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Donald Trump -- a former (for the duration of elections)
 paleoconservative fighter against excesses of neoliberal globalization

 

News US Presidential Elections of 2016 as a referendum on neoliberal globalization Recommended Links Trump vs. Deep State Anti Trump Hysteria Do the US intelligence agencies attempt to influence the US Presidential elections ? Trump election time foreign policy platform Trump election time economic platform Purple revolution
Obamacare vs. Trumpcare Democratic Party Neoliberals Monday morning quarterbacking Crisis of legitimacy of neoliberal elite "Election time Trump" on immigration Blowback against neoliberal globalization Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA Zombie state  and coming collapse of neoliberalism Immigration and free movement of workers Trump GroupingGate
Lesser evil trick of legitimizing a disastrous, corrupt neoliberal politicians in US elections Neoliberal Brainwashing -- Journalism in the Service of the Powerful Few New American Militarism  American Exceptionalism Swiftboating Trump: Khan gambit against Trump at the Democratic Convention Presidential debate trap  Two Party System as Polyarchy  American Polyarchy is not Democracy  Bait and Switch
Media-Military-Industrial Complex Neocons Sacrifice of Michael Flynn to neocons as a precursor to full capitulation Neoliberalism as Trotskyism for the rich Populism Paleoconservatism Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak Pope Francis on danger of neoliberalism Protestant church on danger of neoliberalism
Bernie Sanders betrayal of his supporters Amorality and criminality of neoliberal elite  Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners" Myth about intelligent voter The Iron Law of Oligarchy The Deep State Nation under attack meme Pluralism as a myth Neoliberalism
Corporatism Corporatist Corruption Predator state National Security State Myth about intelligent voter Resurgence of neo-fascism as reaction on neoliberalism Non-Interventionism Bernie Sanders: A turncoat socialist Trump foreign policy platform
Libertarian Philosophy The Iron Law of Oligarchy Principal-agent problem Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism US Presidential Elections of 2016 as a referendum on neoliberal globalization US Presidential Elections of 2016: Primaries 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

Due to the size the introduction  (written in the heat of election campaign) was moved to a separate page:

Donald Trump -- an unusual fighter against excesses of neoliberal globalization

Note: (April 5, 2017): With the attack on Syria after possibly "false flag" operation in the spirit of 2013 false flag sarin attack  ( Khan Sheikhoun gas attack) Trump base is so angry that I think his chances for reelection might be close to zero.  Very few people from anti-war right will vote for him again.

This page is continues at "Trump betrayal of his voters".

Abstract

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. In this game Trump was not supposed to win, it is an anomaly which defied the concerted rigging of election be neoliberals including Wall Street money and the mainstream media  presstitutes.

Neoliberalism has gutted, or, more correctly, is in the process of gutting, the USA society: American people will be voting for Trump because they now understand the neoliberalism  destroyed their well-being and continue to do so.  They want, after "serial betrayer" Obama "bait and switch" maneuver, so to speak, to lob a hand grenade into the Capitol and White House.

It is not an exaggeration to see in 2016 Presidential election as a referendum on neoliberal globalization. But the political power still belongs to  Neoliberals, which dominates both the government and the economy (transnationals are the cornerstone of neoliberal world order). It's a big question if the American people will be able to change neoliberal dogma, the official civil religion of the USA without a violent revolution... 

Trump is forced to run his campaign with open and  compete hostility of neoliberal MSM. this is like fighting a battle without air cover. Very difficult task. Kudos to Trump for being able to survive and even win in such circumstance. See Anti Trump Hysteria. Among the below belt blows Trump suffered are Swiftboating Trump: Khan gambit against Trump at the Democratic Convention and Trump GroupingGate (compare with Bill Clinton sexscapades and Hillary and her defense of 40 years old  rapist of 12 years old girl  Exclusive 'Hillary Clinton Took Me Through Hell,' Rape Victim Says - The Daily Beast )

Anti-Russian campaign during this election became the most noticeable part of the elections. See  Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak Hillary essentially converted Democrats into War Party and she made charge of Russian hacking the centerpiece of her campaign, directing in creating smoke screen over Hillary Clinton email scandal    and "Clinton Cash" Scandal

It might well be that Anti-Russian hysteria is also a part of efforts to derail Trump by so some "Committee for saving neoliberal order" ( Do the US intelligence agencies attempt to influence the US Presidential elections ? )

Dan Kervick -> Sandwichman ... October 24, 2016 at 02:11 PM

I wonder if the various powers that be assembled some kind of "Committee to Defend the Liberal Order" when Trump began to make noises about re-assessing Nato.  

likbez -> Dan Kervick..., October 24, 2016 at 06:34 PM

Dan,

> ...some kind of "Committee to Defend the Liberal Order" when Trump began to make noises about re-assessing Nato.

A very interesting and pretty plausible hypothesis... That actually is the most deep insight I got from this interesting discussion. In such case intelligence agencies are definitely a part of "Committee to Defend the Liberal Order" which is yet another explanation of their strange behavior.

Thank you --

Dan Kervick -> likbez... October 24, 2016 at 01:14 PM , 2016 at 01:14 PM
I can't claim that a mere mortal like me actually has the slightest clue what is really going on. All I will hazard is that, whatever it is, it's a bunch of scams, lies and public manipulation schemes.

Where this kind of high level foreign policy is involved, the US government and intelligence services blew their cred with me long ago. I disbelieve them now on as a strong and resilient prior.

Old article is now of historical importance only:


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NOTE: After April 6, 2017 some news were redirected to: Trump betrayal of his voters.

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[Jan 14, 2019] Liars, Leakers, and Liberals The Case Against the Anti-Trump Conspiracy by Jeanine Pirro

Jan 14, 2019 | www.amazon.com

Kenneth LeBeau 5.0 out of 5 stars Mueller Russia Probe is a witch hunt! September 2, 2018 Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase

Very accurate review of the agenda aimed at overturning the results of the Election of 2016. The Deep State is exposed. Corruption, deceit, bias at the upper levels of the FBI, CIA, Department of Justice, Clinton Foundation & how they attempted to undermine the President of the U.S.

[Jan 14, 2019] The Deep State How an Army of Bureaucrats Protected Barack Obama and Is Working to Destroy the Trump Agenda

OK, now Russiagate reached the level when books are written about it ;-). It is clear to any non-biased observer that a color revolution was launched against Trump by the Deep State using their stooges in Depart of Justice and FBI (Rosenstein and FBI cabal). Probably coordinated by Brennan, to who essentially McCabe and Strzok reported.
All pretention of democracy and due legal procedure were thrown into the garbage can with amazing ease. And Witch hunt was unleashed on such a scale that it would make Staling propagandists during Show Trials to blush.
It would be interesting to read a book detailing Great Britain interference and MI6 story about Steele dossier, though. See The British Role In Initiating Russiagate Shift Frequency
Jan 14, 2019 | www.amazon.com

Serenity... TOP 100 REVIEWER 4.0 out of 5 stars ~~ September 18, 2018 Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

Transparency/Checks and Balances/Civil Service Reform

First of all, I am neither a Republican or a Democrat. I have voted on the qualifications of the candidates since I was first eligible. Many years ago many. I have voted in every single election except for this last Presidential one. And, many by absentee ballot as I served 20 years in the United States Navy and am now a proud retired USN Chief Petty Officer. Notice I said except for this last election .I absolutely could not vote for either candidate.

Why? My main objection to voting for Clinton was her handling of the emails. My career in the US Navy involved handling classified material on a daily basis. And, a Top Secret clearance for the last 6 of my 20 years. And, these clearances were not given out freely. From receipt of the message to the destruction, every single step every one was recorded and upon destruction, two witnesses were required. I had more reservations about voting for her but the mishandling of the emails was the major one.

As for voting for Trump, I just could not force myself to vote for him.. Enough said.

I ordered this book to see what Jason Chaffetz , Former Congressman and Chairman of the House Oversight Committee had to say about the state of affairs in the US. To paraphrase the author the Deep State exists to control information available to the American public. They don't like exposure, accountability or responsibility in their tactics.

The Transportation Security Agency, the Secret Service, Whistle Blowers, the Veterans Administration problems including Phoenix, AZ, Fast and Furious scandal, illegal immigration (including catch and release), the Benghazi attack and many more topics are covered.

The Freedom of Information Act (1966) was detailed in depth including the 9 exceptions to this act. Requests doubled during the O'Bama Presidency and many requests were denied. It also appears that this is one area that needs to be reformed. And, along with that comes much more transparency in our government.

One thing I have never understood is the reason that it is so difficult to fire government employees. I did work for 3 agencies after I retired from the US Navy and found it mind boggling that it was nearly impossible. If one was fired, the Merit Protection Board stepped in to assist. The entire system of Federal Employees should be overhauled, in my opinion. And, the number of Federal employees not paying their taxes continues to increase...

Bottom line is that despite the checks and balances in the Congress, they are not being utilized. Our faith in government is gone and without faith, our nation is suffering.

After reading this, my eyes have been opened in many areas. Do I believe a Deep State exists in the US? Yes, I do. The author provides many, many examples which are backed up with statistics. Time to do major overhaul and put more transparency back in our government.

Wanted to edit by adding a few sentences...My AHA moment was when the author went with LCOL Wood (Utah National Guard) on 12 SEP 2012 to visit Benghazi. Jeremy Freeman was present and representing FOIA. He was denied access to a meeting due to his security clearance not being high enough. Who did he call to try and gain access in the middle of the night? Cheryl Mills, Hillary Clinton's assistant. . Didn't work as access was still denied. What was this about? It was explained in 'The Deep State'.

Highly recommended.

Note:

Nearly the last 20 % on my Kindle were acknowledgements and an Index. It was stated that the 'index does not match the edition from which it was created'. So, use the search tools for your E book instead.

Hawkeye 5.0 out of 5 stars September 27, 2018 Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase

Feckless Congressional oversight!

This very well written, easy to read for all, book is a composition of several stories of what should be routine successful United States Congressional oversight over the last 10 years that has allow an administration to defaecate on the rule of law. In my six years in "The Swamp" I did not meet with Mr. Chaffetz but I appreciated his speaking, now writing style, and the wit that comes across in this publication.

I ordered this book last month to hear Jason Chaffetz's, Former Congressman and Chairman of the House Oversight Committee, story regarding the state of affairs of congress during the Obama Regime. To paraphrase the author the Deep State exists to control information available to the American public. They dislike "Sunshine which is the best disinfectant", accountability or responsibility in their tactics which we are seeing exposed every night for the last 2 years!

The book confirms my impressions and experience of the existence of the deep state and the governmental groups that continue to take advantage of the American taxpayer. Chaffetz provides examples where the Deep State continues to impede progress and efficiency within the US Government. He presents congress as a "Paper Tiger" with impotent and absent oversight due to a growing government. The Obama Administration had its way with congress for eight long years probably due to the poor leadership at the top, John Boehner and Paul Ryan, which allowed and undermined the authority of congress to provide oversight (US Code 192).

Chapter eight regarding Benghazi Terrorist Attack which the president, secretary of state, and the UN ambassador outright lied is very disturbing. It is a prime example of how government agencies block and distort the truth from the American peoples' representatives. If today with almost 350 million inhabitants in the country and a government three times the size of the 1960's The Deep State can successfully manipulate the events of the last ten years and the present resist movement on the Trump agenda; with a smaller government The Deep State could have conspired to assassinate our 35th president.

In several places in the book I noticed the author's animus with government employees earning more that the legislators which was my experience and exposed to during my times in and out of government. The guide in the last chapter on how to fight the Deep State is laid out with sound logic and common sense. If congress is too small as the author states to deal with this government expansion, then allow an outside agent as Judicial Watch (who seems to be more effective) perform the oversight under contract! Thank God for Jason Chaffetz for writing this must read for every taxpayer.

