shadow1369 Sergio Weigel 7 hours ago 22 Nov, 2020 12:43 PM
I used to think maybe 'journalists' were simply misled, but the narrative on too many stories, from 9/11 to Iraq, from Syria to the ukraine, from the Skripals to Navalny, was so ludicrous that a five year old could see through the lies. Nope, they know full well that they are lying, and do so regardless. A great example was when some bbc l!cksp!ttle was interviewing a general about events in Syria. Somehow they got the wrong guy, or he had not been properly briefed, because his responses were factual and balanced. After trying to challenge him, the interviewer finally said 'Don't you realise this is an informatioon war'.
Debra 4 hours ago 22 Nov, 2020 03:11 PM
This is another warning for people: Over the last two years Facebook has been advertising for viewers to join Facebook groups. Many political groups on Facebook are set up by CIA and FBI agents. Facebook is full of agents, and that is why the ones in Michigan were caught in their attempted coup against the Michigan governor...
Quick Draw 22 hours ago 21 Nov, 2020 09:46 PM
Just NBC?
imnotarobot22 16 hours ago 22 Nov, 2020 03:05 AM
google 'Udo Ulfkotte' ex editor of the Frankfurter Allgemeine - he'll tell you about it.
Richard Burden 2 hours ago 22 Nov, 2020 05:07 PM
Reporters who work for the CIA are not spies, because the CIA is a lying agency, not a spying agency. If a terrorist accuses you of being a CIA agent, you can honestly reply that the CIA is the terrorist's friend.

The CIA wants the world to believe that China, Russia and Iran are the leading state sponsors of terrorism, and that those seeking the overthrow of Syria's Bashar al-Assad are freedom fighters, not terrorists...

[Nov 22, 2020] Caitlin Johnstone- New York Times job listing shows how Western propaganda operates -- RT Op-ed

Nov 22, 2020 | www.rt.com

Caitlin Johnstone: New York Times job listing shows how Western propaganda operates 22 Nov, 2020 08:22 Get short URL Caitlin Johnstone: New York Times job listing shows how Western propaganda operates FILE PHOTO The New York Times office is pictured in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., September 28, 2020. © REUTERS/Carlo Allegri 94 22 Follow RT on RT

By Caitlin Johnstone , an independent journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Her website is here and you can follow her on Twitter @caitoz People who are only just beginning to research what's wrong with the world often hold an assumption that mainstream news reporters are just knowingly propagandizing people all the time.

That they sit around scheming up ways to deceive their audiences into supporting war, oligarchy and oppression for the benefit of their plutocratic masters.

Once you've learned a bit more you realize it's not quite happening that way. Most mainstream news reporters are not really witting propagandists – those are to be found more in plutocrat-funded think tanks and other narrative management firms, and in the opaque government agencies which feed news media outlets information designed to advance their interests. The predominant reason mainstream news reporters say things that aren't true is because in order to be hired by mainstream news outlets, you need to jack your mind into a power-serving worldview that is not based in truth.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?creatorScreenName=RT_com&dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1329704468137512961&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.rt.com%2Fop-ed%2F507403-nyt-western-propaganda-operates%2F&siteScreenName=RT_com&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ed20a2b%3A1601588405575&width=550px

A recent job listing for a New York Times Russia Correspondent which was flagged by Russia-based journalist Bryan MacDonald illustrates this dynamic perfectly. The listing reads as follows:

"Vladimir Putin's Russia remains one of the biggest stories in the world.

It sends out hit squads armed with nerve agents against its enemies, most recently the opposition leader Aleksei Navalny. It has its cyber agents sow chaos and disharmony in the West to tarnish its democratic systems, while promoting its faux version of democracy. It has deployed private military contractors around the globe to secretly spread its influence. At home, its hospitals are filling up fast with Covid patients as its president hides out in his villa.

If that sounds like a place you want to cover, then we have good news: We will have an opening for a new correspondent as Andy Higgins takes over as our next Eastern Europe Bureau Chief early next year."

ALSO ON RT.COM New York Times Moscow correspondent wanted: Must believe all conspiracy theories about Russia, hate Putin & ignore facts

Does this sound like the sort of job someone with a less than hostile attitude toward the Russian government would apply to? Is it a job listing that indicates it might welcome someone who sees mainstream Russia hysteria as cartoonish hyperbole designed to advance the longstanding geostrategic interests of Western power structures against a government which has long resisted bowing to the dictates of those power structures? Someone who voices skepticism about the plot hole - riddled establishment narratives of Russian election meddling and Novichok assassinations ? Someone who, as Moon of Alabama notes , might point out that Putin is in fact at work in the Kremlin right now and not "hiding out" in a "villa" ?

Of course not. In order to get a job at the New York Times, you need to demonstrate that you subscribe to the mainstream oligarchic imperialist worldview which forms the entirety of Western mass media output. You need to demonstrate that you have been properly indoctrinated, and that you can be guided into toeing the imperial line with simple attaboys and tisk-tisks from your superiors rather than being explicitly told to knowingly lie.

Because if they did tell you to knowingly lie to the public to advance the interests of the powerful, that would be propaganda. And propaganda is what happens in evil backwards countries like Russia.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?creatorScreenName=RT_com&dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-1&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1329866363251404804&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.rt.com%2Fop-ed%2F507403-nyt-western-propaganda-operates%2F&siteScreenName=RT_com&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ed20a2b%3A1601588405575&width=550px

Mainstream establishment orthodoxy is essentially a religion, as fake and power-serving as any other, and if you want to work in mainstream politics or media you need to demonstrate that you are a member of that religion.

That's all you're ever seeing when you notice blue-checkmarked reporters tweeting in promotion of imperialist interests and status quo politics. They are not laboring under the delusion that they are saying anything new or insightful that a hundred other people aren't saying at the exact same time; they are signaling. They are letting current and prospective peers and employers know, "I am a believer. I am a member of the faith." This way they are ensured the continued advancement of their careers in mainstream news media.

This is why you have labels for anyone expressing skepticism of establishment narratives like "conspiracy theorist," "useful idiot," "Russian asset" or "Assadist" ; the powerful people who understand that whoever controls the narrative controls the world need labels to separate the faithful from the heathens. It means the same thing as "heretic . "

The fast and easy way to get rich and famous has always been to promote the interests of the powerful. This is as true in every other sector as it is in media. For this reason, those who pour their energy into criticizing existing power structures and shining a bright light on their dynamics aren't likely to be living in fancy mansions or going to ritzy parties any time soon, while those who do the opposite actually will. And yet when someone sets up a Substack or a Patreon account to make criticizing the powerful their life's work, it is they who will get called money-grubbing grifters by the propagandized.

//www.youtube.com/embed/Y2EPgix5_5w

The faces you see thrust onto screens by the plutocratic media are not spouting falsehoods while being aware of their deception, any more than any preacher is knowingly lying when they say you'll burn for eternity if you don't accept the gospel. Most of them believe everything they are saying , because they have been propagandized into becoming good acolytes and proselytizers of the faith.

The most propagandized people on earth are those who are responsible for promulgating propaganda.


Naughtylus 15 hours ago 22 Nov, 2020 04:08 AM

Spot on article. Journalists in MSM media constantly brag about their independence, impartiality, truthfulness, etc. and I always wanted to ask them how long they think they would keep their job if they simply questioned the established narrative of their company. People hired in the media these days are not hired for the job of informing or being journalists, but to act as a mere transmission for opinion manipulation campaigns, devised by those in real power circles.
KennethKeen 15 hours ago 22 Nov, 2020 04:18 AM
Excellent explanation. I would add an additional method of climbing the career ladder. If you do something criminal, that others in the system are aware of, then you can soar up the ranks, as they are guaranteed the possibility of blackmailing you. That is how the house of cards is held in place.
1justssayn 12 hours ago 22 Nov, 2020 07:26 AM
Absolutely spot on. It applies to a lot of other occupations as well.
shadow1369 15 hours ago 22 Nov, 2020 04:27 AM
The strange thing is that while not a single statement in the NYT summary was true of Russia, they cvould all be applied to the us. I guess that is the point, applicants must be prepared to simply substitute the Russia for the US whenever thery describe crimes against humanity. So zero intelligence is required, but more importantly zero integrity either.
Fenianfromcork 12 hours ago 22 Nov, 2020 07:47 AM
Sounds more like an add for joining the CIA.
Insulyn Fenianfromcork 9 hours ago 22 Nov, 2020 10:11 AM
I wonder just how many who are hired either work for the CIA already or start working for the CIA soon after? The add was possibly written with CIA direction. Embedded propagandists. The ad just shows how journalism simply doesn't matter to the MSM, it's all narrative and spin.
Geo Graphy 12 hours ago 22 Nov, 2020 07:50 AM
The fourth estate has let their ego override their common sense. They are not an elected representation of any portion of the American or any other country's public. They are employees of organizations that operate for profit. They do not have a public mandate to provide their opinion as news. They are incapable of reporting news without slanting the view they present. Since it is slanted, it is not news, it is garbage. What the media presents to the public is pure propaganda made up by the staff and management of the so called news organizations. If the fourth estate will not return to reporting the news, then they rightfully belong on the trash heap of history.
PhillisStein 8 hours ago 22 Nov, 2020 12:04 PM
'The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organised habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.' - Edward Bernays In other words, democracy is a 'majority rules' model and, since, in our current consciousness, you can fool most of the people most of the time, then democracy is able to be easily manipulated, and thus is not true democracy. We cannot have anything approaching civil society until we are able to exercise our free will with informed consent, which requires objective information. Sadly, everything is based upon the 'victim' model, which treats us as children - 'don't worry, we'll just do all your thinking for you and just tell you what to think.'
bos000 11 hours ago 22 Nov, 2020 08:23 AM
Propaganda for americans: "US army "heroes" are around the world to protect america,s freedom and democracy", by killing innocents in other countries, when no one ever attack US.
Smythe_Mogg 7 hours ago 22 Nov, 2020 12:38 PM
Perhaps journalists are not responsible for the content of propaganda but they are complicit in its transmission. Journalism for the most part, if ever it was, is not a profession with respect to practitioners upholding standards they refuse to deviate from. 'Hacks' working for the popular press are commonly derided. These days it is those employed by 'broadsheet' papers (and equivalent digital media) who truly merit opprobrium. The days when the Times fielded gentlemen are long gone. Few independent thinkers are to be found among prominent journalists. 'Broadsheet' decline has far more serious consequences than the worst the popular press can do. The popular press always has catered for 'low brow' and 'middle brow' readers; its lower reaches being little more than scandal sheets with titillating pictures. These readers are not movers and shakers: they are followers. The educated class, nowadays sadly depleted, relies on news outlets to be under editorial control capable of picking wheat from amidst chaff of no consequence and seeking accurate reporting thereof. A concomitant is choosing informed individuals to offer opinion pieces; top of this pile is the editorial which at one time could shake government. Lack of a properly informed upper tier of the population capable of challenging the self-styled political elite (and their owners) betokens descent into oligarchy and thereby kakistocracy.
OneGenericUser Gatineau25deA 15 hours ago 22 Nov, 2020 04:50 AM
I have a somewhat cliche' opinion. I don't care Americans want their country to rule the world, I want the world to have a choice on wether they want America as a leader, and I bet the majority of countries don't. If you're impose your "leadership" then you're not a leader, you're a dictator.

[Nov 22, 2020] How NYT Select Their Foreign Correspondents

Nov 22, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Bart Hansen , Nov 20 2020 23:47 utc | 30

The winning candidate will be issued little stickies for her computer screen including "Russian Aggression", "Annexed Crimea" and "Poisoned the Skripals"

[Nov 21, 2020] How 'Western' Media Select Their Foreign Correspondents

Nov 21, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

How 'Western' Media Select Their Foreign Correspondents gottlieb , Nov 20 2020 19:21 utc | 1

Did you ever wonder why 'western' mainstream media get stories about Russia and other foreign countries so wrong?

It is simple. They hire the most brainwashed, biased and cynic writers they can get for the job. Those who are corrupt enough to tell any lie required to support the world view of their editors and media owners.

They are quite upfront about it.

Here is evidence in form of a New York Times job description for a foreign correspondent position in Moscow:

Russia Correspondent

Job Description

Vladimir Putin's Russia remains one of the biggest stories in the world.

It sends out hit squads armed with nerve agents against its enemies, most recently the opposition leader Aleksei Navalny. It has its cyber agents sow chaos and disharmony in the West to tarnish its democratic systems, while promoting its faux version of democracy. It has deployed private military contractors around the globe to secretly spread its influence. At home, its hospitals are filling up fast with Covid patients as its president hides out in his villa.

If that sounds like a place you want to cover, then we have good news: We will have an opening for a new correspondent as Andy Higgins takes over as our next Eastern Europe Bureau Chief early next year.


bigger

To be allowed to write for the Times one must see the Russian Federation as a country that is ruled by just one man.

One must be a fervent believer in MI6 produced Novichok hogwash. One must also believe in Russiagate and in the multiple idiocies it produced even after all of them have been debunked.

One must know that vote counts in Russia are always wrong while U.S. vote counting is the most reliable ever. Russian private military contractors (which one must know to be evil men) are 'secretly deployed' to wherever the editors claim them to be. Russia's hospitals are of cause always much worse than ours.

Even when it is easy to check that Vladimir Putin (the most evil man ever) is at work in the Kremlin the job will require one to claim that he is hiding in a villa.

Most people writing for the Times will actually not believe the above nonsense. But the description is not for a position that requires one to weight and report the facts. It is for a job that requires one to lie. That the Times lists all the recent nonsense about Russia right at the top of the job description makes it clear that only people who support those past lies will be considered adequate to tell future lies about Russia.

No honest unbiased person will want such a job. But as it comes with social prestige, a good paycheck and a probably nice flat in Moscow the New York Times will surely find a number of people who are willing to sell their souls to take it.

Interestingly the job advertisement does not list Russian language capabilities as a requirement. It only says that 'Fluency in Russian is preferred'.

'Western' mainstream media are filled with such biased, cynic and self-censoring correspondents who have little if any knowledge of the country they are reporting from. It is therefore not astonishing that 'western' populations as well as their politicians have often no knowledge of what is really happening in the world.

Hilarious. Don't need no stinking Operation Mockingbird anymore. Just put out a want-ad and plenty of brainwashed folks will come flocking. Propaganda works.

powerandpeople , Nov 20 2020 19:29 utc | 2

Soomeone said:

"Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed; everything else is public relations."

In this case "everything else is propaganda."

The job title is really 'Anti-Russia Propagandist'.

Jen , Nov 20 2020 19:31 utc | 3
This is such an odd job description with very few specific requirements and none detailing how much experience or what level of knowledge or skill is required (in the form of X number of years worked in some area requiring Russian language skills or university qualifications obtained) that I almost wonder if this advertisement is for real.

One notices also that "Vladimir Putin's Russia" is presented as a story. Everything else that follows in the second paragraph of the advertisement is also a story. Indeed everything in the news media industry is a "story" as if instead of employing investigative reporters on the beat grimly searching for hard facts like old pulp fiction detectives, the media now only wants Hollywood script writers or graduates straight out of creative writing courses.

But then I suppose whoever gets the job at the NYT can hardly do worse than what the hack Luke Harding did as The Fraudian's Moscow correspondent nearly 15 years ago, so much so that the Russian govt must have suspected that he was more than just a bad paranoid plagiarist ... he must have been a spy as well, that it would initially refuse to renew his visa. One would like to see the job specifications for the position of The Fraudian's Moscow reporter that Harding held for a number of years.

JimmyG. , Nov 20 2020 19:32 utc | 4
Incredible. What the acronym 'SMH' (shake my head) was invented for.

It's no wonder I switched off CBC radio, our national broadcaster here in Canada. Their music programs were okay, but every hour they had a news update, and those were stomach-turning. Superficial, biased, Empire-friendly nonsense...

Don Bacon , Nov 20 2020 19:32 utc | 5

Norman Solomon wrote about this problem fifteen years ago in his book "War Made Easy, How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us To Death"
. . .from Amazon: In War Made Easy, nationally syndicated columnist, media critic, and author Norman Solomon cuts through the dense web of spin to probe and scrutinize the key "perception management" techniques that have played huge rolls in the promotion of American wars in recent decades.

p.116

. . .The attitudes of reporters covering U.S. foreign policy officials are generally similar to the attitudes of those officials. "Most journalists who get plum foreign assignments already accept the assumptions of empire," according to longtime foreign correspondent Reese Erlick. He added, "I didn't meet a single foreign reporter in Iraq who disagreed with the notion that the U.S. and Britain have the right to overthrow the Iraq government by force. They disagreed only about timing, whether the action should be unilateral, and whether a long-term occupation is practical." After decades of freelancing for major U.S. news organizations, Erlich offered this blunt conclusion: "Money, prestige, career options, ideological predilections--combined with the down sides of filing stories unpopular with the government--all cast their influence on foreign correspondents. You don't win a Pulitzer prize for challenging the basic assumptions of empire."
uncle tungsten , Nov 20 2020 20:02 utc | 9

Thank you b.

Now here is a fine journalist they could simply contract for sane reporting on China . Plus excellent Russian analysis as well.

Good read with a link or two to consider.

Canadian Cents , Nov 20 2020 20:21 utc | 12

> social prestige, a good paycheck and a probably nice flat

The term that Paul Craig Roberts often uses, " presstitute ", comes to mind.

Echoing JimmyG. @4 and spudski @7, in Canada, our taxpayer-funded state news agency's flagship program "The National" gives us regular Two Minutes Hate pieces currently being churned out every two weeks or so by Moscow correspondent Chris Brown who fits this article's description to a T.

I've lost count of how many times he and CBC The National's editors have singled out Russia's handling of COVID-19 for criticism, when so many other countries have far worse per capita fatality numbers than Russia.

While decrying Russia's COVID-19 deaths, they, of course, never mention the fact that Canada has had more COVID-19 deaths per capita than Russia ...

Jpc , Nov 20 2020 21:00 utc | 15

It's absolutely pathetic.
5 years ago the truly great journalist Robert Fisk made the following observations during an interview with the journal.ie amongst others.
Back's up everything you have pointed out about the sheer disappearance of any impartial reportage from the NYT and printed media in general.

"Most newspapers that have lost circulation, particularly in the States, it's not because of the internet, it's because those newspapers were simply no good. When I go to San Francisco the coverage of the Middle East in its papers is frightened, cowardly, pathetic, there's no serious foreign coverage at all."

"Newspapers themselves are to blame for the deterioration in their readership. I read the New York Times when its free, period, it doesn't deserve to be paid for. It's not worth it.
It doesn't matter whether it's online or not. If a paper's not worth buying you'll read for free online regardless"

William Gruff , Nov 20 2020 21:03 utc | 17

"Most people writing for the Times will actually not believe the above nonsense."

Our host is much too charitable to the presstitutes. Those in the "Mockingbird" mass media eat their own effluent like a sort of group ouroboric scatophagia. To maintain their perverse form of "mental hygiene" they studiously avoid information sources outside of their own circular reprocessing of yesterday's delusions into fresh steaming piles for today's consumption. They have become so accustomed to feeding off their own delusions that if a hint of reality were to intrude into their looped intellectual food chain their minds would reject it like poison. They would likely exhibit physical symptoms, which doubtless would be attributed to evil Soviet mind rays from Havana.

Canadian Cents , Nov 20 2020 21:16 utc | 18

Quite scary how Western mainstream media are all marching in unison to the same beat.

Unfortunately it sounds like this creeping facism could get even worse:

Biden State Media Appointee Advocated Using Propaganda Against Americans

Stengel stated clearly that a "news cartel" of mainstream corporate media outlets had long dominated US society, but he bemoaned that those "cartels don't have hegemony like they used to."

Stengel made it clear that his mission is to counter the alternative perspectives given a voice by foreign media platforms that challenge the US-dominated media landscape.

"The bad actors use journalistic objectivity against us."

Wow ...

I clicked on the New York Times job link, and journalistic objectivity and integrity are nowhere to be found in the job descripton. But I did notice these lines that add to the ones that b brought to our attention:

We are looking for someone who will embrace the prospect of traversing 11 time zones to track a populace that is growing increasingly frustrated with an economy dragged down by corruption, cronyism and excessive reliance on natural resources. This posting offers the chance to chronicle the continuing reign of one of the world's most charismatic leaders, President Vladimir V. Putin.

Not to mention, Putin ushered in changes to the constitution, so he will likely stay in power for many years to come.

And, of course, we are on the cusp of a new, less Putin-friendly president in the US, which should only raise the temperature between Washington and Moscow.

Wow again ...

Don Bacon , Nov 20 2020 21:19 utc | 19

It's not Russia it's "Vladimir Putin's Russia," so that's one mandatory term checked off, i.e. personalizing the appointed enemy. But then we read "It sends out hit squads. . ." instead of the usual obligatory: 'The regime' . . . . .but the Times can't get everything right.

Paco , Nov 20 2020 21:21 utc | 20

A flat in Moscow!!! A soul could sold for it... but, there are job openings in Russia, here, a farmer is recruiting:

https://youtu.be/8HZ4DnVfWYQ

Kooshy , Nov 20 2020 22:07 utc | 24

The amount of hourly propaganda directed at and leveled at American people is unprecedented, I had not seen it this intense in past years it reminds me of my High school days in Shah's Iran. This kind and this intense of control on news can only be due to instability of the regime. IMO in coming Biden Adminstration regime will impose new rules for control of internet and access to foreign news. Currently using my Mobil cellular I can't access any Iranian news site.

kiwiklown , Nov 21 2020 1:30 utc | 37

"Those who are corrupt enough to tell any lie required to support the world view of their editors and media owners."

C S Lewis called this type bastards.

I agree, and hope they are reading this right now.

Oz , Nov 21 2020 0:32 utc | 36

https://marisol-nostromo.medium.com/the-unfinished-work-of-the-church-committee-f702ac8f94b1

[Nov 18, 2020] When any Washington Swamp creature talks about "threats to US national security" in reality they are talking about threats to the USA global hegemony

Highly recommended!
Threat inflation is like Apple pie among Washington swamp national security parasites
Notable quotes:
"... The US security state, with its huge military forces and techno-industrial base, and no diplomatic need nor capability, REQUIRES (fake) "security threats" in order to exist. ..."
"... Those appointed "threats" are currently, probably not changing soon, in some order of "threat-size" . . . ..."
Nov 18, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Don Bacon , Nov 17 2020 22:23 utc | 66

Applying any logic to the "threats" against the US "national security" AKA world hegemony becomes much simpler with recognizing two simple facts:

1. The US security state, with its huge military forces and techno-industrial base, and no diplomatic need nor capability, REQUIRES (fake) "security threats" in order to exist.

2. Those appointed "threats" are currently, probably not changing soon, in some order of "threat-size" . . .

China, Russia, North Korea, Iran, Afghanistan, Syria, Venezuela, & African "terrorists" -- did I miss anyone?

[Nov 18, 2020] A short summary of Trump achivements: Good -- a cut of State department regime change budget; Bad -- extra 149 billion to MIC via Pentagon budget

Highly recommended!
Nov 18, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

William Gruff , Nov 17 2020 20:56 utc | 43

US State Department budget

2016: $53.4 billion
2020: $44.12 billion

Good job, Trump! Nice cut of that regime change budget!

Who wants to bet that Harris and the dead guy try to hike this budget for 2021 back up above its levels in its glory days of color revolutions?

Geronimo Black , Nov 17 2020 21:24 utc | 49

2016 Dept of Defense budget $585.3 billion
2020 Dept of Defense budget $665.0 billion +
2020 OCO (imperialist war operations) 69.0 billion

Is this added $149 billion in defense spending a "peace president" dividend I wonder?

[Nov 18, 2020] Fear and Russia-Loathing in the National Lawyers Guild - Black Agenda Report

Nov 18, 2020 | blackagendareport.com

Trump's election, Russiagate and the smear campaign against Julian Assange have deluded and disoriented many "left" organizations.

"I was shocked at the virulent animosity to anything Putin."

I returned from a delegation to Russia a year ago, so am now more sensitive to the pervasive and persistent anti-Russia propaganda in this country. To prepare for my trip, I read Stephen Cohen's War with Russia? , which I believe is an unimpeachable source of information. So I was dismayed to learn of his recent death, because he was a voice of reason amidst the salivating war fever. Caitlin Johnstone does justice to his memory: " We should heed the dire warnings that Cohen spent his last breaths issuing. We should...call for détente with Russia and China. We should begin creating an opposition to this world-threatening flirtation with armageddon before it is too late."

The delegation was led by Sharon Tennison, founder of Center for Citizens Initiatives , which has been taking citizen diplomacy delegations to the USSR and Russia since 1983. On her recent 84th birthday she published a letter about where she sees current US/Russian relations , including the risk of nuclear war. I posted her letter to a listserv of the National Lawyers Guild, an organization I have been a member of for 37 years. Although I have previously exposed the NLG for losing its political compass, I was shocked at the virulent animosity to anything Putin, or even Russian, in the emails it generated.

Unfortunately, this anti-Russia bias is not unique to the Guild. Trump's election, Russiagate, and the smear campaign against Julian Assange have deluded and disoriented many organizations and individuals with profoundly critical and activist traditions, including the Pacifica radio network , Democratic Socialists of America and Democracy Now! Since COVID, China is now in the US crosshairs as well, with increased risk of catastrophe. The intent of this article is to expose this extremely dangerous political tendency, with the Guild as but one example, because it is increasing international hostilities, at our peril. What we desperately need is an anti-war movement.

"China is now in the US crosshairs as well."

I shared with a retired lawyer and fellow-member of the Russia delegation that a Guild member said I would create more chaos than clarity on the left if I exposed the Guild. She responded "'You will create more chaos than clarity on the Left,' sounds like old-time, 1930's communism when it was politically incorrect to criticize any defects in the party. Any organization, or any individual, that lacks the backbone to stand up to criticism and to examine itself to see if that criticism is warranted, and to self-correct if it is or to vigorously defend itself if it isn't, is weak, an empty box echoing platitudes it cannot defend."

Tennison received many positive responses to her birthday letter, such as:

"I thank you for the gift of that wonderfully thoughtful letter!"
"I liked your perspectives on President Putin."
"I think you make a persuasive case."
"I am forwarding your message to others."

Apparently, it's controversial to publish group emails anonymously without the author's consent. I told Tennison that the many Guild responses were largely hostile to her point of view and asked if it was ethical to expose them. She said, " I think you should expose them on their ungrounded biases. Tell them to go see the country that was collapsing from communism and then robbed blind by the oligarchs in the 90s, then finally began to get up on its knees by the early 2000s and today is in amazing shape. What do you mean when you ask 'what are the ethics?' You should tell the truth! That's the height of ethics!!!"

"You should expose them on their ungrounded biases."

Guild responses, which echo what many "progressive" groups are saying, include: "This is garbage propaganda... Anyone with a small amount of knowledge of Russia knows this article is absolutely not true. No matter what you think of the current state of our government, we have nothing to gain from Putin. There is nothing admirable about him as a leader and there is nothing admirable about his government. I can't even fathom the motivation for disseminating this....I am hardly a lover of American MSM propaganda, but I am getting tired of seeing knee-jerk reactions to any criticism or negative news about Putin or RT...I don't know if Tennison's piece is propaganda (implying some intent), but it certainly is misguided. I (and probably a fair number of other folks on this list) have not met Putin and am not particularly invested in this debate...move this offlist, or set up a 'debates about politicians foreign and domestic' sublist...I was disputing the accuracy of the author's description of Putin's character and questioning why Putin's character is being defended on an NLG listserv."

A former comrade, who still probably calls himself a socialist, claimed it is an electoral issue: "Riva doesn't give a damn if Trump is re-elected by the electoral college,...She even attacked the NLG for failing to oppose Russia Today having to register as a foreign agent. The discussion is a total turn-off to new and veteran members alike." Others voiced election concerns: " Support for Putin is support for Trump...When I see an article like this come, apparently, out of the blue and unrelated to the NLG's mission, I wonder who benefits from propping up Putin's character?...It's difficult for me to believe that there are NLG members who want to rehabilitate Putin's image in order to help the Trump Administration...My fears are that the election is the motivation for the email supporting Putin."

" Support for Putin is support for Trump."

A Guild member of over 30 years said, "When nonsense like that is sent out by Guild members it contributes to making the Guild irrelevant." Several others claimed the wisdom of age and Red-rearing: "My own father was in Local 1199 In the 1930s and recruited and covered for the absences of NYC Health workers sent to Spain as medics and ambulance drivers in the Spanish Civil War... what could be more " pinko " than that!...Putin and his boss Leningrad Mayor Anatoly Sobchak visited Los Angeles in the 1980s on a visit arranged by the LA-St Petersburg Sister City Committee ( on which I served along with the CEO of Lockheed and other major LA area companies). A fruit of their visit was booking a float in the Rose Parade featuring tourism in St. Petersburg! Can't make this up!" [What is wrong with that? I wish we could build more sister city relationships in Russia. I recently tried to get San Francisco to consider having a sister city in Russia, and was told it wasn't a good time to do so.]

Another long-term socialist comrade said " in defending, as you do, Putin and Putin's Russia, you lose credibility with Guild folks who, I suspect, also share our desire to not see a US-Western World conflict with Russia. It is one thing to defend against red-baiting...as one called before HUAC during Vietnam, believe me, I am deeply opposed to red-baiting...it is another to present a picture of Putin which, quite frankly, does not square with reality. (I know, you believe the western press gives us a false picture of Putin. But there are plenty on the left, and in the left media, that have a very different assessment of Putin than the woman writing that letter you sent around.)" It is remarkable that people who challenge my questioning of the groupthink on Russia, refuse to offer a coherent, written counter to my perspective or a defense of the groupthink.

And the younger generation: " These kinds of threads are the reason people unsubscribe from lists and/or are turned away from the NLG altogether. I'm a very new member and am very disheartened to see this exchange from Guild members who set the example for my generation This is setting a bad precedent for the Next Gen by putting this BS on the NLG List...Well, speaking for myself, this Next Gen member is unsubscribing, having applied my own judgment values and critical thinking skills to the situation...This is a barrier to the Guild's outreach and membership development, and has encouraged me to channel my energy into other organizations."

"People who challenge my questioning of the groupthink on Russia, refuse to offer a coherent, written counter to my perspective."

And of course people use the danger of fascism : "Many of us generally support radical or left ideals. With the rise of fascism in this country, now, more than ever, we need to promote inclusion and allyship rather than sectarianism and exclusion?" Does principled debate (let alone simply posting a letter) imply "sectarianism and exclusion" and foreclose "inclusion and allyship?" Others said there is an "expectation that we be collegial" and "good to each other."

One of the very few positive responses came from a member who recently visited Russia:

"I must say I agree with many of those who criticize Tennison's piece on Putin -- but very much oppose the notion that this list should be reserved for local Guild work. People who are offended by or oppose comments posted by NLG members shouldn't be able to shut down contentious discussions. It's easy enough to simply delete a thread that you consider 'irrelevant' -- although I would hope most Guild members would want to engage in discussion about the countries and leaders that our governing elites and the MSM are attacking in promotion of US imperial power (i.e. Russia, China, Venezuela, and Iran, for starters). The Guild is an organization of internationalists -- and not limited to local struggles."

And there was this qualified support: "I agree that we should be very suspect of Red-baiting news stories on general principle...while holding the nuance of resisting authoritarianism includes using a critical lens."

A democratic organization requires open discussion and voting on controversial positions. Until recently, since its founding in 1937, that occurred at the Guild's annual conventions. It was through such a process that the Guild improved its position on Palestine. I have no problem being a vocal minority in a democratic organization, but there must be debate for positions to be clear. I have tried, unsuccessfully, several times over the Trump years -- and the New McCarthyism -- to have such discussions. If there had been, I would have kept these issues internal to the organization. The squashing of debate was the catalyst for my airing dirty laundry, as well as its implications for the broad progressive community.

I was told that I will create "fissure" and "NLG folks will be on the defensive," (about being called out on their anti-Russia bias?) and an old comrade says he will not respect me if I expose the Guild's anti-Russia bias by pulling anonymous quotes from Guild members emails. As to ethics, my Russia delegation comrade says: " Your old comrade favors quashing the truth in order to present a good face. A false face, in fact. Is it ethical to do that? You are in the boat that many of us are struggling to stay afloat in. Going against popular opinion becomes a whole lot more than just a quaint quirk when the stakes are raised -- as they are right now with the election in view and the Dems seriously worried. It is getting really nasty out there."

Riva Enteen is a lifelong peace activist, social worker, lawyer, advocate for justice and editor of "Follow the Money," a collection of Pacifica Radio's Flashpoints Interviews.

[Nov 18, 2020] As the German newspaper editor Udo Ulfkotte revealed in his book, Bought Journalism, the European and US media speak with one voice -- the voice of the CIA

NOVEMBER 12, 2020
Notable quotes:
"... Democracy cannot work in America because the money of the elite prevails. American democracy is organized in order to prevent the people from having a voice. A political campaign is expensive. The money for candidates comes from interest groups, such as defense contractors, Wall Street, the pharmaceutical industry, the Israel Lobby. Consequently, the winning candidate is indebted to his funders, and these are the people whom he serves. ..."
Nov 18, 2020 | www.unz.com
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS • • 1,700 WORDS • 310 COMMENTS 48 NEWREPLY

Paul Craig Roberts' Interview with the European magazine Zur Zeit ( In This Time ):

https://zurzeit.at/index.php/die-demokraten-haben-die-praesidentenwahl-gestohlen/

.... Digital technology has also made it easy to alter vote counts. US Air Force General Thomas McInerney is familiar with this technology. He says it was developed by the National Security Agency in order to interfere in foreign elections, but now is in the hands of the CIA and was used to defeat Trump. Trump is considered to be an enemy of the military/security complex because of his wish to normalize relations with Russia, thus taking away the enemy that justifies the CIA's budget and power.

... ... ...

Mainstream media in Europe claim, that Trump had "divided" the United States. But isn`t it actually the other way around, that his opponents have divided the country?

As the German newspaper editor Udo Ulfkotte revealed in his book, Bought Journalism , the European and US media speak with one voice -- the voice of the CIA. The very profitable and powerful US military/security complex needs foreign enemies. Russiagate was a CIA/FBI successful effort to block Trump from reducing tensions with Russia. In 1961 in his last address to the American people President Dwight Eisenhower warned that the growing power of the military/industrial complex was a threat to American democracy. We ignored his warning and now have security agencies more powerful than the President.

The military/security complex favors the disunity that the Democrat Party and media have fostered with their ideology of Identity Politics. Identity politics replaced Marxist class war with race and gender war. White people, and especially white heterosexual males, are the new oppressor class. This ideology causes race and gender disunity and prevents any unified opposition to the security agencies ability to impose its agendas by controlling explanations. Opposition to Trump cemented the alliance between Democrats, media, and the Deep State.

... ... ...

The introduction of a report of the Heritage Foundation states that "the United States has a long and unfortunate history of election fraud". Are the 2020 presidential elections another inglorious chapter in this long history?

This time the fraud is not local as in the past. It is the result of a well organized national effort to get rid of a president that the Establishment does not accept.

Somehow you get the impression that in the USA – as in many European countries democracy is just a facade – or am I wrong?

You are correct. Trump is the first non-establishment president who became President without being vetted by the Establishment since Ronald Reagan. Trump was able to be elected only because the Establishment thought he had no chance and took no measures to prevent his election. A number of studies have concluded that in the US the people, despite democracy and voting, have zero input into public policy.

Democracy cannot work in America because the money of the elite prevails. American democracy is organized in order to prevent the people from having a voice. A political campaign is expensive. The money for candidates comes from interest groups, such as defense contractors, Wall Street, the pharmaceutical industry, the Israel Lobby. Consequently, the winning candidate is indebted to his funders, and these are the people whom he serves.

European mainstream media are portraying Biden as a luminous figure. Should Biden become president, what can be expected in terms of foreign and security policy, especially in regard to China, Russia and the Middle East? I mean, the deep state and the military-industrial complex remain surely nearly unchanged.

...The military/security complex needs enemies for its power and profit and will be certain to retain the list of desirable foreign enemies -- Russia, Iran, China, and any independent-inclined country in Latin America. Being at war is also a way of distracting the people of the war against their liberties.

What the military/security complex might not appreciate is that among its Democrat allies there are some, such as Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who are ideological revolutionaries...

[Nov 16, 2020] How Russiagate Ruined Everything

Nov 16, 2020 | www.antiwar.com

Daniel McAdams Posted on November 15, 2020

How did the Russiagate hoax feed into the Covid hoax and then feed into the Election hoax? Ron Paul Institute Director Daniel McAdams ties them all together in this speech to the Mises Institute 's recent Lake Jackson Seminar with Ron Paul. "All of a sudden the tweets are gone, the Facebook is gone, the media is gone. Only crazy people are questioning the most pristine -- the most perfect -- election of all time." Watch it here:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/1YultIz0Q-E

Reprinted from The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity .

[Nov 15, 2020] For weeks vs four years: Rep. Jordan -- Democrats Spent Four Years on Russia Hoax and Don't Want to Spend Four Weeks on 2020 Election

Nov 15, 2020 | www.breitbart.com

Saturday during an appearance on FNC's "Justice," Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) questioned why Democrats oppose any investigations into the integrity of the presidential election, despite their past efforts on the 2016 presidential election.

The Ohio Republican congressman reminded Fox News viewers that Democrats dedicated for years to the "Russia hoax" but do not want to allow four weeks for an investigation into this year's presidential election.

[Nov 15, 2020] The funny thing about this anti-Trump hysteria is that it has hardly any reason to exist

Nov 15, 2020 | www.unz.com

Dumbo , says: November 11, 2020 at 4:02 pm GMT • 3.9 days ago

All of which is understandable, given the horrors of the last four years, the concentration camps, the wars of aggression, the censorship, the CIA murder squads, the show trials, and all that other dictator stuff.

The funny thing about this anti-Trump hysteria is that it has hardly any reason to exist.
– Was the economy going bad?
No, it was doing well, at least until the lockdown. Wall Street was happier than ever too.
– Did Trump end immigration and deported millions?
Not really, Obama appears to have deported more, so much that Trump seems to have increased his vote among Mexicans this time.
– Was there any inconvenience or change for most people?
Not really, life was going on smoothly, until the Dems started to orchestrate riots.
– Was Trump responsible for "thousands of corona deaths"?
Not really, as levels have been similar with many other countries, and the whole thing was exaggerated for political or other purposes anyway.
– Was Trump against Israel or the Jews?
Not at all, quite the opposite in fact.

Now they are happy about a Biden win, which if anything will be more tyrannical, with mandatory masks and/or vaccines, more censorship, more strict laws, worse economy, etc.

It seems that for many or most people, just words are enough to convince them.

Institute censorship but tell them it is "to fight against hate speech", force people to stay indoors or wear masks but tell them "it's for their own health", force bakers to bake cakes for gays but tell them it's a "human rights issue". And people will lap it up.

So now they dance in the streets for Biden and Kamala Why? Do they have any idea of their policies and plans? Not really They just have been told that they are "progressive" and the candidates to cheer for

Rufus Clyde , says: November 12, 2020 at 5:56 pm GMT • 2.8 days ago
@RoatanBill

I think that gives the beneficiaries of the system way too much credit. They don't care whether other people are miserable, any more than they care about the disposition of chickens.

[Nov 15, 2020] Why Fake News About Iran, Russia, China dominate US news now?

Nov 15, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

DG , Sep 15 2020 13:30 utc | 7

They are all Judith Miller now.
morongobill , Sep 15 2020 13:39 utc | 8
Like the famed slogan of septic tank pumpers, the Gray Lady's masthead should read, "Your shit is our bread and butter!"
ptb , Sep 15 2020 13:53 utc | 9
Yep. We're into some pretty overt 1984 territory now...

[Nov 15, 2020] The War Is Over...GloboCap Triumphs! by C.J. Hopkins

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Meanwhile, the GloboCap propaganda has reached some new post-Orwellian level. After four long years of "RUSSIA HACKED THE ELECTION!" now, suddenly, "THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS ELECTION FRAUD IN THE USA!" ..."
Nov 15, 2020 | www.unz.com

...But, whatever. That's water under the bridge. The good news is, the nightmare is over! Literal Hitler and his underground army of Russia-loving white supremacists have been vanquished! Decency has been restored! Globalization has risen from the dead!

And, of course, the most important thing is, racism in America is over again!

Yes, that's right, folks, no more racism kiss all those Confederate monuments goodbye! The Democrats are back in the White House! According to sources, the domestic staff are already down in the West Wing basement looking for that MLK bust that Trump ordered removed and desecrated the moment he was sworn into office. College kids are building pyres of racist and potentially racist books, and paintings, and films, and other degenerate artworks. Jussie Smollet can finally come out of hiding .

OK, granted, they're not going to desegregate liberal cities or anything crazy like that, or stop "policing" Black neighborhoods like an occupying army, or stop funding schools with property taxes , but Kamala Harris is Black, mostly, and Grampa Joe will tell us more stories about "Corn Pop," the razor-wielding public-pool gangster , and other dangerous Black people he hasn't yet incarcerated , so that should calm down all those BLM folks.

In the meantime, the official celebrations have begun. Assorted mass-murdering GloboCap luminaries, government leaders, and the corporate media are pumping out hopey-changey propaganda like it was 2008 all over again. Pundits are breaking down and sobbing on television. Liberal mobs are ritualistically stomping Cheetos to the death in the street . Slaphappy hordes of Covidian Cultists are amassing outdoors, masks around their necks, sharing champagne bottles and French-kissing each other , protected from the virus by the Anti-Trump Force Field that saved the BLM protesters last Summer. It's like V-Day, the fall of the Berlin wall, and the bin Laden assassination all rolled into one!

... No, this is a time for looking ahead to the Brave New Global-Capitalist Normal , in which everyone will sit at home in their masks surfing the Internet on their toasters with MSNBC playing in the background well, OK, not absolutely everyone. The affluent will still need to fly around in their private jets and helicopters, and take vacations on their yachts, and, you know, all the usual affluent stuff. But the rest of us won't have to go anywhere or meet with anyone in person, because our lives will be one never-ending Zoom meeting carefully monitored by official fact-checkers to ensure we're not being "misinformed" or exposed to "dangerous conspiracy theories" which could potentially lead to the agonized deaths (or the mild-to-moderate flu-like illnesses ) of hundreds of millions of innocent people.

... Meanwhile, the GloboCap propaganda has reached some new post-Orwellian level. After four long years of "RUSSIA HACKED THE ELECTION!" now, suddenly, "THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS ELECTION FRAUD IN THE USA!"

... Call it the "New Normal," or whatever you want. Pretend "democracy has triumphed" if you want. Wear your mask. Mask your children. Terrorize them with pictures of "death trucks," tales of "Russian hackers" and "white supremacist terrorists."

Biff , says: November 11, 2020 at 2:43 am GMT • 4.4 days ago

After four long years of "RUSSIA HACKED THE ELECTION!" now, suddenly, "THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS ELECTION FRAUD IN THE USA!"

Why this is not getting more attention I do not know. It was just the other day when Russia, Iran, and China were influence pedaling of disinformation trying to sway election results. Facebook was censoring/deleting on a constant basis trying to stem the flow of fraudulent information from the evil commies.

Then "poof"

Magically gone.

[Nov 13, 2020] Who's meddling now- Zuckerberg tells employees it's 'clear' Biden won still-contested US election

Hypocrisy is a tribute that vice pays to virtue."
And Zuk probably really believes that the outcome of elections is clear; after all he participated in achieving that result
Nov 13, 2020 | www.rt.com

Apparently disregarding Facebook's public-facing image as a fierce opponent of election meddling by entities not legitimately involved in the political process, Zuckerberg dived into the fray during a Thursday company-wide town hall, according to an audio of the meeting first obtained by Buzzfeed and later confirmed by CNBC .

"I believe the outcome of the election is now clear and Joe Biden is going to be our next president," Zuckerberg reportedly told the assembled crowd. "It's important that people have confidence that the election was fundamentally fair, and that goes for the tens of millions of people that voted for Trump."

[Nov 12, 2020] Caitlin Johnstone- Americans didn't vote against Trump, they voted against more media psychological abuse by Caitlin Johnstone

Highly recommended!
Nov 12, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

By Caitlin Johnstone , an independent journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Her website is here and you can follow her on Twitter @caitoz

'Trump derangement syndrome' didn't come from Trump. It came from abusive media trying to spin the evils of his presidency as somehow worse than any other US president's.

The word "coup" is being thrown about in American liberal media today, not because US liberals suddenly became uncomfortable with the fact that their nation constantly stages coups and topples governments around the world as a matter of routine policy, but because they are all talking about (you guessed it) Donald Trump.

To be clear, none of the high-powered influencers who have been promoting the use of this word actually believe there is any possibility that Donald Trump will somehow remain in office after January of next year when he loses his legal appeals against the official results of the election, which would be the thing that a coup is. There is no means or institutional support through which the sitting president could accomplish such a thing. This is not a coup, it's a glorified temper tantrum. Trump will leave office at the appointed time.

The establishment narrative managers are not terrifying their audiences with this word because they believe there is any danger of a coup actually happening. They are doing it because it's their last chance to use Trump to psychologically abuse their audiences for clicks.

... ... ...

It is not Trump himself who's been making people feel terrified of a tyrannical Russian agent ending democracy in America and ruling with an iron fist, it is years of shrieking, hysterical coverage about Trump from the mass media.

//www.youtube.com/embed/kgBxfHdb4OU

Without all the deranged and persistent fearmongering, driven by a disdain for Trump's unrefined narrative management style and an insatiable hunger for ratings and clicks, it would never have occurred to Americans that they should be more terrified of this president than of any other sh***y Reaganite Republican. The Russian collusion narrative which dominated most of Trump's presidency turned out tobe essentially nothing . The concentration camps, millions of deportations and armed militias driving non-whites out of the country that we were promised never came; he never even came anywhere close to Obama's deportation numbers and his support from minorities actually went up. He hasn't been any more warlike than his predecessors overall, and by some measures arguably less so. Most Americans actually reported that their lives had improved over Trump's term before the pandemic hit.

If people had just been given raw information about Trump's presidency, they would have seen a lot of bad things, but things that are bad in the same way all the horrible aspects of the most destructive government on earth are bad. They wouldn't have known to be horrified and anxious and have headaches and irritable bowel syndrome. They would have handled themselves in about the same way they always handled themselves during the administration of a president they didn't like.

Instead, they were psychologically terrorized. Made frightened, sick and traumatized by mass media pundits who only care about ratings and clicks, as was made clear when CBS chief Les Moonves famously said that Trump is bad for America but great for CBS. Dragged through years of Russia hysteria and Trump hysteria with any excuse to spin Trump's presidency as a remarkable departure from norms, when in reality it was anything but. It was a fairly conventional Republican presidency.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?creatorScreenName=RT_com&dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-1&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1085310153405083648&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.rt.com%2Fop-ed%2F506415-americans-vote-trump-media%2F&siteScreenName=RT_com&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ed20a2b%3A1601588405575&width=550px

In reality, though most of them probably did not realize it, this is what Americans were actually voting against when they turned out in record numbers to cast their votes. Not against Trump, but against this continued psychological abuse they've been suffering both directly and indirectly from the mass media. Against being bashed in the face by shrieking, hysterical bull***t that hurts their bodies and makes them feel crazy, and against the unpleasantness of having to interact with stressed-out compatriots who haven't been putting up well with the abuse.

It wasn't a "Get him out" vote, it was a "Make it stop" vote.

Meanwhile, another pernicious effect of making Trump seem uniquely horrible has been retroactively making his predecessors seem nice by comparison, which is why George W Bush now enjoys majority support among Democrats after years of unpopularity. Their depravity is hidden behind a media-generated wall labeled "NOT TRUMP" . And when Biden steps into office, his depravity will be hidden from view in the same way, neutering all mainstream opposition to his most deadly and dangerous actions .


The First Rule , 5 hours ago

I certainly hope this isn't True. You should never surrender to Evil.

And the MSM in America is Pure Evil.

(except Tucker Carlson)

----------------------------------------------------------

Oh, and this is what you missed when you went to Bed Election Night

(Apparently the same thing happened in MI, WI and possibly GA):

PA Vote Flip (at :04 and then at :36):

https://t.co/nTGpOtHA8N

KY Vote Flip (from Gov Race Last Year - Detailed Explanation of what is happening):

SMOKING GUN: ELECTRONIC VOTE FRAUD CAUGHT LIVE ON CNN! #TheHammer #Scorecard (bitchute.com)

Macho Latte , 5 hours ago

It's the politics of HATE

Too many people succumb to the psychological warfare that has been raging against us for 5 decades. It is very difficult to break free from the indoctrination regardless of intelligence or education. The backbone of the DemonRat organization is a very strong emotion that overcomes all logic and reason. It is HATE. Today it is called by the gentle name of Identity Politics. Nevertheless, it is still a HATE based psychological manipulation. Women need to HATE men. Blacks need to HATE everyone. Whites need to HATE themselves. Everybody needs to HATE Trump.

Did anybody vote FOR Biden or Harris?

The DemonRats have the Deep State covering, aiding and abetting their insurrection. As we have seen, the stupid white people support the peaceful protests and are played like a violin by the professional agitators likely trained by the CIA & FBI. The BLM aristocracy claims to be "trained Marxists". Trained by whom? Nobody asks.

The cops are used like trained dogs to attack everyone who opposes the BLM/Antifa sanctioned riots to the point where citizens are afraid of the cops and the BLM/Antifa people use the cops for target practice, and the cops just take it. Nobody really respects the FBI or the cops anymore.

Then there is the constant 24/7 drum beat of propaganda from the MSM and social media driving people crazy.

Welcome to the world of Kamala Pelosi.

With Trump gone, who will they hate next?

DemonRats: The Party of Lies & HATE


Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing.
- Orwell

archon , 2 hours ago

Every time Maddow speaks she reminds me that we're living in clownworld. Lets not forget this is coming from people who spent the last four years attempting their own coup.

cankles' server , 4 hours ago

I'm not sure if twitter deleted but here's the youtube link

Screencap 1

Screencap 2

This shows a vote switch of 19,958 votes deducted from Trump and added to Biden.

Video explaining electronic election fraud.

[Nov 10, 2020] Neoliberal Dems, Russia and neo McCarthyism campaign in the USA in 2016-2020

Nov 10, 2020 | www.unz.com

Realist , says: November 10, 2020 at 5:15 pm GMT • 4.1 hours ago

Third, on the international front, we can expect even more hysterical Russia bashing (the Dems all hate Russia with a passion, especially since they have brainwashed themselves for four years that "Putin" had "attacked" the US elections). But there is really nothing the US can do to Russia, it is way too late for that. So I would expect even more hot air than from the Trump Administration, and probably not much more action, although that is by no means certain, since a braindead nominal President like Biden would not have Trump's intelligence to understand that a war against Russia, China or Iran would end in a disaster: Dems always start wars to try to convince the public that they are "tough" (Dukakis in his M-1 tank).

The Dems don't hate Russia it is used as a bogeyman to re direct the populace anget at the neoliberal social system .

Russia, China, Iran and all the rest of the world probably can't believe their good fortune the US is destroying itself.

Biden will not be in control of the US, or any part of it he will be in the corner pissing his pants. The Deep State will be calling the shots.

[Nov 09, 2020] Russiagaters long for Putin gust of approval of Biden presumed win

Nov 09, 2020 | www.rt.com

Distinguished Russiagate disciple Michael McFaul upset that Putin hasn't congratulated Biden for presumed election win

Former US envoy to Russia Michael McFaul is unhappy that Moscow hasn't declared Joe Biden the election winner without official results, apparently tossing aside years of hysteria about Kremlin "meddling" in US internal affairs.

McFaul, who became one of the most outspoken proponents of the debunked theory that Moscow "colluded" with the Trump campaign in 2016, expressed his disappointment on Twitter that Russian President Vladimir Putin has yet to offer his congratulations to the Democratic nominee, who declared himself president-elect on Saturday.

"Has Putin joined the chorus of world leaders in congratulating Biden yet? I haven't see (sic) the statement. Do post if its (sic) out," he wrote. ... Earlier in the day, Fijian Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama became the first world leader to offer his congratulations to the former vice president, expressing hope that Biden would help the world navigate a "climate emergency." Reditus_sum 7 hours ago No doubt that President Putin will be in touch with Biden if and when he wants to and feels that it is warranted, I really can't imagine how Biden would cope in any negotiations with one of the sharpest analytical and political minds in the world today. orseface11 Reditus_sum 6 hours ago Good Lord, that would be a sad state of affairs. RadicalGoat 8 hours ago So far, only the vassal states have acknowledged Biden's victory.

[Nov 06, 2020] Why Are These Anti-Russian And Anti-Chinese Narratives So Similar by Bernard

Nov 06, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Why Are These Anti-Russian And Anti-Chinese Narratives So Similar?

After more than four years of Russiagate we finally learn (paywalled original ) where the Steele dossier allegations about nefarious relations between Trump and Russia came from:

A Wall Street Journal investigation provides an answer: a 40-year-old Russian public-relations executive named Olga Galkina fed notes to a friend and former schoolmate who worked for Mr. Steele.​ The Journal relied on interviews, law-enforcement records, declassified documents and the identification of Ms. Galkina by a former top U.S. national security official.

In 2016, Ms. Galkina was working in Cyprus at an affiliate of XBT Holding SA, a web-services company best known for its Webzilla internet hosting unit. XBT is owned by Russian internet entrepreneur Aleksej Gubarev.

That summer, she received a request from an employee of Mr. Steele to help unearth potentially compromising information on then-presidential candidate Donald Trump 's links to Russia, according to people familiar with the matter. Ms. Galkina was friends with the employee, Igor Danchenko, since their school days in Perm, a Russian provincial city near the Ural mountains.

Ms. Galkina often came drunk to work and eventually got fired by her company. She took revenge by alleging that the company and its owner Gubarev were involved in the alleged hacking of the Democratic National Committee. A bunch of other false allegations in the dossier were equally based on Ms. Galkina's fantasies.

Mark Ames @MarkAmesExiled - 18:39 UTC · Oct 28, 2020

So the Steele Dossier that kicked off 4 years of Russiagate hysteria among the US ruling class was cooked up by two Russian alcoholics from Perm. "Gogolesque" does not begin to describe the grotesque credulity & stupidity of the American elites.

The tales in the dossier were real disinformation from Russians but not ' Russian disinformation ' of the American Newspeak variant.

The FBI, and others involved, knew very early on that the Steele dossier was a bunch of lies. But the issue was kept in the public eyes by continues leaks of additional nonsense. All this was to press Trump to take more and more anti-Russian measures which he did with unprecedented generosity . The accusations about a Trump-Russia connection were the 'Russia bad' narrative that pressed and allowed Trump to continue the anti-Russian policies of the Obama/Biden administration.

A similar string of continuous policies from the Obama/Biden administration's 'Pivot to Asia' and throughout the four years of Trump is the anti-China campaign.

We now hear a lot about Hunter and Joe Biden's corrupt deals with Chinese entities. These accusations come with more evidence and are far more plausible than the stupid Steele dossier claims. Their importance is again twofold. They will be used to press a potential President Joe Biden to act against China but they will primarily be used to intensify a public anti-China narrative that creates public support for such policies.

As Caitlin Johnstone points out :

I don't know how or at what level, but we are being played. A narrative is being aggressively rammed down our throats about China in exactly the same way it was being aggressively rammed down our throats about Russia four years ago; two unabsorbed nations the US government has long had plans to attack and undermine .
Russiagate was never really about Trump. It was never about his campaign staff meeting with Russians, it was never about a pee tape, it was never about an investigation into any kind of hidden loyalties to the Kremlin. Russiagate was about narrative managing the United States into a new cold war with Russia with the ultimate target being its far more powerful ally China, and ensuring that Trump played along with that agenda.
...
If Biden gets in we can expect the same thing: a president who advances escalations against both Russia and China while being accused of the other party of being soft on China. Both parties will have their foot on the gas toward brinkmanship with a nuclear-armed nation, with no one's foot anywhere near the brakes.

It is thus assured that the verbal attacks on China , the search for new anti-China allies like the Hindu-fascist India and the dangerous weaponizing of Taiwan will all continue under a Biden administration.

Posted by b on October 29, 2020 at 15:30 UTC | Permalink

[Nov 06, 2020] Can a Biden presidency put an end to Russiagate, or will Democrats continue to wield Neo-McCarthyism to consolidate power- -- RT Russia Former Soviet Union

Highly recommended!
Nov 06, 2020 | www.rt.com

Can a Biden presidency put an end to Russiagate, or will Democrats continue to wield Neo-McCarthyism to consolidate power? 6 Nov, 2020 09:39 Get short URL Can a Biden presidency put an end to Russiagate, or will Democrats continue to wield Neo-McCarthyism to consolidate power? FILE PHOTOS. © Sputnik / Alexander Wilf ; REUTERS / Kevin Lamarque 26 Follow RT on RT

By Glenn Diesen , an Associate Professor at the University of South-Eastern Norway and an editor at the Russia in Global Affairs journal. Follow him on Twitter @glenndiesen Will Biden's apparent election victory mean the end of Russiagate and the restoration of normal democratic discourse in the US, or will opponents of the status quo continue to be branded as Kremlin patsies by the elite?

Despite the hysteria it unleashed in the press, Russiagate didn't reveal any actual collusion between US President Donald Trump and the Russian government, although it did expose how democratic institutions are threatened by corruption in the political-media class. What happens when the anti-Russia barrage is used to target the political opposition?

The information war between the West and Russia inevitably tears away at democratic institutions. The anti-Russia foreign policy consensus, cultivated throughout the Cold War, has been one of the few areas enjoying bipartisan support. The absence of counter-perspectives enabled a rot to fester in elite circles as accusations against Russia go unchallenged.

What would happen if a political leader broke with the foreign policy consensus? In 2016, this question was answered as Trump ran on a platform of getting along with Russia and even questioning the necessity of NATO, a military bloc designed to contain an adversary that no longer exists.

Russiagate 1.0 – Election collusion

Hillary Clinton saw an opportunity to discredit Trump by concocting a conspiracy theory. Declassified notes prove that CIA Director John Brennan briefed then-President Barack Obama about how Clinton fabricated the Russian-Trump conspiracy theory as "a means of distracting the public from her use of a private email server" and "to vilify Donald Trump by stirring up a scandal claiming interference by the Russian security service."

ALSO ON RT.COM Endangering European security: Joe Biden's assertion that Russia is number one 'threat' to US flies in face of all facts & reason

The source of 'Russiagate' was the infamous Steele Dossier. In 2016, the Clinton campaign hired Fusion GPS to find dirt on Trump, which was subcontracted to former British spook Christopher Steele. What could possibly go wrong with hiring the former head of the Russia Desk at MI6, with a job description that also entailed disseminating disinformation?

