Softpanorama

May the source be with you, but remember the KISS principle ;-)
Contents Bulletin Scripting in shell and Perl Network troubleshooting History Humor

Anti Trump Hysteria during elections and immediately after them

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. "Dishonest and corrupt" neoliberal media is actually much worse. They are a part of Clinton campaign apparatus. They fan out anti-Russian hysteria and demonization of Trump as two key Hillary election strategies, because she can't offer anything to voters, being a "kick the can down the road" type of candidate -- a dyed in the wool neoliberal and warmonger

As Ian Welsh noted the story of the Trump meltdown is actually the story of “a stab-in-the-back” neoliberal elites, trying to stealing the election.  They are afraid of repeating of Brexit vote

Version 2.1 (June 10, 2017)

Is the curse of the TIME magazine cover about to help Trump (and hinder Hillary)?

The neoliberals have the ultimate Super PAC: It’s called the mainstream media.

News Donald Trump -- an unusual fighter against excesses of neoliberal globalization Recommended Links Purple revolution against Trump Fake News scare and US NeoMcCartyism Color revolutions Foreign Agents Registration Act Predator state Control of the MSM during color revolution is like air superiority in the war
Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak DNC emails leak: switfboating Bernie Sanders and blaming Vladimir Putin 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 Trump GroupingGate Swiftboating: Khan gambit against Trump at Democratic Convention
Obama: a yet another Neocon Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA Hillary Clinton and Obama created ISIS  Hillary role in Syria bloodbath Hillary role in Libya disaster  New American Militarism Media-Military-Industrial Complex American Exceptionalism  Blowback against neoliberal globalization
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   Libertarian Philosophy Nation under attack meme Pluralism as a myth Bernie Sanders betrayal of his supporters
  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


Introduction

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

Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?

Joseph Welch’s famous confrontation with Joe McCarthy

Looks like the US elite is now split, with a smaller, weaker paleoconservative faction (that enjoys popular support) promoting Trump, and a larger stronger neoliberal faction staging anti-Trump hysteria in controlled MSM and trying to push Hillary, despite her failing health. So the USA now have its own version of competing oligarchs clans (and their own version of Yeltsin with his failing health, if you wish), like in post-Soviet Russia.  That's why we have anti-Trump hysteria from "anti-Trump brigade":

macmarco , 2016-03-08 16:27:25
One must also look at the anti-Trump brigade to find many of his audience. Below in no particular order are major reasons why he has millions of supporters.

The Anti-Trump Brigade

  1. GOP
  2. Tea Party
  3. Politicians, elected officials in DC all parties.
  4. DC media from TV to internet
  5. Romney, Gingrich, Scarborough, Beck and other assorted losers.

One thing in common they all have very high negatives, particularly the politicians and media outlets.

Being Trotskyism for the rich, neoliberalism not only reuses all Soviet propaganda tricks on a new technological level, it also inevitably creates a new aristocracy ("masters of the universe" or top 0.1%), similar to Soviet nomenklatura, which controls more a half of national wealth (redistribution of wealth up is the goal of neoliberalism). Which in turn leads to the gradual corruption and degeneration of the political elite.

It looks  like the US public is starting to mirror the Eastern European public under Communism by automatically disregarding government media. Internet helps like a new Samizdat. That trend clearly worries the establishment (see comments to Are the Clintons Israeli Agents - The Unz Review).  there are clear analogies here with Brexit and most Us voters understand that they need to fight “big banks and global political insiders” like UK voters did:

...the British politician, who was invited by Mississippi governor Phil Bryant, will draw parallels between what he sees as the inspirational story of Brexit and Trump’s campaign. Farage will describe the Republican’s campaign as a similar crusade by grassroots activists against “big banks and global political insiders” and how those who feel disaffected and disenfranchised can become involved in populist, rightwing politics. With Trump lagging in the polls, just as Brexit did prior to the vote on the referendum, Farage will also hearten supporters by insisting that they can prove pundits and oddsmakers wrong as well.

This message resonates with the Trump campaign’s efforts to reach out to blue collar voters who have become disillusioned with American politics, while also adding a unique flair to Trump’s never staid campaign rallies.

The event will mark the first meeting between Farage and Trump.

Arron Banks, the businessman who backed Leave.EU, the Brexit campaign group associated with the UK Independence party (Ukip), tweeted that he would be meeting Trump over dinner and was looking forward to Farage’s speech.

The appointment last week of Stephen Bannon, former chairman of the Breitbart website, as “CEO” of Trump’s campaign has seen the example of the Brexit vote, which Breitbart enthusiastically advocated, rise to the fore in Trump’s campaign narrative.

Speaking to a local radio station before the joint rally, Farage urged Americans to “go out and fight” against Hillary Clinton.

“I am going to say to people in this country that the circumstances, the similarities, the parallels between the people who voted Brexit and the people who could beat Clinton in a few weeks time here in America are uncanny,” Farage told Super Talk Mississippi. “If they want things to change they have get up out of their chairs and go out and fight for it. It can happen. We’ve just proved it.”

“I am being careful,” he added when asked if he supported the controversial Republican nominee. “It’s not for me as a foreign politician to say who you should vote for ... All I will say is that if you vote for Hillary Clinton, then nothing will change. She represents the very politics that we’ve just broken through the Brexit vote in the United Kingdom.”

And Hillary campaign bears a striking resemblance not only to dynastic succession, but also to the election of the General Secretary of CPSU (actually even age and health are appropriate) with its typical stabbing in the back attacks: 

Ian Welsh notes that the story of the Trump meltdown is also a ready-made story of “a stab-in-the-back” by elites stealing the election. Trump is the past Teflon Master on these kinds of gotcha fests, but if the Media pivots away from playing gotcha with Trump saying hateful and alarming things about immigration and race to Trump saying arguably true things about foreign policy or economic policy that are kept in an undisguised box by the perverted norms of conventional wisdom, that might be enough of a broadening pivot. Unlikely, but maybe.

The other similar tendency is that the neoliberal propaganda is losing the grip on hearts and minds of the US population. You simply can't hide disappearance of good jobs any more.  After more then 36 years dominance (with bipartisan support) Soviet-style brainwashing of population by the neoliberal MSM and TV by-and-large lost its effectiveness. Availability of alternative media (aka New Samizdat) is one factor. Like Voice of America and BBC for Soviet citizens, it provides information that makes possible to create a mental framework which allow one to understand what is really happening and why. That does not mean that they are 100% believable, but they provide a good starting point for critical thinking.  

this election are characterized the higher then usual level of hate of the neoliberal establishment. For multiple sins, such as the destruction of the middle class and, especially, for destruction of "full-time" good paying jobs with benefits in the USA. All this happened due to neoliberal globalization, which includes offshoring of manufacturing, elimination of full time jobs and replacement then with contractor jobs, outsourcing  of IT and "white collar" specialties.

Crystallization of the protest around such candidates as Sanders and Trump and the resulting split within Democratic and Republican party between rank-and-file members and party leadership,  are just signs of a more general tendency of rejecting neoliberal rationality and neoliberal ideology by the majority of US population. Ideology, which paradoxically is very close to Soviet ideology as neoliberalism is just Trotskyism for rich and includes the same dream of global (neoliberal instead of communist) empire, the same false promises of well-being for middle and lower classes, the same wars for neoliberal expansion in which US solders get into meat grinder to provide transnational corporations with another market.

This process of decline of neoliberal ideology started only recently (say, after 2008) and neoliberals are still very strong.  That's why Democratic Party brass managed to squash the revolt eliminating and then co-opting Sanders (sheepdog tactics). Paradoxically Trump manage to became the Presidential candidate from the Republican Party despite all attempt of the republican establishment to derail his candidacy.

It is quite clear the Trump election might mean difficulties for the US neoliberal elite in continuation of  permanent wars for the expansion of neoliberal empire ("neoliberal globalization"), dismantling of New Deal protections for working class (elimination of Social Security and weakening of labor laws), increasing financial deregulation and implementing policies that have systematically gutted the middle class, screwed and jailed the poor (especially poor blacks), increased inequality to the level above the level that existed during the Gilded Age, outsourced manufacturing out of the USA, and made neoliberal politicians like Hillary Clinton filthy rich. So it is natural that they fight Trump like crazy and neoliberal MSM is just of the perfect tools to achieve their goal of derailing his candidacy.  That's why Obama administration swiped under the carpet the dirt connected with Hillary private email server, the scandal, which would derail any other politician. Instead FBI was forced to invent false premise of "not sufficient evidence of criminal intent" bogeyman to let Hillary walk free.  In realty the criminal intent was written all over this sordid "bathroom server" saga, especially if you connect the dots with Clinton Cash scandal (the reason of using a private email server  was to hide activities connected with Clinton Foundation fundraising and other shady deals; as Trump said that's RICO staff) on one hand and DNC email hacks scandal on the other (if DNC email was so easily hacked, why would one assumes that Hillary server was not? The most reasonable assumption in such cases is that is was and all sensitive emails were exposed)   

The current situation in Democratic Party, which became a wing of a single "the Neoliberal Party of the USA" (much like the Communist Party in the USSR) is completely absurd. There is nothing even remotely Democratic in its platform. This is a pure neoliberal party.  Since Bill Clinton administration the elite game plan as for trade unions and democratic working-class voters was: "they have nowhere to go, so let's f*ck them hard".  And this game plan was executed perfectly fine for 25 years or so (since Bill Clinton presidency). No more.  enter Donald Trump, the first challenger of neoliberal status quo. Now voting against Clintons became middle class version of showing middle finger to official Washington or  a good practical joke on a sick neoliberalism-dominated political system. In other word, the dominant vote in November 2008 election will be the protest vote.  The vote against, not for.  They do want to show the middle finger to neoliberal establishment. That means voting against Hillary.  That's the main distinction between 2008 and 2016 elections. Obama was still able to fool the voters with his "change we can believe in" crap and sell the middle class down the river to neoliberals the day after elections.  But as unforgettable George W Bush uttered: "There's an old saying in Tennessee — I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again." 

That's why Hillary now is struggling to be elected on the same "let's kick the can down the road" plus "identity" (as if electing using gender as the main criteria makes more sense the election based on platform the candidate is trying to implement), making an attempt to became an Obama II.

different clue , August 21, 2016 at 2:15 am

The Clintonites are selling First Woman President as an Identity-Progressive goal and achievement. Just as the Obamazoids sold First Black President as an Identity-Progressive goal and achievement.

Her failing health and semi-criminal past does not help iether. The key message of Hillary to US "peasants" is that same as Marie Antoinette ("let them eat cake" -- all is good in this, the most blessed, nation on the Earth, just let the elite to rule as they wish). For obvious reasons it does not resonate too well. The emergence of Trump with his anti "neoliberal globalization' stance and promising to stop outsourcing of the US jobs,  reflects the level of discontent with such policies. See also Neoliberalism as a Cause of Structural Unemployment in the USA, Secular Stagnation under Neoliberalism, and  Over 50 and unemployed

So it is natural that emergence of Trump created a real hysteria in neoliberal MSM which again (you can get neoliberal out of Trotskyite cell, but you can never get Trotskyism ideology from neoliberalism) repeats achievements of Soviet propaganda is silencing the dissent and blackmailing anybody who stray from the official Party line.  Soviet propagandists would approvingly nod at the efforts of ABC, CNN, MSNBC to blackmail Trump.  This is a clear case when a student outperformed the teacher.  Not that Us propagandists were not sufficiently "sophisticated" (let's put is this way ;-) during the Cold War, but at least during this period they were fighting for the right cause. Now they changes sides with Soviet propagandists and try to defend indefensible using all the spectrum of dirty tricks in their disposal: to defend the interests of tiny percentage of population (0.1%) against the interests of common people. 

Reading this page might help US voters get over the fear of voting for Trump instilled by neoliberal MSM. Maybe the US voters should consider the possibility that they have nothing to fear but fear itself. That warmonger Hillary is like absolute zero in temperature  --  the point after which politically you just can't be more evil.  By Nierenberg court standards, no less. 

But after so many years of blatant Soviet-style deception about "shared prosperity" via "trickle down economy" people now start to understand that they were taken for a ride and resist neoliberal propaganda. Emergence of Web pages like this is a clear sign that people are fed up. That the middle class is fed up. Majority of Americans now clearly understand that nothing is going to change for the poor and for the middle class if Hillary is elected. There will be deeper involvement in Syria and possibly a confrontation with Putin. Wall Street will be happy with her, no matter what she says now.

That's why paleoconservative (and this page represents paleoconservatives views), who were written off from the mainstream of the USA politics long ago, are again in vogue. They are against the wars of imperial expansion, while neoliberal are neocons in foreign policy (see Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA), are hell-bent on what Professor Bacevich called the "new American militarism", and want expansion of the USA global neoliberal empire at all costs to the US middle class and poor, essentially promoting hardship and impoverishment of the US citizens in order to enrich themselves. For neoliberals the USA is just a host, a squirrel carcass, on which this colony of bacteria parasite. They are cosmopolitans by definition, and have no real affinity to the USA (look how many of the are "Israel first" crowd), and try to hide that with fake patriotism, jingoism, military adventurism in Middle East and Eastern Europe, and keeping the population content with their policies by exaggerating and misdirecting the treat of Islamic terrorism (it is Saudi Arabia and other Gulf monarchies that is the main promoter and financer of this politician movement; they are also major contributors to Clinton foundation)

Like communists before them, neoliberals are not loyal to people or anything once they lost its usefulness, and definitely not to the nation state or the flag.

Thomas Frank in one of this books described the scene where the Bill Clinton figure tells a bunch of laid-off workers that now they need to buckle down and get an education so that they can get better jobs (as if they exist). this scene tremendously helps to recognize what neoliberalism is about: redistribution of wealth up. Everything else is just a lie.

In this circumstances, the only chance for Hillary to win election is to completely demonize Trump, to make him unacceptable for the most of the US population. Sometimes pack of neoliberal MSM which are essentially Hillary cheerleaders reminds me a pack of rats attacking a cat. They want to crown her, despite her criminal record, bloodthirsty jingoism, character flaws, initial stage of Parkinson disease and her other health problems, as well as Bill Clinton criminal past including possible sexual abuse of teenage girls. And to achieve this goal they resort to the campaign of demonization on Trump (such as Khan gambit), which sometimes borders on a real character assassination. Constant use of epithets like "crazy, reckless, ignorant, unqualified, unhinged lunatic, nuclear weapons trigger happy, narcissist, xenophobe, anti-Muslim, racist, misogynist, buffoon" are the most benign forms of this character assassination. Just guess how many of those epithets are applicable to Hillary and you understand the difference in neoliberal MSM coverage of two candidates. There are other, more sinister, parts of this neoliberal MSM demonization process...

What we now call "Khan Gambit" to be a part of a larger  campaign of demonization of Trump.  Other parts of this neoliberal MSM demonization process include:

  1. The "revolt of diplomats" gambit. On March 3, 2016  neocons staged 40 "national security leaders" (read dyed-in-the-wool neocons) open letter against Trump. Trump is ‘fundamentally dishonest,’ say GOP national security leaders in open letter - The Washington Post. This panic at neocons Jurassic park is pretty telling. Among 40 neocons who signed the letter we see only few diplomats. The list mostly composed of second rate "security establishment/foreign policy" players. There are some exceptions -- recognizable names -- such as Robert B. Zoellick (the eleventh president of the World Bank), Ken_Adelman (former deputy U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations),  Robert Kagan  (Counselor of the State Department appointed by Hillary Clinton, co-founder of PNAC), Eliot A. Cohen (Counselor of the State Department appointed by Rice), Daniel Pipes (famous Israeli lobbyist) Michael Chertoff (the second United States Secretary of Homeland Security under Presidents George W. Bush, co-author of the USA PATRIOT Act), and Dov S. Zakheim (Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Planning and Resources from 1985 to 1987).  The major neocon players in George W Bush administration such as Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Elliott Abrams are not in the list. "The letter comes just days after Michael Hayden, the former head of the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency, said the U.S. military might disobey orders if Trump becomes president. "

    We know that such letters are a standard part of "color revolutions" (including but not limited to Libya, Ukraine(The Revolt of diplomats) and Syria ), but in this case this trick was used preemptively against a leading candidate from Republican party. It was followed by Khan gambit.

    "Revolt of diplomats" from the perspective of propaganda is a very powerful weapon in the Arsenal of "soft coups". It can, if you want to ask Leonid Kuchma, that could confirm "the  Colonel Kaddafi", and Mr. Yanukovich. But in order for bomb to explode more powerfully you need that the revolt of diplomats  was (as in the era of Orange Revolution, in Libya and in Syria) is involve the diplomats of the highest rank, preferably the level of acting heads of diplomatic missions. In this case it produces an avalanche style affect de-legitimizing the current government. and then can serve as a starting point for the further de-legitimization.

     Looks like US neocons now use the color revolution playbook against Trump.  This is a technique of "soft coup".
     

  2. "Waving the flag attacks".  Typically they are switfboat style attacks. This is what this page is about.  Khan gambit opened Trump military record to investigation and blackmailing by neoliberal MSM.  It also facilitated the attacks design to put a verge between Trump and military voters.
  3. Creating a false image of Trump as a fascist authoritarian (with the goal of blocking voting for Trump of Sanders supporters after Sanders betrayal of his political platform)
     
  4. Fanning anti-Russian hysteria and accusing Trump of connections to Putin (Putin stooge gambit). This is a typical cold war trick that works very well because of demonization of Putin in neoliberal MSM.  Neocons, as former Trotskyites, were the propagandist warriors of Cold War and are very skilled in below the belt blows of this kind (searching for  "communists under each bed"). As such this can be viewed as a variation of  McCarthy-style attacks -- a witch hunt for Putin supporters within Trump close cycle of advisors. Anti-Russian and pro-Israel stance is a part of neoconservative ideology (and is shared by a large part of Washington elite), so for neocons (and neoliberal MSM) this type of attacks are as a natural as breathing. McCarthyism  painted liberals as soft on Communism, now neocon paint opponents of Warmonger Hillary,  as soft on Putin.  When in reality the main danger is not softness, but the danger of nuclear confrontation with Russia. Neocon demagogues, such as Robert Kagan managed simultaneously accuse Trump of being Putin stooge and a fascist.  It is well known that chickenhawks are rabidly jingoistic, so this theme also is played as a part of "waving the flag attacks" such as Swiftboating Trump: Khan gambit against Trump at the Democratic Convention
     
  5. Projecting on Trump accusations of racism ( a variant of Gaslighting) with the goal of eliminating Trump voters among minorities. In reality Bill Clinton, as a staunch neoliberal,  initiated the largest program of incarceration of black men in history.  He also substantially cut federal support to poor families.

     Indiscriminate killing of brown people (including many woman and children) supported (and in case of Libya pressed) by Hillary is not considered racist by neoliberal MSM, but Trump suggestion (note suggestion) to limit Muslim and Mexican immigration to the USA is the crime of the century, because such a measure limits inflow of cheap labor for transnational corporations. What is interesting in this "identity politics" attack deployed by Hillary camp is that often they misdiagnose the problems pretending that nothing, but racism matters and that this is automatically thee root cause. For example for excessive police violence against blacks. Sometime the root cause is different: it can be stereotyping, or that people are frightened, they can behave stupid, or they are evil. No, all such cases are automatically classified as racists. Police misconduct is not a problem solely about race and racism. Here’s a thoughtful blogpost about the problem of police misconduct in certain kinds of fatal shooting incidents and what can be done about it, both politically and in terms of reforming police training and administration: http://sociological-eye.blogspot.com/2016/07/can-war-between-cops-and-blacks-be-de.html
     

  6. Creating an image of Trump as an unstable maniac who can't be trusted with important assignments, such as control of nuclear button (and forgetting that Obama is a former cocaine addict and marijuana user, who might not completely abandon this habit in the White house) . An Bruce Wilder ( Crooked timber, Aug 13, 2016) aptly noted: "People, who argue Trump might start a nuclear war out of personal pique because he insults people on teevee might want to examine Clinton’s bellicose foreign policy record and positions on, say, Israel, Iran, Ukraine, NATO expansion or the South China Sea. ". Or, as Ian Welsh pointed out, her position on Syria is nothing but reckless. She seems to have advocated for a no-fly zone in Syria, which would presumably means shooting down Russian warplanes.
      
  7. Denigration Trump personality by constant using in neoliberal MSM coverage of Trump such epithets as "crazy, reckless, ignorant, ignoramus, unqualified, unhinged lunatic, nuclear weapons trigger happy, narcissist, xenophobe, anti-Muslim, misogynist, buffoon, chimpanzee-level " 
  8. Distorting his views, despite some of them have strong connection to reality. Please read 6 Problems With Media's Reaction To Trump's ISIS Comments by Mollie Hemingway. This is a very important article and I strongly recommend to read it in full to understand how neoliberal propaganda works. This is a nice example of how difficult is for an ordinary person to cut through media lies and get to the truth. So some level of brainwashing is inevitable unless you use only alternative media. Neoliberal MSM are disgusting and are lying all the time, but they are called "mainstream media" not accidentally. Unless you use WWW and foreign sources (like people in the USSR did -- substitute radio for WWW, as it did not existed yet) you will be brainwashed. Like Margaret Thatcher used to say "there is no alternative". They did the same dirty tricks with Bernie Sanders to derail his candidacy.

Here is one example. Please note that Trump foreign policy stance is more realistic then bloodthirsty warmonger "We came, we saw, he died" Hillary; it just goes against neocons military adventurism (Salon.com)

Take, for example, the comments by GOP strategist Mike Murphy on MSNBC earlier this week:

I think he is a stunning ignoramus on foreign policy issues and national security, which are the issues I care most about. And he’s said one stupid, reckless thing after another, and he’s shown absolutely no temperament to try to learn the things that he doesn’t know, and he doesn’t know just about everything. …The guy has a chimpanzee-level understanding of national security policy.

In reality the situation in quite opposite and Trump foreign platform can be viewed as the last, desperate attempt to save the USA from facing consequences of uncontrolled built-up of global, led by the USA neoliberal empire, which exhausted the country resources and impoverished its people, Here is one insightful comment from Crooked Timber discussion (Crooked timber, Aug 04, 2016):

Lupita 08.04.16 at 4:23 am 167

I think Trump is afraid the imperial global order presided by the US is about to crash and thinks he will be able to steer the country into a soft landing by accepting that other world powers have interests, by disengaging from costly and humiliating military interventions, by re-negotiating trade deals, and by stopping the mass immigration of poor people. Plus a few well-placed bombs .

Much has been written about the internet revolution, about the impact of people having access to much more information than before. The elite does not recognize this and is still organizing political and media campaigns as if it were 1990, relying on elder statesmen like Blair, Bush, Mitterrand, Clinton, and Obama to influence public opinion. They are failing miserably, to the point of being counterproductive.

I don't think something as parochial as racism is sustaining Trump, but rather the fear of the loss of empire by a population with several orders of magnitude more information and communication than in 2008, even 2012.

Negative information repeated many times by MSM sticks in viewer minds and creates doubts in the candidate attacked. If the race is close, that's enough to sing the particular candidate. Swiftboating Kerry proved that such attacks produce the necessary effect even if later is discovered that they are completely false. At this point, it's just too late to undo the damage. Essentially the control over the major MSM is close to controlling the results of the elections. Like in movie Matrix the majority of the US voters live by-and-large in artificial reality created by MSM coverage, which they are unable to check.

The control over the major [neoliberal] MSM is close to controlling the results of the elections. Like in movie Matrix the majority of the US voters live by-and-large in artificial reality created by MSM coverage, which they are unable to check.

As neoliberalism is the hallmark of both parties, some Republican Senators also take part in this witch hunt (you can guesses the list; it includes all neocon hawks):

Corey Robin 08.09.16 at 1:51 am

So this is another example of what drives me crazy. Susan Collins, Republican Senator from Maine, is coming out with an oped in tomorrow’s Washington Post saying she can’t vote for Trump. Because he “lacks the temperament, self-discipline, and judgment” blah blah blah. She could vote for a madman like McCain and a charlatan like Palin, but, fine, whatever. What truly kills me is that Jonathan Alter, liberal journalist, tweets Collins’s piece and says, “How can any decent, respectful Republican disagree?”

As neocons are neoliberals with the gun, the same is true about most prominent neocon talking heads, who dominate the US foreign policy discourse. A relevant example here is one of the founders of PNAC (which promoted the idea of global neoliberal empire led by the USA and the use of 9/11 style event as vital for converting the USA into national security state) and cheerleader of Iraq war Robert Kagan (the husband of Victoria Nuland, who was instrumental in bringing into power neo-Nazis in Ukraine). In his recent WaPo column he (forgetting about his own track record and the track record of his wife) openly accused Trump of fascist tendencies while being unable to use the words "neocons wars" and "neoliberal globalization" in the whole article even once (This is how fascism comes to America - The Washington Post, May 18, 2016):

But of course the entire Trump phenomenon has nothing to do with policy or ideology. It has nothing to do with the Republican Party, either, except in its historic role as incubator of this singular threat to our democracy. Trump has transcended the party that produced him. His growing army of supporters no longer cares about the party. Because it did not immediately and fully embrace Trump, because a dwindling number of its political and intellectual leaders still resist him, the party is regarded with suspicion and even hostility by his followers. Their allegiance is to him and him alone.

And the source of allegiance? We’re supposed to believe that Trump’s support stems from economic stagnation or dislocation. Maybe some of it does. But what Trump offers his followers are not economic remedies — his proposals change daily. What he off ers is an attitude, an aura of crude strength and machismo, a boasting disrespect for the niceties of the democratic culture that he claims, and his followers believe, has produced national weakness and incompetence. His incoherent and contradictory utterances have one thing in common: They provoke and play on feelings of resentment and disdain, intermingled with bits of fear, hatred and anger. His public discourse consists of attacking or ridiculing a wide range of “others” — Muslims, Hispanics, women, Chinese, Mexicans, Europeans, Arabs, immigrants, refugees — whom he depicts either as threats or as objects of derision. His program, such as it is, consists chiefly of promises to get tough with foreigners and people of nonwhite complexion. He will deport them, bar them, get them to knuckle under, make them pay up or make them shut up.

... ... ...

This phenomenon has arisen in other democratic and quasi-democratic countries over the past century, and it has generally been called “fascism.” Fascist movements, too, had no coherent ideology, no clear set of prescriptions for what ailed society. “National socialism” was a bundle of contradictions, united chiefly by what, and who, it opposed; fascism in Italy was anti-liberal, anti-democratic, anti-Marxist, anti-capitalist and anti-clerical. Successful fascism was not about policies but about the strongman, the leader (Il Duce, Der Führer), in whom could be entrusted the fate of the nation. Whatever the problem, he could fix it. Whatever the threat, internal or external, he could vanquish it, and it was unnecessary for him to explain how. Today, there is Putinism, which also has nothing to do with belief or policy but is about the tough man who single-handedly defends his people against all threats, foreign and domestic.

Of course readers instantly noticed the hypocrisy of this dyed-in-the-wool neocon warmonger (who BTW became a staunch Hillary supporter -- tell me who your friends are...) :

Richard Elkind, 6/1/2016 4:06 PM EDT

Trump is a negotiator. A fascist is a dictator. They have absolutely nothing in common. The neocon who wrote this propaganda is far more a fascist than Trump could ever be...demonstrated right here with his utilizing his media platform to spread propagandist lies...which is what Hitler did.

Faustfaust, 6/1/2016 3:57 PM EDT

Kagan,

A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm. Excerpts:

“Rather than pursuing a comprehensive peace with the entire Arab world, Israel should work jointly with Jordan and Turkey to contain, destabilize, and roll-back those entities that are threats to all three”.

"Israel can shape its strategic environment, in cooperation with Turkey and Jordan, by weakening, containing, and even rolling back Syria. This effort can focus on removing Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq — an important Israeli strategic objective in its own right — as a means of foiling Syria’s regional ambition"

“Most important, it is understandable that Israel has an interest supporting diplomatically, militarily and operationally Turkey’s and Jordan’s actions against Syria, such as securing tribal alliances with Arab tribes that cross into Syrian territory and are hostile to the Syrian ruling elite”.

"Syrian territory is not immune to attacks emanating from Lebanon by Israeli proxy forces".

Who are those proxy forces? ISIS? It seems so. These statements put you and your ilk in the pot as corroborators for what has happened in the Middle East since it was written, and foremost for Syria and its fallout.

On issues relating to continuation of wars of neoliberal expansion, maintaining the global neoliberal empire and immigration all neoliberal MSM behave in lockstep which would make Soviet press handlers proud. Lie and distortion of Trump behaviour, create "much ado about nothing" by picking his phrase and presenting it as a is treat to world peace, dirty insinuation about impossibility to trust Trump is some critical security areas such as nuclear codes (as if person under influence of a drug can be a better choice; just look about history of cocaine abuse by previous presidents). You name it. But what can you expect from administration puppets. Actually constitutional scholar also behaved very dirty allowing himself to bash Trump in Singapore which is a clear violation of diplomatic etiquette:

"I don't doubt their sincerity. I don't doubt they were outraged by some of the statements that Mr. Trump and his supporters made about the Khan family," Obama said, speaking of Republican leaders, a number of whom spoke out against Trump's remarks about the Khan family. "But there has to come a point in which you say, 'Somebody who makes those kinds of statements doesn't have the judgment, the temperament, the understanding to occupy the most powerful position in the world.'"

As now we know that Khan gambit was a designed by DNC trap, this is a direct propaganda attack on behave of Hillary Clinton (and, as such, represents an abuse of his position). Also this is like throwing stones in a glass house (Obama is a self-confessed former cocaine addict who might well be on high during Benghazi incident and during his Olympics' interview). Americans did elect a former cocaine addict in 2008 and then in 2012. Talk about the best preparation to the position of POTUS (Obama's Cocaine Confessional Won't 'Blow' His Chances - ABC News):

At the moment, Republican strategists and Clinton loyalists share a common dream, an identical yearning and an increasingly forlorn hope: wishing with prayerful fervor for some revelation or scandal or personal weakness that will block Barack Obama's candidacy for president.

In that context, The Washington Post raises the pre-emptive question of the senator's direct confession (in his intimate memoir, "Dreams of My Father") that he used cocaine and marijuana in high school and college.

Much to the disappointment of his rivals in both parties, these disclosures stand no chance of derailing his potential campaign and may end up adding to Obama's unconventional appeal.

First of all, Obama is hardly the first prominent politician to acknowledge youthful indiscretions involving illegal drugs. Fourteen years ago, Bill Clinton easily survived his discussions of smoking marijuana, and drew far more criticism for his dodgy, weasel-words regarding his experience ("I smoked, but I didn't inhale") than for his one-time exposure to the demon weed.

Al Gore also admitted to dope indulgence (and reportedly became a heavy user at Harvard, which may help explain the spectacularly weird workings of his mind) as did Newt Gingrich and John Kerry. George W. Bush refused to share specifics of his own drug experience beyond a general acknowledgment of a rowdy youth ("when I was young and stupid, I was young and stupid"). Still, he did little to contradict ubiquitous reports of his consumption of booze, marijuana and even cocaine.

On her own Hillary, as an establishment candidate representing Wall Street interests, has no or little chances. So neoliberal MSM, which are essentially a part of Hillary team, are using against Trump a pretty polished demonization process that they so successfully used against foreign leaders whom the USA establishment does not like. So you need to withstand a series of more and more nasty attacks by a pack of media wolfs, who are eager to devour the candidate. That requires courage. Going against establishment always requires courage, but going against neoliberal establishment with it Trotskyite instincts (and Pravda style demonization of opponents) requires double of that. But people are fed up with neoliberal globalization and no matter how neoliberal MSM try to demonize Trump, most of such attempts will fall on the deaf ears:

bruce wilder 08.03.16 at 4:41 pm

A vote for Trump is a middle-finger vote. A Trump voter does not have to believe that Trump will do anything for him, only that Trump breaking the system won’t be worse for the voter than for the system.

I would stress it again that you need to be a very courageous person to withstand demonization by neoliberal media. and this put tremendous stress on you and your family. This pack of well-paid neoliberal rabid dogs knows no mercy. This is like modern McCarthy-style witch hunt (remember famous phrase perfectly applicable to neoliberal MSM such CNN, MSNBC, etc ("You've done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?") The DemoRats are reenacting the worst excesses of “McCarthyism” with hysterical displays of Russophobia and swift boat style attacks: anybody to oppose neoliberal dogma is Mr. Putin sympathizer:

Joe McCarthy had been running wild for four years, wreaking havoc first on the Democrats, then the Republicans, and finally on the security establishment itself. For many people—Welch’s syntax shows, almost unselfconsciously—June 9 marked the moment when McCarthy finally revealed that he had no decency, as opposed to only a very little decency, the moment when he showed that he had no redeeming qualities at all.

Neoliberal MSM dominate the media landscape and they still sets the agenda of any debate in the USA, still sets the parameters of discourse. They can amplify or suppress any news as they like. Hackers can easily break into DNC server and steal emails, but can't steal email from Hillary "bathroom" server. It does not matter then you open CNN or other MSM website, you will always find news about some new Trump blunder, instead discussion of serious issue facing the country (I'm Sick of The So-Called “News )

It’s a very powerful, well financed, determines, highly qualified and very nasty propagandists.

You need to be a very courageous person to go against neoliberal media. They can amplify or suppress any news as they like.

Those frightened at the prospect of Donald Trump being elected need to explain precisely where they were when Clinton sold the party to Wall Street converting them to DemoRats (former Democrats, or Clinton democrats) and launched their three-decade-long class war on the side on neoliberals against the great majority of the American people. Voting for a war criminal by standard Nierenberg trials in not what a reasonable person would do.

Trump did not (yet) start any wars of neoliberal conquest (under smoke screen of spreading the democracy) so far. So whatever you ca call him, he is not a war criminal. And that's a big, decisive different. In fact, his views on foreign policy are more of less isolationists and are close to Paleoconservatives such as Patrick J. Buchanan. As Michael Hudson observed:

The platform Hillary’s running on is “I’m not Trump. I’m the lesser evil.”

She elaborates that by saying that Trump is Putin’s ploy. When the Democratic National Committee (someone within it, or without) leaked the information to Wikileaks, the Democrats and Hillary asked, “Who benefits from this”? Ah-ha. Because Trump opposes the neocon line toward Russia, and because he criticizes NATO, Russia benefits. Therefore Putin must have stolen the leaks and put them out, to make America weaker, not stronger, by helping the Trump campaign by showing the DNC’s dirty tricks toward Bernie’s followers.

Then Assange did an Internet interview and implied that it was not a cyberwar attack but a leak – indicating that it came from an insider inn the DNC. If this is true, then the Democrats are simply trying to blame it all on Trump – diverting attention from what the leaks’ actual content!

But contrary to DNC efforts, same level of anger as drove Brexit vote now is developing in regard Hillary Clinton candidacy as the establishment choice. That means that for many people voting for Trump is just an opportunity to lob a hand grenade into establishment. And you can't underestimate the number of people who would greatly enjoy this act of defiance. So in a way it is impossible for Hillary to attract large chunk of population to anti-Trump platform as Trump is automatically by people choice is running as anti-Hillary candidate.

Moreover Hillary Clinton is a war criminal, if we apply to her the standards of Nuremberg trials, so voting for her is also a crime. Yet neoliberal media tries to shove Hillary down the US voters throats, demonizing him using all dirty tricks they know. Patrick J. Buchanan put it best "This was the year Americans rose up to pull down the establishment in a peaceful storming of the American Bastille."(Yes, the System Is Rigged The American Conservative):

“I’m afraid the election is going to be rigged,” Donald Trump told voters in Ohio and Sean Hannity on Fox News. And that hit a nerve. “Dangerous,” “toxic,” came the recoil from the media. Trump is threatening to “delegitimize” the election results of 2016.

Well, if that is what Trump is trying to do, he has no small point. For consider what 2016 promised and what it appears about to deliver. This longest of election cycles has rightly been called the Year of the Outsider. It was a year that saw a mighty surge of economic populism and patriotism, a year when a 74-year-old Socialist senator set primaries ablaze with mammoth crowds that dwarfed those of Hillary Clinton. It was the year that a non-politician, Donald Trump, swept Republican primaries in an historic turnout, with his nearest rival an ostracized maverick in his own Republican caucus, Senator Ted Cruz. More than a dozen Republican rivals, described as the strongest GOP field since 1980, were sent packing. This was the year Americans rose up to pull down the establishment in a peaceful storming of the American Bastille.

... ... ...

Instructions are going out to Republican leaders that either they dump Trump, or they will cease to be seen as morally fit partners in power.

It testifies to the character of Republican elites that some are seeking ways to carry out these instructions, though this would mean invalidating and aborting the democratic process that produced Trump. But what is a repudiated establishment doing issuing orders to anyone?

Why is it not Middle America issuing the demands, rather than the other way around? Specifically, the Republican electorate should tell its discredited and rejected ruling class: If we cannot get rid of you at the ballot box, then tell us how, peacefully and democratically, we can be rid of you?

You want Trump out? How do we get you out? The Czechs had their Prague Spring. The Tunisians and Egyptians their Arab Spring. When do we have our American Spring?

The Brits had their “Brexit,” and declared independence of an arrogant superstate in Brussels. How do we liberate ourselves from a Beltway superstate that is more powerful and resistant to democratic change? Our CIA, NGOs and National Endowment for Democracy all beaver away for “regime change” in faraway lands whose rulers displease us. How do we effect “regime change” here at home?

Donald Trump’s success, despite the near-universal hostility of the media, even much of the conservative media, was due in large part to the public’s response to the issues he raised.

Would this really be what a majority of Americans voted for in this most exciting of presidential races? “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable,” said John F. Kennedy. The 1960s and early 1970s were a time of social revolution in America, and President Nixon, by ending the draft and ending the Vietnam war, presided over what one columnist called the “cooling of America.”

Below the belt attacks on Trump by neoliberal MSM

You need to be a very courageous person to fight against neocons. They already launched several below the belt attacks on Trump. More to follow. some were pretty damaging:

The utter hysteria about Trump in neoliberal MSM like NYT is very illuminating. They really feel the danger to neoliberal globalization from Trump and as the result the neoliberal  media is outperforming anything envisioned by Orwell. It brazenly lies, censors the truth and spins every fact, still pretending to be objective, independent and balanced.

At the same part population, who was (successfully) fed with neoliberal lies about shared prosperity and that brazen enrichment of the top 0.1% lifts all boats for the last 35 years is  no longer receptive to neoliberal propaganda. Many Americans outside top 10% have allergic reaction to neoliberal globalization and loss connected with it loss of jobs, which destroys or at lest undermines attempts to brainwash them by neoliberal MSM.

That's why neoliberal media's engage in constant paranoid exaggeration of Trump speeches, words and twits. Nice example was hysterias about Trump  request (probably make to provoke the MSM) to Putin to provide deleted by Hillary emails. Looks like neoliberal presstitutes are getting desperate as the realization sets in: Trump 2016!

And that's why they are pushing "Crooked Hillary" (by apt definition of Trump ;-) as the only viable candidate. As if without her there is no tomorrow for them and their cushy jobs can be threatened, much like job of ordinary Americans.  If you read NYT the impression is that Trump is madman, a dyed-in-the-wool nationalist (and racist), danger of whom is equal or exceed the danger of Mussolini, or even Hitler. In reality Hillary can be considered to be a war criminal, the lowest possible type of politicians. So much like in case of absolute zero, there can't be more evil politician even in principle.

But reading NYT you will not often see combination of words a "neocon" and Hillary. She will be presented via rose grasses and her ugly personality traits (which led to multiple suggestions that she might be a female sociopath) will be carefully hidden. Any demonstration of recklessness and somewhat psychopathic personality, her pathological jingoism, will be described as an admirable attributes indicative of a strong leader the same way the psychopathic personalities of her male counterparts are described as the attribute of "masters of statecraft" (the term which under neoliberalism became synonymous with bombing small helpless nations, who happen to have natural resources, valuable for transactionals, and bailing out transnational banks, when they overpay their hand with derivatives).

Sometimes I catch myself on the thought that neoliberal MSM outdid MSM of the USSR in their ability to distort the reality and conduct vicious propaganda campaigns directed on elimination of anybody threatening status quo. With generally better success in brainwashing the population.

In foreign policy Hillary Clinton is no different than your garden variety Republican, including Senator McCain or any of prominent neocons such as Wolfowitz, Robert Kagan and his wife. In other words she is another died in the wool neocon. Probably to the right of Jeb "I like Wolfowitz Doctrine" Bush, who as one of the signers of PNAC key document is difficult to match. So, in a way, Cold War II is guaranteed if she wins, because the elite needs an external threat to keep the nation united despite economic troubles connected with the sunset of neoliberalism as well as it hallmark -- ruthless looting of the nation by financial oligarchy, who is out of control and owns the government via "deep state" structures.

Again MSM in the USA tend to personalize the most important political issues (identity politics). That gives them opportunity to hide real issues facing the nation under smoke screen of personal invectives. The real issue during this election is a referendum of neoliberal globalization. that's what MSM try to bury in the smokescreen of identity politics, Look how "Back life matters" movement was played.

Increase use of misinformation and dirty tricks as the cornerstone of neoliberal candidates campaign strategy in a post-factual world (virtual reality) created by neoliberal MSM is not new. This is how in 2004 corrupt MSM got rid of Howard Dean in Democratic Party primaries (see Howard Dean's Scream - YouTube). Directed microphones were used to amplify the scream to make it outrageous (and then neoliberal MSM pitched the hysteria to ensure the necessary effect).

But the same disinformation campaign and dirty tricks did now work recently in the Brexit vote. And those neoliberal presstitutes were really dirty --  just look at Guardian campaign against Brexit. The power of neoliberalism (like previously the power of communism) is in total monination of media space. So in case of Brexit neoliberals have betted on the power of fantasy over fact. They failed.