Aletheuo 5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Fantastic October 3, 2018 Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase

This is a GREAT book for our times. Chaffetz did this country a GREAT service by writing about his first hand knowledge on how the Deep State is destroying the United States. The book is super easy to read and very interesting, so practically anyone can understand it and "enjoy" it. Some of the things that he shares/exposes follow (it's all in the book):
1. The unaccountable Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which was created by Elizabeth Warren and her minions was "purposely designed to bypass Congress, checks, and balances, and oversight. It is funded by the Federal Reserve," which means Congress can't cut its purse strings. What does the CFPB spend its money on? No one knows, because they aren't accountable to anyone and yet the CFPB is one of the larger government agencies. This agency needs to be shut down.
2. David Nieland (DHS inspector general's office) admitted that he and his staff were directed to delay the report of the investigation of the Secret Services trysts with prostitutes in foreign countries until after the 2012 election.
3. The DOJ refuses to accept cases of contempt of Congress unless they happen to agree with the case. Furthermore, they refuse to investigate and charge Hillary Clinton, Eric Holder, Lois Lerner and other corrupt individuals. These people got off scot-free with pensions and no punishments for crimes committed.
4. John Koskinen misled and lied to Congress and got off scot-free (page 90).
5. The State Department sent a "spy" to watch over and listen to former Congressman Chaffetz' overseas investigation into the Benghazi incident. This man, Jeremy Freeman, did not have the security clearance to sit in on some of the briefings, which ultimately led to a confrontation. Freeman was apparently reporting back to Clinton and her staff so that they could be aware of what information might be made public which would counter their spin (remember Rice's false claim that the Benghazi incident was entirely cause by a You Tube video).
6. The State Dept. abandoned the American heroes from Benghazi and left them overseas (page 125) and would not pay to fly them home. They had to find their own way and pay their own way. Furthermore, these men had the security clearances revoked immediately after the incident.
7. The Deep State prints thousands of pages of irrelevant material when a demand is made to turn over documents on some subject to Congress. This is a normal operational procedure for them. They only hold back the important documents that incriminate the person in question or the issue at hand. They publicly claim having turned over tens of thousands of pages of documents to Congress, but most of them are copies of websites, copies of magazine articles and other irrelevant material that has very little (or nothing) to do with the original demand.
8. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is just as reluctant to charge Hillary Clinton as was his predecessor. He has something to hide just like the rest of them (page 154). What happened to putting criminals in prison???
9. Chaffetz wrote "It's undeniable that the campaign to discredit Flynn was well underway before Inauguration Day." (p. 158)
10. "The Deep State benefits from illegal immigration." (page 179) This is because it requires a larger government (allowing for more Deep State cronies) to "figure" out the immigration problem and they are very good at persuading illegals to vote for socialists (Democrats).
11. G--gle, A--z-n, and the big tech firms "rent" workers from other countries and pay them very, very low salaries. These are people on H1B visas. This is all while the tech leaders are calling for higher minimum wages etc... (page 180)
12. The number one H1B visa employer in Brooklyn in 2018 is JP Morgan Chase.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. The stories are compelling. The facts are there from a U.S. Congressman who served 8.5 years. It's time for all patriotic American's to make a stand and fight back against the socialist Deep State. It's time to fight their guile, their mischief, their malicious lies, and their goal of tearing down the sovereignty of the United States. I highly recommend this book. Get it. Read it. Take action now.

[Jan 14, 2019] Spygate The Attempted Sabotage of Donald J. Trump

Jan 14, 2019 | www.amazon.com

Johnny G 5.0 out of 5 stars The Complex Made Easy! October 9, 2018 Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase

Regardless of your politics this is a must read book. The authors do a wonderful job of peeling back the layered onion that is being referred to as "Spy Gate." The book reads like an imaginative spy thriller. Except it is as real a fist in the stomach or the death of your best friend. In this case it is our Constitution that is victimized by individuals entrusted with "protecting and defending it from all enemies DOMESTIC and foreign."

Tis is in many ways a sad tail of ambition, weak men, political operatives & hubris ridden bureaucrats. The end result IF this type of activity is not punished and roundly condemned by ALL Americans could be a desent into Solzhenitsyn's G.U.L.U.G type of Deep State government run by unaccountable political appointees and bureaucrats.

Elections are just for show like many trials in the old USSR. The in power Party is the power NOT the individual voting citizens. In the end this book is about exposing the pernicious activities of those who would place themselves above the voting citizens of America. ALL Americans should be aware of those forces seen and unseen that seek to injure our Constitutional Republic. This book is footnoted extensively lest anyone believes it is a polemic political offering.

JAK 5.0 out of 5 stars The truth hurts and that's the truth October 11, 2018 Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase

This book has content that you will not see or find anywhere else. while the topic itself is covered elsewhere in large mainstream media Outlets the truth of what is actually happening is rarely ever exposed. If there was a six-star recommendation or anything higher because the truth is all that matters, he would receive it. This book is put together with so many far-left (CNN, BLOOMBERG, DLSTE, YAHOO ECT) leading news stories as being able to support the fact of what happened, it's possible to say oh well that just didn't happen but it was reported by the left and when you put all of the pieces of the puzzle together it is painfully obvious to see what happened...... If these people involved don't go to jail the death of our Republic has already happened

[Jan 14, 2019] The Russia Hoax The Illicit Scheme to Clear Hillary Clinton and Frame Donald Trump Gregg Jarrett 9788925598352 Amazon.com

The books does not answer the key question: if it was not Russian influence, who of forign powers tried to influence the election: GB, Israel, Saudi, or all three. We have solid evidence of interference of British intelligence services into the election. Which means May government interference.
Also important to understand that FBI from the very beginning was apolitical tool. Nothing new here.
This dirty political witch hunt has one major goal to cement the cracks in neoliberal society that appear after 2008 Financial crash. This attempt failed and Pateigenosse Mueller is unable to change that. Confidence in the ruling neoliberal oligarchy collapsed and problem with the inequality laid now bare.
Jan 14, 2019 | www.amazon.com

KB from Illinois 5.0 out of 5 stars Very detailed. Raises many questions about politically motivated investigations. September 14, 2018 Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

My interest in this book occurred by chance. Over the past couple years reading news stories on sites like Yahoo News I sensed a very overt stance against President Trump. It appeared very obvious to me, but I wanted some confirmation whether these views may have validity, or perhaps not. So I started to investigate other opinions via some of the conservative talk radio shows. Up until this time, I rarely listened to them. One was the Sean Hannity Show and Gregg Jarrett was sitting in for Sean on one of the shows. He mentioned his book and I thought it sounded interesting. My basic assumption even prior to reading this book was I never felt there was any illegal Trump/Russian collusion in our recent election. I couldn't see how it would ever be done in such a way that would actually affect the voting outcome (other than if it were some kind of ballot box type fraud). So I had doubts about all the related investigations. When this book was mentioned I figured it would offer some factual information to help me understand the investigations better. It did accomplish that. And much more awareness.

One of the major items about this book is that it is well researched and documented. This made me feel somewhat comfortable about its content. There is so much misinformation making its rounds today that knowing what is truthful and what isn't can become a real guessing game. I could even ask 'Did Mr. Jarrett fabricate his sources'? At this point I will go on faith that they are real.

Based on that assumption, he presents a very hard case about the Russian collusion investigation as not being quite what the U.S.A. people are being led to believe by the media outlets. So much so, I hope this book could be a catalyst for other investigations (assuming that isn't already being planned). As summarized in this book, a major point is about federal investigative departments having integrity in performing their duties, and doing so legally and without prejudice or political partisanship. This book does raise some real concerns.

The author states at the end of the book "The people who should read this book, probably won't". Unfortunately he is probably correct. As a country we seem so divided today politically. It is my impression that anti-Trumpers will probably not want to acknowledge any conflicting thoughts or facts to their beliefs. But this book could be a great exercise in broadening one's knowledge regarding the investigations on Trump. It would show a different viewpoint than that being touted by much of the media, and has the facts backing it up. At the very least, it can provide some food for thought.

Grady T. Birdsong 5.0 out of 5 stars Tells the honest truth about corruption in our Government November 23, 2018 Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase

As Gregg Jarrett states in the Epilogue of this book, "The people who should read this book, probably won't... they are intellectually dishonest in believing that the president must have committed some crime in connection with Russia...There was never any plausible evidence that Trump or his campaign collaborated with Russia to win the presidency... Comey's scheme to trigger the appointment of his friend as special counsel was a devious maneuver by an unscrupulous man..."
As many of these events unfolded I have watched closely and performed my own "tests of reasonableness" from facts presented. Utilizing logic and common sense I often wondered if I was missing something? What crystal ball would have predicted that Donald Trump would run for the presidency? One example: The press told us he had been a political asset for many years and had been exchanging Intel with the Russians...
Then I heard about this book, purchased it and began reading it... I could hardly put it down... The information in it is astonishing! It is all to clear now...
Jarrett has researched, compiled and formatted an almost air-tight legal case (within this book) for prosecuting these "weasels." The astonishing levels of corruption and crimes committed by those in the highest levels of the DOJ and FBI are unprecedented. He has compiled an extraordinary amount of source information to back up his many claims throughout the book. I am totally perplexed that our so-called leaders in Congress are allowing this abuse to go unpunished... baffling? This disgraceful abuse of power documented by Jarrett will come back to haunt us! A well written expose by Mr. Jarrett!

E. Christine Hess 5.0 out of 5 stars Mueller, Rosenstein & the members of the Special Council SHOULD be on trial! November 24, 2018 Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase

Gregg Jarrett's research leaves NO DOUBT that drastic action needs to be taken to hold these people- PRETENDING to represent the law- accountable & end their "assassination" tactics on our tax dollar.
This is not Halloween, not a play. This is REALITY with our laws running amok!
And our Congress - our elected officials, supposedly servants of We, the People, - is not taking action?
How is this possible?

Amazon Customer 5.0 out of 5 stars The deep bias rooted in the Deep State, better known now as The Swamp October 8, 2018 Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase

Incredibly well researched and well written book which explains methodically in an easy to read style the undeniable deep seated bias against President Trump at the highest levels of the Department of Justice and the FBI. They tried to first prevent him from being elected by exonerating Hillary Clinton of a long list of crimes committed during her tenure as Secretary of State and then smearing him with a politically motivated fake "Dossier". When that didn't work, they have tried to undermine his presidency from the start with an equally politically motivated Special Prosecutor investigating "Collusion with Russia" in an investigation which had no crime to investigate from the start. A must read for all Americans.

Andrew Maile 5.0 out of 5 stars A very informative, but yet digestible, read........ September 30, 2018 Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase

This author writes with a very smooth, easy, but detailed style. The book brings in much law for the reader to digest, but, somehow, does not get a reader tangled up in the weeds. As for the thrust of the book: A detailed 'tick tock' of the day by day events that have taken America to the point we are today on this entire question of Trump, Russia, and the 2016 election.
This book really is vivid proof that the 'deep state' does emphatically exist. Not as a structure or organization with secret meetings,rituals or handshakes. But as a mentality, or common political/social view of government, stemming from the longevity of bureaucracy to feel invulnerable to popular will because of their simple edict that 'we'll still be here after you're long gone'. And from this, these bureaucrats build liaisons with favoring political elites that lead to deep, hidden, obscure --shall we say 'deep state'-- actions to pervert the popular will for the ends of a few.
This book vividly displays why bureaucrats (whose lifeblood is to promote more government) so turn their collective hand to supporting Democrats, the party of government. Yates covering for Comey and the blackmailing of Gen. Flynn, Comey leaking to a friend in Academia that provokes the appointment of his (Comey's) close associate --indeed, his mentor-- Robert Mueller. Senior bureaucrats (McCabe, Strzok) playing inside baseball to maneuver themselves for promotion in the expected new (Democratic) administration that they so much support and wish for. Indeed friendships with FISA judges to assure bogus warrants can be obtained against political enemies.
Where money and power are traded as coin of the realm in a way that is so antiseptic and hidden. Nobody says 'How much money will it take'; instead it's 'I can help you fund raise'. Rod Blagojevich was foolish enough to call a bribe a bribe...well, he's in jail, but Strzok's wife isn't.
It just goes on and on................it's simple corruption!!! And the band plays on......the human comedy continues........

JG Kuhl 5.0 out of 5 stars How about a media complicity sequel? September 3, 2018 Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

Excellent detailed and researched book that simply amazes me. Lynch, Comey, Clinton, Stzrok, Orr, Rosenstein, McCabe, Reid and Brennen all worked seamlessly to install Hillary and have a backup plan B to lay the groundwork to impeach Trump in case she doesn't make it. All under the oversight of Obama. Neat trick, but what follows is even more orchestrated: MEDIA COMPLICITY! You can't pull this off unless you have the full cooperation willingly or otherwise of: NBC, CBS, NPR, ABC, MSNBC, and most of all CNN, the New York Times, and Washington Post! Here's where the real story lies. The media and the Democrat party are simpatico, joint at the brain and mouth and one other orifice. This is the real story that Jarrett only pays passing attention to. Sequel maybe, I hope so. Jon Kuhl Papillion, NE & New England

Amazon Customer 5.0 out of 5 stars The Deep State Is Real September 14, 2018 Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

This book is very thorough and completely exposes the Deep State. If there were any doubts about the conspiracy to depose President Trump before reading this book, there certainly aren't any afterwards. After reading the book, I am very disappointed and discouraged to find that our government has such liars and criminals in the FBI, the DOJ, and the Congress. I have completely lost any confidence I had in the U.S. government and will never believe in it again, unless there is a complete house-cleaning in the FBI and the DOJ.