Former National Security Agency Technical Director Bill Binney proved that the Democratic National Committee servers were never hacked, and the Mueller report drove the final stake through the heart of the Steele Dossier. Yet, Steele's outrageous claims based on hearsay and third-hand gossip should have been dismissed immediately.

An ongoing investigation explores why the FBI and CIA did not reject the flawed report. In his congressional testimony to explain how this fake dossier led to the surveillance of Trump, former FBI Director James Comey claimed 245 times that he "can't recall," "can't remember," and "doesn't know." Yet, the narrative of Russiagate lives on, as much of the media wants it to be true.

ALSO ON RT.COM 'Not the case at all': Kremlin lambasts Biden's assertion that main threat to US is Russia, wants further cooperation

Any opposition to the narrative could be dismissed with an ad hominem attack and accusations of carrying water for Putin. The political left – traditionally skeptical of the intrusive influence of the security state and a compliant media manufacturing consent – reinvented itself by denouncing criticism of the CIA as blasphemy and demands for press accountability as an attack on democracy.

Russiagate 2.0 – the Biden scandal

The Biden laptop scandal, breaking immediately before the presidential election, sparked a swift return to the old Russiagate formula. The pay-to-play corruption scheme of the Biden family was not the most interesting revelation; rather, it was the rapid response of the security state and the media.

The story began when Hunter Biden, Joe's son, left his laptop at a computer repair shop for over 90 days, and ownership of the laptop was then transferred to the repairman in accordance with the agreement. The technician, concerned about the content, contacted the FBI. Due to the lack of response, the technician then sent a copy of the hard drive to Rudy Giuliani, the former mayor of New York and current lawyer of Trump. Giuliani shared some of the content with the New York Post, which published the alleged evidence of corruption.

Twitter and Facebook reacted immediately with censorship. The newspaper's story could not be shared by anyone and the New York Post, one of the oldest publications in the US, had its Twitter account suspended. One after another, various media outlets dismissed the article as Russian disinformation to justify why Facebook and Twitter had censored the news.

ALSO ON RT.COM Russiagate crumbles, scapegoating has begun, but American left-liberal media isn't willing to eat crow or halt new Cold War

Thus, Facebook and Twitter could then refer to the media reports dismissing it as a Russian disinformation campaign. Subsequently, the circular reporting created a false confirmation. Fifty former intelligence officers who signed a letter claiming the incident was probably Russian disinformation further substantiated this narrative.

Unlike the first Russiagate, the narrative of Russiagate 2.0 simply made no sense. Never mind the lack of any evidence – there was not even a theory. This time it was not even possible to invent a hypothetical situation where Russia played a role. It is proven that Hunter Biden handed the laptop to the repairman, and the repairman handed the content to the FBI and Giuliani. The accusation of 'Russian disinformation' made little sense when the material is real and there is no possible role for Russia in the scandal.

Can the democratic process be restored?

Democracy demands that the process is more important than the outcome. Yet, this logic was challenged with the premise that a Trump presidency entails the dismantlement of democracy. Then the end justifies the means, and journalists increasingly deemed their responsibility to report in a manner that would bring down a man they see as an 'Orange Hitler'.

ALSO ON RT.COM Comments by Russia on US election like 'red rag to a bull' but uncertainty 'could negatively affect global affairs,' Kremlin says

With the return of the old guard, the utility of the Russian boogeyman in US politics can come to an end. Can the Humpty Dumpty of democratic institutions be put together once Trump is removed, or will the goalpost merely be moved by going after future Trumps?

Jill Stein, Bernie Sanders, 'Moscow Mitch' McConnell, and Tulsi Gabbard have all been accused of the grave crime of being agents or stooges of the Kremlin for failing to fall in line. Whistleblowers and publishers like Edward Snowden and Julian Assange were denounced by security institutions and the media as Russian agents.

Will a Biden presidency put an end to Russiagate and restore democratic institutions, or intensify the neo-McCarthyism of the past four years to consolidate power?

Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

[Nov 03, 2020] How DHS and FBI Officials Spun a Dubious Russian Election Threat Days Before Voting

National security parasites want taxpayers money. Badly.
Notable quotes:
"... Just days before the 2020 election the bureaucratic forces behind the original claim of Russian hacking of state election-related websites in 2016 launched a new drive to spawn fears of Moscow-made political chaos in the wake of the voting. ..."
"... The new narrative was not consistent with information previously published by the the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security's new Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), however. It was so incoherent, in fact, that it suggested a state of panic on the part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials worried about a possible transition to a Joe Biden administration. ..."
"... Krebs' warning of a possible Russian announcement that hackers had succeeded in disrupting the result of the U.S. election was so removed from reality that it suggested internal panic DHS over the failure of Russian hackers to do anything that could be cited as interfering the election. ..."
"... Two days after Krebs' dubious warning, the FBI and the DHS's new Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) issued an "alert" reporting that "a Russian state-sponsored APT [Advanced Persistent Threat] actor" known as "Berserk Bear" had "conducted a campaign against a wide variety of US targets." ..."
"... On October 28, Krebs elaborated on the latter theme in an interview with the PBS NewsHour . Referring inaccurately to government warnings about "Russian interference, some of which targeted voter registration," which the FBI-CISA alert had never mentioned, PBS interviewer William Brangham asked, "Do you worry at all that there might be infiltration that we are not aware of?" ..."
"... Instead of correcting Brangham's inaccurate suggestion, Krebs responded that "infiltration" into voter registration files was "certainly possible," but that "[W]e have improved the ability to detect compromises or anomalous activity." ..."
Nov 03, 2020 | original.antiwar.com

How DHS and FBI Officials Spun a Dubious Russian Election Threat Days Before Voting

by Gareth Porter Posted on November 03, 2020

Reprinted from The Grayzone with the author's permission.

A Department of Homeland Security election alert spawning new Russia fears was so incoherent and inconsistent with previous findings, it suggested a state of political panic inside the agency.

Just days before the 2020 election the bureaucratic forces behind the original claim of Russian hacking of state election-related websites in 2016 launched a new drive to spawn fears of Moscow-made political chaos in the wake of the voting.

The new narrative was not consistent with information previously published by the the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security's new Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), however. It was so incoherent, in fact, that it suggested a state of panic on the part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials worried about a possible transition to a Joe Biden administration.

On October 20, Christopher Krebs, the head of CISA, issued a video statement expressing confidence that "it would be incredibly difficult for them to change the outcome of an election at the national level." Then he abruptly changed his tone, adding, "But that doesn't mean various actors won't try to introduce chaos in our elections and make sensational claims that overstate their capabilities. In fact, the days and weeks just before and after Election Day is the perfect time for our adversaries to launch efforts intended to undermine your confidence in the integrity of the electoral process."

Krebs' warning of a possible Russian announcement that hackers had succeeded in disrupting the result of the U.S. election was so removed from reality that it suggested internal panic DHS over the failure of Russian hackers to do anything that could be cited as interfering the election.

Two days after Krebs' dubious warning, the FBI and the DHS's new Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) issued an "alert" reporting that "a Russian state-sponsored APT [Advanced Persistent Threat] actor" known as "Berserk Bear" had "conducted a campaign against a wide variety of US targets."

Since "at least September," according to the DHS alert, the DHS warning claimed that it had targeted "dozens" of "US state, local, territorial and tribal government networks." It even claimed that the supposed Russian campaign had compromised the network infrastructure of several official organizations and "exfiltrated data from at least two victims servers". At the same time, it acknowledged there was "no indication" that any government operations had been "intentionally disrupted."

The report went on to suggest, "[T]here may be some risk to elections information housed on SLTT [state, local territorial and tribal] government networks." And then it abruptly shifted tone and level of analysis to offer the speculation that the Russian government "may be seeking access to obtain future disruption options, to influence US policies or actions", or to "delegitimize" the "government entities".

On October 28, Krebs elaborated on the latter theme in an interview with the PBS NewsHour . Referring inaccurately to government warnings about "Russian interference, some of which targeted voter registration," which the FBI-CISA alert had never mentioned, PBS interviewer William Brangham asked, "Do you worry at all that there might be infiltration that we are not aware of?"

Instead of correcting Brangham's inaccurate suggestion, Krebs responded that "infiltration" into voter registration files was "certainly possible," but that "[W]e have improved the ability to detect compromises or anomalous activity."

Krebs then homed in on a scenario he obviously wanted the public to focus on: "[Y]ou might see various actors, foreign powers, claim that they were able to accomplish something, [that] they were able to hack a database or hack the vote count. And it's simply not true."

Although the October 22 alert did not assert any deliberate Russian government hack of election-related sites, Krebs sought to keep speculation about both Russian capabilities and intent alive.

The buried alert that undermined the frightening official assessment

Eleven days before Krebs debuted his speculation about Russia claiming to have hacked US elections, the FBI and CISA issued a separate alert that seriously undercut his questionable claims.

The earlier document was clearly referring to the very same efforts by hackers to break into various websites address in the October 22 alert. It not only referred to the same state and local government networks and to the wider range of targets affect but also mentioned precisely the same technical vulnerabilities that were targeted in the series of hacks.

The alert further stated that, "[I]t does not appear these targets are being selected because of their proximity to elections information ." In other words, the two US agencies conceded they had no basis for attributing to any of the hacks in question to any election interference plot.

The most striking difference between the two alerts, however, was that the October 9 alert did not refer to any "Russian state-sponsored APT actor" as the October 22 one did. Instead, it simply pointed to "APT actors" in the plural, indicating that the US intelligence community had no evidence indicating a single actor was at work, let alone one that was "Russian-state sponsored."

Contrary to the impression that US officials may have conveyed in referencing an "Advance Persistent Threat," or APT, it is now widely understood by cybersecurity specialists that this term no longer refers to a state-sponsored actor. That is because the sophisticated tools and techniques once associated with state-sponsored hacking have now become available to a much wider range of cyber actors. Indeed, the codes for such high-end tools have been identified in the Shadow Brokers and Vault 7 leaks, and the tools have been marketed widely at affordable prices on the dark web.

The October 9 alert firmly established the dearth of evidence on the part of CISA and FBI about a Russian state-sponsored hacking team planning elections-related operations in the US The sudden pivot days later to an unqualified claim that a single state-sponsored APT had been responsible for the same very large range of operations should have been accompanied by claims of substantial new intelligence, or at least a reference to the evidence underlying the dramatic new reversal. But no such proof ever arrived.

Scott McConnell, the spokesman for CISA, promised the Grazyzone on October 29 that he would provide someone to answer questions about the October 22 alert by the close of business Friday. In the end, however, no one from CISA responded, and there was no answer on McConnell's line.

The peculiar reversal by the DHS and CISA on the hacking claims raise questions about the institutional considerations taken by these agencies. Did indications that President Donald Trump's campaign was faltering inform their decision to issue a more stridently anti-Russian assessment in hopes of surviving a political transition?

The US officials who drew up the initial pre-election alert seemed keenly aware that despite that drumbeat of over the past two years, no state-sponsored Russian hacking of election institutions was underway. But as the Trump campaign sputtered, they had their own careers to consider. Days later, DHS and CISA declared the wily Russians guilty of yet another malign operations – albeit one that would not require the slightest evidence to provide, and which proved impossible to explain.

Gareth Porter, an investigative historian and journalist specializing in US national security policy, received the UK-based Gellhorn Prize for journalism for 2011 for articles on the U.S. war in Afghanistan. His new book is Manufactured Crisis: the Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare . He can be contacted at porter.gareth50@gmail.com .

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[Oct 31, 2020] Democracy Dies in Darkness. And also at the Washington Post, these days...

If this is humor, this is very dark humor. The saddest thing of all in this is that very little of Glenn's excellent article is new. One of Donald Trump's presidency greatest accomplishment has been to show me how the main stream media 'plays' its dirty games... The entire mainstream media collectively abandoned its integrity during the last decade.
Oct 31, 2020 | greenwald.substack.com

It's beyond what Orwell could have ever possibly imagined. Targeted gaslighting on an individual basis using social media to brainwash people into believing whatever they want you to believe?


B.A. Berg
Oct 29

I just paid for an annual subscription out of a total frustration with the current outrageous, unfair, evil and dishonest media situation in the US (and elsewhere also). Totalitarism is approaching and I have decided to participate in the fight against the threatening darkness. Good luck.

[Oct 26, 2020] Joe Biden Keeps the Fictions About Trump and Russia Alive by Mark Episkopos

Oct 26, 2020 | nationalinterest.org

In the final debate, Joe Biden ensured that mudslinging and innuendo about Donald Trump substituted for a discussion of what America's actual national interests are towards Russia.

Final presidential debates have traditionally centered on national security, but the October 22 showdown between President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden was almost entirely devoid of any substantive foreign policy discussion. Instead, Biden launched a fusillade of attacks on Trump about Russia that represented a seamless continuity with the calumnies that many Democrats have directed at the president ever since he was first elected.

[Oct 26, 2020] The new Iraq WDM hoax is promoted by ex-CIA brass friends

Some of them literally participated in creation of Iraq WDM hoax and still are not in jail for this great accomplishment.
Oct 26, 2020 | www.politico.com

There are a number of factors that make us suspicious of Russian involvement. Such an operation would be consistent with Russian objectives, as outlined publicly and recently by the Intelligence Community, to create political chaos in the United States and to deepen political divisions here but also to undermine the candidacy of former Vice President Biden and thereby help the candidacy of President Trump. For the Russians at this point, with Trump down in the polls, there is incentive for Moscow to pull out the stops to do anything possible to help Trump win and/or to weaken Biden should he win. A "laptop op" fits the bill, as the publication of the emails are clearly designed to discredit Biden.

Such an operation would be consistent with some of the key methods Russia has used in its now multi-year operation to interfere in our democracy – the hacking (via cyber operations) and the dumping of accurate information or the distribution of inaccurate or misinformation. Russia did both of these during the 2016 presidential election – judgments shared by the US Intelligence Community, the investigation into Russian activities by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, and the entirety (all Republicans and Democrats) on the current Senate Intelligence Committee.

Such an operation is also consistent with several data points. The Russians, according to media reports and cybersecurity experts, targeted Burisma late last year for cyber collection and gained access to its emails. And Ukrainian politician and businessman Adriy Derkach, identified and sanctioned by the US Treasury Department for being a 10-year Russian agent interfering in the 2020 election, passed purported materials on Burisma and Hunter Biden to Giuliani.

Jim Clapper
Former Director of National Intelligence
Former Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence
Former Director of the National Geospartal Intelligence Agency
Former Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency

Mike Hayden
Former Director, Central Intelligence Agency
Former Director, National Security Agency
Former Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence

Leon Panetta 
Former Director, Central Intelligence Agency
Former Secretary of Defense

John Brennan
Former Director, Central Intelligence Agency
Former White House Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Advisor
Former Director, Terrorism Threat Integration Center
Former Analyst and Operations Officer, Central Intelligence Agency

Thomas Finger
Former Deputy Director of National Intelligence for Analysis
Former Assistant Secretary for Intelligence and Research, Department of State
Former Chair, National Intelligence Council

Rick Ledgett
Former Deputy Director, National Security Agency

John McLaughlin
Former Acting Director, Central Intelligence Agency
Former Deputy Director, Central Intelligence Agency
Former Director of Analysis, Central Intelligence Agency
Former Director, Slavic and Eurasian Analysis, Central Intelligence Agency

Michael Morell
Former Acting Director, Central Intelligence Agency
Former Deputy Director, Central Intelligence Agency
Former Director of Analysis, Central Intelligence Agency

[Oct 25, 2020] The Damage Russiagate Has Done -

Oct 25, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

GlassSteagall , 49 minutes ago

Continung to demonize Russia is a bad idea

07564111 , 41 minutes ago

Yes because ....

A powerful & game-changing Russia/China military alliance is 'quite possible' in future but not on the cards yet, says Putin

https://www.rt.com/russia/504345-moscow-beijing-military-alliance/

And it certainly will happen ;-)

NachoLiebor , 30 minutes ago

China is looking at Russia like a hungry pork chop.

See Bear and the Dragon by Tom Clancy. But China has better tech and Russia *still* has better snipers.

NachoLiebor , 36 minutes ago

Toria Nuland and Hilldawg tried to goad Russia into a war with the EU and US over the Ukraine.

So, what's your point?

Revolution_starts_now , 32 minutes ago

operation "Jumping Jack Flash". Why should Trump not unleash some fica warrants on Biden?

Even if he wins he is doomed before he takes office.

They did it to Trump, why not pass along the favor?

Magnum , 40 minutes ago

Highly recommended is a look at The Magnitsky Act

Specifically the role of Bill Browder, his history and involvement. Piraya Films created this and it was banned. I believe you can still watch it. Obama admin was a complete disaster. It is in everyone's interest to get along with Russians, who are different culturally but mean no harm to us.

https://swprs.org/the-magnitsky-act/

Ron_Mexico , 21 minutes ago

the Amish are compelled to pit Caucasian against Caucasian. The browns are easier to control.

NachoLiebor , 44 minutes ago

Never again. Never ever again.

The people (and I use the term loosely) responsible for this fabricated Russian witch hunt

against President Trump need to be put somewhere they can't hurt anyone ever again.

Ideology in Practice , 49 minutes ago

The crimes against Kavanaugh and Flynn were perhaps more heinous than the ones directly carried out against Trump.

But he should seek vengeance at this point since every person they injure is a way of injuring him too.

NachoLiebor , 17 minutes ago

Flynn was a lure and the [DS] swallowed him whole.

Xena fobe , 25 minutes ago

Republican and Trump supporter, Eric Early is challenging Adam Schiff. Early has a chance. People are furious about rioting, covid lock downs, the homeless, etc.

Didymus , 40 minutes ago

" Authoritarian liberals "

Nimrod doesn't understand the difference between authoritarianism and totalitarianism. Authority is good. Parents have authority. Marxist regimes are totalitarian. The USA is a totalitarian neoliberal empire.

milo_hoffman , 13 minutes ago

It will continue and continue and continue until some very high ranking prep walks happen or some people are put up against the wall.

Zorba's idea , 20 minutes ago

"When one chooses to decieve, what a tangled web they weave." That's as modestly as one could explain the mountainous corruption and Tyrranical Lawlessness our constitutional republic has been subjected too. Next comes Robespierre, I suppose. Jefferson's tree is parched.

DonGenaro , 23 minutes ago

I've known for some 30+ years that the USG had devolved into a glorified crime syndicate
(because nothing is beneath those that start wars for profit ).
Russiagate just made it obvious to all but the most willfully-ignorant.

bshirley1968 , 2 minutes ago

" All anybody (if they're a Democrat) has to do to escape accountability and justice for very serious crimes is to shout "Russia!"

All anybody (if their republican) has to do to escape accountability and justice for any crime or delinquency of responsibility is shout "Fake News!"

It's an old game......they call it the "blame game"......and it cuts both ways.

Just sayin'.

cjones1 , 16 minutes ago

The fabricated Russiagate investigation was a conspiracy used against the Trump campaign and his administration by Obama administration officials who enga grrr ed in official misconduct, corruption, and worse to keep a lid on investigating rampant national security violations associated with the Clintons, Bidens, and who knows who engaged in money grubbing, "pay to play" diplomacy.

The Obama administration's deal with the Iranians provided ample cash for Gen. Soleimani to post bounties on U.S. personnel.

The Democratic party and their sympathizers in the MSM and Social Media have become a clear and present danger to our 1st Amendment rights in enjoying a free press.

Good thing Trump came along because this undermining of the United States government by the Democratic party's supporters in and outside of government is coming into clear view.

[Oct 25, 2020] Monkeys Or Children- Russia Chooses Neither, Dooming Germany -

Oct 25, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Monkeys Or Children? Russia Chooses Neither, Dooming Germany by Tyler Durden Sat, 10/24/2020 - 09:20 Twitter Facebook Reddit Email Print

Authored by Tom Luongo via Gold, Goats, 'n Guns blog,

Russia is done with the European Union. At last week's Valdai Discussion Forum Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov made this quite clear with this statement.

Those people in the West who are responsible for foreign policy and do not understand the necessity of mutually respectable conversation–well, we must simply stop for a while communicate with them. Especially since Ursula von der Leyen states that geopolitical partnership with current Russia's leadership is impossible. If this is the way they want it, so be it. (H/T Andrei Martyanov)

Lavrov's statements echo a number of statements made in recent months by Russian leadership that there is no opportunity for diplomacy possible with the United States.

We can now add the European Union to that list. Pepe Escobar's latest piece goes over Lavrov's comments about the European Union and they are devastating, as devastating as when he and Putin described the U.S. as " Not Agreement Capable " a few years ago.

Lavrov reiterated this with the following comments at Valdai last week.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/zV_W3b_4G50

But as badly as the U.S. has acted in recent years in international relations, unilaterally abrogating treaty after treaty, nominally with the goal of remaking them to be more inclusive, Lavrov's upbraiding of the current leadership of the European Union is far worse.

Because they have gone along with, if not openly assisted, every U.S.-backed provocation against Russia for their own advantage. From Ukraine to MH-17, to Skripal to now Belarus and the ridiculous Navalny poisoning, the EU has proved to be worse than the U.S.

Because there can be no doubt the U.S. views Russia as an antagonist. We're quite clear about this. But Europe plays off U.S. aggression, hiding in the U.S.'s skirts while telling Russia, usually through German Chancellor Angela Merkel, "Be patient, we are reluctantly going along with this." But really they're happy about it.

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So Russia is ultimately caught between the U.S. and Europe on all basic issues of trade, politics, and international law.

Adding to Lavrov's frustration, Andrei Martyanov, as an astute analyst on Russian politics as anyone, is correct when he says (H/T to Pepe Escobar).

You do not negotiate with monkeys, you treat them nicely, you make sure that they are not abused, but you don't negotiate with them, same as you don't negotiate with toddlers. They want to have their Navalny as their toy–let them. I call on Russia to start wrapping economic activity up with EU for a long time. They buy Russia's hydrocarbons and hi-tech, fine. Other than that, any other activity should be dramatically reduced and necessity of the Iron Curtain must not be doubted anymore.

And the truth is that Russia is dealing with monkeys in the U.S. and toddlers in the EU. And Martanyov's right that it's time Putin et.al. simply turn their backs on the West and move forward.

Lavrov's statements at Valdai were momentous. They sent a clear signal that if Europe wants a future relationship with Russia they will have to change how they do business.

The problem is however, that the EU is suffused with arrogance on the eve of the U.S. election, mistakenly thinking Joe Biden will beat Trump.

Merkel has betrayed Putin at every turn since 2013. And Germany's appalling behavior over the Alexei Navalny poisoning was the last straw.

That what was another sabotage effort to stop the Nordstream 2 pipeline and add grist to Trump's re-election mill was given even a cursory glance by the highest levels of the German government was insulting enough.

That Merkel allowed her Foreign Minister Heiko Maas to run his mouth on the subject, and then throw the decision to sanction Russia (again) over this to the EU parliament and give it any kind of political play was truly treacherous.

And it proved, yet again, that Merkel's word is worth less than nothing. She tells Putin one thing and then does the exact opposite. Glenn Deisen writing for RT chalked this up to Germany's plans for domination. He rightly sees Germany using Russia to get what it wants in Europe.

Germany has taken the lead in advancing "European integration" and therefore prioritizes Eastern European member states that push for a more aggressive stance towards Russia. Economic connectivity with Russia is no longer an instrument for building trust and cooperation in the pan-European space, rather it was intended to strengthen Germany's position as the center of the EU. Moscow should work with Berlin to construct Nord Stream 2, but not forget why Nord Stream 1 was built while South Stream was blocked.

This is a point I've been making for years. Nordstream 2 is a political tool for Germany to reroute gas coming in from Russia which Merkel can use as a political lever over Poland and the Visegrads.

And it is the Poles who have consistently shot themselves in the foot by not reconciling their relationship with Russia, banding together with its Eastern European brothers and securing an independent source of Russian gas. Putin and Gazprom would happily provide it to them, if they would but ask.

But they don't and instead turn to the U.S. to be their protectors from both Russia and Germany, rather than conduct themselves as a sovereign nation.

That said, I think Mr. Diesen misses the larger point here. It is true Germany under Merkel is looking to expand its control over the EU and set itself up as a superpower for the next century. Putin himself acknowledged that possibility at Valdai. That may be more to dig at the U.S. and warn Europe rather than him actually believing it.

Because under Merkel and the EU Germany is losing its dynamism. And it may even lose control over the EU if it isn't careful. If you look at the current situation from a German perspective you realize that Germany's mighty export business is surrounded by hostile foreign powers.

  1. Russia -- Merkel cut off the country from Russian markets. Even though some of the trade with Russia has returned since sanctions over Crimea went into place in 2014 she hasn't fought the U.S.'s hyper-aggressive use of sanctions to improve Germany's position.
  2. The U.K. -- French President Emmanuel Macron looks like he's engineered a No-Deal Brexit with Boris Johnson which will put up major export barriers for Germany into the U.K. cutting them off from that market.
  3. The U.S. – Trump has all but declared Germany an enemy and when he wins a second term will tighten the screws on Merkel even tighter.
  4. China – They know that the incoming Great Reset, which will have its Jahr Null event in Europe likely next year, is all about consolidating power into Europe and sucking it away from the U.S., a process Trump is dead-set against.

However, don't think for a second that the Commies that run the EU and the World Economic Forum are teaming up with the Commies in China. Oh no, they have bigger plans than that.

And what's been pretty clear to me is Europe's delusions that it can subjugate the world under its rubric, forcing its rules and standards on the rest of us, including China, again allowing the U.S. to act as its proxy while it tries to maintain its standing.

I know what you're thinking. That sounds completely ludicrous.

And you're right, it is ludicrous.

But that doesn't mean it isn't true. This is clearly the mindset we're dealing with in The Davos Crowd. They engineered a mostly-fake pandemic to accelerate their plans to remake the world economy by burning it down.

The multi-polar world will see the fading U.S. and U.K. band together while Russia and China continue to stitch together Asia into a coherent economic sphere. Trump is right to pull the U.S. out of Central Asia and has gotten nothing but grief from the U.S. establishment while Europe, through NATO, continues trying to expand to the Russian border, now with openly backing the attempted coup in Belarus.

This was the dominant theme at Valdai and the focus of Putin's opening remarks.

[Oct 25, 2020] Blaming Russia for Hunter's problems was a big misstep, Joe, and it may prove to be your downfall

Oct 25, 2020 | www.rt.com

Chris Cottrell, 1 day ago

Blaming Russia seems to be today's version of the dog ate my homework.

ariadnatheo, 1 day ago

I am disappointed that Russia once again interfered in the US elections without using Novichok.

TrishArch, 1 day ago

Always Russia's Fault. Little wonder no one listens to biden.

The_Celotajs, 1 day ago

Like Russian President Vladimir Putin once said, Russia has no need to interfere in the United States Elections when they have the Democrats doing it to themselves.

brianeg, 15 hours ago

There was of course an obvious Russian connection and that was the $3.5 million given by the wife of the Mayor of Moscow to Hunter. Was this a birthday present or what?

Doodle_Dandy, 1 day ago

One wonders when Masha and the Bear will get the blame?

[Oct 25, 2020] Blaming Russia for Hunter's problems was a big misstep, Joe, and it may prove to be your downfalld by Micah Curtis

Oct 25, 2020 | www.rt.com

is a game and tech journalist from the US. Aside from writing for RT, he hosts the podcast Micah and The Hatman, and is an independent comic book writer. Follow Micah at @MindofMicahC

23 Oct, 2020 15:07 / Updated 1 day ago Get short URL Blaming Russia for Hunter's problems was a big misstep, Joe, and it may prove to be your downfall © Getty Images / David McNew / Staff 203 Follow RT on RT Joe Biden recently suggested that stories circulating about his son Hunter were part of a Russian disinformation campaign. Whatever he has or hasn't been up to, blaming another nation is unwise and won't go down well with voters.

It's safe to say that Hunter Biden, the son of former vice president and current presidential candidate Joe Biden, is having a rough time. After the contents of his laptop, including details of his international business dealings, came into the public domain, it transpired that the computer had been the subject of a subpoena in a money-laundering investigation. Now, former business partners are beginning to turn on him, and one of them has said that he's turning " everything " over to the FBI and the Senate. Another one claimed that Biden was consulted with regard to Hunter's foreign deals.

During the second and final presidential debate, Biden made a key mistake when it came to addressing these issues. Instead of simply stating that he had no comment to make, he decided to blame Russia for the fact that Hunter's emails had been leaked from the laptop's hard drive. Ah yes. So we're back to that old 'reliable' narrative. I'm assuming that Joe may have missed the embarrassment that was the Mueller investigation .

Maybe Biden doesn't like Russia. Whether he does or doesn't is inconsequential. It is a very bad idea to blame his problems on a foreign power. In fact, it's not the proper behavior of someone who wants to be president. Here's the truth. Hunter Biden's dealings across the pond likely had some issues. It's hard to say exactly what these might be, because there's an ongoing investigation. I don't think that Biden is so dumb that he doesn't realize that this hurts his chances of the presidency. However, there is a big lack of responsibility here. Blaming what's happening on anyone except Hunter is a bit silly. I'd even argue that it's incredibly irresponsible.

ALSO ON RT.COM By backing censorship of Hunter Biden story, mainstream media only hurt their own cause

What's even more obvious is the desperation. Biden and the Democrats in general want this story, whatever it is, to be squashed. It's why you have seen so little coverage on left-leaning TV networks. If Donald Trump Jr was in a similar situation it would be a story on every single one of them, and likely the subject of a Don Lemon lecture or five.

What Biden may not realize is that when voters see something being blamed on Russia, they tend to roll their eyes. It invokes the image of Boris and Natasha grabbing a laptop in the hopes of finally grabbing the moose and squirrel. It's cartoonish. And what happens if the worst-case scenario for Biden comes true and his son is indicted for something? Well, at that point it's more than just a ' Russian disinformation campaign' . It's very real indeed.

And this is where Biden could end up with plenty of egg on his face. If he and his son are in trouble, then no amount of blaming another country is going to change that. And it wouldn't surprise me if this becomes a major factor in the upcoming election. Why would you vote for someone who can't, or won't, take responsibility for what is going on with their own family?

What Biden needs to do at this point is come clean on what his level of involvement was, and simply be a dad to his son instead of a politician. Then again, Biden has been a politician longer than he's been a father, so it's hard saying which hat he plans on wearing for the next two weeks.

Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

MakeAmericaFree 1 day ago The world is witness to the blatant corruption and deceit at the highest levels of American government. Trump has tried to clean things up and he has a lot more left to do. We should wish him well in those efforts. I am starting to think Attorney General William Barr has capitulated though. Where are all the indictments, Mr. Barr? Reply 14 ariadnatheo MakeAmericaFree 1 day ago Barr? The CIA offspring? He does what he is told, not necessarily by his official boss SJMan333 1 day ago If Joe is running against another regular Republican politician, Hunter Biden's corruption would have been a non-issue. The US politics is a cesspool of corruption, money laundering, sex and all forms of moral decay. Each politician is in it for self-serving purposes. Position, power, money, etc etc. A big section of naive Americans believe their politicians are there to serve the people's interests. Politicians from both sides of the aisle have a tacit understanding NOT to cross a red line. They will never accuse their opponents of corruption. 'You make your money, I make mine.' is their omerta. They put up huge shows of debating with each other in public purportedly in defense of the people's welfare and benefits. Behind closed door, they celebrate their loots from the nation's tax money and illegal brides from businesses in camaraderie together. I don't like Trump. But his exposure of the alleged crimes of the Biden family is something to be applauded, even he's doing it for self-serving purposes. DukeLeo 1 day ago Joe Biden is using Hillary's methods. Not wise. You don't use the same fraud twice. shadow1369 DukeLeo 1 day ago Well the CIA have used the same lies for 75 years. White Elk shadow1369 1 day ago Must be a bit worn out by now. Reply 2 shadow1369 White Elk 1 day ago You would think so, you would also think that everybody would have seen through them by now, but not at all. The CIA orchestrated coup in Kiev used exactly the same methods as the one they orchestrated in Iran in 1953. The details of Operation Ajax are now publicly available, but few bother to look into it. allan Kaplan White Elk 1 day ago Not worn out but perfected! Lois Winters 1 day ago I am not surprised at anything Biden says after seeing his performance in these debates. He is obviously a tired old man and relies on sheafs of notes with the same old so called empathic statements to the citizens of America. It is a wonder that he's a presidential candidate at all. After all the original candidates finally were eliminated, no one but these two want this thankless job. allan Kaplan 1 day ago Now that the shameless "mind managers" the msm propagandists are in the opens, we, the people (an old cliche) must start making noises of holding these anti-American mouth pieces accountable. Compel to change the FCC Rules to take away their broadcasting licensees, penalized those self proclaimed journalists of zero integrities, jailed most of them, and never again allow such ego bloated nincompoops ever to come near the radio and TV stations and banned them from entering any newspaper offices as well. Other punitive measures must be enacted to deface and disregard these paid mouths of fake news and disinformation msm Complex! I'm starting a business of manufacturing toilet bowls and the pubic urinals with the faces impregnated into the ceramic of all those who exploited American freedom of speech to advance their personal careers and that would certainly include almost all the politicians and the tech giants etc. What do you think as a statement to test the real FREE SPEECH?

[Oct 24, 2020] Kremlin Says US Elections Have Become -Competition In Russophobia- -

Oct 24, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Kremlin Says US Elections Have Become "Competition In Russophobia" by Tyler Durden Fri, 10/23/2020 - 20:00 Twitter Facebook Reddit Email Print

This week's perhaps overly dramatic announcement Wednesday night by the heads of multiple federal agencies - foremost among them Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe - alleging new major efforts by Russia and Iran to interfere in the US presidential election formed a key question and talking point by debate moderator Kristen Welker Thursday night.

Welker even referenced as somehow undisputed and settled "truth" the now debunked "Russian bounties" story . Over a month ago the Pentagon and other intelligence heads concluded after an exhaustive investigation that there's simply no evidence to suggest Russian military intelligence paid Afghan fighters to target Americans.

Final 2020 US presidential campaign debate in Nashville

Russia was certainly paying attention to the debate and was not amused. The Kremlin on Friday blasted what it said was "Russophobia" at the center of the debate .

Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists Friday that " competition in Russophobia has become a constant in all US electoral processes, regrettably."

"We are fully aware of this and can only express regret," he added as quoted in TASS.

"After all, probably, it is the American electorate who is the target audience of these debates, that is, common Americans. It is up to them to decide who won the debate, not us," the spokesman said.

Indeed the American public is by and large likely growing tired of the endless Russia scapegoating too.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1319452483907952640&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fpolitical%2Fkremlin-says-us-elections-have-become-competition-russophobia&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ed20a2b%3A1601588405575&width=550px

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National security pundit and research fellow at Columbia University's Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies Richard Hanania had this to say about just how vapid foreign policy questions have become in this election (when they are offered at all):

Notice how the entire debate on foreign policy was about who was "nicer" to China, Russia, or some other "enemy," not say whether we should go to war more or less often. There's a primitiveness and stupidity surrounding discussions of foreign policy that we don't accept elsewhere , he pointed out .

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Over the years Putin himself has increasingly mocked and laughed about the degree to which he personally gets blamed for almost all ills of American society - from election meddling to "weaponizing" race relations to supposedly seeking to take out the national power grid.

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[Oct 24, 2020] Russophrenia... Or How A Collapsing Country Runs The World by Patrick Armstrong

Oct 23, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Patrick Armstrong via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

I am indebted to Bryan MacDonald for this brilliant neologism: Russophrenia -- a condition where the sufferer believes Russia is both about to collapse, and take over the world .

An early example comes from 1992 when the then- Lithuanian Defence Minister called Russia a country "with vague prospects" while at the same time asserting that "in about two years' time [it] will present a great danger to Europe" (FBIS 22 May 92 p 69).

Vague prospects but great danger. Given the vague demographic prospects of his own country , it was a rather ironic assertion given that Lithuania's future would appear to be a few nursing homes surrounded by forest. But he said it in the days of the full EU/NATO cargo cult. In 2014 U.S. President Obama immortalised this in an interview :

But I do think it's important to keep perspective. Russia doesn't make anything. Immigrants aren't rushing to Moscow in search of opportunity. The life expectancy of the Russian male is around 60 years old. The population is shrinking. And so we have to respond with resolve in what are effectively regional challenges that Russia presents.

Wrong on all counts: all he did was display how poorly advised he was .

Russia, Russia ever failing: will fail in 1992, finished in 2001, failed in 2006, failed in 2008, failing in 2010, failed in 2015. Russia's failing economy , isolation , ancient weapons , instability ; a gas station masquerading as a country . Doomed to fail in Syria and losing influence even in its neighbourhood in 2020.

A country with GDP comparable to that of Australia cannot afford to be a superpower, fight a protracted war in Syria, fight in the Ukraine and develop its own stealth fighter and other equipment to match the United States.

In 2016 Stratfor, predicting the world of 2025, thought it unlikely that the Russian Federation will survive in its current form . And neither will Putin. He was only a petty dictator with a Swiss bank account in 2000; a Lt. Col. Kije in 2001; another Brezhnev in 2003; facing his biggest crisis in December 2011 , under dire threat and l osing his leverage in January 2015; weak and terrified in July 2015; overextending his reach in May 2016; losing his shine in June 2017; losing his grip in October 2018; losing their trust in June 2019; losing control in September 2019; his house of cards was wobbling and he was the symbol of Russia's humiliation in August 2019. His political demise was near in January 2020; more crises and coronavirus could topple him in April, another biggest crisis in May; losing popular support in June; running out of tricks in August; holed up in isolation, another gravest crisis in October . Soon gone. Russia's economy won't last much longer either: smaller than Spain's or California's in 2014; in tatters and facing a slow and steady decline in 2015; surprisingly small in 2017; about the size of Belgium plus the Netherlands and smaller than Texas' in 2018; headed for trouble in 2019. Weak energy prices its Achilles heel in 2020. And on and on: really weak in 2006; its three biggest problems in 2013; Russia is not strong. And Putin is even weaker in 2015. Don't fear Russia, marginalize it because it's weak and has a rapidly aging and shrinking population in 2018. Still weak in 2019 and Paul Gregory tells us that's it's weak but with nukes in 2020.

https://lockerdome.com/lad/13084989113709670?pubid=ld-dfp-ad-13084989113709670-0&pubo=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com&rid=www.zerohedge.com&width=890

Occasionally -- very occasionally -- someone, more acute than most, wonders How Did A Weak Russia Ever Become A Great Power Again? or why with less money than Canada and fewer people than Nigeria , it "runs the world now". But the explanations are facile: too much butter spent on guns or a passing situation:

In the emerging post-Cold War-era Russia, no matter how poor it is in many key areas, can be #2 in the world for many years to come. Only when China rises in the next 20 years or a new kind of President emerges in the United States will that change. Until then Vladimir Putin can play his games to his heart's content.

Of course all of these headscratchers assume that the exchange rate of the ruble is the true measure of Russia's economy; which is a pretty silly and misleading idea .

* * *

But at the same time Russia is an enormous, dangerous, existential threat functioning with enormous effectiveness in all dimensions.

Far from having the deceptively weak military of 2015, it is developing the world's most powerful nuclear weapon in 2018 and in future wars the U.S. will have nowhere to hide . The next January we're told that it and China are building Super-EMP bombs for 'Blackout Warfare' . Russia has imposed aerial denial zones and fields eye-watering EW capabilities ; it has "black hole" submarines , a generational lead in tanks , an unstoppable carrier-killer missile and devastating air defence . It's working on a new missile threat to the U.S. homeland . General Breedlove, former NATO Supreme Commander who did much to poke the bear, gives us a particularly striking example: he now fears that a war " would leave Europe helpless, cut off from reinforcements, and at the mercy of the Russian Federation ." The British army would be wiped out in an afternoon , NATO would lose quickly in the Baltics -- NATO's totally outmatched . The Russian threat is unlike anything seen since the 1990s. The worry is that Nato has under-reacted.

Putin was the world's most powerful man and, linking up with China, could soon become more powerful than the U.S. in 2018. He was wielding Russia's formidable military and powerful economic policies in 2019. And never forget Russia's major hacking threat and deadly malware . Its interference and influence in Western voting is stupendous: the 2016 U.S. election ; Brexit ; Canada ; France ; the European Union ; Germany ; Catalonia ; Netherlands ; Sweden ; Italy ; EU in particular and Europe in general ; Mexico : Newsweek gives a helpful list . And, long before Putin: " 100 years of Russian electoral interference ". As a covert influence actor and purveyor of disinformation and misinformation Russia is the primary threat in the U.S. election.

Putin was a threat to the Rules-Based International Order in February 2007 , May 2014 , January 2017 , February 2018 , May 2018 , June 2019 and many months before or since.

During two decades as Russia's leader, Vladimir Putin has rarely concealed his contempt for Western-style democracy and the rule of law. The poisoning of Russian political activist Alexey Navalny, amid a widening Russia-supported crackdown on opposition leaders in Belarus, indicates the lengths to which Putin and his cronies will go to silence their enemies and maintain power.

* * *

So, on the one hand Russia is a failing country, with a trivial economy, a greatly over-rated military led by someone who is always facing a catastrophe at home. Nothing to worry about there: presently weak and future uncertain. On the other hand, Russia has a tremendously powerful military, an economy that does whatever its ever-young autocratic permanent ruler wants it to. Its propaganda power is immense and unbeatable, the background determinant of the world's action. Russophrenia.

And, out of the blue, COVID gives him another opportunity to bamboozle the helpless West and undermine its precious Rules-Based International Order. Somehow. See if you can make sense of this incoherence :

This should worry the West once the pandemic has passed. Not because Russia poses a serious long-term threat to our interests; it doesn't, although Putin would prefer us to think that his shrivelled realm does. But because Russia is not the only authoritarian state seeking to learn lessons from the current crisis which could be used in a future conflict.

Russia's Vaccine Stunt which experts worry is dangerous is being supported by attacks on the Oxford vaccine which Russia tried to steal . Russians, Russians everywhere!

Russophrenics are unaffected by reality. Russia's success? Forget maleficence and try competence . Its military is designed to defend the country, not rule the world : a less expensive and attainable aim. Its economy -- thanks to Western sanctions -- has made it probably the only autarky in the world . Election interference is a falsehood designed to damage Trump and exculpate Clinton which has been picked up by Washington's puppies. But don't bother with mere evidence; As the author of this New Yorker piece explains :

Such externally guided operations exist, but to exaggerate their prevalence and potency ends up eroding the idea of genuine bottom-up protest -- in a way that, ironically, is entirely congenial to Putin's conspiratorial world view.

Or as the Washington Post memorably put it: " Especially clever is planting tales of supposedly far-reaching influence operations that either don't actually exist or are having little impact ."

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Scott Adams understands the process perfectly:

Absence of evidence is evidence.

Pretty crazy isn't it? And getting crazier.

All this would be funny if it were Ruritania ranting at the Duchy of Strackenz.

But it isn't: it's the country with the most destructive military in the world and a proven record of using it ad libitum that is sinking into this insanity. And that's not good for any of us.


PGR88 , 7 hours ago

Russia merely wants to protect itself, its culture, and its interests from an increasingly insane American globalist deep state.

teutonicate , 1 hour ago

Russophrenia... Or How A Collapsing Country Runs The World

Much as cabalist-run propaganda mill The Strategic Cultural Foundation would like it to be true, Russia is not collapsing. The only thing wrong with Russia is that it is a predominantly White Christian country that refuses to kowtow to Israel - and therefore in cabaliist-dominated Western political circles it must be defined as the enemy - regardless of reality.

It must really irk cabalist central bankers and globalists that Russia simply doesn't need them. It is has a real economy that doesn't completely depend on being pumped up with an endless supply of rapidly devaluing fiat.

www.germanica.org

LibertarianMenace , 5 minutes ago

Facts have that unfortunate tendency to be, "anti-semitic, as you say, not me.

[Oct 23, 2020] Russia are mixed with Iran in a new wave of election hacking hysteria

Notable quotes:
"... Washington Post ..."
"... Washington Post ..."
"... The sustained tosh from the good old boys at state, cia, fbi & nsa isn't worthy of comment, given that it is 100% evidence-free accusations which surprise surprise 'just happens' to align with these provenly corrupt organisations' most prioritsed foreign policy goals. ..."
Oct 23, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Silly Season

Washington Post , November 19, 2017

Justice Department pushing Iran-connected charges in HBO hack, other cases

Last month, national security prosecutors at the Justice Department were told to look at any ongoing investigations involving Iran or Iranian nationals with an eye toward making them public.

The push to announce Iran-related cases has caused internal alarm, these people said, with some law enforcement officials fearing that senior Justice Department officials want to reveal the cases because the Trump administration would like Congress to impose new sanctions on Iran.

Washington Post , October 22, 2020

U.S. government concludes Iran was behind threatening emails sent to Democrats

U.S. officials on Wednesday night accused Iran of targeting American voters with faked but menacing emails and warned that both Iran and Russia had obtained voter data that could be used to endanger the upcoming election.

The disclosure by Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe at a hastily called news conference marked the first time this election cycle that a foreign adversary has been accused of targeting specific voters in a bid to undermine democratic confidence -- just four years after Russian online operations marred the 2016 presidential vote.

The claim that Iran was behind the email operation, which came into view on Tuesday as Democrats in several states reported receiving emails demanding they vote for President Trump, was leveled without specific evidence .
...
Metadata gathered from dozens of the emails pointed to the use of servers in Saudi Arabia, Estonia, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates, according to numerous analysts.

Reuters , October 22, 2020

U.S. intelligence agencies say Iran, Russia have tried to interfere in 2020 election

The emails are under investigation, and one intelligence source said it was still unclear who was behind them.
...
... the evidence remains inconclusive.

The claims that Iran is behind this are as stupid as the people who believe them.

I for one trust (not) those 50 former intelligence officials who say that all emails are Russian disinformation. They are intended to 'sow discord' which is something the U.S. has otherwise never ever had throughout its history.

Politico , October 19, 2020

Hunter Biden story is Russian disinfo, dozens of former intel officials say

More than 50 former senior intelligence officials have signed on to a letter outlining their belief that the recent disclosure of emails ... "has all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation."
...
While the letter's signatories presented no new evidence, they said their national security experience had made them "deeply suspicious that the Russian government played a significant role in this case" and cited several elements of the story that suggested the Kremlin's hand at work.

"If we are right," they added, "this is Russia trying to influence how Americans vote in this election, and we believe strongly that Americans need to be aware of this."

No, this doesn't make any sense. It is not supposed to do that.

Posted by b on October 22, 2020 at 7:21 UTC | Permalink


Debsisdead , Oct 22 2020 8:11 utc | 1


The sustained tosh from the good old boys at state, cia, fbi & nsa isn't worthy of comment, given that it is 100% evidence-free accusations which surprise surprise 'just happens' to align with these provenly corrupt organisations' most prioritsed foreign policy goals.

We know that these yarns align in syncopation with what the amerikan empire most wants to promulgate, yet bereft of even a a cunt hair's worth of evidence, the only truth which can be inferred from this foggy bottom tosh is the obvious one - that is that the empire is becoming so desperate they will happily toss their credibility with the many to the winds if they can, please sir, just convince a few of the few.

Tuyzentfloot , Oct 22 2020 8:14 utc | 3
Stuff like this is a suitable test of how the media are supposed to represent our interests and help us in not getting fooled. You report, and afterwards you test what your readers believe.

Independently of questionable bias issues serious newspapers will defend news like this with formal justifications of journalistic code
- neutrality and objectivity: we just report but don't judge.
- null hypothesis of trustworthiness: official sources are to be trusted unless proven otherwise. At least, proven otherwise by someone we consider trustworthy.
The propaganda is already embedded in the lofty ethics codes journalists will proudly adhere to.

Antonym , Oct 22 2020 8:42 utc | 4
"Other documents that have emerged include FBI paper work that reveals the bureau's interactions with the shop's owner, John Paul Mac Isaac, who reported the laptop's contents to authorities. The document shows that Isaac received a subpoena to testify before the U.S. District Court in Delaware on Dec. 9, 2019 . One page appears to show the serial number for a MacBook Pro laptop and a hard drive that were seized by the agency." https://www.ibtimes.sg/signed-receipt-hunter-bidens-name-delaware-laptop-repair-store-surfaces-52672

So the FBI kept Hunter Biden's bomb shell HDDs under wraps for almost a year. Enough time to figure out they where not filled with Russian kompromat.

Down South , Oct 22 2020 8:46 utc | 5
hunter-biden-story-russian-disinfo

Hunter's attorneys emailed the repair shop owner asking for the hard drives back.

Giuliani has handed over pictures of underage girls found in the laptop to Delaware police so we will know soon enough if they are fake.

Rutherford82 , Oct 22 2020 8:46 utc | 6
If you needed a leaked email to understand why it was corrupt for Hunter Biden to be getting 50k a month to be on the board of a Ukranian energy company, then you are likely already so propagandized that you will vote for Joe Biden no matter what gets printed.

Really this propaganda is a brilliant move for those who control what is in print. They have a clear circle of blame in Russia, Iran, or China, who are to blame for everything, and this allows the media to limit the scope of discussion greatly by suppressing real criticisms towards actual problems (the Bidens being corrupt across multiple generations) and deflecting that energy into hating Russia, China, and Iran, which are the main targets for imperialism. It is also a crude and vague lie to use anonymous sources to blame foreign entities for these types of things, which actually makes it an elegant argument for a simpleton as it is difficult if not impossible to disprove.

Because the media is really owned and operated by so few people who all have a hive-mind about money and power, the messages are consistent, even though ridiculous, and they resonate with many of the readers who really ought to know better, but have become inured to the damaging effects of the lies they have consumed for decades. Stories like these will keep working for a long time. If one of the sources in the article reported 'Up is Down, Left is Right!', there would be a wave of car accidents until they issued a retraction.

kiwiklown , Oct 22 2020 9:05 utc | 7
The Russians ( Putin / Lavrov) say ever so politely that the US is not agreement-capable.

I add that the US ( politicians, Wall Streeters, MSM, think tanks ) are:
-- not truth-capable;
-- not ethics-capable;
-- not shame-capable;
-- not honour-capable.

What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world, but loses his soul?
He turns into a ghoul without a soul, says I, a devil without human-ness!
How dare they call us deplorables when they are the despicables?

Et Tu , Oct 22 2020 9:35 utc | 10
In America, Truth is a Foreign Agent and World Peace is a threat to National Security.
Miranda , Oct 22 2020 10:21 utc | 12
More than 50 former senior intelligence officials have signed on to a letter outlining their belief that the recent disclosure of emails ... "has all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation."

Do American journalists actually believe it's still in Russia interest to re-elect Trump? Washington-Kremlin relations have deteriorated rapidly under Trump.

S.O. , Oct 22 2020 10:32 utc | 13
@11 Miranda

It's quite doubtful many of them ever did. It's simply a useful control function.

kiwiklown , Oct 22 2020 10:49 utc | 14
Posted by: Et Tu | Oct 22 2020 9:35 utc | 9 -- "In America, Truth is a Foreign Agent and World Peace is a threat to National Security."

Nice one... Meet Mr Truth, un-registered foreign agent !!! and Mr World Peace, national security threat !!!

American leadership would not be so despicable IF they do not pretend to be "spreading freedom / democracy" when they wreak their global malice.

They do not even care for their own people (covid19 fiasco, anyone?), but pretend to care for the Chinese people so much they would regime-change the CCP; they pretend to care for the Russian people so much they would sooner shoot Putin's plane from the sky; they pretend to care for the Iranian people so much they block their access to covid19 medicines.

Circe , Oct 22 2020 10:50 utc | 15
To address the 2nd part of your post:

Here's a part of a comment I posted back in February 2020 that none of you took seriously.

Posted by: Circe | Feb 28 2020 20:29 utc | 124:

The planet of extremely bad karma SATURN is moving into Bloomberg's sign, Aquarius, right after mid-March and forming a square to Biden's sign, Scorpio. This is a very malefic aspect.

People under these two signs, Aquarius and Scorpio ie Bloomberg and Biden will experience obstacles, setbacks and challenges, create hidden enemies , and aging will be accelerated and serious health issues could emerge.

So I was criticized for injecting astrology into that election thread, mostly by AntiSpin.

Turns out as usual I hit the mark.

Bloomberg lost close to a BILLION dollars and failed badly in the primaries. That's what I call a major setback. However, as of December after a 6-month retrograde into Capricorn, Saturn is returning to Aquarius, so it ain't over for Bloomberg and things will get complicated for Biden , for the U.S. and the rest of the world.

I also stated back then that nominating Joe Biden would be a greater risk for Dems than nominating Bernie Sanders because Joe Biden was heading for serious astrological head winds relating to something unseen at the time involving a serious family issue.

While I was certain that whatever the issue was would come to light and could affect him in the Presidential campaign, I couldn't figure out the family aspect at the time, since he appears to have a solid marriage and tragedy is in the rear view now.

Last night however it all suddenly became clear and I've come to the realization that I was 100% right when I wrote that comment back in February 2020. Tonight I realized that the family issue...is Hunter Biden!

I was sounding the alarm that something bad would come to light because Saturn was headed into Aquarius, Biden's Home and Family sector squaring Biden's sign.

However, to make matters worse, it turns out that Hunter Biden is an Aquarian and Saturn the karmic taskmaster is headed on a collision course to upend his life.

At the time I wrote the comment I obviously couldn't predict exactly what would unfold, how or the precise timing, only that it would be bad and that's why I warned back then that Democrats should have chosen Bernie. I believed Bernie could beat Trump and I was right, because Trump is in total mental meltdown and self-destructing with his handling of the pandemic.

Now even if Saturn will square Biden's Scorpio that's not to say that Biden won't still win, but we are approaching a very bad full moon on October 31st. There is massive tension building, subterfuge lurking and the situation is going to get ugly. A battle royal is brewing. This is a powder keg moment.

Trump will not behave at the debate today. Must see t.v. With Obama's scorching speech yesterday seething in Trump's brain, and his Iran stunt unravelling and ineffective at distracting from the spotlight from Obama and the laptop bone clenched between his teeth; he's a rabid dog fit to be tied. Give him a padded cell, already.

As for the U.S. and the world: The pandemic started with Saturn crossing Pluto's path in Capricorn and entering full force into Aquarius in March when the world shut down.

So what will happen when karmic Saturn crosses Pluto again on it's way out of Capricorn and enters Aquarius for the next 3 years?

Fasten your seat belts everyone...we're heading into major turbulence. There's so much karmic tension gathering steam; it's very scary.

How much does it cost to get a trip to the moon?

I'll get back to sleazy Giuliani and his Pandora's box. There's too much to unpack there than meets the eye. Just know that when circumstances appear too convenient-it's because they are.

Trump's dirty play is a day late and a dollar short plus he's not playing with a full deck. Must be one of those Covid long-term effects.

It's time...to get these scum-sucking, misery mongers out of the damn White House already!

Jen , Oct 22 2020 10:56 utc | 16
You know the US government is suffering from severe Alzheimer's disease when it claims that Iran (of all nations) sent threatening emails to Democrat voters demanding that they vote for a President who authorised the murder of a popular Iranian military general back in early January this year.
Christian J. Chuba , Oct 22 2020 11:11 utc | 17
Kabuki theater on FOX

Brian Kilmeade and morning crew run the fake Iranian emails story by former CIA station Chief Daniel Hoffman.

Kabuki Actor Hoffman:
'[Uses opportunity to say Iranian Mantra] Iran has been attacking us for years, they have attacked our shipping in the Gulf (???, that's a new one) blah-blah-blah.
'Iran and Russia are attacking our democracy because that is what they fear most about America. Democracy would be the end of both regimes (Iran has no other motive to dislike the U.S. such as us killing their top General, the Stuxnet virus, murderous sanctions, ...)'
So they hate us because of our freedoms, a classic.

Kabuki Actor Kilmeade:
'Can't we do something about this?' [note, the U.S. is the perpetual victim, never the bully]
'Can't we pushback?' [The aggrieved victim, the U.S. is defending itself]
'Iran is doing this, Russia is sending bombers, can't we blow up an oil well?'

Kabuki Actor Kilmeade represents the entire degenerate U.S. public, unable to process information that views another country as having rational motives or our Intel agencies of being deceptive.

God, if you exist, You must hate this more than I do. How long?

Abe , Oct 22 2020 11:14 utc | 18
Guys.

All that rubbish is distraction. Discussing it is just playing to Borg's music.

They come up with so outlandish and jaw dropping crap that half he people thinks "it is so outlandish it gotta be true, who would lie so much?" and other half that knows better is in such a shock and disbelief that it needs some time to come to its senses and start tearing apart the lie piece by piece BUT.... Time is lost, distraction worked and MSM/Borg come up with next outrageous lie for next round. Russia, China, Navalny etc. etc.

And while marry go round Borg is doing it's deeds in dark while people is obsessing with Trump's knickers.

Debsisdead , Oct 22 2020 11:21 utc | 19
Barack oblamblam held off until as long as he possibly could, a move most likely connected to two realities, (1) not wanting to contradict what he, oblamblam said back in march "do not underestimate Joe's ability to screw anything up" and (2) Oblamblam's desire not to be found to be associated with sleepy joe's blatant corruption. Mud sticks n all that. Oblamblam was much more subtle in lining up wedges to be trousered. eg. Try as people might they have yet to uncover how a community worker turned prez found the dough to purchase a 45 acre Martha's vineyard estate off a notorious billionaire and Oblambam is reluctant to do anything which could prompt those questions,

Hence it wasn't until the 2020 election was mostly over that some DNC extortionists managed to convince oblam to say a few words, or else, to the Philadelphia african american males who chose to stay home on election day 2016.

Barack can claim 'he paid his dues' whilst keeping as much space as he can organise between himself and crooked joe, who has already brought oblamblam's prezdency into disrepute with the shameless & ugly ukraine rort that he and his bagman hunter had concocted.

There we mentioned the philly speech oh rabid, irrationally superstitious dembot.

Mark2 , Oct 22 2020 12:28 utc | 20
Here's my prediction
Trump re-elected I fortell will mean more racist murdering thugs on the street. an guess what they'l be In uniform and directly or indirectly trained by Israel.
And then there's the military presence on your streets -- you ain't seen nothing yet.
Wake the f up your gunna be massively oppressed by a fascist govenment ya skin couloir won't matter, nore who you voted for. You already live in a one party dictatorship.
ie the elite. Face it your redundant as a human being replaced by a micro-chip.
Revolt I tell you revolt !!
Mark2 , Oct 22 2020 12:37 utc | 21
The greater American public are about to become the next oppressed Palistinians ! oppressed devalued and slowly distroyed. Like a frog in a heated pan.
You won't notice till it's to late will you ?
No really, will you ?
librul , Oct 22 2020 12:52 utc | 22
Everything use to be blamed on witches. If your cow died - witches! If a tree fell on your fence - witches! If the reverend's wife died - witches!