Now all neoliberal guns are pointed at Trump. And some of those presstitutes are pretty talented. Just look also how Stephen Colbert tried to eliminate Trump as the candidate in  Best moments from presidential debates - YouTube. If you do not understand that this is pretty similar to promoting Kerry over Dean, listen again. When propaganda is close to what you feel whatever you feel is true, you are easily deceived. and it is very difficult for anyone to tell the difference between what is true and what is not -- media creates artificial reality in which we live. They can amplify whatever they wish and present for us as facts, while they are not. That will be found much later, when it will be too late.

the hysteria with Melania speech plagiarism of a couple of sentences from Michelle Obama speech is also pretty illuminating. In both cases speeches were written by somebody else so this all the content is plagiarism -- not just two sentences. But this artificial outrage was wiped up to cosmic proportion. How they dare to take a couple of sentences from such a deep thinker as Michelle Obama and put it in their own speech (in fact those sentences reflected Melania experience pretty well - - that's why they were taken ;-)

But no, thousand of reporters from neoliberal MSM like a pack of rabid dogs started to pursue this triviality with a single goal to damage Trump campaign for President.  None of them demonstrated an equal zeal in coverage of Hillary bathroom serverClinton Cash scandals -- a much more worthwhile themes. Hillary deteriorating health is also not very interesting topic for them. Even recent sexual adventures of Bill Clinton, which would attack them like flied to honey, if this would be Trump, did not interested them much.  As Scott McConnell aptly noted (The American Conservative, July 20, 2016):

Much of the morning of the second day of the Republican Convention was taken up by the Melania speech flap. It’s an odd world. One can understand how it was news: there are thousands of reporters chasing any news, especially news embarrassing to Trump. One can imagine that if Jackie Kennedy inadvertently mouthed some earnest and eloquent platitudes that another speechwriter had previously prepared for a different celebrity, few would have noticed, and certainly few would have made a case of it. It might have been mentioned in an aside in a column.

Melania’s reading of secondhand words is not entirely insignificant. Of course the “plagiarism” case was the result of poor staff work, and it’s not unreasonable to wonder if it’s symptomatic of a more general confusion at the heart of the Trump campaign. If they can’t get Melania’s speech right, and they didn’t, who is going be in charge of implementing the Iran deal, or dealing with the Turkish coup aftermath, or trying to be a good friend to a Europe undergoing worse crises than we are? You can look at the Donald Trump operation and not come away with obviously reassuring answers.

You can see that in hunt for anti-Trump sensation MSM amplified the real but rather small problem with Melanie speech. "Lifting" a couple of sentences from somebody else speech is not a big crime. Of cause this is an immoral act, but let's see with whom we compare Melania -- with Hillary, who is a compulsive liar. Melania with all her transgressions is not. Now you see the problem. They use two difficult standard, because if we apply "Melania standard" to Hillary, MSM should bury her alive. There were a couple of sentences that closely resemble each other (so what; she is not an elected official and does not pretend on any official post; if we views this as a type of lie -- pretending that those words are your own what they actually are not -- compare with the amount of lie of Hillary Clinton. But the content of the speeches is vastly different. Still charge of plagiarism stuck. Unapt denial of Trump reps helped to amplify the issue further and exaggerations of this tiny, unimportant fact. And this hysteria was amplified by neoliberal MSM very skillfully -- this minor episode was on front pages for two days in the raw. As if there no other problems with DNC. What a despicable presstitutes --

They try to hide the danger that yet another globalist war for opening natural resources and labor resources of other countries for transnationals which will be unleashed by Hillary. Who already managed to vote of Iraq war, and royally rape Ukraine , Libya and Syria. This is real issues facing the USA, and it trivial facts about the personalities involved, that neoliberal MSM triy to present as the essence of campaign.  It is about existence of two different factions of the US elite: globalist part that now dominant and smaller weaker nationalist part what is now on the upswing and enjoys the support of the majority of the population.

Another dirty trick is bombardment of voters with the results of polls. 24 x7. It is well known that the key idea of polls is to influence electorate. Not to inform, but to influence. In the USA, like in the USSR, MSM are fully engaged in this dirty game.

The psychological mechanism behind this dirty game is based on deeply rooted human tendency to side with the (presumptive) winner. MSM fake the desirable for the elite result (or at least distort actually picture) and that automatically conditions those who is still undecided to vote for "presumptive winner", or not to vote. The latter in the spirit of inverted totalitarism is preferable for elite result -- making each elite voter (who always vote, as this is about their power) more valuable. Please note half of the US population does not vote. But anger might brings them out. John Pilger gave a good picture of behaviour of MSM in his recent article The Brexit Rejection of Neoliberal Tyranny ( Consortiumnews, ).

To this end neoliberal MSM been lying about Trump and consistently misrepresenting his statements to present them in the worst possible light.

Neoliberal MSM been lying about Trump and consistently misrepresenting his statements to present them in the worst possible light

MSM also try to co-opt Trump voters:

On the eve of the convention, Ross Douthat and Reihan Salam—respected, young, mainstream conservative intellectuals—published an essay in the New York Times that was largely Trumpian in its prescriptions, calling for less immigration, less foreign military intervention, more tax policy favoring the middle and working classes. Designed to appeal to the real interests of Trump voters.

Yet the two cast their piece as “anti-Trump,” calling Trump a demagogue, and assuming that he couldn’t possibly implement their agenda. It’s a loss to Trump that he hasn’t won over people who so largely agree with him, but a sign too of the remaining power of the Republican establishment, which can make even people who mostly agree with Trump unable—so far—to see themselves as potential Trump backers.

CNN went as far as to hire Corey Lewandowski, former manager of Trump political campaign (CNN's Revolving Door of Political Hackery)

Widespread outrage erupted in late June over CNN's hiring of Corey Lewandowski, just four days after he was fired as Donald Trump's chief of staff. Lewandowski is a controversial figure, and not merely because he was heading up a campaign fueled by bigotry and fear. In March he was charged with simple battery for making physical contact with a reporter (though these charges were later dropped). Moreover, his utility as a CNN contributor is clearly limited -- if not worthless -- since he is reported to have signed a non-disclosure agreement that bars him from saying anything disparaging about Trump or discussing anything he did during the campaign.

CNN staffers were said to be enraged -- but within a week, CNN's newest contributor was on television using his soapbox to explain away another one of Trump's very public and obvious appeals to bigotry. That CNN felt it needed to hire an election commentator who can't say anything critical about Trump may seem strange, but it corresponds with CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker's stated desire to push CNN to the right. Even Fox News has taken the moral "high ground" in this situation: It has blasted CNN and the decision at least twice.

But hiring Lewandowski is not an anomaly -- it is business as usual for CNN and other cable news networks. When covering elections, CNN and its competitors rely largely on former political hacks as paid contributors. They also commonly employ active lobbyists with inherent conflicts of interest that are rarely disclosed.

What we are dealing with is a Revolving Door of Political Hackery between campaigns, the media and lobbyists. As we enter the final stretch of the 2016 election season, this revolving door has been spinning rapidly, especially with GOP staffers heading to CNN. This reliance on beltway insiders and industry surrogates is among the many reasons why campaign coverage is so often woefully lacking in substance.

At the same time the fact that some Sanders voters are inclined to vote for Trump is undeniable. And that does not excites neoliberal MSM such as rabidly pro-Clinton Wapo (which now is owned by Amazon mogul Jeff Bezos). It does not even pretend to being objective. Just look at some headlines: 

MSM ravings about Trump supporters being ‘white nationalists’ is a grotesque affront to everyone, especially the 23% of Hispanics happen to support Trump, as well as some percent of black vote and other minorities. In neoliberal MSM narrow universe the millions of American Trump supports are all either bigots, or blind, and that evidently includes a number of Americans in the US military who also support Trump. The US airman who punched out the Trump protestor wearing a KKK costume at a Trump rally happened to be African-American. Do you think he was happy being portrayed as a KKK supporter by people like you and the clown in the costume?

Khan gambit at the Democratic convention

If you look closer at what’s being said by the Democratic camp, including by no less than Obama himself, they seem to be using Kahn gambit -- a prepared, scripted swift boating of Trump -- playing a collective Joseph McCarthy at the moment. The next stage was accusing Trump of collusion with Putin and telling amusing lies along the way ( I wonder when they will discover the connection of Melannia and Putin). A prominent neoliberal Krugman has summarily denounced the whole white Christian “tribe” is unpatriotic.

I would take Khizr Khan’s speech at the DNC more seriously if he had also taken the courageous stance of calling out Hillary Clinton as a bloodthirsty neoliberal warmonger in the manner of Cindy Sheehan. Hillary’s vote for the Iraqi invasion is more relevant her in a sense of the direct cause-and-effect line of his son’s death than any actions by Trump. To chastise one candidate on trump-up charges omitting real and undeniable sins of the other candidate (Hillary) is lacking any trace of nobility or decency. This was swift boating -- a preplanned trap instantly amplified into national tragedy proportion by neoliberal presstitutes in major MSM. this was it became just another act of the campaign of demonization of Trump. Obama behavior in Singapore was especially disgusting. He allowed himself to bash Trump in Singapore on trumped up charges which is a clear violation of diplomatic etiquette:

"I don't doubt their sincerity. I don't doubt they were outraged by some of the statements that Mr. Trump and his supporters made about the Khan family," Obama said, speaking of Republican leaders, a number of whom spoke out against Trump's remarks about the Khan family. "But there has to come a point in which you say, 'Somebody who makes those kinds of statements doesn't have the judgment, the temperament, the understanding to occupy the most powerful position in the world.'"

The most humiliating aspect of "Khan gambit" is how easily Trump was lured into this trap (essentially Swiftboating): looks like he organically is unable not to reply on false accusations, no matter how unfounded they are. At the same time understanding that Trump was lured into a trap should not be used for promoting xenophobia.

The idea of swiftboating is very simple: negative information repeated many times by MSM stick and create doubts in the candidate attacked. They produce the necessary effect even if later is discovered that they are completely false. From Wikipedia

The term swiftboating (also swift-boating or swift boating) is a pejorative American neologism used to describe an unfair or untrue political attack. The term is derived from the name of the organization "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" (SBVT, later the Swift Vets and POWs for Truth) because of their widely publicized—and later discredited—campaign against 2004 U.S. presidential candidate John Kerry.[1][2][3][4]

Since the political smear campaign[2][5][6][7][8] that the group conducted against Kerry, the term has come into common use to refer to a harsh attack by a political opponent that is dishonest, personal, and unfair.[9][10] The Swift Boat Veterans and media pundits objected to this use of the term to define a smear campaign.[11][12]

Now we can tell with almost 100% certainty that Khan gambit was pre-planned by DNC as two stage swift boating style attack on Trump, similar to one of Kerry:

The subsequent neoliberal MSM witch hunt was an important part of the Khan gambit and should be viewed exclusively in general context of the efforts to demonize and discredit Trump. It was clear this swift boating attack was performed on behave of Hillary Clinton handlers (Hillary Clinton in her current health state is just a figurehead, a patsy of the forces that defend neoliberal globalization, which include Bill Clinton and Wall Street banks). They even used Obama, who forgot about the danger of throwing stones in a glass house (Obama is a self-confessed former cocaine addict who might well be on high during Benghazi incident and during his Olympics' interview). Americans did elect a former cocaine addict in 2008 and then in 2012. So why not Trump? Still Obama risked opening this can of worms by blabbing about the preparation to the position of POTUS. In reality former addict is never the best choice but look how skillfully this issue (trusting the former cocaine addict a nuclear button) was hashed by neoliberal press (Obama's Cocaine Confessional Won't 'Blow' His Chances - ABC News):

At the moment, Republican strategists and Clinton loyalists share a common dream, an identical yearning and an increasingly forlorn hope: wishing with prayerful fervor for some revelation or scandal or personal weakness that will block Barack Obama's candidacy for president.

In that context, The Washington Post raises the pre-emptive question of the senator's direct confession (in his intimate memoir, "Dreams of My Father") that he used cocaine and marijuana in high school and college.

Much to the disappointment of his rivals in both parties, these disclosures stand no chance of derailing his potential campaign and may end up adding to Obama's unconventional appeal.

First of all, Obama is hardly the first prominent politician to acknowledge youthful indiscretions involving illegal drugs. Fourteen years ago, Bill Clinton easily survived his discussions of smoking marijuana, and drew far more criticism for his dodgy, weasel-words regarding his experience ("I smoked, but I didn't inhale") than for his one-time exposure to the demon weed.

Al Gore also admitted to dope indulgence (and reportedly became a heavy user at Harvard, which may help explain the spectacularly weird workings of his mind) as did Newt Gingrich and John Kerry. George W. Bush refused to share specifics of his own drug experience beyond a general acknowledgment of a rowdy youth ("when I was young and stupid, I was young and stupid"). Still, he did little to contradict ubiquitous reports of his consumption of booze, marijuana and even cocaine.

The utter hysteria about Trump in neoliberal MSM like NYT is very illuminating. From comments in discussion of Crooked Timber:

kidneystones, 08.08.16 at 11:36 pm

The NYT argues that some truths needed to be sacrificed for the greater good of keeping the candidate ‘we’ don’t like out of office.

... ... ...

Democrats waving the bloody shirt and suddenly discovering the purity of gold-star families is very much on-topic. As is the bias of the press. Romney was deemed entirely unfit to be president in precisely the same way as the current candidate is. Romney’s great crime? Laughing about killing people? Nope. Invading nations, or abusing national security? Uh-uh. Strapping the family dog to the roof of his car.

Because when weighing the big issues in American presidential elections: Pets Lives Matter!!

kidneystones, 08.08.16 at 11:42 pm

Lanny Davis, longtime Clinton ally and DNC hack, explaining in great detail ( on Fox no less) why the Romney dog story makes the Republican candidate (is a Mormon the same as an atheist, Debbie?) unfit for the office of the President. foxnews.com

Rich 08.14.16 at 6:14 pm 855

...I have said that I could never vote for her because of Iraq. It was a political calculation for her. Never bought the bullshit about ‘if I knew then…’ Yeah sure bitch. Then, I was swayed by the lesser evil argument telling me not be an idealist asshole. Buy, now comes the Kissinger wet kiss, and the Negroponte handjob, now the Clinton campaign is seen in the hacked emails she wants to go easy on down ballot republicans. Letting them off the hook for creating the conditions for Trump to emerge. This is the last straw for me. Fuck her, I will not vote for her.

For those of you so afraid of Trump that you will hold your nose at the polls, I have only one thing to say.

Y’all a bunch a sniveling fearful pussies. We survived a bloody civil war. We survived WW2. We survived the Soviets. Was it over when the Japan bombed Pearl Harbor? No. And it ain’t over now. Yes it will be a bad 4 years. It will be an embarrassment. But Trump is a childish half-educated buffoon. Do you really think the JCS will hand him the nuke codes and launch on his order? I don’t.

So suck it up and get rid of Clinton and her destructive new democrats for good.

They are organically unable to turning a critical lens on the presidential candidate who supported the war that killed Khan's son. They really feel the danger to neoliberal globalization from Trump and at this point "gloves comes off" -- the neoliberal media is outperforming anything envisioned by Orwell. It brazenly lies, censors the truth and spins every fact, still pretending to be objective, independent and balanced. "War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength. -1984". And the "permanent war for permanent peace" that Hillary and other neoliberal interventionists advocate is the only viable path forward fro the nation. Bacevich discussed this issue of dominance of "New American Militarism" at length in his books, articles and speeches. See also in depth analysis of this issue by Ted Rall in his brilliant (simply brilliant !) article Khizr Khan and The Triumph of Democratic Militarism(UNZ Review, Aug 2, 2016). Here are some relevant quotes:

"... A week ago corporate media gatekeepers managed to transform the Democratic National Committee internal emails released by WikiLeaks from what it really was – scandalous proof that Bernie Sanders and his supporters were right when they said the Democratic leadership was biased and had rigged the primaries against them ..."
"... Hillary's vote for an illegal war of choice that was sold with lies, was a major contributing factor to the death of Captain Khan, thousands of his comrades, and over a million Iraqis. Iraq should be a major issue in this campaign - against her. ..."
"... Instead, it's being used by his parents and the Democratic Party to bait Donald Trump into a retro-post-9/11 "Support Our Troops" militaristic trap. Khan, you see, was " defending his country ." ..."
"... (How anyone can say U.S. soldiers in Iraq, part of an invasion force thousands of miles away where no one threatens the United States, are "defending" the U.S. remains a long-running linguistic mystery.) ..."
"... "Hillary Clinton was right when she called my son 'the best of America,'" Khizr Khan told the convention. Unfortunately, the moniker can't apply to once-and-possible-future-first-daughter Chelsea Clinton, who never considered a military career before collecting $600,000 a year from NBC News for essentially a no-show job. But anyway… ..."
"... "If it was up to Donald Trump, he never would have been in America," Khizr Khan continued. The cognitive dissonance makes my head spin. ..."
"... "Let me ask you: Have you even read the U.S. Constitution?" asked Khizr, who is originally from Pakistan ..."
"... A good question. While we're at it, however, where does it say in the U.S. Constitution that the president can send troops overseas for years at a time without a formal congressional declaration of war? Where does it say that the United States can attack foreign countries that have done it no harm and have never threatened it? ..."
"... As you'd expect Trump, he of little impulse control, has handled this about as poorly as possible. Asked about Khizr Khan's remark that Trump hasn't made any sacrifices, he idiotically attempted to compare his business dealings with the death of a son. Still, you have to grudgingly admire Trump for fighting back against a guy you are officially not allowed to say anything mean about. ..."
"... Democrats have successfully appropriated images of patriotism and "optimism" – scare quotes because this is not the kind of actual optimism in which you think things are going to actually get better, but the bizarro variety in which you accept that things will really never get better so you'd might as well accept the status quo – from the Republicans. This is part of Hillary Clinton's strategy of taking liberal Democrats for granted while trying to seduce Republicans away from Trump. ..."
"... The Khan episode marks a high water mark for post-9/11 knee-jerk militarism. Even the "liberal" party whose sitting incumbent two-term president captured the White House by running against the Iraq war demands that everyone fall to their knees in order to pay homage to the "good" Muslims - those willing to go to the Middle East to kill bad ones. ..."
"... Next time you see a panel of experts discussing a foreign crisis, pay attention: does anyone argue against intervention? No. The debate is always between going in light and going in hard: bombs, or "boots on the ground." Not getting involved is never an option. As long as this militaristic approach to the world continues, the United States will never have enough money to take care of its problems here at home, and it will always be hated around the world. ..."
"... Most Americans believe the Iraq war was a mistake . Who speaks for us? No one in the media. And no one in mainstream politics. ..."
"... Trump's proposal to ban Muslims can't possibly be racist because Muslims are not a race. If the US were to ban European devotees of a white supremacist pagan cult - such cults do exist, and the US has every right to ban its devotees if it so chooses - nobody would bat an eye. ..."
"... The vote to authorize the war in Iraq was in 2002. Khan's DNC speech was 14 years later (and 12 years after his son was killed), not 8 years later. ..."
"... "The rest of us who makes heroes of our dead…" "Perpetuate war by exalting sacrifice…" watch-v=reUstMn4bM8 ..."
"... "Most Americans believe the Iraq war was a mistake. Who speaks for us? No one in the media. And no one in mainstream politics." The last sentence is incorrect. Donald Trump repeatedly said the war was a mistake, even at times when it could have landed him in serious trouble. ..."

At the same time the mood of the majority of the US population and its attitude toward neoliberal globalization changed. People no longer trust the neoliberal elite and neoliberal media. Obama was probably the last "wolf is sheep cloth" who managed to "bait and switch" the US electorate. Now the slogan as for TPP should be the same as in Spanish civil war: "¡No Pasarán!". Even on this particular topic a talk about ABC, CNN, MSNBC objectivity already invoke sardonic laugher from most people. They are all despicable presstitutes, serving to their corporate masters, devoid of any trace of objectivity in their desperate attempts to push Hillary into White House, by whatever means possible.

And this new, more critical mood of the 90% of US population means that it is more difficult to achieve a lasting effect via Khan gambit as well as to continue to sell neoliberal globalization to regular Americans despite all efforts by neoliberal propaganda honchos. Because all Khan gambit is designed fpr is to put Hillary in White House and preserve NAFTA, TPP, revocation of Glass-Steagall and other cornerstones of neoliberal globalization.

Many US citizens already developed strong allergic reaction to neoliberal MSM, much like the population of the USSR developed allergy to communist propaganda. Declining standard of living destroys attempts of neoliberal media to brainwash the population about the benefits of globalization outside top 10% of population that really benefits form it. That's why neoliberal media was forced on the "war trail" and is engaging in constant paranoid exaggeration of Trump speeches, words and twits. It is also amplifying any attacks on Trump, as is the case with Khan speech. This is a textbook example about how the demonization of the opponent works. But Hillary herself is living in a glass house funded by Goldman Sachs and should be throwing no stones.

Nice example was hysterias about Melania Trump plagiarism and about Trump request (probably made to provoke the MSM) to Putin to provide deleted by Hillary from her private "bathroom" mail server emails. But those demolishing Trump pieces have little or no effect. And neoliberal presstitutes are getting desperate as the realization sets in: Trump 2016!

The only chance for Hillary (with her mounting health issues) to win election is to completely demonize Trump. On her own she has little or no chances, as most of Americans are tied of dynasties (with Bush II being a real disaster, that got us into Iraq war). So neoliberal MSM are using standard demonization process template that is so successfully was against foreign leaders (see Demonization of Putin) that the USA neoliberal establishment does not like. This is the root of Khan gambit designed and implemented by DNC. the same DNC that stole nomination from Bernie Sanders by using all kind of dirty tricks and illegal media alliances. Now the are trying to do the same with Trump. In this sense Khan is just a pawn, used and thrown out. As Khan, who was brought to the podium by DNC strategists, he should remember this famous quote: “The Moor has done his duty the Moor can go”. (The Moors were a Muslim people who established a civilization in North Africa and Spain between the 8th and the 15th century A.D.) Like in case with DNC leaks, the Democratic nomenklatura is always evasive when it comes to answering uncomfortable questions and will throw him under the bus if uncomfortable emails surface. Clinton has never been sentimental with its allies and in the absence of vital interests or mere presence of danger were dumping them from the chess board as unnecessary figures.

You need to be a very courageous person to fight against neocons. They already launched several below the belt attacks on Trump. But his last was probably the most successful, if you can call swift boarding a success.

MSM anti-Russian hysteria as a smoke screen to mask the divisions within Democratic Party

When GOP "dirt diggers" questioned Obama academic record, his birth certificate, his strange past, and claimed that Obama was a secret Manchurian candidate injected into US political stream by CIA "very important people" in MSM guffawed and had a good laugh accusing those who hold this view of paranoia. When Dem neoliberals and their EU (especially British) pals claim that Trump is a secret Manchurian candidate eager to execute orders of Putin the same "very important people" in MSM nod approvingly and loudly worry that Americans might elect a pawn of Putin. (dailymail.co.uk)

In his post Is Russia our enemy? Colonel W. Patrick Lang is a retired senior officer of U.S. Military Intelligence and U.S. Army Special Forces (The Green Berets) aptly stated:
The Democratic Party convention and the media are full of the assumption that Russia is the enemy of the United States. What is the basis for that assumption?

The Obama Administration is apparently committed to a pre-emptive assertion that Russia is a world class committed enemy of the United States. The Borgist media fully support that.

We should all sober up.

The Russian theme has become one of the most important in Hillary presidential campaign and she unsurprisingly is engaged in full-scale anti-Russian hysteria.
Hillary joined ranks with neocons, military-industrial complex and plain-vanilla Russophobes (katehon.com, Jul 28. 2016):

Speaking at a press conference in Florida, Trump called on Russia to hand over the 30,000 emails "missing" from the Hillary Clinton's email server in the US. Their absence is a clear sign that Clinton destroyed evidence proving that she used her personal e-mail server to send sensitive information. Democrats immediately accused Trump of pandering to Russian hackers, although in reality the multi-billionaire rhetorically hinted that the data that Clinton hid from the American investigation is in the hands of foreign intelligence services. So, Clinton is a possible target for blackmail.

Trump's statement that he is ready to discuss the status of Crimea and the removal of anti-Russian sanctions caused even more noise. This view is not accepted either in the Democrat or in the Republican mainstream. Trump also said that Vladimir Putin does not respect Clinton and Obama, while Trump himself hopes to find a common language with him. Trump appreciates Putin's leadership and believes that the US must work together with Russia to deal with common threats, particularly against Islamic extremism.
Hide The establishment's tantrum

Both Democrats and Republicans are taking aim at Trump. The vice-presidential candidate, Mike Pence, made threats to Russia. The head of the Republican majority in Congress, Paul Ryan, became somewhat hysterical. He said that Putin is "a thug and should stay out of these elections."

It is Putin personally, and the Russian security services, who are accused of leaking correspondences of top employees of the National Committee of the Democratic Party. This unverified story united part of the Republicans and all of the Democrats, including the Clinton and Barack Obama themselves. Trump supporters note that the Russian threat is used to divert attention from the content of these letters. And these show the fraud carried out during the primaries which favored Hillary Clinton.
Hide The pro-American candidate

The "Russian scandal" demonstrates that on the one hand the thesis of the normalization of relations with Russia, despite the propaganda, is becoming popular in US society. It is unlikely that Donald Trump has made campaign statements that are not designed to gain the support of the public in this election. On the other hand - Trump - a hard realist, like Putin, is not pro-Russian, but a pro-American politician, and therefore the improvement of relations with Russia in his eyes corresponds to the US's national interests. Trump has never to date done anything that would not be to his advantage. Sometimes he even said he would order US fighter jets to engage with Russian ones, and declared he would have a hard stance in relations with Russia.

Another thing is that his understanding of US national interests is fundamentally different from the dominant American globalist elite consensus. For Trump, the US should not be the source of a global liberal remaking of the world, but a national power, which optimizes its position just as efficiently as any commercial project. And in terms of optimizing the position of the United States, he says there should be a normal American interaction with Putin and Russia in the field of combating terrorism and preventing the sliding of the two countries into a global war. He claims this is to be the priority instead of issues relating to the promotion of democracy and the so-called fight against "authoritarian regimes".

Bullsh**t that the US MSM are now propagating is essentially a variation of the old theme "The Russians are Coming". Here is nice satire on the topic (washingtonsblog.com):

MC: President Putin, did the Russian government hack the DNC email server and then publically release those emails through Wikileaks the day before the Democratic convention?

Putin: Yes.

MC: Yes! Are you serious?

Putin: I’m quite serious.

MC: How can you justify this open meddling in United States politics?

MC: How can you justify this open meddling in United States politics?

Putin: Your question should be what took Russia so long. The US oligarchs and their minions surround us with military bases and nuclear missiles, damage our trade to Europe, and seek to destabilize our domestic politics. These emails are nothing in the big picture. But they’re sort of funny, don’t you agree?

MC: I’m not sure that funny is the right word. What do you mean by that?

Putin: You’ve got Hillary Clinton running as a strong and independent woman. Of course, nobody would know who she is had she not married Bill Clinton. She’s not independent. Quite the contrary. She had to marry a philandering redneck to get to where she is. When it comes to strength, I can say only this. How strong can you be if you have to cheat and create a rigged game to win the nomination?

MC: Anything else about your leak to cheer us up?

Putin: This situation is the epitome of ironic humor. After the emails were released, the focus was all on DNC Chair and Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz. That’s fine for now but what happens when people start asking why Wasserman-Schultz had the DNC screw Sanders and boost Hillary? Did she just wake up one day and decide this on her own?. Not likely. She was and remains Hillary’s agent. It will take people a while to arrive that answer. When enough people hear about Wasserman-Schultz’s key role in the Clinton campaign, everything will be clear. It’s adios Hillary. That inevitable conclusion, by the way, is the reason the DNC made such a big deal about Russia hacking the DNC. That was diversion one right out of the gate.

DNC and Clinton are going to push the Russian card very hard in anticipation of further stories and revelations of corruption, money laundering, etc. Technical analysis provided is some idiotic, entry level nonsense. And it should ne complete dulsh*t as those cases are very complex and can used smokescreen -- deflecting attention from a read source (for example Israel) to Russians (Israel has large Russian speaking population, that is well represented in security services of the country).

When the USA opened this can of worm with Stixnet (discovered around mid 2010) and Flame (discovered around 2012), they did not expect a blowback. Now it start coming: it is simply impossible to secure "normal" Microsoft-based IT system against any sophisticated adversary. Remember that we live in the period when developed by NSA and "friends" Flame and Stixnet worm are part of the recorded history. And technologies used in them are well studied by all major world three letter agencies. They became a part of their workbook. And the response to their devilishness they generated even more devilish methods of attack of any IT infrastructure based on Microsoft technologies, to say nothing about such low hanging fruit as completely corrupt DNC with semi-competent IT staff using pathetic Microsoft Exchange based email system: (naked capitalism):

However, in this short post I want to focus on a much narrower question: Can we ever know who hacked the DNC email? Because if we can't, then clearly we can't know the Russians did. And so I want to hoist this by alert reader JacobiteInTraining from comments :

Yup, as a former server admin it is patently absurd to attribute a hack to anyone in particular until a substantial amount of forensic work has been done. (read, poring over multiple internal log files…gathering yet more log files of yet more internal devices, poring over them, then – once the request hops out of your org – requesting logfiles from remote entities, poring over *those* log files, requesting further log files from yet more upstream entities, wash rinse repeat ad infinitum).

For example, at its simplest, I would expect a middling-competency hacker to find an open wifi hub across town to connect to, then VPN to server in, say, Tonga, then VPN from there to another box in Sweden, then connect to a PC previously compromised in Iowa, then VPN to yet another anonymous cloud server in Latvia, and (assuming the mountain dew is running low, gotta get cracking) then RDP to the target server and grab as many docs as possible. RAR those up and encrypt them, FTP them to a compromised media server in South Korea, email them from there to someones gmail account previously hacked, xfer them to a P2P file sharing app, and then finally access them later from a completely different set of servers.

In many cases where I did this sort of analysis I still ended up with a complete dead end: some sysadmins at remote companies or orgs would be sympathetic and give me actual related log files. Others would be sympathetic but would not give files, and instead do their own analysis to give me tips. Many never responded, and most IPs ended up at unknown (compromised) personal PCs, or devices where the owner could not be found anyway.

If the hacker was sloppy and left other types of circumstantial evidence you might get lucky – but that demographic mostly points back to script kiddies and/or criminal dweebs – i.e., rather then just surreptitiously exfiltrating the goods they instead left messages or altered things that seemed to indicate their own backgrounds or prejudices, or left a message that was more easily 'traced'. If, of course, you took that evidence at face value and it was not itself an attempt at obfuscation.

Short of a state actor such as an NSA who captures it ALL anyway, and/or can access any log files at any public or private network at its own whim – its completely silly to attribute a hack to anyone at this point.

So, I guess I am reduced to LOL OMG WTF its fer the LULZ!!!!!

And :

Just to clarify on the "…If the hacker was sloppy and left other types of circumstantial evidence…" – this is basically what I have seen reported as 'evidence' pointing to Russia: the Cyrillic keyboard signature, the 'appeared to cease work on Russian holidays' stuff, and the association with 'known Russian hacking groups'.

That's great and all, but in past work I am sure my own 'research' could easily have gotten me 'associated' with known hacking groups. Presumably various 'sophisticated' methods and tools get you closer to possible suspects…but that kind of stuff is cycled and recycled throughout the community worldwide – as soon as anything like that is known and published, any reasonably competent hacker (or org of hackers) is learning how to do the same thing and incorporating such things into their own methods. (imitation being the sincerest form of flattery)

I guess I have a lot more respect for the kinds of people I expect to be getting a paycheck from foreign Intelligence agencies then to believe that they would leave such obvious clues behind 'accidentally'. But if we are going to be starting wars over this stuff w/Russia, or China, I guess I would hope the adults in the room don't go all apesh*t and start chanting COMMIES, THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING!, etc. before the ink is dry on the 'crime'.

The whole episode reminds me of the Sony hack , for which Obama also blamed a demonized foreign power. Interestingly - to beg the question here - the blaming was also based on a foreign character set in the data (though Hangul, not Korean). Look! A clue!

JacobiteInTraining's methodology also reminds me of NC's coverage of Grexit. Symbol manipulators - like those in the Democrat-leaning creative class - often believe that real economy systems are as easy to manipulate as symbol systems are. In Greece, for example, it really was a difficult technical challenge for Greece to reintroduce the drachma, especially given the time-frame, as contributor Clive remorselessly showed. Similarly, it's really not credible to hire a consultant and get a hacking report with a turnaround time of less than a week, even leaving aside the idea that the DNC just might have hired a consultant that would give them the result they wanted (because who among us, etc.) What JacobiteInTraining shows us is that computer forensics is laborious, takes time, and is very unlikely to yield results suitable for framing in the narratives proffered by the political class. Of course, that does confirm all my priors!

Readers, thoughts?

Update Addition by Yves:

Another reader, Hacker, observed (emphasis original):

There is a problem with those who argue that these are sophisticated Nation State attackers and then point to the most basic circumstantial evidence to support their case. I'd bet that, among others, the Israelis have hacked some Russian servers to launch attacks from and have some of their workers on a Russian holiday schedule. Those things have been written about in attack analysis so much over the last 15-20 years that they'd be stupid not to.

Now, I'm not saying the Israelis did it. I'm saying that the evidence provided so far by those arguing it is Russia is so flaky as to prove that the Russia accusers are blinded or corrupted by their own political agenda.

Update [Yves, courtesy Richard Smith] 7:45 AM. Another Medium piece by Jeffrey Carr, Can Facts Slow The DNC Breach Runaway Train? who has been fact-checking this story and comes away Not Happy. For instance:

Thomas Rid wrote:

One of the strongest pieces of evidence linking GRU to the DNC hack is the equivalent of identical fingerprints found in two burglarized buildings: a reused command-and-control address - 176.31.112[.]10 - that was hard coded in a piece of malware found both in the German parliament as well as on the DNC's servers. Russian military intelligence was identified by the German domestic security agency BfV as the actor responsible for the Bundestag breach. The infrastructure behind the fake MIS Department domain was also linked to the Berlin intrusion through at least one other element, a shared SSL certificate.

This paragraph sounds quite damning if you take it at face value, but if you invest a little time into checking the source material, its carefully constructed narrative falls apart.

Problem #1: The IP address 176.31.112[.]10 used in the Bundestag breach as a Command and Control server has never been connected to the Russian intelligence services. In fact, Claudio Guarnieri , a highly regarded security researcher, whose technical analysis was referenced by Rid, stated that "no evidence allows to tie the attacks to governments of any particular country."

Mind you, he has two additional problems with that claim alone. This piece is a must read if you want to dig further into this topic.

NOTES

[1] More than a talking point but, really, less than a narrative. It's like we need a new word for these bite-sized, meme-ready, disposable, "throw 'em against the wall and see if they stick" stories; mini-narrative, or narrativelette, perhaps. "All the crunch of a real narrative, but none of the nutrition!"

[2] This post is not about today's Trump moral panic, where the political class is frothing and stamping about The Donald's humorous (or ballbusting, take your pick) statement that he "hoped" the Russians had hacked the 30,000 emails that Clinton supposedly deleted from the email server she privatized in her public capacity as Secretary of State before handing the whole flaming and steaming mess over to investigators. First, who cares? Those emails are all about yoga lessons and Chelsea's wedding. Right? Second, Clinton didn't secure the server for three months. What did she expect? Third, Trump's suggestion is just dumb; the NSA has to have that data, so just ask them? Finally, to be fair, Trump shouldn't have uttered the word "Russia." He should have said "Liechtenstein," or "Tonga," because it's hard to believe that there's a country too small to hack as fat a target as Clinton presented; Trump was being inflammatory. Points off. Bad show.

Pavel , July 28, 2016 at 4:01 am

For those interested, the excellent interviewer Scott Horton just spoke with Jeffrey Carr, an IT security expert about all this. It's about 30 mins:

Jeffrey Carr, a cyber intelligence expert and CEO of Taia Global, Inc., discusses his fact-checking of Josh Marshall's TalkingPointsMemo article that claims a close alliance between Trump and Putin; and why the individuals blaming Russia for the DNC email hack are more motivated by politics than solid evidence.

–The Scott Horton Show: 7/25/16 Jeffrey Carr

Carr makes the point that even supposed clues about Russian involvement ("the default language is Cyrillic!") are meaningless as all these could be spoofed by another party.

Separately it just shows again Team Clinton's (and DNC's) political deviousness and expertise how they –with the full support of the MSM of course –have managed to deflect the discussion to Trump and Russia from how the DNC subverted US democracy.

pretzelattack , July 28, 2016 at 4:15 am

and again, we see the cavalier attitude about national security from the clinton camp, aggravating the already tense relationship with russia over this bullshit, all to avoid some political disadvantage. clinton doesn't care if russia gets the nuclear launch codes seemingly, but impact her chances to win the race and it's all guns firing.

dk , July 28, 2016 at 4:59 am

"… all these could be spoofed by another party."

Well yeah, and I could be a bot, how do you know I'm not?

Absent any other evidence to work with, I can accept it as credible that a clumsy Russian or Baltic user posted viewed and saved docs instead of the originals; par for the course in public and private bureaucracies the world over. It would have been useful to see the original Properties metadata; instead we get crapped up copies. That only tells me the poster is something of a lightweight, and it at least somewhat suggests that these docs passed through multiple hands.

But that doesn't mean A) the original penetration occurred under state control (or even in Russia proper), much less B) that Putin Himself ordered the hack attempts, which is the searing retinal afterimage that the the media name-dropping and photo-illustrating conflation produces.

Unspoofed, the Cyrillic fingerprints still do not closely constrain conclusion to A, and even less to B.

Another name for the trick DNC used is "Catch a chief" -- a deflection of attention from their own criminal behaviour. But they should now be really afraid about what can come next from Wikileaks or elsewhere. I don't think Hillary was capable to understand how easy it is to find corruption, especially when there's a email trail. And this lack of understanding is a typical feature of a sociopath (http://www.theblaze.com/contributions/could-hillary-clinton-be-a-sociopath/ )

As Guardian reported (The Guardian) Clinton campaign tried old "dog eat my homework" trick blaming everything on Putin and trying to ignore the content of them and the dirty laundry they expose:

Hillary Clinton’s campaign has accused Russia of meddling in the 2016 presidential election, saying its hackers stole Democratic National Committee (DNC) emails and released them to foment disunity in the party and aid Donald Trump.

Clinton’s campaign manager, Robby Mook, said on Sunday that “experts are telling us that Russian state actors broke into the DNC, stole these emails, [and are] releasing these emails for the purpose of helping Donald Trump”.

“I don’t think it’s coincidental that these emails are being released on the eve of our convention here,” he told CNN’s State of the Union, alluding to the party’s four-day exercise in unification which is set to take place this week in Philadelphia.

“This isn’t my assertion,” Mook said. “This is what experts are telling us.”

In a statement, the Clinton campaign repeated the accusation: “This is further evidence the Russian government is trying to influence the outcome of the election.”

Classic scapegoating. As Guardian commenter noted "Why is the (potential) perpetrator of the leak more significant than the content of the leak??

As life exceeds satire, one can imagine that within a week Wikileaks will produce those "missing e-mails". And later Hillary's Wall Street speeches, following the next appeal from Trump.

In any case a major US establishment party explicitly levied it's resources against a candidate it didn't fold when a Mafioso clan liked, and when caught red handed. that's why they instantly tried to change the subject deflecting attention via corrupt and subservant MSM, and focusing on possible links between email hack and Russiainstead. Great journalism!" The Guardian

atopic

I find very I interesting that, somehow, the initial DNC leak story failed to make a headline position (a day late, at that) on the Guardian, but now that it's blown up on other channels, the DNC's ridiculous conspiracy theory/distraction attempt gets top billing here. Ridiculous.

Why is the (potential) perpetrator of the leak more significant than the content of the leak?? A major US establishment party explicitly levied it's resources against a candidate it didn't like, and somehow we're talking about Putin instead. Great journalism.


Chanze Jennings -> atopic

The Guardian has sunk to a new low and has entirely no shame. It's a sad day for journalism when Twitter has more integrity than most news outlets. And they wonder why newspapers are going the way of the Dodo. Remember when real journalists presented stories with little bias and tried hard to stick to the facts?

BTW there are some real experts on this and they have a different opinion. Check comments for the blog post:

http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2016/07/nsa-whistleblower-not-so-fast-on-claims-russia-behind-dnc-email-hack.html

"Hillary as lesser evil" attack on Trump

Shills for Democratic Party try to present Hillary as lesser evil then Trump. But Hillary is a war criminal of a type that in the recent past went to Nuremberg tribunal and as such she represents absolute zero (much like Kelvin scale absolute zero in temperatures) of evilness of politicians. You just can't be more evil. She was instrumental in destroying three countries (Ukraine, Libya and Syria) and killing hundreds of thousand civilians by unleashing civil wars in those countries. Aggressive wars are simply, as Jackson said at Nurnberg, the supreme international crime. You can't go lower then this. The President does have primacy in foreign policy matter and from this point Hillary Clinton should scare an average US voter. But this is not the case because an average US voter sees the US aggressive wars as defensive. Is it fair to consider such US citizens as delusional? Or if they were merely massively and comprehensively brainwashed? Is the Trump Campaign smart enough to wage a 6 months campaign of counter-disinformation warfare? Is he and his team smart enough to "beat Hillary's teeth out of her mouth" on this topic? This is a very interesting question (sic_semper_tyrannis, July 29, 2016).

Jack said in reply to Old Microbiologist...