S. Martin Shelton 4.0 out of 5 stars This attack to undermine our democracy is unparalleled in the history of our republic. October 1, 2018 Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase

Jarrett pens a comprehensive review of the Deep State's inordinate fraud on our Constitution -- perhaps the greatest attack on our constitutional republic in the history of our country. He writes in clear and empathetic style. His narrative evolves in a coherent and logical progression that details the conspirators' skullduggery in an "ABC" type of progression. He cites exactly who violated the relevant federal statute and why and how it was violated. Unfortunately, as of 30 September 2018 -- the date I'm preparing the review -- none of the miscreants have been indicted even though the documentation of evidence is ponderous.

Larry A. Whited 4.0 out of 5 stars One Less than Five Stars August 8, 2018 Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase

Gregg Jarrett's study -- and that is what this book is, a study -- covers two main aspects of recent history. First and foremost it is an in-depth look at the tactics and forces arrayed against President Trump. Intertwined with this comes by necessity a parallel look at Hillary Clinton's tenure as Secretary of State, her presidential run, as well as a broader look at the activities of the Clintons with the nearly full support of those same forces that are now aligned against the presidency of Donald Trump. The nature of the often overlapping issues and the personnel involved has resulted in a fair amount of repetition of key points. This was not a lazy attempt to achieve a book-length manuscript, as Jarrett's original copy by his own admission in the acknowledgments was a hefty 100,000 words before the publisher encouraged him to trim things down.

It is unfortunate that this book will be dismissed by so many who are unwilling to understand and accept that the pervasive high-level animosity against President Trump has evolved into a direct and active threat against our country -- and this threat is compounded by a complicit media that is eager to pounce. The rule of law has been twisted and contorted if not completely abandoned. Trump is the primary target, but whether by design or happenstance it is the U.S. Constitution that is being the most assaulted. The danger of this cannot be overemphasized -- we are at a critical crossroads. Gregg Jarret understands this and was motivated to bring this truth to light. He is no sycophant of President Trump. His loyalty is to the rule of law and to our Constitution rather than to political agendas on either side.

I withheld one star because a great opportunity was lost. This book will never appear in classrooms, and it will likely be stocked in few law libraries. It most certainly should be, and it needs to be read and studied. The flagrant abuses of power by the DOJ, the FBI, and others need to be brought out into a bright light and the corruption purged. As a people we need to get our head out of the sand and realize what has been going on behind closed doors -- our future is most definitely at stake. The lost opportunity that I am alluding to comes down to the expressed (albeit well deserved) disdain and disgust that Gregg Jarrett now has towards those who are participating in this hoax that he has so thoroughly revealed. I fear even the preface itself will turn away those who most need to read this book.

What will be perceived as bias before the facts are presented and developed will allow or even cause those who need to read this book to close their minds, giving them the excuse they want to dismiss the evidence. If strictly the evidence and history had alone been presented with Jarrett's (again, well-deserved) animosity being held in check and edited out, then perhaps this book could have become a classic for later generations to study assuming that we survive these perilously subversive times. I did the math, and there are 771 supporting references -- an average of 70 per chapter -- documenting Jarrett's research, plus 12 references even in the epilogue. Obviously, we are not talking about willfully blind opinion with no basis in fact.

The antagonists who post their 1-star reviews with almost all of them having obviously never read the book (Re. few verified purchases) reveal a dangerous willful ignorance that they are happy to embrace. Their mindset should concern us all.

[Jan 14, 2019] As Democratic Elites Reunite With Neocons, the Party's Voters Are Becoming Far More Militaristic and Pro-War Than Republicans

Jan 14, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

"As Democratic Elites Reunite With Neocons, the Party's Voters Are Becoming Far More Militaristic and Pro-War Than Republicans" [Glenn Greenwald, T he Intercept ].

'But what is remarkable about the new polling data on Syria is that the vast bulk of support for keeping troops there comes from Democratic Party voters, while Republicans and independents overwhelming favor their removal.

The numbers are stark: Of people who voted for Clinton in 2016, only 26 percent support withdrawing troops from Syria, while 59 percent oppose it. Trump voters overwhelmingly support withdraw by 76 percent to 14 percent."

Those of you who followed my midterms worksheets will recall that the liberal Democrat establishment packed the ballot with MILOs (candidates with Military, Intelligence, and Law enforcement backgrounds, or Other things, like being a DA), preparing the way for further militarization of the Party, and ultimately for war.

[Jan 13, 2019] As FBI Ramped Up Witch Hunt When Trump Fired Comey, Strzok Admitted Collusion Investigation A Joke

Highly recommended!
All links are going to Brennan and CIA. Rosenstein was just a tool, necessary to appoint the Special Prosecutor. And launching the prove was the meaning of "insurance" that Strock mentioned to his mistress. Both Strzok and McCabe have their liasons (read bosses) at CIA, so in essence they were "CIA infiltration group" within the FBI. And it is also important to understand that Obama was just a CIA snowperson.
There is Stalin's NKVD chief Beria shadow over CIA and FBI now. He famously said "Show me the man and I'll find you the crime."
Notable quotes:
"... The Daily Caller 's Chuck Ross has made a brilliant observation, noting Peter Strzok - then the FBI's deputy chief of counterintelligence, admitted to his FBI lawyer mistress, Lisa Page, that there was no merit to the investigation. ..."
"... Interestingly, another series of Strzok-Page texts refers to "coordinating investigation" after Strzok apparently met with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who both recommended Comey's firing, then authorized the special counsel probe ..."
"... As Ross notes in The Daily Caller , there were other text messages that between Strzok and Page which raise suspicion over whether the FBI was working on a "gotcha" against Trump. ..."
Jan 13, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

As FBI Ramped Up "Witch Hunt" When Trump Fired Comey, Strzok Admitted Collusion Investigation A Joke

A Friday report in the New York Times revealing that the FBI supercharged its Trump-Russia collusion investigation after President Trump fired FBI director James Comey appears to have backfired - especially when one reviews internal FBI communications from the time period in question.

The Daily Caller 's Chuck Ross has made a brilliant observation, noting Peter Strzok - then the FBI's deputy chief of counterintelligence, admitted to his FBI lawyer mistress, Lisa Page, that there was no merit to the investigation.

Nine days after Comey was fired and the DOJ "sought to determine whether Mr. Trump was knowingly working for Russia," Strzok texted Page on May 18, 2017: "You and I both know the odds are nothing. If I thought it was likely I'd be there no question. I hesitate in part because of my gut sense and concern there's no big there there. "

It is unclear from The Times report what information was used as a predicate to open the investigation. The article suggests that the FBI had long considered the move and that Comey's firing and Trump's subsequent comments marked a tipping point.

...

A source close to Strzok told The Daily Caller News Foundation on Jan. 26, 2018, shortly after the text was released, that the message reflected Strzok's concern that the FBI would not find evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia . - Daily Caller

The Times' explanation for the FBI's rationale that Trump may have been a Russian asset consists of Trump's call for Moscow to release Hillary Clinton's emails an election debate, and allegations contained within the unverified Steele Dossier. The Times was also quick to note that Trump may have "unwittingly fallen under Moscow's influence," to temper the accusation that he was an agent of a foreign power. In short, weak sauce.

It's no wonder Strzok was hesitant to join Mueller's team.

Interestingly, another series of Strzok-Page texts refers to "coordinating investigation" after Strzok apparently met with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who both recommended Comey's firing, then authorized the special counsel probe.

As Ross notes in The Daily Caller , there were other text messages that between Strzok and Page which raise suspicion over whether the FBI was working on a "gotcha" against Trump.

" And we need to open the case we've been waiting on now while Andy is acting ," Strzok texted Page the day Comey was fired, referring to then-deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe.

Meanwhile, Page - who served as McCabe's deputy, provided some additional color on the text messages during her July 2018 congressional testimony, suggesting that the "case we've been waiting on" text referred to an investigation separate of the obstruction probe we already knew about.

"Well, other than obstruction, what could it have been?" one lawmaker asked Page in her interview, details of which were published by The Epoch Times on Friday.

" I can't answer that, sir. I'm sorry ," she replied.

"If I was able to explain in more depth why the Director firing precipitated this text, I would," she continued while declining to say if the text message referred to an obstruction of justice investigation or something more. - Daily Caller

That said, Page admitted that Comey's firing prompted the text exchange.

"So the firing of Jim Comey was the precipitating event as opposed to the occupant of the Director's office?" asked one lawmaker.

"Yes, that's correct," replied Page.

Meanwhile, The Times went to great lengths to imply that the FBI was justified in their ratcheted-up collusion investigation - failing to mention who started the probe, who led it, and more importantly - waiting until the 9th paragraph to mention the fact that it turned up nothing .

"No evidence has emerged publicly that Mr. Trump was secretly in contact with or took direction from Russian government officials. An F.B.I. spokeswoman and a spokesman for the special counsel's office both declined to comment."

VideoEng_NC

"It is unclear from The Times report what information was used as a predicate to open the investigation."

Should be pretty simple with one question. "Was it Hillary who was the responsible party to open an investigation on Trump?". About as direct as it gets & we already know the answer.

adampeart

TDS sufferers hate Trump so bad that they have become (at 70%) pro-warmonger. Pathetic. I guess that I shouldn't be surprised. They were fine with Black Jesus starting wars, overthrowing governments and bombing brown people for 8 years.

Teeter

McCabe initiated the investigation. Nobody likes McCabe, so he is likely to be the one guy that gets thrown under the bus. Of course what he knows may protect him to some extent... they won't want a trial.

Duc888

Sedition? Treason?

Yippie21

7 Days in May.... except for current version we use the DOJ and FBI! Interesting times.

[Jan 13, 2019] a former CIA guy to float the notion in public that there is a good enough case, whatever that means, to think the President of the US was an Russian Agent of Influence based on "bits and pieces of circumstantial evidence."

Jan 13, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

On Smerconish's show today, Bob Baer, spy extraordinaire, (read his books) asserted that the various bits and pieces of circumstantial "evidence" about Trump's contacts with and attitude toward Russia, as well as those of his flunkies and relatives amount to a "good enough" case for Trump being a Russian agent of influence.

That is how a HUMINT spook judges such things. It is a matter of probabilities, not hard evidence.

Assets of an alien government are not always witting (understanding) of their status from the POV of the foreign government, but that does not necessarily make other than agents. Sometimes they think they are merely cooperating in a good and normal way when, in fact, the relationship is much deeper. Jane Fonda in North Vietnam would be an example.


Mad_Max22 , a day ago

It seems injudicious, to say the least, for a former CIA guy to float the notion in public that there is a good enough case, whatever that means, to think the President of the US was an Russian Agent of Influence based on "bits and pieces of circumstantial evidence." I would say probably intemperate as well. Using it in the current climate, it ammounts to a slur.
And what exactly are we to make of the spook expression "Agent of Influence?" I would say that unless one knows a good deal about the proclivites of the very person who is using the expression and what is going on in his mind, one shouldn't want to make very much of it at all. The expression comprehends pretty much of everything and anything, for good, for bad, for indifferent; for behavior that nobody in the whole wide world would find worrisome except someone in the CIA or the CI Branches of today's FBI. Such concerns come when Agencies have been politicized.
It's dangerous enough that these people find an internal use for the term. I would speculate that some such cover set them off on Carter Page and ensuing FISA debacle.
Patrick Armstrong -> Bill Herschel , 11 hours ago
If Moscow had wanted to nobble the US election and get control of POTUS, it would have used its best weapon. It had already bought Clinton once.
ISL -> Patrick Armstrong , 4 hours ago
Bought and owned. One can guess that there is much compromising financial and probably other information on the Clinton Foundation in the missing emails that Russia (and likely every other intelligence agency on the planet), and from elsewhere, has, given her lack of comprehension of the basics of security or that classification is not only for the little people.
John Hisler , a day ago
In Bob Baer's 1st book He said that he was able to confirm that it was Israel that attacked the USS Liberty. As a CIA officer he was trying, without success ,to recruit a local government radio operator.(probably Egyptian) He said that soon after the attack the prospective recruit came to him and volunteered to cooperate.Surprised at this sudden change of heart Baer asked what had happened?.He said that he had listened to the entire attack of the USS Liberty and the communication between the Israeli planes and their command station. .The recruit said that he now believed that the US and Israel could not be allies because the US would never permit an ally to get away with attacking a US vessel and murdering American sailors.
Pat Lang Mod -> John Hisler , a day ago
As a student officer at Ft. Holabird I read the transcripts generated by NSA of the chatter between the Israeli planes and their command. There is not doubt whatever that the attack was deliberate and sustained for hours. I have written aout this many times. Look in the archive. https://turcopolier.typepad...