Now it is, I lost the election - Russians, some ducks died in a park in Salisbury - Russians, someone fell sick - Russians.

When you hear, "Russians", just substitute in your mind "witches", the weight of evidence is the same.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_rMsgmaBV8g

Witches must feel left out these days.

oldhippie , Oct 22 2020 13:14 utc | 23
So far Circe has Obama's speech described as fiery, blistering, and scorching.

Everyone else on this planet listens to Obama and falls asleep.

Jpc , Oct 22 2020 13:25 utc | 24
@ Tuyzentfloot 3

Journalism love's that high minded nonsense.
They write what they are paid to write.
Looking at the guardian wrt Assange
these clowns are beneath contempt.
Don't know if you are familiar with the box populi blog.
There a very good set of chapters from a book about journalist ethics.

pretzelattack , Oct 22 2020 13:29 utc | 25
i'm just surprised they haven't brought in venezuela and bolivia yet. that's supposed to be sarcasm, but reality keeps outstripping sarcasm. i am actually worried they are ramping up for a war in biden's first 100 days, either against iran or some serious provocation of russia like provoking some incident in azerbaijan and blaming armenia. they're f/n batshit.
pretzelattack , Oct 22 2020 13:32 utc | 26
mark2 i think you're correct about more jackbooted government thugs on the street, but that's gonna happen under either trump or crime bill joe/copmala. you're right about the israeli training too, they trained cops in that kneeling on the throat technique. field tested on palestinians.
pretzelattack , Oct 22 2020 13:42 utc | 27
iirc no ducks died, it's a miracle, the deadliest nerve poison ever invented is helpless against ducks. and house pets.
augusto , Oct 22 2020 13:45 utc | 28
Idiotic.
The united States was once a nest of excellence in nearly everything. Now it s a hub of naked idiocy.
The Russians have nothing to fear from the US or Nato, except in the economy but they can fix it. The Iranians have enough of what it takes to keep the Zio anglos away and at bay: thousands of missiles to target Israel, Saudiland, a 25 year economic alliance program with Beijing.
And clearly the time and opportunity where it was possible to still erase in a single coup the Iranian military might is over.
Josh , Oct 22 2020 13:46 utc | 29
Looks like they are imagineering again...
arby , Oct 22 2020 14:01 utc | 30
"Breaking WaPo: The U.S. government has concluded that Iran is behind a series of threatening emails arriving this week in the inboxes of Democratic voters, according to two U.S. officials. https://washingtonpost.com/technology/202"
Richard Steven Hack , Oct 22 2020 14:08 utc | 31
Posted by: librul | Oct 22 2020 12:52 utc | 22 When you hear, "Russians", just substitute in your mind "witches", the weight of evidence is the same.

Absolutely correct. You win the thread.

Neither Iran nor Russia nor China give a rat's ass about the US election. There may be literally thousands of private enterprise hackers who want to breach US election servers precisely to get the Personal Identifying Information which is coin of the realm on the Dark Web, but they couldn't care less about the election itself. It's physically impossible for any country outside of the US to significantly influence the election in a country of 300 million people - and every country knows that. The only country that *doesn't* know that is the US, which is why it spends scores and hundreds of millions of dollars - up to five billion in Ukraine, allegedly - to influence foreign elections. That's the level of effort needed to influence a foreign election more than the influence of the actual inhabitants of that nation. But every time some private group in Russia launches an ad campaign for a couple hundred thousand bucks tops, with zero effect on the US election, Putin gets blamed for some plan to mastermind the overthrow of "democracy."

It's a crock.

Christian J. Chuba , Oct 22 2020 14:21 utc | 32
I rather liked Obama's speech If for no other reason than the tone was completely different from the two candidates.

1. I'm tired of Trump's narcissism .

2. Can't stand Biden's fake 'I'm one of you'. He is corrupt, feels guilty about it, and has to reassure us that he's Lunch Box Joe .

I've noticed this about Biden for a while, he conjures up these fake memories ...

'You know what I'm talking about because I've been on that park bench at noon when you only have 20 minutes to eat your lunch because that whistle going to blow and you have to run back to your Tuna canning station or lose your job and with that your health insurance, car, and home.'

Okay this is not a literal quotation but it is a pattern and you know what I'm talking about :-)

Mark2 , Oct 22 2020 14:45 utc | 33
Pretzelatack @ 26
Yes to all you say their.
Re-reading my above comments they sound pretty harsh !
I am sorry, and do apologise !
It was part desperation and part morbid humour in the spirit of b's post.
Comparing Americans to a frog in pan may be a bit much !
I am in the U.K. we had a gen election one year ago !
I WAS THAT FROG IN A PAN.
Now I live in a pox ridden bankrupt banana republic run by a bunch of Israel bootlickers.
I don't go down well at party's.
Circe , Oct 22 2020 15:01 utc | 34
@19 Debsisdead

Barack can claim 'he paid his dues'

Hate to break it to ya all-knowing one...

obama-to-visit-miami-on-saturday-to-campaign-for-biden

And it's not superstition when the facts start to align with planetary motion.

How do you explain the Moon's effect on nature?

You think it's the only celestial body in the Solar System that influences life on Earth? That cosmic order is inescapable. Astrology is thousands of years old dating back to the Babylonians and has evolved through centuries of study and cannot, should not be dismissed as mere superstition.

I'm not an expert at all, but I recognize order and higher authority when I see it and believe me those planets are there for a reason and they rule everything. They're like carrots and sticks (IMHO mostly sticks). Now who put them there and to what ultimate purpose besides order and evolution is another matter.

I don't often bring it into a discussion, especially not to throw a discussion off topic, except when I intuitively feel fate present in important events both personally and on a universal scale.

This is a time of fated/karmic events, the pandemic being the most important (lesson) of these.

Paco , Oct 22 2020 15:05 utc | 35
Two hours delay and counting, Valday Club waiting for Vlad, something hearty must be getting cooked back stage...
Paul , Oct 22 2020 15:09 utc | 36
It's time for Grunter Biden to discover his inner Khazar and convert to judaism, why not it worked for both the Clintons and the Trumps.
Perimetr , Oct 22 2020 15:14 utc | 37
I think a more appropriate title would be "Fascist Season" . . . Fascism has come of age here in the land of the fee. The "intelligence agencies" create disinformation campaigns to overthrow the elected President while the "justice department" et al withhold evidence and fail to prosecute all the oligarchs and crooks who are busy censoring information and preparing to rig and disrupt the impending presidential election.

There are No Consequences for Anything when the Deep State and Central Banks run the show.

Of course, US corporate fascism has been developing for a very long time (see The U.S. Did Not Defeat Fascism in WWII, It Discretely Internationalized It ) . . . maybe more accurate to go back to the takeover of the US currency by the Federal Reserve in 1913 and the first Banker World War (see All Wars are Bankers' Wars! )

But technology and the "progressive" (pun intended) destruction of the US Constitution has led the dumbed-down US masses (don't forget Canada and Australia lol) into a whole new world of Orwellian lock-downs and wholesale economic destruction aimed at finishing off what was left of the US middle class. Soon we will have our cash taken away and replaced with a digital currency that can always be taken away or tailored for limited use, subject to negative interest rates that it cannot escape, etc. And all this is ushered in via hyperinflation leading to a collapse of the bond and equities markets, and finally the collapse of the US dollar (and all other Western fiat currencies).

Nothing like freedumb and democracy

Virgile , Oct 22 2020 15:27 utc | 38
The USA is so naive. They have been interfering in so many elections using money, blackmail,CIA operations. There was no way for other countries with less means to do the same to the USA. Now with social media they can, and they are absolutely right to take their revenge for all the troubles they got into with the USA plotting to promote a pro-US leader.
Now the battle is equal and the USA does not have the monopoly of interfering in other countries election!
Tit for tat...
Noirette , Oct 22 2020 15:32 utc | 39
All these stories are risible. Note the struggle to clarify who these 'malign' Régimes are attacking the US, and why.

Russia-R-R for Trump, but Iran-Ir-Ir for Trump doesn't quite hit the spot so now Iran is trying to damage Pres. Trump (from one of the articles..) .. is Iran trying to promote the election of Kamala Harris? What? Russia is for Trump and Iran against ?

The fall-back is a blanket, these evil leaders are trying to 'undermine democracy', influence 'US voters', meddle in 'our freedom-loving' politics, etc.

The attempt to stir up the spectre of threatening enemies far off is a hackneyed ploy. In the case of the USA, it is now melded with the promotion and control of planned internal strife, with internal enemies being natives (not islamist terrorists who sneak in and are under cover before erupting in murderous madness..) - Color Revolution Style.

-- BLM + Antifa haven't been active recently (or not in MSM top stories) as the election is approaching. Such would be upping the Trump vote for "law-and-order."

(imho from far off..) Many in the US don't take any of this seriously, it is just game-playing, false alarm, pretend concern.

"Oh wow, Iran is targetting Trump, did you know, real serious, did you hear, tell me is Zoe-chick divorcing that creep Edmond, I want to know, did you have that interview with Gov. X for the job? Is she hot? How much "

The credentialised class and the movers and shakers just roll their eyeballs, and the poor are in any case stuck in a desperado cycle of struggle against misery, what is going on with Putin / Iran / Xi is off the radar.

observer today , Oct 22 2020 15:39 utc | 40
Look! Look! A Squirrel!

Vilification of China (hate hate hate); claimed by the media and the pundits and our "Fearless Covid Conquering Leader" and all the good little parrots, to be the source of evil itself... Scapegoat extraordinaire... Hacking and Cheating and Aggressing and exercising Brutality towards its own citizens... The worst of the worst per our "intelligence" apparatus (and blind ideologues). Existential threat numero uno.

But wait!

The US is being attacked! Attacked they say; by all of the "bad" guys simultaneously.

The forces of evil out there are broad and out to get us. They hate our (imagined) freedoms.


Evidence (not):


Justice Department pushing Iran-connected charges in HBO hack, other cases

U.S. government concludes Iran was behind threatening emails sent to Democrats

U.S. intelligence agencies say Iran, Russia have tried to interfere in 2020 election

Hunter Biden story is Russian disinfo, dozens of former intel officials say


Invariably in all cases, The Voice of "Intelligence" (not bloody likely from ANY of this crew) deeply intoned to impart the "certainty", neatly encapsulated in the words "highly likely", delivered without a scrap of proof but loud, prominent, regular, mind numbing pontification.

Trust me! We lie, We cheat, We steal; and that is just the tip of the iceberg.

The US, all on its own, engenders distrust within the population because the US and all its political and Executive, and Legislative and Judicial and "intelligence" bureaucracies are corrupt to the core... Worse, they make no bones about it if you pay attention. And Partisanship is nothing but distraction because they are ALL corrupt and morally bankrupt; without empathy, remorse, sense of guilt or shame.

It was the US itself that thought it could subjugate the world through its faux "democratic" business practices and its claim of natural superiority... Its self declared Rules of Order instead of adhering to and supporting consensus established International LAW... Hegemon pompously declaring it has a RIGHT to Full Spectrum Dominance and slavish obedience.

Not the Iranians, not the Russians, not the Chinese, not the CCP, not the North Koreans, not the Venezuelans; none of them are disrupting, threatening or meddling in the US elections.

If you believe what the morons are smearing across the public consciousness through every communication medium possible you are a sucker... Totally disconnected any critical thinking faculties that may have been present. The very definition of sheeple... baaaa! (the sound drowns out reason and thought).

The rest of the World beyond NATO and Five Eyes isn't attacking the US or its institutions. They have all been attacked every which way from Sunday BY the US and its Satraps (targets of, victims of, and willing accomplices to our sophisticated excessively funded and supported global protection racquet).

The US, our Government, always blames our designated and non-compliant, non-obeisant existential threats for all the things we do to them.


And all this cacophony of alleged evil "attacks" from outside right now?

Look!!! Look!!! Over here!

Don't pay any attention to who and what decided to put us in the position we find ourselves in and what we have done to vast swaths of the world's populations "over there".

Now go vote for one of two degenerate teams, both of which are headed by supremely unqualified psychopaths.

Dissonance of cognition anyone? Orwell???

gottlieb , Oct 22 2020 15:43 utc | 41

The CIA really needs a new playbook. The Russia/Iran thing is laughable to the rest of the world, and to many 'Americans' as well. Unfortunately Partisans run the country, and those folks are addicted to the Kool Aid of MAGA – just different versions.

This October is like an Advent Calendar of October Surprises with plenty of time still on the clock for some great Golden Shower or Democratic child orgy deep fakes. Who the hell knows at this point – the acceleration of events this year makes Future Shock look like an Ambien commercial.

Trump is toast and good riddance. And sure Biden et al are war criminals and corrupt creatures of the Swamp. The Establishment is a much easier target to resist vis a vis policy than a crazy cretin without any policy but his own self-aggrandizement.

Lawrence Miller , Oct 22 2020 15:44 utc | 42
@15

[***]

"Astrology believers tend to selectively remember predictions that turn out to be true, and do not remember those that turn out false. Astrology has not demonstrated its effectiveness in controlled studies and has no scientific validity.[6]:85;[11] The study, published in Nature in 1985, found that predictions based on natal astrology were no better than chance, and that the testing "...clearly refutes the astrological hypothesis."[10] " https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astrology

Erelis , Oct 22 2020 15:50 utc | 43
As for getting voter US state voter databases, most states allow people to purchase part of a voter's information. Other parts like birth dates remain private. But the publicly available list is probably enough as it identifies party affiliation, voting history as when dates they voted (not how they voted). All the other private information is more useful to identity thieves and Indian scam centers. And as one poster noted, those databases like gold on dark web.

As for email addresses that implies those must be acquired through party officials and candidates off donor lists. Off hand I do not know that an email address is required to register to vote--I seriously doubt it. I know that Bernie famously refused to give his donor database to Hillary. The emails imply some sort of inside job or some false flag.

james , Oct 22 2020 15:54 utc | 44
@ librul | Oct 22 2020 12:52 utc | 22 When you hear, "Russians", just substitute in your mind "witches", the weight of evidence is the same.

ditto that...

vinnieoh , Oct 22 2020 16:04 utc | 45
Just read the story on Truthout of voters in Alaska & Florida, and possibly Pennsylvania and Arizona receiving threatening messages if they should vote against Trump. "We know you're a Democrat and we have access to your voting records..." Metadata indicates servers located in the kingdoms of Israel's new friends...

Well, I just went to the Board of Elections website for my county here in Ohio and I can, with a few clicks, generate a report from their site of a county listing of voters filtered in over a half-dozen ways - i.e. by Party affiliation and including addresses. Comes under the heading of "Voter and Candidate Tools."

So some concoct a tale which blames Iran, Russia, etc. for information freely available from your State's BOE? This information has always been available, but not exploited before in this way by US neo Nazis.

So, even though your ballot is secret, intimidation is easy to engage in based solely on Party affiliation of record. If Trump loses, should some people expect bricks through their windows, or perhaps fire-bombings? Trump and his supporters are certainly ratcheting up the apocalyptic messaging, working themselves into a frenzy - that is obvious and not even debatable.

I never read Dante; which circle of hell are we entering now?

Circe , Oct 22 2020 16:05 utc | 46
Everyone here knows I was 100% behind Bernie Sanders for the Presidency because I felt he was the right person for these times, but the mass is dumb and blind. I agree with the comment I read on the previous thread I think by someone called Horseman that portrays Bernie's goal as moving the Dem Party to the Left and not sheepdogging, but recognizing the stakes involved superceded Left purity.

At the same time I was totally against Biden because he is much more Zionist than Bernie, therefore more corrupt, as Zionism is counter-evolutionary being inherently supremacist, entitled, and undemocratic.

However, Trump is exponentially worse! He is a fascist Zionist and totally depraved. There is a choice here of monumental significance. Short term loss for greater future gain.

Biden is very flawed, but I'm inclined to view a man who suffered multiple life-altering tragedies to reach this point and who is grappling with embracing a son, Hunter, who probably was destroying his life, than a narcissistic less than evolved baby-man pig with a god complex who squandered life and daddy's money on material and artificial pursuit and has no notion of humanity, as the only sane choice.

Yes, Joe Biden should face his flaws and answer for whatever corruption exists in him, but that laptop issue should not be a reason to stop people from getting Trump, the most corrupt President in my lifetime next to Bush OUT. That goal is paramount. This is 2nd to the pandemic in fated events. If people do not make the right choices and learn something from these events then let this planet devolve into hell because that will be what is deserved! The stakes right now are astronomical and super-fated!

Don't blow a singular opportunity to get rid of that Fascist pig Trump over a laptop that's really a Pandora's box being used by Shmeagol Gollum Giuliani as a trap to unleash misery for years to come.

William Gruff , Oct 22 2020 16:08 utc | 47
This is clearly the Deep State and imperial establishment spouting obvious nonsense in order to discredit themselves and therefore to help in Trump's reelection bid! Henry Kissinger told me so! What incredibly subtle and intricate plans they have!

Or... maybe it is just a bunch of incompetent baboons in the Deep State control room randomly flipping switches and pulling levers in the desperate hopes that something, anything, works.

Nah! This is all part of the Great Plan! It just seems like abject stupidity because we cannot grasp its intricate complexities.

NemesisCalling , Oct 22 2020 16:20 utc | 48
All these new threads are defaulting to election threads. Sorry, b.

But I'll bite.

In the case of a Biden victory, which do you think will happen first?:

1) Renewed hostilities w/ Assad in Syria leading to his violent ousting and thrusting the west into violent confrontation w/ Russia...

Or...

2) Forcible entry into the Armenian/Azerbaijan conflict and establishing a no-fly zone...

Or...

3) a combination of both and would throw us into a direct confrontation with either Russia or Iran or both?

It looks like the demonizing of Iran is ramping up with the mail-threats telling dims to vote Trump or else. Dims don't like hostile, foreign powers helping the Don and swaying elections. It's a nice tip-off as to what Biden and the dim establishment might consent to once Obama-era sycophants and technocrats move back in to the White House.

karlof1 , Oct 22 2020 16:30 utc | 49
Seems to be the year of anniversaries; another's being celebrated today but not by the Outlaw US Empire. China & North Korea Celebrate 70th Anniversary of China's intervention in Outlaw US Empire's invasion of Korea , which is how it's being portrayed, "China, N. Korea stand together 'for self-protection against US hegemony' like 70 years ago" reads the headline at the link. To mark the anniversary, China has published an official history , explaining its decision "To resist US aggression and aid Korea, China had no choice but to fight a war;" the 3-volume work is The War to Resist US Aggression and Aid Korea . From China's perspective, it defeated Outlaw US Empire forces; so, it's not "forgotten" at all. Xi's using the occasion to give a major speech, the subject of which hasn't been disclosed.

Just 12 days to go until the refusals to abide by the outcome day arrives. If one wants to look, there's lots of illegal foreign influence happening but from sources that go unmentioned: Corporations that have foreign owners, which most do, who provided campaign contributions in any form to any entity associated with the election.

arby , Oct 22 2020 16:31 utc | 50
Gruffy said

"Nah! This is all part of the Great Plan! It just seems like abject stupidity because we cannot grasp its intricate complexities."

Perfect,))

karlof1 , Oct 22 2020 16:38 utc | 51
HeHeHe!!! The first bits of Putin's appearance at the Valdai Club today are being published . In a jab back at those accusing Russia of interfering in elections and such Putin said:

"Strengthening our country and looking at what is happening in the world, in other countries, I want to say to those who are still waiting for the gradual demise of Russia: in this case, we are only worried about one thing -- how not to catch a cold at your funeral."

There's more, although a transcript has yet to be published.

Circe , Oct 22 2020 16:47 utc | 52
@48NemesisCalling

There's a thread right before this one on International Events. Why don't you go spew your poisonous Trump Kool-Aid there instead of polluting with Trumpian-laced propaganda here?

I know-I know, Election threads raise the common sense factor further and that leads to Trump's demise, so you can't help but rush in to correct that dangerous shift. Why don't you do something equally meaningless like pounding sand down a rat hole?

vk , Oct 22 2020 16:53 utc | 53
After the Russiagate fiasco I thought the Americans had learned their lesson, but it seems I was wrong.

Honestly, this may be the beginning of an irreversible process of ideological polarization of the American Empire.

The thing is it's one thing to wage propaganda warfare against a foreign enemy to your domestic audience: the foreign enemy will be destroyed either way, so they will never be able to tell their version of the story, plus the domestic audience can give itself the luxury of living the lie indefinitely as it doesn't affect their daily lives. Plus they'll directly benefit from the conquest of a foreign enemy, e.g. cheaper gas to your car after the destruction and conquest of Iraq; the abundance in the shelves of Walmarts after the subjugation of China, and so on.

It's a completely different story when you wage propaganda warfare against yourself: the Trump voter knows he/she didn't vote for Trump because of Russian influence, while the Hilary Clinton/Joe Biden voter knows he/she didn't vote in either of them because of Chinese influence. But each part will believe the half of the lie that benefits them against the other, creating a vicious cycle of mistrust between the two halves.

Meanwhile, the American economy (capitalism) continues to decline. Time is running up:

US economy looks to be on indefinite life support from government, Professor Wolff tells Boom Bust

At the same time, there's excess money in the USA:

The Fed's $4 Trillion Lifeline Never Materialized: The Fed was meant to take $454 billion and drastically expand it. So far, it has lent $20 billion.

It was a shock-and-awe moment when lawmakers gave the package a thumbs up. Yet in the months since, the planned punch has not materialized.

The Treasury has allocated $195 billion to back Fed lending programs, less than half of the allotted sum. The programs supported by that insurance have made just $20 billion in loans, far less than the suggested trillions.

The programs have partly fallen victim to their own success: Markets calmed as the Fed vowed to intervene, making the facilities less necessary as credit began to flow again.

So, the very announcement of the Fed it would lend indefinitely and unconditionally made such loans unnecessary!

I didn't like it at the beginning, but the term "Late Capitalism" is growing on me.

mk , Oct 22 2020 17:16 utc | 54
This "Circe" chick is mentally retarded and should not be allowed to roam free outside a looney bin.

Oh boy is she not deranged.

elkern , Oct 22 2020 17:16 utc | 55
MSM pushing the the Iran angle shows that they are more anti-Iran than anti-Trump.

What effect would Iran intend by sending fake threatening emails from right-wing guns nuts to Democrats? I doubt it would discourage those Democrats from voting (for Biden), and I doubt Iran would think it would. The only effect it would have is to increase the fear, distrust, and disgust Democrats already have for those groups - which is "sowing discord", not "meddling with elections".

The Trump regime pushes this because it makes Trump look good & makes Iran look bad (at least the way it's been framed). MSM generally doesn't like Trump, but prints this because hyping fear & loathing toward Iran matters more to them than dumping Trump.

Paco , Oct 22 2020 17:17 utc | 56
Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 22 2020 16:38 utc | 51

Great that they are working on it, I was taking notes but kind of lousy its not easy to listen and write at the same time. Started kind of nervous, but right now it is Putin at his most relaxed and eloquent.

Paco , Oct 22 2020 17:22 utc | 57
Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 22 2020 16:38 utc | 51

It is interesting to see how Putin is way more at ease when answering journalist's questions than when exposing his part of the event. Right now they asked him about his image, punk, criminal etc etc. Answer: my function is the main thing, and I do not take it personally, now the chinese will ask.

Circe , Oct 22 2020 17:36 utc | 58
@47 William Gruff

In case the truth gets lost in your purposely misleading translation. This hare-brained scheme was cooked up by Trump and his newly-appointed right-hand bootlicker RATcliffe, at DNI and delivered to the American people by the latter as a desperate distraction minutes after Obama smacked down Trump on every air wave.

It immediately gave off an offensive odor, as I stated previously, of Trump turd floating in golden toilet.

And that's why Chris Wray looked so awkward and uneasy behind that RAT.

Tuyzentfloot , Oct 22 2020 17:45 utc | 59
@
Paco , Oct 22 2020 17:53 utc | 60
Three hours of serious talking about any and all world problems. I wonder how long Lunch Box Joe could hold on his own. The orange man probably could do it, but just talking about himself. The US need someone like VVP.
Circe , Oct 22 2020 17:53 utc | 61
@54 mk

Projecting much?

@57 Paco

I knew Paco was a strange name for a Russiabot!

Russia is now averaging 13,000 to 15,000 infections and close to 300 hundred deaths daily. I wouldn't laugh first if I were Putin.

karlof1 , Oct 22 2020 17:53 utc | 62
Paco @56&57--

I ought to listen while also reading the Russian close-captioning so I can rebuild my Russian language facility and catch the body language messages, but I still need to read/hear it all in English. As for his response to questions, IMO Putin knows what to expect from media reporters but not from other experts in the audience whose questions are usually more complex. Then there's the need to remain tactful, although there are times when he does need to get indignant, as with the issue of illegal sanctions that harm nations's abilities to deal with the pandemic--the utter immorality and inhumanity of the Outlaw US Empire that never gets the attention it deserves.

Haven't seen this nickname for Biden--Lieden.

Christian J. Chuba , Oct 22 2020 17:56 utc | 63
Fake emails: cui bono

What would Iran gain by scaring lower end of the spectrum Democrats into voting for Trump, is that desirable for Iran?

Ah ... but it was a pump fake, Iran thought that people would think that the emails were genuine, arrest a few of the Proud Boys and this would hurt Trump by associating him with a domestic terror group. Not only is this scenario convoluted but it is extremely risky because it might scare a handful of impressionable Democrats into voting for Trump and any investigation would uncover hacking of some kind.

Most likely suspect, Israel. They have the means to hack and the contacts in the U.S. to suggest Iranian origin.

karlof1 , Oct 22 2020 17:58 utc | 64
As Putin said, Russia was able to find "balance" in its reaction to COVID; and as with China but unlike the Outlaw US Empire, it put the safety of the Russian people first and foremost. The Empire is experiencing yet another big outbreak nationwide and has yet to put the interests of its citizenry first.
Mark2 , Oct 22 2020 17:59 utc | 65
Is Circe deranged?
I don't know but I doubt if she spends trillions of dollars each year on murdering inocent men women and children.
Mmmmm
Perhaps to people living in a ''loony bin'' (America) people outside must seem quite strange !
I live near Glastonbury finest bunch of people you'd ever meet. Not known for genocidel tendency's.
Any ways Iran, Russia interfering in America's elections -- -- - pure paranoid delusion (weaponised)
William Gruff , Oct 22 2020 17:59 utc | 66
The Mighty Wurlitzer has begun to sound more like the New York Philharmonic tuning up while riding the Empire State Express as it crashes endlessly into Grand Central Station.

Symbolism not unintentional.

Paco , Oct 22 2020 18:06 utc | 67
Posted by: Circe | Oct 22 2020 17:53 utc | 61

Dear Circe, each language is a world view, I wish I had the resources available today when I was younger, I would speak as many as possible, I consider that with the means available today speaking half a dozen would be no problem at all. You have the blessing and the curse of speaking english, so no need for anything else, but that is your problem, you are so relaxed about it that you're not able to spell correctly the name of one of your best known cities, San Francisco, with a c before the s.
Again, come up with something else, the bot label is as primitive as your knowledge of your own language and geography.

William Gruff , Oct 22 2020 18:06 utc | 68
"I doubt if she spends trillions of dollars each year on murdering inocent men women and children."

She votes for it, though.

Oriental Voice , Oct 22 2020 18:19 utc | 69
kiwiklown@14:
They do not even care for their own people (covid19 fiasco, anyone?), but pretend to care for the Chinese people so much they would regime-change the CCP; they pretend to care for the Russian people so much they would sooner shoot Putin's plane from the sky; they pretend to care for the Iranian people so much they block their access to covid19 medicines.

Well said, although rather sad! The last pretension reveals exactly the mentality that was behind the genocide upon the Native American centuries ago, resorting to tactics such as passing out smallpox infected blankets, dispensation of whisky, as well as outright slaughters of course.

Mark2 , Oct 22 2020 18:22 utc | 70
Gruffy @ 68
Maybe but she martches to a different drum beat. Not the trump drum beat of war that you follow, and will lead you all over the cliff.
Don't get me wrong ! You'd have to squeeze my nuts pretty dam hard (tears in my eyes) before I'd vote for Biden.
But you must know two things -- -
A. Trump is bat shit crazy and has his finger on the button whilst the Dems are money mad and there is know profit in Armageddon.
And
B. I'm antifa my hobby is smashing the filthy fascists !!
Who's streets ? Our streets !!
karlof1 , Oct 22 2020 18:43 utc | 71
Without mentioning its name, Putin in his speech pinned the tail on the donkey regarding TrumpCo's pandemic failure:

"The values of mutual assistance, service and self-sacrifice proved to be most important. This also applies to the responsibility, composure and honesty of the authorities, their readiness to meet the demand of society and at the same time provide a clear-cut and well-substantiated explanation of the logic and consistency of the adopted measures so as not to allow fear to subdue and divide society but, on the contrary, to imbue it with confidence that together we will overcome all trials no matter how difficult they may be.

"The struggle against the coronavirus threat has shown that only a viable state can act effectively in a crisis ..." [My Emphasis]

Yes, it didn't begin with Trump, but he sure did accelerate the process of making the domestic part of the Outlaw US Empire dysfunctional, which for me makes this "silly season" even worse than usual.

Sakineh Bagoom , Oct 22 2020 18:47 utc | 72
I view this as shit-against-the-wall policy. You throw it up there. Sometimes it sticks, sometimes it doesn't.
This is how lowly vermin do foreign policy nowadays.
Remember the story -- first reported as Russians, then Iranians -- paying bounty to the Talibs to kill (as if they needed motivation) American soldiers?
Well, in that case, I guess neither story really stuck, but you see where I'm going with this. It's all shite
William Gruff , Oct 22 2020 18:53 utc | 73
And silly season continues with self-proclaimed anti-fascists who don't know what fascists are.

Fascism doesn't necessarily have anything to do with race or religion. Is there any racial difference between Ukropians and Russians? Fascism is simply a tool that capitalists use to smash class consciousness. Literally any differences can be used by the capitalists to direct the violent mobs at their victims, even differences that are completely imaginary and don't really exist except in the group mind of the mob.

Now I wonder... who is it that will attack someone for saying "But ALL lives matter!" ? Who is smashing class consciousness?

karlof1 , Oct 22 2020 18:59 utc | 74
71 Cont'd--

And this is why the USA is turning into a failed state and Russia isn't:

"Nevertheless, I am confident that what makes a state strong, primarily, is the confidence its citizens have in it . That is the strength of a state. People are the source of power , we all know that. And this recipe doesn't just involve going to the polling station and voting, it implies people's willingness to delegate broad authority to their elected government, to see the state, its bodies, civil servants, as their representatives – those who are entrusted to make decisions, but who also bear full responsibility for the performance of their duties .

"This kind of state can be set up any way you like. When I say 'any way,' I mean that what you call your political system is immaterial. Each country has its own political culture, traditions, and its own vision of their development. Trying to blindly imitate someone else's agenda is pointless and harmful. The main thing is for the state and society to be in harmony .

"And of course, confidence is the most solid foundation for the creative work of the state and society. Only together will they be able to find an optimal balance of freedom and security guarantees ." [My Emphasis]

What a brilliant collection of words emphasizing the absolute requirement for the state to do its utmost to support and develop its human capital--its citizens--while also saying citizens have their own duty to ensure the quality of the state, which means installing representatives that will work for them and promote their interests first and foremost since they are the backbone of the state. Don't feed and care for the citizenry as in the USA and you'll have a corrupt, feeble state when it comes to keeping itself strong. And IMO the primary difference that's making Russia stronger while the USA atrophies is that Russia listens to its people and genuinely cares for and acts in their interests while in the USA the demands of the citizenry have fallen on deaf ears for decades, regardless the political party running the government.

Mark2 , Oct 22 2020 19:14 utc | 75
Gruffy is trying to conflate perpetrator as opposed to the victim/ victems !
Classic -- -
US geo-politics.
Blame shifting fascist tactic.
Learned far right tactic.
Or
Psychopathic projection.
Example -- --
US attacks Iran &Russia but blames them for attacking The US.
Also Gruffy I note how you side step a point well made by
Asking a deliberately distracting question. Yawn
William Gruff , Oct 22 2020 19:23 utc | 76
"Blame shifting" absolutely is part of smashing class consciousness. Shift the blame for people's difficulties from capitalism to various parts of the working class. Those who participate violently in this process are fascists and perpetrators. Of course, they are also victims because they are destroying their own class consciousness. Class consciousness is necessary if they are ever to be able to address the real issues causing them hardship.
Paco , Oct 22 2020 19:26 utc | 77
Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 22 2020 18:59 utc | 74

When the question and answers segment comes online it is worth reading his opinion about the Karabakh conflict and how it is a very difficult situation for Russia since both countries involved, Armenia and Azerbaijan are part of a common family. The question implied that Russia would unequivocally side with Armenia based on religion, to which Putin answered that 15% of Russia population professes the islamic faith and that he considers Azerbaijan a country as close to Russia as Armenia, with over two million nationals from each of the warring countries living in Russia and as part of a very influential and productive community.

Interesting too his take on Turkey, admitting that there are a lot of disagreements Putin had good words for Erdogan admitting that he is independent and that he is someone able to uphold his word, the Turk Stream project, it was agreed upon and completed, compared to the europeans to whom he did not spare in his almost contemptuous words insinuating their lack of sovereignty.

Mark2 , Oct 22 2020 19:38 utc | 78
Gruffy error !!
In this context the 'mob'
Is trump followers.
The thugs in uniform.
The proud boys.
The US forces abroad and at home.
Gruffy 'you' ARE the mob.
I feel you watched to many cowboy films portraying native Americans as the bad guys! It shows.
I won't be replying more. as I see your very shabby diversionary tactic. Nice try though. We see you !! What you are and what you do.
karlof1 , Oct 22 2020 19:46 utc | 79
Paco @77--

Thanks for your reply! Even before the Q&A Putin skewers both the Empire and EU in this paragraph:

"Genuine democracy and civil society cannot be imported.' I have said so many times. They cannot be a product of the activities of foreign 'well-wishers,' even if they 'want the best for us.' In theory, this is probably possible. But, frankly, I have not yet seen such a thing and do not believe much in it. We see how such imported democracy models function. They are nothing more than a shell or a front with nothing behind them, even a semblance of sovereignty. People in the countries where such schemes have been implemented were never asked for their opinion, and their respective leaders are mere vassals. As is known, the overlord decides everything for the vassal . To reiterate, only the citizens of a particular country can determine their public interest." [My Emphasis]

And that "particular country" is one where both the citizens and the government share "confidence" in each other such that they work in "harmony." Thus the #1 goal of the Outlaw US Empire to sow chaos within nations so such confidence and harmony can't be established; and if they are, then destroyed.

Kooshy , Oct 22 2020 19:50 utc | 80
No one has ever lied to American people more than the American regime and her terrorizing intelligence community organization, Snowden is the living proof of this . Anyone still alive and living on this planet if it ever believed a word on anything coming out of the USG not only is a fool and a total idiot but his/her head must be seriously checked. Regardless of their party affiliations they have no shame of lying cheating steeling those United oligarchy' Secretary of State is the proof that.
William Gruff , Oct 22 2020 19:58 utc | 81
This poster is on neither "side" . More like Putin looking in pain over Azerbaijan and Armenia killing each other at the prompting of some third party that doesn't care about either of them. This poster is neither faux left nor right wing; however, this poster's grandmother was Cherokee. There is no anger directed your way for your failure to understand, though.
Mark2 , Oct 22 2020 20:11 utc | 82
If Americans had any backbone they would be on the streets protesting about this sham election prior to the election, of false choice no choice.
You earn your democracy or you loose your democracy.
Iran, Russia bashing ! Just how low have you people sunk.
No hind sight, no insight and no foresight !
No hope. Spineless.
Jams O'Donnell , Oct 22 2020 20:36 utc | 83
Totally weird! You all, please get behind re-electing Trump. He is doing such a good job of destroying the US empire and its pretensions. If you are really a leftist, this is a GOO:-D thing!

The alternative is to vote Independent or Green but they don't have a chance right now.

Tom , Oct 22 2020 20:41 utc | 84
Posted by: Circe | Oct 22 2020 10:50 utc | 15

My horrorscope has Biden circling Uranus.

Kooshy , Oct 22 2020 20:42 utc | 85
Walking only 3 miles on Wilshire Blvd in Los Angeles , going west I have counted 47 homeless (male,females,wht,black,Asian)asking for handouts. These lost soles are the ones who have paid the price for the for ever wars to secure the Israel' realm,
The propose of yesterday's security show at FBI was to convince the public that all negative comments and cretics coming their way by internet blogs, email , media etc. is not really from disfranchised Americans public, but rather foreign countries operation that they do not like our democracy and way of life, It was solely meant to make people not to subscribe and believe what negativity they hear or read on US( non existing)democracy ,
This is a cheap standard operation by totalitarian regimes.


Mark2 , Oct 22 2020 21:07 utc | 86
Thanks kooshy for that and all your comments !
A true voice of sanity with heart and soul.
I hear you.
winston2 , Oct 22 2020 21:24 utc | 87
53
That money went to the ESF,what else do you think is levitating stocks and bonds ?
You assumed wrongly, but Kudlow let slip they(ESF) were broke and actually stated the money was going to them in a presser.
Debsisdead , Oct 22 2020 21:29 utc | 88
I dunno why I'm bothering to do this because astrology is such a lame easily disproven superstition that gets by because there are just so many con artists making predictions that occasionally some must be correct - the stopped clock effect, but here goes.
The moon's effect on our planet's oceans is proven to be caused by a known phenomenon, gravity. These stars whose positions we are told influence our human lives (just another anthrocentric load of bulldust what about beings on other planets?) are thousands of light years away from earth, meaning when the con-artists draw up their star charts or WTF they call 'em, they are looking at formations that happened thousands of years ago - all different depending on a particular star's distance from earth.
Claiming to be able to predict anything rational from such a mish mash of incorrect data is risible, sad really and goes much to explain the house dembot's mania.

As for oblammer in Miami? I guess the dnc know where quite a few oblammer bodies are buried.
My view is changing, Biden is so crooked that even though if he wins, the corporate media will try hard to leave him alone, but he's just too clumsy, so that some dems are going to side with the rethugs to impeach him and fast, however that may be what the oligarchy is counting on, as that brings bad karmala harris to the fore, a women so unpopular with dem rank and file she withdrew from the primary before any votes were cast, how's that for 'democracy'.

This is the real issue, both dem & rethug prez candidates are crooks through and through, if the dems win, then the spotlight the corporate media shone on orangeutan will be turned off. At least some of trump's worst rorts were stopped by a fear of being found out, but if the dems win dopey joe will have no such constraint - until he does something so over the top eg kick off nuclear war, that the media finally wakes up. too late but at least now they're awake.

Richard Steven Hack , Oct 22 2020 21:39 utc | 89
Posted by: vinnieoh | Oct 22 2020 16:04 utc | 45 If Trump loses, should some people expect bricks through their windows, or perhaps fire-bombings?

That is the threat. If either side loses, there will be massive civil unrest - at least it's very likely that is (part of) "the plan" - whatever the plan actually is. In any event, plan or not, it's predictable. Most of the preppers I follow on Youtube are urging everyone to stock up on food and water because there's a good chance that everyone will be back on movement restrictions of some sort, if not full-on martial law, within the next couple months. As I said before, this country is going to start looking like Turkey or Italy in the 70's when the Grey Wolves and the Red Brigades were terrorizing those countries. It may not be "civil war", but it's likely to be uglier than what happened this summer.

NemesisCalling , Oct 22 2020 23:01 utc | 90
@89 rsh

Massive civil unrest if Trump loses?

Wtf? You...smoking? Man!

Lol.

There will be cries of joy in the streets and maybe some celebratory looting, all from the urban left.

Trump's supporters might assemble peacefully in a very sparse manner, but I would bet most would simply take the newly alotted time from the Biden-victory to prep and ready a little more before the real fireworks begin. Violence would only erupt from the urban left attacking those demonstrations.

Real men are lying in wait. The city is not their playground any longer.

kiwiklown , Oct 23 2020 0:23 utc | 91
Posted by: Debsisdead | Oct 22 2020 11:21 utc | 19 -- "Barack can claim 'he paid his dues' whilst keeping as much space as he can organise between himself and crooked joe, who has already brought oblamblam's prezdency into disrepute with the shameless & ugly ukraine rort that he and his bagman hunter had concocted."

Thanks for your astute observations. Am learning much.

A compromised man never escapes blackmail: he is but a tool in the hands of his owners. It is not IF, but WHEN he will be used / abused. Over and over again, like a banker's boot stomping on his arrogant face.

But then, who is to say that Obanger Obummer was unaware of his VP, that Basement-Biding Bidet Biden's 'arrangements' for wealth accretion? And more (there is always more), who is to say that Obanging Ohumming gets NO share therefrom at some 'convenient' time?

Evil thinks himself clever to hide in the dark, yet lives in daily fear of the light. Thusly Obanging Ohummer's calculations that you noted above, and his dark demeanour these days. He knows he is walking on a knife edge, with a sword hanging over his head, and a safety net (those 17 intelligence agencies?) that can turn into a fowler's snare (sorry, mixed metaphors!)

Yet, looking at the happier demeanour (she used to scowl all through 2017/2018) on that shallow face called Michelle Ohummer, we can guess that she thinks they have escaped clean with their 'rewards of office'.

Christian J. Chuba @17 asked, "How long?" I ask, how does an immoral leadership ever going to turn moral? When does America get the leadership that she deserves?

Smith , Oct 23 2020 0:39 utc | 92
I doubt there will be much protests if Biden wins, the "right" in America is basically toothless.

There will be much violence when Trump wins though, much money will be spent to rile things up, just like when he won the first time.

Grieved , Oct 23 2020 1:00 utc | 93
@71 karlof1 - "only a viable state can act effectively in a crisis" - Putin

What a brilliant equation from Putin. Even more penetrating and useful than the formerly existing observation that socialist-style societies have performed best in response to the virus. Putin's criterion cuts exactly to the essence of the thing.

What the US has demonstrated from the virus response is that it is not a viable state. The benchmark now exists. Thanks for bringing it over.

Grieved , Oct 23 2020 1:03 utc | 94
@81 William Gruff

I have a friend of Cherokee ancestry. She told me how once she was speaking with an elder woman of the tribe, and described herself as "one-eighth Cherokee".

The old woman shook her head and said, "The Cherokee spirit cannot be diluted."

Yeah, Right , Oct 23 2020 1:18 utc | 95
Reuters: "The emails are under investigation, and one intelligence source said it was still unclear who was behind them."

No, it's perfectly clear who was behind them: Hunter Biden.

Honestly, the lies are now so brazen that they are no longer credible, they are just insulting.

Those are Biden Hunter's emails. QED the person "behind them" is Hunter Biden

Q: How do you know?
A: F**k me, dumbass: he wrote them, ergo, he is responsible for them.

Rob , Oct 23 2020 3:26 utc | 96
This comments thread reads like a collection of D-minus essays from a creative writing class.
Formerly T-Bear , Oct 23 2020 10:15 utc | 97
Should any here be interested, Wikipedia has aa extensive listing of governmental scandals for the 20th and 21st century administrations. Note the number of executive, legislative and judicial scandals for each administration. Note also the volume of scandals as administrations go from Franklin D. Roosevelt through to D.J. Trump for both executive and legislative branches. The political parties of the malfeasant are of interest as well - trending can be discerned, maybe, for the observant.

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

Formerly T-Bear , Oct 23 2020 10:25 utc | 98
@ 97

That link should be:

List_of_federal_political_scandals_in_the_United_States

[Oct 19, 2020] The Emails Are Russian- Will Be The Narrative, Regardless Of Facts Or Evidence by Caitlin Johnstone

Highly recommended!
Oct 19, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Caitlin Johnstone via CaitlinJohnstone.com,

Fight it all you want, but there's nothing you can do. "The emails are Russian" is going to be the official dominant narrative in mainstream political discourse, and there's nothing you can do to stop it. Resistance is futile.

Like the Russian hacking narrative, the Trump-Russia collusion narrative, the Russian bounties in Afghanistan narrative, and any other evidence-free framing of events that simultaneously advances pre-planned cold war agendas, is politically convenient for the Democratic party and generates clicks and ratings, the narrative that the New York Post publication of Hunter Biden's emails is a Russian operation is going to be hammered and hammered and hammered until it becomes the mainstream consensus. This will happen regardless of facts and evidence, up to and including rock solid evidence that Hunter Biden's emails were not published as a result of a Russian operation.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1317449899860951040&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fpolitical%2Femails-are-russian-will-be-narrative-regardless-facts-or-evidence&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ed20a2b%3A1601588405575&width=550px

This is happening. It's following the same formula all the other fact-free Russia hysteria narratives have followed. The same media tour by pundits and political operatives saying with no evidence but very assertive voices that Russia is most certainly behind this occurrence and we should all be very upset about it.

"To me, this is just classic textbook Soviet Russian tradecraft at work," Russiagate founder and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper is heard assuring CNN's audience .

"Joe Biden – and all of us – SHOULD be furious that media outlets are spreading what is very likely Russian propaganda," begins and eight-part thread by Democratic Senator Chris Murphy, who claims the emails are "Kremlin constructed anti-Biden propaganda."

"It's not really surprising at all, this was always the play, but still kind of head-spinning to watch all the players from 2016 run exactly the same hack-leak-smear op in 2020. Even with everyone knowing exactly what's happening this time," tweets MSNBC's Chris Hayes.

about:blank

about:blank

me title=

"How are you all circling the wagons instead of being embarrassed for peddling Russian ops 18 days before the election. It's not enough that you all haven't learned from your atrocious handling of 2016 -- you are doubling down," Democratic Party think tanker Neera Tanden tweeted in admonishment of journalists who dare to report on or ask questions about the emails.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-1&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1317307227963678721&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fpolitical%2Femails-are-russian-will-be-narrative-regardless-facts-or-evidence&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ed20a2b%3A1601588405575&width=550px

Virtually the entirety of the Democratic Party-aligned political/media class has streamlined this narrative of Russian influence into the American consciousness with very little inertia, despite the fact that neither Joe nor Hunter Biden has disputed the authenticity of the emails and despite a complete absence of evidence for Russian involvement in their publication.

This is surely the first time, at least in recent memory, that we have ever seen such a broad consensus within the mass media that it is the civic duty of news reporters to try and influence the outcome of a presidential general election by withholding negative news coverage for one candidate. There was a lot of fascinated hatred for Trump in 2016, but people still reported on Hillary Clinton's various scandals and didn't attack one another for doing so. In 2020 that has changed, and mainstream news reporters have now largely coalesced along the doctrine that they must avoid any reporting which might be detrimental to the Biden campaign.

"Dem Party hacks (and many of their media allies) genuinely believe it's immoral to report on or even discuss stories that reflect poorly on Biden. In reality, it's the responsibility of journalists to ignore their vapid whining and ask about newsworthy stories, even about Biden," tweeted The Intercept 's Glenn Greenwald recently.

"You don't even have to think the Hunter Biden materials constitute some kind of earth-shattering story to be absolutely repulsed at the authoritarian propaganda offensive being waged to discredit them -- primarily by journalists who behave like compliant little trained robots ," tweeted journalist Michael Tracey.

Last month The Spectator 's Stephen L Miller described how the consensus formed among the mainstream press since Clinton's 2016 loss that it is their moral duty to be uncritical of Trump's opponent.

"For almost four years now, journalists have shamed their colleagues and themselves over what I will call the 'but her emails' dilemma," Miller writes. "Those who reported dutifully on the ill-timed federal investigation into Hillary Clinton's private server and spillage of classified information have been cast out and shunted away from the journalist cool kids' table. Focusing so much on what was, at the time, a considerable scandal, has been written off by many in the media as a blunder. They believe their friends and colleagues helped put Trump in the White House by focusing on a nothing-burger of a Clinton scandal when they should have been highlighting Trump's foibles. It's an error no journalist wants to repeat."

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-2&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1316900508775280642&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fpolitical%2Femails-are-russian-will-be-narrative-regardless-facts-or-evidence&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ed20a2b%3A1601588405575&width=550px

So "the emails are Russian" narrative serves the interests of political convenience, partisan media ratings, and the national security state's pre-planned agenda to continue escalating against Russia as part of its slow motion third world war against nations which refuse to bow to US dictates, and you've got essentially no critical mainstream news coverage putting the brakes on any of it. This means this narrative is going to become mainstream orthodoxy and treated as an established fact, despite the fact that there is no actual, tangible evidence for it.

Joe Biden could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and the mainstream press would crucify any journalist who so much as tweeted about it. Very little journalism is going into vetting and challenging him, and a great deal of the energy that would normally be doing so is going into ensuring that he slides right into the White House.

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If the mainstream news really existed to tell you the truth about what's going on, everyone would know about every questionable decision that Joe Biden has ever made, Russiagate would never have happened, we'd all be acutely aware of the fact that powerful forces are pushing us into increasingly aggressive confrontations with two nuclear-armed nations, and Trump would be grilled about Yemen in every press conference.

But the mainstream news does not exist to tell you the truth about the world. The mainstream news exists to advance the interests of its wealthy owners and the status quo upon which they have built their kingdoms. That's why it's so very, very important that we find ways to break away from it and share information with each other that isn't tainted by corrupt and powerful interests.

* * *

Thanks for reading! The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for at my website or on Substack , which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported , so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook , following my antics on Twitter , throwing some money into my tip jar on Patreon or Paypal , purchasing some of my sweet merchandise , buying my books Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone and Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers . For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I'm trying to do with this platform, click here . Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish, use or translate any part of this work (or anything else I've written) in any way they like free of charge.

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[Oct 19, 2020] The neocon/NATO aggressive expansionism and anti-Russian hysteria has many purposes, but one is surely domestic repression: to gaslight and cause fear-the-foreign-bogeyman trauma among the American and British people

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The neocon/NATO aggressive expansionism has many purposes, but one is surely domestic repression: to gaslight and cause fear-the-foreign-bogeyman trauma among the American and British people as a whole and make most of them become docile and lose their critical thinking skills and their ability to analyze their own societies. ..."
"... One of the best ways to lobotomize the publics of the US and UK is to very gradually impose martial law in the name of protecting national security and ensuring peace and harmony at home. ..."
Oct 19, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Dao Gen ,

Dao Gen , Oct 17 2020 18:05 utc | 19

The neocon/NATO aggressive expansionism has many purposes, but one is surely domestic repression: to gaslight and cause fear-the-foreign-bogeyman trauma among the American and British people as a whole and make most of them become docile and lose their critical thinking skills and their ability to analyze their own societies.

One of the best ways to lobotomize the publics of the US and UK is to very gradually impose martial law in the name of protecting national security and ensuring peace and harmony at home.

After several color revolutions succeeded, the Russiagate/Spygate op was carried out in the US, with British assistance. This op has been largely successful, though there has been limited resistance against its whole fake edifice as well as with the logic of Cold War2.0. Nevertheless, Spygate has shocked many tens of millions of Dems into a stupor, while millions more are dazed and manipulated by the Chinese bogeyman being manufactured by Trump.

The most dangerous result of the martial law lite mentality caused by Spygate and its MSM purveyors is the growing support for censorship of free speech coming mostly from the Dems, such as Schiff and Warner. The danger inherent in this trend became very clear when FaceBook and Twitter engaged in massive and unprecedented arbitrary censorship of the New York Post and of various Trump-related accounts.

This is the kind of thing you do during Stage 1 of a coup. Surely it was at least in part an experiment to see how various power points in the US would respond. Even though Twitter ended the censorship later, it was probably a successful experiment designed to gauge reactions and areas of resistance.

In November, there could be further, more serious experiments/ops. If so, the current expansionist movements being made and planned by the US and NATO may well be integral parts of a new non-democratic model of "American-style democracy" -- not constitution-based but "rules-based."

[Oct 11, 2020] Putin on the US Presidential race and the myth that Trump, one of the most hostile to Russia presidents in history, is somehow a "Putin puppet"

Highly recommended!
The problem with American imperialism that like tiger it can't change its spots. In this sense Trump vs Biden is false dilemma. "Bothe aare worse" as Stalin quipped on the other occasion. Both still profess "Full Spectrum Dominance" doctrine at the expense of the standard of living of the USA people (outside of top 10 or 20%)
The problem with Putin statement is that both candidates are marionette of more powerful forces. Trump is a hostage of Izreal lobby, which in the USA are mostly consist of rabid Russophobes (look art Schiff, Schumer and other members of this gang). Biden is a classic neoliberal warmonger, much like Hillary was, who voted for Iraq war, contributed to color revolution in Ukraine, and was instrumental in the conversion of Dems into the second war party. So there is zero choice in the coming election unless you want to punish Trump for the betrayal of his electorate, which probably is the oonly valid reason to vote for Biden in key states; otherwise you san safely ignore the elections as youn; influence anythng. In a deep sense this is a simply legitimization procedure for the role of the "Deep State", not so much real elections as both cadidates were already vetted by neoliberal establishment
The key problem with voting for Bide is that this way you essentially legitimizing Obama administration RussiaGate false flag operation. But as Putin said, chances for extending the Start treaty might worse this self-betrayal.
Oct 11, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Like much of the American public, the Russian public is no doubt weary of the prior couple years of non-stop 'Russiagate' headlines and wild accusations out of Western press, which all are now pretty much in complete agreement came to absolutely nothing. This is also why the whole issue has been conspicuously dropped by the Biden campaign and as a talking point among the Democrats, though in some corners there's been meek attempts to revive it, especially related to claims of "expected" Kremlin interference in the impending presidential election.

Apparently seeing in this an opportunity for some epic trolling, Russian President Vladimir Putin in an interview with Rossiya 1 TV days ago said it was actually the Democratic Party and the Communist Party which have most in common.

Putin was speaking in terms of historic Soviet communism in the recent interview (Wednesday) detailed in Newsweek. "The Democratic Party is traditionally closer to the so-called liberal values, closer to social democratic ideas," Putin began. "And it was from the social democratic environment that the Communist Party evolved."

"After all, I was a member of the Soviet Communist Party for nearly 20 years" Putin added. "I was a rank-and-file member, but it can be said that I believed in the party's ideas. I still like many of these left-wing values. Equality and fraternity. What is bad about them? In fact, they are akin to Christian values."

"Yes, they are difficult to implement, but they are very attractive, nevertheless. In other words, this can be seen as an ideological basis for developing contacts with the Democratic representative."

The Russian president also invoked that historically Russian communists in the Soviet era would have been fully on board the Black Lives Matter movement and other civil rights related causes. "So, this is something that can be seen, to a degree, as common values, if not a unifying agent for us," the Russian president said. "People of my generation remember a time when huge portraits of Angela Davis, a member of the U.S. Communist Party and an ardent fighter for the rights of African Americans, were on view around the Soviet Union."

So there it is: Putin is saying his own personal ideological past could be a basis of "shared values" with a Biden presidency, again, it what appears to be a sophisticated bit of trolling that he knows Biden won't welcome one bit. Or let's call it a 'Russian endorsement Putin style'. The Associated Press and others described it as Putin "hedging his bets", however.

Another interesting part of the interview is where the Russian TV presenter asked Putin the following question:

"The entire world is watching the final stage of the US presidential race. Much has happened there, including things we could never imagine happening before but the one constant in recent years is that your name is mentioned all the time," Zarubin said. "Moreover, during the latest debates, which have provoked a public outcry, presidential candidate Biden called candidate Trump 'Putin's puppy.'"

"Since they keep talking about you, I would like to ask a question which you probably will not want to answer," the interviewer continued. "Nevertheless, here it is: Whose position in this race, Trump's or Biden's, appeals to you more?"

And here's Putin's response:

"Everything that is happening in the United States is the result of the country's internal political processes and problems," Putin said. "By the way, when anyone tries to humiliate or insult the incumbent head of state, in this case in the context you have mentioned, this actually enhances our prestige, because they are talking about our incredible influence and power. In a way, it could be said that they are playing into our hands, as the saying goes."

But on a more serious note Putin pointed out that contrary to the notion some level of sympathy between the Trump administration and the Kremlin, much less the charge of "collusion", it remains that US-Russia relations have reached a low-point in recent history under Trump. The record bears this out.

Putin underscored that "the greatest number of various kinds of restrictions and sanctions were introduced [against Russia] during the Trump presidency."

"Decisions on imposing new sanctions or expanding previous ones were made 46 times. The incumbent's administration withdrew from the INF treaty. That was a very drastic step. After 2002, when the Bush administration withdrew from the ABM treaty, that was the second major step. And I believe it is a big danger to international stability and security," Putin explained.

"Now the US has announced the beginning of the procedure for withdrawing from the Open Skies Treaty. We have good reason to be concerned about that, too. A number of our joint projects, modest, but viable, have not been implemented – the business council project, expert council, and so on," he concluded.

But then on Biden specifically Putin said that despite "rather sharp anti-Russian rhetoric" from the Democratic nominee, it remains "Candidate Biden has said openly that he was ready to extend the New START or to sign a new strategic offensive reductions treaty."

"This is already a very significant element of our potential future cooperation," Putin added of a potential Biden presidency.

[Sep 28, 2020] Truth be told: political operatives own and run our MSM. This is why the press is called the 'Fourth Estate'

Highly recommended!
Aug 21, 2020 | www.unz.com
Ragno says: August 21, 2020 at 4:16 pm GMT 800 Words ⇑ @mark green

Truth be told: political operatives own and run our MSM. This is why the press is called the 'Fourth Estate'.

They are more correctly described as a Fifth Column , one far more open and sworn to destroy our country and its foundational citizens – and taxpayers – as any that ever operated during World War II. You would think this would be of vital interest to people who loudly declare themselves to be "Nazi-punchers", but who time and again show themselves to be merely low-level street terrorists informed and inspired by Mao's Red Guard and the irredeemable thugs of the African National Congress.

One wonders what's preventing them from mimicking the Red Terror waged by the leftists of Spain, when the battle for "freedom" involved the disinterment of the graves of Catholic clergy to better pose the corpses in blasphemous positions. Imagine how depraved those Mostly Peaceful protesters had to have been for even a leftist-supporting site such as Wikipedia to baldly state

The violence consisted of the killing of tens of thousands of people (including 6,832 Roman Catholic priests, the vast majority in the summer of 1936 in the wake of the military coup), attacks on the Spanish nobility, industrialists, and conservative politicians, as well as the desecration and burning of monasteries and churches.

Directly in the crosshairs this time are small and medium-sized owner-operated businesses – the true backbone of American freedom and prosperity – who have largely been sacrificed in exchange for the knock-kneed offerings of Danegeld from our giant conglomerates, all of whom have prospered immensely from the suffering and privation brought on by the Democratic lockdown of society – and the total shutdown of our economy.