OM,

"delusional citizens in the US see our aggression as defensive".

This is what happens when citizens have been propagandized for so long. And folks are inherently lazy. They'll buy into whatever whoever they trust say. Do you recall the majority of Americans believed that Saddam had WMD and was in cahoots with AQ and supported the invasion where we would be treated as liberators?

The first time in the recent past there is any dissonance in public discourse has been with Trump.

This time it looks like this time the working class voters vowed to take their revenge at the polls. They now understand that they were taken for a ride by neocons and will never see promised by neoliberal propagandists "prosperity for all", only redistribution of wealth up at their expense. They were disgusted with the neoliberal transformation of the country during previous three administrations and, especially the most dishonest of them -- the king of "bait and switch", neoliberal in democrat cloth Obama, who betrays people who elected him twice in best Bill Clinton traditions. Who now wants to became a venture capitalist himself. Such a "change we can believe in" ;-).

If you did not see Trump Ad Hillary Clinton Crooked Warmonger (Youtube) I recommend you to watch it. It catches the main point: Stakes are too high to elect warmonger like Hillary Clinton

Attempt to court Jewish voters and thus Florida for Hillary

Hysteria about "Star of David" was probably one the most obnoxious demonstration of this trend. This start is commonly used on advertisements. So the ad just imitate advertisements. But they decide to make this about anti-Semitism. For example Trump deletes anti-Clinton corruption ad with Star of David The Times of Israel

Superimposed over piles of cash, presumptive GOP nominee uses Jewish star to attack his Democratic rival, scraps it after backlash

Leveling corruption accusations against rival presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump on Saturday tweeted, then swiftly deleted, an image depicting the Democratic nominee next to a Star of David superimposed over piles of money.

Trump’s image of Clinton surrounded by $100 bills read: “Most corrupt Candidate Ever!” on a six pointed star, a common Jewish and Israeli symbol.

Hillary Clinton’s AIPAC speech was a symphony of craven, delusional pandering.

Here is the entirety of Clinton’s remarks about settlements: “Everyone has to do their part by avoiding damaging actions, including with respect to settlements. Now, America has an important role to play in supporting peace efforts. And as president, I would continue the pursuit of direct negotiations. And let me be clear—I would vigorously oppose any attempt by outside parties to impose a solution, including by the U.N. Security Council.”

She spent significantly more time railing against the “alarming” Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement, which is gaining traction on college campuses nationwide. Pledging to “take our alliance to the next level,” Clinton said that one of the first things she’d do in office is invite the Israeli prime minister to the White House. That was a barely veiled rebuke to Obama, who never treated Benjamin Netanyahu with the deference the prime minister felt entitled to. Before the speech, some had hoped that Clinton might offer a word of solidarity or encouragement to beleaguered progressives in Israel. She gave them nothing.

It’s understandable that Clinton would want to widen the gulf between AIPAC and Donald Trump, the likely Republican nominee. “We need steady hands, not a president who says he’s neutral on Monday, pro-Israel on Tuesday, and who knows what on Wednesday, because everything is negotiable,” she said to applause, out-hawking the man who is running on a platform of Middle Eastern war crimes. In doing so, she offered a bridge to #NeverTrump neoconservatives like Max Boot and Robert Kagan, who has already written that, should Trump be the nominee, “the only choice will be to vote for Hillary Clinton. The party cannot be saved, but the country still can be.”

Anti-Trump neoconservatives, however, are a minuscule group of people. And in seeking their approval, Clinton has further alienated left-wing voters, particularly young ones. Polls show that Americans under 30 are far more critical of Israel than are older voters. Liberal Democrats sympathize more with the Palestinians than they do with Israel. There is already deep suspicion of Clinton’s foreign-policy instincts among Bernie Sanders’ supporters; Clinton doesn’t need to give them new reasons to distrust her.

Foreign Phrase On Bill Clinton's Lapel Pin Sparks Speculation

Former President Bill Clinton on Wednesday was subject to inquiries about his pin shortly after he arrived to watch Vice President Joe Biden’s address. The Forward’s Nathan Guttman shared a Twitter photo of the blue and white pin, which sparked some discussion regarding its potential significance.

“I know it’s Hebrew,” one commenter wrote, “but I can’t make out the letters. Tovah?”

A short time later, a representative of the National Jewish Democratic Council offered some clarity. Steve Rabinowitz explained both he and NJDC Chairman Marc Stanley gave Clinton one of the pins prior to Wednesday evening’s scheduled events. The lapel embellishment reads “Hillary” in Hebrew.

“He said he’d wear it,” Rabinowitz recalled of his encounter with the former president, “but I didn’t know whether or not to believe him and certainly didn’t think he’d do it tonight.”

Bogus "war on woman" and misogyny accusations

If Trump is misogynic, Bill Clinton should be in jail. Now -- But neoliberal MSM would raise any false accusation to hurt candidate who competes with their beloved warmonger -- Hillary Clinton. Who happens to be a woman. So misogyny is a good attack tool against Trump and it is used to the fullest extent possible:

Trump Shushes Aggressive NBC Reporter Katy Tur, Media Flips Lid, Crying 'Sexism'

Every slight is sexist, racist, homophobic, you name it, in the eyes of liberals. Case in point, the media’s overblown response to Donald Trump shushing NBC reporter Katy Tur during Wednesday morning’s press conference. Journalists on Twitter were aghast that Trump dared to interrupt a relentless reporter, while MSNBC’s Tamron Hall likened the exchange to overt sexism, in the age of the first female presidential nominee.

During a press conference this morning, NBC’s Katy Tur, who had been asking multiple questions throughout, was shushed by Donald Trump at one point for continuing to press her question after he briefly answered it then shifted the focus to Hillary Clinton.

”Be quiet” he said mid-sentence to Tur as she kept repeating her question while he was still answering it. Social media blew up at this rather insignificant slight of an aggressive reporter and MSNBC’s Tamron Hall was no different, who got Tur on camera immediately at the press conference’s end on The Place for Poltiics.

Hall led by informing Tur of the “stunning” outrage on Twitter to Trump telling her to “be quiet” and insinuated this was a sign of sexism:

HALL: [B]ut on the day after we saw 102-year-old woman on the floor applaud the first female nominated to a major party, there you are being told to 'be quiet' by the nominee.

“I’m not asking you to make this personal,” Hall insisted repeatedly, (but isn’t that exactly why she brought Tur on?) before she asked her to comment on the question she asked Trump.

... ... ...

What always fails to get brought up is that Trump is universally brusque to reporters regardless of gender and for MSNBC to make this about gender is intellectually dishonest but proof that the “war on women” card is clearly still being utilized in this election.

Previous attack was atchificially inflaced and misrepresenrted remark about Megyn Kelly. Here is a pretty typical attack from POLITICO

Donald Trump cannot remember the last time he apologized.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter published Wednesday, Trump reiterated that he has no regrets about comments he has made early in his campaign that have generated significant backlash. From calling some immigrants coming into the country rapists, to saying Arizona Sen. John McCain was “ a war hero because he was captured,” to his unfinished remark that Fox News debate moderator Megyn Kelly had blood “coming out of her wherever,” Trump does not think he has anything for which he has to be sorry.

“People say, ‘He won’t apologize for anything’ — well, I was right on illegal immigration. McCain blew it because he’s done a poor job of taking care of the veterans. And then the third element so far, you had Megyn Kelly, and I think you’ve seen what happened with that,” Trump said. “I feel quite confident in my position.”

“At the same time,” he qualified, “I believe in apologizing. But to apologize for me is very difficult. I definitely would apologize if I were wrong on something.”

Asked to recall the last thing he apologized for, Trump said that “it was too many years ago to remember,” adding that he has “one of the great memories of all time, but it was too long ago.”

Trump domestic platform

Trump domestic platform is concentrated on creating jobs. The only other two areas were he has defined position is immigration and healthcare reform. In this sense Trump movement is somewhat similar to Peronism: hatred of elites combined with direct appeals to “the forgotten man,” “the silent majority” and “the moral majority”. Among them is Trump uncanny ability to bring broad sectors of US society into his political movement, using for uniting them anger against neoliberal globalization. He advocates restoration of social well being of the US middle class severely damaged during 40 years of neoliberal globalization.

Moreover Trump understands that the people of the USA are tired to pay the costs for maintaining the Global Neoliberal Empire:

It has some nationalist overtones ("Let's make America great again") but, contrary to MSM attempts to paint him black, without any racism, or nationalist bigotry (MSM now try to promote the idea that Trump is an anti-Semite, but this is clear baloney). Proposed by Trump restrictions on immigration are highly pragmatic and temporary in nature. Restriction again Muslim are partially dictated by the level of hate the current US foreign policy generates in Muslim world, so this is purely defensive measure.

Like Peron before him Trump stands far from religious fundamentalist. Peronism was based on three principles: social justice, political sovereignty and economic independence. You see the analogy. And they are actually deeper that just a fight against oligarchic financial capital (What is Peronism):

"... It was under Peron that a version of nationalized state capitalism, and an elimination of foreign investors was initiated in Argentina. He used nationalism, unlike his European counterparts, as a weapon of anti-imperialism. Peronism under Peron was Bonapartist in its manipulation of the social classes on behalf of industrializing an underdeveloped country and challenging dominant American imperialism. His style of leadership was one of a leader who took power in a power vacuum when no single class is in the position do so, and using reformist measures to win the radical support of the more populous class. ..."

"... Peron and Peronism also has to be viewed as a stage in the battle of Latin America for economic independence which is still yet to be achieved with at home the oligarchical structures still intact, and foreign manipulation in the country. ..."

Fight against illegal immigration as new abolitionism

One of the core parts of the Trump platform is restricting illegal (note the word "illegal" immigration. This is similar to fight against slavery (abolitionsm) in the past:

The movement gained new momentum in the early 19th century as many critics of slavery hardened their views and rejected their previous advocacy of gradualism (the slow and steady progress towards the goal of freedom for slaves) and colonization (finding land in Africa for former slaves). As the movement grew and became more formally organized, it sparked opposition in both the North and the South; Northern mill owhttp://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/11/19/5-facts-about-illegal-immigration-in-the-u-s/ners depended upon slave-produced cotton every bit as much as the Southern plantation owners.

Similar any attempt to limit illegal immigration creates the same reaction of modern neoliberal "South" plantation owners -- economic insentive of using illegal immigrants labor are just too great. The current population of illegal immigrants is around 11 million in the USA or around 3.5% of population; Six states alone account for 60% of unauthorized immigrants — California, Texas, Florida, New York, New Jersey and Illinois. Unauthorized immigrants make up 5.1% of the U.S. labor force. About 7% of K-12 students had at least one unauthorized immigrant parent in 2012 (pewresearch.org )

That's why neoliberal politicians talk about “immigration reform” they mean three things: amnesty, cheap labor and open borders. For example, the Schumer-Rubio immigration bill was nothing more than a giveaway to the corporate patrons who run both parties. And Trump caught some important features of this situation in his statement of the subject:

Real immigration reform puts the needs of working people first – not wealthy globetrotting donors. We are the only country in the world whose immigration system puts the needs of other nations ahead of our own. That must change. Here are the three core principles of real immigration reform:

  1. A nation without borders is not a nation. There must be a wall across the southern border.
  2. A nation without laws is not a nation. Laws passed in accordance with our Constitutional system of government must be enforced.
  3. A nation that does not serve its own citizens is not a nation. Any immigration plan must improve jobs, wages and security for all Americans.

Financial transfers from illegal immigrants abroad

His position on Mexico is concentrated on illegal immigration:

Compelling Mexico to Pay for the Wall

Introduction: The provision of the Patriot Act, Section 326 - the "know your customer" provision, compelling financial institutions to demand identity documents before opening accounts or conducting financial transactions is a fundamental element of the outline below. That section authorized the executive branch to issue detailed regulations on the subject, found at 31 CFR 130.120-121. It's an easy decision for Mexico: make a one-time payment of $5-10 billion to ensure that $24 billion continues to flow into their country year after year. There are several ways to compel Mexico to pay for the wall including the following:

Conclusion: Mexico has taken advantage of us in another way as well: gangs, drug traffickers and cartels have freely exploited our open borders and committed vast numbers of crimes inside the United States. The United States has borne the extraordinary daily cost of this criminal activity, including the cost of trials and incarcerations. Not to mention the even greater human cost. We have the moral high ground here, and all the leverage. It is time we use it in order to Make America Great Again.

Healthcare reform

Trump position of healthcare report is based on increasing the role of states instead of federal goverment in providing the citizens with adequate healthcare protection. In other word decentralizing the healthcare to the state level:

Healthcare Reform to Make America Great Again

Since March of 2010, the American people have had to suffer under the incredible economic burden of the Affordable Care Act—Obamacare. This legislation, passed by totally partisan votes in the House and Senate and signed into law by the most divisive and partisan President in American history, has tragically but predictably resulted in runaway costs, websites that don’t work, greater rationing of care, higher premiums, less competition and fewer choices. Obamacare has raised the economic uncertainty of every single person residing in this country. As it appears Obamacare is certain to collapse of its own weight, the damage done by the Democrats and President Obama, and abetted by the Supreme Court, will be difficult to repair unless the next President and a Republican congress lead the effort to bring much-needed free market reforms to the healthcare industry.

But none of these positive reforms can be accomplished without Obamacare repeal. On day one of the Trump Administration, we will ask Congress to immediately deliver a full repeal of Obamacare.

However, it is not enough to simply repeal this terrible legislation. We will work with Congress to make sure we have a series of reforms ready for implementation that follow free market principles and that will restore economic freedom and certainty to everyone in this country. By following free market principles and working together to create sound public policy that will broaden healthcare access, make healthcare more affordable and improve the quality of the care available to all Americans.

Any reform effort must begin with Congress. Since Obamacare became law, conservative Republicans have been offering reforms that can be delivered individually or as part of more comprehensive reform efforts. In the remaining sections of this policy paper, several reforms will be offered that should be considered by Congress so that on the first day of the Trump Administration, we can start the process of restoring faith in government and economic liberty to the people.

Congress must act. Our elected representatives in the House and Senate must:

  1. Completely repeal Obamacare. Our elected representatives must eliminate the individual mandate. No person should be required to buy insurance unless he or she wants to.
  2. Modify existing law that inhibits the sale of health insurance across state lines. As long as the plan purchased complies with state requirements, any vendor ought to be able to offer insurance in any state. By allowing full competition in this market, insurance costs will go down and consumer satisfaction will go up.
  3. Allow individuals to fully deduct health insurance premium payments from their tax returns under the current tax system. Businesses are allowed to take these deductions so why wouldn’t Congress allow individuals the same exemptions? As we allow the free market to provide insurance coverage opportunities to companies and individuals, we must also make sure that no one slips through the cracks simply because they cannot afford insurance. We must review basic options for Medicaid and work with states to ensure that those who want healthcare coverage can have it.
  4. Allow individuals to use Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). Contributions into HSAs should be tax-free and should be allowed to accumulate. These accounts would become part of the estate of the individual and could be passed on to heirs without fear of any death penalty. These plans should be particularly attractive to young people who are healthy and can afford high-deductible insurance plans. These funds can be used by any member of a family without penalty. The flexibility and security provided by HSAs will be of great benefit to all who participate.
  5. Require price transparency from all healthcare providers, especially doctors and healthcare organizations like clinics and hospitals. Individuals should be able to shop to find the best prices for procedures, exams or any other medical-related procedure.
  6. Block-grant Medicaid to the states. Nearly every state already offers benefits beyond what is required in the current Medicaid structure. The state governments know their people best and can manage the administration of Medicaid far better without federal overhead. States will have the incentives to seek out and eliminate fraud, waste and abuse to preserve our precious resources.
  7. Remove barriers to entry into free markets for drug providers that offer safe, reliable and cheaper products. Congress will need the courage to step away from the special interests and do what is right for America. Though the pharmaceutical industry is in the private sector, drug companies provide a public service. Allowing consumers access to imported, safe and dependable drugs from overseas will bring more options to consumers.

The reforms outlined above will lower healthcare costs for all Americans. They are simply a place to start. There are other reforms that might be considered if they serve to lower costs, remove uncertainty and provide financial security for all Americans. And we must also take actions in other policy areas to lower healthcare costs and burdens. Enforcing immigration laws, eliminating fraud and waste and energizing the ecoomy will relieve the economic pressures felt by every American. It is the moral responsibility of a nation’s government to do what is best for the people and what is in the interest of securing the future of the nation.

Providing healthcare to illegal immigrants costs us some $11 billion annually. If we were to simply enforce the current immigration laws and restrict the unbridled granting of visas to this country, we could relieve healthcare cost pressures on state and local governments.

To reduce the number of individuals needing access to programs like Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program we will need to install programs that grow the economy and bring capital and jobs back to America. The best social program has always been a job – and taking care of our economy will go a long way towards reducing our dependence on public health programs.

Finally, we need to reform our mental health programs and institutions in this country. Families, without the ability to get the information needed to help those who are ailing, are too often not given the tools to help their loved ones. There are promising reforms being developed in Congress that should receive bi-partisan support.

To reform healthcare in America, we need a President who has the leadership skills, will and courage to engage the American people and convince Congress to do what is best for the country. These straightforward reforms, along with many others I have proposed throughout my campaign, will ensure that together we will Make America Great Again.

Here devil is in derails: while general premise about decentralization is a valid one, federal government have far larger negotiating power with pharmaceuticals and medical providers. which pay play states, especially small one, as they wish.

Tax reform

Donald Trump tax reform is impossible without dramatic cut of military expenditures. It also closes several loopholes for large corporations. As for elimination of death tax (which is a bad move) we need to remember that this tax is successfully bypassed by very rich right now via blind trusts and other schemes. Essentially only upper middle class is paying death tax now.

Too few Americans are working, too many jobs have been shipped overseas, and too many middle class families cannot make ends meet. This tax plan directly meets these challenges with four simple goals:

  1. Tax relief for middle class Americans: In order to achieve the American dream, let people keep more money in their pockets and increase after-tax wages.
  2. Simplify the tax code to reduce the headaches Americans face in preparing their taxes and let everyone keep more of their money.
  3. Grow the American economy by discouraging corporate inversions, adding a huge number of new jobs, and making America globally competitive again.
  4. Doesn’t add to our debt and deficit, which are already too large.

The Trump Tax Plan Achieves These Goals

  1. If you are single and earn less than $25,000, or married and jointly earn less than $50,000, you will not owe any income tax. That removes nearly 75 million households – over 50% – from the income tax rolls. They get a new one page form to send the IRS saying, “I win,” those who would otherwise owe income taxes will save an average of nearly $1,000 each.
  2. All other Americans will get a simpler tax code with four brackets – 0%, 10%, 20% and 25% – instead of the current seven. This new tax code eliminates the marriage penalty and the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) while providing the lowest tax rate since before World War II.
  3. No business of any size, from a Fortune 500 to a mom and pop shop to a freelancer living job to job, will pay more than 15% of their business income in taxes. This lower rate makes corporate inversions unnecessary by making America’s tax rate one of the best in the world.
  4. No family will have to pay the death tax. You earned and saved that money for your family, not the government. You paid taxes on it when you earned it.

The Trump Tax Plan Is Revenue Neutral

The Trump tax cuts are fully paid for by:

  1. Reducing or eliminating most deductions and loopholes available to the very rich.
  2. A one-time deemed repatriation of corporate cash held overseas at a significantly discounted 10% tax rate, followed by an end to the deferral of taxes on corporate income earned abroad.
  3. Reducing or eliminating corporate loopholes that cater to special interests, as well as deductions made unnecessary or redundant by the new lower tax rate on corporations and business income. We will also phase in a reasonable cap on the deductibility of business interest expenses

Trump foreign policy platform

Trump rejects neocon platform of forcefully converting all states into neoliberal protectorates using color revolutions and brute military force. With the exception of Iran, which for some reason he hates so much, that he can risk a war with it, he speaks more like a paleoconservative. His focus in relations with China, while also hawkish in more about trade balance and "bringing jobs home" issues, not so much on military adventures (U.S.-China Trade Reform Donald J Trump for President):

How We Got Here: Washington Politicians Let China Off The Hook

In January 2000, President Bill Clinton boldly promised China’s inclusion in the World Trade Organization (WTO) “is a good deal for America. Our products will gain better access to China’s market, and every sector from agriculture, to telecommunications, to automobiles. But China gains no new market access to the United States.” None of what President Clinton promised came true. Since China joined the WTO, Americans have witnessed the closure of more than 50,000 factories and the loss of tens of millions of jobs. It was not a good deal for America then and it’s a bad deal now. It is a typical example of how politicians in Washington have failed our country.

The most important component of our China policy is leadership and strength at the negotiating table. We have been too afraid to protect and advance American interests and to challenge China to live up to its obligations. We need smart negotiators who will serve the interests of American workers – not Wall Street insiders that want to move U.S. manufacturing and investment offshore.

The Goal Of The Trump Plan: Fighting For American Businesses And Workers

America has always been a trading nation. Under the Trump administration trade will flourish. However, for free trade to bring prosperity to America, it must also be fair trade. Our goal is not protectionism but accountability. America fully opened its markets to China but China has not reciprocated. Its Great Wall of Protectionism uses unlawful tariff and non-tariff barriers to keep American companies out of China and to tilt the playing field in their favor.

If you give American workers a level playing field, they will win. At its heart, this plan is a negotiating strategy to bring fairness to our trade with China. The results will be huge for American businesses and workers. Jobs and factories will stop moving offshore and instead stay here at home. The economy will boom. The steps outlined in this plan will make that a reality.

When Donald J. Trump is president, China will be on notice that America is back in the global leadership business and that their days of currency manipulation and cheating are over. We will cut a better deal with China that helps American businesses and workers compete.

The Trump Plan Will Achieve The Following Goals:

  1. Bring China to the bargaining table by immediately declaring it a currency manipulator.
  2. Protect American ingenuity and investment by forcing China to uphold intellectual property laws and stop their unfair and unlawful practice of forcing U.S. companies to share proprietary technology with Chinese competitors as a condition of entry to China’s market.
  3. Reclaim millions of American jobs and reviving American manufacturing by putting an end to China’s illegal export subsidies and lax labor and environmental standards. No more sweatshops or pollution havens stealing jobs from American workers.
  4. Strengthen our negotiating position by lowering our corporate tax rate to keep American companies and jobs here at home, attacking our debt and deficit so China cannot use financial blackmail against us, and bolstering the U.S. military presence in the East and South China Seas to discourage Chinese adventurism.

Details of Donald J. Trump’s US China Trade Plan:

Declare China A Currency Manipulator

We need a president who will not succumb to the financial blackmail of a Communist dictatorship. President Obama’s Treasury Department has repeatedly refused to brand China a currency manipulator – a move that would force China to stop these unfair practices or face tough countervailing duties that level the playing field.

Economists estimate the Chinese yuan is undervalued by anywhere from 15% to 40%. This grossly undervalued yuan gives Chinese exporters a huge advantage while imposing the equivalent of a heavy tariff on U.S. exports to China. Such currency manipulation, in concert with China’s other unfair practices, has resulted in chronic U.S. trade deficits, a severe weakening of the U.S. manufacturing base and the loss of tens of millions of American jobs.

In a system of truly free trade and floating exchange rates like a Trump administration would support, America's massive trade deficit with China would not persist. On day one of the Trump administration the U.S. Treasury Department will designate China as a currency manipulator. This will begin a process that imposes appropriate countervailing duties on artificially cheap Chinese products, defends U.S. manufacturers and workers, and revitalizes job growth in America. We must stand up to China’s blackmail and reject corporate America’s manipulation of our politicians. The U.S. Treasury’s designation of China as a currency manipulator will force China to the negotiating table and open the door to a fair – and far better – trading relationship.

End China’s Intellectual Property Violations

China’s ongoing theft of intellectual property may be the greatest transfer of wealth in history. This theft costs the U.S. over $300 billion and millions of jobs each year. China’s government ignores this rampant cybercrime and, in other cases, actively encourages or even sponsors it –without any real consequences. China’s cyber lawlessness threatens our prosperity, privacy and national security. We will enforce stronger protections against Chinese hackers and counterfeit goods and our responses to Chinese theft will be swift, robust, and unequivocal.

The Chinese government also forces American companies like Boeing, GE, and Intel to transfer proprietary technologies to Chinese competitors as a condition of entry into the Chinese market. Such de facto intellectual property theft represents a brazen violation of WTO and international rules. China’s forced technology transfer policy is absolutely ridiculous. Going forward, we will adopt a zero tolerance policy on intellectual property theft and forced technology transfer. If China wants to trade with America, they must agree to stop stealing and to play by the rules.

Eliminate China’s Illegal Export Subsidies And Other Unfair Advantages

Chinese manufacturers and other exporters receive numerous illegal export subsidies from the Chinese government. These include - in direct contradiction to WTO rules - free or nearly free rent, utilities, raw materials, and many other services. China’s state-run banks routinely extend loans these enterprises at below market rates or without the expectation they will be repaid. China even offers them illegal tax breaks or rebates as well as cash bonuses to stimulate exports.

China’s illegal export subsidies intentionally distorts international trade and damages other countries’ exports by giving Chinese companies an unfair advantage. From textile and steel mills in the Carolinas to the Gulf Coast’s shrimp and fish industries to the Midwest manufacturing belt and California’s agribusiness, China’s disregard for WTO rules hurt every corner of America.

The U.S. Trade Representative recently filed yet another complaint with the WTO accusing China of cheating on our trade agreements by subsidizing its exports. The Trump administration will not wait for an international body to tell us what we already know. To gain negotiating leverage, we will pursue the WTO case and aggressively highlight and expose these subsidies.

China’s woeful lack of reasonable environmental and labor standards represent yet another form of unacceptable export subsidy. How can American manufacturers, who must meet very high standards, possibly compete with Chinese companies that care nothing about their workers or the environment? We will challenge China to join the 21 st Century when it comes to such standards.

The Trump Plan Will Strengthen Our Negotiating Position

As the world’s most important economy and consumer of goods, America must always negotiate trade agreements from strength. Branding China as a currency manipulator and exposing their unfair trade practices is not enough. In order to further strengthen our negotiating leverage, the Trump plan will:

  1. Lower the corporate tax rate to 15% to unleash American ingenuity here at home and make us more globally competitive. This tax cut puts our rate 10 percentage points below China and 20 points below our current burdensome rate that pushes companies and jobs offshore.
  2. Attack our debt and deficit by vigorously eliminating waste, fraud and abuse in the Federal government, ending redundant government programs, and growing the economy to increase tax revenues. Closing the deficit and reducing our debt will mean China cannot blackmail us with our own Treasury bonds.
  3. Strengthen the U.S. military and deploying it appropriately in the East and South China Seas. These actions will discourage Chinese adventurism that imperils American interests in Asia and shows our strength as we begin renegotiating our trading relationship with China. A strong military presence will be a clear signal to China and other nations in Asia and around the world that America is back in the global leadership business.

Here are some additional details from Russophobic Guardian presstitute Shawn Walker (The Guardian, July 7, 2016):

Page, an investment banker who previously worked in Russia, insisted he was in Russia on a private visit, although he is likely to meet Russian officials when he gives the commencement speech at the New Economic School in Moscow on Friday. He refused to comment on whether he had any meetings with officials planned.

... ... ...

Trump himself has has often praised the Russian leader during the campaign, saying in a December interview “he’s running his country and at least he’s a leader, unlike what we have in this country”.

The presumptive Republican nominee has expressed his confidence that he would build a good relationship with the Russian president telling reporters last year: “I think I would get along very well with Vladimir Putin.”

He also defended the Russian leader against accusations that Putin has ordered the killing of journalists, telling ABC News “In all fairness to Putin, you’re saying he killed people. I haven’t seen that. I don’t know that he has. Have you been able to prove that? Do you know the names of the reporters that he’s killed? Because I’ve been – you know, you’ve been hearing this, but I haven’t seen the names,”

The announced topic of Page’s discussion was “the evolution of the world economy”, but much of it involved semi-coherent analysis of the former Soviet republics of Central Asia.

In passing, Page castigated the US for interfering in the internal affairs of other countries and pursuing "regime change" in former Soviet countries. He said Russia and the US could have better relations in future, but this would be “contingent upon US’s refocus toward resolution of domestic challenges”. However, when pressed on details he was evasive.

In March, Page told Bloomberg that his experience on the ground doing deals in Russia and Central Asia would make him better placed to give advice than “people from afar, sitting in the comfort of their think tanks in Washington”. It is unclear how close he is to Trump and how much weight his advice holds with the presidential candidate.

Page repeatedly emphasised that he was in Russia as a private citizen rather than as an emissary of Trump. However, it is connections with the presidential candidate which prompted the New Economic School to invite him to give their keynote annual speech. In previous years, the commencement speeches at the university have been given by high-profile figures, including Barack Obama in 2009.

In December, Putin referred to Trump as a “colourful” person who was the “absolute leader” of the US presidential race, comments which prompted Trump to respond in turn that he was flattered by the praise. “When people call you brilliant, it’s always good, especially when the person heads up Russia,” Trump said, adding incorrectly that Putin had called him a “genius”.

Last month, Putin clarified the comments, saying he had not endorsed Trump, but welcomed his stance on relations with Russia.

“Here’s where I will pay close attention, and where I exactly welcome and where on the contrary I don’t see anything bad: Mr Trump has declared that he’s ready for the full restoration of Russian-American relations. Is there anything bad there? We all welcome this, don’t you?”

Trump on free trade and victims of globalization

From Gaius Publius When Trump Talks Trade, Voters Listen naked capitalism

Before you read, though, take a moment to watch less than two minutes of Donald Trump above, from his victory speech after winning in Michigan and Mississippi. I’ve cued it up to start at the remarks I want to highlight, Trump discussing our trade deficit.

Now Thomas Frank, writing in The Guardian. He starts by noting the utter invisibility of real working Americans to our elite class, including our media elites, and especially our liberal media elites (my emphasis throughout):

Millions of ordinary Americans support Donald Trump. Here’s why

When he isn’t spewing insults, the Republican frontrunner is hammering home a powerful message about free trade and its victims

Let us now address the greatest American mystery at the moment: what motivates the supporters of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump?

I call it a “mystery” because the working-class white people who make up the bulk of Trump’s fan base show up in amazing numbers for the candidate, filling stadiums and airport hangars, but their views, by and large, do not appear in our prestige newspapers. On their opinion pages, these publications take care to represent demographic categories of nearly every kind, but “blue-collar” is one they persistently overlook. The views of working-class people are so foreign to that universe that when New York Times columnist Nick Kristof wanted to “engage” a Trump supporter last week, he made one up, along with this imaginary person’s responses to his questions.

When members of the professional class wish to understand the working-class Other, they traditionally consult experts on the subject. And when these authorities are asked to explain the Trump movement, they always seem to zero in on one main accusation: bigotry. Only racism, they tell us, is capable of powering a movement like Trump’s, which is blowing through the inherited structure of the Republican party like a tornado through a cluster of McMansions.

The conclusion of these writers is this:

The Trump movement is a one-note phenomenon, a vast surge of race-hate. Its partisans are not only incomprehensible, they are not really worth comprehending.

And yet…

A lot of people are racists, including those not supporting Trump. But people have other concerns as well, especially working people. They are dying faster than they used to, from drugs and despair, and they fear for their jobs and their families, for very good reasons. This economy is failing them.

They also hate — and understand — “free trade.”

Trump Also Talks Trade

Donald Trump talks about more than just race and immigration. He talks about trade and the trade deficit, an issue that powered Bernie Sanders to his Michigan victory as well. From the New York Times:

Trade and Jobs Key to Victory for Bernie Sanders

Democratic presidential candidate had campaigned in Traverse City, Mich., in decades until Senator Bernie Sanders pulled up to the concert hall near the Sears store on Friday. Some 2,000 people mobbed him when he arrived, roaring in approval as he called the country’s trade policies, and Hillary Clinton’s support for them, “disastrous.”

“If the people of Michigan want to make a decision about which candidate stood with workers against corporate America and against these disastrous trade agreements, that candidate is Bernie Sanders,” Mr. Sanders said in Traverse City, about 250 miles north of Detroit.

Mr. Sanders pulled off a startling upset in Michigan on Tuesday by traveling to communities far from Detroit and by hammering Mrs. Clinton on an issue that resonated in this still-struggling state: her past support for trade deals that workers here believe robbed them of manufacturing jobs. Almost three-fifths of voters said that trade with other countries was more likely to take away jobs, according to exit polls by Edison Research, and those voters favored Mr. Sanders by a margin of more than 10 points.

There is no question — America’s billionaire-friendly, job-destroying trade policy is toxic — again, literally. That’s why Obama and his bipartisan “free trade” enablers in Congress have to pass TPP, if they can, in post-election lame duck session. TPP is also toxic to political careers, and only lame ducks and the recently-elected can vote for it.

Frank again on Trump:

Last week, I decided to watch several hours of Trump speeches for myself. I saw the man ramble and boast and threaten and even seem to gloat when protesters were ejected from the arenas in which he spoke. I was disgusted by these things, as I have been disgusted by Trump for 20 years. But I also noticed something surprising. In each of the speeches I watched, Trump spent a good part of his time talking about an entirely legitimate issue, one that could even be called left-wing.

Yes, Donald Trump talked about trade. In fact, to judge by how much time he spent talking about it, trade may be his single biggest concern – not white supremacy. Not even his plan to build a wall along the Mexican border, the issue that first won him political fame. He did it again during the debate on 3 March: asked about his political excommunication by Mitt Romney, he chose to pivot and talk about … trade.

It seems to obsess him: the destructive free-trade deals our leaders have made, the many companies that have moved their production facilities to other lands, the phone calls he will make to those companies’ CEOs in order to threaten them with steep tariffs unless they move back to the US.

On the subject more generally, Frank adds:

Trade is an issue that polarizes Americans by socio-economic status. To the professional class, which encompasses the vast majority of our media figures, economists, Washington officials and Democratic power brokers, what they call “free trade” is something so obviously good and noble it doesn’t require explanation or inquiry or even thought. Republican and Democratic leaders alike agree on this, and no amount of facts can move them from their Econ 101 dream.

To the remaining 80 or 90% of America, trade means something very different. There’s a video going around on the internet these days that shows a room full of workers at a Carrier air conditioning plant in Indiana being told by an officer of the company that the factory is being moved to Monterrey, Mexico and that they’re all going to lose their jobs.

As I watched it, I thought of all the arguments over trade that we’ve had in this country since the early 1990s, all the sweet words from our economists about the scientifically proven benevolence of free trade, all the ways in which our newspapers mock people who say that treaties like the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement allow companies to move jobs to Mexico.

Well, here is a video of a company moving its jobs to Mexico, courtesy of Nafta. This is what it looks like. The Carrier executive talks in that familiar and highly professional HR language about the need to “stay competitive” and “the extremely price-sensitive marketplace.” A worker shouts “Fuck you!” at the executive. The executive asks people to please be quiet so he can “share” his “information”. His information about all of them losing their jobs.

Frank goes to greater length, and again, please click through. But you get the idea. This is what Trump is speaking to, whether he means what he says or not, and this is what his voters are responding to, whether they like his racism or not. After all, haven’t you, at least once, voted for someone with qualities you dislike because of policies you do like?

Whose Fault Is This? Both Parties, But Especially the Democratic Elites

One final point. Frank takes on the issue of responsibility:

Trump’s words articulate the populist backlash against liberalism that has been building slowly for decades … Yet still we cannot bring ourselves to look the thing in the eyes. We cannot admit that we liberals bear some [or most] of the blame for its emergence, for the frustration of the working-class millions, for their blighted cities and their downward spiraling lives. So much easier to scold them for their twisted racist souls, to close our eyes to the obvious reality of which Trumpism is just a crude and ugly expression: that neoliberalism has well and truly failed.

I am certain, if this comes up in a general election debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, she could very likely get her clock cleaned; not certainly, but certainly very likely. First, she can only equivocate, and Trump will have none of it. (Trump: “Let me understand. You were for this before you were against it? So … will you be for it again next year? I’m just trying to understand.”)

Second, this is a change election, Trump is one of only two change candidates in the race, and Clinton is not the other one.

Here’s that Carrier Air Conditioning “we’re moving to Mexico” video that Frank mentioned above. Take a look, but prepare to feel some pain as you watch:

Trump and Republican Establishment

All republican establishment candidates were neocons and die-in-the-wool neoliberals (neoconservative is just a neoliberal with the gun :-). This time this did not play well with Republican voters, who rejected them in favor of Trump. Hillary Clinton is now viewed as successor of Obama, who is the king of "bait and switch" hated by many. Both are closet "moderate Republicans", both are neocons. Actually Hillary is a staunch neocon. There is no war she did not like. May be this is an attempt of overcompensation for being a female, but this is a provable fact.

Especially humiliating was the defeat of Jeb Bush who represented old party establishment. After that the GOP establishment, confronted by an electorate that rejected its platform of interventionalist wars, neoliberal globalization and austerity was forced to bet of Ted Cruz, a man with grassroots strength in key early primary states (via his Tea Party links) but few friends in Washington. A man that they hated. That did not play well iether.

Trump chances vs Hillary Clinton

Trump really has chances against Hillary Clinton ( much less against less jingoistic candidate), because Democratic Party switched from New Deal ideology to neoliberalism under Bill Clinton and betrayed working class and large swat of working class (and probably more then 50% of members of unions) and even part of professional class squeezed by globalization. Democrat do no understand that they essentially pushed the voters to support Trump, making his victory to certain extent inevitable. They created Trump. Obama made a word "hope" a cruel joke and that means that people who have nowhere to go in Democratic Party suddenly looked at Trump and decided -- "f*ck" Obama and his successor Hillary. F*ck Democratic Party. I am voting against those bastards -- I'm voting for Trump. Union brass can't control how union members vote. The fact is that blue color workers are increasingly rejecting Democratic Party who became the party of upper professionals and financial oligarchy. They will voting for Trump. Also Obama proved to be weak, decietful president, which futher diminishes Hillary chances. After his very questionable second perm, during which he managed top betray his electorate several times (TPP was the last) to win election for Democrats is uphill battle. That gives Trump a chance. Professor Helmut Norpoth put thisa line of reasoning best in his article My model shows Donald Trump has an 87 percent chance of beating Hillary ClintonNewsday

My advice: Beware of pollsters bearing forecasts, especially anyone trying to peek into the future, especially those with money to bet.

Some 20 years ago, I constructed a formula, The Primary Model, that has predicted the winner of the popular vote in all five presidential elections since it was introduced. It is based on elections dating to 1912. The formula was wrong only once: The 1960 election. That one hurt because John F. Kennedy was my preferred candidate.

The Primary Model consists of two ingredients: The swing of the electoral pendulum, and the outcomes of primaries.

You can see the pendulum work with the naked eye. After two terms in office, the presidential party in power loses more often than not. In fact, over the past 65 years, it managed to win a third term only once. In 1988, President George H.W. Bush extended Ronald Reagan’s presidency by one more term. Reagan made this possible by winning re-election by a bigger margin than when he first got elected. That spells continuity, a desire for more of the same.

President Barack Obama has not left such a legacy for a Democratic successor. He did worse in his re-election victory over Mitt Romney in 2012 than when he beat John McCain in 2008. That spells, “It’s Time for a Change!” The pendulum points to the GOP in 2016, no matter whether the candidate was named Trump, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, John Kasich or whoever.

Now add the outcomes of presidential primaries. Although some experts claim primary votes have no bearing on general elections, the fact is that primaries prove uncanny in forecasting the winner in November. Take the first election with a significant number of primaries, in 1912. In November that year, Woodrow Wilson, the winner in Democratic primaries, defeated William Howard Taft, the loser in Republican primaries; Taft was renominated since most states then did not use primaries. In general, the party with the stronger primary candidate wins the general election.

This year, Trump has wound up as the stronger of the two presidential nominees. He won many more primaries than did Clinton. In fact, this was apparent as early as early March. Trump handily won the first two primaries, New Hampshire and South Carolina, while Clinton badly lost New Hampshire to Sen. Bernie Sanders before beating him in South Carolina.

The Primary Model predicts that Trump will defeat Clinton with 87 percent certainty. He is the candidate of change. When voters demand change, they are willing to overlook many foibles of the change candidate. At the same time, the candidate who touts experience will get more intense scrutiny for any missteps and suspicions of misconduct of the record of experience.

Trump may be lucky to have picked an election in which change trumps experience and experience may prove to be a mixed blessing.

Helmut Norpoth is the director of undergraduate studies and political science professor at Stony Brook University.

At the same time neoliberals and neocons are still strong. And they have a lot to lose. There is a very powerful neocon strata in Washington DC -- the people who are essentially unregistered lobbyists for military industrial complex. They totally control DNC. So they can resort to dirty tricks.

So they have a position to put a good fight. Moreover, for Hillary personally, losing might well mean getting prison term. And for Obama this turn does not look too promising as well. He has some skeletons in the closet that Hillary will not touch but Trump might. And fear is a powerful motivating factor.

In any case election politics in America is a dirty business. The winners are the ones who play the rigged game best, who have the biggest financial backers, who are willing to do the bidding for those corporate masters. Hillary Clinton is not the peace president. She’s a militarist and hawk and never met a war she didn’t like. So she has full support of militry industrila complex (neocons are just salesmen of this complex; poor reformed Trotskyites losr any decency). Neocons are pushing the memo that Donald Trump is unqualified, Donald Trump is scary, Donald Trump is unstable, Donald Trump is crazy narrative hard. Despite the long list of Donald defects, the American electorate still likes what Trump is selling. The way that the Russia-Trump storyline has been pounded into our consciousness by the media and the Democratic Party, including at the convention in prime time, is a calculated effort to take our eye off the ball and is a classic “shoot the messenger” tactic.