[Jan 13, 2019] So even if the IRA didn't manage to make a profit, the net cost for them must have been much lower than $100,000

Notable quotes:
"... Does anyone know how much revenue it made from that operation? Facebook must know but they've kept quiet about it. Same with Mueller. ..."
Jan 13, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Brendan , Jan 13, 2019 5:12:30 PM | link

The Internet Research Agency (IRA) paid $100,000 for Facebook ads and then charged its customers for the clickbait service (between 25 and 50 U.S. dollars per post for promotional content). So even if the IRA didn't manage to make a profit, the net cost for them must have been much lower than $100,000.

Does anyone know how much revenue it made from that operation? Facebook must know but they've kept quiet about it. Same with Mueller.

[Jan 13, 2019] Deep State neutered Trump: I have been FAR tougher on Russia than Obama, Bush or Clinton. Maybe tougher than any other President

He essentially became a Republican Obama, save Nobel Peace Price. If Obama was/is a CIA-democrat, this guy is a Deep State controlled republican. In any case he betrayed his voters in a way that resembles Obama betrayal. One has a fake slogan "change we can believe in" that other equally fake "Make [middle] America Great Again" (which means restoration of well-being of middle class and working class in my book, not the continuation of Obama foreign wars, and tax cuts for for corporations and super rich.
And that means that he lost a considerable part of his electorate: the anti-war republicans and former Sanders supporters. He might do good and not to try to run in 2020. He definitely is no economic nationalist. Compare his policies with Tucker Carlson Jan 2, 2019 speech to see the difference. He is "national neoliberal" which rejects parts of neoliberal globalization based on treaties and prefer to bully nations to compliance that favor the US interests instead of treaties.
And his "fight" with the Deep State resemble so closely to complete and unconditional surrender, that you might have difficulties to distinguish between the two.
Most of his appointees would make Hillary proud. That that extends beyond rabid neocons like Haley, Mattis, Bolton and Pompeo.
Notable quotes:
"... The Washington Post is without a doubt the most pro-establishment among all large mainstream publications, not only do they defend the narratives of the Deep State but actively attacks anyone who challenges them. ..."
"... Jeff Bezos owner of the Washington Post is also a contractor with the CIA and sits on a Pentagon advisory board all part of doing everything he can to cozy up and ingratiate himself to the establishment on which his empire is built. ..."
"... It's really sad that people in the public believe this stuff. It's insane and ridiculous. We're living in an Insane Asylum and the ones who should be there for the safety of themselves and others are walking around giving orders to Media and USG, fomenting war and making a mockery of laws and "normal behaviors. ..."
"... They flooded the news with the old Helsinki/Putin stuff to hide the real news. Lisa Page's testimony revealed that John Carlin, Mueller's former chief of staff was running the Russia investigation from the DOJ end, showing another conflict of Mueller's. Now Mueller is covering for two best friends, Comey and Carlin and he has to frame Trump to save them. ..."
"... The testimony also showed FBI David Bowditch was heavily involved, and Bowditch is now 2nd in command at the FBI and blocking the public release of witness testimony, and one reason for it is it reveals his involvement. ..."
"... It is also now revealed that John Brennan CIA had the dossier before the FBI, and the dossier was likely written by Nellie Ohr, who belonged to a CIA group, and then the dossier was laundered by Steele to look like foreign intelligence to get the Crossfire Hurricane investigation started on Trump. You would think it would be big news that Russians may have had nothing to do with the dossier but the media doesn't see it that way ..."
Jan 13, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
Washington Post stating that he "has gone to extraordinary lengths to conceal details" of his discussions with Russian President Vladimir Putin - telling Fox News host Jeanine Pirro in a phone interview that he would be willing to release the details of a private conversation in Helsinki last summer.

"I would. I don't care," Trump told Pirro, adding: "I'm not keeping anything under wraps. I couldn't care less."

"I mean, it's so ridiculous, these people making up," Trump said of the WaPo report.

The president referred to his roughly two-hour dialogue with Putin in Helsinki -- at which only the leaders and their translators were present -- as "a great conversation" that included discussions about "securing Israel and lots of other things."

"I had a conversation like every president does," Trump said Saturday. "You sit with the president of various countries. I do it with all countries." - Politico

In July an attempt by House Democrats to subpoena Trump's Helsinki interpreter was quashed by Republicans.

"The Washington Post is almost as bad, or probably as bad, as the New York Times," Trump said.

When Pirro asked Trump about a Friday night New York Times report that the FBI had opened an inquiry into whether he was working for Putin, Pirro asked Trump "Are you now or have you ever worked for Russia, Mr. President?"

"I think it's the most insulting thing I've ever been asked," Trump responded. "I think it's the most insulting article I've ever had written."

Trump went on an epic tweetstorm Saturday following the Times article, defending his 2017 firing of former FBI Director James Comey, and tweeting that he has been "FAR tougher on Russia than Obama, Bush or Clinton. Maybe tougher than any other President. At the same time, & as I have often said, getting along with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing. I fully expect that someday we will have good relations with Russia again!"

rumcho

Jeff Bezos paid $250 million for Washington Post, five years later he gets a government contract with the CIA for $600 million. Are you connecting the dots? You do the numbers. This is how fascism works. Bezos is a crony capitalist joker.

Anunnaki

https://www.moonofalabama.org/2019/01/the-trump-russia-scam-how-obama-enabled-the-fbi-to-spy-on-trump.html#more

is Trump waiting for Mueller to lay down his cards? Head him off at the pass and arrest Obama, Rice, Jarrett, Lynch, Comey, Rosenstein and McCabe all on day 1

best defense is a good offense. Make the narrative about Dem sedition not impending House impeachment hearings.

You are President, start acting like it. Make them fear you.

your re-election depends on Mike Obama not being your opponent.

Let it Go

WaPo, again?

The Washington Post is without a doubt the most pro-establishment among all large mainstream publications, not only do they defend the narratives of the Deep State but actively attacks anyone who challenges them.

Jeff Bezos owner of the Washington Post is also a contractor with the CIA and sits on a Pentagon advisory board all part of doing everything he can to cozy up and ingratiate himself to the establishment on which his empire is built. The article below delves into how WaPo is behind many of the big stories that manipulate America and moves the needle of public opinion in huge ways.

http://Washington-post-influence-and-power.html

MoralsAreEssential

It's really sad that people in the public believe this stuff. It's insane and ridiculous. We're living in an Insane Asylum and the ones who should be there for the safety of themselves and others are walking around giving orders to Media and USG, fomenting war and making a mockery of laws and "normal behaviors.

shadow54

They flooded the news with the old Helsinki/Putin stuff to hide the real news. Lisa Page's testimony revealed that John Carlin, Mueller's former chief of staff was running the Russia investigation from the DOJ end, showing another conflict of Mueller's. Now Mueller is covering for two best friends, Comey and Carlin and he has to frame Trump to save them.

The testimony also showed FBI David Bowditch was heavily involved, and Bowditch is now 2nd in command at the FBI and blocking the public release of witness testimony, and one reason for it is it reveals his involvement.

It is also now revealed that John Brennan CIA had the dossier before the FBI, and the dossier was likely written by Nellie Ohr, who belonged to a CIA group, and then the dossier was laundered by Steele to look like foreign intelligence to get the Crossfire Hurricane investigation started on Trump. You would think it would be big news that Russians may have had nothing to do with the dossier but the media doesn't see it that way.

Then there is the news that Fusion GPS worked with the Democracy Integrity Project and Knew Knowledge to run a fake Russian bots campaign against Roy Moore. The Democracy Integrity Project was started by Feinstein's aide and with New Knowledge wrote a report on Russian bots for the Senate Intelligence Committee. So the Senate Intelligence Committee hired creators of fake Russian bots to write a report on Russian bots.

[Jan 12, 2019] Tucker Carlson Mitt Romney supports the status quo. But for everyone else, it's infuriating Fox News

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Adapted from Tucker Carlson's monologue from "Tucker Carlson Tonight" on January 2, 2019. ..."
Jan 02, 2019 | www.foxnews.com
Tucker: America's goal is happiness, but leaders show no obligation to voters

Voters around the world revolt against leaders who won't improve their lives.

Newly-elected Utah senator Mitt Romney kicked off 2019 with an op-ed in the Washington Post that savaged Donald Trump's character and leadership. Romney's attack and Trump's response Wednesday morning on Twitter are the latest salvos in a longstanding personal feud between the two men. It's even possible that Romney is planning to challenge Trump for the Republican nomination in 2020. We'll see.

But for now, Romney's piece is fascinating on its own terms. It's well-worth reading. It's a window into how the people in charge, in both parties, see our country.

Romney's main complaint in the piece is that Donald Trump is a mercurial and divisive leader. That's true, of course. But beneath the personal slights, Romney has a policy critique of Trump. He seems genuinely angry that Trump might pull American troops out of the Syrian civil war. Romney doesn't explain how staying in Syria would benefit America. He doesn't appear to consider that a relevant question. More policing in the Middle East is always better. We know that. Virtually everyone in Washington agrees.

Corporate tax cuts are also popular in Washington, and Romney is strongly on board with those, too. His piece throws a rare compliment to Trump for cutting the corporate rate a year ago.

That's not surprising. Romney spent the bulk of his business career at a firm called Bain Capital. Bain Capital all but invented what is now a familiar business strategy: Take over an existing company for a short period of time, cut costs by firing employees, run up the debt, extract the wealth, and move on, sometimes leaving retirees without their earned pensions. Romney became fantastically rich doing this.

Meanwhile, a remarkable number of the companies are now bankrupt or extinct. This is the private equity model. Our ruling class sees nothing wrong with it. It's how they run the country.

Mitt Romney refers to unwavering support for a finance-based economy and an internationalist foreign policy as the "mainstream Republican" view. And he's right about that. For generations, Republicans have considered it their duty to make the world safe for banking, while simultaneously prosecuting ever more foreign wars. Modern Democrats generally support those goals enthusiastically.

There are signs, however, that most people do not support this, and not just in America. In countries around the world -- France, Brazil, Sweden, the Philippines, Germany, and many others -- voters are suddenly backing candidates and ideas that would have been unimaginable just a decade ago. These are not isolated events. What you're watching is entire populations revolting against leaders who refuse to improve their lives.

Something like this has been in happening in our country for three years. Donald Trump rode a surge of popular discontent all the way to the White House. Does he understand the political revolution that he harnessed? Can he reverse the economic and cultural trends that are destroying America? Those are open questions.

But they're less relevant than we think. At some point, Donald Trump will be gone. The rest of us will be gone, too. The country will remain. What kind of country will be it be then? How do we want our grandchildren to live? These are the only questions that matter.

The answer used to be obvious. The overriding goal for America is more prosperity, meaning cheaper consumer goods. But is that still true? Does anyone still believe that cheaper iPhones, or more Amazon deliveries of plastic garbage from China are going to make us happy? They haven't so far. A lot of Americans are drowning in stuff. And yet drug addiction and suicide are depopulating large parts of the country. Anyone who thinks the health of a nation can be summed up in GDP is an idiot.

The goal for America is both simpler and more elusive than mere prosperity. It's happiness. There are a lot of ingredients in being happy: Dignity. Purpose. Self-control. Independence. Above all, deep relationships with other people. Those are the things that you want for your children. They're what our leaders should want for us, and would want if they cared.

But our leaders don't care. We are ruled by mercenaries who feel no long-term obligation to the people they rule. They're day traders. Substitute teachers. They're just passing through. They have no skin in this game, and it shows. They can't solve our problems. They don't even bother to understand our problems.

One of the biggest lies our leaders tell us that you can separate economics from everything else that matters. Economics is a topic for public debate. Family and faith and culture, meanwhile, those are personal matters. Both parties believe this.

Members of our educated upper-middle-classes are now the backbone of the Democratic Party who usually describe themselves as fiscally responsible and socially moderate. In other words, functionally libertarian. They don't care how you live, as long as the bills are paid and the markets function. Somehow, they don't see a connection between people's personal lives and the health of our economy, or for that matter, the country's ability to pay its bills. As far as they're concerned, these are two totally separate categories.

Social conservatives, meanwhile, come to the debate from the opposite perspective, and yet reach a strikingly similar conclusion. The real problem, you'll hear them say, is that the American family is collapsing. Nothing can be fixed before we fix that. Yet, like the libertarians they claim to oppose, many social conservatives also consider markets sacrosanct. The idea that families are being crushed by market forces seems never to occur to them. They refuse to consider it. Questioning markets feels like apostasy.

Both sides miss the obvious point: Culture and economics are inseparably intertwined. Certain economic systems allow families to thrive. Thriving families make market economies possible. You can't separate the two. It used to be possible to deny this. Not anymore. The evidence is now overwhelming. How do we know? Consider the inner cities.