Think! – have you read a single article charting how the government war on small business directly enriched Amazon.com and world's richest autocrat, Jeff Bezos? . who then funnels his windfall into a newspaper that blatantly pimps for the Democratic Party, which translates into a vast payday for the DNC, not least from its newly-approved partnership with the shadowy and many-tentacled Soros-surrogate group, BLM?

The result is what you'd expect when a fringe group operates with the full cooperation and partnership of major industry and both political parties (don't confuse Trump with a standard-issue Republican, please – he may have terrible flaws, but that isn't one of them) – 10% of the population holding the other 90% in a chokehold with only one set of rules: no arrest and prosecution for Bolshevik violence and terror ..but the zero-tolerance heavy hand of corrupt Leviathan coming down hard against any and all citizens who fight back or, eventually – inevitably – who even struggle against their restraints.

Short of the sudden arrival of celestial horsemen to punish the guilty and reward the set-upon, it has become clear that the only answer is the one that the Powers That Be claim to be dead set against: racial separatism. (Particularly when we consider that all that will be necessary to turn America into Hell on earth will be the adoption of Ibram Kendi's First Law, sometimes known as equality of outcome :

To fix the original sin of racism, Americans should pass an anti-racist amendment to the U.S. Constitution that enshrines two guiding anti-racist principals: Racial inequity is evidence of racist policy and the different racial groups are equals.

Could any "amendment" be more terrifyingly totalitarian than this?)

White and black separation would, instead, accomplish two goals, both more important than Kendi's quick fix: we would learn soon enough about actual equality of outcomes (which is why no Communist, black or white, wants anything to do with the creation of one more failed basket-case black state), and much more importantly, white families can sleep secure in their beds at night, without worrying about Apache raids at midnight, egged on and recorded for "posterity" by that Fourth Estate/Fifth Column referred to up top. Because the fact of the matter is that, even should some combination of government and law-enforcement halt the burning and looting of America – as things stand now, none of the worst malefactors will ever see the inside of a prison cell .which means any ceasefire will only be temporary, to be violently ripped asunder the moment they sense white Americans have at last lowered their guard once more. And living in perpetual paranoid readiness for violent uprisings and mindless destruction is no way to live at all.

Trump has it half right, a border wall is the answer: only it needs to run lengthwise , between the Southern and Northern borders. If we don't use the next four years to plan out such a separation, fretting over our children's children will be a fruitless exercise – those who aren't murdered will be captured and 'go native' .and in case you haven't looked at a globe lately, there's no place left to run.

Majority of One , says: August 21, 2020 at 4:33 pm GMT

@Miro23

As a recovering journalist, I can point out that even on a rinkydink rag in a small city, where I got fired for being a real journalist back in the early '70's; he who owns the presses and distribution networks calls the tune. It's a matter of working-class (no matter how middle-class your income or social-status) versus the ownership class. The latter wins every time.

[Sep 25, 2020] US standard "negotiating" techniques

Highly recommended!
Sep 25, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Ashino , Sep 23 2020 9:23 utc | 67

http://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/2020/09/russia-steals-everything.html
Comment by Reader Dark Fate
EXCERPTs

Following a long line of very arrogant american imperial "negotiators", mr oblivion billingslea used standard "negotiating" techniques like

(a) accusing the other side of crimes Americans have committed first and forever, eg, extreme lying, bad faith argumentation, military aggression, foreign government security breaching, assassination and poisoning [as in american presidents and independent thinkers], and of course, electoral cheating;

(b) putting the opponent in the "negotiation process" on the defensive or back foot by stating false news allegations amplified by the media controlled by the american empire;

(c) offering nothing useful or commitable to be done by the empire, and yet "magnanimously" demanding the moon as opponents' concessions, eg, russian, iranian and chinese nuclear weapons limits, but not for nato's development and deployment, and; (d) after making impossible demands, the imperials accuse the opponents of hostility and unwillingness to "negotiate".

The russians can skillfully agree by stating that they only require the americans to reduce their nukes to 320 pieces like china, and in less than five years.

This is why it is very important for sovereign nations to read the guidebook, called the "idiot's guide on running the american empire", and developing deep and lasting solutions.

As for the other american imperial military "advantages", eg, constellation of "aggression" satellites, andrei forgot to mention that these can be shot or burned down in minutes easily by russia, china and even iran, as these stations cannot hide or run away in earth orbits.

Replenishment of weapons and military supplies after 3 months is rather doomed as the cheap, mass production and manufacturing facilities do not exist. Which must be re-created somehow but now
American lands are the targets. Much, Much Different Than WW2 !!

And of course, russia can always nuke down the USA and its vassal countries, and thus permanently ruin their economies for a decade or more, they don't know how to run defense -- this was always the fatal weakness of all bullies - if they'll have enough time to "learn it"... let's see... I doubt this.

Let's see americans try to start and conduct a nuclear war after too many spy, internet and gps satellites are shot down. Russia can even do this today using conventional explosives, and the world will be shocked how helpless the american military and economy can be made even without using russian nukes.

There are countries still immune to the numerous american imperial diseases that are already documented daily in zerohedge postings. The better countries still have lots of parents telling their kids to study and work hard so they can have better lives than their ancestors.

In oregon and california, they teach unemployable kids to burn something or somebody sometime before dinner.

CdVision • 11 hours ago
I was about to say that what now comes out of the US & Trump's mouth in particular, is Orwellian. But that credits it with too much gravitas. The true comparison is Alice in Wonderland:
"Words mean whatever I want them to mean".

Ashino , Sep 23 2020 9:29 utc | 68
Reminiscence of the Future.. ( http://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/2020/09/russia-steals-everything.html)
Russia "Steals Everything" !! (Not just China, oops... ???!!!!)
And Jesus Christ was an American and was born in Kalamazoo, MI. It is a well-known fact. So Donald Trump, evidently briefed by his "utterly competent and crushingly precise aids", knows now that too! !!! LOL

Time For Daily Auto-Hypnosis, Comrades. !!!

https://vz.ru/news/2020/9/19/1061259.html
https://www.Путин-сегодня.ru/archives/108431
https://vk.com/deebeepublic?w=wall-197487820_23447
(Digital Translation)

> US President Donald Trump claims that Russia developed hypersonic weapons after allegedly stealing information from the United States.

> According to him, "Russia received this information from the Obama administration," Moscow "stole this information." Trump said that "Russia received this information and then created" the rocket, reports TASS.

> "We have such advanced weapons that President Xi, Putin and everyone else will envy us. They do not know what we have, but they know that it is something that no one has ever heard of. "

->We are the foremost and always number one. Everything is invented only by us, the rest can only either steal, or be gifted with our developments for good behavior. This situation is eternal, unchanging, everyone lags behind American Tikhalogii at least 50 years (the time frame was chosen so that even a 20-year-old would lose heart, "what's the point of trying to catch up, it won't work anyway, in my lifetime"). It was, is, and will be, this is the natural course of events.

All this is delivered in the format of the classic Sunday sermon of the American provincial Protestant church, coding the parishioners for further deeds and actions. And it worked effectively, creating in some basalt confidence "we are better because we are better", in others - "I don't mind anything for joining this radiant success, I'm ready for anything, I'll go for any hardships and crimes, if only There".

Only now it worked. In a situation where the frequency of pronouncing such mantras is more and more, emotions are invested in them too, but in fact everyone understands that this is what autohypnosis does not work.

The poor have stolen from the United States, if you look at it, literally everything. And 5G and the superweapon of the gods. Moreover, a pearl with a characteristic handwriting is not copy / paste, but move / paste, you bastards. Therefore, the United States does not even have any traces of developments left - the guys just sit in an empty room, shrug their hands, "here we have a farm of mechanical killer dolls, with the faces of Mickey Mouse overexposed, and now look - traces of bast shoes and candy wrappers from "Korkunov" only, ah-ah-ah, well, something like that, ah. "

At the same time, there are no cases of sabotage, espionage - whole projects were simply developed, developed, brought to a working product, and then the hob - and that's it, and disappeared. And this became noticeable only after years. And all the persons involved are like "wow, wow."

Psychiatric crazy fool of the head, no less.

But due to the fact that all of the above theses are driven very tightly into the template for the perception of the world, both those who voiced these theses and the listeners are satisfied.

Because the post-American post-hegemonic world is not terrible because in some ratings another country will be higher there, and Detroit will never be rebuilt "as it was". It is scary because it is not clear how to live for people who had no support in the form of global goals, faith, philosophy of life, and all this was replaced by narcissism on the basis of "successful success is my second self".

This means that the moment when this issue has to be resolved must be delayed to the last. Leaving the whole topic on the plane "we were offended, we are offended, we were dishonest, which means we have the right to any action" is not a bad move.

It's a pity that it doesn't really affect the essence of what is happening.

< >

[Sep 23, 2020] How fake media actually works: reporter are given the narrative and they should rehash their stories to fit it

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The blogger Caitlin Johnstone accurately states that these most of these mainstream corporate journalists are really *narrative managers* in that their primary role is to peddle the official narrative of the US corporate/political establishment for any given topic. ..."
"... I would add that the managing editors of these "journalists"/narrative managers would be more honestly described as "handlers," to use the parlance of spooks. ..."
"... Waste of time. They control the media. The Internet may have lots of influence, but it still does not set "consensus reality" - that remains with the MSM. The MSM issues one coordinated narrative. The Internet is all over the place. Without one coordinated narrative, you can't set "reality". ..."
"... In addition, those who issue the narrative and control the MSM have the power. People want to believe those in power, due to cognitive dissonance - otherwise they'd have to accept that everyone ruling their lives is a corrupt liar. The electorate may *say* they understand that their rulers are corrupt - but they can't act* on that realization without compromising their own internal belief systems. So again, waste of time to try ..."
Sep 23, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

snake , Sep 22 2020 0:59 utc | 22 can we not invent a method that can counter this tactic of using propaganda to control the narrative?

1) Hack them. Release their planning documents, emails, phone calls, etc. showing how the scam was set up.

2) Waste of time. They control the media. The Internet may have lots of influence, but it still does not set "consensus reality" - that remains with the MSM. The MSM issues one coordinated narrative. The Internet is all over the place. Without one coordinated narrative, you can't set "reality".

3) In addition, those who issue the narrative and control the MSM have the power. People want to believe those in power, due to cognitive dissonance - otherwise they'd have to accept that everyone ruling their lives is a corrupt liar. The electorate may *say* they understand that their rulers are corrupt - but they can't act* on that realization without compromising their own internal belief systems. So again, waste of time to try.

snake , Sep 22 2020 10:19 utc | 36

time2wakeupnow , Sep 21 2020 23:36 utc | 20

Well....as always, and especially if it involves anything even remotely relating to 'Russia', or Iran, or whatever adversarial operational target of the day might be -- one can reliably count on our very own "Izvestia on the Hudson" to faithfully execute their officially sanctioned nation security state propaganda mission by dutifully steno-graphing as much dis/mis-information as their NSA/CIA/Pentagon handlers request (require) from them.

Petri Krohn , Sep 21 2020 22:50 utc | 18

A former editor and correspondent of the The New York Times , Michael Cieply describes how the newspaper works:
Stunned By Trump, The New York Times Finds Time For Some Soul-Searching

It was a shock on arriving at the New York Times in 2004, as the paper's movie editor, to realize that its editorial dynamic was essentially the reverse. By and large, talented reporters scrambled to match stories with what internally was often called "the narrative." We were occasionally asked to map a narrative for our various beats a year in advance, square the plan with editors, then generate stories that fit the pre-designated line.

Reality usually had a way of intervening. But I knew one senior reporter who would play solitaire on his computer in the mornings, waiting for his editors to come through with marching orders. Once, in the Los Angeles bureau, I listened to a visiting National staff reporter tell a contact, more or less: "My editor needs someone to say such-and-such, could you say that?"

The bigger shock came on being told, at least twice, by Times editors who were describing the paper's daily Page One meeting: "We set the agenda for the country in that room.

ak74 , Sep 22 2020 0:14 utc | 22
The blogger Caitlin Johnstone accurately states that these most of these mainstream corporate journalists are really *narrative managers* in that their primary role is to peddle the official narrative of the US corporate/political establishment for any given topic.

I would add that the managing editors of these "journalists"/narrative managers would be more honestly described as "handlers," to use the parlance of spooks.

In fact, it would be apt to described venerable institution of journalism itself as an intelligence operation.

THE CIA AND THE MEDIA

http://www.carlbernstein.com/magazine_cia_and_media.php

Richard Steven Heck , Sep 22 2020 4:01 utc | 28

@snake | Sep 22 2020 0:59 utc | 22 can we not invent a method that can counter this tactic of using propaganda to control the narrative?

1) Hack them. Release their planning documents, emails, phone calls, etc. showing how the scam was set up.

2) Waste of time. They control the media. The Internet may have lots of influence, but it still does not set "consensus reality" - that remains with the MSM. The MSM issues one coordinated narrative. The Internet is all over the place. Without one coordinated narrative, you can't set "reality".

3) In addition, those who issue the narrative and control the MSM have the power. People want to believe those in power, due to cognitive dissonance - otherwise they'd have to accept that everyone ruling their lives is a corrupt liar. The electorate may *say* they understand that their rulers are corrupt - but they can't act* on that realization without compromising their own internal belief systems. So again, waste of time to try.

[Sep 23, 2020] The deviousness of Russians is completly off the charts.

Highly recommended!
Sep 23, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Steverino , Aug 9 2020 13:35 utc | 53

I'll tell you what's really going on here.

Those sneaky Russians are well aware Biden is doing a good enough job of subverting his own campaign.

They know he, like his opponent, offers no relief from the constant militarism and forever wars that the American public is fed up with.

They know he, like his opponent, is corrupt and represents corporate interests and that the American public sees him as out of touch and incapable of offering anything in terms of substantive change.

They know that so long as Biden doesn't offer any kind of viable alternative to the status quo his candidacy is going to be weak and ineffectual and that there isn't much of anything they could do that could possibly enhance that effect.

So, they're content to sit back and let nature take its course. In other words, they realize the best way to interfere in the American elections... is by NOT interfering with them.

And how could the Americans possibly counter such a strategy? The deviousness is off the charts. Damn those Russians!

LOL

[Sep 20, 2020] CJ Hopkins Exposes The Final Act In 'The War On Populism'

Highly recommended!
These sociopaths are messed up world again.
Sep 20, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored (mostly satirically) by CJ Hopkins via The Consent Factory,

So, it appears the War on Populism is building toward an exciting climax. All the proper pieces are in place for a Class-A GloboCap color revolution , and maybe even civil war. You got your unauthorized Putin-Nazi president, your imaginary apocalyptic pandemic, your violent identitarian civil unrest, your heavily-armed politically-polarized populace, your ominous rumblings from military quarters you couldn't really ask for much more.

OK, the plot is pretty obvious by now (as it is in all big-budget action spectacles, which is essentially what color revolutions are), but that won't spoil our viewing experience. The fun isn't in guessing what is going to happen. Everybody knows what's going to happen. The fun is in watching Bruce, or Sigourney, or "the moderate rebels," or the GloboCap "Resistance," take down the monster, or the terrorists, or Hitler, and save the world, or democracy, or whatever.

[Sep 09, 2020] Proof of collusion at last! - IRRUSSIANALITY

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The Guardian ..."
"... BNE Intellinews ..."
"... bne IntelliNews ..."
"... The idea, therefore, that Paul Manafort was an agent of influence for the Russian government flies against everything we know about what he actually did. As for Kilimnik, maybe he is a Russian intelligence agent – I'm not in a position to say. But if he is, he's a very weird one, who spent years actively pushing the Ukrainian government to pursue a policy which directly contradicted Russian interests. ..."
"... None of this, needless to say, appears in the US Senate report. Instead, the report chooses to focus on the apparently shocking revelation that Manafort shared Trump campaign polling data with Kilimnik, as if this sharing of private information was in some ways a massive threat to national security and proof that Manafort was working for the Russians. The fact that both Manafort and Kilimnik spent years doing their damnedest to undermine Russia is simply ignored. Go figure! ..."
Sep 09, 2020 | irrussianality.wordpress.com

PROOF OF COLLUSION AT LAST! SEPTEMBER 2, 2020 PAULR 18 COMMENTS

Despite the secondary roles played some bit part actors in the Russiagate drama, the central figure in allegations that Donald Trump colluded with the Russian government to be elected as president of the United States has always been Trumps' onetime campaign manager Paul Manafort. The recent US Senate report on Russian 'interference' in the 2016 presidential election thus started off its analysis with a long exposé of Manafort's comings and goings.

Simply put, the thesis is as follows: while working in Ukraine as an advisor to 'pro-Russian' Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovich, Manafort was in effect working on behalf of the Russian state via 'pro-Russian' Ukrainian oligarchs as well as Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska (a man with 'close ties' to the Kremlin). Also suspicious was Manafort's close relationship with one Konstantin Kilimnik, whom the US Senate claims is a Russia intelligence agent. All these connections meant that while in Ukraine, Manafort was helping the Russian Federation spread its malign influence. On returning to the USA and joining the Trump campaign, he then continued to fulfill the same role.

The fundamental flaw in this thesis has always been the well-known fact that while advising Yanukovich, Manafort took anything but a 'pro-Russian' position, but instead pressed him to sign an association agreement with the European Union (EU). Since gaining independence, Ukraine had avoided being sucked either into the Western or the Russian camp. But the rise of two competing geopolitical projects – the EU and the Russia-backed Eurasian Union – was making this stance increasingly impossible, and Ukraine was being put in a position where it would be forced to choose. This was because the two Unions are incompatible – one can't be in two customs unions simultaneously, when they levy different tariffs and have different rules. Association with the EU meant an end to the prospect of Ukraine joining the Eurasian Union. It was therefore a goal which was entirely incompatible with Russian interests, which required that Ukraine turn instead towards Eurasia.

Manafort's position on this matter therefore worked against Russia. Even The Guardian journalist Luke Harding had to concede this in his book Collusion , citing a former Ukrainian official Oleg Voloshin that, 'Manafort was an advocate for US interests. So much so that the joke inside [Yanunkovich's] Party of Regions was that he actually worked for the USA.'

If anyone had any doubts about this, they can now put them aside. On Monday, the news agency BNE Intellinews announced that it had received a leak of hundreds of Kilimnik's emails detailing his relationship with Manafort and Yanukovich. The story they tell is not at all what the US Senate and other proponents of the Trump-Russia collusion fantasy would have you believe. As BNE reports:

Today the Yanukovych narrative is that he was a stool pigeon for Russian President Vladimir Putin from the start, but after winning the presidency he actually worked very hard to take Ukraine into the European family. As bne IntelliNews has already reported, Manafort's flight records also show how he crisscrossed Europe in an effort to build support in Brussels for Yanukovych in the run up to the EU Vilnius summit.

On March 1, his first foreign trip as newly minted president was to the EU capital of Brussels. The leaked emails show that Manafort influenced Yanukovych's decision to visit Brussels as first stop, working in concert with his assistant Konstantin Kilimnik In a memorandum entitled 'Purpose of President Yanukovych Trip to Brussels,' Manafort argued that the decision to visit Brussels first would underscore Yanukovych's mission to "bring European values to Ukraine," and kick start negotiations on the Association Agreement.

The memorandum on the Brussels visit was the first of many from Manafort and Kilimnik to Yanukovych, in which they pushed Yanukovych to signal a clear pro-EU line and to carry out reforms to back this up.

To handle Yanukovych's off-message antics, Manafort and Kilimnik created a back channel to Yanukovych for Western politicians – in particular those known to appreciate Ukraine's geopolitical significance vis-à-vis Russia. In Europe, these were Sweden's then foreign minister Carl Bildt, Poland's then foreign minister Radosław Sikorski and European Commissioner for Enlargement Stefan Fule, and in the US, Vice President Joe Biden.

"We need to launch a 'Friends of Ukraine' programme to help us use informal channels in talks on the free trade zone and modernisation of the gas transport system," Manafort and Kilimnik wrote to Yanukovych in September 2010. "Carl Bildt is the foundation of this informal group and has sufficient weight with his colleagues in questions connected to Ukraine and the Eastern Partnership. ( ) but he needs to be able to say that he has a direct channel to the President, and he knows that President Yanukovych remains committed to European integration."

Beyond this, the emails show that Manafort and Kilimnik also tried hard to arrange a meeting between Yanukovich and US President Barack Obama, and urged Yanukovich to show leniency to former Prime Minister Yuliia Timoshenko (who was imprisoned for fraud).

It is noticeable that the members of the 'back channel' Manafort and Kilimnik created to lobby on behalf of Ukraine in the EU included some of the most notably Russophobic European politicians of the time, such as Carl Bildt and Radek Sikorski. Moreover, nowhere in any of what they did can you find anything that could remotely be described as 'pro-Russian'. Indeed, the opposite is true. As previously noted, Ukraine's bid for an EU agreement directly challenged a key Russian interest – the expansion of the Eurasian Union to include Ukraine. Manafort and Kilimnik were therefore very much working against Russia, not for it.

The idea, therefore, that Paul Manafort was an agent of influence for the Russian government flies against everything we know about what he actually did. As for Kilimnik, maybe he is a Russian intelligence agent – I'm not in a position to say. But if he is, he's a very weird one, who spent years actively pushing the Ukrainian government to pursue a policy which directly contradicted Russian interests.

None of this, needless to say, appears in the US Senate report. Instead, the report chooses to focus on the apparently shocking revelation that Manafort shared Trump campaign polling data with Kilimnik, as if this sharing of private information was in some ways a massive threat to national security and proof that Manafort was working for the Russians. The fact that both Manafort and Kilimnik spent years doing their damnedest to undermine Russia is simply ignored. Go figure!

[Sep 01, 2020] How Democrats and Republicans made deals to pass Magnitsky Act by Lucy Komisar

Highly recommended!
The foreign policy elite dislikes Russia, always has, and will do anything to keep this "adversary" front and center because their prospects for prestige, power and position depend upon the presence of an enemy. As an example see Strobe Talbot and Michael McFaul.
Notable quotes:
"... Ben Cardin agreed to be the cosponsor of a Magnitsky Act in the Senate. He sought a Republican cosponsor, John McCain, a Russophobic senator who never met a war he didn't like. ..."
"... It wasn't the first time McCain helped a fraudster. McCain was one of the corrupt "Keating Five" senators who improperly intervened in 1987 on behalf of Charles H. Keating, Jr., corrupt chairman of the Lincoln Savings and Loan Association, which collapsed in 1989 at a cost of $3.4 billion to the federal government (and thus taxpayers). Many investors lost their life savings. ..."
"... To get to McCain and others, Browder hired lobbyist Juleanna Glover, who had been Vice President Dick Cheney's press secretary and then Attorney General John Ashcroft's senior policy adviser. She went with Ashcroft when he left government to run the Washington office of his law firm, the Ashcroft Group. ..."
"... She got Browder a meeting with McCain who agreed to sponsor the Magnitsky Act. It fit with his Russophobia and friendship with fraudsters. ..."
"... On September 29, 2010, Senators Ben Cardin, John McCain, Roger Wicker (Republican of Mississippi) and Joe Lieberman (Democrat of Connecticut) introduced the bill in the Senate. Anyone involved in the false arrest, torture or death of Sergei Magnitsky, or the crimes he uncovered, would be publicly named, banned from entering the United States, and have their U.S. assets frozen. ..."
"... Remember again that a few months later Browder would tell the San Diego law school he didn't know how Magnitsky died. ..."
"... How the Browder-Magnitsky hoax law got passed in a trade deal ..."
"... Browder got Senator Joe Lieberman, conservative Democrat from Connecticut, to agree to block Jackson-Vanik repeal unless the administration stopped blocking his Magnitsky Act. ..."
"... Lieberman and the other cosponsors of the Magnitsky Act sent a letter to Montana Democratic Senator Max Baucus, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. The letter said, "In the absence of the passage of the Magnitsky leg­islation, we will strongly oppose the lifting of Jackson-Vanik." ..."
"... The final count December 6, 2012 was 92-4. Levin and three other Democrats – Bernie Sanders as well as Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse, both of Rhode Island – were the only Senators to vote against it. Elizabeth Warren was not yet in the Senate. ..."
"... It was signed by Obama a week later. Read Title IV of the law to see how it is based on the fake claims the chief sponsors would not, could not prove. Including "he was beaten by 8 guards with rubber batons on the last day of his life" based on zero evidence, just Browder's lies. (I also wrote to Cardin's office and got no reply.) ..."
Aug 19, 2020 | www.thekomisarscoop.com

As the Democratic Convention is in progress, it is fitting to look at how Democrats in Congress and the White House, with Republican collaboration, were responsible for the Magnitsky Act , the law that protects tax fraudster William Browder and his henchman Mikhail Khodorkovsky by erecting a wall against their having to face justice for their financial crimes. And ramps up hostility against Russia.

The fraudster William Browder .

This is a half-hour interview about this I did today on this subject for Fault Lines . And a 15-minute interview for The Critical Hour . Here is an expanded version of what I said.

William Browder in the mid-1990s became manager of the Hermitage Fund, set up with $25 million from Lebanese-Brazilian banker Edmond Safra and Israeli mining investor Beny Steinmez to buy shares in Russian companies.

He says he started the fund, but that is a lie. He was brought in to manage other people's money. But after some years, when the two investors either died or confronted major financial problems, Browder gained control.

Browder doesn't like paying taxes.

Browder was an American who traded his citizenship for a UK passport in 1998 so he could avoid paying U.S. taxes on his stock profits. ( CBS called him a tax expatriate.)

He didn't like paying Russian taxes either. In an early rip-off, he and his partners billionaire Kenneth Dart of Dart cups and New York investor Francis Baker bought a majority of Avisma, a titanium company, that produces material used in airplanes. They cheated minority investors and the Russian tax collector of profits by using transfer pricing.

Corrupt Russian "oligarch" Mikhail Khodorkovsky, photo Lucy Komisar.

You sell your production to a fake company at a low price, then your fake company sells it at the world price. You book lower dividends to cheat minority shareholders, report lower taxes to cheat the Russian people.

Browder and partners bought Avisma from infamous oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky on the basis of continuing his transfer pricing scam. It was revealed by documents in a lawsuit when Browder and partners sued another infamous guy, Peter Bond, the Isle of man crook handling the rake-offs for not passing on the full amount of the skim. (No honor among thieves!) The legal documents where Browder admits to the scam are linked in this story .

Browder cheats bigtime on Russia taxes

Browder's next corruption was to cheat the Russians of taxes from his stock buys in Russia, to the tune of about $100million. That included claiming as deductions disabled workers who didn't work for him, local investments he never made, profits from stock buys of Gazprom the Russian energy conglomerate that non-Russians were not allowed to buy in Russia.

Investigations started in the early 2000s for $40 mil in evaded takes and led to legal judgments in 2004. When he refused to pay, in November 2005 he was denied a Russian visa and in 2006 he moved all his assets out of Russia. But the Russian tax evasion investigations continued.

Browder's accountant Sergei Magnitsky was arrested for investigation of the tax evasion in 2008, and the European Commission on Human Rights ruled last year that was correct because of the evidence and because he was a flight risk. Browder's fake narrative was that Magnitsky, who he lied was his lawyer , had been arrested because he blew the whistle on a scheme by Russian officials to embezzle money from the Russian Treasury. In his own U.S. federal court deposition , Browder admits Magnitsky didn't go to law school or have a law license. See his brief video on that.

Browder gives speeches that he didn't know how Magnitsky died

Then Magnitsky died of heart failure exacerbated by stomach disease which forensic reports say was not properly treated. Browder first said (in talks at the British foreign policy association Chatham House , London, a month after he died, and San Diego Law School -- video at minute 6:20 -- a year later) he didn't know how Magnitsky died, but after a few years he invented a story that he had been beaten to death.

Jonathan Winer, who helped Browder with his scam.

That story was developed by Jonathan Winer, a former assistant to Senator John Kerry and then a State Department official. Winer was working for APCO, an international public relations company one of whose major clients was the same Mikhail Khodorkovsky. They correctly assumed the western media would do no research. Or at least would not be allowed to report it. And the mainstream media never did, except much later Der Spiegel in Germany, which the rest of the western press ignored.

The plan was to get a U.S. law that would in effect block the Russians from going after certain Americans who had cheated on taxes. They would be Browder and Khodorkovsky, who is actually named in the law.

Khodorkovsky would spend several hundred thousand dollars to buy Congressional support for the Magnitsky Act, clearly money well spent. He duly reported it as lobbying expenses.

Here is how the Democrats and Republicans colluded in the Browder Magnitsky hoax. Much of this comes from Browder's own writings in his mostly fake book "Red Notice." Note the corruption of both parties.

Magnitsky died in November 2009. Only four months later in March 2010, Browder was plotting his Magnitsky hoax, attacking Russians he would claim were responsible for Magnitsky's death. But the bizarre part of the story is that he continued throughout 2010 to say he didn't know how Magnitsky died, including in a videoed Dec 2010 San Diego law school talk. He obviously assumed U.S. media and politicians would not notice or care about the contradictions.

Ben Cardin, senator who signed on to Browder hoax.

Browder got Maryland Democratic Senator Ben Cardin to send a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in March 2010 urging her to ban visas for 60 people Browder had listed (without evidence) as complicit in Magnitsky's death. (Remember 9 months later in a videoed talk at San Diego Law School Browder says he didn't know how Magnitsky died.)

The letter to Hillary Clinton, written (Browder says in his book) by Browder acolyte Kyle Parker, a staffer at the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said, I "urge you to immediately cancel and permanently withdraw the U.S. visa privileges of all those involved in this crime, along with their dependents and family members." Immediately? No due process, not even for children and grandparents? Cousins?

Attached to the letter was the list of the sixty officials Browder accused, without evidence, of involvement in Magnitsky's death and a tax fraud against the Treasury.

Browder's fake tax refund fraud

The tax refund fraud was a scheme in which shell companies were set up to sue Browder's Hermitage companies claiming contract violations and damages of $1billion. The Hermitage companies immediately agreed to pay (no evidence of actual bank transfers), then demanded the Treasury pay a tax refund of $230million because they now had zero profits.

Viktor Markelov, tried and jailed for the scam, said he worked with a Sergei Leonidovich, which is Magnitsky's name and patronymic. Other evidence, including an inexplicable delay of months between Browder learning about the his companies being re-registered in other names and him reporting that as "theft," indicates he was part of the scam too.

Note this: Hermitage trustee HSBC filed a financial document in July 2007 saying it was putting aside $7 million for legal costs that might be required to get back the companies. This was five months before the tax refund fraud occurred. Albert Dabbah, chief financial controller for HSBC, confirmed the document's authenticity in U.S. federal court. But Browder and Magnitsky (in his testimony ) said they didn't learn about the "theft" till October 2007.

Theft of his companies? The best defense is a good offense. Accuse others of the crime you committed.

Senator Cardin was requesting that all sixty of Browder's accused have their U.S. travel privileges permanently revoked.

But Hillary didn't buy it. Then House staffer Parker arranged for Browder to testify about the Magnitsky case May 6 th at the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, not an official House body but a pressure group set up in the name of a Russophobic former congressman from Hungary.

Congressman Jim McGovern would not send the evidence he promised, because he couldn't. There wasn't any.

The commission chairman was Massachusetts Democratic congressman Jim McGovern, who runs liberal but is a Russophobe who pretends to be a human rights advocate.

Now what is really interesting is that seven months after this May 6 testimony, on December 6, 2010, Browder was telling the San Diego law school (video 6:20 in) that "they put him in a straight jacket, put him in an isolation room and waited outside the door until he died." Nothing about torture or killing. Had Browder forgotten his dramatic beating story?

McGovern at the Lantos Commission hearing asked for no evidence. He said he would introduce legislation, put the 60 names Browder cited in it, move it to the committee and make a formal recommendation from Congress, then pass it on the floor.

McGovern lies about sending evidence

Kimberly Stanton, who runs a propaganda operation and refused to provide evidence.

In July 2019, almost a decade later, I saw McGovern when he spoke at the Council on Foreign Relations. I asked if he would send me evidence backing the claim that Magnitsky was tortured and killed. He agreed and introduced me to an aide. The aide referred me to Kimberly Stanton, director of the Lantos Commission, who refused in an email to provide any information. And said evidence against targeted people is not required!

I also wrote McGovern's press secretary Matt Bonaccorsi and legislative director Cindy Buhl. They ignored repeated requests, never sent me anything. I conclude that Jim McGovern, who pretends to be a liberal civil rights promoter, is a fake and a fraud.

McGovern introduces a Magnitsky bill in the House.

John McCain, he loved fraudsters and wars.

Ben Cardin agreed to be the cosponsor of a Magnitsky Act in the Senate. He sought a Republican cosponsor, John McCain, a Russophobic senator who never met a war he didn't like.

It wasn't the first time McCain helped a fraudster. McCain was one of the corrupt "Keating Five" senators who improperly intervened in 1987 on behalf of Charles H. Keating, Jr., corrupt chairman of the Lincoln Savings and Loan Association, which collapsed in 1989 at a cost of $3.4 billion to the federal government (and thus taxpayers). Many investors lost their life savings.

Keating was the target of a regulatory investigation. With powerful senators like McCain advocating his cause, the regulator backed off taking action against Lincoln. Though Keating went to jail. McCain was cited only for exercising "poor judgment." Helping a crook doesn't get you thrown out of the Senate.

To get to McCain and others, Browder hired lobbyist Juleanna Glover, who had been Vice President Dick Cheney's press secretary and then Attorney General John Ashcroft's senior policy adviser. She went with Ashcroft when he left government to run the Washington office of his law firm, the Ashcroft Group.

Juleanna Glover, former aide to Dick Cheney. She can buy you a bill .

She got Browder a meeting with McCain who agreed to sponsor the Magnitsky Act. It fit with his Russophobia and friendship with fraudsters.

On September 29, 2010, Senators Ben Cardin, John McCain, Roger Wicker (Republican of Mississippi) and Joe Lieberman (Democrat of Connecticut) introduced the bill in the Senate. Anyone involved in the false arrest, torture or death of Sergei Magnitsky, or the crimes he uncovered, would be publicly named, banned from entering the United States, and have their U.S. assets frozen.

Remember again that a few months later Browder would tell the San Diego law school he didn't know how Magnitsky died.

Now here is how the law got passed. The Jackson-Vanick amendment put in place in the mid-1970s imposed trade sanctions on the Soviet Union to punish it for not allowing Soviet Jews to emigrate. Well, nobody could emigrate. Eventually 1.5 million Jews were allowed to leave the country.

How the Browder-Magnitsky hoax law got passed in a trade deal

Thirty-seven years later the Soviet Union no longer existed, and everybody could emigrate, but Jackson-Vanik was still on the books. It blocked American corporations from enjoying the same trade benefits with Russia as the world's other WTO members.

So, the U.S. business community said Jackson-Vanik had to go, and the Obama administration agreed. So did John Kerry, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. They needed an act of Congress.

Meanwhile, Kerry opposed the Magnitsky Act which he considered untoward interference in Russia (is that like saying meddling?) and had been delaying bringing it to vote in committee.

Browder got Senator Joe Lieberman, conservative Democrat from Connecticut, to agree to block Jackson-Vanik repeal unless the administration stopped blocking his Magnitsky Act.

Lieberman and the other cosponsors of the Magnitsky Act sent a letter to Montana Democratic Senator Max Baucus, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. The letter said, "In the absence of the passage of the Magnitsky leg­islation, we will strongly oppose the lifting of Jackson-Vanik."

John Kerry had good instincts, forced to make bad compromise.

So, Kerry stopped his opposition to the Magnitsky Act.

The two bills were combined. First the bill would be brought up at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to pass Magnitsky, then it would go before the Finance Committee to repeal Jackson-Vanik, and then, it would go before the full Senate for a vote.

Kerry called for a meeting of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in June 2012, with the purpose of approving the Magnitsky Act.

At the hearing, Kerry said that America was not a perfect country, and that the people in that room should be "very mindful of the need for the United States not to always be pointing fingers and lecturing and to be somewhat introspective as we think about these things." (Such nuance would obviously not be allowed today.)

He was "worried about the unintended consequences of requiring that kind of detailed reporting that implicates a broader range of intelligence." He didn't have to worry. Reporting? Intelligence? Actual evidence would never be required! The U.S. was setting up a kangaroo court and calling it a human rights tribunal!

The bill passed the House 365 to 43 on November 16, 2012. Voting "No" were 37 Democrats and 6 Republicans. Among them Maxine Waters and Ron Paul. And surprisingly New York Democrat Jerrold Nadler who since then became a Russophobe. Tulsi Gabbard had not yet been elected.

Kyle Parker told Browder, "There are a number of senators who are insisting on keeping Magnitsky global instead of Russia-only." One was Cardin, but also Carl Levin, Democrat of Michigan – a political giant who spent many years fighting, holding hearings, about offshore tax evasion and must have known very well how Browder was a poster child for offshore tax-evading crooks. Also Jon Kyl, Republican from Arizona. Of course, Browder wanted "Russia only," because the purpose of the law was to attack Russia, not to promote global human rights. Cardin withdrew his objection, and the bill was "Russia only."

The Senate vote

The final count December 6, 2012 was 92-4. Levin and three other Democrats – Bernie Sanders as well as Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse, both of Rhode Island – were the only Senators to vote against it. Elizabeth Warren was not yet in the Senate.

It was signed by Obama a week later. Read Title IV of the law to see how it is based on the fake claims the chief sponsors would not, could not prove. Including "he was beaten by 8 guards with rubber batons on the last day of his life" based on zero evidence, just Browder's lies. (I also wrote to Cardin's office and got no reply.)

It was the first pillar of Russiagate, where Cold Warrior Democrats joined forces with Cold Warrior Republicans. The result would be to build a wall against Russia bringing Browder to justice, including getting Interpol to refuse to issue a red notice that would require other countries to arrest him. He would name his book Red Notice as a jab at the Russians.

And the crooks Browder and Khodorkovsky, protected from the rule of law, laughed all the way to their offshore banks. Here's the link to Browder's Mossack Fonseca (on Panama Papers fame) bank.

(Speaking of the rule of law, it doesn't apply to offshore banks, with secret owners of companies and accounts. They are largely run by western banks that make big profits from laundering the money of the world's crooks. Note on any SEC filing where banks have their subsidiaries: Caymans, Isle of Man, Guernsey, BVI, etc. No local clients, just financial fakery: letterbox companies, tax evasion. It's okay. When there's corruption, only the little people go to jail. In the offshore system, the corrupt financial oligarchy rules.)

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One Response to " How Democrats and Republicans made deals to pass Magnitsky Act "
  1. Pingback: How Democrats and Republicans made deals to pass Magnitsky Act – The Chaos Cat

[Aug 23, 2020] Catapulting Russian-Meddling Propaganda by Ray McGovern

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The fresh orgy of anti-Russian invective in the lickspittle media (LSM) has the feel of fin de siècle . The last four reality-impaired years do seem as though they add up to a century. And no definitive fin is in sight, as long as most people don't know what's going on. ..."
"... The LSM should be confronted: "At long last have you left no sense of decency?" But who would hear the question -- much less any answer? ..."
"... Thus the reckless abandon with which The New York Times is leading the current full-court press to improve on what it regards as Special Counsel Robert Mueller's weak-kneed effort to blame the Russians for giving us Donald Trump. The press is on, and there are no referees to call the fouls. ..."
"... Incidentally, Mueller's report apparently was insufficient, only two years in the making, and just 448 pages. The Senate committee's magnum opus took three years, is almost 1,000 pages -- and fortified. So there. ..."
"... is a good offense, and the Senate Intelligence Committee's release of its study -- call it "Mueller (Enhanced)" -- and the propaganda fanfare -- come at a key point in the Russiagate/Spygate imbroglio. It also came, curiously, as the Democratic Convention was beginning, as if the Republican-controlled Senate was sending Trump a message. ..."
"... The cognoscenti and the big fish themselves may be guessing that Trump/Barr/Durham will not throw out heavier lines for former FBI Director James Comey, his deputy Andrew McCabe, CIA Director John Brennan, and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, for example. But how can they be sure? What has become clear is that the certainty they all shared that Hillary Clinton would be the next president prompted them not only to take serious liberties with the Constitution and the law, but also to do so without taking rudimentary steps to hide their tracks. ..."
"... The incriminating evidence is there. And as Trump becomes more and more vulnerable and defensive about his ineptness -- particularly with regard to Covid-19 -- he may summon the courage to order Barr and Durham to hook the big fish, not just minnows like Clinesmith. The neuralgic reality is that no one knows at this point how far Trump will go. To say that this kind of uncertainty is unsettling to all concerned is to say the obvious. ..."
"... None of that takes us much beyond the Mueller report and other things generally well known -- even in the LSM. Nor does the drivel about people like Paul Manafort "sharing polling data with Russians" who might be intelligence officers. That data was "mostly public" the Times itself reported , and the paper had to correct a story that the data was intended for Russian oligarchs, when it was meant for Ukrainian oligarchs instead. That Manafort was working to turn Ukraine towards the West and not Russia is rarely mentioned. ..."
"... On the Steele Dossier, the committee also missed a ruling by a British judge against Christopher Steele, labeling his dossier an attempt to help Hillary Clinton get elected. Consortium News explained back in October 2017 that both CrowdStrike and Steele were paid for by the Democratic Party and Clinton campaign to push Russiagate. ..."
"... the description of #WikiLeaks ' publishing activities by this #SenateIntelligenceCommittee 's Report appears a true #EdgarHoover 's disinformation campaign to make a legitimate media org completely radioactive ..."
"... And that's not the half of it. In September 2018, Mazzetti and his NYT colleague Scott Shane wrote a 10,000-word feature, "The Plot to Subvert an Election," trying to convince readers that the Russian Internet Research Agency (IRA) had successfully swayed U.S. opinion during the 2016 election with 80,000 Facebook posts that they said had reached 126 million Americans. ..."
"... That turned out to be a grotesquely deceptive claim. Mazzetti and Shane failed to mention the fact that those 80,000 IRA posts (from early 2015 through 2017, meaning about half came after the election), had been engulfed in a vast ocean of more than 33 trillion Facebook posts in people's news feeds – 413 million times more than the IRA posts. Not to mention the lack of evidence that the IRA was the Russian government, as Mueller claimed. ..."
"... "Liberals are embracing every negative claim about Russia just because elements of the CIA, FBI and National Security Agency produced a report last Jan. 6 that blamed Russia for 'hacking' Democratic emails and releasing them to WikiLeaks ." ..."
Aug 23, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Catapulting Russian-Meddling Propaganda


by Tyler Durden Sat, 08/22/2020 - 23:20 Twitter Facebook Reddit Email Print

Authored by Ray McGovern via ConsortiumNews.com,

The New York Times is leading the full-court press to improve on what it regards as Special Counsel Robert Mueller's weak-kneed effort to blame the Russians for giving us Donald Trump...

The fresh orgy of anti-Russian invective in the lickspittle media (LSM) has the feel of fin de siècle . The last four reality-impaired years do seem as though they add up to a century. And no definitive fin is in sight, as long as most people don't know what's going on.

The LSM should be confronted: "At long last have you left no sense of decency?" But who would hear the question -- much less any answer? The corporate media have a lock on what Americans are permitted or not permitted to hear. Checking the truth, once routine in journalism, is a thing of the past.

Thus the reckless abandon with which The New York Times is leading the current full-court press to improve on what it regards as Special Counsel Robert Mueller's weak-kneed effort to blame the Russians for giving us Donald Trump. The press is on, and there are no referees to call the fouls.

The recent release of a 1,000-page, sans bombshells and already out-of-date report by the Senate Intelligence Committee has provided the occasion to "catapult the propaganda," as President George W. Bush once put it.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/VxnegxNEDAc

As the the Times 's Mark Mazzetti put it in his article Wednesday:

"Releasing the report less than 100 days before Election Day, Republican-majority senators hoped it would refocus attention on the interference by Russia and other hostile foreign powers in the American political process, which has continued unabated."

Mazzetti is telling his readers, soto voce : regarding that interference four years ago, and the "continued-unabated" part, you just have to trust us and our intelligence community sources who would never lie to you. And if, nevertheless, you persist in asking for actual evidence, you are clearly in Putin's pocket.

Incidentally, Mueller's report apparently was insufficient, only two years in the making, and just 448 pages. The Senate committee's magnum opus took three years, is almost 1,000 pages -- and fortified. So there.

Iron Pills

Recall how disappointed the LSM and the rest of the Establishment were with Mueller's anemic findings in spring 2019. His report claimed that the Russian government "interfered in the 2016 presidential election in sweeping and systematic fashion" via a social media campaign run by the Internet Research Agency (IRA) and by "hacking" Democratic emails. But the evidence behind those charges could not bear close scrutiny.

You would hardly know it from the LSM, but the accusation against the IRA was thrown out of court when the U.S. government admitted it could not prove that the IRA was working for the Russian government. Mueller's ipse dixit did not suffice, as we explained a year ago in "Sic Transit Gloria Mueller."

The Best Defense

is a good offense, and the Senate Intelligence Committee's release of its study -- call it "Mueller (Enhanced)" -- and the propaganda fanfare -- come at a key point in the Russiagate/Spygate imbroglio. It also came, curiously, as the Democratic Convention was beginning, as if the Republican-controlled Senate was sending Trump a message.

Durham

One chief worry, of course, derives from the uncertainty as to whether John Durham, the US Attorney investigating those FBI and other officials who launched the Trump-Russia investigation will let some heavy shoes drop before the election. Barr has said he expects "developments in Durham's investigation hopefully before the end of the summer."

FBI attorney Kevin Clinesmith already has decided to plead guilty to the felony of falsifying evidence used to support a warrant from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to surveillance to spy on Trump associate Carter Page. It is abundantly clear that Clinesmith was just a small cog in the deep-state machine in action against candidate and then President Trump. And those running the machine are well known. The president has named names, and Barr has made no bones about his disdain for what he calls spying on the president.

The cognoscenti and the big fish themselves may be guessing that Trump/Barr/Durham will not throw out heavier lines for former FBI Director James Comey, his deputy Andrew McCabe, CIA Director John Brennan, and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, for example. But how can they be sure? What has become clear is that the certainty they all shared that Hillary Clinton would be the next president prompted them not only to take serious liberties with the Constitution and the law, but also to do so without taking rudimentary steps to hide their tracks.

The incriminating evidence is there. And as Trump becomes more and more vulnerable and defensive about his ineptness -- particularly with regard to Covid-19 -- he may summon the courage to order Barr and Durham to hook the big fish, not just minnows like Clinesmith. The neuralgic reality is that no one knows at this point how far Trump will go. To say that this kind of uncertainty is unsettling to all concerned is to say the obvious.

So, the stakes are high -- for the Democrats, as well -- and, not least, the LSM. In these circumstances it would seem imperative not just to circle the wagons but to mount the best offense/defense possible, despite the fact that virtually all the ammunition (as in the Senate report) is familiar and stale ("enhanced" or not).

Black eyes might well be in store for the very top former law enforcement and intelligence officials, the Democrats, and the LSM -- and in the key pre-election period. So, the calculation: launch "Mueller Report (Enhanced)" and catapult the truth now with propaganda, before it is too late.

No Evidence of Hacking

The "hacking of the DNC" charge suffered a fatal blow three months ago when it became known that Shawn Henry, president of the DNC-hired cyber-security firm CrowdStrike, admitted under oath that his firm had no evidence that the DNC emails were hacked -- by Russia or anyone else.

(YouTube)

Henry gave his testimony on Dec. 5, 2017, but House Intelligence Committee chair Adam Schiff was able to keep it hidden until May 7, 2020.

Here's a brief taste of how Henry's testimony went: Asked by Schiff for "the date on which the Russians exfiltrated the data", Henry replied, "We just don't have the evidence that says it actually left."

You did not know that? You may be forgiven -- up until now -- if your information diet is limited to the LSM and you believe The New York Times still publishes "all the news that's fit to print." I am taking bets on how much longer the NYT will be able to keep Henry's testimony hidden; Schiff's record of 29 months will be hard to beat.

Putting Lipstick on the Pig of Russian 'Tampering'

Worse still for the LSM and other Russiagate diehards, Mueller's findings last year enabled Trump to shout "No Collusion" with Russia. What seems clear at this point is that a key objective of the current catapulting of the truth is to apply lipstick to Mueller's findings.

After all, he was supposed to find treacherous plotting between the Trump campaign and the Russians and failed miserably. Most LSM-suffused Americans remain blissfully unaware of this, and the likes of Pulitzer Prize winner Mazzetti have been commissioned to keep it that way.

In Wednesday's article , for example, Mazzetti puts it somewhat plaintively:

"Like the special counsel the Senate report did not conclude that the Trump campaign engaged in a coordinated conspiracy with the Russian government -- a fact that the Republicans seized on to argue that there was 'no collusion'."

How could they!

Mazzetti is playing with words. "Collusion," however one defines it, is not a crime; conspiracy is.

'Breathtaking' Contacts: Mueller (Enhanced)

Mark Mazzetti (YouTube)

Mazzetti emphasizes that the Senate report "showed extensive evidence of contacts between Trump campaign advisers and people tied to the Kremlin," and Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), the intelligence committee's vice chairman, said the committee report details "a breathtaking level of contacts between Trump officials and Russian government operatives that is a very real counterintelligence threat to our elections."

None of that takes us much beyond the Mueller report and other things generally well known -- even in the LSM. Nor does the drivel about people like Paul Manafort "sharing polling data with Russians" who might be intelligence officers. That data was "mostly public" the Times itself reported , and the paper had to correct a story that the data was intended for Russian oligarchs, when it was meant for Ukrainian oligarchs instead. That Manafort was working to turn Ukraine towards the West and not Russia is rarely mentioned.

Recent revelations regarding the false data given the FISA court by an FBI lawyer to "justify" eavesdropping on Trump associate Carter Page show the Senate report to be not up to date and misguided in endorsing the FBI's decision to investigate Page. The committee may wish to revisit that endorsement -- at least.

On the Steele Dossier, the committee also missed a ruling by a British judge against Christopher Steele, labeling his dossier an attempt to help Hillary Clinton get elected. Consortium News explained back in October 2017 that both CrowdStrike and Steele were paid for by the Democratic Party and Clinton campaign to push Russiagate.

Also missed by the intelligence committee was a document released by the Senate Judiciary Committee last month that revealed that Steele's "Primary Subsource and his friends peddled warmed-over rumors and laughable gossip that Steele dressed up as formal intelligence memos."

Smearing WikiLeaks

The Intelligence Committee report also repeats thoroughly debunked myths about WikiLeaks and, like Mueller, the committee made no effort to interview Julian Assange before launching its smears. Italian journalist Stefania Maurizi, who partnered with WikiLeaks in the publication of the Podesta emails, described the report's treatment of WikiLeaks in this Twitter thread :

2. the description of #WikiLeaks ' publishing activities by this #SenateIntelligenceCommittee 's Report appears a true #EdgarHoover 's disinformation campaign to make a legitimate media org completely radioactive

3. Clearly, to describe #WikiLeaks and its publishing activities the #SenateIntelligenceCommittee's Report completely rely on #US intelligence community+ #MikePompeo's characterisation of #WikiLeaks. There is not even any pretense of an independent approach

4. there are also unsubstantiated claims like:
– "[WikiLeaks'] disclosures have jeopardized the safety of individual Americans and foreign allies" (p.200)
– "WikiLeaks has passed information to U.S. adversaries" (p.201)

5. it's completely false that "#WikiLeaks does not seem to weigh whether its disclosures add any public interest value" (p.200) and any longtime media partner like me could provide you dozens of examples on how wrong this characterisation [is].

Titillating

Mazzetti did add some spice to the version of his article that dominated the two top right columns of Wednesday's Times with the blaring headline: "Senate Panel Ties Russian Officials to Trump's Aides: G.O.P.-Led Committee Echoes Mueller's Findings on Election Tampering."

Those who make it to the end of Mazzetti's piece will learn that the Senate committee report "did not establish" that the Russian government obtained any compromising material on Mr. Trump or that they tried to use such materials [that they didn't have] as leverage against him." However, Mazzetti adds,

"According to the report, Mr. Trump met a former Miss Moscow at a party during one trip in 1996. After the party, a Trump associate told others he had seen Mr. Trump with the woman on multiple occasions and that they 'might have had a brief romantic relationship.'

"The report also raised the possibility that, during that trip, Mr. Trump spent the night with two young women who joined him the next morning at a business meeting with the mayor of Moscow."

This is journalism?

Another Pulitzer in Store?

The Times appends a note reminding us that Mazzetti was part of a team that won a Pulitzer Prize in 2018 for reporting on Donald Trump's advisers and their connections to Russia.

And that's not the half of it. In September 2018, Mazzetti and his NYT colleague Scott Shane wrote a 10,000-word feature, "The Plot to Subvert an Election," trying to convince readers that the Russian Internet Research Agency (IRA) had successfully swayed U.S. opinion during the 2016 election with 80,000 Facebook posts that they said had reached 126 million Americans.

That turned out to be a grotesquely deceptive claim. Mazzetti and Shane failed to mention the fact that those 80,000 IRA posts (from early 2015 through 2017, meaning about half came after the election), had been engulfed in a vast ocean of more than 33 trillion Facebook posts in people's news feeds – 413 million times more than the IRA posts. Not to mention the lack of evidence that the IRA was the Russian government, as Mueller claimed.

In exposing that chicanery, prize-winning investigative reporter Gareth Porter commented :

"The descent of The New York Times into this unprecedented level of propagandizing for the narrative of Russia's threat to U.S. democracy is dramatic evidence of a broader problem of abuses by corporate media Greater awareness of the dishonesty at the heart of the Times' coverage of that issue is a key to leveraging media reform and political change."

Nothingburgers With Russian Dressing: the Backstory

The late Robert Parry.

"It's too much; it's just too much, too much", a sedated, semi-conscious Robert Parry kept telling me from his hospital bed in late January 2018 a couple of days before he died. Bob was founder of Consortium News .

It was already clear what Bob meant; he had taken care to see to that. On Dec. 31, 2017 the reason for saying that came in what he titled "An Apology & Explanation" for "spotty production in recent days." A stroke on Christmas Eve had left Bob with impaired vision, but he was able to summon enough strength to write an Apologia -- his vision for honest journalism and his dismay at what had happened to his profession before he died on Jan. 27, 2018. The dichotomy was "just too much".

Parry rued the role that journalism was playing in the "unrelenting ugliness that has become Official Washington. Facts and logic no longer mattered. It was a case of using whatever you had to diminish and destroy your opponent this loss of objective standards reached deeply into the most prestigious halls of American media."

What bothered Bob most was the needless, dishonest tweaking of the Russian bear. "The U.S. media's approach to Russia," he wrote, "is now virtually 100 percent propaganda. Does any sentient human being read The New York Times ' or The Washington Post 's coverage of Russia and think that he or she is getting a neutral or unbiased treatment of the facts? Western journalists now apparently see it as their patriotic duty to hide facts that otherwise would undermine the demonizing of Putin and Russia."

Parry, who was no conservative, continued:

"Liberals are embracing every negative claim about Russia just because elements of the CIA, FBI and National Security Agency produced a report last Jan. 6 that blamed Russia for 'hacking' Democratic emails and releasing them to WikiLeaks ."

Bob noted that the 'hand-picked' authors "evinced no evidence and even admitted that they weren't asserting any of this as fact."

It was just too much.

Robert Parry's Last Article

Peter Strzok during congressional hearing in July 2018. (Wikimedia Commons)

Bob posted his last substantive article on Dec. 13, 2017, the day after text exchanges between senior FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page were made public. (Typically, readers of The New York Times the following day would altogether miss the importance of the text-exchanges.)

Bob Parry rarely felt any need for a "sanity check." Dec. 12, 2017 was an exception. He called me about the Strzok-Page texts; we agreed they were explosive. FBI Agent Peter Strzok was on Special Counsel Robert Mueller's staff investigating alleged Russian interference, until Mueller removed him.

Strzok reportedly was a "hand-picked" FBI agent taking part in the Jan 2017 evidence-impoverished, rump, misnomered "intelligence community" assessment that blamed Russia for hacking and other election meddling. And he had helped lead the investigation into Hillary Clinton's misuse of her computer servers. Page was Deputy Director Andrew McCabe's right-hand lawyer.

His Dec. 13, 2017 piece would be his fourth related article in less than two weeks; it turned out to be his last substantive article. All three of the earlier ones are worth a re-read as examples of fearless, unbiased, perceptive journalism. Here are the links .

Bob began his article on the Strzok-Page bombshell:

"The disclosure of fiercely anti-Trump text messages between two romantically involved senior FBI officials who played key roles in the early Russia-gate inquiry has turned the supposed Russian-election-meddling "scandal" into its own scandal, by providing evidence that some government investigators saw it as their duty to block or destroy Donald Trump's presidency.?

"As much as the U.S. mainstream media has mocked the idea that an American 'deep state' exists and that it has maneuvered to remove Trump from office, the text messages between senior FBI counterintelligence official Peter Strzok and senior FBI lawyer Lisa Page reveal how two high-ranking members of the government's intelligence/legal bureaucracy saw their role as protecting the United States from an election that might elevate to the presidency someone as unfit as Trump."

Not a fragment of Bob's or other Consortium News analysis made any impact on what Bob used to call the Establishment media. As a matter of fact, eight months later during a talk in Seattle that I titled "Russia-gate: Can You Handle the Truth?", only three out of a very progressive audience of some 150 had ever heard of Strzok and Page.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/ngIKjpucQh8

And so it goes.

Lest I am accused of being "in Putin's pocket," let me add the explanatory note that we Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity included in our most explosive Memorandum for President Trump, on "Russian hacking."

Full Disclosure: Over recent decades the ethos of our intelligence profession has eroded in the public mind to the point that agenda-free analysis is deemed well nigh impossible. Thus, we add this disclaimer, which applies to everything we in VIPS say and do: We have no political agenda; our sole purpose is to spread truth around and, when necessary, hold to account our former intelligence colleagues.

We speak and write without fear or favor. Consequently, any resemblance between what we say and what presidents, politicians and pundits say is purely coincidental. The fact we find it is necessary to include that reminder speaks volumes about these highly politicized times.

somecallmetimmah , 1 hour ago

Only brain-washed losers read the new york times. Garbage propaganda for garbage people.

AtATrESICI , 43 minutes ago

"developments in Durham's investigation hopefully before the end of the summer." What summer? The summer of 2099.

Mouldy , 1 hour ago

So in a nutshell.. They just called half the USA too stupid to make an informed decision for themselves.

ominous , 1 hour ago

the disagreement is over which half is the stupid half

homeskillet , 25 minutes ago

The MIC's bogey man. What a crock of **** this whole country has become. Pravda puts out more truth than our MSM. I trust Putin more than the Dem leaders at this point.