This time there are issues with Hillary Clinton as a prototypical Democratic establishment candidate. She is quintessential neoliberal, like in case of Bill clinton neoliberalism in her veins. She can't change this, even if she want. She is totally brainwashed with neoliberalism, much like some bolshevisks in the past were brainwashed with Communist ideology. Since Bill Clinton such candidates attract Democratic voters because they have nobody else to vote for. Actually this was an idea of sell-out of Democratic Party to Wall Street accomplished by Bill Clinton. But this time is different. Probably half of votes for Sanders in primaries would never vote for Hillary. All she can count on are Republican votes who oppose Trump. But with her emailgate scandal she is losing them. If she lose her security clearness, or worse will face criminal changes for perjury, that will be a knockdown .

Now most Democratic voters understand that she will betrays them like Obama so successfully did during his two terms in the office. And that will happen during the first minute she is in office. So they are more inclined to vote for the third party candidate, such as Jill Stein, or can "write-in" Sanders. There are also three scandals that hurt her chances in November (although MSM tries to downplay them):

And the level of hate toward Hillary Clinton reflects the understanding of voters that she, as the establishment candidate, who symbolizes the neoliberal status quo. It's really funny that neoliberal MSM can't play the "corruption" card against Trump: it is extremely difficult to match Clintons in corruption.

Another problem for neoliberal MSM is the Dems elite corruption is much larger than just Clinton, or Debbie Wasserman Schultz. At the heart of the matter is a political party that is undemocratic and corrupt to the core – one that answers only to Wall Street, not middle class or God forbid, working people as any real Democrats should do. It's the second most pro-neoliberal party in the world, after the Republican Party. For all practical purposes is a moderate faction of the Republican Party.

Hillary Clinton stands to the right of Eisenhower Republicans in all major policy areas. Bill Clinton was a staunch neoliberal who "triangulated" (read sold) his presidency to Wall Street and deregulated the economy, empowering the financial oligarchy. He had demolished Aid to Families With Dependent Children and bought into the bash-the-poor rhetoric of the right wing. He had passed a crime bill that targeted people of color; he had destroyed FDR's New Deal legacy, notably by abolishing the Glass-Steagall Act. And he was so "tough on crime" that during the 1992 presidential campaign season, he had gone back to his home state of Arkansas to witness the execution of Ricky Ray Rector, who was "mentally deficient." Bill Clinton might not have inhaled marijuana, but he certainly had inhaled the neoliberal ideology. Hillary is the same, but in addition is a notable, pathological war hawk. Which strangely enough is a feature of all three last female Secretaries of State stating from Madeleine Albright. It would be a huge challenge to find more jingoistic women then this troika. Talk about "unnatural selection" here :-).

In comparison with her Donald Trump looks like a real statesman, who understands that "war is a racket and always was". Obomber bombed 7 countries during his presidency so those who are afraid of Trump as a president should understand that is difficult to match Obomber record. As Jill Stain said

"Trump says very scary things—deporting immigrants, massive militarism and, you know, ignoring the climate," Stein explained on Democracy Now. "Well, Hillary, unfortunately, has a track record for doing all of those things. Hillary has supported the deportations of immigrants, opposed the refugees—women and children coming from Honduras, whose refugee crisis she was very much responsible for by giving a thumbs-up to this corporate coup in Honduras that has created the violence from which those refugees are fleeing. She basically said, 'No, bar the gates, send them back.' You know, so we see these draconian things that Donald Trump is talking about, we actually see Hillary Clinton doing."

Stein also brought up Clinton's militarism. "And it's not only the militarism that Trump talks about, it's Hillary's massive record of militarism," she continued. Obama made the mistake of intervening in Libya, but in a recent interview with The Atlantic, he admitted, "It didn't work," and "Libya is a mess." Clinton, however, has never expressed second thoughts. (Why Is Hillary Clinton Still a Hawk - Reason.com )

During his recent visit to Chicago, I asked Landler about her ability to confront the possibility she was wrong.

"I don't find the same evidence of a learning curve with her," he said. "I would have liked to see a little more introspection from her on that, because I think that's the key case where she led the charge, it didn't go the way they hoped it would and there are some really important lessons to be drawn."

In that instance, she apparently didn't learn from our failed military intervention. If she becomes president, I'm guessing, she'll get another chance.

We should try our best not be victims of neoliberal MSM propaganda campaign aimed to discourage voting for Trump and for the third party.

No matter how Democratic Party loyalists try to spin it, the blame for a Trump win will fall on the corrupt Democratic Party establishment. It is no accident that the vast majority of Super-delegates have steadfastly stood by Hillary, warts and all.

Trump meme "Crooked Hillary" -- a powerful play on general distrust of Hillary Clinton Candidacy

American voters don’t trust Hillary Clinton. Trump meme "crooked Hillary is a powerul mem that suggest that Clinton is unelectable. 53.8% of all American voters have an “unfavorable” view of Hillary Clinton. 67% of American voters find Hillary Clinton “not honest and not trustworthy,” compared with 59% for Donald Trump. Yes, more people trust Donald Trump.

After all, it’s difficult to trust a politician who completely fabricated a story about being fired upon by snipers. Like POLITIFACT states, “it’s hard to understand how she could err on something so significant as whether she did or didn’t dodge sniper bullets.”

Attempts to lure Sanders supporters71% of men and 64% of women find Clinton “not honest and trustworthy.”

Trump attempts to lure Sanders supporters

Most Sanders supporters approve foreign policy program of Donald Trump (non interventionism) and agree of some issues of domestic policy (job creation, the necessity to limit transnationals corporation and treaties like TPP that Obama pushes so hard). On other issue they are not close. Still they are united by their rejection of establishment and the establishment candidate Hillary Clinton.

Trump brilliantly played the betrayal of Bernie Sunders of his supporters with just a single Tweet, which is worth a dozen of prime time commercials: Bernie Sanders endorsing Crooked Hillary Clinton is like Occupy Wall Street endorsing Goldman Sachs

Bernie Sanders endorsing Crooked Hillary Clinton is like Occupy Wall Street endorsing Goldman Sachs -- Donald Trump

Trump also tried to lure former Sanders backers during his address to the GOP convention, emphasizing his anti-establishment stance and his questioning of free trade deals. that can sure some Democrats who are unhappy with Clinton and, especially, Kaine, a staunch supporter of neoliberal globalization who is a former chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

"The Bernie Sanders supporters are furious with the choice of Tim Kaine, who represents the opposite of what Bernie stands for," Trump tweeted. "Tim Kaine is, and always has been, owned by the banks," he wrote, taunting, "Philly fight?"


Top Visited
Switchboard
Latest
Past week
Past month

NEWS CONTENTS

Old News ;-)

[Dec 16, 2017] Attorney Lisa Bloom BUSTED arranging payment for Trump accusers days before election 12-15-17 - YouTube

Dec 16, 2017 | www.youtube.com

Jc 2015 , 10 hours ago

Lisa bloom you are sick for doing this !

Lillian Nardone , 9 hours ago

,Lisa bloom is the daughter of Gloria Alfred. Like mother and daughter!!!! CRAZY LADIES

Rizzle Dizzle , 9 hours ago

The fact Lisa bloom even worked with harvey weinstein proves she's a fraud. Apparently he was paying her well and they he was helping he with a movie or something.

[Dec 15, 2017] Protecting the Shaky Russia-gate Narrative by Robert Parry

Notable quotes:
"... The New York Times continues its sorry pattern of falsifying the record on Russia-gate, giving its readers information that the newspaper knows not to be true, reports Robert Parry. ..."
"... Trimming the total down to $44,000 and admitting that only a few of those ads actually dealt with Clinton and Trump would be even worse for the Russia-gate narrative. ..."
"... The only acceptable conclusion, it seems, is "Russia Guilty!" ..."
"... America's Stolen Narrative, ..."
Dec 15, 2017 | consortiumnews.com

The New York Times continues its sorry pattern of falsifying the record on Russia-gate, giving its readers information that the newspaper knows not to be true, reports Robert Parry.

If Russia-gate is the massive scandal that we are told it is by so many Important People -- across the U.S. mainstream media and the political world -- why do its proponents have to resort to lies and exaggerations to maintain the pillars supporting the narrative?

A new example on Thursday was The New York Times' statement that a Russian agency "spent $100,000 on [Facebook's] platform to influence the United States presidential election last year" – when the Times knows that statement is not true.

According to Facebook, only 44 percent of that amount appeared before the U.S. presidential election in 2016 (i.e., $44,000) and few of those ads addressed the actual election. And, we know that the Times is aware of the truth because it was acknowledged in a Times article in early October.

As part of that article, Times correspondents Mike Isaac and Scott Shane reported that the ads also covered a wide range of other topics: "There was even a Facebook group for animal lovers with memes of adorable puppies that spread across the site with the help of paid ads."

As nefarious as the Times may think it is for Russians to promote a Facebook page about "adorable puppies," the absurdity of that concern – and the dishonesty of the Times then "forgetting" what it itself reported just two months ago about the timing and contents of these "Russian-linked ads" – tells you a great deal about Russia-gate.

On Thursday, the Times chose to distort what it already knew to be true presumably because it didn't want to make the $100,000 ad buy (which is not a particularly large sum) look even smaller and less significant by acknowledging the pre-election total was less than half that modest amount – and even that total had little to do with the election.

Why would the Times lie? Because to tell the truth would undercut the narrative of evil Russians defeating Hillary Clinton and putting Donald Trump in the White House – the core narrative of Russia-gate.

Another relevant fact is that Facebook failed to find any "Russian-linked" ads during its first two searches and only detected the $100,000 after a personal visit from Sen. Mark Warner, D-Virginia, the vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee and a leading legislator on Internet regulation.

In other words, Facebook's corporate executives dredged up something to appease Warner. That way, Warner and the Democrats could blame Russia for the Trump presidency, sparing further criticism of Clinton's dreadful campaign (in which she labeled half of Trump's voters "deplorables") and her neo-liberal economic policies (and neo-conservative foreign policies) that have alienated much of America's working class as well as many progressives.

Leaving Out Context

The Times also might have put the $100,000 in "Russian-linked" ads over a two-year period in the context of Facebook's $27 billion in annual revenue, but the Times didn't do that – apparently because it would make even the full $100,000 look like a pittance.

Trimming the total down to $44,000 and admitting that only a few of those ads actually dealt with Clinton and Trump would be even worse for the Russia-gate narrative.

Ironically, the Times' latest false depiction of the $100,000 in ads as designed "to influence" the 2016 election appeared in an article about Facebook determining that other Russian-linked ads, which supposedly had a powerful effect on Great Britain's Brexit vote, totaled just three ads at the cost of 97 cents. (That is not a misprint.)

According to Facebook, the three ads, which focused on immigration, were viewed some 200 times by Britons over four days in May 2016. Of course, the response from British parliamentarians who wanted to blame the Brexit vote on Moscow was to assert that Facebook must have missed something. It couldn't be that many Britons had lost faith in the promise of the European Union for their own reasons.

We have seen a similar pattern with allegations about Russian interference in German and French elections, with the initial accusations being widely touted but not so much the later conclusions by serious investigations knocking down the claims. [See, for instance, Consortiumnews.com's " German Intel Clears Russia on Interference. "]

The only acceptable conclusion, it seems, is "Russia Guilty!"

These days in Official Washington, it has become almost forbidden to ask for actual evidence that would prove the original claim that Russia "hacked" Democratic emails, even though the accusation came from what President Obama's Director of National Intelligence James Clapper acknowledged were "hand-picked" analysts from the CIA, FBI and National Security Agency.

These "hand-picked" analysts produced the evidence-lite Jan. 6 "assessment" about Russia "hacking" the emails and slipping them to WikiLeaks – a scenario denied by both WikiLeaks and Russia.

When that "assessment" was released almost a year ago, even the Times' Scott Shane noticed the lack of proof, writing : "What is missing from the [the Jan. 6] public report is what many Americans most eagerly anticipated: hard evidence to back up the agencies' claims that the Russian government engineered the election attack. Instead, the message from the agencies essentially amounts to 'trust us.'"

But the Times soon "forgot" what Shane had inconveniently noted and began reporting the Russian "hacking" as accepted wisdom.

The 17-Agencies Canard

Whenever scattered expressions of skepticism arose from a few analysts or non-mainstream media, the doubts were beaten back by the claim that "all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies" concurred in the conclusion that Russian President Vladimir Putin had ordered the hacking to hurt Hillary Clinton and help Donald Trump. And what kind of nut would doubt the collective judgment of all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies!

Though the 17-agency canard was never true, it served an important purpose in establishing the Russia-gate groupthink. Wielding the "all 17 intelligence agencies" club, the U.S. mainstream media pounded politicians and policymakers into line, making any remaining skeptics seem more out of step and crazy.

So, in May 2017, when Clapper (along with former CIA Director John Brennan) admitted in congressional testimony that it wasn't true that all 17 agencies concurred in the Russian hacking conclusion, those statements received very little attention in the mainstream media.

The New York Times among other major news outlets just continued asserting the 17-agency falsehood until the Times was finally pressured to correct its lie in late June , but that only led to the Times shifting to slightly different but still misleading wording, citing a "consensus" among the intelligence agencies without mentioning a number or by simply stating the unproven hacking claim as flat fact.

Even efforts to test the Russian-hack claims through science were ignored or ridiculed. When former NSA technical director William Binney conducted experiments that showed that the known download speed of one batch of DNC emails could not have occurred over the Internet but matched what was possible for a USB-connected thumb drive -- an indication that a Democratic insider likely downloaded the emails and thus that there was no "hack" -- Binney was mocked as a "conspiracy theorist."

Even with the new disclosures about deep-seated anti-Trump bias in text messages exchanged between two senior FBI officials who played important early roles in the Russia-gate investigation, there is no indication that Official Washington is willing to go back to the beginning and see how the Russia-gate story might have been deceptively spun.

In a recently released Aug. 15, 2016 text message from Peter Strzok, a senior FBI counterintelligence official, to his reputed lover, senior FBI lawyer Lisa Page, Strzok referenced an apparent plan to keep Trump from getting elected before suggesting the need for "an insurance policy" just in case he did. A serious investigation into Russia-gate might want to know what these senior FBI officials had in mind.

But the Times and other big promoters of Russia-gate continue to dismiss doubters as delusional or as covering up for Russia and/or Trump. By this point – more than a year into this investigation – too many Important People have bought into the Russia-gate narrative to consider the possibility that there may be little or nothing there, or even worse, that it is the "insurance policy" that Strzok envisioned.

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

WC , December 15, 2017 at 3:39 pm

http://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/taking-liberty/

Sally Snyder , December 15, 2017 at 4:13 pm

Here is an article that looks at how Google is proposing to "protect us" from all things Russian:

https://viableopposition.blogspot.lt/2017/11/how-google-manages-fake-news.html

George Orwell was right, he was just a few decades ahead of his time. Non-government actors in the United States, including Google, have learned an important lesson from the 2016 election and we can pretty much assure ourselves that the next election will see significant massaging when it comes to what we read and hear.

ranney , December 15, 2017 at 4:43 pm

Lately I've heard on PBS and other news shows that Russia "invaded Ukraine" and also attacked Crimea and essentially stole the island back to Russia. I forget the exact words used about Crimea but that was the gist. I have heard several times people on PBS using the the words Russia "invaded Ukraine" to describe what happened there. Like the N.Y.T. PBS is supposed to be the go to place for unbiased news and now they are blatantly lying to the public – and have been lying certainly as far back as 2014, if not before.

It's very discouraging to know that there are so few places where one can go to get actual facts. Consortium is one and, surprisingly RT is often another – at least RT tells us about stuff going on in other parts of the world that we never hear about in the MSM. Boy! talk about being an insular country! America is the most isolated country in the world when it comes to knowledge about other lands. We go on about how narcissistic Trump is, but the fact is that our whole government and our MSM is totally narcissistic and has been for quite a while – all we think about is us- and our government is willing to kill and lay waste anyone or any country that doesn't do exactly what we want, even when what we want is disasterous for not only other countries, but also disasterous for our own country. We are so narcissistic that we can't see it.

Padtie , December 15, 2017 at 6:09 pm

Well ranney, while I look at and read this site regularly, I gotta say that Trump is merely a doppelgänger for our country's collective psyche. This country is off the rails in every way possible. Yes, that includes those bad apples of the deep state AND compliant hamster citizens who vote and are currently scurrying about on the wheel of capitalism in pursuit of the Christmas Machine. All the hand wringing done on this web-site ain't gonna change any of it.

Mr. Parry would do everyone justice by taking his excellent skills and expanding his writing repertoire beyond Russia-gate. I'm seriously beginning to wonder what's up with him that he repeatedly beats the same old sorry drum- like the MSM- only on the opposite side. It's getting tiresome. How about proposing solutions to what ails us?

Sorry to ruin everyone's party.

Abe , December 15, 2017 at 4:46 pm

"major media outlets have made humiliating, breathtaking errors on the Trump-Russia story, always in the same direction, toward the same political goals. Here is just a sample of incredibly inflammatory claims that traveled all over the internet before having to be corrected, walked back, or retracted -- often long after the initial false claims spread, and where the corrections receive only a tiny fraction of the attention with which the initial false stories are lavished:

– Russia hacked into the U.S. electric grid to deprive Americans of heat during winter (Wash Post)
– An anonymous group (PropOrNot) documented how major U.S. political sites are Kremlin agents (Wash Post)
– WikiLeaks has a long, documented relationship with Putin (Guardian)
– A secret server between Trump and a Russian bank has been discovered (Slate)
– RT hacked C-SPAN and caused disruption in its broadcast (Fortune)
– Russians hacked into a Ukrainian artillery app (Crowdstrike)
– Russians attempted to hack elections systems in 21 states (multiple news outlets, echoing Homeland Security)
– Links have been found between Trump ally Anthony Scaramucci and a Russian investment fund under investigation (CNN) [ ]

"But what it means most of all is that when media outlets are responsible for such grave and consequential errors as the spectacle we witnessed yesterday, they have to take responsibility for it by offering transparency and accountability. In this case, that can't mean hiding behind P.R. and lawyer silence and waiting for this to just all blow away.

"At minimum, these networks -- CNN, MSNBC, and CBS -- have to either identify who purposely fed them this blatantly false information or explain how it's possible that 'multiple sources' all got the same information wrong in innocence and good faith. Until they do that, their cries and protests the next time they're attacked as 'Fake News' should fall on deaf ears, since the real author of those attacks -- the reason those attacks resonate -- is themselves and their own conduct."

The U.S. Media Suffered Its Most Humiliating Debacle in Ages and Now Refuses All Transparency Over What Happened
By Glenn Greenwald
https://theintercept.com/2017/12/09/the-u-s-media-yesterday-suffered-its-most-humiliating-debacle-in-ages-now-refuses-all-transparency-over-what-happened/

JOHN L. OPPERMAN , December 15, 2017 at 4:49 pm

Hilary gave it away, as the (anti-democratic)"Democratic Party" gave it all away and has been doing it for decades.
Whereas the right has wisely (for it's purposes) built long term infrastructure of funded think tanks, media, fundamentalist ideologists, etc; the Democratic Establishment has dumped on it's base at practically ever turn, never really showing actual support for it's public community, and has joined with the right to destroy all attempt to build an actual peoples' political party.
I just turned 84 and have witnessed the ever-growing weakness and right-leaning of the Party" since I was a little kid and have seen it only become more disgustingly lame and disingenuous in all these years since, with extended travel, 20-year military service and work around the world, in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.
And we are largely to blame, being humans and Americans, we sit back-busy with our lives, and neglect our responsibilities to our fellow man and community.
Get up off your ass, guys

JOHN L. OPPERMAN , December 15, 2017 at 4:53 pm

I must add, the so-called Party has quite consistently ACTIVELY fought against labor, consumers, t's own loyal public.

Joe Tedesky , December 15, 2017 at 5:10 pm

Among the many great comments posted here I find in your resume Mr Opperman a ton of experienced words worth listening too. In fact, it is people such as yourself that I feel our younger generation should be learning from. Your traveling, and working for the government has given you an insight that many of us do not have, nor will get since we are all not like you John. So keep posting, and tell us what you think America should do next, as we go forward. Thank you for your remarks, they are respected for what you have earned. Joe

Padtie , December 15, 2017 at 6:11 pm

Thanks for this post John.

Skip Scott , December 15, 2017 at 4:52 pm

In the end, this whole RussiaGate scandal may actually have a positive impact if it can be proven that it was a conspiracy cooked up by the "Deep State" as insurance in case of a Trump victory. If this is proven and actually becomes common knowledge, people like Brennan and Clapper, and their MSM mouthpieces, will never be trusted again. Though heads didn't roll after the exposure of the "weapons of mass destruction" lie, this one might tip the balance. Their argument that the "intelligence was mistaken" won't fly, as RussiaGate is so obviously a purposely constructed lie. It would be even greater if this led to a counter-investigation where all the perps were exposed and publicly prosecuted, and the Intelligence Agencies were "broken into 1000 pieces." Maybe while they were at it, they could get around to auditing the Pentagon. I like to dream big.

My hope is that websites like this one can continue to build an audience and speak truth to power now that net neutrality appears dead.

Joe Tedesky , December 15, 2017 at 4:59 pm

Funny how the NYT will try and make hay with a collection of various Russian disjointed ads on Facebook with an investment of $44,000.xx out weights the 4.9 billion dollars worth of free media coverage the MSM gave Trump through the whole 2016 presidential campaign, and nobody thinks nothing of it. If there was any type of collusion to help Trump win the White House then why not question this free media give away?

As a side note, should we investigate Jared Kushner and Michael Flynn for colluding with Israel?

Senator Mark Warner plays the part of the inquisitor well, and for that reason he has loss my respect, if he ever had it to begin with. Enough of covering up for Hillary's guilt complex to why she loss the election. Someone should just tell her, that even though she has done everything there is in her power to take Putin out of power, that her presidential loss is all on her. Putin didn't need to interfere, since by Hillary just being Hillary was enough to keep her out of reach of the Oval Office.

I hope that in the coming year, that by some stroke of luck, that William Binney will get the praise he deserves. We need more people like Binney working in our government, and without him we all are left vulnerable to the many who don't represent our citizen values. I thought the MSM's treatment of William Binney was disgraceful, to say the least.

Lastly, I would only hope that whoever it was that started this Russia-Gate nonsense would be revealed, but hope doesn't prosecute anyone, but knowledge at least allows you too see who and what is behind the curtain.

Marko , December 15, 2017 at 5:46 pm

" a collection of various Russian disjointed ads on Facebook with an investment of $44,000.xx .."

Yes , it was amazing that Russia was able to control our election so cheaply , but really , that was nothing. They swung the UK Brexit vote with Facebook ads costing them only 97 cents ! :

http://russia-insider.com/en/brilliant-russians-engineered-brexit-97-cents-facebook-ads/ri21937

mike k , December 15, 2017 at 5:34 pm

This whole Russiagate fraud could serve to awake a lot of Americans, if they would only look into it. You are not going to find a more blatant example of fake news by every major media, and also those supposedly upstanding Senators and Representatives, FBI and Justice Icons. If the public ignores opportunities to wake up to this outrageous scam being perpetrated on them now, there is little hope that they ever will. I try to get my friends interested in researching Russiagate, and a few of them have become curious and started asking questions – that's how awakening begins .

Marko , December 15, 2017 at 5:55 pm

Agreed. It's important to have just one or a few topics at most that you can suggest to your uninformed friends as being worthy of their own time to research , with the ultimate goal of " waking up ". Russia-gate is perfect. The Syrian War is another good one.

Pablo Diablo , December 15, 2017 at 5:55 pm

Also, a convenient excuse to discredit the "Special Counsel" Mueller investigation. "Witch hunt", "Fake News", which will come in handy if any real crimes are exposed. Reminds me of one criminal mob taking over territory from the current bunch of criminals.
Sad to see. The definition of "government" is that it represents "the people". Yet, I wonder if any government on Earth does represent "the people".

Brendan , December 15, 2017 at 6:02 pm

In spite of all the blatant lies that it publishes, the New York Times is still highly regarded by the political and media establishment, even in Europe.

In Hamburg on 3 December 2017, the NYT was awarded the Marion Dönhoff Prize for International Understanding and Reconciliation. In his presentation speech, the German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier described the NYT as an authority of enlightenment and a beacon of reason.

Steinmeier even managed to sneak in some fake news when he said "We are paying tribute to a flagship of freedom of the press in an age in which independent newspapers are branded as foreign agents in Russia".
http://www.bundespraesident.de/SharedDocs/Reden/EN/Frank-Walter-Steinmeier/Reden/2017/12/171203-Doenhoff-Prize.html

In fact, none of the media outlets that were recently declared foreign agents by Moscow is either independent or a newspaper. That list consists only of the US government financed VOA and RFE/RL and a number of websites and broadcasters that VOA and RFE/RL control.

Apart from that, the Russian "foreign agents" list is just a direct retaliation against Washington for doing exactly the same thing to RT and Sputnik, who were forced to register as foreign agents. Apparently the "freedom of the press" isn't so important when it applies to Russian media organisations working in the USA.

[Dec 15, 2017] Russia-gate serves the Democrat party because it masks their corruption and their collusion with Israel

Notable quotes:
"... Russia-gate serves the Democrat party because it side-steps their collusion with Israel. It serves the Republicans less because of collusion with corporations in the effort to destroy democracy and the social programs of the New Deal, and Russia is in on it. What is the purpose of all this collusion? It's to bring Iran, North Korea, and Cuba into the New World Order. ..."
"... Washington Post today, in another story relying solely on anonymous sources, breathlessly states: "Nearly a year into his presidency, Trump continues to reject the evidence that Russia waged an assault on a pillar of American democracy and supported his run for the White House. The result is without obvious parallel in U.S. history, a situation in which the personal insecurities of the president -- and his refusal to accept what even many in his administration regard as objective reality -- have impaired the government's response to a national security threat." Objective reality? ..."
"... The "Red Herring" is a major distraction to what is fundamentally a very corrupted election process from within and non-action by both parties to pursue fair, transparent "un-rigged" elections, taking the money out of the elections, getting rid of the electoral college, ranked voting and more. ..."
"... "Israel's collusion with the Trump presidential transition team points to more than just Trump, Kushner, and Flynn violating the Logan Act of 1799, an arcane law prohibiting American citizens from engaging in their own foreign policies. By convincing Trump, Kushner, and Flynn that Obama was behind Resolution 2443, Israel co-opted the Trump transition team to do its bidding. The Logan Act is immaterial when Trump, Kushner, Flynn, and others committed virtual treason against their own country to further the political aims of Israel. ..."
"... "The phoniest aspect of so-called 'Russiagate' is that the political scandal involving Trump, Kushner, Flynn, former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, Trump advisers Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller, and others hardly involves the Russian government. Instead, Eastern European-Israeli oligarchs, along with their thousands of offshore shell corporations located in places as far-ranging as the British Virgin Islands and the Isle of Jersey to the Marshall Islands and Seychelles, along with well-placed American agents-of-influence for Israel, are front-and-center in the scandal that now threatens to bring down the Trump administration." ..."
"... Mueller Names Trump's Foreign 'Colluding' Power: Israel By Wayne Madsen ..."
"... Liars always become very touchy when confronted with their falsehoods. They will inevitably attack there accusers with more lies to make them look bad. This is a fundamental reflex all liars respond to critics with. "I'm not lying, you are!" Those who want to believe the real liar love this response, because it gives them an excuse not to investigate if the accuser may be right. Then they can just turn on the accuser and blame them for false accusation – without the slightest proof, of course. ..."
Dec 15, 2017 | consortiumnews.com

Gregory Kruse , December 14, 2017 at 1:48 pm

Russia-gate serves the Democrat party because it side-steps their collusion with Israel. It serves the Republicans less because of collusion with corporations in the effort to destroy democracy and the social programs of the New Deal, and Russia is in on it. What is the purpose of all this collusion? It's to bring Iran, North Korea, and Cuba into the New World Order.

China and Russia are only nominal adversaries in the world economy. They also want to impoverish the majority of the world's population even at the cost of enriching some individuals to the point of becoming gods. In a sense, this is what liberals have wanted, to level the field that the poor people of the world exist on.

jaycee , December 14, 2017 at 2:26 pm

Washington Post today, in another story relying solely on anonymous sources, breathlessly states: "Nearly a year into his presidency, Trump continues to reject the evidence that Russia waged an assault on a pillar of American democracy and supported his run for the White House. The result is without obvious parallel in U.S. history, a situation in which the personal insecurities of the president -- and his refusal to accept what even many in his administration regard as objective reality -- have impaired the government's response to a national security threat." Objective reality?

Colleen O'Brien , December 14, 2017 at 2:30 pm

All the layers of deceit, denial and distraction bode ill for the Democratic Party and MSM. Thank you Robert Parry for standing up to all this disinformation & propaganda. The "Red Herring" is a major distraction to what is fundamentally a very corrupted election process from within and non-action by both parties to pursue fair, transparent "un-rigged" elections, taking the money out of the elections, getting rid of the electoral college, ranked voting and more.

Reforming our election process is the most important issue because what we have now and what came before is because of the money which owns the politicians and who no longer represent the American People! Nothing will change until we fix this!

Abe , December 14, 2017 at 4:32 pm

"Israel's collusion with the Trump presidential transition team points to more than just Trump, Kushner, and Flynn violating the Logan Act of 1799, an arcane law prohibiting American citizens from engaging in their own foreign policies. By convincing Trump, Kushner, and Flynn that Obama was behind Resolution 2443, Israel co-opted the Trump transition team to do its bidding. The Logan Act is immaterial when Trump, Kushner, Flynn, and others committed virtual treason against their own country to further the political aims of Israel.

"There has never been a successful prosecution under the Logan Act and likely there will never be one. However, those who possessed access to classified information – Trump, Kushner, Flynn, Haley, and others – who were simultaneously taking orders from Israel on matters of US national security, could be found guilty of violating the US Espionage Act. Israel's 'Greek Chorus' of supporters in the US news media and Congress brought up the Logan Act to minimize the damage caused by collusion between Israel's skink-like ambassador to the UN Danny Danon, Netanyahu, Kushner, Flynn, Trump, and Haley to kill the resolution. If the Logan Act had any enforcement teeth, it would have been used a long time ago to indict George Soros, Sheldon Adelson, Haim Saban, Paul Singer, and other pro-Israeli billionaire influence-peddlers, who represent the interests of other nations and engage in their own foreign policies.

"The phoniest aspect of so-called 'Russiagate' is that the political scandal involving Trump, Kushner, Flynn, former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, Trump advisers Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller, and others hardly involves the Russian government. Instead, Eastern European-Israeli oligarchs, along with their thousands of offshore shell corporations located in places as far-ranging as the British Virgin Islands and the Isle of Jersey to the Marshall Islands and Seychelles, along with well-placed American agents-of-influence for Israel, are front-and-center in the scandal that now threatens to bring down the Trump administration."

Mueller Names Trump's Foreign 'Colluding' Power: Israel By Wayne Madsen https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2017/12/04/mueller-names-trump-foreign-colluding-power-israel.html

mike k , December 14, 2017 at 4:51 pm

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

Mild -ly - Facetious , December 14, 2017 at 5:29 pm

... The new Reunion of Ismael and Issac

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2017/12/13/trump-netanyahu-mohammad-bin-salman-destroyers-neoliberal-world-order.html

Mild -ly - Facetious , December 14, 2017 at 7:16 pm

To whom it may concern: Forgive me, this isn't meant to be Hasbara .

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2017/11/30/us-foreign-policy-another-trump-organization-inc-property.html

[Dec 14, 2017] With the 2018 midterms on the horizon, Moscow proposed a sweeping noninterference agreement with the United States. The Trump administration said no

Highly recommended!
Here you have it – a self-confession from the highest D.C. officials, that "democracy promotion = meddling in the elections"! Oh, but that's not all:
Notable quotes:
"... "To test the possibility of a mutual agreement, Putin dispatched Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov to Washington for a July 17 meeting with Under Secretary Tom Shannon, the No. 3 official at the State Department. The official US account of the meeting offered only a bland summary of conversations on "areas of mutual concern." But three US administration officials, including one inside the meeting, said Ryabkov handed over a document containing a bold proposal: A sweeping noninterference agreement between Moscow and Washington that would prohibit both governments from meddling in the other's domestic politics. ..."
"... After examining the proposal, which has not previously been reported, US officials told Moscow there would be no deal. ..."
"... "We said 'thank you very much but now is not the time for this,'" said a senior State Department official who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive diplomatic discussions." ..."
"... Here you have it – a self-confession from the highest D.C. officials, that "democracy promotion = meddling in the elections"! Oh, but that's not all: ..."
Dec 12, 2017 | marknesop.wordpress.com

Lyttenburgh , December 10, 2017 at 5:59 pm

C for Chutzpah.

ButtFeed: How Secret Talks With Russia to Prevent Election Meddling Collapsed

With the 2018 midterms on the horizon, Moscow proposed a sweeping noninterference agreement with the United States, US officials tell BuzzFeed News. The Trump administration said no.

"To test the possibility of a mutual agreement, Putin dispatched Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov to Washington for a July 17 meeting with Under Secretary Tom Shannon, the No. 3 official at the State Department. The official US account of the meeting offered only a bland summary of conversations on "areas of mutual concern." But three US administration officials, including one inside the meeting, said Ryabkov handed over a document containing a bold proposal: A sweeping noninterference agreement between Moscow and Washington that would prohibit both governments from meddling in the other's domestic politics.

After examining the proposal, which has not previously been reported, US officials told Moscow there would be no deal.

"We said 'thank you very much but now is not the time for this,'" said a senior State Department official who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive diplomatic discussions."

Here you have it – a self-confession from the highest D.C. officials, that "democracy promotion = meddling in the elections"! Oh, but that's not all:

[Dec 13, 2017] The U.S. Media Suffered Its Most Humiliating Debacle in Ages by Glenn Greenwald

Notable quotes:
"... publicly available ..."
"... Greenwald's lamenting of the US media's lack of transparency and accountability is touchingly high-minded, but it is also naive. These people are not in the business of informing their viewers; they are in the business of delivering their viewers to a preestablished agenda set by powerful and wealthy people. Until Mr. Greenwald understands this, he will continue to feel disappointment and dissonance. ..."
"... The massive deception operation that goes by the name of "US media" will continue so long as the audience tolerates it, which is probably indefinitely. Over and over again, I have showed members of that audience that they are being lied to. Their reaction is always the same: anger with me for discomforting them. The audience does not watch the US media in order to be informed, they watch the media in order to be comforted, and the media know this and exploit this. This show will run for a long, long time. ..."
"... Well put. Lying is not a special occasion for the US media. It's an everyday occurrence, whereas telling the truth is quite rare. As a person who was born and grew up in Ukraine and has lots of relatives and acquaintances all over that disintegrating country, I can testify that 80% of the reports in the US media about Ukraine since 2014 were blatant lies, whereas in the remaining 20% truth was twisted beyond recognition. ..."
"... There is a minute of breaking news. Then 3 minutes of ads. Then a minute of news. Then 3 minutes of ads. Then what news is up next for 2 minutes. Then 3 minutes of ads. Then a minute of news. ..."
Dec 09, 2017 | www.unz.com

FRIDAY WAS ONE of the most embarrassing days for the U.S. media in quite a long time. The humiliation orgy was kicked off by CNN, with MSNBC and CBS close behind, with countless pundits, commentators and operatives joining the party throughout the day. By the end of the day, it was clear that several of the nation's largest and most influential news outlets had spread an explosive but completely false news story to millions of people, while refusing to provide any explanation of how it happened.

The spectacle began on Friday morning at 11 a.m. EST, when the Most Trusted Name in News™ spent 12 straight minutes on air flamboyantly hyping an exclusive bombshell report that seemed to prove that WikiLeaks, last September, had secretly offered the Trump campaign, even Donald Trump himself, special access to the DNC emails before they were published on the internet. As CNN sees the world, this would prove collusion between the Trump family and WikiLeaks and, more importantly, between Trump and Russia, since the U.S. intelligence community regards WikiLeaks as an "arm of Russian intelligence," and therefore , so does the U.S. media.

This entire revelation was based on an email which CNN strongly implied it had exclusively obtained and had in its possession. The email was sent by someone named "Michael J. Erickson" -- someone nobody had heard of previously and whom CNN could not identify -- to Donald Trump, Jr., offering a decryption key and access to DNC emails that WikiLeaks had "uploaded." The email was a smoking gun, in CNN's extremely excited mind, because it was dated September 4 -- 10 days before WikiLeaks began promoting access to those emails online -- and thus proved that the Trump family was being offered special, unique access to the DNC archive: likely by WikiLeaks and the Kremlin.

It's impossible to convey with words what a spectacularly devastating scoop CNN believed it had, so it's necessary to watch it for yourself to see the tone of excitement, breathlessness and gravity the network conveyed as they clearly believed they were delivering a near-fatal blow on the Trump/Russia collusion story:

There was just one small problem with this story: it was fundamentally false, in the most embarrassing way possible. Hours after CNN broadcast its story -- and then hyped it over and over and over -- the Washington Post reported that CNN got the key fact of the story wrong.

The email was not dated September 4, as CNN claimed, but rather September 14 -- which means it was sent after WikiLeaks had already published access to the DNC emails online. Thus, rather than offering some sort of special access to Trump, "Michael J. Erickson" was simply some random person from the public encouraging the Trump family to look at the publicly available DNC emails that WikiLeaks -- as everyone by then already knew -- had publicly promoted . In other words, the email was the exact opposite of what CNN presented it as being.

Read the Entire Article at The Intercept

Jim Christian , December 11, 2017 at 12:57 pm GMT

The real cartoon network if you ask me. Once people blow it, their public character becomes that of a cartoon character. Franken, Conyers, Hillary, Weinstein and the Weiners. Why is CNN and liberal media exempt? Oh. They aren't.
Almost Missouri , December 11, 2017 at 1:11 pm GMT
Kudos to Greenwald for calling the US media out on this occasion, but in reality the US media humiliates itself weekly, if not daily, if not hourly, with its false reports, poorly concealed agenda and generally propagandistic approach to everything.

Greenwald's lamenting of the US media's lack of transparency and accountability is touchingly high-minded, but it is also naive. These people are not in the business of informing their viewers; they are in the business of delivering their viewers to a preestablished agenda set by powerful and wealthy people. Until Mr. Greenwald understands this, he will continue to feel disappointment and dissonance.

The massive deception operation that goes by the name of "US media" will continue so long as the audience tolerates it, which is probably indefinitely. Over and over again, I have showed members of that audience that they are being lied to. Their reaction is always the same: anger with me for discomforting them. The audience does not watch the US media in order to be informed, they watch the media in order to be comforted, and the media know this and exploit this. This show will run for a long, long time.

anonymous , • Disclaimer December 11, 2017 at 2:50 pm GMT
@Almost Missouri

Yes. Most of our fellows are willfully ignorant cowards. I also believe that many cope by turning on Confederate statues, getting worked up over bathrooms, etc.

Svigor , December 11, 2017 at 4:01 pm GMT
Missouri, how the fuck anyone finds Big Media comforting is beyond me. Their contempt for America and Americans isn't hard to suss out.
Anon , • Disclaimer December 12, 2017 at 1:31 am GMT
@Almost Missouri

Well put. Lying is not a special occasion for the US media. It's an everyday occurrence, whereas telling the truth is quite rare. As a person who was born and grew up in Ukraine and has lots of relatives and acquaintances all over that disintegrating country, I can testify that 80% of the reports in the US media about Ukraine since 2014 were blatant lies, whereas in the remaining 20% truth was twisted beyond recognition.

anarchyst , December 12, 2017 at 1:43 pm GMT
The mainstream media has always been dishonest...

... ... ...

The media has become a "fifth column" of the government and is not to be trusted.

To our advantage, we now have the internet, which gives the ability for ordinary citizens to be real "journalists", quite often getting and reporting the story TRUTHFULLY before the mainstream media.

In fact, there are calls by "mainstream media" to "license" journalists, in an attempt to keep these "citizen journalists" out twenty years ago, any journalist suggesting such a scheme would have been thrown out, but nowadays

Alden , December 12, 2017 at 10:32 pm GMT
@Achmed E. Newman

But do they really watch the TV? The news shows are terrible for getting a coherent message across.

There is a minute of breaking news. Then 3 minutes of ads. Then a minute of news. Then 3 minutes of ads. Then what news is up next for 2 minutes. Then 3 minutes of ads. Then a minute of news.

In an hour of a news show its probably 15 minutes, broken into 1 minute segments of actual news. The rest is just flashing lights and ads and what news will be next. Except for PBS and NPR of course which are just liberal propaganda. Democracy Now, Charlie Rose, Travis Smiley have fewer ads, but who can listen to them or look at them? I'd like to smash Charley Rose' sanctimonious face. And Amy Goodman, why women shouldn't be allowed to vote or hold elected or appointed office.

It's so chopped up with ads and what's up next I don't see how anyone could have the patience to sit through it and figure out what they are blathering about.

Some White Guy , December 13, 2017 at 4:51 pm GMT
I'm sure everyone at CNN has completely forgotten about it by now.
jacques sheete , December 13, 2017 at 11:53 pm GMT
@Alden

It's so chopped up with ads and what's up next I don't see how anyone could have the patience to sit through it and figure out what they are blathering about.

I agree but I'm not sure it would take patience so much as total lack of self respect as well as a hopeless amount of gullibility.

Speaking of ads

for I knew nothing of the facts. I read no newspaper now but Ritchie's, and in that chiefly the advertisements, for they contain the only truths to be relied on in a newspaper.