Thirty years ago, conservatives looked at Detroit or Newark and many other places and were horrified by what they saw. Conventional families had all but disappeared in poor neighborhoods. The majority of children were born out of wedlock. Single mothers were the rule. Crime and drugs and disorder became universal.

What caused this nightmare? Liberals didn't even want to acknowledge the question. They were benefiting from the disaster, in the form of reliable votes. Conservatives, though, had a ready explanation for inner-city dysfunction and it made sense: big government. Decades of badly-designed social programs had driven fathers from the home and created what conservatives called a "culture of poverty" that trapped people in generational decline.

There was truth in this. But it wasn't the whole story. How do we know? Because virtually the same thing has happened decades later to an entirely different population. In many ways, rural America now looks a lot like Detroit.

This is striking because rural Americans wouldn't seem to have much in common with anyone from the inner city. These groups have different cultures, different traditions and political beliefs. Usually they have different skin colors. Rural people are white conservatives, mostly.

Yet, the pathologies of modern rural America are familiar to anyone who visited downtown Baltimore in the 1980s: Stunning out of wedlock birthrates. High male unemployment. A terrifying drug epidemic. Two different worlds. Similar outcomes. How did this happen? You'd think our ruling class would be interested in knowing the answer. But mostly they're not. They don't have to be interested. It's easier to import foreign labor to take the place of native-born Americans who are slipping behind.

But Republicans now represent rural voters. They ought to be interested. Here's a big part of the answer: male wages declined. Manufacturing, a male-dominated industry, all but disappeared over the course of a generation. All that remained in many places were the schools and the hospitals, both traditional employers of women. In many places, women suddenly made more than men.

Now, before you applaud this as a victory for feminism, consider the effects. Study after study has shown that when men make less than women, women generally don't want to marry them. Maybe they should want to marry them, but they don't. Over big populations, this causes a drop in marriage, a spike in out-of-wedlock births, and all the familiar disasters that inevitably follow -- more drug and alcohol abuse, higher incarceration rates, fewer families formed in the next generation.

This isn't speculation. This is not propaganda from the evangelicals. It's social science. We know it's true. Rich people know it best of all. That's why they get married before they have kids. That model works. But increasingly, marriage is a luxury only the affluent in America can afford.

And yet, and here's the bewildering and infuriating part, those very same affluent married people, the ones making virtually all the decisions in our society, are doing pretty much nothing to help the people below them get and stay married. Rich people are happy to fight malaria in Congo. But working to raise men's wages in Dayton or Detroit? That's crazy.

This is negligence on a massive scale. Both parties ignore the crisis in marriage. Our mindless cultural leaders act like it's still 1961, and the biggest problem American families face is that sexism is preventing millions of housewives from becoming investment bankers or Facebook executives.

For our ruling class, more investment banking is always the answer. They teach us it's more virtuous to devote your life to some soulless corporation than it is to raise your own kids.

Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook wrote an entire book about this. Sandberg explained that our first duty is to shareholders, above our own children. No surprise there. Sandberg herself is one of America's biggest shareholders. Propaganda like this has made her rich.

We are ruled by mercenaries who feel no long-term obligation to the people they rule. They're day traders. Substitute teachers. They're just passing through. They have no skin in this game, and it shows.

What's remarkable is how the rest of us responded to it. We didn't question why Sandberg was saying this. We didn't laugh in her face at the pure absurdity of it. Our corporate media celebrated Sandberg as the leader of a liberation movement. Her book became a bestseller: "Lean In." As if putting a corporation first is empowerment. It is not. It is bondage. Republicans should say so.

They should also speak out against the ugliest parts of our financial system. Not all commerce is good. Why is it defensible to loan people money they can't possibly repay? Or charge them interest that impoverishes them? Payday loan outlets in poor neighborhoods collect 400 percent annual interest.

We're OK with that? We shouldn't be. Libertarians tell us that's how markets work -- consenting adults making voluntary decisions about how to live their lives. OK. But it's also disgusting. If you care about America, you ought to oppose the exploitation of Americans, whether it's happening in the inner city or on Wall Street.

And by the way, if you really loved your fellow Americans, as our leaders should, if it would break your heart to see them high all the time. Which they are. A huge number of our kids, especially our boys, are smoking weed constantly. You may not realize that, because new technology has made it odorless. But it's everywhere.

And that's not an accident. Once our leaders understood they could get rich from marijuana, marijuana became ubiquitous. In many places, tax-hungry politicians have legalized or decriminalized it. Former Speaker of the House John Boehner now lobbies for the marijuana industry. His fellow Republicans seem fine with that. "Oh, but it's better for you than alcohol," they tell us.

Maybe. Who cares? Talk about missing the point. Try having dinner with a 19-year-old who's been smoking weed. The life is gone. Passive, flat, trapped in their own heads. Do you want that for your kids? Of course not. Then why are our leaders pushing it on us? You know the reason. Because they don't care about us.

When you care about people, you do your best to treat them fairly. Our leaders don't even try. They hand out jobs and contracts and scholarships and slots at prestigious universities based purely on how we look. There's nothing less fair than that, though our tax code comes close.

Under our current system, an American who works for a salary pays about twice the tax rate as someone who's living off inherited money and doesn't work at all. We tax capital at half of what we tax labor. It's a sweet deal if you work in finance, as many of our rich people do.

In 2010, for example, Mitt Romney made about $22 million dollars in investment income. He paid an effective federal tax rate of 14 percent. For normal upper-middle-class wage earners, the federal tax rate is nearly 40 percent. No wonder Mitt Romney supports the status quo. But for everyone else, it's infuriating.

Our leaders rarely mention any of this. They tell us our multi-tiered tax code is based on the principles of the free market. Please. It's based on laws that the Congress passed, laws that companies lobbied for in order to increase their economic advantage. It worked well for those people. They did increase their economic advantage. But for everyone else, it came at a big cost. Unfairness is profoundly divisive. When you favor one child over another, your kids don't hate you. They hate each other.

That happens in countries, too. It's happening in ours, probably by design. Divided countries are easier to rule. And nothing divides us like the perception that some people are getting special treatment. In our country, some people definitely are getting special treatment. Republicans should oppose that with everything they have.

What kind of country do you want to live in? A fair country. A decent country. A cohesive country. A country whose leaders don't accelerate the forces of change purely for their own profit and amusement. A country you might recognize when you're old.

A country that listens to young people who don't live in Brooklyn. A country where you can make a solid living outside of the big cities. A country where Lewiston, Maine seems almost as important as the west side of Los Angeles. A country where environmentalism means getting outside and picking up the trash. A clean, orderly, stable country that respects itself. And above all, a country where normal people with an average education who grew up in no place special can get married, and have happy kids, and repeat unto the generations. A country that actually cares about families, the building block of everything.

Video

What will it take a get a country like that? Leaders who want it. For now, those leaders will have to be Republicans. There's no option at this point.

But first, Republican leaders will have to acknowledge that market capitalism is not a religion. Market capitalism is a tool, like a staple gun or a toaster. You'd have to be a fool to worship it. Our system was created by human beings for the benefit of human beings. We do not exist to serve markets. Just the opposite. Any economic system that weakens and destroys families is not worth having. A system like that is the enemy of a healthy society.

Internalizing all this will not be easy for Republican leaders. They'll have to unlearn decades of bumper sticker-talking points and corporate propaganda. They'll likely lose donors in the process. They'll be criticized. Libertarians are sure to call any deviation from market fundamentalism a form of socialism.

That's a lie. Socialism is a disaster. It doesn't work. It's what we should be working desperately to avoid. But socialism is exactly what we're going to get, and very soon unless a group of responsible people in our political system reforms the American economy in a way that protects normal people.

If you want to put America first, you've got to put its families first.

Adapted from Tucker Carlson's monologue from "Tucker Carlson Tonight" on January 2, 2019.

[Jan 12, 2019] Tucker Carlson has sparked the most interesting debate in conservative politics by Jane Coaston

Highly recommended!
Tucker Carlson sounds much more convincing then Trump: See Tucker Leaders show no obligation to American voters and Tucker The American dream is dying
Notable quotes:
"... America's "ruling class," Carlson says, are the "mercenaries" behind the failures of the middle class -- including sinking marriage rates -- and "the ugliest parts of our financial system." He went on: "Any economic system that weakens and destroys families is not worth having. A system like that is the enemy of a healthy society." ..."
"... He concluded with a demand for "a fair country. A decent country. A cohesive country. A country whose leaders don't accelerate the forces of change purely for their own profit and amusement." ..."
"... The monologue and its sweeping anti-elitism drove a wedge between conservative writers. The American Conservative's Rod Dreher wrote of Carlson's monologue, "A man or woman who can talk like that with conviction could become president. Voting for a conservative candidate like that would be the first affirmative vote I've ever cast for president. ..."
"... The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Parents Are Growing Broke ..."
"... Carlson wanted to be clear: He's just asking questions. "I'm not an economic adviser or a politician. I'm not a think tank fellow. I'm just a talk show host," he said, telling me that all he wants is to ask "the basic questions you would ask about any policy." But he wants to ask those questions about what he calls the "religious faith" of market capitalism, one he believes elites -- "mercenaries who feel no long-term obligation to the people they rule" -- have put ahead of "normal people." ..."
"... "What does [free market capitalism] get us?" he said in our call. "What kind of country do you want to live in? If you put these policies into effect, what will you have in 10 years?" ..."
"... Carlson is hardly the first right-leaning figure to make a pitch for populism, even tangentially, in the third year of Donald Trump, whose populist-lite presidential candidacy and presidency Carlson told me he views as "the smoke alarm ... telling you the building is on fire, and unless you figure out how to put the flames out, it will consume it." ..."
"... Trump borrowed some of that approach for his 2016 campaign but in office has governed as a fairly orthodox economic conservative, thus demonstrating the demand for populism on the right without really providing the supply and creating conditions for further ferment. ..."
"... Ocasio-Cortez wants a 70-80% income tax on the rich. I agree! Start with the Koch Bros. -- and also make it WEALTH tax. ..."
"... "I'm just saying as a matter of fact," he told me, "a country where a shrinking percentage of the population is taking home an ever-expanding proportion of the money is not a recipe for a stable society. It's not." ..."
"... Carlson told me he wanted to be clear: He is not a populist. But he believes some version of populism is necessary to prevent a full-scale political revolt or the onset of socialism. Using Theodore Roosevelt as an example of a president who recognized that labor needs economic power, he told me, "Unless you want something really extreme to happen, you need to take this seriously and figure out how to protect average people from these remarkably powerful forces that have been unleashed." ..."
"... But Carlson's brand of populism, and the populist sentiments sweeping the American right, aren't just focused on the current state of income inequality in America. Carlson tackled a bigger idea: that market capitalism and the "elites" whom he argues are its major drivers aren't working. The free market isn't working for families, or individuals, or kids. In his monologue, Carlson railed against libertarian economics and even payday loans, saying, "If you care about America, you ought to oppose the exploitation of Americans, whether it's happening in the inner city or on Wall Street" -- sounding very much like Sanders or Warren on the left. ..."
"... Capitalism/liberalism destroys the extended family by requiring people to move apart for work and destroying any sense of unchosen obligations one might have towards one's kin. ..."
"... Hillbilly Elegy ..."
"... Carlson told me that beyond changing our tax code, he has no major policies in mind. "I'm not even making the case for an economic system in particular," he told me. "All I'm saying is don't act like the way things are is somehow ordained by God or a function or raw nature." ..."
Jan 10, 2019 | www.vox.com

"All I'm saying is don't act like the way things are is somehow ordained by God."

Last Wednesday, the conservative talk show host Tucker Carlson started a fire on the right after airing a prolonged monologue on his show that was, in essence, an indictment of American capitalism.

America's "ruling class," Carlson says, are the "mercenaries" behind the failures of the middle class -- including sinking marriage rates -- and "the ugliest parts of our financial system." He went on: "Any economic system that weakens and destroys families is not worth having. A system like that is the enemy of a healthy society."

He concluded with a demand for "a fair country. A decent country. A cohesive country. A country whose leaders don't accelerate the forces of change purely for their own profit and amusement."

The monologue was stunning in itself, an incredible moment in which a Fox News host stated that for generations, "Republicans have considered it their duty to make the world safe for banking, while simultaneously prosecuting ever more foreign wars." More broadly, though, Carlson's position and the ensuing controversy reveals an ongoing and nearly unsolvable tension in conservative politics about the meaning of populism, a political ideology that Trump campaigned on but Carlson argues he may not truly understand.

Moreover, in Carlson's words: "At some point, Donald Trump will be gone. The rest of us will be gone too. The country will remain. What kind of country will be it be then?"