Demeter55 , 1 hour ago

The Globalist/New World Order/Deep State/Elitists (or whatever other arrogant subsection of the psychopaths among us you wish to consider) have one great failing which will defeat them utterly in the end:

They do not know when to cut their losses.

As a result of that irrational stubbornness, born of a "Manifest Destiny" assumption of an eternal lock on the situation, they will go too far.

Even if they systematically try to destroy us, they will not have the ability unless we are complicit in our own destruction. While there are many who have "taken the knee" to these tyrants in training, there are more who have no intention of doing so.

Most nations are not so buffaloed as to fall for this propaganda, but the United States especially was created with the notion that all men are created equal, and this is ingrained in the national character. We don't buy it.

And our numbers are growing daily, as people wake up and realize they have to take a side for themselves, their families, their communities.

The global covid-panic was a masterful attack, but it will fail. Indeed, it has failed already. The building counter-attack will take out those who chose to declare war on humanity. There really is no alternative for us, the humans. Live Free or Die, as they say in New Hampshire.

And despite the full support of the MSM and the DNC, the Would-Be Masters of the Universe will not succeed.

sborovay07 , 1 hour ago

Sad Assange wasn't granted immunity to testify and was silenced just prior to the release of the Mueller report. Little has been heard since except his health is horrific. Now, all the Deep State figures on both sides are just throwing as much mud against Trump as possible to hide the truth. If Durnham does not indict the Deep State figures who participated in the Obama led coup, all is for not. Only the foot soldiers marching in lock step will be charged.

wn , 1 hour ago

To sum it up.

Conclusion of the Democrats.

Americans need Russian brains to decide their leader in order to move forward.

nokilli , 25 minutes ago

Once the MO for "Russian hacking" is published to the international intelligence community, any (((party))) can pose as a "Russian hacker."

This is the way computers work. Sybil is eponymous.

KuriousKat , 35 minutes ago

Mazzeti looks like the typical Gopher boy for the CIA Station Chiefs around the world..they retire or become contributors to NewsWeek Wapo or NYT. ..not Any major network w/o one...Doing **** like this is mandatory..not elective.

[Aug 08, 2020] Russia Hoax- Are We All Being Played- Put Up Or Shut Up! - Zero Hedge

Highly recommended!
Aug 08, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

by Tyler Durden Fri, 08/07/2020 - 21:05 Twitter Facebook Reddit Email Print

Authored by Sara Carter via SaraACarter.com,

Many people have asked me why I haven't written a book since the start of my reporting on the FBI's debunked investigation into whether President Donald Trump's campaign conspired with Russia.

I haven't done so because I don't believe the most important part of the story has been told: indictments and accountability. I also don't believe we actually know what really happened on a fundamental level and how dangerous it is to our democratic republic. That will require a deeper investigation that answers the fundamental questions of the role played by former senior Obama officials, including the former President and his aides.

We're getting closer but we're still not there.

Still, the extent of what happened during the last presidential election is much clearer now than it was years ago when trickles of evidence led to years of what Fox News host Sean Hannity and I would say was peeling back the layers of an onion. We now know that the U.S. intelligence and federal law enforcement was weaponized against President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign and administration by a political opponent. We now know how many officials involved in the false investigation into the president trampled the Constitution.

I never realized how terrible the deterioration inside the system had become until four years ago when I stumbled onto what was happening inside the FBI. Those concerns were brought to my attention by former and current FBI agents, as well as numerous U.S. intelligence officials aware of the failures inside their own agencies. But it never occurred to me when I first started looking into fired FBI Director James Comey and his former side kick Deputy Director A ndrew McCabe that the cultural corruption of these once trusted American institutions was so vast.

I've watched as Washington D.C. elites make promises to get to the bottom of it and bring people to justice. They appear to make promises to the American people they never intended to keep. Who will be held accountable for one of the most egregious abuses of power by bureaucrats in modern American political history? Now I fear those who perpetuated this culture of corruption won't ever really be held accountable.

These elite bureaucrats will, however, throw the American people a bone. It's how they operate.

They expect us to accept it and then move on.

https://lockerdome.com/lad/13084989113709670?pubid=ld-dfp-ad-13084989113709670-0&pubo=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com&rid=www.zerohedge.com&width=890

One example is the most recent decision by the Justice Department to ask that charges be dropped on former national security advisor Michael Flynn. It's just a bone because we know now these charges should have never been brought against the three-star general but will anyone on former Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team have to answer for ruining a man's life. No, they won't. In fact, Flynn is still fighting for his freedom.

Think about what has already happened? From former Attorney General Jeff Session's appointment of Utah Prosecutor John Huber to the current decision by Attorney General William Barr to appoint Connecticut prosecutor John Durham to investigate the malfeasance what has been done? Really, nothing at all. No one has been indicted.

The investigation by the FBI against Trump was never predicated on any real evidence but instead, it was a set-up to usurp the American voters will. It doesn't matter that the establishment didn't like Trump, in 2016 the Americans did. Isn't that a big enough reason to bring charges against those involved?

His election was an anomaly for the Washington elite. They were stunned when Trump won and went into full gear to save their own asses from discovery and target anyone who supported him. The truth is they couldn't stand the Trump and American disruptors who elected him to office.

Now they will work hand in fist to ensure that this November election is not a repeat win of 2016. We're already seeing that play out everyday on the news.

But Barr and Durham are now up against a behemoth political machine that seems to be operating more like a steam roller the closer we get to the November presidential elections.

Barr told Fox News in June that he expects Durham's report to come before the end of summer but like always, it's August and we're still waiting.

Little is known about the progress of Durham's investigation but it's curious as to why nothing has been done as of yet and the Democrats are sure to raise significant questions or concerns if action is taken before the election. They will charge that Durham's investigation is politically motivated. That is, unless the charges are just brought against subordinates and not senior officials from the former administration.

I sound cynical because I am right now. It doesn't mean I won't trying to get to the truth or fighting for justice.

But how can you explain the failure of Durham and Barr to actually interview key players such as Comey, or former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, or former CIA Director John Brennan. That is what we're hearing from them.

If I am going to believe my sources, Durham has interviewed former FBI special agent Peter Strzok, along with FBI Special agent Joe Pientka, among some others. Still, nothing has really been done or maybe once again they will throw us bone.

If there are charges to be brought they will come in the form of taking down the subordinates, like Strzok, Pientka and the former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith , who altered the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act application against short term 2016 campaign advisor Carter Page.

Remember DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz's report in December, 2019: It showed that a critical piece of evidence used to obtain a warrant to spy on Page in 2016 was falsified by Clinesmith.

But Clinesmith didn't act alone. He would have had to have been ordered to do such a egregious act and that could only come from the top. Let's see if Durham ever hold those Obama government officials accountable.

I don't believe he will.

Why? Mainly because of how those senior former Obama officials have behaved since the troves of information have been discovered. They have written books, like Comey, McCabe, Brennan and others, who have published Opinion Editorials and have taken lucrative jobs at cable news channels as experts.

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It's frankly disgusting and should anger every American. We would never get away with what these former Obama officials have done. More disturbing is that the power they wield through their contacts in the media and their political connections allows these political 'oligarchs' unchallenged power like never before.

Here's one of the latest examples.

Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller's top prosecutor Andrew Weissmann just went after Barr in a New York Times editorial on Wednesday. He went so far as to ask the Justice Department employees to ignore any direction by Barr or Durham in the Russia investigations. From Weissmann's New York Times Opinion Editorial:

Today, Wednesday, marks 90 days before the presidential election, a date in the calendar that is supposed to be of special note to the Justice Department. That's because of two department guidelines, one a written policy that no action be influenced in any way by politics. Another, unwritten norm urges officials to defer publicly charging or taking any other overt investigative steps or disclosures that could affect a coming election.

Attorney General William Barr appears poised to trample on both. At least two developing investigations could be fodder for pre-election political machinations. The first is an apparently sprawling investigation by John Durham, the U.S. attorney in Connecticut, that began as an examination of the origins of the F.B.I. investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 election. The other , led by John Bash, the U.S. attorney for the Western District of Texas, is about the so-called unmasking of Trump associates by Obama administration officials. Mr. Barr personally unleashed both investigations and handpicked the attorneys to run them.

But Justice Department employees, in meeting their ethical and legal obligations , should be well advised not to participate in any such effort.

I think Barr and Durham need to move fast if they are ever going to do anything and if they are going to prove me wrong. We know now that laws were broken and our Constitution was torched by these rogue government officials.

We shouldn't give the swamp the time-of-day to accuse the Trump administration of playing politics or interfering with this election. If the DOJ has evidence and is ready to indict they need to do it now.

If our Justice Department officials haven't done their job to expose the corruption, clean out our institutions and hold people accountable then it will be a tragedy for our nation and the American people. I'm frankly tired of the back and forth. I'm tired of being toyed with and lied to. I believe they should either put up or shut up.

[Aug 04, 2020] Russia never saw Trump as a potential ally or friend by The Saker

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Furthermore, it is pretty obvious to the Russians that while Crimea and MH17 were the pretexts for western sanctions against Russia, they were not the real cause. The real cause of the West's hatred for Russia is as simple as it is old: Russia cannot be conquered, subdued, subverted or destroyed. They've been at it for close to 1,000 years and they still are at it. In fact, each time they fail to crush Russia, their russophobia increases to even higher levels (phobia both in the sense of "fear" and in the sense of "hatred"). ..."
"... I would argue that since at least Russia and the AngloZionist Empire have been at war since at least 2013, when Russia foiled the US plan to attack Syria under the pretext that it was "highly likely" that the Syrian government had used chemical weapons against civilians (in reality, a textbook case of a false flag organized by the Brits), This means that Russia and the Empire have been at [Cold] war since at least 2013, for no less than seven years (something which Russian 6th columnists and Neo-Marxists try very hard to ignore). ..."
"... True, at least until now, this was has been 80% informational, 15% economic and only 5% kinetic, but this is a real existential war of survival for both sides: only one side will walk away from this struggle. The other one will simply disappear (not as a nation or a people, but as a polity; a regime). The Kremlin fully understood that and it embarked on a huge reform and modernization of the Russian armed forces in three distinct ways: ..."
"... While some US politicians understood what was going on (I think of Ron Paul, see here ), most did not. They were so brainwashed by the US propaganda that they were sure that no matter what, "USA! USA! USA!". Alas for them, the reality was quite different. ..."
Aug 04, 2020 | www.unz.com

Truth be told, most Russian politicians (with the notable exception of the official Kremlin court jester, Zhirinovskii) and analysts never saw Trump as a potential ally or friend. The Kremlin was especially cautious, which leads me to believe that the Russian intelligence analysts did a very good job evaluating Trump's psyche and they quickly figured out that he was no better than any other US politician.

Right now, I know of no Russian analyst who would predict that relations between the US and Russia will improve in the foreseeable future. If anything, most are clearly saying that "guys, we better get used to this" (accusations, sanctions, accusations, sanctions, etc. etc. etc.).

Furthermore, it is pretty obvious to the Russians that while Crimea and MH17 were the pretexts for western sanctions against Russia, they were not the real cause. The real cause of the West's hatred for Russia is as simple as it is old: Russia cannot be conquered, subdued, subverted or destroyed. They've been at it for close to 1,000 years and they still are at it. In fact, each time they fail to crush Russia, their russophobia increases to even higher levels (phobia both in the sense of "fear" and in the sense of "hatred").

Simply put -- there is nothing which Russia can expect from the upcoming election. Nothing at all. Still, that does not mean that things are not better than 4 or 8 years ago. Let's look at what changed.

I would argue that since at least Russia and the AngloZionist Empire have been at war since at least 2013, when Russia foiled the US plan to attack Syria under the pretext that it was "highly likely" that the Syrian government had used chemical weapons against civilians (in reality, a textbook case of a false flag organized by the Brits), This means that Russia and the Empire have been at [Cold] war since at least 2013, for no less than seven years (something which Russian 6th columnists and Neo-Marxists try very hard to ignore).

True, at least until now, this was has been 80% informational, 15% economic and only 5% kinetic, but this is a real existential war of survival for both sides: only one side will walk away from this struggle. The other one will simply disappear (not as a nation or a people, but as a polity; a regime). The Kremlin fully understood that and it embarked on a huge reform and modernization of the Russian armed forces in three distinct ways:

A "general" reform of the Russian armed forces which had to be modernized by about 80%. This part of the reform is now practically complete. A specific reform to prepare the western and southern military districts for a major conventional war against the united West (as always in Russian history) which would involve the First Guards Tank Army and the Russian Airborne Forces. The development of bleeding-edge weapons systems with no equivalent in the West and which cannot be countered or defeated; these weapons have had an especially dramatic impact upon First Strike Stability and upon naval operations.

While some US politicians understood what was going on (I think of Ron Paul, see here ), most did not. They were so brainwashed by the US propaganda that they were sure that no matter what, "USA! USA! USA!". Alas for them, the reality was quite different.

Russian officials, by the way, have confirmed that Russia was preparing for war . Heck, the reforms were so profound and far reaching, that it would have been impossible for the Russians to hide what they were doing (see here for details; also please see Andrei Martyanov's excellent primer on the new Russian Navy here ).

While no country is ever truly prepared for war, I would argue that by 2020 the Russians had reached their goals and that now Russia is fully prepared to handle any conflict the West might throw at her, ranging from a small border incident somewhere in Central Asia to a full-scaled war against the US/NATO in Europe .

Folks in the West are now slowly waking up to this new reality (I mentioned some of that here ), but it is too late. In purely military terms, Russia has now created such a qualitative gap with the West that the still existing quantitative gap is not sufficient to guarantee a US/NATO victory. Now some western politicians are starting to seriously freak out (see this lady , for example), but most Europeans are coming to terms with two truly horrible realities:

Russia is much stronger than Europe and, even much worse, Russia will never attack first (which is a major cause of frustration for western russophobes)

As for the obvious solution to this problem, having friendly relations with Russia is simply unthinkable for those who made their entire careers peddling the Soviet (and now Russian) threat to the world.

But Russia is changing, albeit maybe too slowly (at least for my taste). As I mentioned last week, a number of Polish, Ukrainian and Baltic politicians have declared that the Zapad2020 military maneuvers which are supposed to take place in southern Russia and the Caucasus could be used to prepare an attack on the West (see here for a rather typical example of this nonsense). In the past, the Kremlin would only have made a public statement ridiculing this nonsense, but this time around Putin did something different. Right after he saw the reaction of these politicians, Putin ordered a major and UNSCHEDULED military readiness exercise which involved no less than 150,000 troops, 400 aircraft & 100 ships ! The message here was clear:

Yes, we are much more powerful than you are and No, we are not apologizing for our strength anymore

And, just to make sure that the message is clear, the Russians also tested the readiness of the Russian Airborne Forces units near the city of Riazan, see for yourself:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/2s2V8iPofFs?feature=oembed

This response is, I think, the correct one. Frankly, nobody in the West is listening to what the Kremlin has to say, so what is the point of making more statements which in the future will be ignored equally as they have been in the past.

If anything, the slow realization that Russia is more powerful than NATO would be most helpful in gently prodding EU politicians to change their tune and return back to reality. Check out this recent video of Sarah Wagenknecht, a leading politician of the German Left and see for yourself:

https://www.dailymotion.com/embed/video/x7uu5fk

The example of Sahra Wagenknecht is interesting, because she is from Germany, one of the countries of northern Europe; traditionally, northern European powers have been much more anti-Russian than southern Europeans, so it is encouraging to see that the anti-Putin and anti-Russia hysteria is not always being endorsed by everybody.

But if things are very slowly getting better in the EU, in the bad old US of A things are only getting worse. Even the Republicans are now fully on board the Russia-hating float (right behind a "gay pride" one I suppose) and they are now contributing their own insanity to the cause, as this article entitled " Congressional Republicans: Russia should be designated state sponsor of terror " shows (designating Russia as a terrorist state is an old idea of the Dems, by the way).

Russian options for the Fall

In truth, Russia does not have any particularly good options towards the US. Both parties are now fully united in their rabid hatred of Russia (and China too, of course). Furthermore, while there are many well-funded and virulently anti-Russian organizations in the US (Neo-cons, Papists, Poles, Masons, Ukrainians, Balts, Ashkenazi Jews, etc.), Russian organizations in the US like this one , have very little influence or even relevance.

Banderites marching in the US

However, as the chaos continues to worsen inside the US and as US politicians continue to alienate pretty much the entire planet, Russia does have a perfect opportunity to weaken the US grip on Europe. The beauty in the current dynamic is that Russia does not have to do anything at all (nevermind anything covert or illegal) to help the anti-EU and anti-US forces in Europe: All she needs to do is to continuously hammer in the following simple message: "the US is sinking -- do you really want to go down with it?".

There are many opportunities to deliver that message. The current US/Polish efforts to prevent the EU from enjoying cheap Russian gas might well be the best example of what we could call "European suicide politics", but there are many, many more.

Truth be told, neither the US nor the EU are a top priority for Russia, at least not in economic terms. The moral credibility of the West in general can certainly be described as dead and long gone. As for the West military might, it is only a concern to the degree that western politicians might be tempted to believe their own propaganda about their military forces being the best in the history of the galaxy. This is why Russia regularly engages in large surprise exercises: to prove to the West that the Russian military is fully ready for anything the West might try. As for the constant move of more and more US/NATO forces closer to the borders of Russia, they are offensive in political terms, but in military terms, getting closer to Russia only means that Russia will have more options to destroy you. "Forward deployment" is really a thing of the past, at least against Russia.

With time, however, and as the US federal center loses even more of its control of the country, the Kremlin might be well-advised to try to open some venues for "popular diplomacy", especially with less hostile US states. The weakening of the Executive Branch has already resulted in US governors playing an increasingly important international role and while this is not, strictly speaking, legal (only the federal government has the right to engage in foreign policy), the fact is that this has been going on for years already. Another possible partner inside the US for Russian firms would be US corporations (especially now that they are hurting badly). Finally, I think that the Kremlin ought to try to open channels of communication with the various small political forces in the US which are clearly not buying into the official propaganda: libertarians, (true) liberals and progressives, paleo-conservatives.

What we are witnessing before our eyes is the collapse of the US federal center. This is a dangerous and highly unstable moment in our history. But from this crisis opportunities will arise. The best thing Russia can do now is to simply remain very careful and vigilant and wait for new forces to appear on the US political scene.

Twilight Patriot , says: • Website July 29, 2020 at 12:26 am GMT

I really agree with you that the “blame Russia” and “blame China” thing has gotten out of hand in US politics. Whether it will turn into a shooting war seems doubtful to me, as the government is still full of people who are looking out for their own interests and know that a full-sized war with Russia, China, Iran or whoever will not advance their interests.

But who would have guessed, a few years ago, that “Russian asset” would become the all-purpose insult for Democrats to use, not just against Republicans, but against other Democrats?

With Republicans I think that “blame China” is stronger. China makes a good scapegoat for the economic situation in the United States. But convincing the working class that China is the source of their problems (and that Mr. MAGA is going to solve those problems by standing up to China) requires ignorance of the crucial facts about the trade relationship between those two countries.

Namely, that the trade deficit exists only because the Federal Reserve chooses to create huge amounts of new dollars each year for export to other countries, and it’s only possible for US exports to fall behind imports so badly (and thus put so many American laborers out of work) because the Fed is making up the difference by exporting dollars. Granted, it isn’t a policy that the US can change without harming the interests of its own upper classes; at the same time, it isn’t a policy that China could force on the US without the people in charge of the United States wanting it.

This is a topic I’ve dealt with a few times on my own blog.

Why I Don’t Fear Chinese Hegemony: https://www.twilightpatriot.com/2020/05/why-i-dont-fear-chinese-hegemony.html

Nobody Will Win The Trade War: https://www.twilightpatriot.com/2019/09/nobody-will-win-trade-war.html

[Aug 03, 2020] Natalie Wynn also refers to Jo Freeman's 1976 piece on "Trashing," in which she describes her experience of being ostracized by fellow feminists for alleged ideological deviation. The dynamic of cancellation predates the internet.

Highly recommended!
Aug 03, 2020 | crookedtimber.org

oldster 08.03.20 at 1:17 am 141

Natalie Wynn also refers to Jo Freeman's 1976 piece on "Trashing," in which she describes her experience of being ostracized by fellow feminists for alleged ideological deviation. The dynamic of cancellation predates the internet.

(I don't know where a young you-tuber probably not born before the millennium encountered Shulamith Firestone's old partner in crime, but I am delighted that she did! I know it shows my age, but I think that young activists today could benefit a lot from reading what my generation's activists wrote. Also, from getting off my lawn.)

oldster 08.03.20 at 1:21 am ( 142 )

and I forgot the link:
https://www.jofreeman.com/joreen/trashing.htm

[Aug 03, 2020] KEEPING YOUR MOUTH SHUT by James L. Gibson & Joseph L. Sutherland

Highly recommended!
This is a shadow of USSR over the USA. Dead are biting from the grave.
Notable quotes:
"... Over the course of the period from the heyday of McCarthyism to the present, the percentage of the American people not feeling free to express their views has tripled. In 2019, fully four in ten Americans engaged in self-censorship. Our analyses of both over-time and cross-sectional variability provide several insights into why people keep their mouths shut. We find that: ..."
"... those possessing more resources (e.g., higher levels of education) report engaging in more self-censorship ..."
"... fully 40% of the American people today reported being less free to speak their minds than they used to. That so many Americans withhold their political views is remarkable -- and portentous. ..."
"... Self-censorship is defined as intentionally and voluntarily withholding information from others in [the] absence of formal obstacles ..."
Aug 03, 2020 | poseidon01.ssrn.com

Over the course of the period from the heyday of McCarthyism to the present, the percentage of the American people not feeling free to express their views has tripled. In 2019, fully four in ten Americans engaged in self-censorship. Our analyses of both over-time and cross-sectional variability provide several insights into why people keep their mouths shut. We find that:

(1) Levels of self-censorship are related to affective polarization among the mass public, but not via an "echo chamber" effect because greater polarization is associated with more self-censorship.

(2) Levels of mass political intolerance bear no relationship to self-censorship, either at the macro- or micro-levels.

(3) Those who perceive a more repressive government are only slightly more likely to engage in self-censorship. And

(4) those possessing more resources (e.g., higher levels of education) report engaging in more self-censorship .

Together, these findings suggest the conclusion that one's larger macro-environment has little to do with self-censorship. Instead, micro-environment sentiments -- such as worrying that expressing unpopular views will isolate and alienate people from their friends, family, and neighbors -- seem to drive self-censorship.

We conclude with a brief discussion of the significance of our findings for larger democracy theory and practice. Electronic copy available at: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3647099

There can be little doubt that Americans today are deeply divided on their values, many issue preferences, and their ideological and partisan attachments (e.g., Druckman and Levendusky 2019). Indeed, these divisions even extend to the question of whom -- or what kind of person -- their children should marry (Iyengar et al. 2019)!

A concomitant of these divisions is that political discourse has become coarse, abrasive, divisive, and intense. When it comes to politics today, it is increasingly likely that even an innocent but misspoken opinion will cause a kerfuffle to break out.

It therefore should not be surprising to find that a large segment of the American people engages in self-censorship when it comes of expressing their views.1 In a nationally representative survey we conducted in 2019 (see Appendix A), we asked a question about self-censorship that Samuel Stouffer (1955) first asked in 1954, with startling results: fully 40% of the American people today reported being less free to speak their minds than they used to. That so many Americans withhold their political views is remarkable -- and portentous.

... ... ...

===

1 Sharvit et al. put forth a useful definition of self-censorship (2018, 331): " Self-censorship is defined as intentionally and voluntarily withholding information from others in [the] absence of formal obstacles ." Studies of self-censorship have taken many forms, ranging from philosophical inquiries (e.g., Festenstein 2018) to studies of those withholding crucial evidence of human rights abuses (e.g., Bar-Tal 2017) to studies of self-censorship among racial minorities (e.g., Gibson 2012).

[Aug 02, 2020] Russiagate, Nazis, and the CIA by ROB URIE

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The U.S. has spent a century or more trying to install a U.S.-friendly government in Moscow. Following the dissolution of the USSR in 1991, the U.S. sent neoliberal economists to loot the country as the Clinton administration, and later the Obama administration, placed NATO troops and armaments on the Russian border after a negotiated agreement not to do so . Subsequent claims of realpolitik are cover for a reckless disregard for geopolitical consequences. ..."
"... The paradox of American liberalism, articulated when feminist icon and CIA asset Gloria Steinem described the CIA as ' liberal, nonviolent and honorable ,' is that educated, well-dressed, bourgeois functionaries have used the (largely manufactured) threat of foreign subversion to install right-wing nationalists subservient to American business interests at every opportunity. ..."
"... To the point made by Christopher Simpson , the CIA could have achieved better results had it not employed former Nazi officers, begging the question of why it chose to do so? ..."
"... Russiagate is the nationalist party line in the American fight against communism, without the communism. Charges of treason have been lodged every time that military budgets have come under attack since 1945. In 1958 the senior leadership of the Air Force was charging the other branches of the military with treason for doubting its utterly fantastical (and later disproven) estimate of Soviet ICBMs. Treason is good for business. ..."
"... Shortly after WWII ended, the CIA employed hundreds of former Nazi military officers, including former Gestapo and SS officers responsible for murdering tens and hundreds of thousands of human beings , to run a spy operation known as the Gehlen Organization from Berlin, Germany. Given its central role in assessing the military intentions and capabilities of the Soviet Union, the Gehlen Organization was more likely than not responsible for the CIA's overstatement of Soviet nuclear capabilities in the 1950s used to support the U.S. nuclear weapons program. Former Nazis were also integrated into CIA efforts to install right wing governments around the world. ..."
"... Under the Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act passed by Congress in 1998, the CIA was made to partially disclose its affiliation with, and employment of, former Nazis. In contrast to the ' Operation Paperclip ' thesis that it was Nazi scientists who were brought to the U.S. to labor as scientists, the Gehlen Organization and CIC employed known war criminals in political roles. Klaus Barbie, the 'Butcher of Lyon,' was employed by the CIC, and claims to have played a role in the murder of Che Guevara . Wernher von Braun, one of the Operation Paperclip 'scientists,' worked in a Nazi concentration camp as tens of thousands of human beings were murdered. ..."
"... To understand the political space that military production came to occupy, from 1948 onward the U.S. military became a well-funded bureaucracy where charges of treason were regularly traded between the branches. Internecine battles for funding and strategic dominance were (and are) regularly fought. The tactic that this bureaucracy -- the 'military industrial complex,' adopted was to exaggerate foreign threats in a contest for bureaucratic dominance. The nuclear arms race was made a self-fulfilling prophecy. As the U.S. produced world-ending weapons non-stop for decades on end, the Soviets responded in kind. ..."
"... Long story short, the CIA employed hundreds of former Nazi officers who had the ideological predisposition and economic incentive to mis-perceive Soviet intentions and misstate Soviet capabilities to fuel the Cold War. ..."
"... the U.S. had indicated its intention to use nuclear weapons in a first strike -- and had demonstrated the intention by placing Jupiter missiles in Italy, nothing that the U.S. offered during the Missile Crisis could be taken in good faith. ..."
"... Following the election of Bill Clinton in 1992, the Cold War entered a new phase. Cold War logic was repurposed to support the oxymoronic 'humanitarian wars' -- liberating people by bombing them. In 1995 'Russian meddling' meant the Clinton administration rigging the election of Boris Yeltsin in the Russian presidential election. Mr. Clinton then unilaterally reneged on the American agreement to keep NATO from Russia's border when former Baltic states were brought under NATO's control . ..."
"... The Obama administration's 2014 incitement in Ukraine , by way of fostering and supporting the Maidan uprising and the ousting of Ukraine's democratically elected President, Viktor Yanukovych, ties to the U.S. strategy of containing and overthrowing the Soviet (Russian) government that was first codified by the National Security Council (NSC) in 1945. The NSC's directives can be found here and here . The economic and military annexation of Ukraine by the U.S. (NATO didn't exist in 1945) comes under NSC10/2 . The alliance between the CIA and Ukrainian fascists ties to directive NSC20 , the plan to sponsor Ukrainian-affiliated former Nazis in order to install them in the Kremlin to replace the Soviet government. This was part of the CIA's rationale for putting Ukrainian-affiliated former Nazis on its payroll in 1948. ..."
"... That Russiagate is the continuation of a scheme launched in 1945 by the National Security Council, to be engineered by the CIA with help from former Nazi officers in its employ, speaks volumes about the Cold War frame from which it emerges ..."
"... Its near instantaneous adoption by bourgeois liberals demonstrates the class basis of the right-wing nationalism it supports. That liberals appear to perceive themselves as defenders 'democracy' within a trajectory laid out by unelected military leaders more than seven decades earlier is testament to the power of historical ignorance tied to nationalist fervor. Were the former Gestapo and SS officers employed by the CIA 'our Nazis?' ..."
"... Furthermore, are liberals really comfortable bringing fascists with direct historical ties to the Third Reich to power in Ukraine? And while there are no good choices in the upcoming U.S. election, the guy who liberals want to bring to power is lead architect of this move. ..."
Jul 31, 2020 | www.counterpunch.org
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The political success of Russiagate lies in the vanishing of American history in favor of a façade of liberal virtue. Posed as a response to the election of Donald Trump, a straight line can be drawn from efforts to undermine the decommissioning of the American war economy in 1946 to the CIA's alliance with Ukrainian fascists in 2014. In 1945 the NSC (National Security Council) issued a series of directives that gave logic and direction to the CIA's actions during the Cold War. That these persist despite the 'fall of communism' suggests that it was always just a placeholder in the pursuit of other objectives.

The first Cold War was an imperial business enterprise to keep the Generals, bureaucrats, and war materiel suppliers in power and their bank accounts flush after WWII. Likewise, the American side of the nuclear arms race left former Gestapo and SS officers employed by the CIA to put their paranoid fantasies forward as assessments of Russian military capabilities. Why, of all people, would former Nazi officers be put in charge military intelligence if accurate assessments were the goal? The Nazis hated the Soviets more than the Americans did.

The ideological binaries of Russiagate -- for or against Donald Trump, for or against neoliberal, petrostate Russia, define the boundaries of acceptable discourse to the benefit of deeply nefarious interests. The U.S. has spent a century or more trying to install a U.S.-friendly government in Moscow. Following the dissolution of the USSR in 1991, the U.S. sent neoliberal economists to loot the country as the Clinton administration, and later the Obama administration, placed NATO troops and armaments on the Russian border after a negotiated agreement not to do so . Subsequent claims of realpolitik are cover for a reckless disregard for geopolitical consequences.

The paradox of American liberalism, articulated when feminist icon and CIA asset Gloria Steinem described the CIA as ' liberal, nonviolent and honorable ,' is that educated, well-dressed, bourgeois functionaries have used the (largely manufactured) threat of foreign subversion to install right-wing nationalists subservient to American business interests at every opportunity. Furthermore, Steinem's aggressive ignorance of the actual history of the CIA illustrates the liberal propensity to conflate bourgeois dress and attitude with an imagined gentility . To the point made by Christopher Simpson , the CIA could have achieved better results had it not employed former Nazi officers, begging the question of why it chose to do so?

On the American left, Russiagate is treated as a case of bad reporting, of official outlets for government propaganda serially reporting facts and events that were subsequently disproved. However, some fair portion of the American bourgeois, the PMC that acts in supporting roles for capital, believes every word of it. Russiagate is the nationalist party line in the American fight against communism, without the communism. Charges of treason have been lodged every time that military budgets have come under attack since 1945. In 1958 the senior leadership of the Air Force was charging the other branches of the military with treason for doubting its utterly fantastical (and later disproven) estimate of Soviet ICBMs. Treason is good for business.

Shortly after WWII ended, the CIA employed hundreds of former Nazi military officers, including former Gestapo and SS officers responsible for murdering tens and hundreds of thousands of human beings , to run a spy operation known as the Gehlen Organization from Berlin, Germany. Given its central role in assessing the military intentions and capabilities of the Soviet Union, the Gehlen Organization was more likely than not responsible for the CIA's overstatement of Soviet nuclear capabilities in the 1950s used to support the U.S. nuclear weapons program. Former Nazis were also integrated into CIA efforts to install right wing governments around the world.

By the time that (Senator) John F. Kennedy claimed a U.S. 'missile gap' with the Soviets in 1958, the CIA was providing estimates of Soviet ICBMs (Inter-continental Ballistic Missiles), that were wildly inflated -- most likely provided to it by the Gehlen Organization. Once satellite and U2 reconnaissance estimates became available, the CIA lowered its own to 120 Soviet ICBMs when the actual number was four . On the one hand, the Soviets really did have a nuclear weapons program. On the other, it was a tiny fraction of what was being claimed. Bad reporting, unerringly on the side of larger military budgets, appears to be the constant.

Under the Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act passed by Congress in 1998, the CIA was made to partially disclose its affiliation with, and employment of, former Nazis. In contrast to the ' Operation Paperclip ' thesis that it was Nazi scientists who were brought to the U.S. to labor as scientists, the Gehlen Organization and CIC employed known war criminals in political roles. Klaus Barbie, the 'Butcher of Lyon,' was employed by the CIC, and claims to have played a role in the murder of Che Guevara . Wernher von Braun, one of the Operation Paperclip 'scientists,' worked in a Nazi concentration camp as tens of thousands of human beings were murdered.

The historical sequence in the U.S. was WWI, the Great Depression, WWII, to an economy that was heavily dependent on war production. The threatened decommissioning of the war economy in 1946 was first met with an honest assessment of Soviet intentions -- the Soviets were moving infrastructure back into Soviet territory as quickly as was practicable, then to the military budget-friendly claim that they were putting resources in place to invade Europe. The result of the shift was that the American Generals kept their power and the war industry kept producing materiel and weapons. By 1948 these weapons had come to include atomic bombs.

To understand the political space that military production came to occupy, from 1948 onward the U.S. military became a well-funded bureaucracy where charges of treason were regularly traded between the branches. Internecine battles for funding and strategic dominance were (and are) regularly fought. The tactic that this bureaucracy -- the 'military industrial complex,' adopted was to exaggerate foreign threats in a contest for bureaucratic dominance. The nuclear arms race was made a self-fulfilling prophecy. As the U.S. produced world-ending weapons non-stop for decades on end, the Soviets responded in kind.

What ties the Gehlen Organization to CIA estimates of Soviet nuclear weapons from 1948 – 1958 is 1) the Gehlen Organization was central to the CIA's intelligence operations vis-à-vis the Soviets, 2) the CIA had limited alternatives to gather information on the Soviets outside of the Gehlen Organization and 3) the senior leadership of the U.S. military had long demonstrated that it approved of exaggerating foreign threats when doing so enhanced their power and added to their budgets. Long story short, the CIA employed hundreds of former Nazi officers who had the ideological predisposition and economic incentive to mis-perceive Soviet intentions and misstate Soviet capabilities to fuel the Cold War.

Where this gets interesting is that American whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg was working for the Rand Corporation in the late 1950s and early 1960s when estimates of Soviet ICBMs were being put forward. JFK had run (in 1960) on a platform that included closing the Soviet – U.S. ' missile gap .' The USAF (U.S. Air Force), charged with delivering nuclear missiles to their targets, was estimating that the Soviets had 1,000 ICBMs. Mr. Ellsberg, who had limited security clearance through his employment at Rand, was leaked the known number of Soviet ICBMs. The Air Force was saying 1,000 Soviet ICBMs when the number confirmed by reconnaissance satellites was four.

By 1962, the year of the Cuban Missile Crisis, the CIA had shifted nominal control of the Gehlen Organization to the BND, for whom Gehlen continued to work. Based on ongoing satellite reconnaissance data, the CIA was busy lowering its estimates of Soviet nuclear capabilities. Benjamin Schwarz, writing for The Atlantic in 2013, provided an account, apparently informed by the CIA's lowered estimates, where he placed the whole of the Soviet nuclear weapons program (in 1962) at roughly one-ninth the size of the U.S. effort. However, given Ellsberg's known count of four Soviet ICBMs at the time of the missile crisis, even Schwarz's ratio of 1:9 seems to overstate Soviet capabilities.

Further per Schwarz's reporting, the Jupiter nuclear missiles that the U.S. had placed in Italy prior to the Cuban Missile Crisis only made sense as first-strike weapons. This interpretation is corroborated by Daniel Ellsberg , who argues that the American plan was always to initiate the use of nuclear weapons (first strike). This made JFK's posture of equally matched contestants in a geopolitical game of nuclear chicken utterly unhinged. Should this be less than clear, because the U.S. had indicated its intention to use nuclear weapons in a first strike -- and had demonstrated the intention by placing Jupiter missiles in Italy, nothing that the U.S. offered during the Missile Crisis could be taken in good faith.

The dissolution of the USSR in 1991 was met with a promised reduction in U.S. military spending and an end to the Cold War, neither of which ultimately materialized. Following the election of Bill Clinton in 1992, the Cold War entered a new phase. Cold War logic was repurposed to support the oxymoronic 'humanitarian wars' -- liberating people by bombing them. In 1995 'Russian meddling' meant the Clinton administration rigging the election of Boris Yeltsin in the Russian presidential election. Mr. Clinton then unilaterally reneged on the American agreement to keep NATO from Russia's border when former Baltic states were brought under NATO's control .

The Obama administration's 2014 incitement in Ukraine , by way of fostering and supporting the Maidan uprising and the ousting of Ukraine's democratically elected President, Viktor Yanukovych, ties to the U.S. strategy of containing and overthrowing the Soviet (Russian) government that was first codified by the National Security Council (NSC) in 1945. The NSC's directives can be found here and here . The economic and military annexation of Ukraine by the U.S. (NATO didn't exist in 1945) comes under NSC10/2 . The alliance between the CIA and Ukrainian fascists ties to directive NSC20 , the plan to sponsor Ukrainian-affiliated former Nazis in order to install them in the Kremlin to replace the Soviet government. This was part of the CIA's rationale for putting Ukrainian-affiliated former Nazis on its payroll in 1948.

That Russiagate is the continuation of a scheme launched in 1945 by the National Security Council, to be engineered by the CIA with help from former Nazi officers in its employ, speaks volumes about the Cold War frame from which it emerges.

Its near instantaneous adoption by bourgeois liberals demonstrates the class basis of the right-wing nationalism it supports. That liberals appear to perceive themselves as defenders 'democracy' within a trajectory laid out by unelected military leaders more than seven decades earlier is testament to the power of historical ignorance tied to nationalist fervor. Were the former Gestapo and SS officers employed by the CIA 'our Nazis?'

The Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act came about in part because Nazi hunters kept coming across Nazi war criminals living in the U.S. who told them they had been brought here and given employment by the CIA, CIC, or some other division of the Federal government. If the people in these agencies thought that doing so was justified, why the secrecy? And if it wasn't justified, why was it done? Furthermore, are liberals really comfortable bringing fascists with direct historical ties to the Third Reich to power in Ukraine? And while there are no good choices in the upcoming U.S. election, the guy who liberals want to bring to power is lead architect of this move. Cue the Sex Pistols .

[Jul 23, 2020] Demorats defeat amedment ot cut Defence by 10%

Highly recommended!
Jul 23, 2020 | news.antiwar.com

Amendment to make across-the-board reductions overwhelmingly defeated by members of both parties

Eric Garris Posted on July 21, 2020 Categories News

By a vote of 324-93 , the House of Representatives soundly defeated an amendment to reduce Pentagon authorized spending levels by 10%. The amendment does not specify what to cut, only that Congress make across-the-board reductions. The amendment to the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) was offered by Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI). No Republicans voted for the amendment. Libertarian Justin Amash supported the amendment.

Earlier, the House defeated an amendment to stop the Pentagon's submission of an unfunded priorities list. Each year, after the Pentagon's budget request is submitted to Congress, the military services send a separate "wish list," termed "unfunded priorities." This list includes requests for programs that the military would like Congress to fund, in case they decide to add more money to the Pentagon's proposed budget.

This article was written while observing the voting on CSPAN. The House Clerk has not yet posted the roll-call vote. Additional information will be added to the article when available.

[Jul 21, 2020] This Skripal thing smelled to high heaven from day 1. My opinion is that Sergei Skripal was involved (to what degree is open to speculation) with the Steele dossier.

Highly recommended!
Apr 20, 2019 | theduran.com
Marcus April 20, 2019

There is something rotten in the state .. of England.

This Skripal thing smelled to high heaven from day 1. My opinion is that Sergei Skripal was involved (to what degree is open to speculation) with the Steele dossier. He was getting homesick (perhaps his mother getting older is part of this) for Russia and he thought that to get back to Russia he needed something big to get back in Putin's good graces. He would have needed something really big because Putin really has no use for traitors. Skripal put out some feelers (perhaps through his daughter though that may be dicey). The two couriers were sent to seal or move the deal forward. The Brits (and perhaps the CIA) found out about this and decided to make an example of Sergei. Perhaps because they found out about this late, the deep state/intelligence people had to move very quickly. The deep state story was was extremely shaky (to put it mildly) as a result. Or they were just incompetent and full of hubris.

Then they were stuck with the story and bullshit coverup was layered on bullshit coverup. 7 Reply FlorianGeyer Reply to Marcus April 20, 2019

@ Marcus.

To hope to get away with lies, one must have perfect memory and a superior intellect that can create a lie with some semblance of reality in real life, as opposed to the digital 'reality' in a Video game. And a rather corny video game at that.

MI5/6 failed on all parts of Lie creation 2 Reply Mistaron April 21, 2019

If Trump was so furious about being conned by Haspel, how come he then went on to promote her to becoming the head of the CIA? It's quite perplexing.

[Jul 20, 2020] The Real 'Russian Playbook' Is Written in English -- Strategic Culture

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... There was a deeply held assumption that, when the countries of Central and Eastern Europe joined NATO and the European Union in 2004, these countries would continue their positive democratic and economic transformation. Yet more than a decade later, the region has experienced a steady decline in democratic standards and governance practices at the same time that Russia's economic engagement with the region expanded significantly. ..."
"... Are these developments coincidental, or has the Kremlin sought deliberately to erode the region's democratic institutions through its influence to 'break the internal coherence of the enemy system'? ..."
"... a false flag operation" involving "an alliance of the far right organizations, specifically the Right Sector and Svoboda, and oligarchic parties, such as Fatherland". There is little in Sharp's book to suggest that non-violent resistance would have had much effect on a really brutal and determined government. He also has the naïve habit of using "democrat" and "dictator" as if these words were as precisely defined as coconuts and codfish. But any "dictatorship" – for example Stalin's is a very complex affair with many shades of opinion in it. So, in terms of what he was apparently trying to do, one can see it only succeeding against rather mild "dictators" presiding over extremely unpopular polities. With a great deal of outside effort and resources. ..."
"... His "playbook" is useful to outside powers that want to overthrow governments they don't like. Especially those run by "dictators" not brutal enough to shoot the protesters down. ..."
Jul 17, 2020 | www.strategic-culture.org

I hadn't given The Russian Playbook much attention until Susan Rice, Obama's quondam security advisor, opined a month ago on CNN that " I'm not reading the intelligence today, or these days -- but based on my experience, this is right out of the Russian playbook ". She was referring to the latest U.S. riots.

Once I'd seen this mention of The Russian Playbook (aka KGB, Kremlin or Putin's Playbook), I saw the expression all over the place. Here's an early – perhaps the earliest – use of the term. In October 2016, the Center for Strategic and International studies (" Ranked #1 ") informed us of the " Kremlin Playbook " with this ominous beginning

There was a deeply held assumption that, when the countries of Central and Eastern Europe joined NATO and the European Union in 2004, these countries would continue their positive democratic and economic transformation. Yet more than a decade later, the region has experienced a steady decline in democratic standards and governance practices at the same time that Russia's economic engagement with the region expanded significantly.

And asks

Are these developments coincidental, or has the Kremlin sought deliberately to erode the region's democratic institutions through its influence to 'break the internal coherence of the enemy system'?

Well, to these people, to ask the question is to answer it: can't possibly be disappointment at the gap between 2004's expectations and 2020's reality, can't be that they don't like the total Western values package that they have to accept, it must be those crafty Russians deceiving them. This was the earliest reference to The Playbook that I found, but it certainly wasn't the last.

Russia has a century-old playbook for 'disinformation' 'I believe in Russia they do have their own manual that essentially prescribes what to do,' said Clint Watts, a research fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute and a former FBI agent. (Nov 2018)

The Russian playbook for spreading fake news and conspiracy theories is the subject of a new three-part video series on The New York Times website titled 'Operation Infektion: Russian Disinformation: From The Cold War To Kanye.' (Nov 2018)

I found headlines such as these: Former CIA Director Outlines Russian Playbook for Influencing Unsuspecting Targets (May 2017) ; Fmr. CIA op.: Don Jr. meeting part of Russian playbook (Jul 2017) ; Americans Use Russian Playbook to Spread Disinformation (Oct 2018) ; Factory of Lies: The Russian Playbook (Nov 2018) ; Shredding the Putin Playbook: Six crucial steps we must take on cyber-security -- before it's too late. (Winter 2018) ; Trump's spin is 'all out of the KGB playbook': Counterintelligence expert Malcolm Nance (May 2019) .

Of course, all these people are convinced Moscow interfered in the 2016 presidential election. Somehow. To some effect. Never really specified but the latest outburst of insanity is this video from the Lincoln Project . As Anatoly Karlin observes: "I think it's really cool how we Russians took over America just by shitposting online. How does it feel to be subhuman?" He has a point: the Lincoln Project, and the others shrieking about Russian interference, take it for granted that American democracy is so flimsy and Americans so gullible that a few Facebook ads can bring the whole facade down. A curious mental state indeed.

So let us consider The Russian Playbook. It stands at the very heart of Russian power. It is old: at least a century old . Why, did not Tolstoy's 1908 Letter to a Hindu inspire Gandhi to bring down the British Indian Empire and win the Great Game for Moscow? The Tolstoy-Putin link is undeniable as we are told in A Post-Soviet 'War and Peace': What Tolstoy's Masterwork Explains About Putin's Foreign Policy : "In the early decades of the nineteenth century, Napoleon (like Putin after him) wanted to construct his own international order ". Russian novelists: adepts of The Playbook every one . So there is much to consider about this remarkable Book which has had such an enormous – hidden to most – role in world history. Its instructions on how to swing Western elections are especially important: the 2016 U.S. election ; Brexit ; " 100 years of Russian electoral interference "; Canada ; France ; the European Union ; Germany and many more. The awed reader must ask whether any Western election since Tolstoy's day can be trusted. Not to forget the Great Hawaiian Pizza Debate the Russians could start at any moment.

What can we know about The Playbook? For a start it must be written in Russian, a language that those crafty Russians insist on speaking among themselves. Secondly such an important document would be protected the way that highly classified material is protected. There would be a very restricted need to know; underlings participating in one of the many plays would not know how their part fitted into The Playbook; few would ever see The Playbook itself. The Playbook would be brought to the desk of the few authorised to see it by a courier, signed for, the courier would watch the reader and take away the copy afterwards. The very few copies in existence would be securely locked away; each numbered and differing subtly from the others so that, should a leak occur, the authorities would know which copy read by whom had been leaked. Printed on paper that could not be photographed or duplicated. As much protection as human cunning could devise; right up there with the nuclear codes .

So, The Russian Playbook would be extraordinarily difficult to get hold of. And yet every talking head on U.S. TV has a copy at his elbow! English copies, one assumes. Rachel Maddow has comprehended the complicated chapter on how to control the U.S. power system . Others have read the impenetrably complex section on how to control U.S. voting machines or change vote counts . Many are familiar with the lists of divisions in American society and directions for exploiting them . Adam Schiff has mastered the section on how to get Trump to give Alaska back . Susan Rice well knows the chapter "How to create riots in peaceful communities".

And so on. It's all quite ridiculous: we're supposed to believe that Moscow easily controls far-away countries but can't keep its neighbours under control.

There is no Russian Playbook, that's just projection. But there is a "playbook" and it's written in English, it's freely available and it's inexpensive enough that every pundit can have a personal copy: it's named " From Dictatorship To Democracy: A Conceptual Framework for Liberation " and it's written by Gene Sharp (1928-2018) . Whatever Sharp may have thought he was doing, whatever good cause he thought he was assisting, his book has been used as a guide to create regime changes around the world. Billed as "democracy" and "freedom", their results are not so benign. Witness Ukraine today. Or Libya. Or Kosovo whose long-time leader has just been indicted for numerous crimes . Curiously enough, these efforts always take place in countries that resist Washington's line but never in countries that don't. Here we do see training, financing, propaganda, discord being sown, divisions exploited to effect regime change – all the things in the imaginary "Russian Playbook". So, whatever he may have thought he was helping, Sharp's advice has been used to produce what only the propagandists could call " model interventions "; to the "liberated" themselves, the reality is poverty , destruction , war and refugees .

The Albert Einstein Institution , which Sharp created in 1983, strongly denies collusion with Washington-sponsored overthrows but people from it have organised seminars or workshops in many targets of U.S. overthrows . The most recent annual report of 2014 , while rather opaque, shows 45% of its income from "grants" (as opposed to "individuals") and has logos of Euromaidan, SOSVenezuela, Umbrellamovement , Lwili , Sunflowersquare and others. In short, the logos of regime change operations in Ukraine, Venezuela, Hong Kong, Burkina Faso and Taiwan. (And, ironically for today's USA, Black Lives Matter). So, clearly, there is some connection between the AEI and Washington-sponsored regime change operations.

So there is a "handbook" but it's not Russian.

Reading Sharp's book, however, makes one wonder if he was just fooling himself. Has there ever been a "dictatorship" overthrown by "non-violent" resistance along the lines of what he is suggesting? He mentions Norwegians who resisted Hitler; but Norway was liberated, along with the rest of Occupied Europe, by extremely violent warfare. While some Jews escaped, most didn't and it was the conquest of Berlin that saved the rest: the nazi state was killed . The USSR went away, together with its satellite governments in Europe but that was a top-down event. He likes Gandhi but Gandhi wouldn't have lasted a minute under Stalin. Otpor was greatly aided by NATO's war on Serbia. And, they're only "non-violent" because the Western media doesn't talk much about the violence ; "non-violent" is not the first word that comes to mind in this video of Kiev 2014 . "Colour revolutions" are manufactured from existing grievances, to be sure, but with a great deal of outside assistance, direction and funding; upon inspection, there's much design behind their "spontaneity". And, not infrequently, with mysterious sniping at a expedient moment – see Katchanovski's research on the "Heavenly Hundred" of the Maidan showing pretty convincingly that the shootings were " a false flag operation" involving "an alliance of the far right organizations, specifically the Right Sector and Svoboda, and oligarchic parties, such as Fatherland". There is little in Sharp's book to suggest that non-violent resistance would have had much effect on a really brutal and determined government. He also has the naïve habit of using "democrat" and "dictator" as if these words were as precisely defined as coconuts and codfish. But any "dictatorship" – for example Stalin's is a very complex affair with many shades of opinion in it. So, in terms of what he was apparently trying to do, one can see it only succeeding against rather mild "dictators" presiding over extremely unpopular polities. With a great deal of outside effort and resources.

His "playbook" is useful to outside powers that want to overthrow governments they don't like. Especially those run by "dictators" not brutal enough to shoot the protesters down. It's not Russian diplomats that are caught choosing the leaders of ostensibly independent countries . It's not Russians who boast of spending money in poor countries to change their governments . It's not Russian diplomats who meet with foreign opposition leaders . Russia doesn't fabricate a leader of a foreign country . It's not Russia that invents a humanitarian crisis , bombs the country to bits , laughs at its leader's brutal death and walks away. It's not Russia that sanctions numerous countries . It's not Russia that gives fellowships to foreign oppositionists . Even the Washington Post (one of the principals in sustaining Putindunnit hysteria) covered " The long history of the U.S. interfering with elections elsewhere "; but piously insisted "the days of its worst behavior are long behind it". Whatever the pundits may claim about Russia, the USA actually has an organisation devoted to interfering in other countries' business ; one of whose leading lights proudly boasted: " A lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA. "

The famous "Russian Playbook" is nothing but projection onto Moscow of what Washington actually does: projection is so common a feature of American propaganda that one may certain that when Washington accuses somebody else of doing something, it's a guarantee that Washington is doing it.

[Jul 18, 2020] Divide We Fall -- America Has Been Blacklisted and McCarthyism Refashioned for a New Age

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Not to be outdone, the censors are also taking aim at To Kill a Mockingbird , Harper Lee's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel about Atticus Finch, a white lawyer in the Jim Crow South who defends a black man falsely accused of rape. Sixty years after its debut, the book remains a powerful testament to moral courage in the face of racial bigotry and systemic injustice , told from the point of view of a child growing up in the South, but that's not enough for the censors. They want to axe the book -- along with The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn -- from school reading curriculums because of the presence of racial slurs that could make students feel "humiliated or marginalized." ..."
"... What started with Joseph McCarthy's headline-grabbing scare tactics in the 1950s about Communist infiltrators of American society snowballed into a devastating witch hunt once corporations and the American people caught the fever. ..."
"... McCarthyism was a contagion, like the plague, spreading like wildfire among people too fearful or weak or gullible or paranoid or greedy or ambitious to denounce it for what it was: an opportunistic scare tactic engineered to make the government more powerful. ..."
"... Battlefield America: The War on the American People ..."
Jul 18, 2020 | www.mintpressnews.com

For those old enough to have lived through the McCarthy era, there is a whiff of something in the air that reeks of the heightened paranoia, finger-pointing, fear-mongering, totalitarian tactics that were hallmarks of the 1950s.

Back then, it was the government -- spearheaded by Senator Joseph McCarthy and the House Un-American Activities Committee -- working in tandem with private corporations and individuals to blacklist Americans suspected of being communist sympathizers.

By the time the witch hunts carried out by federal and state investigative agencies drew to a close, thousands of individuals ( the vast majority of them innocent any crime whatsoever ) had been accused of communist ties, investigated, subpoenaed and blacklisted. Regarded as bad risks, the accused were blacklisted, and struggled to secure employment. The witch hunt ruined careers, resulting in suicides, and tightened immigration to exclude alleged subversives.

Seventy years later, the vitriol, fear-mongering and knee-jerk intolerance associated with McCarthy's tactics are once again being deployed in a free-for-all attack by those on both the political Left and Right against anyone who, in daring to think for themselves, subscribes to ideas or beliefs that run counter to the government's or mainstream thought

It doesn't even seem to matter what the issue is anymore (racism, Confederate monuments, Donald Trump, COVID-19, etc.): modern-day activists are busily tearing down monuments, demonizing historic figures, boycotting corporations for perceived political transgressions, and using their bully pulpit to terrorize the rest of the country into kowtowing to their demands

All the while, the American police state continues to march inexorably forward.

This is how fascism, which silences all dissenting views, prevails.

The silence is becoming deafening.

After years of fighting in and out of the courts to keep their 87-year-old name, the NFL's Washington Redskins have bowed to public pressure and will change their name and team logo to avoid causing offense . The new name, not yet announced, aims to honor both the military and Native Americans.

Eleanor Holmes Norton, a delegate to the House of Representatives who supports the name change, believes the team's move " reflects the present climate of intolerance to names, statues, figments of our past that are racist in nature or otherwise imply racism [and] are no longer tolerated."

Present climate of intolerance, indeed.

Yet it wasn't a heightened racial conscience that caused the Redskins to change their brand. It was the money. The team caved after its corporate sponsors including FedEx, PepsiCo, Nike and Bank of America threatened to pull their funding

So much for that U.S. Supreme Court victory preventing the government from censoring trademarked names it considers distasteful or scandalous.

Who needs a government censor when the American people are already doing such a great job at censoring themselves and each other, right?

Now there's a push underway to boycott Goya Foods after its CEO, Robert Unanue, praised President Trump during a press conference to announce Goya's donation of a million cans of Goya chickpeas and a million other food products to American food banks as part of the president's Hispanic Prosperity Initiative.

Mind you, Unanue -- whose grandfather emigrated to the U.S. from Spain -- also praised the Obamas when they were in office, but that kind of equanimity doesn't carry much weight in this climate of intolerance.

Not to be outdone, the censors are also taking aim at To Kill a Mockingbird , Harper Lee's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel about Atticus Finch, a white lawyer in the Jim Crow South who defends a black man falsely accused of rape. Sixty years after its debut, the book remains a powerful testament to moral courage in the face of racial bigotry and systemic injustice , told from the point of view of a child growing up in the South, but that's not enough for the censors. They want to axe the book -- along with The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn -- from school reading curriculums because of the presence of racial slurs that could make students feel "humiliated or marginalized."

Never mind that the N-word makes a regular appearance in hip-hop songs. The prevailing attitude seems to be that it's okay to use the N-word as long as the person saying the word is not white . Rapper Kendrick Lamar "would like white America to let black people exclusively have the word."

Talk about a double standard.

This is also the overlooked part of how oppression becomes systemic: it comes about as a result of a combined effort between the populace, the corporations and the government.

McCarthyism worked the same way.

What started with Joseph McCarthy's headline-grabbing scare tactics in the 1950s about Communist infiltrators of American society snowballed into a devastating witch hunt once corporations and the American people caught the fever.

McCarthyism was a contagion, like the plague, spreading like wildfire among people too fearful or weak or gullible or paranoid or greedy or ambitious to denounce it for what it was: an opportunistic scare tactic engineered to make the government more powerful.

The parallels to the present movement cannot be understated.

The contagion of fear that McCarthy helped spread with the help of government agencies, corporations and the power elite is still poisoning the well, whitewashing our history, turning citizen against citizen, and stripping us of our rights.

What we desperately need is the kind of resolve embodied by Edward R. Murrow, the most-respected newsman of his day.

On March 9, 1954, Murrow dared to speak truth to power about the damage McCarthy was inflicting on the American people. His message remains a timely warning for our age.

We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason, if we dig deep in our history and our doctrine; and remember that we are not descended from fearful men. Not from men who feared to write, to speak, to associate, and to defend causes that were for the moment unpopular.

America is approaching another reckoning right now, one that will pit our commitment to freedom principles against a level of fear-mongering that is being used to wreak havoc on everything in its path.

The outcome rests, as always, with "we the people." As Murrow said to his staff before the historic March 9 broadcast: "No one can terrorize a whole nation, unless we are all his accomplices."

Take heed, America.

As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People , this may be your last warning.

Feature photo | Nehemiah Nuk Nuk Johnson, left, with JUICE (Justice Unites Individuals and Communities Everywhere), confronts a counter protester who did not give his name in Martinez, Calif., July 12, 2020, during a protest calling for an end to racial injustice and accountability for police. Jeff Chiu | AP

John W. Whitehead is a constitutional attorney, author and founder and president of The Rutherford Institute . His new book Battlefield America: The War on the American People (SelectBooks, 2015) is available online at www.amazon.com. Whitehead can be contacted at johnw@rutherford.org .