Thomas Jefferson, letter to To Nathaniel Macon
Monticello, January 12, 1819

[Dec 12, 2017] With the 2018 midterms on the horizon, Moscow proposed a sweeping noninterference agreement with the United States, US officials tell BuzzFeed News. The Trump administration said no

Notable quotes:
"... "To test the possibility of a mutual agreement, Putin dispatched Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov to Washington for a July 17 meeting with Under Secretary Tom Shannon, the No. 3 official at the State Department. The official US account of the meeting offered only a bland summary of conversations on "areas of mutual concern." But three US administration officials, including one inside the meeting, said Ryabkov handed over a document containing a bold proposal: A sweeping noninterference agreement between Moscow and Washington that would prohibit both governments from meddling in the other's domestic politics. ..."
"... After examining the proposal, which has not previously been reported, US officials told Moscow there would be no deal. ..."
"... "We said 'thank you very much but now is not the time for this,'" said a senior State Department official who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive diplomatic discussions." ..."
Dec 12, 2017 | marknesop.wordpress.com

Lyttenburgh , December 10, 2017 at 5:59 pm

C for Chutzpah.

ButtFeed: How Secret Talks With Russia to Prevent Election Meddling Collapsed
With the 2018 midterms on the horizon, Moscow proposed a sweeping noninterference agreement with the United States, US officials tell BuzzFeed News. The Trump administration said no.

"To test the possibility of a mutual agreement, Putin dispatched Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov to Washington for a July 17 meeting with Under Secretary Tom Shannon, the No. 3 official at the State Department. The official US account of the meeting offered only a bland summary of conversations on "areas of mutual concern." But three US administration officials, including one inside the meeting, said Ryabkov handed over a document containing a bold proposal: A sweeping noninterference agreement between Moscow and Washington that would prohibit both governments from meddling in the other's domestic politics.

After examining the proposal, which has not previously been reported, US officials told Moscow there would be no deal.

"We said 'thank you very much but now is not the time for this,'" said a senior State Department official who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive diplomatic discussions."

Here you have it – a self-confession from the highest D.C. officials, that "democracy promotion = meddling in the elections"! Oh, but that's not all:

[Dec 12, 2017] The Acceleration of Censorship in America by Joe Lauria

Notable quotes:
"... BuzzFeed , of course, is the sensationalist outlet that irresponsibly published the Steele dossier in full, even though the accusations – not just about Donald Trump but also many other individuals – weren't verified. Then on Nov. 14, BuzzFeed reporter Jason Leopold wrote one of the most ludicrous of a long line of fantastic Russia-gate stories, reporting that the Russian foreign ministry had sent money to Russian consulates in the U.S. "to finance the election campaign of 2016." The scoop generated some screaming headlines before it became clear that the money was to pay for Russian citizens in the U.S. to vote in the 2016 Duma election. ..."
"... A lesson of the 2016 campaign was that growing numbers of Americans are fed up with three decades of neoliberal policies that have fabulously enriched the top tier of Americans and debased a huge majority of everyone else. The population has likewise grown tired of the elite's senseless wars to expand their own interests, which they to conflate with the entire country's interests. ..."
"... Careerist journalists readily acquiesce in this suppression of news to maintain their jobs, their status and their lifestyles. Meanwhile, a growing body of poorly paid freelancers compete for the few remaining decent-paying gigs for which they must report from the viewpoint of the mainstream news organizations and their wealthy owners. ..."
"... Their solution has been to brand the content of the Russian television network, RT, as "propaganda" since it presents facts and viewpoints that most Americans have been kept from hearing. ..."
"... Now, these American transgressions are projected exclusively onto Moscow. There's also a measure of self-reverence in this for "successful" people, like some journalists, with a stake in an establishment that underpins the elite, demonstrating how wonderfully democratic they are compared to those ogres in Russia. ..."
"... The Jan. 6 intelligence assessment on alleged Russian election meddling is a good example of this. A third of its content is an attack on RT for "undermining American democracy" by reporting on Occupy Wall Street, the protest over the Dakota pipeline and, of all things, holding a "third party candidate debates," at a time when 71% of American millennials say they want a third party. ..."
"... According to the Jan. 6 assessment, RT's offenses include reporting that "the US two-party system does not represent the views of at least one-third of the population and is a 'sham.'" RT also "highlights criticism of alleged US shortcomings in democracy and civil liberties." In other words, reporting newsworthy events and giving third-party candidates a voice undermines democracy. ..."
"... The assessment also says all this amounts to "a Kremlin-directed campaign to undermine faith in the US Government and fuel political protest," but those protests by are against privileges of the wealthy and the well-connected, a status quo that the intelligence agencies were in essence created to protect. ..."
"... There are also deeper reasons why Russia is being targeted. The Russia-gate story fits neatly into a geopolitical strategy that long predates the 2016 election. Since Wall Street and the U.S. government lost the dominant position in Russia that existed under the pliable President Boris Yeltsin, the strategy has been to put pressure on getting rid of Putin to restore a U.S. friendly leader in Moscow. There is substance to Russia's concerns about American designs for "regime change" in the Kremlin. ..."
"... But the "deranking" isn't only aimed at Russian sites; Google algorithms also are taking aim at independent news sites that don't follow the mainstream herd – and thus are accused of spreading Russian or other "propaganda" if they question the dominant Western narratives on, say, the Ukraine crisis or the war in Syria. A number of alternative websites have begun reporting a sharp fall-off of traffic directed to their sites from Google's search engines. ..."
"... the European Union is spending €3.8 million to counter Russian "propaganda." It is targeting Eurosceptic politicians who repeat what they hear on Russian media. ..."
"... Less prominent figures are targeted too. John Kiriakou, a former CIA agent who blew the whistle on torture and was jailed for it, was kicked off a panel in Europe on Nov. 10 by a Bernie Sanders supporter who refused to appear with Kiriakou because he co-hosts a show on Radio Sputnik . ..."
"... At the end of November, Reporters Without Borders, an organization supposedly devoted to press freedom, tried to kick journalist Vanessa Beeley off a panel in Geneva to prevent her from presenting evidence that the White Helmets, a group that sells itself as a rescue organization inside rebel-controlled territory in Syria, has ties to Al Qaeda. The Swiss Press Club, which hosted the event, resisted the pressure and let Beeley speak. ..."
"... Much of this spreading mania and intensifying censorship traces back to Russia-gate. Yet, it remains remarkable that the corporate media has failed so far to prove any significant Russian interference in the U.S. election at all. Nor have the intelligence agencies, Congressional investigations and special prosecutor Robert Mueller. His criminal charges so far have been for financial crimes and lying to federal authorities on topics unrelated to any "collusion" between the Trump campaign and Russians to "hack" Democratic emails ..."
"... As journalist Yasha Levine tweeted: "So the country that influenced US policy through Michael Flynn is Israel, not Russia. But Flynn did try to influence Russia, not the other way around. Ha-ha. This is the smoking gun? What a farce." ..."
"... There's also the question of how significant the release of those emails was anyway. They did provide evidence that the DNC tilted the primary campaign in favor of Clinton over Sanders; they exposed the contents of Clinton's paid speeches to Wall Street, which she was trying to hide from the voters; and they revealed some pay-to-play features of the Clinton Foundation and its foreign donations. But – even if the Russians were involved in providing that information to the American people – those issues were not considered decisive in the campaign. ..."
"... As for vaguer concerns about some Russian group "probably" buying $100,000 in ads, mostly after Americans had voted, as a factor in swaying a $6 billion election, it is too silly to contemplate. ..."
"... RT and Sputnik 's reach in the U.S. is minuscule compared to Fox News , which slammed Clinton throughout the campaign, or for that matter, MSNBC, CNN and other mainstream news outlets, which often expressed open disdain for Republican Donald Trump but also gave extensive coverage to issues such as the security concerns about Clinton's private email server. ..."
"... Without convincing evidence, I remain a Russia-gate skeptic. I am not defending Russia. Russia can defend itself. However, amid the growing censorship and the dangerous new McCarthyism, I am trying to defend America -- from itself. ..."
"... Lauria's article is an excellent review of the hydra-headed MSM perversion of political journalism in this era of the PATRIOT Act, with special focus on 2016-2017. With one small exception that still is worth noting. Namely the inclusion of "North Koreans" along with Palestinians, Russians and Iranians as those whose viewpoints are never represented in the Western media. ..."
"... Without factual support James calls Putin an organized criminal. US NGO staff who have actually dealt with Putin characterize him as a strict legalist. In fact, Putin's incorruptibility is what drives CIA up the wall. Ask any upper-echelon spook. Putin's cupidity deficit short-circuits CIA's go-to subversion method, massive bribes. Putin has an uneasy relationship with the kleptocrats CIA installed while their puppet Yeltsin staggered around blind drunk. But Putin has materially curbed kleptocratic corruption and subversion. Russians appreciate that. ..."
"... It seems to be the same in Germany. The German journalist Udo Ulfkotte, he died maybe a year ago, he worked long for the prestigious newspaper FAZ, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, wrote a book about bought journalism. His explanation for the disappearence of discussion sites with newspapers is that the journalists discovered that the reactions got far more attention than the articles. Very annoying, of course. With us here, Follow The Money, and The Post Online behave as childish as German newspapers. ..."
"... And if that same central bank would give out loans -- that never get repaid -- to the same ethnic gangsters that would then would use those loans to buy up over 90% of the host nations MSM outlets to forever ensure that a steady drip, drip, drip of propaganda went into the host nation's residents, ever so slowly turning them into mindless sheep always bleating for more wars to help the ethnic gangsters steal their way to an Eretz state? ..."
"... Reminds me of a contemporary Russian joke: "Everything communists told us about socialism turned out to be a lie. However, everything they told us about capitalism is perfectly true". ..."
Dec 11, 2017 | www.unz.com

Under increasing pressure from a population angry about endless wars and the transfer of wealth to the one percent, American plutocrats are defending themselves by suppressing critical news in the corporate media they own. But as that news emerges on RT and dissident websites, they've resorted to the brazen move of censorship, which is rapidly spreading in the U.S. and Europe. I know because I was a victim of it.

At the end of October, I wrote an article for Consortium News about the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton's campaign paying for unvetted opposition research that became the basis for much of the disputed story about Russia allegedly interfering in the 2016 presidential election.

The piece showed that the Democrats' two paid-for sources that have engendered belief in Russia-gate are at best shaky. First was former British spy Christopher Steele's largely unverified dossier of second- and third-hand opposition research portraying Donald Trump as something of a Russian Manchurian candidate.

And the second was CrowdStrike, an anti-Putin private company, examining the DNC's computer server to dubiously claim discovery of a Russian "hack." CrowdStrike, it was later discovered, had used faulty software it was later forced to rewrite . The company was hired after the DNC refused to allow the FBI to look at the server.

My piece also described the dangerous consequences of partisan Democratic faith in Russia-gate: a sharp increase in geopolitical tensions between nuclear-armed Russia and the U.S., and a New McCarthyism that is spreading fear -- especially in academia, journalism and civil rights organizations -- about questioning the enforced orthodoxy of Russia's alleged guilt.

After the article appeared at Consortium News , I tried to penetrate the mainstream by then publishing a version of the article on the HuffPost, which was rebranded from the Huffington Post in April this year by new management. As a contributor to the site since February 2006, I am trusted by HuffPost editors to post my stories directly online. However, within 24 hours of publication on Nov. 4, HuffPost editors retracted the article without any explanation.

.... ... ...

Support from Independent Media

Like the word "fascism," "censorship" is an over-used and mis-used accusation, and I usually avoid using it. But without any explanation, I could only conclude that the decision to retract was political, not editorial.

I am non-partisan as I oppose both major parties for failing to represent millions of Americans' interests. I follow facts where they lead. In this case, the facts led to an understanding that the Jan. 6 FBI/NSA/CIA intelligence "assessment" on alleged Russian election interference, prepared by what then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper called "hand-picked" analysts, was based substantially on unvetted opposition research and speculation, not serious intelligence work.

The assessment even made the point that the analysts were not asserting that the alleged Russian interference was a fact. The report contained this disclaimer: "Judgments are not intended to imply that we have proof that shows something to be a fact. Assessments are based on collected information, which is often incomplete or fragmentary, as well as logic, argumentation, and precedents."

Under deadline pressure on Jan. 6, Scott Shane of The New York Times instinctively wrote what many readers of the report must have been thinking: "What is missing from the public report is what many Americans most eagerly anticipated: hard evidence to back up the agencies' claims that the Russian government engineered the election attack. Instead, the message from the agencies essentially amounts to 'trust us.'"

Yet, after the Jan. 6 report was published, leading Democrats asserted falsely that the "assessment" represented the consensus judgment of all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies – not just the views of "hand-picked" analysts from three – and much of the U.S. mainstream media began treating the allegations of Russian "hacking" as fact, not as an uncertain conclusion denied by both the Russian government and WikiLeaks, which insists that it did not get the two batches of Democratic emails from the Russian government.

Yet, because of the oft-repeated "17 intelligence agencies" canard and the mainstream media's over-hyped reporting, the public impression has built up that the accusations against Russia are indisputable. If you ask a Russia-gate believer today what their faith is based on, they will invariably point to the Jan. 6 assessment and mock anyone who still expresses any doubt.

For instance, an unnamed former CIA officer told The Intercept last month, "You've got all these intelligence agencies saying the Russians did the hack. To deny that is like coming out with the theory that the Japanese didn't bomb Pearl Harbor."

That the supposedly dissident Intercept would use this quote is instructive about how unbalanced the media's reporting on Russia-gate has been. We have film of Japanese planes attacking Pearl Harbor and American ships burning – and we have eyewitness accounts of thousands of U.S. soldiers and sailors. Yet, on Russia-gate, we have only the opinions of "hand-picked" intelligence officials who themselves admit their opinions aren't fact. No serious editor would allow a self-interested and unnamed source to equate Russia-gate and Pearl Harbor in print.

In this atmosphere, it was easy for HuffPost editors to hear complaints from readers and blithely ban my story. But before it was pulled, 125 people had shared it. Ray McGovern, a former CIA analyst, then took up my cause, being the first to write about the HuffPost censorship on his blog. McGovern included a link to a .pdf file that I captured of the censored HuffPost story. It has since been republished on numerous other websites.

Journalist Max Blumenthal tweeted about it. British filmmaker and writer Tariq Ali posted it on his Facebook page. Ron Paul and Daniel McAdams interviewed me at length about the censorship on their TV program. ZeroHedge wrote a widely shared piece and someone actually took the time, 27 minutes and 13 seconds to be exact, to read the entire article on YouTube. I began a petition to HuffPost 's Polgreen to either explain the retraction or restore the article. It has gained more than 2,000 signatures so far. If a serious fact-check analysis was made of my article, it must exist and can and should be produced.

Watchdogs & Media Defending Censorship

Despite this support from independent media, a senior official at Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, I learned, declined to take up my cause because he believes in the Russia-gate story. I also learned that a senior officer at the American Civil Liberties Union rejected my case because he too believes in Russia-gate. Both of these serious organizations were set up precisely to defend individuals in such situations on principle, not preference.

In terms of their responsibilities for defending journalism and protecting civil liberties, their personal opinions about whether Russia-gate is real or not are irrelevant. The point is whether a journalist has the right to publish an article skeptical of it. I worry that amid the irrational fear spreading about Russia that concerns about careers and funding are behind these decisions.

One online publication decidedly took the HuffPost's side. Steven Perlberg, a media reporter for BuzzFeed, asked the HuffPost why they retracted my article. While ignoring me, the editors issued a statement to BuzzFeed saying that "Mr. Lauria's self-published" piece was "later flagged by readers, and after deciding that the post contained multiple factually inaccurate or misleading claims, our editors removed the post per our contributor terms of use." Those terms include retraction for "any reason," including, apparently, censorship.

Perlberg posted the HuffPost statement on Twitter. I asked him if he inquired of the editors what those "multiple" errors and "misleading claims" were. I asked him to contact me to get my side of the story. Perlberg totally ignored me. He wrote nothing about the matter. He apparently believed the HuffPost and that was that. In this way, he acquiesced with the censorship.

BuzzFeed , of course, is the sensationalist outlet that irresponsibly published the Steele dossier in full, even though the accusations – not just about Donald Trump but also many other individuals – weren't verified. Then on Nov. 14, BuzzFeed reporter Jason Leopold wrote one of the most ludicrous of a long line of fantastic Russia-gate stories, reporting that the Russian foreign ministry had sent money to Russian consulates in the U.S. "to finance the election campaign of 2016." The scoop generated some screaming headlines before it became clear that the money was to pay for Russian citizens in the U.S. to vote in the 2016 Duma election.

That Russia-gate has reached this point, based on faith and not fact, was further illustrated by a Facebook exchange I had with Gary Sick, an academic who served on the Ford and Carter national security staffs. When I pressed Sick for evidence of Russian interference, he eventually replied: "If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck " When I told him that was a very low-bar for such serious accusations, he angrily cut off debate.

When belief in a story becomes faith-based or is driven by intense self-interest, honest skeptics are pushed aside and trampled. True-believers disdain facts that force them to think about what they believe. They won't waste time making a painstaking examination of the facts or engage in a detailed debate even on something as important and dangerous as a new Cold War with Russia.

This is the most likely explanation for the HuffPost 's censorship: a visceral reaction to having their Russia-gate faith challenged.

Why Critical News is Suppressed

But the HuffPos t's action is hardly isolated. It is part of a rapidly growing landscape of censorship of news critical of American corporate and political leaders who are trying to defend themselves from an increasingly angry population. It's a story as old as civilization: a wealthy and powerful elite fending off popular unrest by trying to contain knowledge of how the elite gain at the others' expense, at home and abroad.

A lesson of the 2016 campaign was that growing numbers of Americans are fed up with three decades of neoliberal policies that have fabulously enriched the top tier of Americans and debased a huge majority of everyone else. The population has likewise grown tired of the elite's senseless wars to expand their own interests, which they to conflate with the entire country's interests.

America's bipartisan rulers are threatened by popular discontent from both left and right. They were alarmed by the Bernie Sanders insurgency and by Donald Trump's victory, even if Trump is now betraying the discontented masses who voted for him by advancing tax and health insurance plans designed to further crush them and benefit the rich.

Trump's false campaign promises will only make the rulers' problem of controlling a restless population more difficult. Americans are subjected to economic inequality greater than in the first Gilded Age. They are also subjected today to more war than in the first Gilded Age, which led to the launch of American overseas empire. Today American rulers are engaged in multiple conflicts following decades of post-World War II invasions and coups to expand their global interests.

People with wealth and power always seem to be nervous about losing both. So plutocrats use the concentrated media they own to suppress news critical of their wars and domestic repression. For example, almost nothing was reported about militarized police forces until the story broke out into the open in the Ferguson protests and now the story has been buried again.

Careerist journalists readily acquiesce in this suppression of news to maintain their jobs, their status and their lifestyles. Meanwhile, a growing body of poorly paid freelancers compete for the few remaining decent-paying gigs for which they must report from the viewpoint of the mainstream news organizations and their wealthy owners.

To operate in this media structure, most journalists know to excise out the historical context of America's wars of domination. They know to uncritically accept American officials' bromides about spreading democracy, while hiding the real war aims.

Examples abound: America's role in the Ukraine coup was denied or downplayed; a British parliamentary report exposing American lies that led to the destruction of Libya was suppressed ; and most infamously, the media promoted the WMD hoax and the fable of "bringing democracy" to Iraq, leading to the illegal invasion and devastation of that country. A recent example from November is a 60 Minutes report on the Saudi destruction of Yemen, conspicuously failing to mention America's crucial role in the carnage.

I've pitched numerous news stories critical of U.S. foreign policy to a major American newspaper that were rejected or changed in the editorial process. One example is the declassified Defense Intelligence Agency document of August 2012 that accurately predicted the rise of the Islamic State two years later.

The document, which I confirmed with a Pentagon spokesman, said the U.S. and its Turkish, European and Gulf Arab allies, were supporting the establishment of a Salafist principality in eastern Syria to put pressure on the Syrian government, but the document warned that this Salafist base could turn into an "Islamic State."

But such a story would undermine the U.S. government's "war on terrorism" narrative by revealing that the U.S.-backed strategy actually was risking the expansion of jihadist-held territory in Syria. The story was twice rejected by my editors and to my knowledge has never appeared in corporate media.

Another story rejected in June 2012, just a year into the Syrian war, was about Russia's motives in Syria being guided by a desire to defeat the growing jihadist threat there. Corporate media wanted to keep the myth of Russia's "imperial" aims in Syria alive. I had to publish the article outside the U.S., in a South African daily newspaper.

In September 2015 at the U.N. General Assembly, Russian President Vladimir Putin confirmed my story about Russia's motives in Syria to stop jihadists from taking over. Putin invited the U.S. to join this effort as Moscow was about to launch its military intervention at the invitation of the Syrian government. The Obama administration, still insisting on "regime change" in Syria, refused. And the U.S. corporate media continued promoting the myth that Russia intervened to recapture its "imperial glory."

It was much easier to promote the "imperial" narrative than report Putin's clear explanation to French TV channel TF1, which was not picked up by American media.

"Remember what Libya or Iraq looked like before these countries and their organizations were destroyed as states by our Western partners' forces?" Putin said. "These states showed no signs of terrorism. They were not a threat for Paris, for the Cote d'Azur, for Belgium, for Russia, or for the United States. Now, they are the source of terrorist threats. Our goal is to prevent the same from happening in Syria."

But don't take Putin's word for it. Then Secretary of State John Kerry knew why Russia intervened. In a leaked audio conversation with Syrian opposition figures in September 2016, Kerry said: "The reason Russia came in is because ISIL was getting stronger, Daesh was threatening the pos­sibility of going to Damascus, and that's why Russia came in because they didn't want a Daesh government and they supported Assad."

Kerry admitted that rather than seriously fight the Islamic State in Syria, the U.S. was ready to use its growing strength to pressure Assad to resign, just as the DIA document that I was unable to report said it would. "We know that this was growing, we were watching, we saw that Daesh was growing in strength, and we thought Assad was threatened. We thought, how­ever, we could probably manage that Assad might then negotiate, but instead of negotiating he got Putin to support him." Kerry's com­ment suggests that the U.S. was willing to risk the Islamic State and its jihadist allies gaining power in order to force out Assad.

Why Russia Is Targeted

Where are independent-minded Western journalists to turn if their stories critical of the U.S. government and corporations are suppressed? The imperative is to get these stories out – and Russian media has provided an opening. But this has presented a new problem for the plutocracy. The suppression of critical news in their corporate-owned media is no longer working if it's seeping out in Russian media and through dissident Western news sites.

Their solution has been to brand the content of the Russian television network, RT, as "propaganda" since it presents facts and viewpoints that most Americans have been kept from hearing.

As a Russian-government-financed English-language news channel, RT also gives a Russian perspective on the news, the way CNN and The New York Times give an American perspective and the BBC a British one. American mainstream journalists, from my experience, arrogantly deny suppressing news and believe they present a universal perspective, rather than a narrow American view of the world.

The viewpoints of Iranians, Palestinians, Russians, North Koreans and others are never fully reported in the Western media although the supposed mission of journalism is to help citizens understand a frighteningly complex world from multiple points of view. It's impossible to do so without those voices included. Routinely or systematically shutting them out also dehumanizes people in those countries, making it easier to gain popular support to go to war against them.

Russia is scapegoated by charging that RT or Sputnik are sowing divisions in the U.S. by focusing on issues like homelessness, racism, or out-of-control militarized police forces, as if these divisive issues didn't already exist. The U.S. mainstream media also seems to forget that the U.S. government has engaged in at least 70 years of interference in other countries' elections, foreign invasions, coups, planting stories in foreign media and cyber-warfare, which Russian media crucially points out.

Now, these American transgressions are projected exclusively onto Moscow. There's also a measure of self-reverence in this for "successful" people, like some journalists, with a stake in an establishment that underpins the elite, demonstrating how wonderfully democratic they are compared to those ogres in Russia.

The overriding point about the "Russian propaganda" complaint is that when America's democratic institutions, including the press and the electoral process, are crumbling under the weight of corruption that the American elites have created or maintained, someone else needs to be blamed.

The Jan. 6 intelligence assessment on alleged Russian election meddling is a good example of this. A third of its content is an attack on RT for "undermining American democracy" by reporting on Occupy Wall Street, the protest over the Dakota pipeline and, of all things, holding a "third party candidate debates," at a time when 71% of American millennials say they want a third party.

According to the Jan. 6 assessment, RT's offenses include reporting that "the US two-party system does not represent the views of at least one-third of the population and is a 'sham.'" RT also "highlights criticism of alleged US shortcomings in democracy and civil liberties." In other words, reporting newsworthy events and giving third-party candidates a voice undermines democracy.

The assessment also says all this amounts to "a Kremlin-directed campaign to undermine faith in the US Government and fuel political protest," but those protests by are against privileges of the wealthy and the well-connected, a status quo that the intelligence agencies were in essence created to protect.

There are also deeper reasons why Russia is being targeted. The Russia-gate story fits neatly into a geopolitical strategy that long predates the 2016 election. Since Wall Street and the U.S. government lost the dominant position in Russia that existed under the pliable President Boris Yeltsin, the strategy has been to put pressure on getting rid of Putin to restore a U.S. friendly leader in Moscow. There is substance to Russia's concerns about American designs for "regime change" in the Kremlin.

Moscow sees an aggressive America expanding NATO and putting 30,000 NATO troops on its borders; trying to overthrow a secular ally in Syria with terrorists who threaten Russia itself; backing a coup in Ukraine as a possible prelude to moves against Russia; and using American NGOs to foment unrest inside Russia before they were forced to register as foreign agents.

Accelerated Censorship in the Private Sector

The Constitution prohibits government from prior-restraint, or censorship, though such tactics were imposed, largely unchallenged, during the two world wars. American newspapers voluntarily agreed to censor themselves in the Second World War before the government dictated it.

In the Korean War, General Douglas MacArthur said he didn't "desire to reestablish wartime censorship" and instead asked the press for self-censorship. He largely got it until the papers began reporting American battlefield losses. On July 25, 1950, "the army ordered that reporters were not allowed to publish 'unwarranted' criticism of command decisions, and that the army would be 'the sole judge and jury' on what 'unwarranted' criticism entailed," according to a Yale University study on military censorship.

After excellent on-the-ground reporting from Vietnam brought the war home to America, the military reacted by instituting, initially in the first Gulf War, serious control of the press by "embedding" reporters from private media companies. They accepted the arrangement, much as World War II newspapers censored themselves.

It is important to realize that the First Amendment does not apply to private companies, including the media. It is not illegal for them to practice censorship. I never made a First Amendment argument against the HuffPost , for instance. However, under pressure from Washington, even in peacetime, media companies can do the government's dirty work to censor or limit free speech for the government.

In the past few weeks, we've seen an acceleration of attempts by corporations to inhibit Russian media in the U.S. Both Google and Facebook, which dominate the Web with more than 50 percent of ad revenue, were at first resistant to government pressure to censor "Russian propaganda." But they are coming around.

Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Alphabet, Google's parent company, said on Nov. 18 that Google would "derank" articles from RT and Sputnik in the Google searches, making the stories harder for readers to find. The billionaire Schmidt claimed Russian information can be "repetitive, exploitative, false, [or] likely to have been weaponized," he said. That is how factual news critical of U.S. corporate and political leadership is seen by them: as a weapon threatening their rule.

"My own view is that these patterns can be detected, and that they can be taken down or deprioritized," Schmidt said. Though Google would essentially be hiding news produced by RT and Sputnik , Schmidt is sensitive to the charge of censorship, even though there's nothing legally to stop him. "We don't want to ban the sites. That's not how we operate," Schmidt said cynically. "I am strongly not in favor of censorship. I am very strongly in favor of ranking. It's what we do."

But the "deranking" isn't only aimed at Russian sites; Google algorithms also are taking aim at independent news sites that don't follow the mainstream herd – and thus are accused of spreading Russian or other "propaganda" if they question the dominant Western narratives on, say, the Ukraine crisis or the war in Syria. A number of alternative websites have begun reporting a sharp fall-off of traffic directed to their sites from Google's search engines.

Responding to a deadline from Congress to act, Facebook on Nov. 22 announced that it would inform users if they have been "targeted" by Russian "propaganda." Facebook's help center will tell users if they liked or shared ads allegedly from the St. Petersburg-based Internet Research Agency, which supposedly bought $100,000 in ads over a two-year period, with more than half these ads coming after the 2016 U.S. election and many not related to politics.

The $100,000 sum over two years compares to Facebook's $27 billion in annual revenue. Plus, Facebook only says it "believes" or it's "likely" that the ads came from that firm, whose links to the Kremlin also have yet to be proved.

Facebook described the move as "part of our ongoing effort to protect our platforms and the people who use them from bad actors who try to undermine our democracy." Congress wants more from Facebook, so it will not be surprising if users will eventually be alerted to Russian media reports as "propaganda" in the future.

While the government can't openly shut down a news site, the Federal Communications Commission's upcoming vote on whether to deregulate the Internet by ending net neutrality will free private Internet companies in the U.S. to further marginalize Russian and dissident websites by slowing them down and thus discouraging readers from viewing them.

Likewise, as the U.S. government doesn't want to be openly seen shutting down RT operations, it is working around the edges to accomplish that.

After the Department of Justice forced, under threat of arrest, RT to register its employees as foreign agents under the Foreign Agents Registration Act , State Department spokeswoman Heather Nuaert said that "FARA does not police the content of information disseminated, does not limit the publication of information or advocacy materials, and does not restrict an organization's ability to operate." She'd earlier said that registering would not "impact or affect the ability of them to report news and information. We just have them register. It's as simple as that."

The day after Nuaert spoke the Congressional press office stripped RT correspondents of their Capitol Hill press passes, citing the FARA registration. "The rules of the Galleries state clearly that news credentials may not be issued to any applicant employed 'by any foreign government or representative thereof.' Upon its registration as a foreign agent under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), RT Network became ineligible to hold news credentials," read the letter to RT.

But Russia-gate faithful ignore these aggressive moves and issue calls for even harsher action. After forcing RT to register, Keir Giles, a Chatham House senior consulting fellow, acted as though it never happened. He said in a Council on Foreign Relations Cyber Brief on Nov. 27: "Although the Trump administration seems unlikely to pursue action against Russian information operations, there are steps the U.S. Congress and other governments should consider."

I commented on this development on RT America. It would also have been good to have the State Department's Nuaert answer for this discrepancy about the claim that forced FARA registrations would not affect news gathering when it already has. My criticism of RT is that they should be interviewing U.S. decision-makers to hold them accountable, rather than mostly guests outside the power structure. The decision-makers could be called out on air if they refuse to appear.

Growing McCarthyite Attacks

Western rulers' wariness about popular unrest can be seen in the extraordinary and scurrilous attack on the Canadian website globalresearch.ca . It began with a chilling study by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization into the relatively obscure website, followed by a vicious hit piece on Nov. 18 by the Globe and Mail, Canada's largest newspaper. The headline was: "How a Canadian website is being used to amplify the Kremlin's view of the world."

"What once appeared to be a relatively harmless online refuge for conspiracy theorists is now seen by NATO's information warfare specialists as a link in a concerted effort to undermine the credibility of mainstream Western media – as well as the North American and European public's trust in government and public institutions," the Globe and Mail reported.

"Global Research is viewed by NATO's Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence – or StratCom – as playing a key accelerant role in helping popularize articles with little basis in fact that also happen to fit the narratives being pushed by the Kremlin, in particular, and the Assad regime." The website never knew it had such powers. I've not agreed with everything I've read on the site. But it is a useful clearinghouse for alternative media. Numerous Consortium News articles are republished there, including a handful of mine. But the site's typical sharing and reposting on the Internet is seen by NATO as a plot to undermine the Free World.

"It uses that reach to push not only its own opinion pieces, but 'news' reports from little-known websites that regularly carry dubious or false information," the he Globe and Mail reported. " At times, the site's regular variety of international-affairs stories is replaced with a flurry of items that bolster dubious reportage with a series of opinion pieces, promoted on social media and retweeted and shared by active bots."

The newspaper continued, "'That way, they increase the Google ranking of the story and create the illusion of multi-source verification,' said Donara Barojan, who does digital forensic research for [StratCom]. But she said she did not yet have proof that Global Research is connected to any government."

This sort of smear is nothing more than a blatant attack on free speech by the most powerful military alliance in the world, based on the unfounded conviction that Russia is a fundamental force for evil and that anyone who has contacts with Russia or shares even a part of its multilateral world view is suspect.

Such tactics are spreading to Europe. La Repubblica newspaper in Italy wrote a similar hit piece against L'Antidiplomatico, a dissident website. And the European Union is spending €3.8 million to counter Russian "propaganda." It is targeting Eurosceptic politicians who repeat what they hear on Russian media.

High-profile individuals in the U.S. are also now in the crosshairs of the neo-McCarthyite witch hunt. On Nov. 25 The Washington Post ran a nasty hit piece on Washington Capitals' hockey player Alex Ovechkin, one of the most revered sports figures in the Washington area, simply because he, like 86 percent of other Russians , supports his president.

"Alex Ovechkin is one of Putin's biggest fans. The question is, why?" ran the headline. The story insidiously implied that Ovechkin was a dupe of his own president, being used to set up a media campaign to support Putin, who is under fierce and relentless attack in the United States where Ovechkin plays professional ice hockey.

"He has given an unwavering endorsement to a man who U.S. intelligence agencies say sanctioned Russian meddling in last year's presidential election," write the Post reporters, once again showing their gullibility to U.S. intelligence agencies that have provided no proof for their assertions (and even admit that they are not asserting their opinion as fact).

Less prominent figures are targeted too. John Kiriakou, a former CIA agent who blew the whistle on torture and was jailed for it, was kicked off a panel in Europe on Nov. 10 by a Bernie Sanders supporter who refused to appear with Kiriakou because he co-hosts a show on Radio Sputnik .

At the end of November, Reporters Without Borders, an organization supposedly devoted to press freedom, tried to kick journalist Vanessa Beeley off a panel in Geneva to prevent her from presenting evidence that the White Helmets, a group that sells itself as a rescue organization inside rebel-controlled territory in Syria, has ties to Al Qaeda. The Swiss Press Club, which hosted the event, resisted the pressure and let Beeley speak.

But as a consequence the club director said its funding was slashed from the Swiss government.

Russia-gate's Hurdles

Much of this spreading mania and intensifying censorship traces back to Russia-gate. Yet, it remains remarkable that the corporate media has failed so far to prove any significant Russian interference in the U.S. election at all. Nor have the intelligence agencies, Congressional investigations and special prosecutor Robert Mueller. His criminal charges so far have been for financial crimes and lying to federal authorities on topics unrelated to any "collusion" between the Trump campaign and Russians to "hack" Democratic emails.

There will likely be more indictments from Mueller, even perhaps a complaint about Trump committing obstruction of justice because he said on TV that he fired Comey, in part, because of the "Russia thing." But Trump's clumsy reaction to the "scandal," which he calls "fake news" and a "witch hunt," still is not proof that Putin and the Russians interfered in the U.S. election to achieve the unlikely outcome of Trump's victory.

The Russia-gate faithful assured us to wait for the indictment of retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, briefly Trump's national security adviser. But again there was nothing about pre-election "collusion," only charges that Flynn had lied to the FBI about conversations with the Russian ambassador regarding policy matters during the presidential transition, i.e., after the election.

One of Flynn's conversations was about trying unsuccessfully to comply with an Israeli request to get Russia to block a United Nations resolution censuring Israel's settlements on Palestinian land.

As journalist Yasha Levine tweeted: "So the country that influenced US policy through Michael Flynn is Israel, not Russia. But Flynn did try to influence Russia, not the other way around. Ha-ha. This is the smoking gun? What a farce."

The media is becoming a victim of its own mania. In its zeal to push this story reporters are making a huge number of amateurish mistakes on stories that are later corrected. Brian Ross of ABC News was suspended for erroneously reporting that Trump had told Flynn to contact the Russians before the election, and not after.

There remain a number of key hurdles to prove the Russia-gate story. First, convincing evidence is needed that the Russian government indeed did "hack" the Democratic emails, both those of the DNC and Clinton's campaign chairman John Podesta – and gave them to WikiLeaks. Then it must be linked somehow to the Trump campaign. If it were a Russian hack it would have been an intelligence operation on a need-to-know basis, and no one in the Trump team needed to know. It's not clear how any campaign member could have even helped with an overseas hack or could have been an intermediary to WikiLeaks.

There's also the question of how significant the release of those emails was anyway. They did provide evidence that the DNC tilted the primary campaign in favor of Clinton over Sanders; they exposed the contents of Clinton's paid speeches to Wall Street, which she was trying to hide from the voters; and they revealed some pay-to-play features of the Clinton Foundation and its foreign donations. But – even if the Russians were involved in providing that information to the American people – those issues were not considered decisive in the campaign.

Clinton principally pinned her loss on FBI Director James Comey for closing and then reopening the investigation into her improper use of a private email server while Secretary of State. She also spread the blame to Russia (repeating the canard about "seventeen [U.S. intelligence] agencies, all in agreement"), Bernie Sanders, the inept DNC and other factors.

As for vaguer concerns about some Russian group "probably" buying $100,000 in ads, mostly after Americans had voted, as a factor in swaying a $6 billion election, it is too silly to contemplate.

That RT and Sputnik ran pieces critical of Hillary Clinton was their right, and they were hardly alone. RT and Sputnik 's reach in the U.S. is minuscule compared to Fox News , which slammed Clinton throughout the campaign, or for that matter, MSNBC, CNN and other mainstream news outlets, which often expressed open disdain for Republican Donald Trump but also gave extensive coverage to issues such as the security concerns about Clinton's private email server.

Another vague Russia-gate suspicion stemming largely from Steele's opposition research is that somehow Russia bribed or blackmailed Trump because of past business with Russians. But there are evidentiary and logical problems with these theories, since some lucrative deals fell through (and presumably wouldn't have if Trump was being paid off).

Some have questioned how Trump could have supported detente with Russia without being beholden to Moscow in some way. But Jeffrey Sommers, a political scientist at the University of Wisconsin, wrote a convincing essay explaining adviser Steve Bannon's influence on Trump's thinking about Russia and the need for cooperation between the two powers to solve international problems.

Without convincing evidence, I remain a Russia-gate skeptic. I am not defending Russia. Russia can defend itself. However, amid the growing censorship and the dangerous new McCarthyism, I am trying to defend America -- from itself.

An earlier version of this story appeared on Consortium News .

Joe Lauria is a veteran foreign-affairs journalist. He has written for the Boston Globe, the Sunday Times of London and the Wall Street Journal among other newspapers. He is the author of How I Lost By Hillary Clinton published by OR Books in June 2017. He can be reached at joelauria@gmail.com and followed on Twitter at @unjoe .

Carlton Meyer , Website December 11, 2017 at 5:49 am GMT

"Breaking News" – CNN's Fake News Exposed -- Again!

https://theintercept.com/2017/12/09/the-u-s-media-yesterday-suffered-its-most-humiliating-debacle-in-ages-now-refuses-all-transparency-over-what-happened/

AndrewR , December 11, 2017 at 6:40 am GMT
People believe what they want to. Evidence, or lack thereof, has little to do with it, so censorship, or lack thereof, is largely pointless.
El Dato , December 11, 2017 at 6:53 am GMT

But Huffington stepped down as editor in August 2016 and has nothing to do with the site now. It is run by Lydia Polgreen, a former New York Times reporter and editor, who evidently has very different ideas. In April, she completely redesigned the site and renamed it HuffPost.

Ah, so HuffPo is now a NYT vehicle.

jilles dykstra , December 11, 2017 at 7:34 am GMT
" It's a story as old as civilization: a wealthy and powerful elite fending off popular unrest by trying to contain knowledge of how the elite gain at the others' expense, at home and abroad. "

This is exactly what Howard Zinn writes. Alas it is the same at this side of the Atlantic. The British newspaper Guardian was independent, Soros bought it. Dutch official 'news' is just government propaganda.

But also most Dutch dicussion sites are severely biased, criticism of Israel is next to impossible. And of course the words 'populist' and 'extreme right' are propaganda words, used for those who oppose mainstream politics: EU, euro, globalisation, unlimited immigration, etc.

Despite all these measures and censorship, including self censorship, dissident political parties grow stronger and stronger. One could see this in the French presidential elections, one sees it in Germany where AfD now is in parliament, the Reichstag, one sees it in Austria, where the nationalist party got about half the votes, one sees it in countries as Poland and Hungary, that want to keep their cultures. And of course there is Brexit 'we want our country back'.

In the Netherlands the in October 2016 founded party FvD, Forum for Democracy, got two seats in the last elections, but polls show that if now elections were held, it would have some fourteen seats in our parliament of 150. The present ruling coalition, led by Rutte, has very narrow margins, both in parliament and what here is called Eerste Kamer.
Parliament maybe can be seen as House, Eerste Kamer as Senate. There is a good chance that at the next Eerste Kamer elections FvD will be able to end the reign of Rutte, who is, in my opinion, just Chairman of the Advance Rutte Foundation, and of course a stiff supporter of Merkel and Brussels. Now that the end of Merkel is at the horizon, I'm curious how Rutte will manoevre.

Grandpa Charlie , December 11, 2017 at 7:42 am GMT

"The viewpoints of Iranians, Palestinians, Russians, North Koreans and others are never fully reported in the Western media although the supposed mission of journalism is to help citizens understand a frighteningly complex world from multiple points of view" -- Joe Lauria

Lauria's article is an excellent review of the hydra-headed MSM perversion of political journalism in this era of the PATRIOT Act, with special focus on 2016-2017. With one small exception that still is worth noting. Namely the inclusion of "North Koreans" along with Palestinians, Russians and Iranians as those whose viewpoints are never represented in the Western media.