The monologue and its sweeping anti-elitism drove a wedge between conservative writers. The American Conservative's Rod Dreher wrote of Carlson's monologue, "A man or woman who can talk like that with conviction could become president. Voting for a conservative candidate like that would be the first affirmative vote I've ever cast for president." Other conservative commentators scoffed. Ben Shapiro wrote in National Review that Carlson's monologue sounded far more like Sens. Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren than, say, Ronald Reagan.

I spoke with Carlson by phone this week to discuss his monologue and its economic -- and cultural -- meaning. He agreed that his monologue was reminiscent of Warren, referencing her 2003 book The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Parents Are Growing Broke . "There were parts of the book that I disagree with, of course," he told me. "But there are parts of it that are really important and true. And nobody wanted to have that conversation."

Carlson wanted to be clear: He's just asking questions. "I'm not an economic adviser or a politician. I'm not a think tank fellow. I'm just a talk show host," he said, telling me that all he wants is to ask "the basic questions you would ask about any policy." But he wants to ask those questions about what he calls the "religious faith" of market capitalism, one he believes elites -- "mercenaries who feel no long-term obligation to the people they rule" -- have put ahead of "normal people."

But whether or not he likes it, Carlson is an important voice in conservative politics. His show is among the most-watched television programs in America. And his raising questions about market capitalism and the free market matters.

"What does [free market capitalism] get us?" he said in our call. "What kind of country do you want to live in? If you put these policies into effect, what will you have in 10 years?"

Populism on the right is gaining, again

Carlson is hardly the first right-leaning figure to make a pitch for populism, even tangentially, in the third year of Donald Trump, whose populist-lite presidential candidacy and presidency Carlson told me he views as "the smoke alarm ... telling you the building is on fire, and unless you figure out how to put the flames out, it will consume it."

Populism is a rhetorical approach that separates "the people" from elites. In the words of Cas Mudde, a professor at the University of Georgia, it divides the country into "two homogenous and antagonistic groups: the pure people on the one end and the corrupt elite on the other." Populist rhetoric has a long history in American politics, serving as the focal point of numerous presidential campaigns and powering William Jennings Bryan to the Democratic nomination for president in 1896. Trump borrowed some of that approach for his 2016 campaign but in office has governed as a fairly orthodox economic conservative, thus demonstrating the demand for populism on the right without really providing the supply and creating conditions for further ferment.

When right-leaning pundit Ann Coulter spoke with Breitbart Radio about Trump's Tuesday evening Oval Office address to the nation regarding border wall funding, she said she wanted to hear him say something like, "You know, you say a lot of wild things on the campaign trail. I'm speaking to big rallies. But I want to talk to America about a serious problem that is affecting the least among us, the working-class blue-collar workers":

Coulter urged Trump to bring up overdose deaths from heroin in order to speak to the "working class" and to blame the fact that working-class wages have stalled, if not fallen, in the last 20 years on immigration. She encouraged Trump to declare, "This is a national emergency for the people who don't have lobbyists in Washington."

Ocasio-Cortez wants a 70-80% income tax on the rich. I agree! Start with the Koch Bros. -- and also make it WEALTH tax.

-- Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) January 4, 2019

These sentiments have even pitted popular Fox News hosts against each other.

Sean Hannity warned his audience that New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's economic policies would mean that "the rich people won't be buying boats that they like recreationally, they're not going to be taking expensive vacations anymore." But Carlson agreed when I said his monologue was somewhat reminiscent of Ocasio-Cortez's past comments on the economy , and how even a strong economy was still leaving working-class Americans behind.

"I'm just saying as a matter of fact," he told me, "a country where a shrinking percentage of the population is taking home an ever-expanding proportion of the money is not a recipe for a stable society. It's not."

Carlson told me he wanted to be clear: He is not a populist. But he believes some version of populism is necessary to prevent a full-scale political revolt or the onset of socialism. Using Theodore Roosevelt as an example of a president who recognized that labor needs economic power, he told me, "Unless you want something really extreme to happen, you need to take this seriously and figure out how to protect average people from these remarkably powerful forces that have been unleashed."

"I think populism is potentially really disruptive. What I'm saying is that populism is a symptom of something being wrong," he told me. "Again, populism is a smoke alarm; do not ignore it."

But Carlson's brand of populism, and the populist sentiments sweeping the American right, aren't just focused on the current state of income inequality in America. Carlson tackled a bigger idea: that market capitalism and the "elites" whom he argues are its major drivers aren't working. The free market isn't working for families, or individuals, or kids. In his monologue, Carlson railed against libertarian economics and even payday loans, saying, "If you care about America, you ought to oppose the exploitation of Americans, whether it's happening in the inner city or on Wall Street" -- sounding very much like Sanders or Warren on the left.

Carlson's argument that "market capitalism is not a religion" is of course old hat on the left, but it's also been bubbling on the right for years now. When National Review writer Kevin Williamson wrote a 2016 op-ed about how rural whites "failed themselves," he faced a massive backlash in the Trumpier quarters of the right. And these sentiments are becoming increasingly potent at a time when Americans can see both a booming stock market and perhaps their own family members struggling to get by.

Capitalism/liberalism destroys the extended family by requiring people to move apart for work and destroying any sense of unchosen obligations one might have towards one's kin.

-- Jeremy McLallan (@JeremyMcLellan) January 8, 2019

At the Federalist, writer Kirk Jing wrote of Carlson's monologue, and a response to it by National Review columnist David French:

Our society is less French's America, the idea, and more Frantz Fanon's "Wretched of the Earth" (involving a very different French). The lowest are stripped of even social dignity and deemed unworthy of life . In Real America, wages are stagnant, life expectancy is crashing, people are fleeing the workforce, families are crumbling, and trust in the institutions on top are at all-time lows. To French, holding any leaders of those institutions responsible for their errors is "victimhood populism" ... The Right must do better if it seeks to govern a real America that exists outside of its fantasies.

J.D. Vance, author of Hillbilly Elegy , wrote that the [neoliberal] economy's victories -- and praise for those wins from conservatives -- were largely meaningless to white working-class Americans living in Ohio and Kentucky: "Yes, they live in a country with a higher GDP than a generation ago, and they're undoubtedly able to buy cheaper consumer goods, but to paraphrase Reagan: Are they better off than they were 20 years ago? Many would say, unequivocally, 'no.'"

Carlson's populism holds, in his view, bipartisan possibilities. In a follow-up email, I asked him why his monologue was aimed at Republicans when many Democrats had long espoused the same criticisms of free market economics. "Fair question," he responded. "I hope it's not just Republicans. But any response to the country's systemic problems will have to give priority to the concerns of American citizens over the concerns of everyone else, just as you'd protect your own kids before the neighbor's kids."

Who is "they"?

And that's the point where Carlson and a host of others on the right who have begun to challenge the conservative movement's orthodoxy on free markets -- people ranging from occasionally mendacious bomb-throwers like Coulter to writers like Michael Brendan Dougherty -- separate themselves from many of those making those exact same arguments on the left.

When Carlson talks about the "normal people" he wants to save from nefarious elites, he is talking, usually, about a specific group of "normal people" -- white working-class Americans who are the "real" victims of capitalism, or marijuana legalization, or immigration policies.

In this telling, white working-class Americans who once relied on a manufacturing economy that doesn't look the way it did in 1955 are the unwilling pawns of elites. It's not their fault that, in Carlson's view, marriage is inaccessible to them, or that marijuana legalization means more teens are smoking weed ( this probably isn't true ). Someone, or something, did this to them. In Carlson's view, it's the responsibility of politicians: Our economic situation, and the plight of the white working class, is "the product of a series of conscious decisions that the Congress made."

The criticism of Carlson's monologue has largely focused on how he deviates from the free market capitalism that conservatives believe is the solution to poverty, not the creator of poverty. To orthodox conservatives, poverty is the result of poor decision making or a lack of virtue that can't be solved by government programs or an anti-elite political platform -- and they say Carlson's argument that elites are in some way responsible for dwindling marriage rates doesn't make sense .

But in French's response to Carlson, he goes deeper, writing that to embrace Carlson's brand of populism is to support "victimhood populism," one that makes white working-class Americans into the victims of an undefined "they:

Carlson is advancing a form of victim-politics populism that takes a series of tectonic cultural changes -- civil rights, women's rights, a technological revolution as significant as the industrial revolution, the mass-scale loss of religious faith, the sexual revolution, etc. -- and turns the negative or challenging aspects of those changes into an angry tale of what they are doing to you .

And that was my biggest question about Carlson's monologue, and the flurry of responses to it, and support for it: When other groups (say, black Americans) have pointed to systemic inequities within the economic system that have resulted in poverty and family dysfunction, the response from many on the right has been, shall we say, less than enthusiastic .

Really, it comes down to when black people have problems, it's personal responsibility, but when white people have the same problems, the system is messed up. Funny how that works!!

-- Judah Maccabeets (@AdamSerwer) January 9, 2019

Yet white working-class poverty receives, from Carlson and others, far more sympathy. And conservatives are far more likely to identify with a criticism of "elites" when they believe those elites are responsible for the expansion of trans rights or creeping secularism than the wealthy and powerful people who are investing in private prisons or an expansion of the militarization of police . Carlson's network, Fox News, and Carlson himself have frequently blasted leftist critics of market capitalism and efforts to fight inequality .

I asked Carlson about this, as his show is frequently centered on the turmoils caused by " demographic change ." He said that for decades, "conservatives just wrote [black economic struggles] off as a culture of poverty," a line he includes in his monologue .

He added that regarding black poverty, "it's pretty easy when you've got 12 percent of the population going through something to feel like, 'Well, there must be ... there's something wrong with that culture.' Which is actually a tricky thing to say because it's in part true, but what you're missing, what I missed, what I think a lot of people missed, was that the economic system you're living under affects your culture."

Carlson said that growing up in Washington, DC, and spending time in rural Maine, he didn't realize until recently that the same poverty and decay he observed in the Washington of the 1980s was also taking place in rural (and majority-white) Maine. "I was thinking, 'Wait a second ... maybe when the jobs go away the culture changes,'" he told me, "And the reason I didn't think of it before was because I was so blinded by this libertarian economic propaganda that I couldn't get past my own assumptions about economics." (For the record, libertarians have critiqued Carlson's monologue as well.)

Carlson told me that beyond changing our tax code, he has no major policies in mind. "I'm not even making the case for an economic system in particular," he told me. "All I'm saying is don't act like the way things are is somehow ordained by God or a function or raw nature."

And clearly, our market economy isn't driven by God or nature, as the stock market soars and unemployment dips and yet even those on the right are noticing lengthy periods of wage stagnation and dying little towns across the country. But what to do about those dying little towns, and which dying towns we care about and which we don't, and, most importantly, whose fault it is that those towns are dying in the first place -- those are all questions Carlson leaves to the viewer to answer.

[Jan 12, 2019] Democratic Party became the party of corrupt, sclerotic, corporate Democrats

Jan 12, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

Monday, January 07, 2019 at 03:17 PM


-> anne... , January 10, 2019 at 07:06 AM

Did Krugman just issue a veiled warning to Pelosi, Schumer, and Clinton Democrats? Did he see this as a teaching moment for them? Has he turned from unabashed megaphone for establishment Democrats to an honest broker, willing to explain economics to Demcoratic Big Money parasites? Could be... If so, this might be a turning point for Krugman from partisan hack to honest broker!

As always, Robert Reich pulls fewer punches: "Do not ever underestimate the influence of Wall Street Democrats, corporate Democrats, and the Democrats' biggest funders. I know. I've been there.
In the 2018 midterms, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, big business made more contributions to Democrats than to Republicans. The shift was particularly noticeable on Wall Street. Not since 2008 have donors in the securities and investment industry given a higher percentage to Democratic candidates and committees than to Republicans.

The moneyed interests in the Democratic party are in favor of helping America's poor and of reversing climate change – two positions that sharply distinguish them from the moneyed interests in the Republican party.

But the Democrats' moneyed interests don't want more powerful labor unions. They are not in favor of stronger antitrust enforcement against large corporations. They resist firmer regulation of Wall Street. They are unlikely to want to repeal the Trump-Republican tax cut for big corporations and the wealthy."
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/jan/06/house-democrats-donald-trump-subpoena-tax-return-impeachment

And maybe, just maybe, Krugman, in a veiled warning to Democrats enamored with Trump's tax cuts, has decided to trump partisan loyalty with economic reality...as any decent economist should do.

EMichael and kurt will be disappointed, very disappointed that Krugman sided with AOC over corrupt, sclerotic, corporate Democrats...

RC AKA Darryl, Ron said in reply to JohnH... , January 08, 2019 at 07:27 AM
There is no reason to think that mainstream liberals would not just go along with whatever direction the liberal establishment takes. OTOH, there is a major difference in the context between the rank and file of mainstream liberals and the actual liberal establishment itself. Mainstream liberals just want to fit in and win elections. They are concerned with electability and the constraints of legislative process. There is nothing wrong with that. It is the role of the rank and file.