[Jul 07, 2020] Mutiny on the Bounties by RAY McGOVERN

Highly recommended!
So they dusted of McFaul to provide the support for bounty provocation. I wonder whether McFaul one one of Epstein guests, or what ?
So who was the clone of Ciaramella this time? People want to know the hero
Notable quotes:
"... Not to doubt McFaul's ulterior motives; one must assume him to be an "honest man" -- however misguided, in my opinion. He seems to be a disciple of the James Clapper-Curtis LeMay-Joe McCarthy School of Russian Analysis. ..."
"... Clapper, a graduate summa cum laude , certainly had the Russians pegged! Clapper was allowed to stay as Barack Obama's director of national intelligence for three and a half years after perjuring himself in formal Senate testimony (on NSA's illegal eavesdropping). On May 28, 2017 Clapper told NBC's Chuck Todd about "the historical practices of the Russians, who typically, are almost genetically driven to co-opt, penetrate, gain favor, whatever, which is a typical Russian technique." ..."
"... As a finale, in full knowledge of Clapper's proclivities regarding Russia, Obama appointed him to prepare the evidence-impoverished, misnomered "Intelligence Community Assessment" claiming that Putin did all he could, including hacking the DNC, to help Trump get elected -- the most embarrassing such "intelligence assessment" I have seen in half a century . ..."
"... Does no one see the irony today in the Democrats' bashing Trump on Afghanistan, with the full support of the Establishment media? The inevitable defeat there is one of the few demonstrable disasters not attributable directly to Trump, but you would not know that from the media. Are the uncorroborated reports of Russian bounties to kill U.S. troops aimed at making it appear that Trump, unable to stand up to Putin, let the Russians drive the rest of U.S. troops out of Afghanistan? ..."
"... Does the current flap bespeak some kind of "Mutiny on the Bounties," so to speak, by a leaker aping Eric Chiaramella? Recall that the Democrats lionized the CIA official seconded to Trump's national security council as a "whistleblower" and proceeded to impeach Trump after Chiaramella leaked information on Trump's telephone call with the president of Ukraine. Far from being held to account, Chiaramella is probably expecting an influential job if his patron, Joe Biden, is elected president. Has there been another mutiny in Trump's White House? ..."
"... It is sad to have to remind folks 18 years later that the "intelligence" on WMD in Iraq was not "mistaken;" it was fraudulent from the get-go. The culprits were finally exposed but never held to account. ..."
"... Here's an assignment due on Monday. Read McFaul's oped carefully. It appears under the title: "Trump would do anything for Putin. No wonder he's ignoring the Russian bounties: Russia's pattern of hostility matches Trump's pattern of accommodation." ..."
"... Full assignment for Monday: Read carefully through each paragraph of McFaul's text and select which of his claims you would put into one or more of the three categories adduced by Sen. Rockefeller 12 years ago about WMD on Iraq. With particular attention to the evidence behind McFaul's claims, determine which of the claims is (a) "uncorroborated"; which (b) "contradicted"; and which (c) "non-existent;" or (d) all of the above. For extra credit, find one that is supported by plausible evidence. ..."
"... Michael McFaul and Fred Hiatt are both long-time members of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), flagship of the globalist “liberal world order”. The CFR and its many interlocking affiliates, along with their media assets and frontmen in government, have dominated US policy since WW2. Most of the Fed chairmen and secretaries of State, Treasury, Defense and CIA have been CFR members, including Jerome Powell and Mark Esper. ..."
"... The major finance, energy, defense and media corporations are CFR sponsors, and several of their execs are members. David Rubenstein, billionaire founder of the notorious Carlyle Group, is the current CFR chairman. Laurence Fink, billionaire chairman of BlackRock, is a CFR director. See lists at the CFR website. ..."
"... “It is sad to have to remind folks 18 years later that the “intelligence” on WMD in Iraq was not “mistaken;” it was fraudulent from the get-go. The culprits were finally exposed but never held to account.” ..."
"... They are spoon fed those lies by our “intelligence” agencies. As CNN’s Jeff Zucker said, “We’re not investigators, we’re journalists”. Replace “journalists” with “toadies” or “shills” for our “intelligence” community and you’ve gotten to the truth of the matter. ..."
"... In the unhealthy society of Clintons, Obamas, Epstein, Mueller, Adelsons, Clapper, and Krystols, human dignity is a sin. ..."
"... Our institutions including journalism are not merely corrupt, they are degenerate. That is, the corruption is not occasional or the exception is is by design, desired and entirely normal. ..."
"... from Counterpunch.org : “Around 15,000 Soviet troops perished in the Afghan War between 1979 and 1989. The US funneled more than $20 billion to the Mujahideen and other anti-Soviet fighters over that same period. This works out to a “bounty” of $1.33 million for each Soviet soldier killed.” ..."
"... Yes, of course it is a well-known ‘fact’ that Putin has nothing better to do than destory American democracy, and I bet he has dreams about it too! But I am minded to think that if anybody has a penchant for destroying American democracy it is the powers that be in the US deep state, intelligence agencies, and zionist cliques controlling the President and Congress. ..."
"... Udo Ulfkotte was a German journalist. He wrote a sensational book about the practices he experienced of the CIA paying German journalists to publish certain stories. The book was a big best seller in Germany. Its English translation was suppressed for years, but I believe is now available. ..."
"... Gekaufte journalisten. Ulfkotte admitted he signed off on numerous articles that were prepared for him during his career. The last year’s of his life he changed his mores and advocated “better die in truth than live with lies”. ..."
Jul 03, 2020 | consortiumnews.com

RAY McGOVERN: Mutiny on the Bounties

Has there been another mutiny in Trump's White House, as Obama's former ambassador to Russia piles on the nonsense about Trump being in Putin's pocket?

By Ray McGovern
Special to Consortium News

C orporate media are binging on leaked Kool Aid not unlike the WMD concoction they offered 18 years ago to "justify" the U.S.-UK war of aggression on Iraq.

Now Michael McFaul, ambassador to Russia under President Obama, has been enlisted by The Washington Post 's editorial page honcho, Fred Hiatt, to draw on his expertise (read, incurable Russophobia) to help stick President Donald Trump back into "Putin's pocket." (This has become increasingly urgent as the canard of "Russiagate" -- including the linchpin claim that Russia hacked the DNC -- lies gasping for air.)

In an oped on Thursday McFaul presented a long list of Vladimir Putin's alleged crimes, offering a more ostensibly sophisticated version of amateur Russian specialist, Rep. Jason Crow's (D-CO) claim that: "Vladimir Putin wakes up every morning and goes to bed every night trying to figure out how to destroy American democracy."

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry with McFaul meeting Vladimir Putin and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Moscow, Russia, on May 7, 2013. (State Department)

McFaul had -- well, let's call it an undistinguished career in Moscow. He arrived with a huge chip on his shoulder and proceeded to alienate just about all his hosts, save for the rabidly anti-Putin folks he openly and proudly cultivated. In a sense, McFaul became the epitome of what Henry Wooton described as the role of ambassador -- "an honest man sent to lie abroad for the good of his country." What should not be so readily accepted is an ambassador who comes back home and just can't stop misleading.

Not to doubt McFaul's ulterior motives; one must assume him to be an "honest man" -- however misguided, in my opinion. He seems to be a disciple of the James Clapper-Curtis LeMay-Joe McCarthy School of Russian Analysis.

Clapper, a graduate summa cum laude , certainly had the Russians pegged! Clapper was allowed to stay as Barack Obama's director of national intelligence for three and a half years after perjuring himself in formal Senate testimony (on NSA's illegal eavesdropping). On May 28, 2017 Clapper told NBC's Chuck Todd about "the historical practices of the Russians, who typically, are almost genetically driven to co-opt, penetrate, gain favor, whatever, which is a typical Russian technique."

https://www.youtube.com/embed/tcN_tWk089w?feature=oembed

As a finale, in full knowledge of Clapper's proclivities regarding Russia, Obama appointed him to prepare the evidence-impoverished, misnomered "Intelligence Community Assessment" claiming that Putin did all he could, including hacking the DNC, to help Trump get elected -- the most embarrassing such "intelligence assessment" I have seen in half a century .

Obama and the National Security State

I have asked myself if Obama also had earned some kind of degree from the Clapper/LeMay/McCarthy School, or whether he simply lacked the courage to challenge the pitiably self-serving "analysis" of the National Security State. Then I re-read "Obama Misses the Afghan Exit-Ramp" of June 24, 2010 and was reminded of how deferential Obama was to the generals and the intelligence gurus, and how unconscionable the generals were -- like their predecessors in Vietnam -- in lying about always seeing light at the end of the proverbial tunnel.

Thankfully, now ten years later, this is all documented in Craig Whitlock's, "The Afghanistan Papers: At War With the Truth." Corporate media, who played an essential role in that "war with the truth", have not given Whitlock's damning story the attention it should command (surprise, surprise!). In any case, it strains credulity to think that Obama was unaware he was being lied to on Afghanistan.

Some Questions

Clark Gable (l.) with Charles Laughton (r.) in Mutiny on the Bounty, 1935.

Does no one see the irony today in the Democrats' bashing Trump on Afghanistan, with the full support of the Establishment media? The inevitable defeat there is one of the few demonstrable disasters not attributable directly to Trump, but you would not know that from the media. Are the uncorroborated reports of Russian bounties to kill U.S. troops aimed at making it appear that Trump, unable to stand up to Putin, let the Russians drive the rest of U.S. troops out of Afghanistan?

Does the current flap bespeak some kind of "Mutiny on the Bounties," so to speak, by a leaker aping Eric Chiaramella? Recall that the Democrats lionized the CIA official seconded to Trump's national security council as a "whistleblower" and proceeded to impeach Trump after Chiaramella leaked information on Trump's telephone call with the president of Ukraine. Far from being held to account, Chiaramella is probably expecting an influential job if his patron, Joe Biden, is elected president. Has there been another mutiny in Trump's White House?

And what does one make of the spectacle of Crow teaming up with Rep. Liz Cheney (R, WY) to restrict Trump's planned pull-out of troops from Afghanistan, which The Los Angeles Times reports has now been blocked until after the election?

Hiatt & McFaul: Caveat Editor

And who published McFaul's oped? Fred Hiatt, Washington Post editorial page editor for the past 20 years, who has a long record of listening to the whispers of anonymous intelligence sources and submerging/drowning the subjunctive mood with flat fact. This was the case with the (non-existent) weapons of mass destruction in Iraq before the U.S.-UK attack. Readers of the Post were sure there were tons of WMD in Iraq. That Hiatt has invited McFaul on stage should come as no surprise.

To be fair, Hiatt belatedly acknowledged that the Post should have been more circumspect in its confident claims about the WMD. "If you look at the editorials we write running up [to the war], we state as flat fact that he [Saddam Hussein] has weapons of mass destruction," Hiatt said in an interview with the Columbia Journalism Review . "If that's not true, it would have been better not to say it." [CJR, March/April 2004]

At this word of wisdom, Consortium News founder, the late Robert Parry, offered this comment: "Yes, that is a common principle of journalism, that if something isn't real, we're not supposed to confidently declare that it is." That Hiatt is still in that job speaks volumes.

'Uncorroborated, Contradicted, or Even Non-Existent'

It is sad to have to remind folks 18 years later that the "intelligence" on WMD in Iraq was not "mistaken;" it was fraudulent from the get-go. The culprits were finally exposed but never held to account.

Announcing on June 5, 2008, the bipartisan conclusions from a five-year study by the Senate Intelligence Committee, Sen. Jay Rockefeller ( D-WV) said the attack on Iraq was launched "under false pretenses." He described the intelligence conjured up to "justify" war on Iraq as "uncorroborated, contradicted, or even non-existent."

Homework

Yogi Berra in 1956. (Wikipedia)

Here's an assignment due on Monday. Read McFaul's oped carefully. It appears under the title: "Trump would do anything for Putin. No wonder he's ignoring the Russian bounties: Russia's pattern of hostility matches Trump's pattern of accommodation."

And to give you a further taste, here is the first paragraph:

"Russian President Vladimir Putin appears to have paid Taliban rebels in Afghanistan to kill U.S. soldiers. Having resulted in at least one American death, and maybe more, these Russian bounties reportedly produced the desired outcome. While deeply disturbing, this effort by Putin is not surprising: It follows a clear pattern of ignoring international norms, rules and laws -- and daring the United States to do anything about it."

Full assignment for Monday: Read carefully through each paragraph of McFaul's text and select which of his claims you would put into one or more of the three categories adduced by Sen. Rockefeller 12 years ago about WMD on Iraq. With particular attention to the evidence behind McFaul's claims, determine which of the claims is (a) "uncorroborated"; which (b) "contradicted"; and which (c) "non-existent;" or (d) all of the above. For extra credit, find one that is supported by plausible evidence.

Yogi Berra might be surprised to hear us keep quoting him with "Deja vu, all over again." Sorry, Yogi, that's what it is; you coined it.

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. During his 27-year career as a CIA analyst, he prepared and briefed The President's Daily Brief for Presidents Nixon, Ford, and Reagan. He is co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.


Tarus77 , July 6, 2020 at 14:25

Gad, one wonders if it can ever get much lower in the press and the answer is yes, it can and will go lower, i.e. the mcfaul/hiatt tag team. They are still plumbing for the lows.

The question becomes just how stupid these two are or how stupid do they believe the readership is to read and believe this garbage.

Voice from Europe , July 6, 2020 at 11:58

By now the Russia did it ! is in effect a joke in Russia. Economically, politically, geo strategically China and Asia and Africa have become more important and reliable partners of Russia than the USA. And Europe is also dropping fast on the trustworthy partners list…..

John , July 5, 2020 at 12:55

Michael McFaul and Fred Hiatt are both long-time members of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), flagship of the globalist “liberal world order”. The CFR and its many interlocking affiliates, along with their media assets and frontmen in government, have dominated US policy since WW2. Most of the Fed chairmen and secretaries of State, Treasury, Defense and CIA have been CFR members, including Jerome Powell and Mark Esper.

The major finance, energy, defense and media corporations are CFR sponsors, and several of their execs are members. David Rubenstein, billionaire founder of the notorious Carlyle Group, is the current CFR chairman. Laurence Fink, billionaire chairman of BlackRock, is a CFR director. See lists at the CFR website.

Anna , July 6, 2020 at 09:38

Michael McFaul and Fred Hiatt are both very active promoters of hate crimes. Neither has any decency hence decency is allergic to war profiteers and opportunistic liars.

The poor USA; to descend to such a deep moral hole that both Michael McFaul and Fred Hiatt are still alive and prospering. Shamelessness and presstituting are paid well in the US.

Juan M Escobedo , July 5, 2020 at 11:35

Dems and Reps are already mad. You cannot destroy what does not exist; like Democracy in these United States. Nor God or Putin could. This has always being a fallacy. This is not a democracy; same thing with ”communist" China or the USSR .Those two were never socialist. There has never being a real Socialist or Communist country.

Guy , July 4, 2020 at 12:26

“It is sad to have to remind folks 18 years later that the “intelligence” on WMD in Iraq was not “mistaken;” it was fraudulent from the get-go. The culprits were finally exposed but never held to account.”

That statement goes to the crux of the matter.Why should journalists care about what is true or a lie in their reports ,they know they will never be held to account .They should be held to account through the court system . A lie by any journalist should be actionable by any court of law . The fear of jail time would sort out the scam journalists we presently have to endure .

As it is they have perverted the profession of journalism and it is the law of the jungle .No true democracy should put up with this. We are surrounded with lies that are generated by the very establishment that should protect it’s citizens from same .

Skip Scott , July 4, 2020 at 15:36

They are spoon fed those lies by our “intelligence” agencies. As CNN’s Jeff Zucker said, “We’re not investigators, we’re journalists”. Replace “journalists” with “toadies” or “shills” for our “intelligence” community and you’ve gotten to the truth of the matter.

Anna , July 6, 2020 at 09:50

The ‘journalists’ observe how things have been going on for Cheney the Traitor and Bush the lesser — nothing happened to the mega criminals. The hate-bursting and war-profiteering Cheney’s daughter has even squeezed into US Congress.

In a healthy society where human dignity is cherished, the Cheney family will be ostracized and the family name became a synonym for the word ‘traitor.’ In the unhealthy society of Clintons, Obamas, Epstein, Mueller, Adelsons, Clapper, and Krystols, human dignity is a sin.

Ricard Coleman , July 6, 2020 at 11:42

Our institutions including journalism are not merely corrupt, they are degenerate. That is, the corruption is not occasional or the exception is is by design, desired and entirely normal.

Stan W. , July 4, 2020 at 12:10

I’m still confident that Durham’s investigation will expose and successfully prosecute the maggots that infest our government.

Skip Scott , July 4, 2020 at 15:29

What is the basis for this confidence?

John Puma , July 4, 2020 at 12:03

Re: whether Obumma “had earned some kind of degree from the Clapper/LeMay/McCarthy School” of Russia Analytics.

It would be a worthy addition to his degree collection featuring that earned from the Neville Chamberlain Night School of Critical Political Negotiation.

Jeff Harrison , July 4, 2020 at 11:16

Hmmm. Lessee. The US attacks Afghanistan with about the same legitimacy that we had when we attacked Iraq and the Taliban are in charge. We oust the Taliban from power and put our own puppets in place. What idiot thinks that the Taliban are going to need a bounty to kill Americans?

Wendy LaRiviere , July 4, 2020 at 18:29

Jeff Harrison, I like your logic. Plus, I understand that far fewer Americans are being killed in Afghanistan than were under Obama’s administration.

AnneR , July 4, 2020 at 10:27

Frankly, I am sick to death of the unwarranted, indeed bestial Russophobia that is megaphoned minute by minute on NPR and the BBC World Service (only radio here since my husband died). If it isn’t this latest trumped up (ho ho) charge, there are repeated mentions, in passing, of course, of the Russiagate, hacking, Kremlin control of the Strumpet to back up the latest bunch of lies.

Doesn’t matter at *all* that Russiagate was debunked, that even Mueller couldn’t actually demonstrably pull the DNC/ruling elites rabbit out of the hat, that the impeachment of the Strumpet went nowhere. And it clearly – by its total absence on the above radio broadcasts – doesn’t matter one iota that the Pentagonal hasn’t gone along, that gaping holes in the confabulation are (and were) obvious to those who cared to think with half a mind awake and reflecting on past US ruling elite lies, untruths, obfuscations. Nope. Just repeat, repeat, repeat. Orwell would clap his hands (not because he agreed with the atrocious politics but the lesson is learnt).

Added to the whipped up anti-Russia, decidedly anti-Putin crapola – is of course the Russian peoples’ vote, decision making on their own country’s changes to the Basic Law (a form of Constitution). When the radio broadcasts the usual sickening anti-Russian/Putin propaganda regarding this vote immediately prior they would state that the changes would install Putin for many more years: no mention that he would have to be elected, i.e. voted by the populace into the presidency. (This was repeated ad infinitum without any elaboration.) No other proposed changes were mentioned – certainly not that the Duma would gain greater control over the governance of the country and over the president’s cabinet. I.e. that the popularly elected (ain’t that what we call democracy??) representatives in the Duma (parliament) would essentially have more power than the president.

But most significantly, to my mind, no one has (well of course not – this is Russia) raised the issue of the fact that it was the Russian people, the vox populi/hoi polloi, who have had some say in how they are to be governed, how their government will work for them. HOW much say have we had/do we have in how our government functions, works – let alone for us, the hoi polloi? When did we the citizenry last have a voting say on ANY sentence in the Constitution that governs us??? Ummm I do believe it was the creation of the wealthy British descended slave holding, real estate ethnic-cleansing lot who wrote and ratified the original document and the hardly dissimilar Congressional and state types who have over the years written and voted on various amendments. And it is the members of the upper classes in the Supreme Court who adjudicate on its application to various problems.

BUT We the hoi polloi have never, ever had a direct opportunity to individually vote for or against any single part of the Constitution which is supposed to be the “democratic” superstructure which governs us. Unlike the Russians a couple of days ago.

Richard Coleman , July 6, 2020 at 15:48

“HOW much say have we had/do we have in how our government functions, works…” See, that’s your mistake right there. WE don’t have a government. We need one, but we ain’t got one. THEY have a government which they let us go through the motions of electing. ‘Member back when Bernie was talking about a Political Revolution?

Here’s a little fact for you. The five most populous states have a total of 123,000,000 people. That’s 10 Senators. The five least populated states have a total of 3.5 million. That’s also 10 Senators. Democracy anyone?

vinnieoh , July 4, 2020 at 09:37

There have been three coup d’état within the US within the lifetimes of most that read these pages. The first was explained to us by Eisenhower only as he was exiting his time from the national stage; the MIC had co-opted our government. The second happened in 2000, with the putsch in Florida and then the adoption by the neocon cabal of Bush /Chaney of the PNAC blueprint “Strategies for Rebuilding America’s Defenses” (Defenses – hahahaha – shit!). The third happened late last year and early this year when the bottom-up grass-roots movement of progressivism was crushed by the DNC and the cold-warrior hack Biden was inserted as the champion of “the opposition party.”

And, make no mistake that Kamala Harris WILL be his running mate. It was always going to be Harris. It was to be Harris at the TOP of the ticket as the primaries began, but she wasn’t even placing in the top tier in any of the contests. However, the poohbahs and strategists of the DNC are nothing if not determined and consistent. If Biden should win, we should all start practicing now saying “President Harris” because that is what the future holds. For the DNC, she looks the part, she sounds the part, but more importantly she is the very definition of the status quo, corporate ass-kisser, MIC tool.

The professional political class have fully colluded to fatally cripple this democratic republic. “Democracy” is just a word they say like, “Where’s my kickback?” (excuse me – my “motivation”.) This bounty scam and the rehabilitation of GW Bush are nothing but a full blitzkrieg flanking of Trump on the right. And Trump of course is so far out of his depth that he actually believes that Israel is his friend. (A hint Donny: Israel is NO-ONE’S friend.)

What is most infuriating? hope-crushing? plain f$%&*#g scary? is that the majority of Americans from all quarters do not want any of what the professional political class keeps dumping on us. The very attempt at performing this upcoming election will finally and forever lay completely bare the collapse of a functioning government. It’s going to be very ugly, and it may very well be the end. Dog help us all.

Richard Coleman , July 6, 2020 at 15:51

Don’t you think that the assassination of JFK counts as a coup d’etat?

Zhu , July 7, 2020 at 02:10

Apres moi, le Deluge.

John Drake , July 7, 2020 at 11:25

Oh gosh how can you forget the Kennedy Assassination. Most people don’t realize he was had ordered the removal of a thousand advisors from Vietnam starting the process of completely cutting bait there, as he had in Laos and Cambodia. All of which made the generals apoplectic. The great secret about Vietnam-which Ellsberg discovered much latter, and mentioned in his book Secrets, another good read- was that every president had been warned it was likely futile. Kennedy was the only one who took that intelligence seriously-like it was actually intelligent intelligence.

Enter stage right Allen Dulles (fired CIA chief), the anti Castro Cubans, the Mafia and most important the MIC; exit Jack Kennedy.

Douglas, JFK why he died and why it matters is the best work on the subject. And no Oswald did not do it; it was a sniper team from different angles, but read the book it gets complicated.

Roger , July 4, 2020 at 09:11

from Counterpunch.org : “Around 15,000 Soviet troops perished in the Afghan War between 1979 and 1989. The US funneled more than $20 billion to the Mujahideen and other anti-Soviet fighters over that same period. This works out to a “bounty” of $1.33 million for each Soviet soldier killed.”

Skip Scott , July 4, 2020 at 08:35

I am wondering how Cheney and Crow can block Trump from withdrawing the troops from Afghanistan. Is Trump Commander in Chief, or not? How can two senators stop the Commander in Chief from commanding troop movements? I realize they control the budget, but aren’t they crossing into illegality by restricting Trump’s ability to “command”?

Toad Sprocket , July 4, 2020 at 16:49

Yeah, I imagine it’s illegal. Didn’t Lindsay Graham threaten the same thing when Trump was thinking of pulling troops/”advisers” from Syria? And other congress warmongers joined in though I don’t think any legislation was passed. They can’t be bothered to authorize the starts of wars but want to step in when someone tries to end them.

Oh, and Schumer on South Korea troops, I think that one did pass. Almost certainly illegal if it came down to it, but our government is of course lawless. And our courts full of judges who are bought off or moronic or both.

dean 1000 , July 4, 2020 at 06:52

The soft coup attempt continues Ray. More lies and bullshit. It may continue until election day. Will the media fess-up to its lies after the fact again?

Francis Lee , July 4, 2020 at 04:49

“Vladimir Putin wakes up every morning and goes to bed every night trying to figure out how to destroy American democracy.”

Yes, of course it is a well-known ‘fact’ that Putin has nothing better to do than destory American democracy, and I bet he has dreams about it too! But I am minded to think that if anybody has a penchant for destroying American democracy it is the powers that be in the US deep state, intelligence agencies, and zionist cliques controlling the President and Congress.

”Those whom the gods would destroy they first make mad.”

The American establishment seems to be suffering from a bad case of ‘projection’ as psychiatrists call it. That is to say accusing others of what they are themselves actually doing.

The whole idiotic circus would be hilarious if it were not so serious.

Antonia Young , July 4, 2020 at 12:20

Putin’s (and by extension the Russian Federation’s) primary objective is international stability. “Destroying America, dividing Americans is the last thing he wants.) Putin learned many lessons during the break-up of the U.S.S.R. observing the carpet baggers/oligarchs/vultures who descended on the weak nation, absconding with it’s wealth and resources at mere fractions of their real value. The deep state’s worst fear is the co-operation btwn Putin and President Trump to make the world more peaceful, stable, co-operative and prosperous.

rosemerry , July 4, 2020 at 16:10

The whole conceited and arrogant “belief” that

  1. The USA has any resemblance to a democracy and
  2. Pres. Putin has nothing else to do but think how he could do a better job of showing the destructive and irresponsible behavior of the USA than its own leaders” and media can do with no help has no basis in reality.

If anything, Putin is such a stickler for international law, negotiations, avoidance of conflict that he is regarded by many as too Christian for this modern, individualistic, LBGTQ, ”nobody matters but me” worldview of the USA!

Steve Naidamast , July 5, 2020 at 19:54

“If the enemy is self destructing, let them continue to do so…”

Napoleon

Zhu , July 7, 2020 at 02:17

“zionist cliques”: Christian Zionist fighting Fundies, eager for the End of the World, the Second Coming of Jesus.

delia ruhe , July 4, 2020 at 01:09

Yup, we got a Bountygate. Since my early morning visit to the Foreign Policy site, the place has exploded with breathless articles on the dastardly Putin and the cowardly Trump, who has so far failed to hold Putin to account. Reminded me of a similar explosion there when Russiagate finally got the attention the Dems thought it deserved.

(Anyone think that the intel community pays a fee to each of the FP columnists whenever one of their a propaganda narratives needs a push to get it off the ground?)

JOHN CHUCKMAN , July 4, 2020 at 08:52

Udo Ulfkotte was a German journalist. He wrote a sensational book about the practices he experienced of the CIA paying German journalists to publish certain stories. The book was a big best seller in Germany. Its English translation was suppressed for years, but I believe is now available.

Susan Siens , July 5, 2020 at 16:30

Reply to John Chuckman: I’d love to read this book but it wasn’t available a few years ago when I looked. I’ll look again!

Voice from Europe , July 6, 2020 at 11:52

Gekaufte journalisten. Ulfkotte admitted he signed off on numerous articles that were prepared for him during his career. The last year’s of his life he changed his mores and advocated “better die in truth than live with lies”.

Richard A. , July 4, 2020 at 00:59

I remember the MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour from decades ago. Real experts on Russia like Dimitri Simes and Stephen Cohen were the ones to appear on that NewsHour. The NewsHour of today rarely has experts on Russia, just experts on Russia bashing–like Michael McFaul. Oh how the mighty have fallen.

Antonia Young , July 3, 2020 at 23:35

Thank you, Ray for your clarion voice in the midst of WMD-seventeen-point-oh. Will the American people have the wisdom to notice how many times we’re being fooled? And finally wake up and stop supporting these questionable news outlets? With appreciation for your excellent analysis, as usual. ~Tonia Young (Formerly with the Topanga Peace Alliance)

Blessthebeasts , July 4, 2020 at 11:55

The majority of Americans have a lot more to worry about than the latest nonsense about Russia. I think most people just tune it out.

The ones being fooled are the fools who have been lapping this crap up from the get go. The supposed educated class who think themselves superior and well informed because they read and listen to the propaganda of PBS, NPR, NYT etc.

They don’t seem to realize the ship is sinking while they’re playing these ridiculous games.

Susan Siens , July 5, 2020 at 16:34

The supposedly educated class, yes! It can be stunning how people believe anything they hear on PBS or NPR, and then they make fun of people who believe anything they hear on Fox News. What’s the difference? Both are propaganda tools.

And, yes, watch us go down in flames while so-called progressives boo-hoo about Trump thinking he’s above the law (like every other president before him). Our local “peace and justice” group sent me an email asking me to sign a petition supporting Robert Mueller. I was gobsmacked, and then I realized our local “peace and justice” group had been taken over by Democratic Party “resisters.” Jeezums, why is every word hijacked?

[Jul 06, 2020] US claim of 'Russian Bounty' plot in Afghanistan is dubious and dangerous - The Grayzone

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... the essential backdrop for the timing of this story. It really reveals how completely decayed mainstream media is as an institution, that none of these reporters protested the story, didn't see fit to do any independent investigation into it. At best they would print a Russian denial which counts for nothing in the US, or a Taliban denial which counts for nothing in the US. And then and this gets into the domestic political angle because so much of Russiagate, while it's been crafted by former or current intelligence officials, depends on the Democratic Party and it punditocracy, MSNBC and mainstream media as a projection megaphone, as its Mighty Wurlitzer. ..."
"... That took place in this case because, according to this story, Donald Trump had been briefed on Putin paying bounties to the Taliban and he chose to do nothing. Which, of course Trump denies, but that counts for nothing as well. But, again, there's been no independent confirmation of any of this. And now we get into the domestic part, which is that this new Republican anti-Trump operation, The Lincoln Project, had a flashy ad ready to go almost minutes after the story dropped. ..."
"... They're just, like, on meth at Steve Schmidt's political Batcave, just churning this material out. But I feel like they had an inkling, like this story was coming. It just the coordination and timing was impeccable. ..."
"... And The Lincoln Project is something that James Carville, the veteran Democratic consultant, has said is doing more than any Democrat or any Democratic consultant to elect Joe Biden. ..."
"... the Carter Administration, at the urging of national security chief Zbigniew Brzezinski, had enacted what would become Operation Cyclone under Reagan, an arm-and-equip program to arm the Afghan mujahideen. The Saudis put up a matching fund which helped bring the so-called Services Bureau into the field where Osama bin Laden became a recruiter for international jihadists to join the battlefield. And, you know, the goal was, in the words of Brzezinski, as he later admitted to a French publication, was to force the Red Army, the Soviet Red Army, to intervene to protect the pro-Soviet government in Kabul, which they proceeded to do. ..."
"... What he means is by basically paying bounties, which the US was literally doing along with its Gulf allies, to exact the toll on the allies of Assad, Russia. So, let's just say it's true, according to your question, let's just say this is all true. It would be a retaliation for what the United States has done to Russia in areas where it was actually legally invited in by the governments in charge, either in Kabul or Damascus. And that's, I think, the kind of ironic subtext that can hardly be understated when you see someone like Dan Rather wag his finger at Putin for paying the Taliban as proxies. But, I mean, it's such a ridiculous story that it's just hard to even fathom that it's real. ..."
"... just kind of neocon resistance mind-explosion, where first John Bolton was hailed as this hero and truthteller about Trump. ..."
"... And then you have this and it, you know, today as you pointed out, Chuck Todd, "Chuck Toddler", welcomes on Meet the Press John Bolton as this wise voice to comment on Donald Trump's slavish devotion to Vladimir Putin and how we need to escalate. ..."
"... This is what Russiagate has done. It's taken one of the most Strangelovian, psychotic, dangerous, bloodthirsty, sadistic monsters in US foreign policy circles and turned him into a sober-minded, even heroic, truthteller. ..."
Jul 06, 2020 | thegrayzone.com

US claim of 'Russian Bounty' plot in Afghanistan is dubious and dangerous

Max Blumenthal breaks down the "Russian bounty" story's flaws and how it aims to prolong the war in Afghanistan -- and uses Russiagate tactics to continue pushing the Democratic Party to the right

Multiple US media outlets, citing anonymous intelligence officials, are claiming that Russia offered bounties to kill US soldiers in Afghanistan, and that President Trump has taken no action.

Others are contesting that claim. "Officials said there was disagreement among intelligence officials about the strength of the evidence about the suspected Russian plot," the New York Times reports. "Notably, the National Security Agency, which specializes in hacking and electronic surveillance, has been more skeptical."

"The constant flow of Russiagate disinformation into the bloodstream of the Democratic Party and its base is moving that party constantly to the right, while pushing the US deeper into this Cold War," Blumenthal says.

Guest: Max Blumenthal, editor of The Grayzone and author of several books, including his latest "The Management of Savagery."

TRANSCRIPT

AARON MATÉ: Welcome to Pushback, I'm Aaron Maté. There is a new supposed Trump-Russia bombshell. The New York Times and other outlets reporting that Russia has been paying bounties to Afghan militants to kill US soldiers in Afghanistan. Trump and the White House were allegedly briefed on this information but have taken no action.

Now, the story has obvious holes, like many other Russiagate bombshells. It is sourced to anonymous intelligence officials. The New York Times says that the claim comes from Afghan detainees. And it also has some logical holes. The Taliban have been fighting the US and Afghanistan for nearly two decades and never needed Russian payments before to kill the Americans that they were fighting; [this] amongst other questions are raised about this story. But that has not stopped the usual chorus from whipping up a frenzy.

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC: Vladimir Putin is offering bounties for the scalps of American soldiers in Afghanistan. Not only offering, offering money [to] the people who kill Americans, but some of the bounties that Putin has offered have been collected, meaning the Russians at least believe that their offering cash to kill Americans has actually worked to get some Americans killed.

FORMER VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: Donald Trump has continued his embarrassing campaign of deference and debasing himself before Vladimir Putin. He had has [sic] this information according to The Times, and yet he offered to host Putin in the United States and sought to invite Russia to rejoin the G7. He's in his entire presidency has been a gift to Putin, but this is beyond the pale.

CHUCK TODD, NBC: Let me ask you this. Do you think that part of the that the president is afraid to make Putin mad because maybe Putin did help him win the election and he doesn't want to make him mad for 2020?

SENATE MINORITY LEADER CHUCK SCHUMER: I was not briefed on the Russian military intelligence, but it shows that we need in this coming defense bill, which we're debating this week, tough sanctions against Russia, which thus far Mitch McConnell has resisted.

Joining me now is Max Blumenthal, editor of The Grayzone, author of The Management of Savagery . Max, welcome to Pushback. What is your reaction to this story?

MAX BLUMENTHAL: I mean, it just feels like so many other episodes that we've witnessed over the past three or four years, where American intelligence officials basically plant a story in one outlet, The New York Times , which functions as the media wing of the Central Intelligence Agency. Then no reporting takes place whatsoever, but six reporters, or three to six reporters are assigned to the piece to make it look like it was some last-minute scramble to confirm this bombshell story. And then the story is confirmed again by The Washington Post because their reporters, their three to six reporters in, you know, capitals around the world with different beats spoke to the same intelligence officials, or they were furnished different officials who fed them the same story. And, of course, the story advances a narrative that the United States is under siege by Russia and that we have to escalate against Russia just ahead of another peace summit or some kind of international dialogue.

This has sort of been the general framework for these Russiagate bombshells, and of course they can there's always an anti-Trump angle. And because, you know, liberal pundits and the, you know, Democratic Party operatives see this as a means to undermine Trump as the election heats up. They don't care if it's true or not. They don't care what the consequences are. They're just gonna completely roll with it. And it's really changed, I think, not just US foreign policy, but it's changed the Democratic Party in an almost irreversible way, to have these constant "quote-unquote" bombshells that are really generated by the Central Intelligence Agency and by other US intelligence operations in order to turn up the heat to crank up the Cold War, to use these different media organs which no longer believe in reporting, which see Operation Mockingbird as a kind of blueprint for how to do journalism, to turn them into keys on the CIA's Mighty Wurlitzer. That's what happened here.

AARON MATÉ: What do you make of the logic of this story? This idea that the Taliban would need Russian money to kill Americans when the Taliban's been fighting the US for nearly two decades now. And the sourcing for the story, the same old playbook: anonymous intelligence officials who are citing vague claims about apparently what was said by Afghan detainees.

MAX BLUMENTHAL: This story has, as I said, it relies on zero reporting. The only source is anonymous American intelligence officials. And I tweeted out a clip of a former CIA operations officer who managed the CIA's operation in Angola, when the US was actually fighting on the side of apartheid South Africa against a Marxist government that was backed up by Cuban troops. His name was John Stockwell. And Stockwell talked about how one-third of his covert operations staff were propagandists, and that they would feed imaginary stories about Cuban barbarism that were completely false to reporters who were either CIA assets directly or who were just unwitting dupes who would hang on a line waiting for American intelligence officials to feed them stories. And one out of every five stories was completely false, as Stockwell said. We could play some of that clip now; it's pretty remarkable to watch it in light of this latest fake bombshell.

JOHN STOCKWELL: Another thing is to disseminate propaganda to influence people's minds, and this is a major function of the CIA. And unfortunately, of course, it overlaps into the gathering of information. You, you have contact with a journalist, you will give him true stories, you'll get information from him, you'll also give him false stories.

OFF-CAMERA REPORTER: Can you do this with responsible reporters?

JOHN STOCKWELL: Yes, the Church Committee brought it out in 1975. And then Woodward and Bernstein put an article in Rolling Stone a couple of years later. Four hundred journalists cooperating with the CIA, including some of the biggest names in the business.

MAX BLUMENTHAL: So, basically, I mean, you get the flavor of what someone who was in the CIA at the height of the Cold War I mean, he did the same thing in Vietnam. And the playbook is absolutely the same today. These this story was dumped on Friday in The New York Times by "quote-unquote" American intelligence officials, as a breakthrough had been made in Afghan peace talks and a conference was finally set for Doha, Qatar, that would involve the Taliban, which had been seizing massive amounts of territory.

Now, it's my understanding, and correct me if I'm wrong, that the Taliban had been fighting one of the most epic examples of an occupying army in modern history, just absolutely chewing away at one of the most powerful militaries in human history in their country for the last 19 years, without bounties from Vladimir Putin or private-hotdog-salesman-and-Saint-Petersburg-troll-farm-owner Yevgeny Prigozhin , who always comes up in these stories. It's always the hotdog guy who's doing everything bad from, like, you know, fake Facebook ads to poisoning Sergei Skripal or whatever.

But I just don't see where the Taliban needs encouragement from Putin to do that. It's their country. They want the US out and they have succeeded in seizing large amounts of territory. Donald Trump has come into office with a pledge to remove US troops from Afghanistan and ink this deal. And along comes this story as the peace process begins to advance.

And what is the end-result? We haven't gotten into the domestic politics yet, but the end-result is you have supposedly progressive senators like Chris Murphy of Connecticut attacking Trump for not fighting Russia in Afghanistan. I mean, they want a straight-up proxy war for not escalating. You have Richard Haass, the president of the Council on Foreign Relations, someone who's aligned with the Democratic Party, who supported the war in Iraq and, you know, supports just endless war, demanding that the US turn up the heat not just in Afghanistan but in Syria. So, you know, the escalatory rhetoric is at a fever pitch right now, and it's obviously going to impact that peace conference.

Let's remember that three days before Trump's summit with Putin was when Mueller chose to release the indictment of the GRU agents for supposedly hacking the DNC servers. Let's remember that a day before the UN the United Nations Geneva peace talks opened on Syria in 2014 was when US intelligence chose to feed these shady Caesar photos, supposedly showing industrial slaughter of Syrian prisoners, to The New York Times in an investigation that had been funded by Qatar. Like, so many shady intelligence dumps have taken place ahead of peace summits to disrupt them, because the US doesn't feel like it has enough skin in the game or it just simply doesn't want peace in these areas.

So, that's what happened here. That's really, I think, the essential backdrop for the timing of this story. It really reveals how completely decayed mainstream media is as an institution, that none of these reporters protested the story, didn't see fit to do any independent investigation into it. At best they would print a Russian denial which counts for nothing in the US, or a Taliban denial which counts for nothing in the US. And then and this gets into the domestic political angle because so much of Russiagate, while it's been crafted by former or current intelligence officials, depends on the Democratic Party and it punditocracy, MSNBC and mainstream media as a projection megaphone, as its Mighty Wurlitzer.

That took place in this case because, according to this story, Donald Trump had been briefed on Putin paying bounties to the Taliban and he chose to do nothing. Which, of course Trump denies, but that counts for nothing as well. But, again, there's been no independent confirmation of any of this. And now we get into the domestic part, which is that this new Republican anti-Trump operation, The Lincoln Project, had a flashy ad ready to go almost minutes after the story dropped.

THE LINCOLN PROJECT AD: Now we know Vladimir Putin pays a bounty for the murder of American soldiers. Donald Trump knows, too, and does nothing. Putin pays the Taliban cash to slaughter our men and women in uniform and Trump is silent, weak, controlled. Instead of condemnation he insists Russia be treated as our equal.

MAX BLUMENTHAL: I mean, maybe they're just really good editors and brilliant politicians who work overtime. They're just, like, on meth at Steve Schmidt's political Batcave, just churning this material out. But I feel like they had an inkling, like this story was coming. It just the coordination and timing was impeccable.

And The Lincoln Project is something that James Carville, the veteran Democratic consultant, has said is doing more than any Democrat or any Democratic consultant to elect Joe Biden. They're always out there doing the hard work. Who are they? Well, Steve Schmidt is a former campaign manager for John McCain 2008. And you look at the various personnel affiliated with it, they're all McCain former McCain aides or people who worked on the Jeb and George W. Bush campaigns, going back to Texas and Florida. This is sort of the corporate wing of the Republican Party, the white-glove-country-club-patrician Republicans who are very pro-war, who hate Donald Trump.

And by doing this, by them really taking the lead on this attack, as you pointed out, Aaron, number one, they are sucking the oxygen out of the more progressive anti-Trump initiatives that are taking place, including in the streets of American cities. They're taking the wind out of anti-Trump more progressive anti-Trump critiques. For example, I think it's actually more powerful to attack Trump over the fact that he used, basically, chemical weapons on American peaceful protesters to do a fascistic photo-op. I don't know why there wasn't some call for congressional investigations on that. And they are getting skin in the game on the Biden campaign. It really feels to me like this Lincoln campaign operation, this moderate Republican operation which is also sort of a venue for neocons, will have more influence after events like this than the Bernie Sanders campaign, which has an enormous amount of delegates.

So, that's what I think the domestic repercussion is. It's just this constant it's the constant flow of Russiagate disinformation into the bloodstream of the Democratic Party and its base that's moving that party constantly to the right, while pushing the US deeper into this Cold War that only serves, you know, people who are associated with the national security state who need to justify their paycheck and the budget of the institutions that employ them.

AARON MATÉ: Let's assume for a second that the allegation is true, although, you know, you've laid out some of the reasons why it's not. Can you talk about the history here, starting with Afghanistan, something you cover a lot in your book, The Management of Savagery, where the US aim was to kill Russians, going right on through to Syria, where just recently the US envoy for the coalition against ISIS, James Jeffery, who handles Syria, said that his job now is to basically put the Russians in a quagmire in Syria.

JAMES JEFFREY: This isn't Afghanistan. This isn't Vietnam. This isn't a quagmire. My job is to make it a quagmire for the Russians.

MAX BLUMENTHAL: Yeah, I mean, it feels like a giant act of psychological and political projection to accuse Russia of using an Islamist militia in Afghanistan as a proxy against the US to bleed the US into leaving, because that's been the US playbook in Central Asia and the Middle East since at least 1979. I just tweeted a photo of Dan Rather in Afghanistan, just crossing the Pakistani border and going to meet with some of the Mujahideen in 1980. Dan Rather was panned in The New York in The Washington Post by Tom Toles [Tom Shales], who was the media critic at the time, as "Gunga Dan," because he was so gung-ho for the Afghan mujahideen. In his reports he would complain about how weak their weaponry was, you know, how they needed more how they needed more funding. I mean, you could call it bounties, but it was really just CIA funding.

DAN RATHER: These are the best weapons you have, huh? They only have about twenty rounds for this?

TRANSLATOR: That's all. They have twenty rounds. Yes, and they know that these are all old weapons and they really aren't up to doing anything to the Russian weaponry that's around. But that's all they have, and this is why they want help. And he is saying that America seems to be asleep. It doesn't seem to realize that if Afghanistan goes and the Russians go over to the Gulf, that in a very short time it's going to be the turn of the United States as well.

DAN RATHER: But I'm sure he knows that in Vietnam we got our fingers burned. Indeed, we got our whole hands burned when we tried to help in this kind of situation.

TRANSLATOR [translating to the Afghan man and then his reply]: Your hands were burned in Vietnam, but if you don't agree to help us, if you don't ally yourself with us, then all of you, your whole body will be burnt eventually, because there is no one in the world who can really fight and resist as well as the as much and as well as the Afghans are.

DAN RATHER: But no American mother wants to send her son to Afghanistan.

TRANSLATOR [translating to the Afghan man and then his reply]: We don't need anybody's soldiers here to help us, but we are being constantly accused that the Americans are helping us with weapons. What we need, actually, are the American weapons. We don't need or want American soldiers. We can do the fighting ourselves.

MAX BLUMENTHAL: And a year or several months before, the Carter Administration, at the urging of national security chief Zbigniew Brzezinski, had enacted what would become Operation Cyclone under Reagan, an arm-and-equip program to arm the Afghan mujahideen. The Saudis put up a matching fund which helped bring the so-called Services Bureau into the field where Osama bin Laden became a recruiter for international jihadists to join the battlefield. And, you know, the goal was, in the words of Brzezinski, as he later admitted to a French publication, was to force the Red Army, the Soviet Red Army, to intervene to protect the pro-Soviet government in Kabul, which they proceeded to do.

And then with the introduction of the Stinger missile, the Afghan mujahideen, hailed as freedom fighters in Washington, were able to destroy Russian supply lines, exact a heavy toll, and forced the Red Army to leave in retreat. They helped create what's considered the Soviet Union's Vietnam.

So that was really but the blueprint for what Russian for what Russia is being accused of now, and that same model was transferred over to Syria. It was also actually proposed for Iraq in the Iraq Liberation Act in 1998. Then Senate Foreign Relations chair Jesse Helms actually said that the Afghan mujahideen should be our model for supporting the Iraqi resistance. So, this kind of proxy war was always on the table. Then the US did it in Syria, when one out of every $13 in the CIA budget went to arm the so-called "moderate rebels" in Syria, who we later found out were 31 flavors of jihadi, who were aligned with al-Qaeda's local affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra and helped give rise to ISIS. Michael Morell, I tweeted some video of him on Charlie Rose back in, I think, 2016. He's the former acting director for the CIA, longtime deputy director. He said, you know, the reason that we're in Syria, what we should be doing is causing Iran and Russia, the two allies of Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian president, to pay a heavy price.

MICHAEL MORELL: We need to make the Iranians pay a price in Syria. We need to make the Russians pay a price. The other thing

CHARLIE ROSE: We make them pay the price by killing killing Russians?

MICHAEL MORELL: Yes.

CHARLIE ROSE: And killing Iranians.

MICHAEL MORELL: Yes, covertly. You don't tell the world about it, right? You don't stand up at the Pentagon and say we did this, right? But you make sure they know it in Moscow and Tehran.

MAX BLUMENTHAL: What he means is by basically paying bounties, which the US was literally doing along with its Gulf allies, to exact the toll on the allies of Assad, Russia. So, let's just say it's true, according to your question, let's just say this is all true. It would be a retaliation for what the United States has done to Russia in areas where it was actually legally invited in by the governments in charge, either in Kabul or Damascus. And that's, I think, the kind of ironic subtext that can hardly be understated when you see someone like Dan Rather wag his finger at Putin for paying the Taliban as proxies. But, I mean, it's such a ridiculous story that it's just hard to even fathom that it's real.

AARON MATÉ: Let me read Dan Rather's tweet, because it's so it speaks to just how pervasive Russiagate culture is now. People have learned absolutely nothing from it.

Rather says, "Reporters are trained to look for patterns that are suspicious, and time and again one stands out with Donald Trump. Why is he so slavishly devoted to Putin? There is a spectrum of possible answers ranging from craven to treasonous. One day I hope and suspect we will find out."

It's like he forgot, perhaps, that Robert Mueller and his team spent three years investigating this very issue and came up with absolutely nothing. But the narrative has taken hold, and it's, as you talked about before, it's been the narrative we've been presented as the vehicle for understanding and opposing Donald Trump, so it cannot be questioned. And now it's like it's a matter of, what else is there to find out about Trump and Russia after Robert Mueller and the US intelligence agencies looked for everything they could and found nothing? They're still presented as if it's some kind of mystery that has to be unraveled.

MAX BLUMENTHAL: And it was after, like, a week of just kind of neocon resistance mind-explosion, where first John Bolton was hailed as this hero and truthteller about Trump. Then Dick Cheney was welcomed into the resistance, you know, because he said, "Wear a mask." I mean, you know, his mask was strangely not spattered with the blood of Iraqi children. But, you know, it was just amazing like that. Of course, it was the Lincoln project who hijacked the minds of the resistance, but basically people who used to work on Cheney's campaign said, "Dick Cheney, welcome to the resistance." I mean, that was remarkable. And then you have this and it, you know, today as you pointed out, Chuck Todd, "Chuck Toddler", welcomes on Meet the Press John Bolton as this wise voice to comment on Donald Trump's slavish devotion to Vladimir Putin and how we need to escalate.

CHUCK TODD, NBC: Let me ask you this. Do you think that part of the that the president is afraid to make Putin mad because maybe Putin did help him win the election and he doesn't want to make him mad for 2020?

MAX BLUMENTHAL: I mean, just a few years ago, maybe it was two years ago, before Bolton was brought into the Trump NSC, he was considered just an absolute marginal crank who was a contributor to Fox News. He'd been forgotten. He was widely hated by Democrats. Now here he is as a sage voice to tell us how dangerous this moment is. And, you know, he's not being even brought on just to promote his book; he's being brought on as just a sober-minded foreign policy expert on Meet the Press . That's where we're at right now.

AARON MATÉ: Yeah, and when his critique of Trump is basically that Trump was not hawkish enough. Bolton's most the biggest critique Bolton has of Trump is, as he writes about in his book, is when Trump declined to bomb Iran after Iran shot down a drone over its territory. And Bolton said that to him was the most irrational thing he's ever seen a president do.

MAX BLUMENTHAL: Well, Bolton was mad that Trump confused body bags with missiles, because he said Trump thought that there would be 150 dead Iranians, and I said, "No, Donald, you're confused. It will be 150 missiles that we're firing into Iran." Like that's better! Like, "Oh, okay, that makes everything all right," that we fire a hundred missiles for one drone and maybe that wouldn't that kill possibly more than 150 people?

Well, in Bolton's world this was just another stupid move by Trump. If Bolton were, I mean, just, just watch all the interviews with Bolton. Watch him on The View where the only pushback he received was from Meghan McCain complaining that he ripped off a Hamilton song for his book The Room Where It Happened , and she asked, "Don't you have any apology to offer to Hamilton fans?" That was the pushback that Bolton received. Just watch all of these interviews with Bolton and try to find the pushback. It's not there. This is what Russiagate has done. It's taken one of the most Strangelovian, psychotic, dangerous, bloodthirsty, sadistic monsters in US foreign policy circles and turned him into a sober-minded, even heroic, truthteller.

AARON MATÉ: And inevitably the only long-term consequence that I can see here is ultimately helping Trump, because, if history is a pattern, these Russiagate supposed bombshells always either go nowhere or they get debunked. So, if this one gets forcefully debunked, because I think it's quite possible, because Trump has said that he was never briefed on this and they'll have to prove that he's lying, you know. It should be easy to do. Someone could come out and say that. If they can't prove that he's lying, then this one, I think, will blow up in their face. And all they will have done is, at a time when Trump is vulnerable over the pandemic with over a hundred thousand people dead on his watch, all these people did was ultimately try to bring the focus back to the same thing that failed for basically the entirety of Trump's presidency, which is Russiagate and Trump's supposed―and non-existent in reality―subservience to Vladimir Putin.

MAX BLUMENTHAL: But have you ever really confronted one of your liberal friends who maybe doesn't follow these stories as closely as you do? You know, well-intentioned liberal friend who just has this sense that Russia controls Trump, and asked them to really defend that and provide the receipts and really explain where the Trump administration has just handed the store to Russia? Because what we've seen is unprecedented since the height of the Cold War, an unprecedented deterioration of US-Russia relations with new sanctions on Russia every few months. You ask them to do that. They can't do it. It's just a sense they get, it's a feeling they get. And that's because these bombshells drop, they get reported on the front pages under banners of papers that declare that "democracy dies in darkness," whose brand is something that everybody trusts, The New York Times , The Washington Post , Woodward and Bernstein, and everybody repeats the story again and again and again. And then, if and when it gets debunked, discredited or just sort of disappears, a few days later everybody forgets about it. And those people who are not just, like, 24/7 media consumers but critical-minded media consumers, they're left with that sense that Russia actually controls us and that we must do something to escalate with Russia. So, that's the point of these: by the time the disinformation is discredited, the damage has already been done. And that same tactic was employed against Jeremy Corbyn in the UK, to the point where so many people were left with the sense that he must be an antisemite, although not one allegation was ever proven.

AARON MATÉ: Yeah, and now to the point where, in the Labour Party―we should touch on this for a second―where you had a Labour Party member retweet an article recently that mentioned some criticism of Israel and for that she was expelled from her position in the shadow cabinet.

MAX BLUMENTHAL: Yeah, well, you know, as a Jew I was really threatened by that retweet [laughter]. I don't know about you.

I mean, this is Rebecca Long Bailey. She's one of the few Corbynites left in a high position in Labour who hasn't been effectively burned at the stake for being a, you know, Jew hater who wants to throw us all in gas chambers because she retweets an interview with some celebrity I'd never heard of before, who didn't even say anything that extreme. But it really shows how the Thought Police have taken control of the Labour Party through Sir Keir Starmer, who is someone who has deep links to the national security state through the Crown Prosecution Service, which he used to head, where he was involved in the prosecution of Julian Assange. And he has worked with The Times of London, which is a, you know, favorite paper of the national security state and the MI5 in the UK, for planting stories against Jeremy Corbyn. He was intimately involved in that campaign, and now he's at the head of the Labour Party for a very good reason. I really would recommend everyone watching this, if you're interested more in who Keir Starmer really is, read "Five Questions for [New Labour Leader] Sir Keir Starmer" by Matt Kennard at The Grayzone. It really lays it out and shows you what's happening.

We're just in this kind of hyper-managed atmosphere, where everything feels so much more controlled than it's ever been. And even though every sane rational person that I know seems to understand what's happening, they feel like they're not allowed to say it, at least not in any official capacity.

AARON MATÉ: From the US to Britain, everything is being co-opted. In the US it's, you know, genuine resistance to Trump, in opposition to Trump, it gets co-opted by the right. Same thing in Britain. People get manipulated into believing that Jeremy Corbyn, this lifelong anti-racist is somehow an antisemite. It's all in the service of the same agenda, and I have to say we're one of the few outlets that are pushing back on it. Everyone else is getting swept up on it and it's a scary time.

We're gonna wrap. Max, your final comment.

MAX BLUMENTHAL: Well, yeah, we're pushing back. And I saw today Mint Press [News], which is another outlet that has pushed back, their Twitter account was just briefly removed for no reason, without explanation. Ollie Vargas, who's an independent journalist who's doing some of the most important work in the English language from Bolivia, reporting on the post-coup landscape and the repressive environment that's been created by the junta installed with US help under Jeanine Áñez, his account has been taken away on Twitter. The social media platforms are basically under the control of the national security state. There's been a merger between the national security state and Silicon Valley, and the space for these kinds of discussions is rapidly shrinking. So, I think, you know, it's more important than ever to support alternative media and also to really have a clear understanding of what's taking place. I'm really worried there just won't be any space for us to have these conversations in the near future.

AARON MATÉ: Max Blumenthal, editor of The Grayzone, author of The Management of Savagery , thanks a lot.

MAX BLUMENTHAL: Thanks for having me.

[Jul 01, 2020] Russiagate's Last Gasp by Ray McGovern

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... One can read this most recent flurry of Russia, Russia, Russia paid the Taliban to kill GIs as an attempt to pre-empt the findings into Russiagate's origins. ..."
"... But Moscow recognized from the start that Washington was embarked on a fool's errand in Vietnam. There would be no percentage in getting directly involved. And so, the Soviets sat back and watched smugly as the Vietnamese Communists drove U.S. forces out on their "own resources." As was the case with the Viet Cong, the Taliban needs no bounty inducements from abroad. ..."
"... Former CIA Director William Casey said: "We'll know when our disinformation program is complete, when everything the American public believes is false." ..."
"... If Durham finds it fraudulent (not a difficult task), the heads of senior intelligence and law enforcement officials may roll. That would also mean a still deeper dent in the credibility of Establishment media that are only too eager to drink the Kool Aid and to leave plenty to drink for the rest of us. ..."
"... I am not a regular Maddow-watcher, but to me she seemed unhinged -- actually, well over the top. ..."
Jun 29, 2020 | consortiumnews.com

One can read this most recent flurry of Russia, Russia, Russia paid the Taliban to kill GIs as an attempt to pre-empt the findings into Russiagate's origins.

By Ray McGovern
Special to Consortium News

O n Friday The New York Times featured a report based on anonymous intelligence officials that the Russians were paying bounties to have U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan with President Donald Trump refusing to do anything about it. The flurry of Establishment media reporting that ensued provides further proof, if such were needed, that the erstwhile "paper of record" has earned a new moniker -- Gray Lady of easy virtue.

Over the weekend, the Times ' dubious allegations grabbed headlines across all media that are likely to remain indelible in the minds of credulous Americans -- which seems to have been the main objective. To keep the pot boiling this morning, The New York Times' David Leonhardt's daily web piece , "The Morning" calls prominent attention to a banal article by a Heather Cox Richardson, described as a historian at Boston College, adding specific charges to the general indictment of Trump by showing "how the Trump administration has continued to treat Russia favorably." The following is from Richardson's newsletter on Friday:

Historian Richardson added:

"All of these friendly overtures to Russia were alarming enough when all we knew was that Russia attacked the 2016 U.S. election and is doing so again in 2020. But it is far worse that those overtures took place when the administration knew that Russia had actively targeted American soldiers. this bad news apparently prompted worried intelligence officials to give up their hope that the administration would respond to the crisis, and instead to leak the story to two major newspapers."