It"s true, of course, that the viewpoints of North Koreans go unreported in MSM, but that's hardly the "whole truth and nothing but the truth." The problems confronting any journalist who might endeavor to report on public opinion in North Korea are incomparably more difficult than the problems confronting attempts to report on public opinion in Iran, in Russia or in Palestine. These three "theaters" -- so to speak –each with its own challenges, no doubt, should never be conflated with the severe realities of censorship and even forceful thought policing in North Korea.

Anonymous , Disclaimer December 11, 2017 at 9:32 am GMT

Despite this support from independent media, a senior official at Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, I learned, declined to take up my cause because he believes in the Russia-gate story. I also learned that a senior officer at the American Civil Liberties Union rejected my case because he too believes in Russia-gate. Both of these serious organizations were set up precisely to defend individuals in such situations on principle, not preference.

I'm not even sure that they believe in Russia-gate. This could easily be cowardice or corruption. The globalists have poured untold millions into "fixing" the Internet wrongthink so it's only natural that we're seeing results. I'm seeing "grassroots" shilling everywhere, for instance.

This is not going to work for them. You can't force consent of the governed. The more you squeeze, the more sand slips through your fingers.

Vlad , December 11, 2017 at 10:12 am GMT
Thank you for your steadfastness, honesty, courage and determination.
cowardly troll , December 11, 2017 at 11:31 am GMT
It is worse than censorship. History, via web searches, are being deleted. Now, you have no hint what is missing. Example, in 1999 I read an article in a weekly tech newspaper – maybe Information Week – about university researchers who discovered that 64 bit encrypted phones were only using the first 56 bits and the last 8 were zeros. They suspected that the US government was responsible. Cannot find any reference to that online.
Jim Bob Lassiter , December 11, 2017 at 12:54 pm GMT
Joe Lauria may very well be a "victim", but certainly not one that I would parade around as some USDA table grade poster child victim of really egregious reprisals. He's a veteran in the establishment MSM milieu and certainly knew what kind of a shit bird operation it is that he chose to attempt to publish his piece in.

Oh, lest I forget to mention, he didn't lose his livelihood, get ejected from his gym, have his country club membership revoked, get banned from AirB&B ad nauseum.

Che Guava , December 11, 2017 at 2:19 pm GMT
It is an interesting article. I am curious about the '17 intellience agencies' thing, CIA., FBI, NSA, army and navy intel units, well that is making five or so. The latter two would likely having no connection with checking the 'Russia was hacking the election', likewise, air force sigint (which they obviously need and have). So, a list from a poster who is expert on the topic, what are the seventeen agencies which were agreeing on vicious Vlad having 'hacked' poor Hillary's campaign?

Is anybody knowing? This is a very real, good, and serious question, from me, and have not seeing it before. Can anybody producing a list of the seventeen agencies? Parodic replies welcome, but it would be of interest to many if somebody could making a list of the seventeen lurching about in Hillary's addled mind.

jack ryan , Website December 11, 2017 at 2:24 pm GMT
We're witnessing a huge closing of the American Liberal secular mind. There used to be secular liberal hard copy magazines like the Atlantic Magazine that published intelligent well written articles and commentary about foreign affairs, immigration, Islam from a principled secular, Liberal perspective – especially in the early 1990s. That's pretty much gone now as The Atlantic is mostly just a blog that puts out the party line. There are still, thankfully a few exceptions like

Graeme Wood's "What ISIS Really Wants" https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2015/03/what-isis-really-wants/384980/

The Atlantic Magazine still allows a lot of free speech in the comment section, except in cases like articles written by the Ta-Nehisi Coates.

We try to use humor to deflate the humorless PC Lib Left thought police and the go alongs to get along in the Cuckservative, Conservative Inc.

Here's one of our/Farstar cartoons just noticing that too many people are just parroting CNN nonsense about Russian conspiracies.

http://www.occidentaldissent.com/2017/06/16/farstar-returns-parroting-the-tv-the-russians-are-behind-everything/jpg-parrot/

Ilyana_Rozumova , December 11, 2017 at 3:01 pm GMT
Bias MSM. Censorship. These are affirmative sins of insecurity eventually leading to desperation, resulting in dictatorship.
Joe Hide , December 11, 2017 at 4:06 pm GMT
Your article seemed otherwise good, but lacked any humor early on to keep me reading. After all, it is 6000 words! I have a job, family, obligations, other readings, and only so much thinking energy in a day. I think You might try shortening such articles to maybe 2000 – 3000 words? Like I said though, You did present some good ideas.
Julius n' Ethel , December 11, 2017 at 4:27 pm GMT
Mark James' modified limited hangout shows us the true purpose of his ICCPR-illegal statist war propaganda. James candidly jettisons Hillary, acknowledging the obvious, that she was the more repulsive choice in this duel of the titans. But James is still hanging on to the crucial residual message of the CIA line: Putin tripleplus bad.

Without factual support James calls Putin an organized criminal. US NGO staff who have actually dealt with Putin characterize him as a strict legalist. In fact, Putin's incorruptibility is what drives CIA up the wall. Ask any upper-echelon spook. Putin's cupidity deficit short-circuits CIA's go-to subversion method, massive bribes. Putin has an uneasy relationship with the kleptocrats CIA installed while their puppet Yeltsin staggered around blind drunk. But Putin has materially curbed kleptocratic corruption and subversion. Russians appreciate that.

James fantasizes that Putin is going to get ousted and murdered. However Putin has public approval that US politicians couldn't dream of. This is because Russia's government meets world human rights standards that the US fails to meet. The Russian government complies with the Paris Principles, world standard for institutionalized human rights protection under expert international review. The USA does not. The USA is simply not is Russia's league with respect to universally-acknowledged rights.

James can easily verify this by comparing the US human-rights deficiencies to corresponding Russian reviews, point-by-point, based on each article of the core human rights conventions.

https://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Indicators/Pages/HRIndicatorsIndex.aspx

Comprehensive international human rights review shows that the USA is not in Russia's league. Look at the maps if you can't be bothered to read the particulars – they put the US in an underdeveloped backwater with headchopping Arab princelings and a couple African presidents-for-life. CIA's INGSOC fixation on Putin is intended to divert your attention from the objectively superior human-rights performance of the Russian government as a whole, and the USA's failure and disgrace in public in Geneva, front of the whole world.

How did this happen? Turns out, dismantling the USSR did Russia a world of good. Now we see it's time to take the USA apart and do the same for America. That's the origin of the panic you can smell on the CIA regime.

Don Bacon , December 11, 2017 at 4:41 pm GMT
There is censorship on blogs.
> I have been banned from The Atlantic blog for correcting a noted anti-Iran blogger.
> I have been banned from the National Interest blog for highlighting Pentagon's acquisition problems.
> I have been banned by Facebook for declaring that females don't belong in the infantry. I "violated community standards" with my opinion which was based somewhat on my time in the infantry, which my PC critic probably lacked.
jilles dykstra , December 11, 2017 at 5:53 pm GMT
@Don Bacon

In hindsight I wish I would have made a list of sites where I was banned, some of them several times. In the USA Washpost and Christian Science Monitor, both sites were abolished, I suppose because censorship and banning became too expensive.

In UK War Without End was was one of the very few sites where was no censorship, UK laws forced the owner to close down. The site was near impossible to hack, the owner had a hand built interface in Linux between incoming messages and the site itself. At present there is not one more or less serious Dutch site where I can write.

On top of that, most Dutch sites no longer exist, especially those operated by newspapers.

It seems to be the same in Germany. The German journalist Udo Ulfkotte, he died maybe a year ago, he worked long for the prestigious newspaper FAZ, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, wrote a book about bought journalism. His explanation for the disappearence of discussion sites with newspapers is that the journalists discovered that the reactions got far more attention than the articles. Very annoying, of course. With us here, Follow The Money, and The Post Online behave as childish as German newspapers.

Alden , December 11, 2017 at 5:57 pm GMT
@Jim Bob Lassiter

Your post is exactly what I wanted to write. Saved me the effort. I figured out the MSM was nothing but lies around 1966. I have no sympathy for any MSM journalist.

Greg Bacon , Website December 11, 2017 at 6:12 pm GMT
Wouldn't it be scary if a nation's central bank was controlled and run by a group pretending to be loyal to their host nation, but was actually in league with a nation that was trying to gobble up huge chunks of ME land, doing this by controlling the host nation's media outlets, and forever posting psyop stories and actual lies to support the land thefts?

And if that same central bank would give out loans -- that never get repaid -- to the same ethnic gangsters that would then would use those loans to buy up over 90% of the host nations MSM outlets to forever ensure that a steady drip, drip, drip of propaganda went into the host nation's residents, ever so slowly turning them into mindless sheep always bleating for more wars to help the ethnic gangsters steal their way to an Eretz state?

Yes, it would be scary to live in a tyrant state like that.

Anon , Disclaimer December 12, 2017 at 1:02 am GMT

Reminds me of a contemporary Russian joke: "Everything communists told us about socialism turned out to be a lie. However, everything they told us about capitalism is perfectly true".

[Dec 10, 2017] #blamePutin continues to be the media s dominant hashtag

Notable quotes:
"... The decline of the falsely self-described "quality" media outlet The Guardian/Observer into a deranged fake news site pushing anti-Russian hate propaganda continues apace. ..."
"... Later in the same article Magnitsky is described as having been Browder's "tax lawyer" a standard trope of the Western propaganda narrative about the case. Magnitsky was actually an accountant . ..."
"... By "doing something about it" they mean they're going to tell one hostile lie about Russia after another. ..."
"... I think huge swathes of the media, in the eyes of many people, have never really recovered from the ghastly debacle that was their dreadful coverage of the reasons for the illegal attack on Iraq. The journalists want us to forget and move on, but many, many, people still remember. ..."
"... At a time when the ruling elite, across virtually the entire western world, is losing it; it being, political legitimacy and the breakdown of any semblance of a social contract between the ruled and the rulers the Guardian lurches even further to the political right . Amazing, though not really surprising. The Guardian's role appears to be to 'coral' radical and leftist ideas and opinions and 'groom' the educated middle class into accepting their own subjugation. ..."
"... The Guardian is a bit like the Tory government, lost and without any real ideas or ideals. The slow strangulation of the CIF symbolizes the crisis of confidence at the Guardian. A strong and confident ruling class welcomes criticism and is ready to brush it all off with a smile and a shrug. When they start running scared and pretending there is no dissent or opposition, well, this is a sign of decadence and profound weakness. They are losing the battle of ideas and the battle of solutions to our problems. All that really stands between them and a social revolution is a thin veneer of 'authority' and status, and that's really not enough anymore. ..."
"... John Pilger has described the "respectable" liberal press (Guardian, NYT etc) as the most effective component of the propaganda system, precisely BECAUSE it is respectable and trusted. As to why the Guardian is so insistent in demonizing Russia, I would propose that is integrates them further with a Brexit-ridden Tory government. Its Blairite columnists prefer May over Corbyn any day. ..."
"... So Russians cannot do business in America but Americans must be protected to do business in Russia? If you look at Ukraine and how US corporations are benefitting from the US-funded coup, you ask what the US did in Russia in the 1990s and the effect it had on US business and ordinary Russian people. Were the two consistent with a common US template of economic imperialism? ..."
"... In particular, you ask what Bill Browder was doing, his links to US spying organisations etc etc. You ask if he supported the rape of Russian State assets, turned a blind eye to the millions of Russians dying in the 1990s courtesy of catastrophic economic conditions. If he was killing people to stay alive, he would not have been the only one. More important is whether him making $100m+ in Russia needed conditions where tens of millions of Russians were starving .and whether he saw that as acceptable collateral damage ..he made a proactive choice, after all, to go live in Moscow. It is not like he was born there and had no chance to leave. ..."
"... I do not know the truth about Bill Browder, but one thing I do know: very powerful Americans are capable of organizing mass genocide to become rich, so there is no possible basis for painting all American businessmen as philanthropists and all Russians as murdering savages ..."
"... Browder is a spook. ..."
"... This "tactic" – a bold or outrageous claim made in the headline or in the first few sentences of a piece that is proven false in the very same article – is becoming depressingly common in the legacy media. ..."
"... In other words, the so-called respectable media knowingly prints outright lies for propaganda and clickbait purposes ..."
"... I dropped a line to a friend yesterday saying "only in a parallel universe would a businessman/shady dealer/tax evader such as Browder be described as an "anti-corruption campaigner."" Those not familiar with the history of Browder's grandfather, after whom a whole new "deviation" in leftist thinking was named, should look it up. ..."
"... The US are the masters of molesting other nations. It's not even a secret what they've been up to. Look at their budgets or the size of the intelligence buildings. Most journalists know full well of their programs, including those on social media, which they even reported on a few years back. The Guardian run stories by the CIA created and US state funded RFE/RL & then tell us with a straight face that RT is state propaganda which is destroying our democracy. ..."
"... The madness spreads: today The Canary has/had an article 'proving' that the 'Russians' were responsible for Brexit, Trump, etc etc. Then there is the neo-liberal 'President' of the EU charging that the extreme right wing and Russophobic warmongers in the Polish government are in fact, like the President of the USA, in Putin's pocket.. ..."
"... The Canary is publishing mainstream russophobia? ..."
off-guardian.org

Vladimir Putin finally confesses his entire responsibility for everything bad that has ever happened since the beginning of time

The decline of the falsely self-described "quality" media outlet The Guardian/Observer into a deranged fake news site pushing anti-Russian hate propaganda continues apace. Take a look at this gem :

The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, has accused prominent British businessman Bill Browder of being a "serial killer" – the latest extraordinary attempt by the Kremlin to frame one of its most high-profile public enemies.

But Putin has not been reported anywhere else as making any recent statement about Browder whatever, and the Observer article makes no further mention of Putin's supposed utterance or the circumstances in which it was supposedly made.

As the rest of the article makes clear, the suspicions against Browder were actually voiced by Russian police investigators and not by Putin at all.

The Observer fabricated a direct quote from the Russian president for their propaganda purposes without any regard to basic journalistic standards. They wanted to blame Putin personally for the suspicions of some Russian investigators, so they just invented an imaginary statement from him so they could conveniently do so.

What is really going on here is the classic trope of demonisation propaganda in which the demonised leader is conflated with all officials of their government and with the targeted country itself, so as to simplify and personalise the narrative of the subsequent Two Minutes Hate to be unleashed against them.

When, as in this case, the required substitution of the demonised leader for their country can't be wrung out of the facts even through the most vigorous twisting, a disreputable fake news site like The Guardian/Observer is free to simply make up new, alternative facts that better fit their disinformative agenda. Because facts aren't at all sacred when the official propaganda line demands lies.

In the same article, the documents from Russian investigators naming Browder as a suspect in certain crimes are first "seen as" a frame-up (by the sympathetic chorus of completely anonymous observers yellow journalism can always call on when an unsupported claim needs a spurious bolstering) and then outright labelled as such (see quote above) as if this alleged frame-up is a proven fact. Which it isn't.

No evidence is required down there in the Guardian/Observer journalistic gutter before unsupported claims against Russian officials can be treated as unquestionable pseudo-facts, just as opponents of Putin can commit no crime for the outlet's hate-befuddled hacks.

The above falsifications were brought to the attention of the Observer's so-called Readers Editor – the official at the Guardian/Observer responsible for "independently" defending the outlet's misdeeds against outraged readers – who did nothing. By now the article has rolled off the site's front page, rendering any possible future correction nugatory in any case.

Later in the same article Magnitsky is described as having been Browder's "tax lawyer" a standard trope of the Western propaganda narrative about the case. Magnitsky was actually an accountant .

A trifecta of fakery in one article! That makes crystal clear what the Guardian meant in this article , published at precisely the same moment as the disinformation cited above, when it said:

"We know what you are doing," Theresa May said of Russia. It's not enough to know. We need to do something about it.

By "doing something about it" they mean they're going to tell one hostile lie about Russia after another.


michaelk says November 26, 2017

https://www.theguardian.com/news/2017/nov/26/big-issue-who-will-step-in-after-bullies-have-silenced-dissenters

From the 'liberal' Guardian/Observer wing of the rightwing bourgeois press, spot the differences with the article in the Mail on Sunday by Nick Robinson?

michaelk says November 26, 2017
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-5117723/Nick-Robinson-Putin-using-fake-news-weaken-West.html

This thing seems to have been cobbled together by a guy called Nick Robinson. The same BBC Nick Robinson that hosts the Today Programme? I dunno, one feels really rather depressed at how low our media has sunk.

michaelk says November 23, 2017
I think huge swathes of the media, in the eyes of many people, have never really recovered from the ghastly debacle that was their dreadful coverage of the reasons for the illegal attack on Iraq. The journalists want us to forget and move on, but many, many, people still remember.

Nothing happened afterwards. There was no tribunal to examine the media's role in that massive international crime against humanity and things actually got worse post Iraq, which the attack on Libya and Syria illustrates.

rtj1211 says November 29, 2017
Exactly: in my opinion there should be life sentences banning scribblers who printed lies and bloodthirsty kill, kill, kill articles from ever working again in the media. Better still, make them go fight right now in Yemen. Amazing how quickly truth will spread if journalists know they have a good chance of dying if they print lies and falsehoods ..
michaelk says November 23, 2017
At a time when the ruling elite, across virtually the entire western world, is losing it; it being, political legitimacy and the breakdown of any semblance of a social contract between the ruled and the rulers the Guardian lurches even further to the political right . Amazing, though not really surprising. The Guardian's role appears to be to 'coral' radical and leftist ideas and opinions and 'groom' the educated middle class into accepting their own subjugation.

The Guardian's writers get so much, so wrong, so often it's staggering and nobody gets the boot, except for the people who allude to the incompetence at the heart of the Guardian. They fail dismally on Trump, Brexit and Corbyn and yet carry on as if everything is fine and dandy. Nothing to complain about here, mover along now.

I suppose it's because they are actually media aristocrats living in a world of privilege, and they, as members of the ruling elite, look after one another regardless of how poorly they actually perform. This is typical of an elite that's on the ropes and doomed. They choose to retreat from grubby reality into a parallel world where their own dogmas aren't challenged and they begin to believe their propaganda is real and not an artificial contruct. This is incredibly dangerous for a ruling elite because society becomes brittle and weaker by the day as the ruling dogmas become hollow and ritualized, but without traction in reality and real purpose.

The Guardian is a bit like the Tory government, lost and without any real ideas or ideals. The slow strangulation of the CIF symbolizes the crisis of confidence at the Guardian. A strong and confident ruling class welcomes criticism and is ready to brush it all off with a smile and a shrug. When they start running scared and pretending there is no dissent or opposition, well, this is a sign of decadence and profound weakness. They are losing the battle of ideas and the battle of solutions to our problems. All that really stands between them and a social revolution is a thin veneer of 'authority' and status, and that's really not enough anymore.

All our problems are pathetically and conviniently blamed on the Russians and their Demon King and his vast army of evil Trolls. It's like a political version of the Lord of the Rings.

WeatherEye says November 21, 2017
Don't expect the Guardian to cover the biggest military build-up (NATO) on Russia's borders since Hitler's 1941 invasion.

John Pilger has described the "respectable" liberal press (Guardian, NYT etc) as the most effective component of the propaganda system, precisely BECAUSE it is respectable and trusted. As to why the Guardian is so insistent in demonizing Russia, I would propose that is integrates them further with a Brexit-ridden Tory government. Its Blairite columnists prefer May over Corbyn any day.

rtj1211 says November 29, 2017
The Guardian is now owned by Neocon Americans, that is why it is demonising Russia.

Simple as that.

WeatherEye says November 29, 2017
Evidence?
Harry Stotle says November 21, 2017
The Guardian is trying to rescue citizens from 'dreadful dangers that we cannot see, or do not underdstand' – in other words they play a central role in 'the power of nightmares'

https://www.youtube.com/embed/LlA8KutU2to?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

rtj1211 says November 21, 2017
So Russians cannot do business in America but Americans must be protected to do business in Russia? If you look at Ukraine and how US corporations are benefitting from the US-funded coup, you ask what the US did in Russia in the 1990s and the effect it had on US business and ordinary Russian people. Were the two consistent with a common US template of economic imperialism?

In particular, you ask what Bill Browder was doing, his links to US spying organisations etc etc. You ask if he supported the rape of Russian State assets, turned a blind eye to the millions of Russians dying in the 1990s courtesy of catastrophic economic conditions. If he was killing people to stay alive, he would not have been the only one. More important is whether him making $100m+ in Russia needed conditions where tens of millions of Russians were starving .and whether he saw that as acceptable collateral damage ..he made a proactive choice, after all, to go live in Moscow. It is not like he was born there and had no chance to leave.

I do not know the truth about Bill Browder, but one thing I do know: very powerful Americans are capable of organizing mass genocide to become rich, so there is no possible basis for painting all American businessmen as philanthropists and all Russians as murdering savages ..

michaelk says November 21, 2017
It's perfectly possible, in fact the norm historically, for people to believe passionately in the existence of invisible threats to their well-being, which, when examined calmly from another era, resemble a form of mass-hysteria or collective madness. For example; the religious faith/dogma that Satan, demons and witches were all around us. An invisible, parallel, world, by the side of our own that really existed and we were 'at war with.' Satan was our adversary, the great trickster and disseminator of 'fake news' opposed to the 'good news' provided by the Gospels.

What's remarkable, disturbing and frightening is how closely our media resemble a religious cult or the Catholic Church in the Middle Ages. The journalists have taken on a role that's close to that of a priesthood. They function as a 'filtering' layer between us and the world around us. They are, supposedly, uniquely qualified to understand the difference between truth and lies, or what's right and wrong, real news and propaganda. The Guardian actually likes this role. They our the guardians of the truth in a chaotic world.

This reminds one of the role of the clergy. Their role was to stand between ordinary people and the 'complexities' of the Bible and seperate the Truths it containedf from wild and 'fake' interpretations, which could easily become dangerous and undermine the social order and fundamental power relationships.

The big challenge to the role of the Church happened when the printing press allowed the ordinary people to access the information themselves and worst still when the texts were translated into the common language and not just Latin. Suddenly people could access the texts, read and begin to interpret and understand for themselves. It's hard to imagine that pepeople were actually burned alive in England for smuggling the Bible in english translation a few centuries ago. That's how dangerous the State regarded such a 'crime.'

One can compare the translation of the Bible and the challenge to the authority of the Church and the clergy as 'guardians of the truth' to what's happeing today with the rise of the Internet and something like Wikileaks, where texts and infromation are made available uncensored and raw and the role of the traditional 'media church' and the journalist priesthood is challenged.

We're seeing a kind of media counter-reformation. That's why the Guardian turned on Assange so disgracefully and what Wikileaks represented.

WeatherEye says November 21, 2017
A brilliant historical comparison. They're now on the legal offensive in censoring the internet of course, because in truth the filter system is wholly vulnerable. Alternative media has been operating freely, yet the majority have continued to rely on MSM as if it's their only source of (dis)information, utilising our vast internet age to the pettiness of social media and prank videos. Marx was right: capitalist society alienates people from their own humanity. We're now aliens, deprived of our original being and floating in a vacuum of Darwinist competition and barbarism. And we wonder why climate change is happening?
pimatters says November 27, 2017
Yes, as the guy below says this is a great simile. Wikileaks is like the first English translations of the bible! Fantastic!
pimatters says November 27, 2017
above – not below
tutisicecream says November 21, 2017
Apparently we are "living in disorientating times" according to Viner, she goes on to say that "championing the public interest is at the heart of the Guardian's mission".

Really? How is it possible for her to say that when many of the controversial articles which appear in the Guardian are not open for comment any more. They have adopted now a view that THEIR "opinion" should not be challenged, how is that in the public interest?

In the Observer on Sunday a piece also appeared smearing RT entitled:
"MPs defend fees of up to £1,000 an hour to appear on 'Kremlin propaganda' channel"
However they allowed comments which make interesting reading. Many commenter's saw through their ruse and although the most vociferous critics of the Graun have been banished, but even the mild mannered ones which remain appear not the buy into the idea that RT is any different than other media outlets. With many expressing support for the news and op-ed outlet for giving voice to those who the MSM ignore – including former Guardian writers from time to time.

Why Viner's words are so poisonous is that the Graun under her stewardship has become a agitprop outlet offering no balance. In the below linked cringe worthy article there is no mention of RT being under attack in the US and having to register itself and staff as foreign agents. NO DEFENCE OF ATTACKS ON FREEDOM OF THE PRESS by the US state is mentioned.

Surely this issue is at the heart of championing public interest?

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/nov/18/mps-kremlin-propaganda-channel-rt#comments

The fact that it's not shows clearly the fake Guardian/Observer claim and their real agenda.

WE ARE DEFINITELY LIVING IN DISORIENTATION TIMES and the Guardian/Observer are leading the charge.

tutisicecream says November 21, 2017
Correction: DISORIENTATING TIMES
Peter says November 21, 2017
For the political/media/business elites (I suppose you could call them 'the Establishment') in the US and UK, the main problem with RT seems to be that a lot of people are watching it. I wonder how long it will be before access is cut.

RT is launching a French-language channel next month. We are already being warned by the French MSM about how RT makes up fake news to further Putin's evil propaganda aims (unlike said MSM, we are told).

Basically, elites just don't trust the people (this is certainly a constant in French political life).

Jim says November 21, 2017
It's not just that they don't allow comments on many of their articles, but even on the articles where CiF is enabled, they ban any accounts that disagree with their narrative. The end result is that Guardianistas get the false impression everyone shares their view and that they are in the majority.
The Guardian moderators are like Scientology leaders who banish any outsiders for fear of influencing their cult members.
BigB says November 20, 2017
Everyone knows that Russia-gate is a feat of mass hypnosis, mesmerized from DNC financed lies. The Trump collusion myth is baseless and becoming dangerously hysterical: but conversely, the Clinton collusion scandal is not so easy to allay. Whilst it may turn out to be the greatest story never told: it looks substantive enough to me. HRC colluded with Russian oligarchy to the tune of $145m of "donations" into her slush fund. In return, Rosatom gained control of Uranium One.

A curious adjunct to this corruption: HRC opposed the Magnitsky Act in 2012. Given her subsequent rabid Russophobia: you'd have thought that if the Russians (as it has been spun) arrested a brave whistleblowing tax lawyer and murdered him in prison – she would have been quite vocal in her condemnation. No, she wanted to make Russia great again. It's amazing how $145m can focus ones attention away from ones natural instinct.

[Browder and Magnitsky were as corrupt as each other: the story that the Russians took over Browder's hedge fund and implicated them both in a $230m tax fraud and corruption scandal is as fantastical as the "Golden Shower" dossier. However, it seems to me Magnitsky's death was preventable (he died from complications of pancreatitis, for which it seems he was initially refused treatment ) ]

So if we turn the clock back to 2010-2013, it sure looks to me as though we have a Russian collusion scandal: only it's not one the Guardian will ever want to tell. Will it come out when the FBI 's "secret" informant (William D Cambell) testifies to Congress sometime this week? Not in the Guardian, because their precious Hillary Clinton is the real scandal here.

jag37777 says November 20, 2017
Browder is a spook.
susannapanevin says November 20, 2017
Reblogged this on Susanna Panevin .
Eric Blair says November 20, 2017
This "tactic" – a bold or outrageous claim made in the headline or in the first few sentences of a piece that is proven false in the very same article – is becoming depressingly common in the legacy media.

In other words, the so-called respectable media knowingly prints outright lies for propaganda and clickbait purposes.

labrebisgalloise says November 20, 2017
I dropped a line to a friend yesterday saying "only in a parallel universe would a businessman/shady dealer/tax evader such as Browder be described as an "anti-corruption campaigner."" Those not familiar with the history of Browder's grandfather, after whom a whole new "deviation" in leftist thinking was named, should look it up.
Eric Blair says November 20, 2017
Hey, MbS is also an "anti-corruption" campaigner! If the media says so it must be true!
Sav says November 20, 2017
Some months ago you saw tweets saying Russophobia had hit ridiculous levels. They hadn't seen anything yet. It's scary how easily people can be brainwashed.

The US are the masters of molesting other nations. It's not even a secret what they've been up to. Look at their budgets or the size of the intelligence buildings. Most journalists know full well of their programs, including those on social media, which they even reported on a few years back. The Guardian run stories by the CIA created and US state funded RFE/RL & then tell us with a straight face that RT is state propaganda which is destroying our democracy.

A Petherbridge says November 20, 2017
Well said – interesting to know what the Guardian is paid to run these stories funded by this arm of US state propaganda.
bevin says November 20, 2017
The madness spreads: today The Canary has/had an article 'proving' that the 'Russians' were responsible for Brexit, Trump, etc etc. Then there is the neo-liberal 'President' of the EU charging that the extreme right wing and Russophobic warmongers in the Polish government are in fact, like the President of the USA, in Putin's pocket..

This outbreak is reaching the dimensions of the sort of mass hysteria that gave us St Vitus' dance. Oh and the 'sonic' terrorism practised against US diplomats in Havana, in which crickets working for the evil one (who he?) appear to have been responsible for a breach in diplomatic relations. It couldn't have happened to a nicer empire.

Admin says November 21, 2017
The Canary is publishing mainstream russophobia?

[Dec 10, 2017] Russia-gate s Reach into Journalism by Dennis J Bernstein

Highly recommended!
When national security establishment is trying to undermine sitting President this is iether color revolution or coup d'état. In the USa it looks more like color revolution.
"Now you have this interesting dynamic where the national security establishment is effectively undermining a duly elected president of the United States. I recognize that Trump is vulnerable, but these types of investigations often become highly politicized."
Notable quotes:
"... The Credico subpoena, after he declined a request for a "voluntary" interview, underscores how the investigation is moving into areas of "guilt by association" and further isolating whistleblowers who defy the powers-that-be through unauthorized release of information to the public, a point made by National Security Agency whistleblower Thomas Drake in an interview. ..."
"... Drake knows well what it means to blow the whistle on government misconduct and get prosecuted for it. A former senior NSA executive, Drake complained about a multi-billion-dollar fraud, waste, and widespread violation of the rights of civilians through secret mass surveillance programs. As a result, the Obama administration indicted Drake in 2010, "as the first whistleblower since Daniel Ellsberg charged with espionage," according to the Institute for Public Accuracy. ..."
"... In 2011, the government's case against him, which carried a potential 35 years in prison, collapsed. Drake went free in a plea deal and was awarded the 2011 Ridenhour Truth Telling Prize. ..."
"... In this hyper-inflated, politicized environment, it is extremely difficult to wade through the massive amount of disinformation on all sides. Hacking is something all modern nation-states engage in, including the United States, including Russia. The challenge here is trying to figure out who the players are, whose ox is being gored, and who is doing the goring. ..."
"... From all accounts, Trump was duly elected. Now you have the Mueller investigation and the House investigation. Where is this all leading? The US intelligence agency hasn't done itself any favors. The ICA provides no proof either, in terms of allegations that the Russians "hacked" the election. We do have the evidence disclosed by Reality Winner that maybe there was some interference. But the hyper-politicization is making it extraordinarily difficult. ..."
"... Well, if you consider the content of those emails .Certainly, the Clinton folks got rid of Bernie Sanders. ..."
"... The national security establishment was far more comfortable having Clinton as president. Someone central to my own case, General Michael Hayden, just a couple days ago went apoplectic because of a tweet from Trump taking on the mainstream media. Hayden got over 100,000 likes on his response. Well, Hayden was central to what we did in deep secrecy at the highest levels of government after 9/11, engaging in widespread surveillance and then justifying it as "raw executive authority." ..."
"... Now you have this interesting dynamic where the national security establishment is effectively undermining a duly elected president of the United States. I recognize that Trump is vulnerable, but these types of investigations often become highly politicized. I worry that what is really happening is being sacrificed on the altar of entertainment and the stage of political theater. ..."
"... What is happening to Randy is symptomatic of a larger trend. If you dare speak truth to power, you are going to pay the price. Is Randy that much of a threat, just because he is questioning authority? Are we afraid of the press? Are we afraid of having the uncomfortable conversations, of dealing with the inconvenient truths about ourselves? ..."
"... Yeah, it is definitely a way of describing the concept of fascism without using the word. The present Yankee regime seems to be quite far along that road, and the full-on types seem to be engaged in a coup to eliminate those they fear may not be as much in the fascist deep-state bag. ..."
"... How disgusting to have to live today in the society so accurately described by Orwell in 1984. It was a nice book to read, but not to live in! ..."
"... Truth is he enemy of coercive power. Lies and secrecy are essential in leading the sheeple to their slaughter. ..."
"... Perhaps the one good thing about Trumps election is that its shows democracy is still just about alive and breathing in the US, because as is pointed out in this article, Trump was never expected to win and those who lost are still in a state of shock and disbelief. ..."
"... One things for sure: the Neocons, the deep state, and all the rest of the skunks that infest Washington will make absolutely sure that future elections will go the way as planned, so perhaps we should celebrate Trump, because he may well be the last manifestation of the democracy in the US. ..."
"... In the end, what will bring this monstrously lumbering "Russia-gate" dog and pony show crashing down is that stupid, fake Fusion GPS dossier that was commissioned, paid for, and disseminated by Team Hillary and the DNC. Then, as with the sinking of the Titanic, all of the flotsam and jetsam floating within its radius of destruction will go down with it. What will left to pluck from the lifeboats afterwards is anyone's guess. All thanks to Hillary. ..."
Dec 10, 2017 | www.facebook.com

The investigation to somehow blame Russia for Donald Trump's election has now merged with another establishment goal of isolating and intimidating whistleblowers and other dissidents, as Dennis J Bernstein describes.

The Russia-gate investigation has reached into the ranks of journalism with the House Intelligence Committee's subpoena of Randy Credico, who produced a series about WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for Pacifica Radio and apparently is suspected of having passed on early word about leaked Democratic emails to Donald Trump's supporter Roger Stone.

The Credico subpoena, after he declined a request for a "voluntary" interview, underscores how the investigation is moving into areas of "guilt by association" and further isolating whistleblowers who defy the powers-that-be through unauthorized release of information to the public, a point made by National Security Agency whistleblower Thomas Drake in an interview.

Drake knows well what it means to blow the whistle on government misconduct and get prosecuted for it. A former senior NSA executive, Drake complained about a multi-billion-dollar fraud, waste, and widespread violation of the rights of civilians through secret mass surveillance programs. As a result, the Obama administration indicted Drake in 2010, "as the first whistleblower since Daniel Ellsberg charged with espionage," according to the Institute for Public Accuracy.

In 2011, the government's case against him, which carried a potential 35 years in prison, collapsed. Drake went free in a plea deal and was awarded the 2011 Ridenhour Truth Telling Prize.

I interviewed Drake about the significance of Credico's subpoena, which Credico believes resulted from his journalism about the persecution of Julian Assange for releasing information that powerful people would prefer kept hidden from the public. (I had a small role in Credico's 14-part radio series, Julian Assange: Countdown to Freedom . It was broadcast first as part of his Live on the Fly Series, over WBAI and later on KPFA and across the country on community radio.)

Credico got his start as a satirist and became a political candidate for mayor of New York City and later governor of New York, making mainstream politicians deal with issues they would rather not deal with.

I spoke to Thomas Drake by telephone on Nov. 30, 2017.

Dennis Bernstein: How do you look at Russiagate, based on what you know about what has already transpired in terms of the movement of information? How do you see Credico's role in this?

Thomas Drake: Information is the coin of the realm. It is the currency of power. Anyone who questions authority or is perceived as mocking authority -- as hanging out with "State enemies" -- had better be careful. But this latest development is quite troubling, I must say. This is the normalization of everything that has been going on since 9/11. Randy is a sort of 21st century Diogenes who is confronting authority and pointing out corruption. This subpoena sends a chilling message. It's a double whammy for Randy because, in the eyes of the US government, he is a media figure hanging out with the wrong media figure [Julian Assange].

Dennis Bernstein: Could you say a little bit about what your work was and what you tried to do with your expose?

Thomas Drake: My experience was quite telling, in terms of how far the government will go to try to destroy someone's life. The attempt by the government to silence me was extraordinary. They threw everything they had at me, all because I spoke the truth. I spoke up about abuse of power, I spoke up about the mass surveillance regime. My crime was that I made the choice to go to the media. And the government was not just coming after me, they were sending a really chilling message to the media: If you print this, you are also under the gun.

Dennis Bernstein: We have heard the charges again and again, that this was a Russian hack. What was the source? Let's trace it back as best we can.

Thomas Drake: In this hyper-inflated, politicized environment, it is extremely difficult to wade through the massive amount of disinformation on all sides. Hacking is something all modern nation-states engage in, including the United States, including Russia. The challenge here is trying to figure out who the players are, whose ox is being gored, and who is doing the goring.

From all accounts, Trump was duly elected. Now you have the Mueller investigation and the House investigation. Where is this all leading? The US intelligence agency hasn't done itself any favors. The ICA provides no proof either, in terms of allegations that the Russians "hacked" the election. We do have the evidence disclosed by Reality Winner that maybe there was some interference. But the hyper-politicization is making it extraordinarily difficult.

The advantage that intelligence has is that they can hide behind what they are doing. They don't actually have to tell the truth, they can shade it, they can influence it and shape it. This is where information can be politicized and used as a weapon. Randy has found himself caught up in these investigations by virtue of being a media figure and hanging out with "the wrong people."

Dennis Bernstein: It looks like the Russiagaters in Congress are trying to corner Randy. All his life he has spoken truth to power. But what do you think the role of the press should be?

Thomas Drake: The press amplifies just about everything they focus on, especially with today's 24-hour, in-your-face social media. Even the mainstream media is publishing directly to their webpages. You have to get behind the cacophony of all that noise and ask, "Why?" What are the intentions here?

I believe there are still enough independent journalists who are looking further and deeper. But clearly there are those who are hell-bent on making life as difficult as possible for the current president and those who are going to defend him to the hilt. I was not surprised at all that Trump won. A significant percentage of the American electorate were looking for something different.

Dennis Bernstein : Well, if you consider the content of those emails .Certainly, the Clinton folks got rid of Bernie Sanders.

Thomas Drake: That would have been an interesting race, to have Bernie vs. Trump. Sanders was appealing, especially to young audiences. He was raising legitimate issues.

Dennis Bernstein: In Clinton, they had a known quantity who supported the national security state.

Thomas Drake: The national security establishment was far more comfortable having Clinton as president. Someone central to my own case, General Michael Hayden, just a couple days ago went apoplectic because of a tweet from Trump taking on the mainstream media. Hayden got over 100,000 likes on his response. Well, Hayden was central to what we did in deep secrecy at the highest levels of government after 9/11, engaging in widespread surveillance and then justifying it as "raw executive authority."

Now you have this interesting dynamic where the national security establishment is effectively undermining a duly elected president of the United States. I recognize that Trump is vulnerable, but these types of investigations often become highly politicized. I worry that what is really happening is being sacrificed on the altar of entertainment and the stage of political theater.

What is happening to Randy is symptomatic of a larger trend. If you dare speak truth to power, you are going to pay the price. Is Randy that much of a threat, just because he is questioning authority? Are we afraid of the press? Are we afraid of having the uncomfortable conversations, of dealing with the inconvenient truths about ourselves?

Dennis J Bernstein is a host of "Flashpoints" on the Pacifica radio network and the author of Special Ed: Voices from a Hidden Classroom . You can access the audio archives at www.flashpoints.net .

orwell

"Raw Executive Authority" means Totalitarianism/Fascism.

exiled off mainstreet , December 7, 2017 at 4:23 pm

Yeah, it is definitely a way of describing the concept of fascism without using the word. The present Yankee regime seems to be quite far along that road, and the full-on types seem to be engaged in a coup to eliminate those they fear may not be as much in the fascist deep-state bag.

Jerry Alatalo , December 7, 2017 at 3:34 pm

It is highly encouraging to know that a great many good and decent men and women Americans are 100% supportive of Mr, Randy Credico as he prepares for his testimony before the House Intelligence Committee. Remember all those standing right there beside you, speak what rightly needs to be spoken, and make history Mr. Credico!

jaycee , December 7, 2017 at 3:56 pm

The intensification of panic/hysteria was obviously triggered by the shock election of Trump. Where this is all heading is on display in Australia, as the government is writing legislation to "criminalise covert and deceptive activities of foreign actors that fall short of espionage but are intended to interfere with our democratic systems and processes or support the intelligence activities of a foreign government." The legislation will apparently be accompanied by new requirements of public registration of those deemed "foreign agents". (see http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/12/07/auch-d07.html ).

This will be an attack on free speech, free thought, and political freedoms, justified by an orchestrated hysteria which ridiculously assumes a "pure" political realm (i.e. the "homeland") under assault by impure foreign agents and their dirty ideas. Yes, that is a fascist construct and the liberal establishment will see it through, not the alt-right blowhards.

mike k , December 7, 2017 at 5:49 pm

How disgusting to have to live today in the society so accurately described by Orwell in 1984. It was a nice book to read, but not to live in!

john wilson , December 8, 2017 at 5:48 am

Actually Mike, the book was a prophesy but you aren't seen nothing yet. You me and the rest of the posters here may well find ourselves going for a visit to room 101 yet.

fudmier , December 7, 2017 at 4:42 pm

Those who govern (527 of them) at the pleasure of the constitution are about to breach the contract that entitles them to govern. Limiting the scope of information allowed to those who are the governed, silencing the voices of those with concerns and serious doubts, policing every word uttered by those who are the governed, as well as abusing the constitutional privilege of force and judicial authority, to deny peaceful protests of the innocents is approaching the final straw.

The governors and their corporate sponsors have imposed on those the governors govern much concern. Exactly the condition that existed prior to July 4, 1776, which elicited the following:

When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the Political bands which connected them with another, and to assume among the Powers of the Earth, the separate and equal Station to which the laws of nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent Respect to the Opinions of Mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

I submit the actions and intentions of those who govern that are revealed and discussed in this article https://consortiumnews.com/2017/12/07/russia-gates-reach-into-journalism/ should be among the list of impels that support the next declaration.