However, AOC is correct. It is radicals that bring about all significant change. Mainstream radical is an oxymoron. After radicals cause change then it is no longer radical, but it becomes mainstream instead.

In contrast, the liberal establishment is also concerned with electability because that is what they do for a living, either get elected or ride along on the coattails of the elected, but they are elites and elitists not to be separated from the status quo economic establishment without considerable consternation. However, the elitists' trepidation over being separated from their wealthy elite supporters would be greatly reduced by severe limits on private campaign financing. Still, it would be a rare elected official that would rather eat in a soup kitchen than a five-star restaurant both for the good food and for the good company. In both regards though that depends upon what your definition of "good" is.

JohnH -> RC AKA Darryl, Ron... , January 08, 2019 at 08:48 AM
"Mainstream liberals just want to fit in and win elections..." And they are precisely they kind of "go-along to get along types" who let bad things happen...and then pretend to not understand what went wrong...Vietnam, Iraq, GWOT, Glass-Steagall repeal, trade liberalization/offshoring profits, banksters who go Scot free after bringing the economy down. The list goes on.
RC AKA Darryl, Ron said in reply to JohnH... , January 08, 2019 at 09:24 AM
There are leaders, followers, and radicals. One can choose to be any one or two or those they want, but no more than two. It is not very rewarding to be a radical from the back of the line unless there is also a radical to follow at the front of the line. Leaders that are also followers inherit the status quo and guard it like it was their own because it is. Radical leaders rarely succeed, but often die young.

Trump is a bad example of a leader, but he follows his nose at least rather than just the status quo. Trump has a nose for trouble and he cannot resist its stench any more than a jackal or hyena can resist rotting carrion. Fortunate for Trump the US has a long history of stockpiling trouble for future consumption that reaches all the way back to colonial times. Trump likes to think that orange is the new black, but the old black, brown, and red are still around and neither yellow nor orange can take their place.

The majority of people are just plain old followers. If people think that there is chaos in the world already, just imagine what it would be like if most people were not just plain old followers. The status quo always has the advantage of the natural force of inertia.

mulp said in reply to JohnH... , January 10, 2019 at 02:14 PM
"...banksters who go Scot free after bringing the economy down. The list goes on."

Because you believe in government as done by Putin, Maduro, Saddam, Saudi Arabia, etc: jail, torture, kill enemies by the people in power being the law.

You reject the US Constitution where voters are allowed to elect Republicans who legalize fraud and theft by deception based on voters wanting the free lunch of easy credit requiring bankers have no liability for the bad loans from easy credit. You reject the US Constitution prohibition on retroactive laws criminalizzing legal actions.

Only if you were leading protests in the 90s in opposition to laws making credit easy for below $80,000 workers whether buying houses or trucks/SUV.

Only if you were picketing real estate agents and car dealers from 2001 to 2005 to keep out customers, you were not doing enough to stop easy credit.

The GOP was only dellivering what voters wanted, stuff they could not afford paid for by workers saving for their retirement.

Elections have consequences.

The elections from 1994 to 2004 were votes for free lunch economics. The GOP promised and delivered free lunch economic policies.

In 2005, voters on the margins realized tanstaafl, and in 2006 elected Pelosi to power, and Pelosi, representing California knows economies are zero sum, so she increased costs to increase general welfare. One of the costs was reccognizing the costs, and benefits, of the US Constitution.

In 2008, she did not try to criminalize past action, and when she could not get the votes to punish the bankers who bankrupted the institutions they ran by prohibiting bonuses in the future,, she insread delivered the best deal possible for the US Constitutional general welfare.

I think Bernie wanted all voters who voted GOP to lose their jobs, or maybe he simply believes in free lunch economist claims that welfare payments in Ohio and Michigan are higher than union worker incomes.

Maybe he thinks bankruptcy court nationalize businesses, not liquidate them.

Or maybe he figured the solution was a 21st Century Great Depression which would elect a socialist instead of a capitalist FDR, and he would get to run all the automakers, all the food industry, and employ all the workers deciding what they can buy?

I can never figure out how the economy would work if Bernie were running it. He talks about Europe, but never advocates the cost of EU economy that is part of EU law: the VAT. All EU members must have a VAT that is a significant cost to every person in the EU.

Free lunch economics is when you promise increased benefits with no costs, or lower costs.


Free lunch Trump and free lunch Bernie differ only in their winners, but their losers are always the same.

When progressives argue for unlimited increases in debt just like Reagan, they are rejecting the pokicies of FDR, Keynes, the US when the general welfare increased most by increasing assets faster than debt.

JohnH -> RC AKA Darryl, Ron... , January 08, 2019 at 08:53 AM
"'elitists' trepidation over being separated from their wealthy elite supporters would be greatly reduced by severe limits on private campaign financing." Which is why so many liberal establishment politicians...per Reich...pay only lip service to real campaign finance reform. Being parasites, they feed off of their hosts and dare not disrupt the gravy train.
mulp said in reply to JohnH... , January 09, 2019 at 05:04 AM
"elitists' trepidation over being separated from their wealthy elite supporters would be greatly reduced by severe limits on private campaign financing."

So, the wealthy liberal elites who pay no taxes by cleverly paying all revenue to workers need to be punished because they pay too much to too many workers?

Warrren Buffett has never paid much in taxes even when tax rates on corporations were over 50% and individuals reached over 70%. Money paid to workers, directly or indirectly, was and still is the number one tax dodge.

Unless you go to a sales tax aka VAT which taxes all revenue, expecially business income paid to workers.

VAT is an income tax with zero tax dodges aka loopholes aka deductions.

mulp said in reply to JohnH... , January 10, 2019 at 03:04 PM
""'elitists' trepidation over being separated from their wealthy elite supporters would be greatly reduced by severe limits on private campaign financing." Which is why so many liberal establishment politicians...per Reich...pay only lip service to real campaign finance reform. Being parasites, they feed off of their hosts and dare not disrupt the gravy train."

In your view, its the poor who create high paying jobs?

It's wrong to listen to people who convince rich people to give their money to people paying US workers to build factories, wind farms, solar farms battery factories, transportation systems, vehicles, computer systems in the US?

Instead Democrats should listen to people who have never created long term paying jobs, but only pay elites who run campaigns using mostly unpaid workers, or workers paid only a few months every few years? Like Bernie does?

When it comes to how to run a "Green New Deal", I want the policy crafted by someone who listens to Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, and the CEOs of California energy corporations, tech companies, who are commited to consuming more and more energy that requires no fossil fuels. Listening to Home Depot and Walmart building managers and retail sales managers should be a priority. All these guys both focus on paying more workers, and selling more to workers paid more.

AOC and Bernie seem to listen to the Lamperts who are destroying the value of companies like Sears by "taxing" both the customers, workers, and owners, by giving money to people who don't work to produce anything.

I make going to RealClearPolicy, Politics, etc a daily practice to see how bad progressives are at selling their policies, making it easy for find all sorts of costs, without any benefits to anyone.

The New Deal was not about taking money from the rich and giving it to the poor. The New Deal was about paying workers more.

In 1930, half the population still lived on farms. (They might work off the farm, but they were farmworkers first.) The problem for farmers is Europe had recovered from the war and was no longer sending gold to the US to secure loans to buy food, but instead repaying the loans by shipping high value food to the US, wine, cheese, etc, and that meant too much food drove prices down, which meant farmworkers earned less and less.

One of the first laws set minimum prices for food, enforced by destroying crops, or government overpaying for food like milk, cheese, bread, which the government gave away to the poor who could never buy this food. It was not about giving food away, but about paying workers, the farmers, ranchers, etc. Giving the food to the poor who could not afford to buy food was simply to avoid the attacks on FDR for destroying good food to drive up farmer pay. Which was the truth.

FDR talked about creating a healthy workforce to make America great, then about building a healthy soldier. Ike in the 50s and JFK in the 60s campaigned on creating healthy soldiers. And smart, educated soldiers and workers.

The policies of liberals was about better workers, richer workers.

Conservatives since Reagan has been about cutting the costs of workers. Sold based on consumers benefiting from lower cost workers, because consumees are never workers, workers never consumers, because if workers equal consumers, economics must be zero sum.

Christopher H. said in reply to RC AKA Darryl, Ron... , January 08, 2019 at 09:20 AM
Well said. It is fascinating to witness how the liberal establishment is rallying around democratic socialists AOC and Rashida Tlaib.


https://twitter.com/MattBruenig/status/1082287736550293504

Matt Bruenig‏
@MattBruenig

By attracting the intense ire of the GOP, AOC activates the negative polarization of lib pundits and makes them look for ways to defend left policy items they'd attack in any other scenario. It's very effective at pushing the discourse forward.

6:47 AM - 7 Jan 2019

RC AKA Darryl, Ron said in reply to Christopher H.... , January 08, 2019 at 09:25 AM
Sweet. THANKS!
mulp said in reply to JohnH... , January 09, 2019 at 04:55 AM
"But the Democrats' moneyed interests don't want more powerful labor unions. They are not in favor of stronger antitrust enforcement against large corporations."

So, you think beef at $10 plus per pound, salad greens at $5 plus per pound, a fast food meal at $10 plus, is a winning issue for Democrats?

Or by powerful labor unions, you mean for only white male blue collar factory workers, long haul white truckers, white construction workers?

Making all work pay enough to reach middle class status at the low end will not happen by unions because many parts of the US, and workers, and jobs, will oppose unions. Instead, labor laws and enforcement to lift wages and working conditions rapidly in conservative regions are required.

Better to get the minimum wage in Indiana and Kansas to $10 than in California to $15.

More important to get farm workers fully covered by Federal law like factory workers, with exemptions only for farmer family members.

Raising incomes in low living cost regions will not raise prices much nationally, but increase living standards among the most disadvantaged who feel "left behind".

Automatic increases annually of 10% for 7 years, then indexed by cpi.

Constantly emphasizing this minimum is way below what the low wage is in SF, NYC, LA, but the goods produced will be bought and thus wages paid mostly by high income liberal elites. Conservatives sticking it to liberals!

Darrell in Phoenix said in reply to mulp ... , January 09, 2019 at 09:26 AM
"you think beef at $10 plus per pound,"

Wow... you need to do a lot better at shopping sales. I wait for sales and then buy burger at $2.50, crud cuts at $3-4, and can frequently get t-bone and ribeye for under $5.

BUT, on the larger scale, what is the difference if I pay $1 a pound for burger and earn $20K a year, or I pay $3 for burger and earn $60K a year?

Inflation punishes savers? Really? What is the difference if I earn 3% at 2% inflation or 1% at 0% inflation? The answer is, none.

Julio -> anne... , January 08, 2019 at 09:47 AM
"In that case, however, why do we care how hard the rich work? If a rich man works an extra hour, adding $1000 to the economy, but gets paid $1000 for his efforts, the combined income of everyone else doesn't change, does it? Ah, but it does – because he pays taxes on that extra $1000. So the social benefit from getting high-income individuals to work a bit harder is the tax revenue generated by that extra effort – and conversely the cost of their working less is the reduction in the taxes they pay."

This is not right. Heck, it's not even wrong.
Say the $1000 is for a surgery. The social benefit is the tax they pay on it? The surgery itself is irrelevant?

Krugman confuses the flow of money, which supports and correlates with production, with the actual production, the real "social benefit".

Darrell in Phoenix said in reply to Julio ... , January 08, 2019 at 04:17 PM
A point I try to make.

If you invent a widget that everyone on earth is willing to pay $1 over cost to get, congratulations, you just earned $7 billion.

Now, does that mean you get to consume $7 billion worth of stuff other people produce? I think so.

Or, does it mean you get to trap the world in $7 billion of debt servitude from which it is impossible for them to escape, because you are hoarding, and then charging interest on, the $7 billion they need to pay back their debts.

The key is to understand that money is created via debt. Money has value because people with debt need to get it to repay their debts.

If we all decide BitCoin is worthless, then BitCoin is worthless. It has no fundamental usefulness.

If we all decide money is worthless, then a bunch of people with debt will gladly take it off our hands so that they can repay their debt. Heck, they may even trade us stuff to get the debt... which is why money is NOT worthless.

mulp said in reply to Darrell in Phoenix... , January 09, 2019 at 05:15 AM
If $1 per day make everyone live better with no added climate change, PLUS paid an extra $7 billion per day to production workers, service workers, that would be good, or bad?

Say, the $7 billion in wages was to sing and dance so no matter where in the world he was, he was entertained by song and dance?

Economies are zero sum. Every cost has an equal benefit aka income or consumption. Work can't exist without consumption, consumption without work.

Money is merely work in the past or future.