Hear the siren? Children, get under your desks!

The Tall Tale About Russia Paying for Dead U.S. Troops

Times print edition readers had to wait until this morning to learn of Trump's statement last night that he was not briefed on the cockamamie tale about bounties for killing, since it was, well, cockamamie.

Late last night the president tweeted: "Intel just reported to me that they did not find this info credible, and therefore did not report it to me or the VP. "

For those of us distrustful of the Times -- with good reason -- on such neuralgic issues, the bounty story had already fallen of its own weight. As Scott Ritter pointed out yesterday:

"Perhaps the biggest clue concerning the fragility of the New York Times ' report is contained in the one sentence it provides about sourcing -- "The intelligence assessment is said to be based at least in part on interrogations of captured Afghan militants and criminals." That sentence contains almost everything one needs to know about the intelligence in question, including the fact that the source of the information is most likely the Afghan government as reported through CIA channels. "

And who can forget how "successful" interrogators can be in getting desired answers.

Russia & Taliban React

The Kremlin called the Times reporting "nonsense an unsophisticated plant," and from Russia's perspective the allegations make little sense; Moscow will see them for what they are -- attempts to show that Trump is too "accommodating" to Russia.

A Taliban spokesman called the story "baseless," adding with apparent pride that "we" have done "target killings" for years "on our own resources."

Russia is no friend of the Taliban. At the same time, it has been clear for several years that the U.S. would have to pull its troops out of Afghanistan. Think back five decades and recall how circumspect the Soviets were in Vietnam. Giving rhetorical support to a fraternal Communist nation was de rigueur and some surface-to-air missiles gave some substance to that support.

But Moscow recognized from the start that Washington was embarked on a fool's errand in Vietnam. There would be no percentage in getting directly involved. And so, the Soviets sat back and watched smugly as the Vietnamese Communists drove U.S. forces out on their "own resources." As was the case with the Viet Cong, the Taliban needs no bounty inducements from abroad.

Besides, the Russians knew painfully well -- from their own bitter experience in Afghanistan, what the outcome of the most recent fool's errand would be for the U.S. What point would they see in doing what The New York Times and other Establishment media are breathlessly accusing them of?

CIA Disinformation; Casey at Bat

Former CIA Director William Casey said: "We'll know when our disinformation program is complete, when everything the American public believes is false."

Casey made that remark at the first cabinet meeting in the White House under President Ronald Reagan in early 1981, according to Barbara Honegger, who was assistant to the chief domestic policy adviser. Honegger was there, took notes, and told then Senior White House correspondent Sarah McClendon, who in turn made it public.

If Casey's spirit is somehow observing the success of the disinformation program called Russiagate, one can imagine how proud he must be. But sustained propaganda success can be a serious challenge. The Russiagate canard has lasted three and a half years. This last gasp effort, spearheaded by the Times , to breathe more life into it is likely to last little more than a weekend -- the redoubled efforts of Casey-dictum followers notwithstanding.

Russiagate itself has been unraveling, although one would hardly know it from the Establishment media. No collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. Even the sacrosanct tenet that the Russians hacked the DNC emails published by WikiLeaks has been disproven , with the head of the DNC-hired cyber security firm CrowdStrike admitting that there is no evidence that the DNC emails were hacked -- by Russia or anyone else .

U.S. Attorney John Durham. (Wikipedia)

How long will it take the Times to catch up with the CrowdStrike story, available since May 7?

The media is left with one sacred cow: the misnomered "Intelligence Community" Assessment of Jan. 6, 2017, claiming that President Putin himself ordered the hacking of the DNC. That "assessment" done by "hand-picked analysts" from only CIA, FBI and NSA (not all 17 intelligence agencies of the "intelligence community") reportedly is being given close scrutiny by U. S. Attorney John Durham, appointed by the attorney general to investigate Russiagate's origins.

If Durham finds it fraudulent (not a difficult task), the heads of senior intelligence and law enforcement officials may roll. That would also mean a still deeper dent in the credibility of Establishment media that are only too eager to drink the Kool Aid and to leave plenty to drink for the rest of us.

Do not expect the media to cease and desist, simply because Trump had a good squelch for them last night -- namely, the "intelligence" on the "bounties" was not deemed good enough to present to the president.

(As a preparer and briefer of The President's Daily Brief to Presidents Reagan and HW Bush, I can attest to the fact that -- based on what has been revealed so far -- the Russian bounty story falls far short of the PDB threshold.)

Rejecting Intelligence Assessments

Nevertheless, the corporate media is likely to play up the Trump administration's rejection of what the media is calling the "intelligence assessment" about Russia offering -- as Rachel Maddow indecorously put it on Friday -- "bounty for the scalps of American soldiers in Afghanistan."

I am not a regular Maddow-watcher, but to me she seemed unhinged -- actually, well over the top.

The media asks, "Why does Trump continue to disrespect the assessments of the intelligence community?" There he goes again -- not believing our "intelligence community; siding, rather, with Putin."

In other words, we can expect no let up from the media and the national security miscreant leakers who have served as their life's blood. As for the anchors and pundits, their level of sophistication was reflected yesterday in the sage surmise of Face the Nation's Chuck Todd, who Aaron Mate reminds us, is a "grown adult and professional media person." Todd asked guest John Bolton: "Do you think that the president is afraid to make Putin mad because maybe Putin did help him win the election, and he doesn't want to make him mad for 2020?"

"This is as bad as it gets," said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi yesterday, adding the aphorism she memorized several months ago: "All roads lead to Putin." The unconscionably deceitful performance of Establishment media is as bad as it gets, though that, of course, was not what Pelosi meant. She apparently lifted a line right out of the Times about how Trump is too "accommodating" toward Russia.

One can read this most recent flurry of Russia, Russia, Russia as a reflection of the need to pre-empt the findings likely to issue from Durham and Attorney General William Barr in the coming months -- on the theory that the best defense is a pre-emptive offense. Meanwhile, we can expect the corporate media to continue to disgrace itself.

Vile

Caitlin Johnstone, typically, pulls no punches regarding the Russian bounty travesty:

"All parties involved in spreading this malignant psyop are absolutely vile, but a special disdain should be reserved for the media class who have been entrusted by the public with the essential task of creating an informed populace and holding power to account. How much of an unprincipled whore do you have to be to call yourself a journalist and uncritically parrot the completely unsubstantiated assertions of spooks while protecting their anonymity? How much work did these empire fluffers put into killing off every last shred of their dignity? It boggles the mind.

It really is funny how the most influential news outlets in the Western world will uncritically parrot whatever they're told to say by the most powerful and depraved intelligence agencies on the planet, and then turn around and tell you without a hint of self-awareness that Russia and China are bad because they have state media.

Sometimes all you can do is laugh."

Ray McGovern works for Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. During his 27-years as a CIA analyst he led the Soviet Foreign Policy Branch and prepared The President's Daily Brief for Presidents Nixon, Ford, and Reagan. In retirement, he co-created Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.


Aaron , June 30, 2020 at 12:33

If anything, all roads lead to Israel. You have to consider the sources, the writers, journalists, editors, owners, and rich people from which these stories come. This latest ridiculous story will certainly help Trump, so the sources of these Russia stories are actually fans of Trump, they love his tax cuts, he helps their revenue streams, and he's the greatest friend and Zionist to Israel so far and also Wall Street. I think most Americans can understand that Putin doesn't possess all of the supernatural all-encompassing powers and mind-controlling omnipotence that Pelosi and her ilk attribute to him. That's why at his rallies, when Trump points to where the journalists are and sneers at them calling them bloodsuckers and parasites and all that, the people love it, because of stuff like this. It's like saying "look at those assholes, those liberal journalists over at CNN say that you voted for me because of Vladimir Putin?!" It just pisses off people to keep hearing that mantra over and over. So it's a gift to Trump, it helps him so much. And seeing that super expensive helicopter flying around the barren rocky slopes of the middle east, seems like it's out of some Rambo movie. And like Rambo, the tens of thousands of American servicemen that were sacrificed over there, and still commit suicides at a horrific rate, have always been treated by the architects of these wars that only helped the state of Israel, as the expendables. Whether it's a black life, a soldier fighting in Iraq, a foreclosed on homeowner by Mnuchin's work, or a brainwashed New York Times subscriber, we don't seem to matter, we seem to feel the truth that to these people were are indeed expendable. The question to answer I think is, not who is a Russian asset, but who is an Israeli asset?

Andrew Thomas , June 30, 2020 at 12:04

Great reporting as usual, Ray. But special kudos for the NYT moniker 'Gray lady of easy virtue.' I almost laughed out loud. A rare occurrence these days.

Michael P Goldenberg , June 30, 2020 at 10:45

Thanks for another cogent assessment of our mainstream media's utter depravity and reckless irresponsibility. They truly have become nothing more than presstitutes and enemies of the people.

Bob Van Noy , June 30, 2020 at 10:42

"It's all over but the shouting" goes the idiom and I think that is true of Russiagate, especially, thank all goodness, here at Robert Parry's Journalistic site!

I have a theory that propaganda has a lifetime but when it reaches a truly absurd level, it's all over. Clearly, we've reached that level Thanks to all at CN

evelync , June 30, 2020 at 10:33

You call Rachel Madcow "unhinged", Ray ..well, yes, I'm shocked at myself that there was a time that I tuned in to her show .
Sorry Ms Madcow you've turned yourself into a character from Dr Strangelove

The key threats – climate change, pandemics, nuclear war – and why we continue to fail to address these real things while filling the airwaves instead with the tiresome russia,russia,russia mantra – per Accam's razer suggests that it serves very short term interests of money and power whoever whatever the MICIMATT answers to.
"Former CIA Director William Casey said: "We'll know when our disinformation program is complete, when everything the American public believes is false." "

Who exactly was the "we" Casey was answering to each day?
I know it wasn't me or the planet or humanity or anyone I know.

Bill Rice , June 30, 2020 at 10:20

If only articles like this were read by the masses. Maybe people would get a clue. Blind patriotism is not patriotic at all. Skepticism is healthy.

torture this , June 30, 2020 at 09:54

It's a shame that VIPS reporting is top secret. It's the only information coming from people familiar with the ins and outs of spy agencies that can be trusted.

GeorgeG , June 30, 2020 at 09:45

Ray,
You missed the juicy stuff. See: tass.com/russia/1172369 Russia Foreign Ministry: NYT article on Russia in Afghanistan fake from US intelligence. Here is the kicker:

The Russian Foreign Ministry pointed to US intelligence agencies' involvement in Afghan drug trafficking.
"Should we speak about facts – moreover, well-known [facts], it has not long been a secret in Afghanistan that members of the US intelligence community are involved in drug trafficking, cash payments to militants for letting transport convoys pass through, kickbacks from contracts implementing various projects paid by American taxpayers. The list of their actions can be continued if you want," the ministry said.

The Russian Foreign Ministry suggested that those actions might stem from the fact that the US intelligence agencies "do not like that our and their diplomats have teamed up to facilitate the start of peace talks between Kabul and the Taliban (outlawed in Russia – TASS)."

"We can understand their feelings as they do not want to be deprived of the above mentioned sources of the off-the-books income," the ministry stressed.

Thomas Fortin , June 30, 2020 at 12:08

Affirmative Ray, two of my old comrades who were SF both did security on CIA drug flights back in the day, and later on both while under VA care decided to die off God I miss them, great guys and honest souls.

DH Fabian , June 30, 2020 at 09:41

One point remains a mystery. Why would anyone think that when the US invades a country, someone would need to pay the people of that country a bounty to fight back?

Mark Clarke , June 30, 2020 at 09:27

If Biden wins the presidency and the Democrats take back the Senate, Russiagate will strengthen and live on for many years.

Al , June 30, 2020 at 12:11

All to deflect from Clinton's private server while SOS, 30,000 deleted emails, and the sale of US interests via the Clinton Foundation.

Zedster , June 30, 2020 at 12:56

That, or we learn Chinese.

Skip Scott , June 30, 2020 at 09:08

Another interesting aside is that Tulsi Gabbard's "Stop funding Terrorists" bill went nowhere in Congress. So it's Ok for us and our Arab allies to fund them, but not the Russians? Maybe we should go back to calling them the Mujahideen?

Thomas Scherrer , June 30, 2020 at 12:10

Preach, my child.

And aloha to the last decent woman in those halls.

HARRY M HAYS , June 30, 2020 at 09:01

Do you not think that the timing of all this (months after the report was allegedly presented to Trump) is an attempt to stop Trump from signing an agreement with the Taliban that will allow him to withdraw American troops from that country?

Skip Scott , June 30, 2020 at 08:58

Great article Ray, but I have to question whether Durham will fulfill his role and get to the bottom of the origins of RussiaGate. If he actually does name names and prosecute, how will the MSM cover it? What will Ms. Madcow have to say? Ever since the fizzling failure of the Epstein investigation, I have had my doubts about Barr and his minion Durham. I hope I'm wrong. Time will tell.

Thomas Fortin , June 30, 2020 at 12:24

I think on here I can talk about this issue you brought up Scott, on other places when I tried to have a rational discussion on the matter, I got shouted down, well they tried anyway.
I highly suggest to any readers of this here on Consortium to get Gore Vidal's old book, Imperial America, and also watch his old documentary, THE UNITED STATES OF AMNESIA.
Here is the point of it,
"Officially we have two parties which are in fact wings of a common party of property with two right wings. Corporate wealth finances each. Since the property party controls every aspect of media they have had decades to create a false reality for a citizenry largely uneducated by public schools that teach conformity with an occasional advanced degree in consumerism."
-GORE VIDAL, The United States of Amnesia
Also,
"There is only one party in the United States, the Property Party and it has two right wings: Republican and Democrat. Republicans are a bit stupider, more rigid, more doctrinaire in their laissez-faire capitalism than the Democrats, who are cuter, prettier, a bit more corrupt -- until recently and more willing than the Republicans to make small adjustments when the poor, the black, the anti-imperialists get out of hand. But, essentially, there is no difference between the two parties."
? Gore Vidal
Others have pointed out the same like this,
"Nobody should have any illusions. The United States has essentially a one-party system and the ruling party is the business party."
? Noam Chomsky
"In the United States [ ] the two main business-dominated parties, with the support of the corporate community, have refused to reform laws that make it virtually impossible to create new political parties (that might appeal to non-business interests) and let them be effective. Although there is marked and frequently observed dissatisfaction with the Republicans and Democrats, electoral politics is one area where notions of competitions and free choice have little meaning. In some respects the caliber of debate and choice in neoliberal elections tends to be closer to that of the one-party communist state than that of a genuine democracy."
? Robert W. McChesney, Profit Over People: Neoliberalism and Global Order
"The argument that the two parties should represent opposed ideals and policies is a foolish idea. Instead, the two parties should be almost identical, so that the American people can throw the rascals out at any election without leading to any profound or extensive shifts in policy. Then it should be possible to replace it, every four years if necessary, by the other party which will be none of these things but will still pursue, with new vigor, approximately the same basic policies."
? Carroll Quigley [1910 – 1977 was an American historian and theorist of the evolution of civilizations. He is remembered for his teaching work as a professor at Georgetown University, for his academic publications.]
Teddy Roosevelt, whose statue is under attack in NYC, had this to say,
"The bosses of the Democratic party and the bosses of the Republican party alike have a closer grip than ever before on the party machines in the States and in the Nation. This crooked control of both the old parties by the beneficiaries of political and business privilege renders it hopeless to expect any far-reaching and fundamental service from either."
-THEODORE ROOSEVELT, The Outlook, July 27, 1912
I suggest also that you look up on line this article, Heads They Win, Tails We Lose: Our Fake Two-Party System
by Prof. Stephen H. Unger at Columbia, here is his concluding thought,
"The drift toward loss of liberty, unending wars, environmental degradation, growing economic inequality can't be stopped easily, but it will never be halted as long as we allow corporate interests to rule our country by means of a pseudo-democracy based on the two-party swindle."
With this all in mind, and if your my age, you might recall about how over the past more then 50 years, no matter which party gets in power, nothing of any significance changes, the wars continue, the transfer of wealth to the few, and the erosion of basic civil liberties continues pretty well unabated.
Trump is surrounded by neo-cons and I expect nothing will happen to change anything. I would get into how most called liberals are hardly that, but in reality neo-cons, but I've said enough for now, when you consider the statements I shared, then the Matrix begins to come unraveled.

Grady , June 30, 2020 at 08:01

Not to mention the potential peace initiative with Afghanistan and Taliban that is looming. Peace is not profitable, so who has the dual interests in maintaining protracted war in a strategic location while ensuring the poppy crop stays the most productive in the world? It seems said poppy production under the pre war Taliban government was minimal as they eliminated most of it. Attacking the Taliban and thwarting its rule allowed for greater production, to the extent it is the global leader in helping to fulfill the opiate demand. Gary Webb established long ago that the intelligence community, specifically the CIA, has somewhat of a tradition in such covert operations and logic would dictate they're vested interest lies in maintaining a high yield crop while feeding the profit center that is the MIC war machine. While certainly a bit digressive, the dots are there to connect.

Paul , June 30, 2020 at 07:54

My friend, I love your columns. Thank you, you have been one of the few sane voices on Russiagate from the beginning.

Sadly most Americans and most people in the world will not receive these simple truths you are telling. (not their fault)

We will continue our fight against the system.

Peace, Paul from South Africa

Voice from Europe , June 30, 2020 at 07:38

Don't think this will be the last Russiagate gasp whoever becomes the next president.
The 'liberal democrats' believe their own delusions and as long as they control the MSM, they won't stop. Lol.

Thomas Fortin , June 30, 2020 at 12:29

You should read my reply to Scott, most of these Democrats are not liberals, but neo-cons who just liberal virtue signal while in reality supporting the neo-con agenda. I hate it how the so called alternative or independent media abuse terms and words, which obscures realities. Anyway, take a look at my reply and the quotes I shared.
"Definition of liberal, one who is open-minded or not strict in the observance of orthodox, traditional, or established forms or ways, progressive, broad-minded, . willing to respect or accept behavior or opinions different from one's own; open to new ideas, denoting a political and social philosophy that promotes individual rights, civil liberties, democracy, and free enterprise."
? Derived from Webster's and the Oxford Dictionaries

"Liberal' comes from the Latin liberalis, which means pertaining to a free man. In politics, to be liberal is to want to extend democracy through change and reform. One can see why that word had to be erased from our political lexicon."
? Gore Vidal, "The Great Unmentionable: Monotheism and its Discontents," The Lowell Lecture, Harvard University, April 20, 1992.

Tom Welsh , June 30, 2020 at 06:23

Er, hypocrisy much?

"'Kill Russians and Iranians, threaten Assad,' says ex-CIA chief backing Clinton"
hXXps://www.rt.com/usa/355291-morrell-kill-russians-clinton/

Tom Welsh , June 30, 2020 at 06:13

Once again I would like to compliment Mr McGovern on his magnificently Biblical appearance. That full set would do credit to any Old Testament prophet.

I see him as the USA's own Jeremiah.

Tom Welsh , June 30, 2020 at 06:12

Seeing that picture of Johnson's sad, wicked bloodhound features really, really makes me wish I had had a chance to be outside his tent pissing in. I'd have been careful to drink as many gallons of beer as possible beforehand.

Although it would have been better, from a humanitarian pont of view, just to set fire to the tent.

Tom Welsh , June 30, 2020 at 06:10

"Historian Richardson "

Clearly a serious exaggeration.

Tom Welsh , June 30, 2020 at 06:09

Ah, the Chinook! The 60-year-old helicopter that epitomises everything Afghan patriots love about the USA. It's big, fat, slow, clumsy, unmanoeuvrable, and may carry enough US troops to make shooting it down a damaging political blow against Washington.

Vivek , June 30, 2020 at 05:43

Ray,
What do you make of Barbara Honeggar's second career as a alternative story peddler?
see hXXps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jB21BVFOIjw

CNfan , June 30, 2020 at 03:43

A brilliant piece, with a deft touch depicting the timeless human follies running our foreign policy circus. Real-world experience, perspective, and courage like Ray's were the dream of the drafters of our 1st Amendment. And ending with Caitlin's hammer was effective. As to who benefits? I suspect the neocons – our resident war-addicts and Israeli assets. Paraphrasing Nancy, "All roads lead to Netanyahu."

Ehzal , June 30, 2020 at 03:12

So,Russia what will do in next Upcoming Years during these covid-19.

Realist , June 30, 2020 at 02:54

Ray, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has embraced these allegations against Russia as the gospel truth and has threatened to seek revenge against Putin once he occupies the White House.

He said Americans who serve in the military put their life on the line. "But they should never, never, never ever face a threat like this with their commander in chief turning a blind eye to a foreign power putting a bounty on their heads."

"I'm quite frankly outraged by the report," Biden said. He promised that if he is elected, "Putin will be confronted and we'll impose serious costs on Russia."

This is the kind of warmongering talk that derailed the expected landslide victory for the Queen of Warmongers in 2016. This time round though, Trump has seemingly already swung and badly missed three times in his responses to the Covid outbreak, the public antics attributed to BLM, and the Fed's creation of six trillion dollars in funny money as a gift to the most privileged tycoons on the planet. In baseball, which will not have a season in spite of the farcical theatrics between ownership and players, that's called a "whiff" and gets you sent back to the bench.

According to all the pollsters, Donnie's base of white working class "deplorables" are already abandoning his campaign–bigly, prompting the none-too-keen Biden to assume that over-the-top Russia bashing is back in season, especially since trash-talking Nobel Laureate Obama is now delivering most of the mute sock puppet Biden's lines. It was almost comical to watch Joe do nothing but grin in the framed picture to the left of his old boss during their most recent joint interview with the press. This dangerous re-set of the Cold War is NOT what the people want, nor is it good for them or any living things.

DH Fabian , June 30, 2020 at 10:18

Biden already lost 2020 -- in spite of the widely-disliked Trump. This is why Democrats began working to breath life back into Russia-gate by late last year, setting the stage to blame Russia for their 2020 defeat. We spent the past 25 years detailing the demise of the Democratic Party (replaced by the "New Democrat Party"), and it turned out that the party loyalists didn't hear a word of it.

John A , June 30, 2020 at 02:15

As a viewer from afar, in Europe, I find it mindboggling how the American public seem to believe all this nonsense about Russia. Have the people there really been that dumbed down by chewing gum for the eyes television and disgusting chemical and growth h0rmone laced food? Sad, sad, sad.

Tom Welsh , June 30, 2020 at 06:17

John, I think there is something to what you say about dumbing down. I recall Albert Jay Nock lamenting, in about 1910, how dreadfully US education had already been dumbed down – and things have been going steadily downhill ever since.

But I don't think we can quite release the citizenry from responsibility on account of their ignorance. (Isn't it a legal maxim that ignorance is not an excuse?)

There is surely deep down in most people a sly lust for dominance, a desire to control and forbid and compel; and also a quiet satisfaction at hearing of inferior foreigners being harmed or killed by one's own "world class" armed forces.

TS , June 30, 2020 at 11:14

> As a viewer from afar, in Europe, I find it mindboggling how the American public seem to believe all this nonsense about Russia.

May I remind you that most of the mass media in Europe parrot all this nonsense, and a large segment of the public swallows it?

Charles Familant , June 30, 2020 at 00:50

Mr. McGovern has not made his case. To his question as to why Taliban militants need any additional incentive to target U.S. troops in Afghanistan, it is not far-fetched to believe these militants would welcome additional funds to continue their belligerency. Waging war is not cheap and is especially onerous for relatively small organizations as compared to major powers. What reason would Putin have to pay such bounty? The increase in U.S. troop casualties would provide Trump an additional rationale to bring the troops home, as he had promised during his campaign speeches in 2015 and 2016. This action would be a boon to his re-election prospects. Putin is well aware that if Biden wins in November, there is little likelihood of the hostility in Afghanistan or anywhere else being brought to an end. But, more to the point, the likelihood of U.S. sanctions against Russia being curtailed under a Biden presidency is remote. To what he deemed rhetorical, Mr. McGovern asks how successful were U.S. interrogators of such captured Taliban in the past, I remind him that there were opposing views regarding which techniques were most effective. Might not these interrogators have, in the present case, employed more effective means? Finally, it should not even be a question as to why any news agency does not reveal its sources. But in this case, the New York Times specifically mentions that the National Security Council discussed the intelligence finding in late March. Further, if it is true that Trump, Pence et al ignored the said briefs of which the administration was well aware, this should be no surprise to any of us. Case in point: how long did it take Trump to respond to the present pandemic? One telling observation: Mr. McGovern says that Heather Cox Richardson is "described as a historian at Boston College.' She is not just "described as a historian" Mr. McGovern, she IS a historian at Boston College; in fact, she is a professor at that college and has authored six scholarly works that have been published as books, the most recent of which in March of this year by the Oxford University Press. Mr. McGovern states that the points Richardson made her most most recent newsletter as "banal." I see nothing banal in that newsletter, but rather a list of relevant factual occurrences. Finally (this time it really is final), Mr. McGovern employs the use of sarcasm to discount what Richardson and others have contended regarding this most recent expose. And seems to give more credibility to the comments made by Trump and his cohorts, as though this administration is remarkable for its integrity.

Sam F , June 30, 2020 at 11:05

Plausible interest does not make unsupported accusations a reality. What bounties did the US offer?
Have you forgotten that the US set up Al Qaeda in Afghanistan with weapons to attack the USSR there?

Zhu , June 30, 2020 at 00:34

Come December this year, which losing party will blame which scapegoat? Russia? China? The Man in the Moon? It must be a hard decision!

Zhu , June 30, 2020 at 00:31

Unfortunately, bad ideas and conspiracy fictions rarely disappear completely. But that Afghans need to be paid to kill invaders is the dumbest conspiracy fiction yet.

Thomas Fortin , June 29, 2020 at 21:31

Excellent report Ray, as usual.
Interesting note here, I watched The Hill's Rising program, and listened to young conservative Saagar say, although he does not believe that Russia-gate is credible, he made the statement that Russia is supplying the Taliban weapons and wants us to get out of Afghanistan, and that is considered a fact by all journalists!
Saagar is a bit conflicted, he does not, but does believe the gods of intelligence, like so many did with the Gulf of Tonkin so long ago, I remember that all too well.
As I look out upon the ignorant masses and useful idiots who strain at those Confederate and other monuments, while continuing to elect the same old people back into office who continue the status quo, its a bit discouraging. We were told so long ago about our current situation, that,
"It is only when the people become ignorant and corrupt, when they degenerate into a populace, that they are incapable of exercising the sovereignty. Usurpation is then an easy attainment, and an usurper soon found. The people themselves become the willing instruments of their own debasement and ruin." [James Monroe, First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1817]
As a historian of some sort and educational film maker, I do my best to educate people, though its a bit overwhelming at times how ignorant and fascist brain-washed most are. Monroe, like the other founders knew the secret of maintaining a free and prosperous republic, from the same piece, "Let us, then, look to the great cause, and endeavor to preserve it in full force. Let us by all wise and constitutional measures promote intelligence among the people as the best means of preserving our liberties."
George Carlin got it right about why education "sucks", it was by design, so our work is cut out for us.
"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be."
~Thomas Jefferson

GMCasey , June 29, 2020 at 21:25

Why would Putin even bother? America and its endless wars is doing itself in. Afghanistan is said to be," the graveyard of empires." It was for Alexander the Great -- –it was for Russia and I suppose that it will be for America too -- -

DW Bartoo , June 29, 2020 at 20:50

Ray, I certainly hope that Durham and Barr will not wait too long a time to make public the truth about Russiagate.

Indeed, certain heads should, figuratively, roll, and as well, the whole story about who was behind the setting up of Flynn needs to, somehow, make it through the media flack.

Judge Sullivan's antics having been rather thoroughly shot down, though the media is desperately trying to either spin or ignore the reality that it was not merely Flynn that Sullivan was hoping to harm, but also the power of the executive branch relative to the judicial branch.

The role of Obama and of Biden who, apparently, suggested the use of the Logan Act as the means to go after Flynn, who we now know was intentionally entrapped by the intrepid FBI, need to be made clear as well.

Just as with the initial claims that torture was the work of "a few bad apples", when anyone with any insight into such "policy" actions had to have known that it WAS official policy (crafted by Addington, Bybee, and Yoo, as it turned out, directed to do so by the Bush White House), so too, must it be realized that it was not some rogue agents and loose cannons, but actual instructions "from above", explicit or implicit, that "encouraged" the behavior of those who spoke of "Insurance" policies designed to hamper, hinder, and harm the incoming administration.

Clearly, I am no fan of Trump, and while I honestly regard the Rule of Law as essentially a fairytale for the gullible (as the behavior of the "justice" system from the " qualified immunity" of the police, to the "absolute immunity" of prosecutors, judges, and the political class must make clear,to even the most giddy of childish believers in U$ purity, innocence, and exceptionalism, that the "law" serves to protect wealth and power and NOT the public), I should really like to consider that even in a pretend democracy, some things are simply not to be tolerated.

Things, like torture, like fully politicized law enforcement or "intelligence" agencies, like secret court proceedings, where judges may be lied to with total impunity and actual evidence is not required. As well as things like a media thoroughly willing to requrgitate blatant propaganda as "fact" (while having, again, no apparent need of genuine evidenc), or other things like total surveillance, and the destruction of habeas corpus.

One should like to imagine that such things might concern the majority.

Yet, a society that buys into forever wars, lesser-evil voting, and created Hitler like boogeymen, that countenances being lied into wars and consistently lied to about virtually everything, is hardly likely to discern the truth of things until the "Dream" collapses into personal pain, despair, and Depression.

Unless there is an awakening quite beyond that already tearing down statues, but yet still , apparently, unwilling to grasp the totality of the corruption throughout the entire edifice of "authority", of the total failure of a system that has no real legitimacy, except that given it by voters choosing between two sides of the same tyranny, it may be readily imagined, should Biden be "victorious", that Russiagate, Chinagate, Irangate, Venezuelagate, and countless other "Gates" will become Official History.

In which case, this is not a last gasp, of Russiagate, but a new and full head of steam for more of the same.

How easy it has been for the lies to prevail, to become "truth" and to simply disappear the voices of those who ask for evidence, who dare question, who doubt.

How easy to co-opt and destroy efforts to educate or bring about critically necessary change.

There are but a few months for real evidence to be revealed.

If Durham and Barr decide not to "criminalize policy differences", as Obama, the "constitutional scholar", did regarding torture, then what might we imagine will be the future of those who have an understanding of even those lies long being used, and with recent additions, for example, to torture Julian Assange?

All of the deceit has common purpose, it is to maintain absolute control.

If Russiagate is not completely exposed, for all that it is and was intended to be, then quaint little discussions about elite misbehavior will be banished from general awareness, and those who persist in questioning will be rather severely dealt with.

Antonia , June 30, 2020 at 11:43

ABSOLUTELY. Well said. NOW where to make the changes absolutely necessary?

Zalamander , June 29, 2020 at 18:47

Thanks Ray. There are multiple reasons for the continued existance of Russiagate as the Democratic party has no real answers for the economic depression affecting millions of Americans. Neoliberal Joe Biden is also an exceptionally weak presidential candidate, who does not even support universal healthcare for all Americans like every other advanced industrialized country has. That said, the Dems are indeed desperate to deflect attention away from the Durham investigation, as it is bound to expose the total fraud of Crossfire Hurricane.

Sam F , June 29, 2020 at 18:16

Thanks, Ray, a very good summary, with reminders often needed by many in dealing with complex issues.

[Jun 28, 2020] Evidence Free Press Release Claims 'Russia Did Bad, Trump Did Not Respond' - NYT, WaPo Publish It

Highly recommended!
Projection, yet another time. An old and very effective dirty propaganda trick. Fake news outlet are intelligence services controlled outlets.
Notable quotes:
"... Reporters from the New York Times and the Washington Post were called up by unnamed 'officials' and told to write that Russia pays some Afghans to kill U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan. There is zero evidence that the claim is true. The Taliban spokesman denies it. The numbers of U.S. soldiers killed in Afghanistan is minimal. The alleged sources of the claims are criminals the U.S. has taken as prisoners in Afghanistan. ..."
"... The journalistic standards at the New York Times and Washington Post must be below zero to publish such nonsense without requesting real evidence. The press release like stories below from anti-Trump/anti-Russian sources have nothing to do with ' great reporting ' but are pure stenography. ..."
"... If the Russians were truly inclined in a direction leading them to "pay bounties" for American scalps in Afghanistan, they would instead be doing what we once did: providing state-of-the-art Manpads to Afghan jihadis. Any sort of bar room or shit house rumor these days is attributed to "intelligence officials" or "intelligence sources", always unnamed of course. ..."
"... The paragraph about "reasons to believe" is vacuous in the extreme: ..."
"... "The intelligence assessment is said to be based at least in part on interrogations of captured Afghan militants and criminals. The officials did not describe the mechanics of the Russian operation, such as how targets were picked or how money changed hands. It is also not clear whether Russian operatives had deployed inside Afghanistan or met with their Taliban counterparts elsewhere." ..."
"... We know from the past that US forces were torturing TOTALLY RANDOM INDIVIDUALS, occasionally to death. Needless to say, "officials did not describe the mechanics" of the interrogation, neither did not describe any corroborative details. The most benign scenario is that "captured Afghan militants and criminals" are pure fiction rather than actual people subjected to "anal inspections", "peroneal strikes", left overnight hanging from the ceiling etc. to spit out random incoherent tidbits about the Russians, like "it is also not clear".... A long list of "not clear"'s. ..."
"... Together, it is very crude "manufacturing of consent", and unfortunately, this is a workable technique of manipulation. Crudity is the tool, not a defect in this case. I will explain later what I mean, this post is probably too long already. ..."
Jun 28, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Evidence Free Press Release Claims 'Russia Did Bad, Trump Did Not Respond' - NYT , WaPo Publish It A. Pols , Jun 27 2020 14:34 utc | 1

There were allegations about emails that someone exfiltrated from the DNC and provided to Wikileaks . Russia must have done it. The FBI and other intelligence services were all over it. In the end no evidence was provided to support the claims.

There were allegations that Trump did not really win the elections. Russia must have done it. The various U.S. intelligence service, together with their British friends, provided all kinds of sinister leaks about the alleged case. In the end no evidence was provided to support the claims.

A British double agent, Sergej Skirpal, was allegedly injured in a Russian attack on him. The intelligence services told all kind of contradicting nonsense about the case. In the end no evidence was provided to support the claims.

All three cases had two points in common. The were based on sources near to the U.S. and British intelligence community. They were designed to increase hostility against Russia. The last point was then used to sabotage Donald Trump's original plans for better relations with Russia.

Now the intelligence services make another claim that fits right into the above scheme.

Reporters from the New York Times and the Washington Post were called up by unnamed 'officials' and told to write that Russia pays some Afghans to kill U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan. There is zero evidence that the claim is true. The Taliban spokesman denies it. The numbers of U.S. soldiers killed in Afghanistan is minimal. The alleged sources of the claims are criminals the U.S. has taken as prisoners in Afghanistan.

All that nonsense is again used to press against Trump's wish for better relations with Russia. Imagine - Trump was told about these nonsensical claims and he did nothing about it!

The same intelligence services and 'officials' previously paid bounties to bring innocent prisoners to Guantanamo Bay, tortured them until they made false confessions and lied about it. The same intelligence services and 'officials' lied about WMD in Iraq. The same 'intelligence officials' paid and pay Jihadis disguised as 'Syrian rebels' to kill Russian and Syrian troops which defend their countries.

The journalistic standards at the New York Times and Washington Post must be below zero to publish such nonsense without requesting real evidence. The press release like stories below from anti-Trump/anti-Russian sources have nothing to do with ' great reporting ' but are pure stenography.

The New York Times :

Cont. reading: Evidence Free Press Release Claims 'Russia Did Bad, Trump Did Not Respond' - NYT, WaPo Publish It

Posted by b at 13:43 UTC | Comments (3) If the Russians were truly inclined in a direction leading them to "pay bounties" for American scalps in Afghanistan, they would instead be doing what we once did: providing state-of-the-art Manpads to Afghan jihadis. Any sort of bar room or shit house rumor these days is attributed to "intelligence officials" or "intelligence sources", always unnamed of course.

JohnH , Jun 27 2020 14:45 utc | 2

Biden is the intelligence services' ideal candidate -- an easily manipulated empty suit. There's a reason why charges of Biden wrongdoing are as easily dismissed as nonsensical charges against Trump and Russia get fabricated. And that reason is that the media is as happy to be manipulated as Biden.
Piotr Berman , Jun 27 2020 15:03 utc | 3
Two puzzling and disturbing aspects.

The paragraph about "reasons to believe" is vacuous in the extreme:

"The intelligence assessment is said to be based at least in part on interrogations of captured Afghan militants and criminals. The officials did not describe the mechanics of the Russian operation, such as how targets were picked or how money changed hands. It is also not clear whether Russian operatives had deployed inside Afghanistan or met with their Taliban counterparts elsewhere."

We know from the past that US forces were torturing TOTALLY RANDOM INDIVIDUALS, occasionally to death. Needless to say, "officials did not describe the mechanics" of the interrogation, neither did not describe any corroborative details. The most benign scenario is that "captured Afghan militants and criminals" are pure fiction rather than actual people subjected to "anal inspections", "peroneal strikes", left overnight hanging from the ceiling etc. to spit out random incoherent tidbits about the Russians, like "it is also not clear".... A long list of "not clear"'s.

This is disturbing, although this is precisely the quality of "intelligence" that gets released to the public. The second disturbing aspect is that the article was opened to comments, and as usually in such cases, the comments are full of fury at Russians and Trump, and with the numbers of "recommend"'s reaching thousands. On non-Russian topics, if comments are allowed, one can see a much wider spectrum of opinion, sometimes with huge numbers of "recommend"'s to people who criticize and doubt the official positions. Here I lost patience looking for any skeptical comment.

Together, it is very crude "manufacturing of consent", and unfortunately, this is a workable technique of manipulation. Crudity is the tool, not a defect in this case. I will explain later what I mean, this post is probably too long already.

[Jun 26, 2020] Every record has been destroyed, every book rewritten, every statue and street building has been renamed... nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right... by Giulio Meotti

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Antiracism has been transformed... At the time of the great migration, it is no longer a question of welcoming newcomers by integrating them into European civilization, but exposing the faults of this civilization ..."
"... He referred to "self-racism" as "the most dismaying and grotesque pathology of our time". Its capital is London. ..."
"... Vandalism and self-hatred are quickly gaining ground. The epic of great discoveries associated with British Empire has become shameful. The protests are not about slavery. No one in the UK today would cheer that period. It is rather a call for cultural cleansing of all the works contradicting the new mantra: "diversity". ..."
"... "A new form of Taliban was born in the UK today" , wrote Nigel Farage, referring to two giant ancient Buddha statue that were blown up by the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2001. ..."
"... This movement of hating the West -- which has, as all of us do, an imperfect history -- seems to have begun in British universities. In Cambridge, professors of literature asked to replace white authors with representatives from minorities to "decolonize" the curriculum. The student union of London's prestigious School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) asked to remove Plato, Kant, Descartes, Hegel and others from the curriculum, because they were "all white" -- as if the color of our skin should be the sole determinant of our thoughts. In Manchester, students painted over a mural based on Kipling's poem "If". ..."
"... A scholar of colonialism, Nigel Biggar, said that a "climate of fear" has returned to British universities. The University of Liverpool recently agreed to rename a building honoring former prime minister William Gladstone. At Oxford, meanwhile, the statue of Cecil Rhodes, philanthropist and founder of Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), risks being the next to go. ..."
Jun 23, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

"Every record has been destroyed , every book rewritten , every statue and street building has been renamed ... nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right ..." - George Orwell, 1984.

Authored by Giulio Meotti via The Gatestone Institute,

"Antiracism is no longer the defense of the equal dignity of people, but an ideology, a vision of the world," said the French philosopher Alain Finkielkraut, son of Holocaust survivors.

"Antiracism has been transformed... At the time of the great migration, it is no longer a question of welcoming newcomers by integrating them into European civilization, but exposing the faults of this civilization".

He referred to "self-racism" as "the most dismaying and grotesque pathology of our time". Its capital is London.

" Topple the racists " consists of a map with 60 statues in 30 British cities. The removal of the statues is being requested to support a movement born in the United States after a white policeman, Derek Chauvin, killed a black man, George Floyd, by kneeling on his neck.

In Bristol, a crowd pushed the statue of philanthropist and slave-owner Edward Colston into the harbor. The act was followed in London by protests vandalizing statues of Winston Churchill, Mahatma Gandhi and Abraham Lincoln. London's Mayor Sadiq Khan, after removing the monument to Robert Milligan, a Scottish slave trader, from outside the Museum of London Docklands, announced the creation of commission to review tearing down statues that do not reflect "the city's diversity". Two more statues were ordered to be removed from two London hospitals.

Vandalism and self-hatred are quickly gaining ground. The epic of great discoveries associated with British Empire has become shameful. The protests are not about slavery. No one in the UK today would cheer that period. It is rather a call for cultural cleansing of all the works contradicting the new mantra: "diversity".

"A new form of Taliban was born in the UK today" , wrote Nigel Farage, referring to two giant ancient Buddha statue that were blown up by the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2001.

"Unless we get moral leadership quickly our cities won't be worth living in".

The list of statues to be removed includes the names of Oliver Cromwell and Horatio Nelson, two major figures in British history, as well as Nancy Astor, the first woman to be elected to the British Parliament and take a seat in 1919. Also on the list were the names of Sir Francis Drake, Christopher Columbus and Charles Gray (the prime minister whose government supervised the abolition of slavery in 1833).

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, expressing opposition to the removal campaign, said :

" We cannot now try to edit or censor our past. We cannot pretend to have a different history. The statues in our cities and towns were put up by previous generations. They had different perspectives, different understandings of right and wrong. But those statues teach us about our past, with all its faults. To tear them down would be to lie about our history, and impoverish the education of generations to come."

British post-colonial guilt is, however, having repercussions far larger than statues. There is, for instance, still total silence about persecuted Christians, according to a UK bishop leading a government review into their suffering. There is also, notably, a retreat from the world's stage.

"When the West loses confidence in itself, because of excessive or misplaced guilt over colonialism, it turns to isolationism", noted Bruce Gilley, a professor of political science.

"We are afraid that anything we do is colonial. There's plenty of countries willing to step into that global governance gap: China, Iran, Russia, Turkey".

Post-colonial guilt is also suffocating freedom of speech in the UK. The former British "equality watchdog" chief, Trevor Phillips, was suspended from the Labour Party after allegations of "Islamophobia". Phillips' guilt? Being critical of multiculturalism. According to Phillips:

"In my view, squeamishness about addressing diversity and its discontents risks allowing our country to sleepwalk to a catastrophe that will set community against community, endorse sexist aggression, suppress freedom of expression, reverse hard-won civil liberties, and undermine the liberal democracy that has served this country so well for so long."

Phillips also claimed that British politicians and journalists are "terrified" of discussing race, thereby leaving multiculturalism to become a " racket " exploited by some to entrench segregation. A man of Guyanese origin , a Labour Party veteran and an equality commissioner spoke the truth to the multiculturalists.

The activists who campaign to remove the statues want radically to change the look of the British capital. The clash seems to consist of, on one side, violent censors who bully everyone, and on the other side, cowardly, appeasing politicians, who are afraid and bow to the vandals. Monuments are a vital and visible part of a global city; they embody their place in the history of a city, otherwise only bus stops and Burger Kings would remain there. These protestors appear to wish for a revised, sanitized history. If we do not quickly understand that, if we erase our past, as the former Soviet Union tried to do, it will be easier for people to create their vision of our future with no rudder to anchor us or our values. We will be left with nothing in our hands but shattered pieces of our history and culture.

This movement of hating the West -- which has, as all of us do, an imperfect history -- seems to have begun in British universities. In Cambridge, professors of literature asked to replace white authors with representatives from minorities to "decolonize" the curriculum. The student union of London's prestigious School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) asked to remove Plato, Kant, Descartes, Hegel and others from the curriculum, because they were "all white" -- as if the color of our skin should be the sole determinant of our thoughts. In Manchester, students painted over a mural based on Kipling's poem "If".

A scholar of colonialism, Nigel Biggar, said that a "climate of fear" has returned to British universities. The University of Liverpool recently agreed to rename a building honoring former prime minister William Gladstone. At Oxford, meanwhile, the statue of Cecil Rhodes, philanthropist and founder of Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), risks being the next to go.

"There is a bit of hypocrisy," Lord Patten, the chancellor of Oxford, commented , "in Oxford taking money for 100 scholars a year, about a fifth of them from Africa, to come to Oxford, and then saying we want to throw the Rhodes statue... in the Thames" .

He said that his own view remained the same as one "expressed by Nelson Mandela at a celebration of the Rhodes Trust in 2003": that despite the "problems associated with Cecil Rhodes in history, if it was alright for Mandela, then I have to say it's pretty well alright for me". But not for the revisionists.

Western history is seemingly being remade to portray all of Western civilization as just one big apartheid . It is as if we should not only pull down statues but also pull down ourselves. But a successful democracy, cannot be built on just erasing the past.

The statue in London of Churchill -- who stood against the Nazis during the Second World War and saved Europe from barbarism -- was covered up by the city authorities during recent protests. Its visual erasure reminds one of the nude statues in Rome covered up by authorities to please Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, or the "disappearance" of portraits in the former Soviet Union, of people whom the Politburo decided had fallen out of favor. There is a falsity in erasing one's history. One may not have a perfect history, but it is one's history, nevertheless. As the historian Victor Davis Hanson wrote , a country "does not have to be perfect to be good." Excising the distasteful parts does not change what happened; they may even be replaced with parts that are more distasteful.

Some London museums already adopted this covering-up and self-censorship a while ago. The Tate Gallery in London banned a work by John Latham that displayed a Koran embedded in glass. The Victoria and Albert Museum showed, then withdrew, a devotional art image of Muhammad. The Saatchi Gallery featured two works of nudes overlaid with Arabic script, which prompted complaints from Muslim visitors; the museum covered the works. The Whitechapel Art Gallery purged an exhibit containing nude dolls.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary just revised the definition of "racism" to include "systemic racism", presumably meaning that the entire society is guilty and unjust.

The censors seem to want to control our mental universe, as in George Orwell's novel, 1984 :

"Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right".

This process of Western self-abasement began long ago. The Labour Party councils in the UK, for example, began to examine all the statues under their jurisdiction. The mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees, instead of defending the rule of law, called the violent removal of the statue of Colston an act of " historical poetry ". When vandals started to destroy statues, many applauded. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson called it " politically correct iconoclasm ".

A week before the statues row, people in the UK knelt in the name of George Floyd. It was as if there was a collective claim that Western society as a whole had to repent. It seemed a form of ideological hysteria, not so distant from that of the Inquisition or the Salem Witch Trials: those who knelt were presumably supposed appear as if they were more moral, on the "right side" of justice. There were even British policemen kneeling, as, in the US, Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats knelt to their overlords. Both were acts of irresponsibility and capitulation. A few days later, the British establishment kowtowed to the new Taliban.

What is this macabre ideological game aimed at accomplishing? Not taking down monuments as such, like the statues of Christopher Columbus which have been torn down or beheaded . It is more than that. It is a power-grab to create a cultural revolution, to prevent anyone from saying that cultures are not all the same; to put Europe's past on trial; to instill perennial remorse into consciences, and to spread intellectual terror to advance multiculturalism.

How many people will refuse to go along with this coerced suppression of history? If many kneel to this new totalitarianism, who will have the courage to stand up for Western history and culture?

[Jun 25, 2020] BET Founder Says Black People Laugh At White People Toppling Statues

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... He pointed out that knocking over a statue will not "close the wealth gap," "give a kid whose parent's can't afford a college money to go to college," "close the labor gap between what white workers are paid and what black workers are paid" or "take people off welfare or food stamps." ..."
"... Johnson said that whites who seek to "assuage guilt by doing things that make them feel good" would be much more reluctant to support payments for blacks. ..."
"... Referring to actions such as "changing names, toppling statues, [and] firing professors because they said all lives matter," Johnson explained that "it just shows to me that white America is continually ... incapable of recognizing that black people have their own ideas and thought about what's in their best interests." ..."
"... "Give us the belief that you respect our opinion. You go out and do something and destroy something, fire somebody because you think it hurts us. Why don't you ask us first if it hurts us before you go and say 'Oh, I gotta do something for the negroes to make them feel better.' Well ask us if we want you to do that to make us feel better," he said. ..."
"... Johnson likened white people's actions attempting to make black people "feel good" to "rearranging the deck chairs on a racial Titanic. It absolutely means nothing," he said. ..."
Jun 25, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
Authored by Alex Nitzberg via JustTheNews.com,

BET founder Robert Johnson during a Wednesday interview with Fox News described people toppling statues as "borderline anarchists" and pushed back against the idea that black people support such behavior, suggesting instead that they "laugh" at those who knock down the statues.

"You know black people, in my opinion, black people laugh at white people who do this, the same way we laugh at white people who say we got to take off the TV shows," he said mentioning the "Dukes of Hazard," a decades-old television program that has come under fire for featuring a car emblazoned with a Confederate flag graphic.

He pointed out that knocking over a statue will not "close the wealth gap," "give a kid whose parent's can't afford a college money to go to college," "close the labor gap between what white workers are paid and what black workers are paid" or "take people off welfare or food stamps."

Johnson said that whites who seek to "assuage guilt by doing things that make them feel good" would be much more reluctant to support payments for blacks.

Referring to actions such as "changing names, toppling statues, [and] firing professors because they said all lives matter," Johnson explained that "it just shows to me that white America is continually ... incapable of recognizing that black people have their own ideas and thought about what's in their best interests."

https://video.foxnews.com/v/video-embed.html?video_id=6167003994001

He suggested that black people should be consulted before people take actions like tearing down statues or firing someone for a comment they have made.

"Give us the belief that you respect our opinion. You go out and do something and destroy something, fire somebody because you think it hurts us. Why don't you ask us first if it hurts us before you go and say 'Oh, I gotta do something for the negroes to make them feel better.' Well ask us if we want you to do that to make us feel better," he said.

Johnson likened white people's actions attempting to make black people "feel good" to "rearranging the deck chairs on a racial Titanic. It absolutely means nothing," he said.

Johnson's comments come as debates rage across the country in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd -- in some cases protestors have defaced and toppled statues. President Trump has come out against changing the names of military installations named after Confederate leaders.

[Jun 23, 2020] Identity politics is, first and foremost, a dirty and shrewd political strategy developed by the Clinton wing of the Democratic Party ( soft neoliberals ) to counter the defection of trade union members from the party

Highly recommended!
divide and conquer 1. To gain or maintain power by generating tension among others, especially those less powerful, so that they cannot unite in opposition.
Notable quotes:
"... In its most general form, identity politics involves (i) a claim that a particular group is not being treated fairly and (ii) a claim that members of that group should place political priority on the demand for fairer treatment. But "fairer" can mean lots of different things. I'm trying to think about this using contrasts between the set of terms in the post title. A lot of this is unoriginal, but I'm hoping I can say something new. ..."
"... The second problem is that neoliberals on right and left sometimes use identity as a shield to protect neoliberal policies. As one commentator has argued, "Without the bedrock of class politics, identity politics has become an agenda of inclusionary neoliberalism in which individuals can be accommodated but addressing structural inequalities cannot." What this means is that some neoliberals hold high the banner of inclusiveness on gender and race and thus claim to be progressive reformers, but they then turn a blind eye to systemic changes in politics and the economy. ..."
"... Critics argue that this is "neoliberal identity politics," and it gives its proponents the space to perpetuate the policies of deregulation, privatization, liberalization, and austerity. ..."
"... If we assume that identity politics is, first and foremost, a dirty and shrewd political strategy developed by the Clinton wing of the Democratic Party ("soft neoliberals") many things became much more clear. Along with Neo-McCarthyism it represents a mechanism to compensate for the loss of their primary voting block: trade union members, who in 2016 "en mass" defected to Trump. ..."
Dec 28, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

likbez 12.27.19 at 10:21 pm

John,

I've been thinking about the various versions of and critiques of identity politics that are around at the moment. In its most general form, identity politics involves (i) a claim that a particular group is not being treated fairly and (ii) a claim that members of that group should place political priority on the demand for fairer treatment. But "fairer" can mean lots of different things. I'm trying to think about this using contrasts between the set of terms in the post title. A lot of this is unoriginal, but I'm hoping I can say something new.

You missed one important line of critique -- identity politics as a dirty political strategy of soft neoliberals.

See discussion of this issue by Professor Ganesh Sitaraman in his recent article (based on his excellent book The Great Democracy ) https://newrepublic.com/article/155970/collapse-neoliberalism

To be sure, race, gender, culture, and other aspects of social life have always been important to politics. But neoliberalism's radical individualism has increasingly raised two interlocking problems. First, when taken to an extreme, social fracturing into identity groups can be used to divide people and prevent the creation of a shared civic identity. Self-government requires uniting through our commonalities and aspiring to achieve a shared future.

When individuals fall back onto clans, tribes, and us-versus-them identities, the political community gets fragmented. It becomes harder for people to see each other as part of that same shared future.

Demagogues [more correctly neoliberals -- likbez] rely on this fracturing to inflame racial, nationalist, and religious antagonism, which only further fuels the divisions within society. Neoliberalism's war on "society," by pushing toward the privatization and marketization of everything, thus indirectly facilitates a retreat into tribalism that further undermines the preconditions for a free and democratic society.

The second problem is that neoliberals on right and left sometimes use identity as a shield to protect neoliberal policies. As one commentator has argued, "Without the bedrock of class politics, identity politics has become an agenda of inclusionary neoliberalism in which individuals can be accommodated but addressing structural inequalities cannot." What this means is that some neoliberals hold high the banner of inclusiveness on gender and race and thus claim to be progressive reformers, but they then turn a blind eye to systemic changes in politics and the economy.

Critics argue that this is "neoliberal identity politics," and it gives its proponents the space to perpetuate the policies of deregulation, privatization, liberalization, and austerity.

Of course, the result is to leave in place political and economic structures that harm the very groups that inclusionary neoliberals claim to support. The foreign policy adventures of the neoconservatives and liberal internationalists haven't fared much better than economic policy or cultural politics. The U.S. and its coalition partners have been bogged down in the war in Afghanistan for 18 years and counting. Neither Afghanistan nor Iraq is a liberal democracy, nor did the attempt to establish democracy in Iraq lead to a domino effect that swept the Middle East and reformed its governments for the better. Instead, power in Iraq has shifted from American occupiers to sectarian militias, to the Iraqi government, to Islamic State terrorists, and back to the Iraqi government -- and more than 100,000 Iraqis are dead.

Or take the liberal internationalist 2011 intervention in Libya. The result was not a peaceful transition to stable democracy but instead civil war and instability, with thousands dead as the country splintered and portions were overrun by terrorist groups. On the grounds of democracy promotion, it is hard to say these interventions were a success. And for those motivated to expand human rights around the world, it is hard to justify these wars as humanitarian victories -- on the civilian death count alone.

Indeed, the central anchoring assumptions of the American foreign policy establishment have been proven wrong. Foreign policymakers largely assumed that all good things would go together -- democracy, markets, and human rights -- and so they thought opening China to trade would inexorably lead to it becoming a liberal democracy. They were wrong. They thought Russia would become liberal through swift democratization and privatization. They were wrong.

They thought globalization was inevitable and that ever-expanding trade liberalization was desirable even if the political system never corrected for trade's winners and losers. They were wrong. These aren't minor mistakes. And to be clear, Donald Trump had nothing to do with them. All of these failures were evident prior to the 2016 election.

If we assume that identity politics is, first and foremost, a dirty and shrewd political strategy developed by the Clinton wing of the Democratic Party ("soft neoliberals") many things became much more clear. Along with Neo-McCarthyism it represents a mechanism to compensate for the loss of their primary voting block: trade union members, who in 2016 "en mass" defected to Trump.

Initially Clinton calculation was that trade union voters has nowhere to go anyways, and it was correct for first decade or so of his betrayal. But gradually trade union members and lower middle class started to leave Dems in droves (Demexit, compare with Brexit) and that where identity politics was invented to compensate for this loss.

So in addition to issues that you mention we also need to view the role of identity politics as the political strategy of the "soft neoliberals " directed at discrediting and the suppression of nationalism.

The resurgence of nationalism is the inevitable byproduct of the dominance of neoliberalism, resurgence which I think is capable to bury neoliberalism as it lost popular support (which now is limited to financial oligarchy and high income professional groups, such as we can find in corporate and military brass, (shrinking) IT sector, upper strata of academy, upper strata of medical professionals, etc)

That means that the structure of the current system isn't just flawed which imply that most problems are relatively minor and can be fixed by making some tweaks. It is unfixable, because the "Identity wars" reflect a deep moral contradictions within neoliberal ideology. And they can't be solved within this framework.

[Jun 03, 2020] Dems ratpack of reparations freaks, weird sexual curiosities, and race hustlers is actually a fifth column for Trump re-election by Fred Reed

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The Democrats are fielding as candidates a roster of middle-school clowns and unflavored tapioca. Are they secretly in Trump's pay? Like Clinton with her "Deplorables" suicide line? ..."
"... Probably the Russians are behind it. ..."
Jul 25, 2019 | www.unz.com

They're going to do it, I tell you: The whole touchy-feely do-gooding ratpack of Microaggression worriers, reparations freaks, weird sexual curiosities, race hustlers, bat.-Antifa psychos, and egalitarian enstupidators of universities. They are going to elect Trump. Again.

Washington, where I shortly will be for a bit, is crazy. It has not the slightest, wan, etiolated idea of what is going on in America. The Democrats are fielding as candidates a roster of middle-school clowns and unflavored tapioca. Are they secretly in Trump's pay? Like Clinton with her "Deplorables" suicide line?

Probably the Russians are behind it.

[Jun 03, 2020] Not The Onion: NY Times Urges Trump To Establish Closer Ties With Moscow

Highly recommended!
Jul 23, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

2016 a Russia-Trump campaign collusion conspiracy was afoot and unfolding right before our eyes, we were told, as during his roll-out foreign policy speech at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C., then candidate Trump said [ gasp! ]:

" Common sense says this cycle, this horrible cycle of hostility must end and ideally will end soon. Good for both countries. Some say the Russians won't be reasonable. I intend to find out."

NPR and others had breathlessly reported at the time, "Sergey Kislyak, then the Russian ambassador to the U.S., was sitting in the front row" [ more gasps! ].