Al Pinto , December 7, 2017 at 5:23 pm

Those who govern (527 of them and the puppet master oligarch behind them) will make certain that there's no support for the next declaration. There's no respect to the opinions of the mankind, what matters is keeping the current status quo in place and further advance it by silencing the independent media.

Maybe when the next "Mother of all bubbles" come, there's an opportunity for the mankind to be heard, but it's doubtful. What has taken place during the last bubble is that the rich has gotten richer and the poor, well, you know the routine.

https://usawatchdog.com/mother-of-all-bubbles-too-big-to-pop-peter-schiff/

mike k , December 7, 2017 at 5:53 pm

Truth is he enemy of coercive power. Lies and secrecy are essential in leading the sheeple to their slaughter.

john wilson , December 8, 2017 at 5:44 am

Perhaps the one good thing about Trumps election is that its shows democracy is still just about alive and breathing in the US, because as is pointed out in this article, Trump was never expected to win and those who lost are still in a state of shock and disbelief.

Trump's election has also shown us in vivid technicolour, just what is really going on in the deep state. Absolutely none of this stuff would have come out had Clinton won and anything there was would have been covered up as though under the concrete foundation of a tower block. However, Trump still has four years left and as a British prime minister once said, "a week is a long time in politics". Well four more years of Trump is a hell of a lot longer so who knows what might happen in that time.

One things for sure: the Neocons, the deep state, and all the rest of the skunks that infest Washington will make absolutely sure that future elections will go the way as planned, so perhaps we should celebrate Trump, because he may well be the last manifestation of the democracy in the US.

Christene Bartels , December 8, 2017 at 9:57 am

In the end, what will bring this monstrously lumbering "Russia-gate" dog and pony show crashing down is that stupid, fake Fusion GPS dossier that was commissioned, paid for, and disseminated by Team Hillary and the DNC. Then, as with the sinking of the Titanic, all of the flotsam and jetsam floating within its radius of destruction will go down with it. What will left to pluck from the lifeboats afterwards is anyone's guess. All thanks to Hillary.

Apparently, Santa isn't the only one making a list and checking it twice this year. He's going to have to share the limelight with Karma.

[Dec 10, 2017] blamePutin continues to be the media's dominant hashtag. Vladimir Putin finally confesses his entire responsibility for everything bad that has ever happened since the beginning of time

Highly recommended!
Dec 10, 2017 | off-guardian.org

by VT

The decline of the falsely self-described "quality" media outlet The Guardian/Observer into a deranged fake news site pushing anti-Russian hate propaganda continues apace. Take a look at this gem :

The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, has accused prominent British businessman Bill Browder of being a "serial killer" – the latest extraordinary attempt by the Kremlin to frame one of its most high-profile public enemies.

But Putin has not been reported anywhere else as making any recent statement about Browder whatever, and the Observer article makes no further mention of Putin's supposed utterance or the circumstances in which it was supposedly made.

As the rest of the article makes clear, the suspicions against Browder were actually voiced by Russian police investigators and not by Putin at all.

The Observer fabricated a direct quote from the Russian president for their propaganda purposes without any regard to basic journalistic standards. They wanted to blame Putin personally for the suspicions of some Russian investigators, so they just invented an imaginary statement from him so they could conveniently do so.

What is really going on here is the classic trope of demonisation propaganda in which the demonised leader is conflated with all officials of their government and with the targeted country itself, so as to simplify and personalise the narrative of the subsequent Two Minutes Hate to be unleashed against them.

When, as in this case, the required substitution of the demonised leader for their country can't be wrung out of the facts even through the most vigorous twisting, a disreputable fake news site like The Guardian/Observer is free to simply make up new, alternative facts that better fit their disinformative agenda. Because facts aren't at all sacred when the official propaganda line demands lies.

In the same article, the documents from Russian investigators naming Browder as a suspect in certain crimes are first "seen as" a frame-up (by the sympathetic chorus of completely anonymous observers yellow journalism can always call on when an unsupported claim needs a spurious bolstering) and then outright labelled as such (see quote above) as if this alleged frame-up is a proven fact. Which it isn't.

No evidence is required down there in the Guardian/Observer journalistic gutter before unsupported claims against Russian officials can be treated as unquestionable pseudo-facts, just as opponents of Putin can commit no crime for the outlet's hate-befuddled hacks.

The above falsifications were brought to the attention of the Observer's so-called Readers Editor – the official at the Guardian/Observer responsible for "independently" defending the outlet's misdeeds against outraged readers – who did nothing. By now the article has rolled off the site's front page, rendering any possible future correction nugatory in any case.

Later in the same article Magnitsky is described as having been Browder's "tax lawyer" a standard trope of the Western propaganda narrative about the case. Magnitsky was actually an accountant .

A trifecta of fakery in one article! That makes crystal clear what the Guardian meant in this article , published at precisely the same moment as the disinformation cited above, when it said:

"We know what you are doing," Theresa May said of Russia. It's not enough to know. We need to do something about it.

By "doing something about it" they mean they're going to tell one hostile lie about Russia after another.


michaelk says November 26, 2017

https://www.theguardian.com/news/2017/nov/26/big-issue-who-will-step-in-after-bullies-have-silenced-dissenters

From the 'liberal' Guardian/Observer wing of the rightwing bourgeois press, spot the differences with the article in the Mail on Sunday by Nick Robinson?

michaelk says November 26, 2017
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-5117723/Nick-Robinson-Putin-using-fake-news-weaken-West.html

This thing seems to have been cobbled together by a guy called Nick Robinson. The same BBC Nick Robinson that hosts the Today Programme? I dunno, one feels really rather depressed at how low our media has sunk.

michaelk says November 23, 2017
I think huge swathes of the media, in the eyes of many people, have never really recovered from the ghastly debacle that was their dreadful coverage of the reasons for the illegal attack on Iraq.

The journalists want us to forget and move on, but many, many, people still remember. Nothing happened afterwards. There was no tribunal to examine the media's role in that massive international crime against humanity and things actually got worse post Iraq, which the attack on Libya and Syria illustrates.

rtj1211 says November 29, 2017
Exactly: in my opinion there should be life sentences banning scribblers who printed lies and bloodthirsty kill, kill, kill articles from ever working again in the media.

Better still, make them go fight right now in Yemen. Amazing how quickly truth will spread if journalists know they have a good chance of dying if they print lies and falsehoods ..

michaelk says November 23, 2017
At a time when the ruling elite, across virtually the entire western world, is losing it; it being, political legitimacy and the breakdown of any semblance of a social contract between the ruled and the rulers the Guardian lurches even further to the political right . amazing, though not really surprising. The Guardian's role appears to be to 'coral' radical and leftist ideas and opinions and 'groom' the educated middle class into accepting their own subjugation.

The Guardian's writers get so much, so wrong, so often it's staggering and nobody gets the boot, except for the people who allude to the incompetence at the heart of the Guardian. They fail dismally on Trump, Brexit and Corbyn and yet carry on as if everything is fine and dandy. Nothing to complain about here, mover along now.

I suppose it's because they are actually media aristocrats living in a world of privilege, and they, as members of the ruling elite, look after one another regardless of how poorly they actually perform. This is typical of an elite that's on the ropes and doomed. They choose to retreat from grubby reality into a parallel world where their own dogmas aren't challenged and they begin to believe their propaganda is real and not an artificial contruct. This is incredibly dangerous for a ruling elite because society becomes brittle and weaker by the day as the ruling dogmas become hollow and ritualized, but without traction in reality and real purpose.

The Guardian is a bit like the Tory government, lost and without any real ideas or ideals. The slow strangulation of the CIF symbolizes the crisis of confidence at the Guardian. A strong and confident ruling class welcomes criticism and is ready to brush it all off with a smile and a shrug. When they start running scared and pretending there is no dissent or opposition, well, this is a sign of decadence and profound weakness. They are losing the battle of ideas and the battle of solutions to our problems. All that really stands between them and a social revolution is a thin veneer of 'authority' and status, and that's really not enough anymore.

All our problems are pathetically and conviniently blamed on the Russians and their Demon King and his vast army of evil Trolls. It's like a political version of the Lord of the Rings.

WeatherEye says November 21, 2017
Don't expect the Guardian to cover the biggest military build-up (NATO) on Russia's borders since Hitler's 1941 invasion.

John Pilger has described the "respectable" liberal press (Guardian, NYT etc) as the most effective component of the propaganda system, precisely BECAUSE it is respectable and trusted. As to why the Guardian is so insistent in demonising Russia, I would propose that is integrates them further with a Brexit-ridden Tory government. Its Blairite columnists prefer May over Corbyn any day.

rtj1211 says November 29, 2017
The Guardian is now owned by Neocon Americans, that is why it is demonising Russia. Simple as that.
WeatherEye says November 29, 2017
Evidence?
Harry Stotle says November 21, 2017
The Guardian is trying to rescue citizens from 'dreadful dangers that we cannot see, or do not understand' – in other words they play a central role in 'the power of nightmares' https://www.youtube.com/embed/LlA8KutU2to
rtj1211 says November 21, 2017
So Russians cannot do business in America but Americans must be protected to do business in Russia?

If you look at Ukraine and how US corporations are benefitting from the US-funded coup, you ask what the US did in Russia in the 1990s and the effect it had on US business and ordinary Russian people. Were the two consistent with a common US template of economic imperialism?

In particular, you ask what Bill Browder was doing, his links to US spying organisations etc etc. You ask if he supported the rape of Russian State assets, turned a blind eye to the millions of Russians dying in the 1990s courtesy of catastrophic economic conditions. If he was killing people to stay alive, he would not have been the only one. More important is whether him making $100m+ in Russia needed conditions where tens of millions of Russians were starving .and whether he saw that as acceptable collateral damage ..he made a proactive choice, after all, to go live in Moscow. It is not like he was born there and had no chance to leave ..

I do not know the trurh about Bill Browder, but one thing I do know: very powerful Americans are capable of organising mass genocide to become rich, so there is no possible basis for painting all American businessmen as philanthropists and all Russians as murdering savages ..

michaelk says November 21, 2017
It's perfectly possible, in fact the norm historically, for people to believe passionately in the existence of invisible threats to their well-being, which, when examined calmly from another era, resemble a form of mass-hysteria or collective madness. For example; the religious faith/dogma that Satan, demons and witches were all around us. An invisible, parallel, world, by the side of our own that really existed and we were 'at war with.' Satan was our adversary, the great trickster and disseminator of 'fake news' opposed to the 'good news' provided by the Gospels.

What's remarkable, disturbing and frightening is how closely our media resemble a religious cult or the Catholic Church in the Middle Ages. The journalists have taken on a role that's close to that of a priesthood. They function as a 'filtering' layer between us and the world around us. They are, supposedly, uniquely qualified to understand the difference between truth and lies, or what's right and wrong, real news and propaganda. The Guardian actually likes this role. They our the guardians of the truth in a chaotic world.

This reminds one of the role of the clergy. Their role was to stand between ordinary people and the 'complexities' of the Bible and separate the Truths it contained from wild and 'fake' interpretations, which could easily become dangerous and undermine the social order and fundamental power relationships.

The big challenge to the role of the Church happened when the printing press allowed the ordinary people to access the information themselves and worst still when the texts were translated into the common language and not just Latin. Suddenly people could access the texts, read and begin to interpret and understand for themselves. It's hard to imagine that people were actually burned alive in England for smuggling the Bible in English translation a few centuries ago. That's how dangerous the State regarded such a 'crime.'

One can compare the translation of the Bible and the challenge to the authority of the Church and the clergy as 'guardians of the truth' to what's happeing today with the rise of the Internet and something like Wikileaks, where texts and infromation are made available uncensored and raw and the role of the traditional 'media church' and the journalist priesthood is challenged.

We're seeing a kind of media counter-reformation. That's why the Guardian turned on Assange so disgracefully and what Wikileaks represented.

WeatherEye says November 21, 2017
A brilliant historical comparison. They're now on the legal offensive in censoring the internet of course, because in truth the filter system is wholly vulnerable. Alternative media has been operating freely, yet the majority have continued to rely on MSM as if it's their only source of (dis)information, utilizing our vast internet age to the pettiness of social media and prank videos. Marx was right: capitalist society alienates people from their own humanity. We're now aliens, deprived of our original being and floating in a vacuum of Darwinist competition and barbarism. And we wonder why climate change is happening?
tutisicecream says November 21, 2017
Apparently we are "living in disorientating times" according to Viner, she goes on to say that "championing the public interest is at the heart of the Guardian's mission".

Really? How is it possible for her to say that when many of the controversial articles which appear in the Guardian are not open for comment any more. They have adopted now a view that THEIR "opinion" should not be challenged, how is that in the public interest?

In the Observer on Sunday a piece also appeared smearing RT entitled: "MPs defend fees of up to £1,000 an hour to appear on 'Kremlin propaganda' channel." However they allowed comments which make interesting reading. Many commenter's saw through their ruse and although the most vociferous critics of the Graun have been banished, but even the mild mannered ones which remain appear not the buy into the idea that RT is any different than other media outlets. With many expressing support for the news and op-ed outlet for giving voice to those who the MSM ignore – including former Guardian writers from time to time.

Why Viner's words are so poisonous is that the Graun under her stewardship has become a agitprop outlet offering no balance. In the below linked cringe worthy article there is no mention of RT being under attack in the US and having to register itself and staff as foreign agents. NO DEFENCE OF ATTACKS ON FREEDOM OF THE PRESS by the US state is mentioned.

Surely this issue is at the heart of championing public interest?

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/nov/18/mps-kremlin-propaganda-channel-rt#comments

The fact that it's not shows clearly the fake Guardian/Observer claim and their real agenda.

WE ARE DEFINITELY LIVING IN DISORIENTATION TIMES and the Guardian/Observer are leading the charge.

tutisicecream says November 21, 2017
Correction: DISORIENTATING TIMES
Peter says November 21, 2017
For the political/media/business elites (I suppose you could call them 'the Establishment') in the US and UK, the main problem with RT seems to be that a lot of people are watching it. I wonder how long it will be before access is cut. RT is launching a French-language channel next month. We are already being warned by the French MSM about how RT makes up fake news to further Putin's evil propaganda aims (unlike said MSM, we are told). Basically, elites just don't trust the people (this is certainly a constant in French political life).
Jim says November 21, 2017
It's not just that they don't allow comments on many of their articles, but even on the articles where CiF is enabled, they ban any accounts that disagree with their narrative. The end result is that Guardianistas get the false impression everyone shares their view and that they are in the majority. The Guardian moderators are like Scientology leaders who banish any outsiders for fear of influencing their cult members.
BigB says November 20, 2017
Everyone knows that Russia-gate is a feat of mass hypnosis, mesmerized from DNC financed lies. The Trump collusion myth is baseless and becoming dangerously hysterical: but conversely, the Clinton collusion scandal is not so easy to allay. Whilst it may turn out to be the greatest story never told: it looks substantive enough to me. HRC colluded with Russian oligarchy to the tune of $145m of "donations" into her slush fund. In return, Rosatom gained control of Uranium One.

A curious adjunct to this corruption: HRC opposed the Magnitsky Act in 2012. Given her subsequent rabid Russophobia: you'd have thought that if the Russians (as it has been spun) arrested a brave whistleblowing tax lawyer and murdered him in prison – she would have been quite vocal in her condemnation. No, she wanted to make Russia great again. It's amazing how $145m can focus ones attention away from ones natural instinct.

[Browder and Magnitsky were as corrupt as each other: the story that the Russians took over Browder's hedge fund and implicated them both in a $230m tax fraud and corruption scandal is as fantastical as the "Golden Shower" dossier. However, it seems to me Magnitsky's death was preventable (he died from complications of pancreatitis, for which it seems he was initially refused treatment ) ]

So if we turn the clock back to 2010-2013, it sure looks to me as though we have a Russian collusion scandal: only it's not one the Guardian will ever want to tell. Will it come out when the FBI 's "secret" informant (William D Cambell) testifies to Congress sometime this week? Not in the Guardian, because their precious Hillary Clinton is the real scandal here.

jag37777 says November 20, 2017
Browder is a spook.
susannapanevin says November 20, 2017
Reblogged this on Susanna Panevin .
Eric Blair says November 20, 2017
This "tactic" – a bold or outrageous claim made in the headline or in the first few sentences of a piece that is proven false in the very same article – is becoming depressingly common in the legacy media.

In other words, the so-called respectable media knowingly prints outright lies for propaganda and clickbait purposes.

labrebisgalloise says November 20, 2017
I dropped a line to a friend yesterday saying "only in a parallel universe would a businessman/shady dealer/tax evader such as Browder be described as an "anti-corruption campaigner."" Those not familiar with the history of Browder's grandfather, after whom a whole new "deviation" in leftist thinking was named, should look it up.
Eric Blair says November 20, 2017
Hey, MbS is also an "anti-corruption" campaigner! If the media says so it must be true!
Sav says November 20, 2017
Some months ago you saw tweets saying Russophobia had hit ridiculous levels. They hadn't seen anything yet. It's scary how easily people can be brainwashed.

The US are the masters of molesting other nations. It's not even a secret what they've been up to. Look at their budgets or the size of the intelligence buildings. Most journalists know full well of their programs, including those on social media, which they even reported on a few years back. The Guardian run stories by the CIA created and US state funded RFE/RL & then tell us with a straight face that RT is state propaganda which is destroying our democracy.

A Petherbridge says November 20, 2017
Well said – interesting to know what the Guardian is paid to run these stories funded by this arm of US state propaganda.
bevin says November 20, 2017
The madness spreads: today The Canary has/had an article 'proving' that the 'Russians' were responsible for Brexit, Trump, etc etc.

Then there is the neo-liberal 'President' of the EU charging that the extreme right wing and Russophobic warmongers in the Polish government are in fact, like the President of the USA, in Putin's pocket..

This outbreak is reaching the dimensions of the sort of mass hysteria that gave us St Vitus' dance. Oh and the 'sonic' terrorism practised against US diplomats in Havana, in which crickets working for the evil one (who he?) appear to have been responsible for a breach in diplomatic relations. It couldn't have happened to a nicer empire.

Admin says November 21, 2017
The Canary is publishing mainstream russophobia?

[Dec 09, 2017] Hyping the Russian Threat to Undermine Free Speech by Max Blumenthal

Highly recommended!
This is a simply a brilliant article. Probably the best written on the subject so far. Kudos to Max Blumenthal
Thinks tanks are really ideological tanks -- formidable weapon in propaganda wars that crush everything on its way. And taken together far right think tanks financed by defense sector or intelligence agencies are really a shadow far right political party with its own neocon agenda. Actually subverting the will of American people (who elected Trump) for more peaceful relations (aka detente) with Russia in favor of interest of weapon manufactures and the army of "national security parasites".
At a time when the ruling elite, across virtually the entire western world, is… losing it; it being, political legitimacy and the breakdown of any semblance of a social contract between the ruled and the rulers those think tanks decides to create a fake narrative and blame Russians. Is not this a classic variant of projection ?
The slow strangulation of the US MSM means the crisis of confidence. A strong and confident ruling class welcomes criticism and is ready to brush it all off with a smile and a shrug. When they start running scared and pretending there is no dissent or opposition, well, this is a sign of of degradation of the ruling elite. They are losing the battle of ideas and the battle of solutions to social problems. All that really stands between them and a social revolution is a thin veneer of 'authority' and status, as well as intelligence agencies spying on everybody.
Now all those well paid ( and sometimes even talented) war propagandist intend to substitute the real crisis of neoliberalism in the USA demonstrated during the recent Presidential Elections for the artificial problem of Russian meddling. And they are succeeding in this unfair and evil substitution. The also manage to "poison the well" -- relation between two nations were now at the level probably lower then during Cold War (when many Russians were sympathetic to the USA). I think 70% of Democratic voters now are convinced the Russia was meddling in the USA election and about 30% of Republican voters also think so. For the creators of 'artificial reality" such numbers signify big success. A very big success to be exact.
Notable quotes:
"... In perhaps the most chilling moment of the hearings, and the most overlooked, Clint Watts, a former U.S. Army officer who had branded himself an expert on Russian meddling, appeared before a nearly empty Senate chamber. Watts conjured up a stark landscape of American carnage, with shadowy Russian operatives stage managing the chaos ..."
"... The spectacle perfectly illustrated the madness of Russiagate, with liberal lawmakers springboarding off the fear of Russian meddling to demand that Americans be forbidden from consuming the wrong kinds of media ..."
"... A former U.S. Army officer who spent years in obscurity at a defense industry funded think tank called the Foreign Policy Research Institute (FPRI), Watts has become a go-to source for cable news producers and print journalists on the subject of Russian bots, always available with a comment that reinforces the sense that America is under sustained cyborg attack. This September, his employers at FPRI hailed him as "the leading expert on developments related to Russian-backed efforts to not only influence the 2016 presidential election, but also to inflame racial and cultural divisions within the U.S. and across Europe." ..."
"... Watts boasts an impressive-looking bio that is replete with fancy sounding fellowships at national security-oriented outfits, including George Washington University's Center Cyber and Homeland Security. His bio also indicates that he served on an FBI Joint Terror Task Force. ..."
"... Though Watts is best known for his punditry on Russian interference, it's fair to say he is as much an expert on Russian affairs as Harvey Weinstein is a trusted voice on feminism. Indeed, Watts appears to speak no Russian, has no record of reporting or scholarship from inside Russia, and has produced little to no work of any discernible academic value on Russian affairs. ..."
"... Whether or not he has the substance to support his claims of expertise, Watts has proven a talented salesman, catering to popular fears about Russian interference while he plies credulous lawmakers with ease. ..."
"... In the widely publicized testimony, Watts explained to the panel of senators that he first noticed the pernicious presence of Russian social media bots after he co-authored an article in 2014 in Foreign Affairs titled, " The Good and The Bad of Ahrar al Sham ." The article urged the US to arm a group of Syrian Salafi insurgents known for its human rights abuses , sectarianism and off-and-on alliances with Al Qaeda. Watts and his co-authors insisted that Ahrar al-Sham was the best proxy force for wreaking havoc on the Syrian government weakening its allies in Iran and Russia. Right below the headline, Watts and his co-authors celebrated Ahrar al-Sham as "an Al Qaeda linked group worth befriending." ..."
"... Watts rehashed the same argument at FPRI a year later, urging the U.S. government to harness jihadist terror as a weapon against Russia. "The U.S. at a minimum, through covert or semi-covert platforms, should take advantage and amplify these free alternative [jihadist] narratives to provide Russia some payback for recent years' aggression," he wrote. In another paper, Watts asked , "Why shouldn't the U.S. redirect some of the jihadi hatred towards those with the dirtiest hands in the Syrian conflict: Russia and Iran?" Watts did not specify whether the theater of covert warfare should be limited to the Syrian battlefield, or if he sought to encourage jihadists to carry out terrorist acts inside Russia and Iran. ..."
"... Next, Watts introduced his signature theme, claiming that Russia manipulated civil rights protests to exploit divisions in American society. Declaring that "pro-Russian" outlets were spreading "chaos in Black Lives Matter protests" by deploying active measures, Watts did not bother to say what those measures were. ..."
"... Watts then moved to the main course of his testimony, focusing on how Trump employed Russian "active measures" to attack his opponents. Watts told the Senate panel that the Russian-backed news outlets RT and Sputnik had produced a false report on the U.S. airbase in Incirlik, Turkey being "overrun by terrorists." He presented the Russian stories as the anchor for a massive influence operation that featured swarms of Russian bots across social media. And he claimed that then-Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort invoked the incident to deflect from negative media coverage, suggesting that Trump was coordinating strategy with the Kremlin. In reality, it was Watts who was spreading the fake news. ..."
"... Watts has pushed his bogus narrative of RT and Sputnik's Incirlik coverage in numerous outlets, including Politico . Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen echoed Watts' false account on the Senate floor while arguing for legislation to force RT out of the U.S. market on political grounds. And Jim Rutenberg, the New York Times' media correspondent, reproduced Watts' distorted account in a major feature on RT and Sputnik's "new theory of war." Almost no one, not one major media organization or public figure, has bothered to fact check these false claims, and few have questioned the agenda behind them. ..."
"... The episode began during a Trump rally at the height of the 2016 presidential campaign, when Trump read out an email purportedly from longtime Hillary Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal (the father of this writer), hoping to embarrass Clinton over Benghazi. The text of the email turned out to be part of a column written by the pro-Clinton Newsweek columnist Kurt Eichenwald, not an email by Blumenthal. ..."
"... The source of Trump's falsehood appeared to have been a report by Bill Moran, then a reporter for Sputnik, the news service funded by the Russian government. Having confused Eichenwald's writing for a Blumenthal email, Moran scrubbed his erroneous article within 20 minutes. Somehow, Moran's retracted article had found its way onto the Trump campaign's radar, a not atypical event for a campaign that had relied on material from far-out sites like Infowars to undercut its opponents. ..."
"... In his column at Newsweek, Eichenwald framed Moran's honest mistake as the leading edge of a secret Russian influence operation. With help from pro-Clinton elements, Eichenwald's column went viral, earning him slots on CNN and MSNBC, where he howled about the nefarious Russian-Trump-Wikileaks plot he believed he had just exposed. (Glenn Greenwald was perhaps the only reporter with a national platform to highlight Eichenwald's falsifications .) Moran was fired as a result of the fallout, and would have to spend the next several months fighting to correct the record. ..."
"... When Moran appealed to Eichenwald for a public clarification, Eichenwald staunchly refused. Instead, he offered Moran a job at the New Republic in exchange for his silence and warned him, "If you go public, you'll regret it." (Eichenwald had no role at the New Republic or any clear ability to influence the magazine's hiring decisions.) Moran refused to cooperate, prompting Eichenwald to publish a follow-up piece painting himself as the victim of a Russian "active measures" campaign, and to cast Moran once again as a foreign agent. ..."
"... Representing himself in court, Moran elicited a settlement from Newsweek that forced the magazine to scrub all of Eichenwald's articles about him -- a tacit admission that they were false from top to bottom. This meant that the most consequential claim Watts made before the Senate was also a whopping lie. ..."
"... The day after Watts' deception-laden appearance, he was nevertheless transformed from an obscure national security into a cable news star, with invites from Morning Joe, Rachel Maddow, Meet the Press, and the liberal comedian Samantha Bee, among many others. His testimony received coverage from the gamut of major news outlets, and even earned him a fawning profile from CNN. From out of the blue, Watts had become the star witness of Russiagate, and one of corporate media's favorite pundits. ..."
"... Dr. Strangelove ..."
"... It was not until this summer, however, that the influence operation Watts helped establish reached critical capacity. He had approached one of Washington's most respected think tanks, the German Marshall Fund, and secured support for an initiative called the Alliance for Securing Democracy. The new initiative became responsible for a daily blacklist of subversive, "pro-Russian" media outlets, targeting them with the backing of a who's who of national security honchos, from Bill Kristol to former CIA director and ex-Hillary Clinton surrogate Michael Morrell, along with favorable promotion from some of the country's most respected news organizations. ..."
Nov 13, 2017 | www.truthdig.com

Nearly a year after the presidential election, the scandal over accusations of Russian political interference in the 2016 election has gone beyond Donald Trump and reached into the nebulous world of online media. On November 1, Congress held hearings on "Extremist Content and Russian Disinformation Online." The proceedings saw executives from Facebook, Twitter and Youtube subjected to tongue-lashings from lawmakers like Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley, who howled about Russian online trolls "spread[ing] stories about abuse of black Americans by law enforcement."

In perhaps the most chilling moment of the hearings, and the most overlooked, Clint Watts, a former U.S. Army officer who had branded himself an expert on Russian meddling, appeared before a nearly empty Senate chamber. Watts conjured up a stark landscape of American carnage, with shadowy Russian operatives stage managing the chaos.

"Civil wars don't start with gunshots, they start with words," he proclaimed. "America's war with itself has already begun. We all must act now on the social media battlefield to quell information rebellions that can quickly lead to violent confrontations and easily transform us into the Divided States of America."

Next, Watts suggested a government-imposed campaign of media censorship: "Stopping the false information artillery barrage landing on social media users comes only when those outlets distributing bogus stories are silenced: silence the guns and the barrage will end."

The censorious overtone of Watts' testimony was unmistakable. He demanded that government news inquisitors drive dissident media off the internet and warned that Americans would spear one another with bayonets if they failed to act. And not one member of Congress rose to object. In fact, many echoed his call for media suppression in the House and Senate hearings, with Democrats like Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Rep. Jackie Speier agreeing the most vehemently. The spectacle perfectly illustrated the madness of Russiagate, with liberal lawmakers springboarding off the fear of Russian meddling to demand that Americans be forbidden from consuming the wrong kinds of media -- including content that amplified the message of progressive causes like Black Lives Matter.

Details of exactly what transpired vis a vis Russia and the U.S. in social media in 2016 are still emerging. This year, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence published a declassified version of the intelligence community's report on "Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent U.S. Elections," written by CIA, FBI and NSA, with its central conclusion that Russian efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election represent the most recent expression of Moscow's longstanding desire to undermine the U.S.-led liberal democratic order."

To be sure, there is ample evidence that Russian-linked trolls have attempted to exploit wedge issues on social media platforms. But the impact of these schemes on real-world events appears to have been exaggerated. According to Facebook's data , 56 percent of Russian-linked ads appeared after the 2016 presidential election, and another 25 percent "were never shown to anyone." The ads were said to have "reached" over 100 million people, but that assumes that Facebook users did not scroll through or otherwise ignore them, as they do with most ads. Content emanating from "Russia-linked" sources on YouTube, meanwhile, managed to rack up hit totals in the hundreds , not exactly a viral smash.

Facebook posts traced to the infamous Internet Research Agency troll factory in Russia amounted to only 0.0004 percent of total content that appeared on the social network. (Some of these posts targeted "animal lovers with memes of adorable puppies," while another hawked an LGBT-themed " Buff Bernie coloring book for Berniacs.") According to its " deliberately broad" review , Twitter found that only 0.74 percent of its election-related tweets were "Russian-linked." Google, for its part, documented a grand total of $4,700 of "Russian-linked ad spending" during the 2016 election cycle. While some have argued that the Russian-linked ads were micro-targeted, and could have shifted key electoral voting blocs, these ads appeared in a media climate awash in a multi-billion dollar deluge of political ad spending from both established parties and dark money super PACs.

However, a blitz of feverish corporate media coverage and tension-filled congressional hearings has convinced a whopping 82 percent of Democrats that "Russian-backed" social media content played a central role in swinging the 2016 election. Russian meddling has even earned comparisons by lawmakers to Pearl Harbor, to "acts of war," and by Hillary Clinton to the attacks of 9/11 . And in an inadvertent way, these overblown comparisons were apt.

As during the aftermath of 9/11, the fallout from Russiagate has spawned a multimillion-dollar industry of pundits and self-styled experts eager to exploit the frenetic atmosphere for publicity and profits. Many of these figures have emerged out of the swamp that flowed from the war on terror and are gravitating toward the growing Russia fearmongering industrial complex in search of new opportunities. Few of these characters have become as prominent as Clint Watts.

So who is Watts, and how did he emerge seemingly from nowhere to become the star congressional witness on Russian meddling?

Dubious Expertise, Impressive Salesmanship

A former U.S. Army officer who spent years in obscurity at a defense industry funded think tank called the Foreign Policy Research Institute (FPRI), Watts has become a go-to source for cable news producers and print journalists on the subject of Russian bots, always available with a comment that reinforces the sense that America is under sustained cyborg attack. This September, his employers at FPRI hailed him as "the leading expert on developments related to Russian-backed efforts to not only influence the 2016 presidential election, but also to inflame racial and cultural divisions within the U.S. and across Europe."

Watts boasts an impressive-looking bio that is replete with fancy sounding fellowships at national security-oriented outfits, including George Washington University's Center Cyber and Homeland Security. His bio also indicates that he served on an FBI Joint Terror Task Force.

Though Watts is best known for his punditry on Russian interference, it's fair to say he is as much an expert on Russian affairs as Harvey Weinstein is a trusted voice on feminism. Indeed, Watts appears to speak no Russian, has no record of reporting or scholarship from inside Russia, and has produced little to no work of any discernible academic value on Russian affairs.

Whether or not he has the substance to support his claims of expertise, Watts has proven a talented salesman, catering to popular fears about Russian interference while he plies credulous lawmakers with ease.

Before Congress, a String of Deceptions

Back on March 30, as the narrative of Russian meddling gathered momentum, Watts made his first appearance before the Senate Select Intelligence Committee.

Seated at the front of a hearing room packed with reporters, Watts introduced Congress to concepts of Russian meddling that were novel at the time, but which have become part of Beltway newspeak. His testimony turned out to be a signal moment in Russiagate, helping transition the narrative of the scandal from Russia-Trump collusion to the wider issue of online influence.

In the widely publicized testimony, Watts explained to the panel of senators that he first noticed the pernicious presence of Russian social media bots after he co-authored an article in 2014 in Foreign Affairs titled, " The Good and The Bad of Ahrar al Sham ." The article urged the US to arm a group of Syrian Salafi insurgents known for its human rights abuses , sectarianism and off-and-on alliances with Al Qaeda. Watts and his co-authors insisted that Ahrar al-Sham was the best proxy force for wreaking havoc on the Syrian government weakening its allies in Iran and Russia. Right below the headline, Watts and his co-authors celebrated Ahrar al-Sham as "an Al Qaeda linked group worth befriending."

Watts rehashed the same argument at FPRI a year later, urging the U.S. government to harness jihadist terror as a weapon against Russia. "The U.S. at a minimum, through covert or semi-covert platforms, should take advantage and amplify these free alternative [jihadist] narratives to provide Russia some payback for recent years' aggression," he wrote. In another paper, Watts asked , "Why shouldn't the U.S. redirect some of the jihadi hatred towards those with the dirtiest hands in the Syrian conflict: Russia and Iran?" Watts did not specify whether the theater of covert warfare should be limited to the Syrian battlefield, or if he sought to encourage jihadists to carry out terrorist acts inside Russia and Iran.

The premise of these op-eds should have raised serious concerns about Watts and his colleagues, and even questions about their sanity. They had marketed themselves as national security experts, yet they were lobbying the US to "befriend" the allies of Al Qaeda, the group that brought down the Twin Towers. (Ahrar al-Sham was founded by Abu Khalid al-Suri, a Madrid bombing suspect who was named by Spanish investigators as Osama bin-Laden's courier.) Anyone cynical enough to put such ideas into public circulation should have expected a backlash. But when the inevitable wave of criticism came, Watts dismissed it all as a Russian bot attack.

Addressing the Senate panel, Watts said that those who took to social media to mock and criticize his Foreign Affairs article were, in fact, Russian bots. He provided no evidence to support the claim, and a look at his single tweet promoting the article shows that he was criticized only once (by @Navsteva, a Twitter user known for defending the Syrian government against regime change proponents, not an automated bot). Nevertheless, Watts painted the incident as proof that Russia had revived a Cold War information warfare strategy of "Active Measures," which was supposedly aimed at "crumbl[ing] democracies from the inside out [by] creating political divisions."

Next, Watts introduced his signature theme, claiming that Russia manipulated civil rights protests to exploit divisions in American society. Declaring that "pro-Russian" outlets were spreading "chaos in Black Lives Matter protests" by deploying active measures, Watts did not bother to say what those measures were. In fact, the only piece of proof he offered (in a Daily Beast transcript of his testimony) was a single link to an RT article that factually documented a squabble between Black Lives Matter protesters and white supremacists -- an incident that had been widely covered by other outlets, from the Houston Chronicle to the Washington Post . Watts did not explain how this one report by RT sowed any chaos, or whether it had any effect at all on actual events.

Watts then moved to the main course of his testimony, focusing on how Trump employed Russian "active measures" to attack his opponents. Watts told the Senate panel that the Russian-backed news outlets RT and Sputnik had produced a false report on the U.S. airbase in Incirlik, Turkey being "overrun by terrorists." He presented the Russian stories as the anchor for a massive influence operation that featured swarms of Russian bots across social media. And he claimed that then-Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort invoked the incident to deflect from negative media coverage, suggesting that Trump was coordinating strategy with the Kremlin. In reality, it was Watts who was spreading the fake news.

In the articles cited by Watts during his testimony, neither RT nor Sputnik made any reference to "terrorists" taking over Incirlik Airbase. Rather, these outlets compiled tweets by Turkish activists and sourced their coverage to a report by Hurriyet, one of Turkey's largest mainstream papers. In fact, the incident was reported by virtually every major Turkish news organization ( here , here , here and here ). What's more, the events appeared to have taken place approximately as RT and Sputnik reported it, with protesters readying to protect the airbase from a coup while Turkish police sealed the base's entrances and exits. A look at RT's coverage shows the network even downplayed the severity of the event, citing a tweet by a U.S.-based national security analysis group stating, "We are not finding any evidence of a coup or takeover." This stands entirely at odds with Watts' claim that RT exaggerated the incident to spark chaos.

Watts has pushed his bogus narrative of RT and Sputnik's Incirlik coverage in numerous outlets, including Politico . Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen echoed Watts' false account on the Senate floor while arguing for legislation to force RT out of the U.S. market on political grounds. And Jim Rutenberg, the New York Times' media correspondent, reproduced Watts' distorted account in a major feature on RT and Sputnik's "new theory of war." Almost no one, not one major media organization or public figure, has bothered to fact check these false claims, and few have questioned the agenda behind them.

Questions emailed to Watts via his employers at FPRI received no reply.

Another Watts Deception, This Time Discredited in Court

During his Senate testimony, Watts introduced a second, and even more distorted claim of Trump employing Russian "active measures" to attack his political foes. The details of the story are complex and difficult for a passive audience to absorb, which is probably why Watts has been able to get away with pushing it for so long.

Watts' testimony was the culmination of a mainstream media deception that forced an aspiring reporter out of his job, drove him to contemplate suicide, and ultimately prompted him to take matters into his own hands by suing his antagonists.

The episode began during a Trump rally at the height of the 2016 presidential campaign, when Trump read out an email purportedly from longtime Hillary Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal (the father of this writer), hoping to embarrass Clinton over Benghazi. The text of the email turned out to be part of a column written by the pro-Clinton Newsweek columnist Kurt Eichenwald, not an email by Blumenthal.

The source of Trump's falsehood appeared to have been a report by Bill Moran, then a reporter for Sputnik, the news service funded by the Russian government. Having confused Eichenwald's writing for a Blumenthal email, Moran scrubbed his erroneous article within 20 minutes. Somehow, Moran's retracted article had found its way onto the Trump campaign's radar, a not atypical event for a campaign that had relied on material from far-out sites like Infowars to undercut its opponents.

In his column at Newsweek, Eichenwald framed Moran's honest mistake as the leading edge of a secret Russian influence operation. With help from pro-Clinton elements, Eichenwald's column went viral, earning him slots on CNN and MSNBC, where he howled about the nefarious Russian-Trump-Wikileaks plot he believed he had just exposed. (Glenn Greenwald was perhaps the only reporter with a national platform to highlight Eichenwald's falsifications .) Moran was fired as a result of the fallout, and would have to spend the next several months fighting to correct the record.

When Moran appealed to Eichenwald for a public clarification, Eichenwald staunchly refused. Instead, he offered Moran a job at the New Republic in exchange for his silence and warned him, "If you go public, you'll regret it." (Eichenwald had no role at the New Republic or any clear ability to influence the magazine's hiring decisions.) Moran refused to cooperate, prompting Eichenwald to publish a follow-up piece painting himself as the victim of a Russian "active measures" campaign, and to cast Moran once again as a foreign agent.

When Watts revived Eichenwald's bogus version of events in his Senate testimony, Moran began to spiral into the depths of depression. He even entertained thoughts of suicide. But he ultimately decided to fight, filing a lawsuit against Newsweek's parent company for defamation and libel.

Representing himself in court, Moran elicited a settlement from Newsweek that forced the magazine to scrub all of Eichenwald's articles about him -- a tacit admission that they were false from top to bottom. This meant that the most consequential claim Watts made before the Senate was also a whopping lie.

The day after Watts' deception-laden appearance, he was nevertheless transformed from an obscure national security into a cable news star, with invites from Morning Joe, Rachel Maddow, Meet the Press, and the liberal comedian Samantha Bee, among many others. His testimony received coverage from the gamut of major news outlets, and even earned him a fawning profile from CNN. From out of the blue, Watts had become the star witness of Russiagate, and one of corporate media's favorite pundits.

FPRI, a Pro-War Think Tank Founded by White Supremacist Eugenicists

Before he emerged in the spotlight of Russiagate, Watts languished at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, earning little name recognition outside the insular world of national security pundits. Based in Philadelphia, the FPRI has been described by journalist Mark Ames as "one of the looniest (and spookiest) extreme-right think tanks since the early Cold War days, promoting 'winnable' nuclear war, maximum confrontation with Russia, and attacking anti-colonialism as dangerously unworkable."

Daniel Pipes, the arch-Islamophobe pundit and former FPRI fellow, offered a similar characterization of the think tank, albeit from an alternately opposed angle. "Put most baldly, we have always advocated an activist U.S. foreign policy," Pipes said in a 1991 address to FPRI. He added that the think tank's staff "is not shy about the use of force; were we members of Congress in January 1991, all of us would not only have voted with President Bush and Operation Desert Storm, we would have led the charge."