This 'suspicious' "coincidence or something more?" event and of course the infamous Steele 'Dodgy Dossier' were followed by over two more years of the following connect-the-dots mere tiny sampling of unrestrained theorizing and avalanche of accusations...

Here's a very brief trip down memory lane:

2017, Politico: The Hidden History of Trump's First Trip to Moscow

2017, NYT: Trump's Russia Motives (where we were told: "President Trump certainly seems to have a strange case of Russophilia.")

2017, Business Insider: James Clapper: Putin is handling Trump like a Russian 'asset'

2017, USA Today: Donald Trump's ties to Russia go back 30 years

2018, NYT: Trump, Treasonous Traitor

2018, AP: Russia had 'Trump over a barrel'

2018, BBC: Russia: The 'cloud' over the Trump White House

2018, NYT: From the Start, Trump Has Muddied a Clear Message: Putin Interfered

2018, USA Today: " From Putin with love"

2019, WaPo: Here are 18 reasons Trump could be a Russian asset

2019, Vanity Fair: "The President Has Been Acting On Russia's Behalf": U.S. Officials Are Shocked By Trump's Asset-Like Behavior

2019, Wired: Trump Must Be A Russian Agent... (where we were told...ahem: " It would be rather embarrassing ... if Robert Mueller were to declare that the president isn't an agent of Russian intelligence." )

Embarrassing indeed.

"The walls are closing in!" - we were assured just about every 24 hours .

It's especially worth noting that a July 2018 New York Times op-ed argued that President Trump -- dubbed a "treasonous traitor" for meeting with Putin in Helsinki -- should "be directing all resources at his disposal to punish Russia."

Fast-forward to a July 2019 NY Times Editorial Board piece entitled "What's America's Winning Hand if Russia Plays the China Card?" How dizzying fast all of the above has been wiped from America's collective memory! Or at least the Times is engaged in hastily pushing it all down the memory hole Orwell-style in order to cover its own dastardly tracks which contributed in no small measure to non-stop national Russiagate hype and hysteria, with this astounding line:

President Trump is correct to try to establish a sounder relationship with Russia... -- Editorial Board, New York Times, 7-22-19

That's right, The Times' pundits have already pivoted to the new bogeyman while stating they agree with Trump on Russian relations :

"Given its economic, military and technological trajectory, together with its authoritarian model, China, not Russia , represents by far the greater challenge to American objectives over the long term . That means President Trump is correct to try to establish a sounder relationship with Russia and peel it away from China ."

[... Mueller who? ]

Remember how recently we were told PUTIN IS WEAPONIZING EVERYTHING! from space to deep-sea exploration to extreme climate temperatures to humor to racial tensions to even 'weaponized whales' ?

It's 2019, and we've now come full circle . This is The New York Times editorial board continuing their call for Trump to establish "sounder" ties and "cooperation" with Russia :

"Even during the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union often made progress in one facet of their relationship while they remained in conflict over other aspects. The United States and Russia could expand their cooperation in space . They could also continue to work closely in the Arctic And they could revive cooperation on arms control."

Could we imagine if a mere six months ago Trump himself had uttered these same words? Now the mainstream media apparently agrees that peace is better than war with Russia.

With 'Russiagate' now effectively dead, the NY Times' new criticism appears to be that Trump-Kremlin relations are not close enough , as Trump's "approach has been ham-handed " - the 'paper of record' now tells us.

Or imagine if Trump had called for peaceful existence with Russia almost four years ago? Oh wait...

" Common sense says this cycle, this horrible cycle of hostility must end and ideally will end soon. Good for both countries." -- Then candidate Trump on April 27, 2016

Cue ultra scary red Trump-Kremlin montage.

[Jun 03, 2020] Requiem to Russiagate: this was the largest and the most successful attempt to gaslight the whole US population ever attempted by CIA and Clinton wing of Dems by CJ Hopkins

Highly recommended!
Neoliberal MSM just “got it wrong,” again … exactly like was the case with those Iraqi WMDs ;-).
So many neocons and neolibs seem so disappointed to find out that the President is not a Russian asset that it looks they’d secretly wish be ruled by Putin :-).
But in reality there well might be a credible "Trump copllition with the foreign power". Only with a different foreign power. Looks like Trump traded American foreign policy for Zionist money, not Russian money. That means that "the best-Congress-that-AIPAC-money-can-buy" will never impeach him for that.
And BTW as long as Schiff remains the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee the witch hunt is not over. So the leash remains strong.
Notable quotes:
"... it appears that hundreds of millions of Americans have, once again, been woefully bamboozled . Weird, how this just keeps on happening. At this point, Americans have to be the most frequently woefully bamboozled people in the entire history of woeful bamboozlement. ..."
"... That's right, as I'm sure you're aware by now, it turns out President Donald Trump, a pompous former reality TV star who can barely string three sentences together without totally losing his train of thought and barking like an elephant seal, is not, in fact, a secret agent conspiring with the Russian intelligence services to destroy the fabric of Western democracy. ..."
"... Paranoid collusion-obsessives will continue to obsess about redactions and cover-ups , but the long and short of the matter is, there will be no perp walks for any of the Trumps. No treason tribunals. No televised hangings. No detachment of Secret Service agents marching Hillary into the White House. ..."
Apr 02, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by CJ Hopkins via The Unz Review,

So the Mueller report is finally in, and it appears that hundreds of millions of Americans have, once again, been woefully bamboozled . Weird, how this just keeps on happening. At this point, Americans have to be the most frequently woefully bamboozled people in the entire history of woeful bamboozlement.

If you didn't know better, you'd think we were all a bunch of hopelessly credulous imbeciles that you could con into believing almost anything, or that our brains had been bombarded with so much propaganda from the time we were born that we couldn't really even think anymore.

That's right, as I'm sure you're aware by now, it turns out President Donald Trump, a pompous former reality TV star who can barely string three sentences together without totally losing his train of thought and barking like an elephant seal, is not, in fact, a secret agent conspiring with the Russian intelligence services to destroy the fabric of Western democracy.

After two long years of bug-eyed hysteria, Inspector Mueller came up with squat. Zip. Zero. Nichts. Nada. Or, all right, he indicted a bunch of Russians that will never see the inside of a courtroom, and a few of Trump's professional sleazebags for lying and assorted other sleazebag activities (so I guess that was worth the $25 million of taxpayers' money that was spent on this circus).

Notwithstanding those historic accomplishments, the entire Mueller investigation now appears to have been another wild goose chase (like the "search" for those non-existent WMDs that we invaded and destabilized the Middle East and murdered hundreds of thousands of people pretending to conduct in 2003). Paranoid collusion-obsessives will continue to obsess about redactions and cover-ups , but the long and short of the matter is, there will be no perp walks for any of the Trumps. No treason tribunals. No televised hangings. No detachment of Secret Service agents marching Hillary into the White House.

The jig, as they say, is up.

But let's try to look on the bright side, shall we?

... ... ...

[Jun 01, 2020] More Evidence of the Fraud Against General Michael Flynn by Larry C Johnson

Highly recommended!
Looks like regular consultation between Russians and incoming administration to me. Also it was lame duck President who unilaterally decided to up his ante against Russians (criminally gaslighting the US public), expelled Russian diplomats to make the gaslighting more plausible, and seized Russian diplomatic property in violation of international norms. It was Obama who unleashed FBI dogs like Strzok and McCabe on Trump.
Russia later retaliated in a very modest way without seizing any US property, they just cut the level of the USA diplomatic personnel in Russia to the level of Russian personnel in the USA.
Notable quotes:
"... To summarize--a total of eight different calls between Kislyak and Flynn were recorded between December 22, 2016 and January 19, 2017. Five of the eight calls were initiated by Ambassador Kislyak -- Mike Flynn only called Kislyak three times and two of those were in response to calls from Kislyak, who requested a call back or left a message. ..."
Jun 01, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com

More Evidence of the Fraud Against General Michael Flynn by Larry C Johnson

I never ceased to be amazed at the dishonesty and laziness of the media when it comes to reporting anything about Michael Flynn and the astonishing miscarriage of justice in bringing charges against him. The documents declassified and released by the DNI last Friday exonerate General Flynn and expose the FBI and the Mueller team as gargantuan liars. Even though Friday's release of the declassified summaries and transcripts was overshadowed quickly by rioting in Minnesota (you know, if it bleeds and burns it is the lede), the documents reveal General Flynn as the consummate professional keen on serving his country and the Russian Ambassador as disgusted by the petulance and arrogance of the Obama administration.

The declassified material released by newly installed Director for National Intelligence actually consists of two different sets of documents--First, there are five summaries of conversations for 22, 23, 29 (two on the 29th) December 2016 and 5 January. Second, there are the full transcripts of the conversations for December 23, December 29, December 31 in 2016 and January 12 and January 19, 2017.

To summarize--a total of eight different calls between Kislyak and Flynn were recorded between December 22, 2016 and January 19, 2017. Five of the eight calls were initiated by Ambassador Kislyak -- Mike Flynn only called Kislyak three times and two of those were in response to calls from Kislyak, who requested a call back or left a message.

Here are the specifics of those calls.


Alan , 30 May 2020 at 09:44 PM

This is also very interesting:

"Before General Flynn's voce message turns on, there is an open line, barely audible chat.
Someone asks Chernyshev, "Which agency are we talking about?" Chernyshev asks as to
confirm if he understands the question and responds in the same time: "Which Agency hackers
did the hacking? Believe me, Americans did hacked this all."

Petrel , 30 May 2020 at 10:56 PM
The full exchange between General Flynn and Ambassador Kislyak throws much light on the subsequent Sunday morning mis-speaking by the Vice-President Pence.

From the first telephone call, Flynn tells Kislyak that President-elect Trump will only be inaugurated 3-weeks hence. Therefore Trump in late-December cannot formally make foreign policy decisions immediately.

In a later exchange about Russia's proposed Astana Peace Conference to de-escalate ISIS activity In Syria, Flynn responds that Russia has Trump's backing to begin preparations with the Syrians, Turks et al. On his part, Flynn will begin pencilling-in who would be on a future US delegation.

It goes without saying that Vice President-elect Pence, during this period had a full-time job marshaling the Transition and may not have been in the loop on these tentative Russian peace initiatives. When asked on a Sunday morning talk show, Pence could correctly say President Trump had no "official communications" with the Kremlin. But to later trash & demand Flynn's dismissal for "lying to him" about the informal phone calls was inappropriate.

Pence could easily have told Americans that President-elect Trump was establishing informal relations, through multiple phone calls, with world leaders and he, Pence, was not party to all of them. No one in the fledgling Trump Administration was lying to him.

anon , 31 May 2020 at 12:25 AM
Hi Larry.why not tackle this knot from the Russian end.Russia has been fighting in Syria since jisr al shugour massacre in the groves.There naval base on the med was threatened and Gazprom stood to lose control of energy resources flowing out of the me too Europe.That has now been achieved.Not only that but Wagner group are in Libyan with Russian air support.From that point of view what was Flynn's role in this
Mathias Alexander , 31 May 2020 at 02:50 AM
" amazed at the dishonesty and laziness of the media". Dishonesty and laziness are the norm in the media.
English Outsider , 31 May 2020 at 06:06 AM

That was one superb summary.

I wonder sometimes whether the new administration, from Trump downwards, realised just what they were up against after that unexpected election victory.

h , 31 May 2020 at 12:02 PM
Time will tell but something tells me the release of the Kislyak-Flynn transcripts/FBI cuts is also related to Boente's forced resignation. Here's sundance's take - it's a long read btw - https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2020/05/30/boom-dana-boente-removed-fbi-chief-legal-counsel-forced-to-resign/

And yes, the hacking comment is fascinating on so many levels. It's just kinda left hanging out there all by itself, eh?

And a quick off-topic thank you to the Col for posting the Lara Logan clip. All efforts hunting for it yesterday failed. She nailed it.

JerseyJeffersonian , 31 May 2020 at 01:15 PM
English Outsider,

Yes, I think that evidence thus far revealed suggests that the sedition was far along, and this even before Trump's victory - an insurance policy, if you will, and way beyond any opposition research, as much of the "information", if not at root fabricated, was otherwise illegally gathered.

And immediate that election victory, things went into overdrive as the seditionists' panicked, doubling and tripling down on their illegal actions to frame a projected impeachment narrative as their next tactic. I hesitate to call it their next strategy, as it was too knee jerk to be characterized in that fashion.

So, no, I think that the new Trump administration had little idea of just how this transition of administration was, counter to most prior precedents, planned to be undermined with the full intent to invalidate the election of President Trump, and if possible, to overturn it .

This was sedition on multiple levels, crimes deliberately embarked upon to destroy the Constitution and the Republic by any means that these traitors deemed efficacious.

May they all rot in Hell.

blue peacock , 31 May 2020 at 04:48 PM
Petrel,

I believe Trump knew he was being spied on as Adm. Rogers informed him and thereafter he moved his transition organization away from Trump Tower.

In any case why did Trump throw Flynn under the bus? In hindsight that was a huge mistake. Another huge mistake in hindsight was not cleaning house at the DOJ, FBI and the intel agencies early. That allowed Rosenstein and Wray to get Mueller going and created the pretext of the investigation to bury all the incriminating evidence. Trump never declassified anything himself which he could have and broke open the plot. He then gave Barr all classification authority who sat on it for a year. Look how fast Ric Grenell declassified stuff. There was no "sources & methods" the usual false justification.

It is unconscionable how severely Flynn was screwed over. Why is Wray still there? How many of the plotter cohort still remain?

[Jun 01, 2020] More Evidence of the Fraud Against General Michael Flynn by Larry C Johnson

Highly recommended!
Looks like regular consultation between Russians and incoming administration to me. Also it was lame duck President who unilaterally decided to up his ante against Russians (criminally gaslighting the US public), expelled Russian diplomats to make the gaslighting more plausible, and seized Russian diplomatic property in violation of international norms. It was Obama who unleashed FBI dogs like Strzok and McCabe on Trump.
Russia later retaliated in a very modest way without seizing any US property, they just cut the level of the USA diplomatic personnel in Russia to the level of Russian personnel in the USA.
Jun 01, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com

More Evidence of the Fraud Against General Michael Flynn by Larry C Johnson

I never ceased to be amazed at the dishonesty and laziness of the media when it comes to reporting anything about Michael Flynn and the astonishing miscarriage of justice in bringing charges against him. The documents declassified and released by the DNI last Friday exonerate General Flynn and expose the FBI and the Mueller team as gargantuan liars. Even though Friday's release of the declassified summaries and transcripts was overshadowed quickly by rioting in Minnesota (you know, if it bleeds and burns it is the lede), the documents reveal General Flynn as the consummate professional keen on serving his country and the Russian Ambassador as disgusted by the petulance and arrogance of the Obama administration.

The declassified material released by newly installed Director for National Intelligence actually consists of two different sets of documents--First, there are five summaries of conversations for 22, 23, 29 (two on the 29th) December 2016 and 5 January. Second, there are the full transcripts of the conversations for December 23, December 29, December 31 in 2016 and January 12 and January 19, 2017.

To summarize--a total of eight different calls between Kislyak and Flynn were recorded between December 22, 2016 and January 19, 2017. Five of the eight calls were initiated by Ambassador Kislyak -- Mike Flynn only called Kislyak three times and two of those were in response to calls from Kislyak, who requested a call back or left a message.

Here are the specifics of those calls.


Alan , 30 May 2020 at 09:44 PM

This is also very interesting:

"Before General Flynn's voce message turns on, there is an open line, barely audible chat.
Someone asks Chernyshev, "Which agency are we talking about?" Chernyshev asks as to
confirm if he understands the question and responds in the same time: "Which Agency hackers
did the hacking? Believe me, Americans did hacked this all."

Petrel , 30 May 2020 at 10:56 PM
The full exchange between General Flynn and Ambassador Kislyak throws much light on the subsequent Sunday morning mis-speaking by the Vice-President Pence.

From the first telephone call, Flynn tells Kislyak that President-elect Trump will only be inaugurated 3-weeks hence. Therefore Trump in late-December cannot formally make foreign policy decisions immediately.

In a later exchange about Russia's proposed Astana Peace Conference to de-escalate ISIS activity In Syria, Flynn responds that Russia has Trump's backing to begin preparations with the Syrians, Turks et al. On his part, Flynn will begin pencilling-in who would be on a future US delegation.

It goes without saying that Vice President-elect Pence, during this period had a full-time job marshaling the Transition and may not have been in the loop on these tentative Russian peace initiatives. When asked on a Sunday morning talk show, Pence could correctly say President Trump had no "official communications" with the Kremlin. But to later trash & demand Flynn's dismissal for "lying to him" about the informal phone calls was inappropriate.

Pence could easily have told Americans that President-elect Trump was establishing informal relations, through multiple phone calls, with world leaders and he, Pence, was not party to all of them. No one in the fledgling Trump Administration was lying to him.

anon , 31 May 2020 at 12:25 AM
Hi Larry.why not tackle this knot from the Russian end.Russia has been fighting in Syria since jisr al shugour massacre in the groves.There naval base on the med was threatened and Gazprom stood to lose control of energy resources flowing out of the me too Europe.That has now been achieved.Not only that but Wagner group are in Libyan with Russian air support.From that point of view what was Flynn's role in this
Mathias Alexander , 31 May 2020 at 02:50 AM
" amazed at the dishonesty and laziness of the media". Dishonesty and laziness are the norm in the media.
English Outsider , 31 May 2020 at 06:06 AM

That was one superb summary.

I wonder sometimes whether the new administration, from Trump downwards, realised just what they were up against after that unexpected election victory.

h , 31 May 2020 at 12:02 PM
Time will tell but something tells me the release of the Kislyak-Flynn transcripts/FBI cuts is also related to Boente's forced resignation. Here's sundance's take - it's a long read btw - https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2020/05/30/boom-dana-boente-removed-fbi-chief-legal-counsel-forced-to-resign/

And yes, the hacking comment is fascinating on so many levels. It's just kinda left hanging out there all by itself, eh?

And a quick off-topic thank you to the Col for posting the Lara Logan clip. All efforts hunting for it yesterday failed. She nailed it.

JerseyJeffersonian , 31 May 2020 at 01:15 PM
English Outsider,

Yes, I think that evidence thus far revealed suggests that the sedition was far along, and this even before Trump's victory - an insurance policy, if you will, and way beyond any opposition research, as much of the "information", if not at root fabricated, was otherwise illegally gathered.

And immediate that election victory, things went into overdrive as the seditionists' panicked, doubling and tripling down on their illegal actions to frame a projected impeachment narrative as their next tactic. I hesitate to call it their next strategy, as it was too knee jerk to be characterized in that fashion.

So, no, I think that the new Trump administration had little idea of just how this transition of administration was, counter to most prior precedents, planned to be undermined with the full intent to invalidate the election of President Trump, and if possible, to overturn it .

This was sedition on multiple levels, crimes deliberately embarked upon to destroy the Constitution and the Republic by any means that these traitors deemed efficacious.

May they all rot in Hell.

blue peacock , 31 May 2020 at 04:48 PM
Petrel,

I believe Trump knew he was being spied on as Adm. Rogers informed him and thereafter he moved his transition organization away from Trump Tower.

In any case why did Trump throw Flynn under the bus? In hindsight that was a huge mistake. Another huge mistake in hindsight was not cleaning house at the DOJ, FBI and the intel agencies early. That allowed Rosenstein and Wray to get Mueller going and created the pretext of the investigation to bury all the incriminating evidence. Trump never declassified anything himself which he could have and broke open the plot. He then gave Barr all classification authority who sat on it for a year. Look how fast Ric Grenell declassified stuff. There was no "sources & methods" the usual false justification.

It is unconscionable how severely Flynn was screwed over. Why is Wray still there? How many of the plotter cohort still remain?

[May 20, 2020] McGovern Turn Out The Lights, Russiagate Is Over by Ray McGovern

Highly recommended!
It is not. Forces behind Russiagate are intact and still have the same agenda. CrowdStrike was just a tool. As long as Full Spectrum Dominance dourine is alive, Russiagate will flourish in one form or another
Notable quotes:
"... The need for a scapegoat to blame for Hillary Clinton's snatching defeat out of the jaws victory also played a role; as did the need for the Military-Industrial-Congressional-Intelligence-Media-Academia-Think-Tank complex (MICIMATT) to keep front and center in the minds of Americans the alleged multifaceted threat coming from an "aggressive" Russia. (Recall that John McCain called the, now disproven , "Russian hacking" of the DNC emails an "act of war.") ..."
"... Though the corporate media is trying to bury it, the Russiagate narrative has in the past few weeks finally collapsed with the revelation that CrowdStrike had no evidence Russia took anything from the DNC servers and that the FBI set a perjury trap for Gen. Michael Flynn. There was already the previous government finding that there was no collusion between Trump and Russia and the indictment of a Russian troll farm that supposedly was destroying American democracy with $100,000 in Facebook ads was dropped after the St. Petersburg defendants sought discovery. ..."
"... Given the diffident attitude the Security State plotters adopted regarding hiding their tracks, Durham's challenge, with subpoena power, is not as formidable as were he, for example, investigating a Mafia family. ..."
"... Meanwhile, the corporate media have all been singing from the same sheet since Trump had the audacity a week ago to coin yet another "-gate" -- this time "Obamagate." Leading the apoplectic reaction in corporate media, Saturday's Washington Post offered a pot-calling-the-kettle-black pronouncement by its editorial board entitled "The absurd cynicism of 'Obamagate"? ..."
"... So if we dug in and found large payments from George Soros or Mrs Clinton to these 'journalists', what crime could they be accused of? No crimes, I don't think. ..."
"... There never was anything to Russiagate. It was always just politics. I knew that from the beginning. There was, however, a lot of something to the torture scandal. Obama said "We are not going to look back." And now Gina Haspel, one of the chief torturers, partly responsible for destroying the torture tapes, despite a court order to preserve them, is now head of the CIA. ..."
"... Drain the Swamp my ***. He's started by firing all the IG's? Trump "looking back," not forward. He could start by investigating Gina Haspel. ..."
"... For example, Foglesong argued that "a vital factor in the revival of the crusade in the 1970s was the need to expunge doubts about American virtue instilled by the Vietnam War, revelations about CIA covert actions, and the Watergate scandal." ..."
"... By tracing American representations of Russia over the last 130 years, Foglesong illuminated three of the strongest notions that have informed American attitudes toward Russia: (1) a messianic faith that America could inspire sweeping overnight transformation from autocracy to democracy; (2) a notion that despite historic differences, Russia and America are very much akin, so that Russia, more than any other country, is America's "dark double;" (3) an extreme antipathy to "evil" leaders who Americans blame for thwarting what they believe to be the natural triumph of the American mission. These expectations and emotions continue to effect how American journalists and politicians write and talk about Russia. "My hope," Foglesong concluded, "is that by seeing how these attitudes have distorted American views of Russia for more than a century, we may begin to be able to escape their grip." ..."
May 19, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
Authored by Ray McGovern via ConsortiumNews.com,

Seldom mentioned among the motives behind the persistent drumming on alleged Russian interference was an over-arching need to help the Security State hide their tracks.

The need for a scapegoat to blame for Hillary Clinton's snatching defeat out of the jaws victory also played a role; as did the need for the Military-Industrial-Congressional-Intelligence-Media-Academia-Think-Tank complex (MICIMATT) to keep front and center in the minds of Americans the alleged multifaceted threat coming from an "aggressive" Russia. (Recall that John McCain called the, now disproven , "Russian hacking" of the DNC emails an "act of war.")

But that was then. This is now.

Though the corporate media is trying to bury it, the Russiagate narrative has in the past few weeks finally collapsed with the revelation that CrowdStrike had no evidence Russia took anything from the DNC servers and that the FBI set a perjury trap for Gen. Michael Flynn. There was already the previous government finding that there was no collusion between Trump and Russia and the indictment of a Russian troll farm that supposedly was destroying American democracy with $100,000 in Facebook ads was dropped after the St. Petersburg defendants sought discovery.

All that's left is to discover how this all happened.

Attorney General William Barr, and U.S. Attorney John Durham, whom Barr commissioned to investigate this whole sordid mess seem intent on getting to the bottom of it. The possibility that Trump will not chicken out this time, and rather will challenge the Security State looms large since he felt personally under attack.

Writing on the Wall

Given the diffident attitude the Security State plotters adopted regarding hiding their tracks, Durham's challenge, with subpoena power, is not as formidable as were he, for example, investigating a Mafia family.

Plus, former NSA Director Adm. Michael S. Rogers reportedly is cooperating. The handwriting is on the wall. It remains to be seen what kind of role in the scandal Barack Obama may have played.

But former directors James Comey, James Clapper, and John Brennan, captains of Obama's Security State, can take little solace from Barr's remarks Monday to a reporter who asked about Trump's recent claims that top officials of the Obama administration, including the former president had committed crimes. Barr replied:

"As to President Obama and Vice President Biden, whatever their level of involvement, based on the information I have today, I don't expect Mr. Durham's work will lead to a criminal investigation of either man. Our concerns over potential criminality is focused on others."

In a more ominous vein, Barr gratuitously added that law enforcement and intelligence officials were involved in "a false and utterly baseless Russian collusion narrative against the president. It was a grave injustice, and it was unprecedented in American history."

Meanwhile, the corporate media have all been singing from the same sheet since Trump had the audacity a week ago to coin yet another "-gate" -- this time "Obamagate." Leading the apoplectic reaction in corporate media, Saturday's Washington Post offered a pot-calling-the-kettle-black pronouncement by its editorial board entitled "The absurd cynicism of 'Obamagate"?

The outrage voiced by the Post called to mind disgraced FBI agent Peter Strzok's indignant response to criticism of the FBI by candidate Trump, in a Oct. 20, 2016 text exchange with FBI attorney Lisa Page:

Strzok: I am riled up. Trump is a f***ing idiot, is unable to provide a coherent answer.

Strzok -- I CAN'T PULL AWAY, WHAT THE F**K HAPPENED TO OUR COUNTRY

Page -- I don't know. But we'll get it back. We're America. We rock.

Strzok -- Donald just said "bad hombres"

Strzok -- Trump just said what the FBI did is disgraceful.

Less vitriolic, but incisive commentary came from widely respected author and lawyer Glenn Greenwald on May 14, four days after Trump coined "Obamagate": ( See "System Update with Glenn Greenwald -- The Sham Prosecution of Michael Flynn").

For a shorter, equally instructive video of Greenwald on the broader issue of Russia-gate, see this clip from a March 2019 Democracy Now! -sponsored debate he had with David Cay Johnston titled, "As Mueller Finds No Collusion, Did Press Overhype Russiagate? Glenn Greenwald vs. David Cay Johnston":

https://www.youtube.com/embed/qdYw6jk3TTA

(The entire debate is worth listening to). I found one of the comments below the Democracy Now! video as big as a bummer as the commentator did:

"I think this is one of the most depressing parts about the whole situation. In their dogmatic pushing for this false narrative, the Russiagaters might have guaranteed Trump a second term. They have done more damage to our democracy than Russia ever has done and will do ." (From "Clamity2007")

In any case, Johnston, undaunted by his embarrassment at the hands of Greenwald, is still at it, and so is the avuncular Frank Rich -- both of them some 20 years older than Greenwald and set in their evidence-impoverished, media-indoctrinated ways.

... ... ...


Uncle Frank, 40 seconds ago

So if we dug in and found large payments from George Soros or Mrs Clinton to these 'journalists', what crime could they be accused of? No crimes, I don't think.

But when journalists are revealed to be issuing paid-for propaganda/lies mixed with their own internal opinions, and their publisher allows it to be presented as if it were reporting rather than opinion, said writers, editors, and publishers are relegated to obscurity and derision.

Their work will never be taken seriously again by anyone who wasn't already brain-washed.

They don't get that, I guess.

QABubba, 47 minutes ago (Edited)

There never was anything to Russiagate. It was always just politics. I knew that from the beginning. There was, however, a lot of something to the torture scandal. Obama said "We are not going to look back." And now Gina Haspel, one of the chief torturers, partly responsible for destroying the torture tapes, despite a court order to preserve them, is now head of the CIA.

General Flynn was so involved with Turkey he should have been registered as a foreign agent.

And as I have said before, the real crime was laundering Russian Mafia/Heroin money through Deutsche Bank into New York real estate. It is curious that Turkey is also a huge transport spot for heroin into the EU. And France and other EU nations have a migrant population that lives off the drug trade.

Drain the Swamp my ***. He's started by firing all the IG's? Trump "looking back," not forward. He could start by investigating Gina Haspel.

1911A1, 55 minutes ago

Operation Mockingbird

The MSM disinformation campaign with consistent common talking points is not difficult to see with a little discernment. The bigger question is has this happened organically or is there a larger agency manipulating the public discourse?

Question_Mark, 43 minutes ago

4AM secure drop from Senior Executive Services ( SES ) is a threat to our democracy.

Our greatest responsibility is to serve our [insert name of community here] community.

1surrounded2, 1 hour ago

" It remains to be seen what kind of role in the scandal Barack Obama may have played. "

Come on, Ray, I know you are not that stupid, but you ARE that libtarded.

Obama's very obvious role in all of this: KINGPIN .

Moribundus, 3 hours ago

Amazon.com The American Mission and the 'Evil Empire' The Crusade for a Free Russia Since 1881 (8580000721935) Foglesong,

"By 1905," Foglesong stated, "this fundamental reorientation of American views of Russia had set up a historical pattern in which missionary zeal and messianic euphoria would be followed by disenchantment and embittered denunciation of Russia's evil and oppressive rulers." The first cycle, according to Foglesong, culminated in 1905, when the October Manifesto, perceived initially by Americans as a transformation to democracy, gave way to a violent socialist revolt. Foglesong observed similar cycles of euphoria to despair during the collapse of the tsarist government in 1917, during the partial religious revival of World War II, and during the dissolution of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s

Crucial to Foglesong's analysis was how these cycles coincided with a contemporaneous need to deflect attention away from America's own blemishes and enhance America's claim to its global mission.

For example, Foglesong argued that "a vital factor in the revival of the crusade in the 1970s was the need to expunge doubts about American virtue instilled by the Vietnam War, revelations about CIA covert actions, and the Watergate scandal."

By tracing American representations of Russia over the last 130 years, Foglesong illuminated three of the strongest notions that have informed American attitudes toward Russia: (1) a messianic faith that America could inspire sweeping overnight transformation from autocracy to democracy; (2) a notion that despite historic differences, Russia and America are very much akin, so that Russia, more than any other country, is America's "dark double;" (3) an extreme antipathy to "evil" leaders who Americans blame for thwarting what they believe to be the natural triumph of the American mission. These expectations and emotions continue to effect how American journalists and politicians write and talk about Russia. "My hope," Foglesong concluded, "is that by seeing how these attitudes have distorted American views of Russia for more than a century, we may begin to be able to escape their grip."

Moribundus, 3 hours ago

America's imperialism rules: Never to admit a fault or wrong; never to accept blame; concentrate on one enemy at a time; blame that enemy for everything that goes wrong; take advantage of every opportunity to raise a political whirlwind.

Kidbuck, 5 hours ago

Trump hasn't engaged in a fight in his life. He's a sissy at heart wants to negotiate. He can't even do that right. He's caved on nearly every campaign promise he made. The only thing his administration fights for is their salary and their retirement. Hillary still waddles free and farts in his general direction.

ChaoKrungThep, 4 hours ago

Trump the Mafia punk, like his dad, and draft dodger like his German grand dad. Barr, old CIA asset from the Clinton-Mena coke smuggling op. This crappy crew is running their masters' game in front of the redneck rabble who are dumber than their mutts.

Save_America1st, 9 hours ago

Geez...how far behind can most of these assholes be after all these years????

For one...there was no "Russia-gate". It was all a hoax from the beginning, and anyone with a few functioning brain cells knew that from the start.

And as of about 3 years ago we have all known this as "Obamagate" for the most part...we all knew the corruption of the hoax totally led up to O-Scumbag.

And now as of the recent disclosures it is a total fact.

Haven't most of you been watching Dan Bongino for over 2 years now and haven't you read his books? Haven't you been reading Sarah Carter and John Soloman among others for nearly 3 years now???

Surely, you haven't been just sitting around sucking leftist media **** for over 3 years, right???????? I'm sure you haven't.

So why is this article even necessary on ZeroHedge?????

We already knew and have known the truth since before even the 2016 election. Drop it.

Posa, 9 hours ago

So funny. The 85 Year old "American century' is palpably disintegrating before our very eyes. In particular the Deep State permanent bureaucracy is completely untethered and facing what seems to be a Great Reckoning in the form of Barr- Durham. Cognitve Derangement prevails in the press and spills overto the body politic. The country teeters a slo-mo Civil War. Meanwhile, The dollar is disintegrating and we seem to face an economic abyss, the Terminal Depression. Real "last Days of Rome" stuff.

BaNNeD oN THe RuN, 5 hours ago (Edited)

The Israeli dual citizens like Adelson and Mercer bought the Presidency.

Mossad was the organization handling the mole Seth Rich.

Blaming Russia also worked for those 2 groups because it deflected attention away from (((them))).

Ray McGovern, being ex-intel, must know this to be true.

LetThemEatRand, 11 hours ago

Russiagate. The supposed target of said coup d'etat just Presided over the largest bailout of banks ever by a factor of five or more. Trump supporters are asleep for the bailout, Trump haters are asleep for the bailout. Let's fight about transgender bathrooms and Russiagate, shall we?

yojimbo, 8 hours ago

I glance at the MSM, so here is a Guardian article along strongly TDS lines https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/may/19/will-donald-trump-end-up-in-prison-arwa-mahdawi

It's projection again, implying Obama gate is fake, like Russiagate actually was.. Tough to even want to get through!

[May 20, 2020] Phone Calls Between Biden And Ukraine's Poroshenko Leaked; Details $1 Billion Quid Pro Quo To Fire Burisma Prosecutor Zero

Highly recommended!
May 20, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Phone Calls Between Biden And Ukraine's Poroshenko Leaked; Details $1 Billion "Quid Pro Quo" To Fire Burisma Prosecutor by Tyler Durden Wed, 05/20/2020 - 05:12 Leaked phone calls between Joe Biden and former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko explicitly detail the quid-pro-quo arrangement to fire former Ukrainian Prosecutor General Victor Shokin - who Poroshenko admits did nothing wrong - in exchange for $1 billion in US loan guarantees (which Biden openly bragged about in January, 2018 ).

https://www.youtube.com/embed/Q0_AqpdwqK4?start=3118

The calls were leaked by Ukrainian MP Andrii Derkach , who says the recordings of "voices similar to Poroshenko and Biden" were given to him by investigative journalists who claim Poroshenko made them.

Shokin was notably investigating Burisma, the Ukrainian energy company that hired Biden's son, Hunter, to sit on its board. Shokin had opened a case against Burisma's founder, Mykola Zlochevsky, who granted Burisma permits to drill for oil and gas in Ukraine while he was Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources. In January, 2019, Shokin stated in a deposition that there were five criminal cases against Zlochevesky, including money laundering, corruption, illegal funds transfers, and profiteering through shell corporations while he was a sitting minister.

Viktor Shokin

The leaked calls begin on December 3, 2015 , when former Secretary of State John Kerry starts laying out the case to fire Shokin - who he says "blocked the cleanup of the Prosecutor Generals' Office," and sated that Biden "is very concerned about it," to which Poroshenko replies that the newly reorganized prosecutor general's office (NABU) won't be able to pursue corruption charges, and that it may be difficult to fire Shokin without cause.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/EbmDLhJ43cU

Later in the leaked audio on February 18, 2016 - less than three months after the Kerry conversation - Poroshenko delivers some "positive news."

"Yesterday I met with General Prosecutor Shokin," says Poroshenko. And despite of the fact that we didn't have any corruption charges, we don't have any information about him doing something wrong, I specially asked him - no, it was day before yesterday - I specially asked him to resign. In, uh, as his, uh, position as a state person. And despite of the fact that he has a support in the power. And as a finish of my meeting with him, he promised to give me the statement on resignation. And one hour ago he bring me the written statement of his resignation . And this is my second step for keeping my promises. "

To which Biden replied: "I agree."

https://www.youtube.com/embed/EbmDLhJ43cU?start=246

Four weeks later on March 22, 2016, Biden says "Tell me that there is a new government and a new Prosecutor General. I am prepared to do a public signing of the commitment for the billion dollars. "

Poroshenko tells Biden that one of the leading candidates is the man who replaced Shokin, Yuriy Lutsenko who later said in a deposition that Hunter Biden and his business partners were receiving millions of dollars in compensation from Burisma.

Then, on May 13, 2016, Biden congratulates Poroshenko on "getting the new Prosecutor General," saying that it will be "critical for him to work quickly to repair the damage Shokin did."

" And I'm a man of my word ," Biden adds. "And now that the new Prosecutor General is in place, we're ready to move forward to signing that one billion dollar loan guarantee ."

Poroshenko thanks Biden for the support, and says that it was a "very tough challenge and a very difficult job."

Shokin, meanwhile, filed a criminal complaint against Biden in Kiev this February, in which he writes:

During the period 2014-2016, the Prosecutor General's Office of Ukraine was conducting a preliminary investigation into a series of serious crimes committed by the former Minister of Ecology of Ukraine Mykola Zlotchevsky and by the managers of the company "Burisma Holding Limited "(Cyprus), the board of directors of which included, among others, Hunter Biden, son of Joseph Biden, then vice-president of the United States of America.

The investigation into the above-mentioned crimes was carried out in strict accordance with Criminal Law and was under my personal control as the Prosecutor General of Ukraine.

Owing to my firm position on the above-mentioned cases regarding their prompt and objective investigation, which should have resulted in the arrest and the indictment of the guilty parties, Joseph Biden developed a firmly hostile attitude towards me which led him to express in private conversations with senior Ukrainian officials, as well as in his public speeches, a categorical request for my immediate dismissal from the post of Attorney General of Ukraine in exchange for the sum of US $ 1 billion in as a financial guarantee from the United States for the benefit of Ukraine.

* * *

And while we cannot verify the authenticity of the recordings with absolute certainty, we now have the audio revealing how the deed was orchestrated.

[May 19, 2020] Russophobia in the Age of Donald Trump

Highly recommended!
Russiaphobia as a pathological reaction on the deep crisis of neoliberalism
Notable quotes:
"... The described lack of confidence was reflected in the exaggerated fear that Russia was capable of destroying the West's values. However, Russia and Putin were neither omnipresent nor threatening to destroy the United States' political system. ..."
"... Russia's basic motives remain defensive even when the Kremlin relies on assertive tactics. Russia's assertiveness, even in cyberspace, is of a reactive nature and is a response to US policies. ..."
"... Rather than fighting a full-scale information war with the West, Russia seeks to increase its status and strengthen its bargaining position in relations with the United States. 68 The Kremlin has been proposing to negotiate rules of cooperation in the cyber area since early in the twenty-first century. Motivated by an insistence on "cyber-sovereignty," Russia regularly proposes resolutions at the United Nations to prohibit "information aggression," In a 2011 letter to the United Nations General Assembly, Russia proposed an "International Code of Conduct for Information Security," stipulating that states subscribing to the code would pledge to "not use information and communications technologies and other information and communications networks to interfere with the internal affairs of other states or with the aim of undermining their political, economic and social stability." 69 ..."
"... Overall, what the Kremlin challenges is the United States' post–Cold War behavior that undermines Russia's status as a great power. Although Russia is not in a position to directly challenge the United States and the US-centered international order, the Kremlin hopes to gain external recognition as a great power by relying on low-cost methods and revealing the vulnerability of Western nations. Russia's capabilities and presence in global cyber and media space are limited, and the Kremlin is motivated by asymmetric deployment of its media, information, and cyber power. ..."
May 19, 2020 | www.oxfordscholarship.com
Chapter:
(p.81) 5 Russophobia in the Age of Donald Trump
Source:
The Dark Double
Author(s):
Andrei P. Tsygankov
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190919337.003.0005

Abstract and Keywords

The chapter extends the argument about media and value conflict between Russia and the United States to the age of Donald Trump. The new value conflict is assessed as especially acute and exacerbated by the US partisan divide. The Russia issue became central because it reflected both political partisanship and the growing value division between Trump voters and the liberal establishment. In addition to explaining the new wave of American Russophobia, the chapter analyzes Russia's own role and motives. The media are likely to continue the ideological and largely negative coverage of Russia, especially if Washington and Moscow fail to develop a pragmatic form of cooperation.

Keywords: Russia, Trump, US elections, narrative of collusion, partisan divide

This chapter addresses the new development in the US media perception of the Russian threat following the election of Donald Trump as the United States' president. The election revealed that US national values could no longer be viewed as predominantly liberal and favoring the global promotion of democracy, as supported by Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama. During and after the election, the liberal media sought to present Moscow as not only favoring Trump but being responsible for his election and even ruling on behalf of the Kremlin. Those committed to a liberal worldview led the way in criticizing Russia and Putin for assaulting liberal democratic values globally and inside the United States. This chapter argues that the Russia issue became so central in the new internal divide because it reflects both political partisanship and the growing division between the values of Trump voters and those of the liberal establishment. The domestic political struggle has exacerbated the divide. Russia's otherness, again, has highlighted values of "freedom," seeking to preserve the confidence of the liberal self. (p.82)

The Narrative of Trump's "Collusion" with Russia

During the US presidential election campaign, American media developed yet another perception of Russia as reflected in the narrative of Trump's collusion with the Kremlin. 1 Having originated in liberal media and building on the previous perceptions of neo-Soviet autocracy and foreign threat, the new perception of Russia was that of the enemy that won the war against the United States. By electing the Kremlin's favored candidate, America was defeated by Russia. As a CNN columnist wrote, "The Russians really are here, infiltrating every corner of the country, with the single goal of disrupting the American way of life." 2 The two assumptions behind the new media narrative were that Putin was an enemy and that Trump was compromised by Putin. The inevitable conclusion was that Trump could not be a patriot and potentially was a traitor prepared to act against US interests.

The new narrative was assisted by the fact that Trump presented a radically different perspective on Russia than Clinton and the US establishment. The American political class had been in agreement that Russia displayed an aggressive foreign policy seeking to destroy the US-centered international order. Influential politicians, both Republicans and Democrats, commonly referred to Russian president Putin as an extremely dangerous KGB spy with no soul. Instead, Trump saw Russia's international interests as not fundamentally different from America's. He advocated that the United States to find a way to align its policies and priorities in defeating terrorism in the Middle East -- a goal that Russia shared -- with the Kremlin's. Trump promised to form new alliances to "unite the civilized world against Radical Islamic Terrorism" and to eradicate it "completely from the face of the Earth." 3 He hinted that he was prepared to revisit the thorny issues of Western sanctions against (p.83) the Russian economy and the recognition of Crimea as a part of Russia. Trump never commented on Russia's political system but expressed his admiration for Putin's leadership and high level of domestic support. 4

Capitalizing on the difference between Trump's views and those of the Democratic Party nominee, Hillary Clinton, the liberal media referred to Trump as the Kremlin-compromised candidate. Commentators and columnists with the New York Times , such as Paul Krugman, referred to Trump as the "Siberian" candidate. 5 Commentators and pundits, including those with academic and political credentials, developed the theory that the United States was under attack. The former ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul, wrote in the Washington Post that Russia had attacked "our sovereignty" and continued to "watch us do nothing" because of the partisan divide. He compared the Kremlin's actions with Pearl Harbor or 9/11 and warned that Russia was likely to perform repeat assaults in 2018 and 2020. 6 The historian Timothy Snyder went further, comparing the election of Trump to a loss of war, which Snyder said was the basic aim of the enemy. Writing in the New York Daily News , he asserted, "We no longer need to wonder what it would be like to lose a war on our own territory. We just lost one to Russia, and the consequence was the election of Donald Trump." 7

The election of Trump prompted the liberal media to discuss Russia-related fears. The leading theory was that Trump would now compromise America's interests and rule the country on behalf of Putin. Thomas Friedman of the New York Times called for actions against Russia and praised "patriotic" Republican senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham for being tough on Trump. 8 MSNBC host Rachel Maddow asked whether Trump was actually under Putin's control. Citing Trump's views and his associates' travel to Moscow, she told viewers, "We are also starting to see (p.84) what may be signs of continuing [Russian] influence in our country, not just during the campaign but during the administration -- basically, signs of what could be a continuing operation." 9 Another New York Times columnist, Nicholas Kristof, published a column titled "There's a Smell of Treason in the Air," arguing that the FBI's investigation of the Trump presidential campaign's collusion "with a foreign power so as to win an election" was an investigation of whether such collusion "would amount to treason." 10 Responding to Trump's statement that his phone was tapped during the election campaign, the Washington Post columnist Anne Applebaum tweeted that "Trump's insane 'GCHQ tapped my phone' theory came from . . . Moscow." McFaul and many others then endorsed and retweeted the message. 11

To many within the US media, Trump's lack of interest in promoting global institutions and his publicly expressed doubts that the Kremlin was behind cyberattacks on the Democratic National Committee (DNC) served to exacerbate the problem. Several intelligence leaks to the press and investigations by Congress and the FBI contributed to the image of a president who was not motivated by US interests. The US intelligence report on Russia's alleged hacking of the US electoral system released on January 8, 2017, served to consolidate the image of Russia as an enemy. Leaks to the press have continued throughout Trump's presidency. Someone in the administration informed the press that Trump called Putin to congratulate him on his victory in elections on March 18, 2018, despite Trump's advisers' warning against making such a call. 12

In the meantime, investigations of Trump's alleged "collusion" with Russia were failing to produce substantive evidence. Facts that some associates of Trump sought to meet or met with members of Russia's government did not lead to evidence of sustained contacts or collaboration. It was not proven that the Kremlin's "black dossier" on Trump compiled by British intelligence officer (p.85) Christopher Steele and leaked to CNN was truthful. Russian activity on American social networks such as Facebook and Twitter was not found to be conclusive in determining outcomes of the elections. 13 In February 2018, a year after launching investigation, Special Counsel Robert Mueller indicted thirteen Russian nationals for allegedly interfering in the US 2016 presidential elections, yet their connection to Putin or Trump was not established. On March 12, 2018, Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Richard Burr stated that he had not yet seen any evidence of collusion. 14 Representative Mike Conaway, the Republican leading the Russia investigation, announced the end of the committee's probe of Russian meddling in the election. 15

Trump was also not acting toward Russia in the way the US media expected. His views largely reflected those of the military and national security establishment and disappointed some of his supporters. 16 The US National Security Strategy and new Defense Strategy presented Russia as a leading security threat, alongside China, Iran, and North Korea. The president made it clear that he wanted to engage in tough bargaining with Russia by insisting on American terms. 17 Instead of improving ties with Russia, let alone acting on behalf of the Kremlin, Trump contributed to new crises in bilateral relations that had to do with the two sides' principally different perceptions. While the Kremlin expected Washington to normalize relations, the United States assumed Russia's weakness and expected it to comply with Washington's priorities regarding the Middle East, Ukraine, and Afghanistan and nuclear and cyber issues. 18 Trump also authorized the largest expulsion of Russian diplomats in US history and ordered several missile strikes against Assad's Russia-supported positions in Syria, each time provoking a crisis in relations with Moscow. Even Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, whom Rachel Maddow suspected of being appointed on Putin's advice to "weaken" the State Department and "bleed out" (p.86) the FBI, 19 was replaced by John Bolton. The latter's foreign policy reputation was that of a hawk, including on Russia. 20

Responding to these developments, the media focused on fears of being attacked by the Kremlin and on Trump not doing enough to protect the country. These fears went beyond the alleged cyber interference in the US presidential elections and included infiltration of American media and social networks and attacks on congressional elections and the country's most sensitive infrastructure, such as electric grids, water-processing plants, banking networks, and transportation facilities. In order to prevent such developments, media commentators and editorial writers recommended additional pressures on the Kremlin and counteroffensive operations. 21 One commentator recommended, as the best defense from Russia's plans to interfere with another election in the United States, launching a cyberattack on Russia's own presidential elections in March 2018, to "disrupt the stability of Vladimir Putin's regime." 22 A New York Times editorial summarized the mood by challenging President Trump to confront Russia further: "If Mr. Trump isn't Mr. Putin's lackey, it's past time for him to prove it." 23 The burden of proof was now on Trump's shoulders.

Opposition to the "Collusion" Narrative

In contrast to highly critical views of Russia in the dominant media, conservative, libertarian, and progressive sources offered different assessments. Initially, opposition to the collusion narrative came from the alternative media, yet gradually -- in response to scant evidence of Trump's collusion -- it incorporated voices within the mainstream.

The conservative media did not support the view that Russia "stole" elections and presented Trump as a patriot who wanted to make America great rather than develop "cozy" relationships with (p.87) the Kremlin. Writing in the American Interest , Walter Russell Mead argued that Trump aimed to demonstrate the United States' superiority by capitalizing on its military and technological advantages. He did not sound like a Russian mole. Challenging the liberal media, the author called for "an intellectually solvent and emotionally stable press" and wrote that "if President Trump really is a Putin pawn, his foreign policy will start looking much more like Barack Obama's." 24 Instead of viewing Trump as compromised by the Kremlin, sources such Breitbart and Fox News attributed the blame to the deep state, "the complex of bureaucrats, technocrats, and plutocrats," including the intelligence agencies, that seeks to "derail, or at least to de-legitimize, the Trump presidency" by engaging in accusations and smear campaigns. 25

Echoing Trump's own views, some conservatives expressed their admiration for Putin as a dynamic leader superior to Obama. In particular, they praised Putin for his ability to defend Russia's "traditional values" and great-power status. 26 Neoconservative and paleoconservative publications like the National Review , the Weekly Standard, Human Events Online , and others critiqued Obama's "feckless foreign policy," characterized by "fruitless accommodationism," contrasting it with Putin's skilled and calculative geopolitical "game of chess." 27 A Washington Post / ABC News poll revealed that among Republicans, 75% approved of Trump's approach on Russia relative; 40% of all respondents approved. 28 This did not mean that conservatives and Republicans were "infiltrated" by the Kremlin. Mutual Russian and American conservative influences were limited and nonstructured. 29 The approval of Putin as a leader by American conservatives meant that they shared a certain commonality of ideas and were equally critical of liberal media and globalization. 30

Progressive and libertarian media also did not support the narrative of collusion. Gary Leupp at CounterPunch found the (p.88) narrative to be serving the purpose of reviving and even intensifying "Cold War-era Russophobia," with Russia being an "adversary" "only in that it opposes the expansion of NATO, especially to include Ukraine and Georgia." 31 Justin Raimondo at Antiwar.com questioned the narrative by pointing to Russia's bellicose rhetoric in response to Trump's actions. 32 Glenn Greenwald and Zaid Jilani at Intercept reminded readers that, overall, Trump proved to be far more confrontational toward Russia than Obama, thereby endangering America. 33 In particular Trump severed diplomatic ties with Russia, armed Ukraine, appointed anti-Russia hawks, such as ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, National Security Advisor John Bolton, and Secretary of State Michal Pompeo to key foreign policy positions, antagonized Russia's Iranian allies, and imposed tough sanctions against Russian business with ties to the Kremlin. 34

The dominant liberal media ignored opposing perspectives or presented them as compromised by Russia. For instance, in amplifying the view that Putin "stole" the elections, the Washington Post sought to discredit alternative sources of news and commentaries as infiltrated by the Kremlin's propaganda. On November 24, 2016, the newspaper published an interview with the executive director of a new website, PropOrNot, who preferred to remain anonymous, and claimed that the Russian government circulated pro-Trump articles before the election. Without providing evidence on explaining its methodology, the group identified more than two hundred websites that published or echoed Russian propaganda, including WikiLeaks and the Drudge Report , left-wing websites such as CounterPunch, Truthout, Black Agenda Report, Truthdig , and Naked Capitalism , as well as libertarian venues such as Antiwar.com and the Ron Paul Institute. 35 Another mainstream liberal outlet, CNN, warned the American people to be vigilant against the Kremlin's alleged efforts to spread propaganda: "Enormous numbers of (p.89) Americans are not only failing to fight back, they are also unwitting collaborators -- reading, retweeting, sharing and reacting to Russian propaganda and provocations every day." 36

However, voices of dissent were now heard even in the mainstream media. Masha Gessen of the New Yorker said that Trump's tweet about Robert Mueller's indictments and Moscow's "laughing its ass off" was "unusually (perhaps accidentally) accurate." 37 She pointed out that Russians of all ideological convictions "are remarkably united in finding the American obsession with Russian meddling to be ridiculous." 38 The editor of the influential Politico , Blake Hounshell, confessed that he was a Russiagate skeptic because even though "Trump was all too happy to collude with Putin," Mueller's team never found a "smoking gun." 39 In reviewing the book on Russia's role in the 2016 election Russian Roulette , veteran New York Times reporter Steven Lee Myers noted that the Kremlin's meddling "simply exploited the vulgarity already plaguing American political campaigns" and that the veracity of many accusations remained unclear. 40

Explaining Russophobia

The high-intensity Russophobia within the American media, overblown even by the standards of previous threat narratives, could no longer be explained by differences in national values or by bilateral tensions. The new fear of Russia also reflected domestic political polarization and growing national unease over America's identity and future direction.

The narrative of collusion in the media was symptomatic of America's declining confidence in its own values. Until the intervention in Iraq in 2004, optimism and a sense of confidence prevailed in American social attitudes, having survived even the terrorist attack on the United States on September 11, 2001. The (p.90) country's economy was growing and its position in the world was not challenged. However, the disastrous war in Iraq, the global financial crisis of 2008, and Russia's intervention in Georgia in August 2008 changed that. US leadership could no longer inspire the same respect, and a growing number of countries viewed it as a threat to world peace. 41 Internally, the United States was increasingly divided. Following presidential elections in November 2016, 77% of Americans perceived their country as "greatly divided on the most important values." 42 The value divide had been expressed in partisanship and political polarization long before the 2016 presidential elections. 43 The Russia issue deepened this divide. According to a poll taken in October 2017, 63% of Democrats, but just 38% of Republicans, viewed "Russia's power and influence" as a major threat to the well-being of the United States. 44

During the US 2016 presidential elections, Russia emerged as a convenient way to accentuate differences between Democratic and Republican candidates, which in previous elections were never as pronounced or defining. The new elections deepened the partisan divide because of extreme differences between the two main candidates, particularly on Russia. Donald Trump positioned himself as a radical populist promising to transform US foreign policy and "drain the swamp" in Washington. His position on Russia seemed unusual because, by election time, the Kremlin had challenged the United States' position in the world by annexing Crimea, supporting Ukrainian separatism, and possibly hacking the DNC site.

The Russian issue assisted Clinton in stressing her differences from Trump. Soon after it became known that DNC servers were hacked, she embraced the view that Russia was behind the cyberattacks. She accused Russia of "trying to wreak havoc" in the United States and threatened retaliation. 45 In his turn, Trump used Russia to challenge Clinton's commitment to national security (p.91) and ability to serve as commander in chief. In particular, he drew public attention to the FBI investigation into Clinton's use of a private server for professional correspondence, and even noted sarcastically that the Russians should find thirty thousand missing emails belonging to her. The latter was interpreted by many in liberal media and political circles as a sign of Trump's being unpatriotic. 46 Clinton capitalized on this interpretation. She referred to the issue of hacking as the most important one throughout the campaign and challenged Trump to agree with assessments of intelligence agencies that cyberattacks were ordered by the Kremlin. She questioned Trump's commitments to US national security and accused him of being a "puppet" for President Putin. 47 Following Trump's victory, Clinton told donors that her loss should be partly attributed to Putin and the election hacks directed by him. 48

Clinton's arguments fitted with the overall narrative embraced by the mainstream media since roughly 2005 characterizing Russia as abusive and aggressive. Clinton viewed Russia as an oppressive autocratic power that was aggressive abroad to compensate for domestic weaknesses. Previously, in her book Hard Choices , then-secretary of state Clinton described Putin as "thin-skinned and autocratic, resenting criticism and eventually cracking down on dissent and debate." 49 This view was shared by President Obama, who publicly referred to Russia as a "regional power that is threatening some of its immediate neighbors not out of strength but out of weakness." 50 During the election's campaign, Clinton argued that the United States should challenge Russia by imposing a no-fly zone in Syria with the objective of removing Assad from power, strengthening sanctions against the Russian economy, and providing lethal weapons to Ukraine in order to contain the potential threat of Russia's military invasion.

Following the elections, the partisan divide deepened, with liberal establishment attacking the "unpatriotic" Trump. Having (p.92) lost the election, Clinton partly attributed Trump's victory to the role of Russia and advocated an investigation into Trump's ties to Russia. In February 2017 the Clinton-influenced Center for American Progress brought on a former State Department official to run a new Moscow Project. 51 As acknowledged by the New Yorker , members of the Clinton inner circle believed that the Obama administration deliberately downplayed DNC hacking by the Kremlin. "We understand the bind they were in," one of Clinton's senior advisers said. "But what if Barack Obama had gone to the Oval Office, or the East Room of the White House, and said, 'I'm speaking to you tonight to inform you that the United States is under attack . . .' A large majority of Americans would have sat up and taken notice . . . it is bewildering -- it is baffling -- it is hard to make sense of why this was not a five-alarm fire in the White House." 52

In addition to Clinton, many other members of the Washington establishment, including some Republicans, spread the narrative of Russia "attacking" America. Republican politicians who viewed Clinton's defeat and the hacking attacks in military terms included those of chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee John McCain, who stated, "When you attack a country, it's an act of war," 53 and former vice president Dick Cheney, who called Russia's alleged interference in the US election "a very serious effort made by Mr. Putin" that "in some quarters that would be considered an act of war." 54 A number of Democrats also engaged in the rhetoric of war, likening the Russian "attack," as Senator Ben Cardin did, to a "political Pearl Harbor." 55

Rumors and leaks, possibly by members of US intelligence agencies, 56 and activities of liberal groups that sought to discredit Trump contributed to the Russophobia. In addition to the DNC hacking accusations, many fears of Russia in the media were based on the assumption that contacts, let alone cooperation with the (p.93) Kremlin, was unpatriotic and implied potentially "compromising" behavior: praise of Putin as a leader, possible business dealings with Russian "oligarchs," and meetings with Russian officials such Ambassador Sergei Kislyak. 57

There were therefore two sides to the Russia story in the US liberal media -- rational and emotional. The rational side had to do with calculations by Clinton-affiliated circles and anti-Russian groups pooling their resources to undermine Trump and his plans to improve relations with Russia. Among others, these resources included dominance within the liberal media and leaks by the intelligence community. The emotional side was revealed by the liberal elites' values and ability to promote fears of Russia within the US political class and the general public. Popular emotions of fear and frustration with Russia already existed in the public space due to the old Cold War memories, as well as disturbing post–Cold War developments that included wars in Chechnya, Georgia, and Ukraine. In part because of these memories, factions such as th