FPRI was co-founded by Robert Strausz-Hupé, a far-right Austrian emigre, with help from conservative corporations and covert funding from the CIA. From the campus of the University of Pennsylvania, Strausz-Hupé gathered a "Philadelphia School" of Cold War hardliners to develop a strategy for protracted war against the Soviet Union. His brain trust included FPRI co-founder Stefan Possony, an Austrian fascist who was a board member of the World Anti-Communist League, the international fascist organization described by journalists Scott Anderson and Jon Lee Anderson as a network of "those responsible for death squads, apartheid, torture, and the extermination of European Jewry." True to his fascist roots, Possony co-authored a racialist tract, " The Geography of Intellect ," that argued that blacks were biologically inferior and that the people of the global South were "genetically unpromising." Strausz-Hupé seized on Possony's racialist theories to inveigh against anti-colonial movements led by "populations incapable of rational thought."

While clamoring for a preemptive nuclear strike on the Soviet Union -- and acknowledging that their preferred strategy would cause mass casualties in American cities -- Strausz-Hupé and his band of hawks developed a monomaniacal obsession with Russian propaganda. By the time of the Cuban missile crisis, they were stricken with paranoia, arguing on the pages of the New York Times that filmmaker Stanley Kubrick was a Soviet useful idiot whose film, Dr. Strangelove , advanced "the principal Communist objectives to drive a wedge between the American people and their military leaders."

Ultimately, Strausz-Hupé's fanaticism cost him an ambassadorship, as Sen. William Fulbright scuttled his appointment to serve in Morocco on the grounds that his "hard line, no compromise" approach to communism could shatter the delicate balance of diplomacy. Today, he is remembered fondly on FPRI's website as "an intellectual and intellectual impresario, administrator, statesman, and visionary." His militaristic legacy continues thanks to the prolific presence -- and bellicose politics -- of Watts.

The Paranoid Style

This year, FPRI dedicated its annual gala to honoring Watts' success in mainstreaming the narrative of Russian online meddling. Since I first transcribed a Soundcloud recording of Watts' keynote address, the file has been mysteriously scrubbed from the internet. It is unclear what prompted the removal, however, it is easy to understand why Watts would not want his comments examined by a critical listener. His speech offered a window into a paranoid mindset with a tendency for overblown, unverifiable claims about Russian influence.

While much of the speech was a rehash of Watts' Senate testimony, he spent an unusual amount of time describing the threat he believed Russian intelligence agents posed to his own security. "If you speak up too much, you'll get knocked down," Watts said, claiming that think tank fellows who had been too vocal about Russian meddling had seen their laptops "burned up by malware."

"If someone rises up in prominence, they will suddenly be -- whoof! -- swiped down out of nowhere by some crazy disclosure from their email," Watts added, referring to unspecified Russian retaliatory measures. As usual, he didn't produce concrete evidence or offer any examples.

"Anybody remember the reporters that were outed after the election? Or maybe they tossed up a question to the Clinton campaign and they were gone the next day?" he asked his audience. "That's how it goes."

It was unclear which reporters Watts was referring to, or what incident he could have possibly been alluding to. He offered no details, only innuendo about the state of siege Kremlin actors had supposedly imposed on him and his freedom-fighting colleagues. He even predicted he'd be "hacked and cyber attacked when this recording comes out."

According to Watts, Russian "active measures" had singlehandedly augmented Republican opinion in support of the Kremlin. "It is the greatest success in influence operations in the history of the world," Watts confidently proclaimed. He contrasted Russia's success with his own failures as an American agent of influence working for the U.S. military, a saga in his career that remains largely unexamined.

Domestic Agent of Influence

"I worked in influence operations in counter-terrorism for 15 years," Watts boasted to his audience at FPRI. "We didn't break one or two percent [increase in the approval rating of US foreign policy] in fifteen years and we spent billions a year in tax dollars doing it. I was paid off of those programs. We had almost no success throughout the Middle East."

By Watts' own admission, he had been part of a secret propaganda campaign aimed at manipulating the opinions of Middle Easterners in favor of the hostile American military operating in their midst. And he failed massively, wasting "billions a year in tax dollars."

Given his penchant for deception, this may have been yet another tall tale aimed at burnishing his image as an internet era James Bond. But if the story was even partially true, Watts had inadvertently exposed a severe scandal that, in a fairer world, might have triggered congressional hearings.

Whatever took place, it appears that Watts and his Cold Warrior colleagues are now waging another expensive influence operation, this time directed against the American public. By deploying deceptions, half-truths and hyperbole with the full consent of Congress and in collaboration with the mainstream press, they have managed to convince a majority of Americans that Russia is "trying to knock us down and take us over," as Watts remarked at the FPRI's gala.

In just a matter of months, public consent for an unprecedented array of hostile measures against Russia, from sanctions and consular raids to arbitrary crackdowns on Russian-backed news organizations, has been assiduously manufactured.

It was not until this summer, however, that the influence operation Watts helped establish reached critical capacity. He had approached one of Washington's most respected think tanks, the German Marshall Fund, and secured support for an initiative called the Alliance for Securing Democracy. The new initiative became responsible for a daily blacklist of subversive, "pro-Russian" media outlets, targeting them with the backing of a who's who of national security honchos, from Bill Kristol to former CIA director and ex-Hillary Clinton surrogate Michael Morrell, along with favorable promotion from some of the country's most respected news organizations.

In the next installment of this investigation, we will see how a collection of cranks, counter-terror retreads and online vigilantes overseen by the German Marshall Fund have waged a search-and-destroy mission against dissident media under the guise of combating Russian "active measures," and how the mainstream press has enabled their censorious agenda.

Read part two here .

Max Blumenthal is a senior editor of the Grayzone Project at AlterNet, and the award-winning author of " Goliath ," " Republican Gomorrah ," and " The 51 Day War ." He is the co-host of the podcast, Moderate Rebels . Follow him on Twitter at @MaxBlumenthal .

Related Articles

[Dec 09, 2017] The Year of the Headless [neo]Liberal Chicken by C.J. Hopkins

Notable quotes:
"... Fortunately, just in the nick of time, the ruling classes and their media mouthpieces rolled out the Russian Propaganda story. The Washington Post (whose owner's multimillion dollar deal with the CIA, of course, has absolutely no effect on the quality of its professional journalism) led the charge with this McCarthyite smear job , legitimizing the baseless allegations of some random website and a think tank staffed by charlatans like this "Russia expert," who appears not to speak a word of Russian or have any other "Russia expert" credentials, but is available both for television and Senate Intelligence Committee appearances. Numerous similar smear pieces followed. Liberals breathed a big sigh of relief that Hitler business had been getting kind of scary. How long can you go, after all, with Hitler stumbling around the White House before somebody has to go in there and shoot him? ..."
"... In any event, by January, the media were playing down the Hitler stuff and going balls-out on the "Russiagate" story. According to The Washington Post (which, let's remember, is a serious newspaper, as opposed to a propaganda organ of the so-called US "Intelligence Community"), not only had the Russians "hacked" the election, but they had hacked the Vermont power grid ! Editorialists at The New York Times were declaring that Trump " had been appointed by Putin ," and that the USA was now "at war" with Russia. This was also around the time when liberals first learned of the Trump-Russia Dossier , which detailed how Putin was blackmailing Trump with a video the FSB had shot of Trump and a bunch of Russian hookers peeing on a bed in a Moscow hotel in which Obama had allegedly slept. ..."
"... This nonsense was reported completely straight-faced, and thus liberals were forced to take it seriously. Imagine the cognitive dissonance they suffered. It was like that scene in 1984 when the Party abruptly switches enemies, and the war with Eurasia becomes the war with Eastasia. Suddenly, Trump wasn't Hitler anymore. Now he was a Russian sleeper agent who Putin had been blackmailing into destroying democracy with this incriminating "golden showers" video. ..."
"... C. J. Hopkins is an award-winning American playwright, novelist and satirist based in Berlin. His plays are published by Bloomsbury Publishing (UK) and Broadway Play Publishing (USA). His debut novel, ZONE 23 , is published by Snoggsworthy, Swaine & Cormorant. He can reached at cjhopkins.com or consentfactory.org . ..."
Dec 09, 2017 | www.unz.com

First came the overwhelming shock of Hillary Clinton's loss to Trump, a repulsive, word salad-babbling buffoon with absolutely no political experience who the media had been portraying to liberals as the Second Coming of Adolf Hitler. This was a candidate, let's recall, who jabbered about building a "beautiful wall" to protect us from the hordes of "Mexican rapists" and other "bad hombres" who were invading America, and who had boasted about grabbing women "by the pussy" like a prepubescent 6th grade boy. While he had served as a perfect foil for Clinton, and had provided hours of entertainment in a comic book villain kind of way, the prospect of a Donald Trump presidency was inconceivable in the minds of liberals. So, when it happened, it was like the Martians had invaded.

Mass hysteria gripped the nation. There was beaucoup wailing and gnashing of teeth. Liberals began exhibiting irrational and, in some cases, rather disturbing behaviors. Many degenerated into dissociative states and just sat there with their phones for hours obsessively reloading the popular vote count, which Clinton had won, on FiveThirtyEight. Others festooned themselves with safety pins and went out looking for defenseless minorities who they could "demonstrate solidarity" with. Owen Jones flew in from London to join his colleague Steven Thrasher, who was organizing a guerilla force to resist " the normalization of Trump " and the global race war he was about to launch, which "not all of us were going to get out of alive."

In the weeks immediately following the election, the mainstream media inundated liberals with pronouncements of the advent of an " Age of Darkness " and the " Triumph of White Supremacy " over the beneficent values of Globalism. Yes, it was pretty much the end of everything . America was facing nothing less than a descent into " racial Orwellianism ," " Zionist anti-Semitism ," and " the bottomless pit of Fascism " itself. Liberals, who by then had dispensed with the safety pins, immediately set about terrorizing their children with visions of the impending holocaust , which would be carried out by the genocidal, racist monsters who had voted for Trump.

At that point, the media had been hammering hard on the Trump-is-Hitler narrative for months, so they had to stick with that for a while. It had only been a few weeks, after all, since The Wall Street Journal , The New York Times , The Washington Post , The Guardian , and numerous other establishment publications , had explained how Trump was using special fascist code words like "global elites," "international banks," and "lobbyists" to signal his virulent hatred of the Jews to the millions of Americans who, according to the media, were secretly Hitler-loving fascists.

This initial post-election propaganda was understandably somewhat awkward, as the plan had been to be able to celebrate the "Triumph of Love over the Forces of Hate," and the demise of the latest Hitlerian bogeyman. But this was the risk the ruling classes took when they chose to go ahead and Hitlerize Trump, which they wouldn't have done if they'd thought for a moment that he had a chance of actually winning the election. That's the tricky thing about Hitlerizing people. You need to be able to kill them, eventually. If you don't, when they turn out not to be Hitler, your narrative kind of falls apart, and the people you've fear-mongered into a frenzy of frothing, self-righteous fake-Hitler-hatred end up feeling like a bunch of dupes who'll believe anything the government tells them. This is why, normally, you only Hitlerize foreign despots you can kill with impunity. This is Hitlerization 101 stuff, which the ruling classes ignored in this case, which the left poor liberals terrified that Trump was actually going to start building Trump-branded death camps and rounding up the Jews.

Fortunately, just in the nick of time, the ruling classes and their media mouthpieces rolled out the Russian Propaganda story. The Washington Post (whose owner's multimillion dollar deal with the CIA, of course, has absolutely no effect on the quality of its professional journalism) led the charge with this McCarthyite smear job , legitimizing the baseless allegations of some random website and a think tank staffed by charlatans like this "Russia expert," who appears not to speak a word of Russian or have any other "Russia expert" credentials, but is available both for television and Senate Intelligence Committee appearances. Numerous similar smear pieces followed. Liberals breathed a big sigh of relief that Hitler business had been getting kind of scary. How long can you go, after all, with Hitler stumbling around the White House before somebody has to go in there and shoot him?

In any event, by January, the media were playing down the Hitler stuff and going balls-out on the "Russiagate" story. According to The Washington Post (which, let's remember, is a serious newspaper, as opposed to a propaganda organ of the so-called US "Intelligence Community"), not only had the Russians "hacked" the election, but they had hacked the Vermont power grid ! Editorialists at The New York Times were declaring that Trump " had been appointed by Putin ," and that the USA was now "at war" with Russia. This was also around the time when liberals first learned of the Trump-Russia Dossier , which detailed how Putin was blackmailing Trump with a video the FSB had shot of Trump and a bunch of Russian hookers peeing on a bed in a Moscow hotel in which Obama had allegedly slept.

This nonsense was reported completely straight-faced, and thus liberals were forced to take it seriously. Imagine the cognitive dissonance they suffered. It was like that scene in 1984 when the Party abruptly switches enemies, and the war with Eurasia becomes the war with Eastasia. Suddenly, Trump wasn't Hitler anymore. Now he was a Russian sleeper agent who Putin had been blackmailing into destroying democracy with this incriminating "golden showers" video. Putin had presumably been "running" Trump since Trump's visit to Russia in 2013 to hobnob with "Russia-linked" Russian businessmen and attend the Miss Universe pageant in Moscow. During the ensuing partying, Trump must have gotten loaded on Diet Coke and gotten carried away with those Russian hookers. Now, Putin had him by the short hairs and was forcing him to staff his Manchurian cabinet with corporate CEOs and Goldman Sachs guys, who probably had also been videotaped by the FSB in Moscow hotels paying hookers to pee on furniture, or performing whatever other type of seditious, perverted kink they were into.

Before the poor liberals had time to process this, the ruling classes launched "the Resistance." You remember the Pussyhat People , don't you? And the global corporate PR campaign which accompanied their historic "Womens' March" on Washington? Do you remember liberals like Michael Moore shrieking for the feds to arrest Donald Trump ? Or publications like The New York Times , Salon , and many others, and even State Satirist Stephen Colbert accusing Trump and anyone who supported him of treason a crime, let's recall, that is punishable by death? Do you remember folks like William Kristol and Rob "the Meathead" Reiner demanding that the "deep state" launch a coup against Trump to rescue America from the Russian infiltrators?

Ironically, the roll-out of this "Russiagate" hysteria was so successful that it peaked too soon, and prematurely backlashed all over itself. By March, when Trump had not been arrested, nor otherwise removed from office, liberals, who by that time the corporate media had teased into an incoherent, throbbing state of anticipation were well, rather disappointed. By April, they were exhibiting all the hallmark symptoms of clinical psychosis. This mental breakdown was due to the fact that the media pundits and government spooks who had been telling them that Trump was Hitler, and then a Russian sleeper agent, were now telling them that he wasn't so bad , because he'd pointlessly bombed a Syrian airstrip, and dropped a $314 million Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb on some alleged "terrorist caves" in Afghanistan.

As if liberals' poor brains weren't rattled enough, the corporate media then switched back to, first, the Russian Propaganda narrative (which they expanded into a global threat), then, the Hitler stuff again, but this time Trump wasn't actually Hitler, because Putin was Hitler, or at least he was fomenting Hitlerism throughout the West with his legions of fascist hacker bots who were "influencing" unsuspecting consumers with their blitzkrieg of divisive "fake news" stories. Oh, yeah, and now Putin had also done Brexit , or Trump and Robert Mercer had, but they were working for Putin, who had also hacked the French election that he hadn't hacked , or whatever this was no time to worry about what had or hadn't actually happened. The peace and prosperity President Obama had reestablished throughout the West by incessantly bombing the Greater Middle East and bailing out his pals at the Wall Street banks was being torn asunder by Vladimir Putin, who at some point had apparently metamorphosized from a ruthless, former KGB autocrat into a white supremacist megalomaniac.

Right on cue, on the weekend of August 11-12 in Charlottesville, Virginia, where there had never been any history of racism , a "national gathering" of approximately five hundred tiki torch-bearing neo-Nazis, Ku Klux Klan types, and other white supremacists, many of them barking Nazi slogans, marched into the pages of history. Never before have so few fascists owed so much to the mainstream media, which showered them with overwrought coverage, triggering a national Nazi panic. Liberals poured into the streets, tearing down Confederate monuments, and otherwise signaling their total intolerance of the racism they had tolerated until a few days earlier. People named after Robert E. Lee , and horses named after General Lee's horse , went into hiding to until the panic subsided. This was wise, as by then the so-called anti-fascists were showing up in force at anything resembling a right-wing rally and stomping the living Hitler out of Nazis, and Trump supporters, and journalists, and well, anyone they didn't think looked quite right. This totally preemptively self-defensive, non-violent type of violent behavior, naturally, shocked and horrified liberals, who are strongly opposed to all forms of violence that aren't carried out by the US military, or the police, or someone else wearing a uniform. Unsure as to whom they were supposed to condemn, the Nazis or the Antifa terrorists, they turned for guidance to the corporate ruling classes, who informed them it was time to censor the Internet .

This made about as much sense as any of the other nonsense they'd been spoonfed so far, so liberals decided to get behind it, or at least look the other way while it happened. Facebook, Google, Amazon, Twitter (and all the other corporations that control the Internet, the media, Hollywood, the publishing industry, and every other means of representing "reality") surely have people's best interests at heart. Plus, they're only censoring the Nazis, and the terrorists, and the Russian "fake news" disseminators, and, OK, a lot of leftist publications, and award-winning journalists , and anyone else espousing "divisive," anti-American, or anti-corporate, "extremist" views.

Look, I know what you're probably thinking, but it isn't like liberals don't actually care about fundamental liberal values like freedom of the press and speech and all that. It's just that they desperately need the Democrats to take back the House and the Senate next year, so they can get on with impeaching Trump, and if they have to stand by while the corporations suppress a little leftist dissent, or, you know, transform the entire Internet into a massive, mind-numbing echo chamber of neo-McCarthyite corporate conformity well, sacrifices have to be made.

This can't go on forever, after all. This level of full-blown mass hysteria can only be sustained for so long. It's all fine and good to be able to whip people up into a frenzied mob, but at some point you need to have an endgame. The neoliberal ruling classes know this. Their endgame is actually fairly simple. Their plan is to (a) make an example of Trump to discourage any future billionaire idiots from screwing with their simulation of democracy, and (b) demonize anyone deviating from neoliberal ideology as a fascist, racist, or anti-Semite, or otherwise "abnormal" or "extremist." Their plan is not to incinerate the entire planet in a war with Russia. We're not on the brink of World War III, despite how many Twitter likes or Facebook shares it might get me to say that. Yes, eventually, they want to force Russia to return to the kind of "cooperation" it engaged in during the 1990s, when it was run by an incorrigible drunkard and the Goldman Sachs boys and their oligarch pals were looting the country for all it was worth but that has little to do with all this.

No, the corporate ruling classes' endgame here is to reestablish neoliberal "normality," so we can get back to the War on Terror (or whatever they'll be calling it by then), and put this neo-nationalist revolt against neoliberalism episode behind us. To do that, they will need to install some sort of hopey-changey, Obama-like messiah, or at least somebody who can play the part of POTUS like a normal person and not sit around the Oval Office gobbling McDonald's and retweeting racist memes by random British fascists.

The way things are going, that might take a while, but rest assured they'll get there eventually. Now that Robert Mueller has proved that Trump colluded with Vladimir Putin by obstructing an investigation by Comey into Michael Flynn's lying to the FBI about not colluding with the Russian ambassador on behalf of Israel at Kushner's behest, the dominoes are surely about to fall. Once they all have, and Donald Trump's head has been mounted on a spike on the White House lawn as a warning to any other potential usurpers, all this Russia and Nazi hysteria that has the poor liberals running around like headless chickens will disappear. Russia will go back to being Russia. The North American Nazi Menace, deprived of daily media coverage, will go back to being a fringe phenomenon. Liberals will go back to ignoring politics (except identity politics, naturally) and obediently serving the global capitalist ruling elites that are destroying the planet, and the lives of millions of human beings, in order to increase their profit margins. Sure, there'll be a brief emotional hangover, once the adrenaline rush wears off and they look back at their tweets and Facebook posts, which in hindsight might convey the impression that they spent the better part of a year parroting whatever insane propaganda the corporate media pumped out at them, and otherwise behaving like Good Americans but then, that's what the "delete" key is for.

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

anonymous , Disclaimer December 9, 2017 at 8:51 am GMT

"The way things are going, that might take a while, but rest assured they'll get there eventually. Now that Robert Mueller has proved that Trump colluded with Vladimir Putin by obstructing an investigation by Comey into Michael Flynn's lying to the FBI about not colluding with the Russian ambassador on behalf of Israel at Kushner's behest, the dominoes are surely about to fall."

Thanks, now I understand where Judge Napolitano is coming from.

[Dec 05, 2017] Conspiracy Theorists, Bloggers Compared To ISIS During Congressional Hearing by Paul Joseph Watson

So neo McCarthyism witch hunt that is rampant now is just more of the same.
Notable quotes:
"... The hearing, hosted by the House Foreign Relations Committee, was titled "Confronting Russia's Weaponization of Information," and accused Russian state broadcaster RT of weaponizing "conspiracy theories" to spread propaganda. ..."
"... One of the speakers giving testimony was former RT host Liz Wahl, who made a public spectacle of quitting Russian state media last year in an incident stage-managed by neo-con James Kirchick, himself a former employee of Radio Free Europe – a state media outlet. ..."
"... Remarking that the Internet provided a platform for "fringe voices and extremists," Wahl characterized people who challenge establishment narratives as a "cult". "They mobilize and they feel they're part of some enlightened fight against the establishment .they find a platform to voice their deranged views," said Wahl. ..."
"... Referring to comments made in January by US Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) chief Andrew Lack, who characterized RT as a threat on the same level as ISIS and Boko Haram, Wahl said the comparison was justified. ..."
"... Peter Pomerantsev, of the London-based Legatum Institute, followed up by claiming that conspiracy theories were no longer "fringe" and were now driving the success of Jean-Marie Le Pen in France, before lamenting the fact that conspiracy theories were challenging the "global order" and threatening to undermine global institutions. ..."
"... All three individuals that gave testimony are staunch critics of Russia, leading Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) to wish "we had at least one other person to balance out this in a way that perhaps could've compared our system to the Russian system, to find out where that truth is, just how bad that is." ..."
"... Without a doubt, RT puts out pro-Russian propaganda, but it also broadcasts truths about geopolitics and U.S. foreign policy that Americans will never see on mainstream corporate networks, precisely because those networks are also engaged in propaganda. ..."
"... As linguist Noam Chomsky said, "The idea that there should be a network reaching people, which does not repeat the US propaganda system, is intolerable" to the US establishment. ..."
"... I love it when .gov shows their hand. ..."
"... Let's not forget -- as reported here many times to the credit of ZH -- that the very term "conspiracy theorist" was coined by the CIA as a means of undermining anyone who would question the government. ..."
"... Websites of Mass Instruction (are internet sites that can educate and bring significant enlightenment to a large number of humans or cause great damage to the false government-scripted MSM narrativ ..."
"... Screw them, screw all of them. I am a blogger, I do my own analysis, and try to figure out what BS they are going to try and pull next based on the information I have available to me. It makes things so clear when they start speaking so hostilely about something you are involved in when you know are doing the right thing by speaking out. She is making it seem like there is some nefarious motive behind what we do. She is the one that is dangerous, not us. She is trying to curtail free speech for god sake. ..."
"... The US Propaganda Machine has just jumped the shark. ..."
"... It jumped the shark awhile ago. Like all corrupt governments, the government of the United States accuses others of behavior the US blatantly engages in itself. A few gems regarding our own "online troll army": http://www.wired.com/2011/07/darpa-wants-social-media-sensor-for-propaga... ..."
"... And let's not forget that the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 included a provision to repeal the ban on government propaganda being directed at American citizens: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Defense_Authorization_Act_for_Fisc... ..."
"... Turns out Uncle Sam is a sociopathic, hypocritical asshole. EDIT: Incidentally, folks, they always tell you what they're gonna do before they do it. This is a shot across the bow; they will be coming after the internet in one way or another at some point. It's too much of a threat for them to ignore it, and it's only a matter of time. ..."
"... The pejorative "conspiracy theorist" is meant to demean and ridicule skeptics of official stories. Most so-called "conspiracy theorists" are really skeptics, by definition. They're skeptical of what the government tells them. They're skeptical of the claim that drug companies are really only interested in helping humankind and have no desire to make money. They're skeptical that food corporations are telling them the truth about what's in their food. And they're also skeptical of anything coming out of Washington D.C., regardless of which party happens to be in power at the time. ..."
"... So let's get this straight... they believe that Russia is responsibility for ALLLLLLL the "conspiracy theories" on the Internet? LOL! How about the one where the NSA was spying on everyone and it turned out to be true? Is Russia responsible for that one too? ..."
"... Soon we will find out that Liz Wahl works for the CIA and was specifically planted at RT in order to create the current psyop. ..."
"... US propagandists are locked in a monologue mode, speaking to themselves and of themselves all the time. The Russians are simply a canvas on which US propagandists paint a projected picture of their inner selves. This is the US world order, wallowing in the denial of the most basic reality. Who could come with the fantasy that the US supports freedom of speech? ..."
Apr 16, 2015 | euobserver.com

Submitted by Paul Joseph Watson via PrisonPlanet.com,

Bloggers, conspiracy theorists and people who challenge establishment narratives on the Internet were all likened to ISIS terrorists during a chilling Congressional hearing which took place yesterday.

The hearing, hosted by the House Foreign Relations Committee, was titled "Confronting Russia's Weaponization of Information," and accused Russian state broadcaster RT of weaponizing "conspiracy theories" to spread propaganda.

One of the speakers giving testimony was former RT host Liz Wahl, who made a public spectacle of quitting Russian state media last year in an incident stage-managed by neo-con James Kirchick, himself a former employee of Radio Free Europe – a state media outlet.

Remarking that the Internet provided a platform for "fringe voices and extremists," Wahl characterized people who challenge establishment narratives as a "cult". "They mobilize and they feel they're part of some enlightened fight against the establishment .they find a platform to voice their deranged views," said Wahl.

Referring to comments made in January by US Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) chief Andrew Lack, who characterized RT as a threat on the same level as ISIS and Boko Haram, Wahl said the comparison was justified.

"By using the Internet to mobilize people that feel displaced, that feel like they've been on the outskirts of society, and give them a place where they can find a sense of belonging, and maybe make a difference in their own way, and it's a problem," she said.

Wahl went on to bemoan the fact that conspiracy theorists were "shaping the discussion online, on message boards, on Twitter, on social media," before asserting that the web had become a beacon of "disinformation, false theories, people that are just trying to make a name for themselves, bloggers or whatever, that have absolutely no accountability for the truth, that are able to rile up a mass amount of people online."

Committee Chairman Ed Royce then proceeded to accuse people on YouTube of using "raw violence" to advance conspiracy theories.

Peter Pomerantsev, of the London-based Legatum Institute, followed up by claiming that conspiracy theories were no longer "fringe" and were now driving the success of Jean-Marie Le Pen in France, before lamenting the fact that conspiracy theories were challenging the "global order" and threatening to undermine global institutions.

All three individuals that gave testimony are staunch critics of Russia, leading Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) to wish "we had at least one other person to balance out this in a way that perhaps could've compared our system to the Russian system, to find out where that truth is, just how bad that is."

Beyond the inflammatory rhetoric, the real story revolves around the fact that Washington was caught off guard by the rapid growth of RT, with Hillary Clinton and others having acknowledged the fact that the U.S. is "losing the information war," which is why they are now desperately trying to denigrate the Russian broadcaster.

Without a doubt, RT puts out pro-Russian propaganda, but it also broadcasts truths about geopolitics and U.S. foreign policy that Americans will never see on mainstream corporate networks, precisely because those networks are also engaged in propaganda.

There's no mystery behind why RT has become so big – telling the truth is popular – but because Washington finds it impossible to compete on that basis, it has been forced to resort to ad hominem attacks and ludicrous comparisons to ISIS in a desperate bid to level the playing field.

As linguist Noam Chomsky said, "The idea that there should be a network reaching people, which does not repeat the US propaganda system, is intolerable" to the US establishment.

_SILENCER

I love it when .gov shows their hand.

Fukushima Sam

You fucking bastards, you give me a version of events like "9/11" and the "Boston Marathon Bombing" that actually seem to jibe with reality and maybe then I'll stop being a "conspiracy theorist".

LetThemEatRand

Let's not forget -- as reported here many times to the credit of ZH -- that the very term "conspiracy theorist" was coined by the CIA as a means of undermining anyone who would question the government.

nmewn

It should also be pointed out that Bernanke is now "a blogger" at the Brookings Institute and one helluva "conspiracy theorist" in his own right...lol.

I guess some nutters are more equal than others ;-)

Supernova Born

Websites of Mass Instruction (are internet sites that can educate and bring significant enlightenment to a large number of humans or cause great damage to the false government-scripted MSM narrative)

clymer

Thanks RT for not thoroughly vetting that bitchy douche. Now if we could all go back to CNN like the nice little drones that we are... (Lauren Lyster ended up at CBS - WTF is with RT hand-picking these opportunists - reminds of ironically of Yuri Bezmenov speaking of hiring jouralists: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vLqHv0xgOlc -- they didn't learn from their own program)

Captain Debtcrash

Screw them, screw all of them. I am a blogger, I do my own analysis, and try to figure out what BS they are going to try and pull next based on the information I have available to me. It makes things so clear when they start speaking so hostilely about something you are involved in when you know are doing the right thing by speaking out. She is making it seem like there is some nefarious motive behind what we do. She is the one that is dangerous, not us. She is trying to curtail free speech for god sake.

http://www.debtcrash.report/

Bumpo

The US Propaganda Machine has just jumped the shark.

McMolotov

It jumped the shark awhile ago. Like all corrupt governments, the government of the United States accuses others of behavior the US blatantly engages in itself. A few gems regarding our own "online troll army": http://www.wired.com/2011/07/darpa-wants-social-media-sensor-for-propaga...

http://www.darpa.mil/Our_Work/I2O/Programs/Social_Media_in_Strategic_Com...

And let's not forget that the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 included a provision to repeal the ban on government propaganda being directed at American citizens: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Defense_Authorization_Act_for_Fisc...

Turns out Uncle Sam is a sociopathic, hypocritical asshole. EDIT: Incidentally, folks, they always tell you what they're gonna do before they do it. This is a shot across the bow; they will be coming after the internet in one way or another at some point. It's too much of a threat for them to ignore it, and it's only a matter of time.

BLOTTO

I've post previously...but always a good read.

'What is a "conspiracy theorist?

The pejorative "conspiracy theorist" is meant to demean and ridicule skeptics of official stories. Most so-called "conspiracy theorists" are really skeptics, by definition. They're skeptical of what the government tells them. They're skeptical of the claim that drug companies are really only interested in helping humankind and have no desire to make money. They're skeptical that food corporations are telling them the truth about what's in their food. And they're also skeptical of anything coming out of Washington D.C., regardless of which party happens to be in power at the time.

People who are not skeptics of "official stories" tend to be dull-minded. To believe everything these institutions tell you is a sign of mental retardation. To ask questions, on the other hand, is a sign of higher intelligence and wisdom.'

http://www.naturalnews.com/045172_conspiracy_theories_rational_thought_c...

philipat

It's hilarious watching in the land of the free as they try to find a way around the First Amendment to ban RT.......

Gaius Frakkin

So let's get this straight... they believe that Russia is responsibility for ALLLLLLL the "conspiracy theories" on the Internet? LOL! How about the one where the NSA was spying on everyone and it turned out to be true? Is Russia responsible for that one too?

So who are the REAL paranoid, deranged, scared out of their wits about losing power, conspiracy theorists?

Element

Like glib acceptance of any flaky old crap that drifts into your transom, you mean?

oh ... that's completely different ...

Right?

--

If people buy into nonsense and BS stories of their own volition, this is hardly going to be changed at the stroke of a pen of a legislative chamber all agreeing on some policy of state action to ban or else accept some aspect of public discourse.

cro_maat

Soon we will find out that Liz Wahl works for the CIA and was specifically planted at RT in order to create the current psyop.

TheFourthStooge-ing

US propagandists are locked in a monologue mode, speaking to themselves and of themselves all the time. The Russians are simply a canvas on which US propagandists paint a projected picture of their inner selves. This is the US world order, wallowing in the denial of the most basic reality. Who could come with the fantasy that the US supports freedom of speech?

Sorry, US citizens, your propaganda techniques are too old by now. Most people know them. Especially the Russians:

http://fortruss.blogspot.com/2015/04/chronicles-of-collapse-info-battles...

The translator of this Russian article notes that America throwing more resources into the info war is a sign of Russia's victories and America's agony in this theater of operations.

[Dec 05, 2017] EU mulls response to Russia's information war

So the current anti RT campaign is not an aberration. It is continuation of long time efforts...
Jan 09, 2015 | https://euobserver.com/foreign/127135

EU Observer: EU mulls response to Russia's information war

The Netherlands is funding a study on how the EU can fight back against Russia's "information war", in one of several counter-propaganda initiatives.

The Dutch-sponsored study was launched in the New Year by the European Endowment for Democracy (EED), a Brussels-based foundation.

But little happened until the Netherlands stepped in with the EED grant after a passenger plane, flight MH17, was shot down over east Ukraine killing 193 Dutch nationals and 105 other people.

Evidence indicates Russia-controlled rebels caused the disaster using a Russia-supplied rocket system.

But Russian state media have tried to sow suspicion the Ukrainian air force did it in order to prompt Western intervention in the conflict

Denmark, Estonia, Lithuania, and the UK are drafting an informal paper on how EU institutions and Nato can co-ordinate "strategic communications"

Its foreign ministry spokesman, Karlis Eihenbaums, told this website that around 15 EU states back the project and that the news broadcasts should be available in Russia if they can get past its "jamming system".

But Riga is trying to play down expectations of a quick result.

"I don't think we can come to an agreement among the 28 [EU leaders] to come up with a new TV station in Russian. Euronews is already doing news in Russian, so it'll be difficult to get an additional channel", Latvian PM Laimdota Straujuma told press in the Latvian capital on Wednesday (7 January).

Well-funded Russian broadcasters, such as RT, have hired big names, including former CNN anchor Larry King, and air programmes in English, French, German, and Spanish as well as Russian.

Their work is backed up by pseudo-NGOs.

Putting the Dutch grant in perspective, the British think-tank, Chatham House estimates the Russian "NGO" component alone is worth $100 million a year.

Western media have caught Russian media using fake pictures and fake witness accounts of alleged Ukrainian atrocities.

Eihenbaums noted that any EU news channel "must be attractive, but with accurate information it must not be a propaganda organ".

He cited RFE/RFL, a US-funded broadcaster, and the BBC as models because they do both Ukraine-critical and Russia-critical stories.
###

If you can't smell the excrement off that, then get thee to a medic!

Now, considering the piece above, try not to hold back a large guffaw for this one!

[Dec 03, 2017] Is Washington the Most Corrupt Government in History by Paul Craig Roberts

Looks like the credibility of the US establishment might collapse under weight of all lies that it perpetuated.
Americans and Russians should be natural partners in a multipolar world to widespread benefit. The current situation dominated by neo-McCarthyism witch hunt is tragic. Looks like the current neoliberal elite is truly evil, so there is not much hope for a change there. The American people are overall decent and generous, but their abysmal lack of (or even interest) in history and ignorance of the current events might be their undoing, I'm afraid.
Notable quotes:
"... The presstitutes never investigate real events. The presstitutes never question inconsistencies in official stories. They never tie together loose ends. They simply read over and over the script handed to them until the official story that controls the explanation is driven into the public's head. ..."
Dec 03, 2017 | www.unz.com

Robert Mueller, a former director of the FBI who is working as a special prosecutor "investigating" a contrived hoax designed by the military/security complex and the DNC to destroy the Trump presidency, has yet to produce a scrap of evidence that Russiagate is anything but orchestrated fake news. As William Binney and other top experts have said, if there is evidence of Russiagate, the NSA would have it. No investigation would be necessary. So where is the evidence?

It is a revelation of how corrupt Washington is that a fake scandal is being investigated while a real scandal is not. The fake scandal is Trump's Russiagate. The real scandal is Hillary Clinton's uranium sale to Russia. No evidence for the former exists. Voluminous evidence for Hillary's scandal lies in plain view. http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2017/10/25/hillary-clinton-and-real-russian-collusion.html

Why are the clearly false charges against Trump being investigated and the clearly true charges against Hillary not being investigated? The answer is that Hillary with her hostility toward Russia and her denunciation of Russian President Putin as the "New Hitler" is not a threat to the budget and power of the US military/security complex, while Trump's aim of normalizing relations with Russia would deprive the military/security complex of the "enemy" it requires to justify its massive budget and power.

Why hasn't President Trump ordered the Justice Department to investigate Hillary? Is the answer that Trump is afraid the military/security complex will assassinate him? Why hasn't the Justice Department undertaken the investigation on its own? Is the answer that Trump's government is allied with his enemies?

How corrupt does Mueller have to be to agree to lead a fake investigation designed to overthrow the democratic election of the President of the United States? Why doesn't Trump have Mueller and Comey arrested for sedition and conspiring to overthrow the president of the United States?

Why instead is Mueller expanding his investigation beyond his mandate and bringing charges against Manafort and others for decade-old under-reporting of income? Why instead is Congress harassing journalist Randy Credico for interviewing Julian Assange? How does an interview become part of the House Intelligence (sic) Committee's investigation into "Russian active measures directed at the 2016 U.S. election?" There were no such active measures, but the uranium sale was real.

Why haven't the media conglomerates that have produced presstitutes instead of journalists been broken up? Why can presstitutes lie 24/7, but a man can't make a pass at a woman?

Once you begin asking questions, there is no end of them.

The failure of the US and European media is extreme.

The presstitutes never investigate real events. The presstitutes never question inconsistencies in official stories. They never tie together loose ends. They simply read over and over the script handed to them until the official story that controls the explanation is driven into the public's head.

Consider, for example, the Obama regime's claim to have murdered Osama bin Laden in his "compound" in Abbottabad, Pakistan, next to a Pakistani military base. The official story had to be changed several times. The Obama regime claim that Obama and top government officials had watched the raid via cameras on the SEALs' helmets had to be abandoned. There was no reason to withhold the filmed evidence, and of course there was no such evidence, so the initial claim to have watched the killing became a "miscommunication." The staged photo of the top government officials watching the alleged live filming was never explained. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1382859/Osama-bin-Laden-dead-Photo-Obama-watching-Al-Qaeda-leader-die-live-TV.html

The entire story never made any sense: Osama, unarmed and defended only by his unarmed wife, was murdered in cold blood by a SEAL. What in the world for? Why murder rather than capture the "terrorist mastermind" from whom endless information could have been gained? Why forgo the political fanfare of parading Osama bin Laden before the world as a captive of the American superpower?

Why were no photographs taken? Why was Osama's body dumped in the ocean. In other words, why was all the evidence destroyed and nothing saved to back up the story?

Why the fake story of Osama being given a sea burial from an aircraft carrier? Why was no media interested that the ship's crew wrote home that no such burial took place?

Why was there no presstitute interest in the fact that the SEAL unit, from which the SEALs on the alleged raid on bin Laden's compound were drawn, was loaded against regulations in one 50-year old Vietnam era helicopter and shot down in Afghanistan, with all lives lost? Why was there no presstitute interest in the parents of the SEALs complaints about inappropriate procedures that cost their sons' lives and about fears expressed to them by sons that something was wrong and they felt endangered? http://www.wnd.com/2013/07/navy-seals-father-obama-sent-my-son-to-his-death/
and https://www.military1.com/navy/article/403494-navy-seals-parents-sue-biden-panetta-over-sons-deaths/ and http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/05/08/families-of-seal-team-6-to-reveal-why-they-think-the-govt-is-as-much-responsible-for-the-death-of-their-sons-as-the-taliban

Did the SEAL unit have to be wiped out because the members were asking one another, "who was on that raid?" "Were you on the bin Laden raid?" When in fact no one was on the raid.

Why wasn't Congress interested?

Why was the live Pakistani TV interview with an eye witness of the alleged raid on bin Laden's compound not reported in the US media? The witness contradicted every aspect of the official story. And this was immediately after the event. There was no time for anyone to concoct an elaborate counter-story or motive to do so. Here is the interview: https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2013/11/15/pakistan-samaa-tv-interview-eyewitness-alleged-osama-bin-laden-killing/ and here is a verified translation that confirms the accuracy of the English subscripts: https://www.opednews.com/populum/page.php?f=Pakistan-TV-Report-Contrad-by-paul-craig-roberts-110806-879.html

Osama bin Laden had been dead for a decade prior to the false claim that Navy SEALs murdered him in Pakistan in May 2011. Here are the obituraries from December 2001: https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2013/11/20/bin-ladens-obituary-notice/ and this one from Fox News: http://www.foxnews.com/story/2001/12/26/report-bin-laden-already-dead.html

Here is bin Laden's last confirmed interview. He says he had nothing to do with 9/11. Why would a terrorist leader who succeed in humiliating "the world's only superpower" fail to boost his movement by claiming credit?
https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2012/11/26/the-osama-bin-laden-myth-2/

See also:

https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2014/11/07/another-fake-bin-laden-story-paul-craig-roberts/

http://www.globalresearch.ca/pentagon-orders-purge-of-osama-bin-ladens-death-files-from-data-bank/5342055

http://themindrenewed.com/interviews/2013/334-int-32

https://www.opednews.com/populum/page.php?f=Creating-Evidence-Where-Th-by-paul-craig-roberts-110805-618.html

https://www.opednews.com/populum/page.php?f=Pakistan-TV-Report-Contrad

Think about this. The bin Laden story, including 9/11, is fake from start to finish, but it is inscribed into encyclopedias, history books, and the public's consciousness.

And this is just one example of the institutionalized mass lies concocted by Washington and the presstitutes and turned into truth. Washington's self-serving control over explanations has removed Americans from reality and made them slaves to fake news.

So, how does democracy function when voters have no reliable information and, instead, are led into the agendas of the rulers by orchestrated events and fake news?

Where is there any evidence that the United States is a functioning democracy?