Darrell in Phoenix said in reply to mulp ... , January 09, 2019 at 08:06 AM
"If $1 per day make everyone live better with no added climate change, PLUS paid an extra $7 billion per day to production workers, service workers, that would be good, or bad?"

Obviously, good. Which is what I say in my post.

"Money is merely work in the past or future."

Money is other peoples' debt. They have borrowed money into existence and then spent it into the economy, AND they have pledged to do work in the future, to get the money back so they can repay the debt.

That "doing work in the future to get the money back" is only possible if the people with the money actually spend it back into the economy.

The problem is that the people in debt also agreed to pay interest, and the people with the money want to keep collecting the interest... so keep holding the money... making it absolutely impossible for those with debt to pay it back.

I'm saying is that there is obligation on both sides. There is obligation on the part of people with debt to produce goods and services and sell them for money to repay their debts, AND for that to be possible, there is obligation on those with money to actually spend the money...

Contrary to CONservative opinion, money is not created by work, it is earned by selling, and that means for the economy to function, there has to be spending.

We need a tax code with very high top rates, but deductions for spending and capital investing... not to take from the rich, but rather to force them to spend and invest to get deductions.

[Jan 11, 2019] As Democratic Elites Reunite With Neocons, The Party's Voters Are Becoming Far More Militaristic And Pro-War Than Republicans by Glenn Greenwald

Clinton Democrats (DemoRats) are so close to neocons that the current re-alliance is only natural and only partially caused by Trump. Under Obama some of leading figures of his administration were undistinguishable from neocons (Samantha Power is a good example here -- she was as crazy as Niki Haley, if not more). There is only one "war party in the USA which continently consists of two wings: Repugs and DemoRats.
Notable quotes:
"... Both GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham , one of the country's most reliable war supporters, and Hillary Clinton , who repeatedly criticized former President Barack Obama for insufficient hawkishness, condemned Trump's decision in very similar terms, invoking standard war on terror jargon. ..."
"... That's not surprising given that Americans by a similarly large plurality agree with the proposition that "the U.S. has been engaged in too many military conflicts in places such as Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan for too long and should prioritize getting Americans out of harm's way" ..."
"... But what is remarkable about the new polling data on Syria is that the vast bulk of support for keeping troops there comes from Democratic Party voters, while Republicans and independents overwhelming favor their removal. The numbers are stark: Of people who voted for Clinton in 2016, only 26 percent support withdrawing troops from Syria, while 59 percent oppose it. Trump voters overwhelmingly support withdraw by 76 percent to 14 percent. ..."
"... This case is even more stark since Obama ran in 2008 on a pledge to end the war in Afghanistan and bring all troops home. Throughout the Obama years, polling data consistently showed that huge majorities of Democrats favored a withdrawal of all troops from Afghanistan ..."
"... While Democrats were more or less evenly divided early last year on whether the U.S. should continue to intervene in Syria, all that changed once Trump announced his intention to withdraw, which provoked a huge surge in Democratic support for remaining ..."
"... At the same time, Democratic policy elites in Washington are once again formally aligning with neoconservatives , even to the point of creating joint foreign policy advocacy groups (a reunion that predated Trump ). The leading Democratic Party think tank, the Center for American Progress, donated $200,000 to the neoconservative American Enterprise Institute and has multilevel alliances with warmongering institutions. ..."
"... By far the most influential [neo]liberal media outlet, MSNBC, is stuffed full of former Bush-Cheney officials, security state operatives, and agents , while even the liberal stars are notably hawkish (a decade ago, long before she went as far down the pro-war and Cold Warrior rabbit hole that she now occupies, Rachel Maddow heralded herself as a "national security liberal" who was "all about counterterrorism"). ..."
"... All of this has resulted in a new generation of Democrats, politically engaged for the first time as a result of fears over Trump, being inculcated with values of militarism and imperialism, trained to view once-discredited, war-loving neocons such as Bill Kristol, Max Boot, and David Frum, and former CIA and FBI leaders as noble experts and trusted voices of conscience. It's inevitable that all of these trends would produce a party that is increasingly pro-war and militaristic, and polling data now leaves little doubt that this transformation -- which will endure long after Trump is gone -- is well under way. ..."
Jan 11, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Via Glenn Greenwald of The Intercept

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP'S December 18 announcement that he intends to withdraw all U.S. troops from Syria produced some isolated support in the anti-war wings of both parties , but largely provoked bipartisan outrage among in Washington's reflexively pro-war establishment.

Both GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham, one of the country's most reliable war supporters, and Hillary Clinton, who repeatedly criticized former President Barack Obama for insufficient hawkishness, condemned Trump's decision in very similar terms, invoking standard war on terror jargon.

But while official Washington united in opposition, new polling data from Morning Consult/Politico shows that a large plurality of Americans support Trump's Syria withdrawal announcement: 49 percent support to 33 percent opposition.

That's not surprising given that Americans by a similarly large plurality agree with the proposition that "the U.S. has been engaged in too many military conflicts in places such as Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan for too long and should prioritize getting Americans out of harm's way" far more than they agree with the pro-war view that "the U.S. needs to keep troops in places such as Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan to help support our allies fight terrorism and maintain our foreign policy interests in the region."

But what is remarkable about the new polling data on Syria is that the vast bulk of support for keeping troops there comes from Democratic Party voters, while Republicans and independents overwhelming favor their removal. The numbers are stark: Of people who voted for Clinton in 2016, only 26 percent support withdrawing troops from Syria, while 59 percent oppose it. Trump voters overwhelmingly support withdraw by 76 percent to 14 percent.

A similar gap is seen among those who voted Democrat in the 2018 midterm elections (28 percent support withdrawal while 54 percent oppose it), as opposed to the widespread support for withdrawal among 2018 GOP voters: 74 percent to 18 percent.

Identical trends can be seen on the question of Trump's announced intention to withdraw half of the U.S. troops currently in Afghanistan, where Democrats are far more supportive of keeping troops there than Republicans and independents.

This case is even more stark since Obama ran in 2008 on a pledge to end the war in Afghanistan and bring all troops home. Throughout the Obama years, polling data consistently showed that huge majorities of Democrats favored a withdrawal of all troops from Afghanistan:

With Trump rather than Obama now advocating troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, all of this has changed. The new polling data shows far more support for troop withdrawal among Republicans and independents, while Democrats are now split or even opposed . Among 2016 Trump voters, there is massive support for withdrawal: 81 percent to 11 percent; Clinton voters, however, oppose the removal of troops from Afghanistan by a margin of 37 percent in favor and 47 percent opposed.

This latest poll is far from aberrational. As the Huffington Post's Ariel Edwards-Levy documented early this week , separate polling shows a similar reversal by Democrats on questions of war and militarism in the Trump era.

While Democrats were more or less evenly divided early last year on whether the U.S. should continue to intervene in Syria, all that changed once Trump announced his intention to withdraw, which provoked a huge surge in Democratic support for remaining. "Those who voted for Democrat Clinton now said by a 42-point margin that the U.S. had a responsibility to do something about the fighting in Syria involving ISIS," Edwards-Levy wrote, "while Trump voters said by a 16-point margin that the nation had no such responsibility." (Similar trends can be seen among GOP voters, whose support for intervention in Syria has steadily declined as Trump has moved away from his posture of the last two years -- escalating bombings in both Syria and Iraq and killing far more civilians , as he repeatedly vowed to do during the campaign -- to his return to his other campaign pledge to remove troops from the region.)

This is, of course, not the first time that Democratic voters have wildly shifted their "beliefs" based on the party affiliation of the person occupying the Oval Office. The party's base spent the Bush-Cheney years denouncing war on terror policies, such as assassinations, drones, and Guantánamo as moral atrocities and war crimes, only to suddenly support those policies once they became hallmarks of the Obama presidency .

But what's happening here is far more insidious. A core ethos of the anti-Trump #Resistance has become militarism, jingoism, and neoconservatism. Trump is frequently attacked by Democrats using longstanding Cold War scripts wielded for decades against them by the far right: Trump is insufficiently belligerent with U.S. enemies; he's willing to allow the Bad Countries to take over by bringing home U.S. soldiers; his efforts to establish less hostile relations with adversary countries is indicative of weakness or even treason.

At the same time, Democratic policy elites in Washington are once again formally aligning with neoconservatives , even to the point of creating joint foreign policy advocacy groups (a reunion that predated Trump ). The leading Democratic Party think tank, the Center for American Progress, donated $200,000 to the neoconservative American Enterprise Institute and has multilevel alliances with warmongering institutions.

By far the most influential [neo]liberal media outlet, MSNBC, is stuffed full of former Bush-Cheney officials, security state operatives, and agents , while even the liberal stars are notably hawkish (a decade ago, long before she went as far down the pro-war and Cold Warrior rabbit hole that she now occupies, Rachel Maddow heralded herself as a "national security liberal" who was "all about counterterrorism").

All of this has resulted in a new generation of Democrats, politically engaged for the first time as a result of fears over Trump, being inculcated with values of militarism and imperialism, trained to view once-discredited, war-loving neocons such as Bill Kristol, Max Boot, and David Frum, and former CIA and FBI leaders as noble experts and trusted voices of conscience. It's inevitable that all of these trends would produce a party that is increasingly pro-war and militaristic, and polling data now leaves little doubt that this transformation -- which will endure long after Trump is gone -- is well under way.

[Jan 11, 2019] Facts does not matter in the current propoganda environment, the narrative is everything

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Look at Russiagate. An excellent recent article by Ray McGovern for Consortium News titled "A Look Back at Clapper's Jan. 2017 'Assessment' on Russia-gate" reminds us on the two-year anniversary of the infamous ODNI assessment that the entire establishment Russia narrative is built upon nothing but the say-so of a couple dozen intelligence analysts hand-picked and guided by a man who helped deceive the world into Iraq, a man who is so virulently Russophobic that he's said on more than one occasion that Russians are genetically predisposed to subversive behavior. ..."
"... That January 2017 intelligence assessment has formed the foundation underlying every breathless, conspiratorial Russia story you see in western news media to this very day, and it's completely empty. The idea that Russia interfered in the US election in any meaningful way is based on an assessment crafted by a known liar , from which countless relevant analysts were excluded, which makes no claims of certainty, and contains no publicly available evidence. It's pure narrative from top to bottom, and therefore the "collusion" story is as well since Trump could only have colluded with an actual thing that actually happened, and there's no evidence that it did. ..."
"... So now you've got Trump being painted as a Putin lackey based on a completely fabricated election interference story, despite the fact that Trump has actually been far more hawkish towards Russia than any administration since the fall of the Soviet Union. ..."
"... The narrative matrix of America's political/media landscape is a confusing labyrinth of smoke and funhouse mirrors distorting and manipulating the public consciousness at every turn. It's psychologically torturous, which is largely why people who are deeply immersed in politics are so on-edge all the time regardless of where they're at on the political spectrum. The only potentially good thing I can see about this forceful brutalization of the public psyche is that it might push people over the edge and shatter the illusion altogether. ..."
"... Trust in the mass media is already at an all-time low while our ability to network and share information that casts doubt on official narratives is at an all-time high, which is why the establishment propaganda machine is acting so weird as it scrambles to control the narrative, and why efforts to censor the internet are getting more and more severe. ..."
Jan 11, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Caitlin Johnstone via Medium.com,

Earlier this week, President Donald Trump tweeted the following:

"Endless Wars, especially those which are fought out of judgement mistakes that were made many years ago, & those where we are getting little financial or military help from the rich countries that so greatly benefit from what we are doing, will eventually come to a glorious end!"

The tweet was warmly received and celebrated by Trump's supporters, despite the fact that it says essentially nothing since "eventually" could mean anything.

Indeed, it's looking increasingly possible that nothing will come of the president's stated agenda to withdraw troops from Syria other than a bunch of words which allow his anti-interventionist base to feel nice feelings inside. Yet everyone laps it up, on both ends of the political aisle, just like they always do:

How are such wildly different pictures being painted about the same non-event? By the fact that both sides of the Trump-Syria debate have thus far been reacting solely to narrative.

This has consistently been the story throughout Trump's presidency: a heavy emphasis on words and narratives and a disinterest in facts and actions. A rude tweet can dominate headlines for days, while the actual behaviors of this administration can go almost completely ignored. Trump continues to more or less advance the same warmongering Orwellian globalist policies and agendas as his predecessors along more or less the same trajectory, but frantic mass media narratives are churned out every day painting him as some unprecedented deviation from the norm. Trump himself, seemingly aware that he's interacting entirely with perceptions and narratives instead of facts and reality, routinely makes things up whole cloth and often claims he's "never said" things he most certainly has said. And why not? Facts don't matter in this media environment, only narrative does.

Look at Russiagate. An excellent recent article by Ray McGovern for Consortium News titled "A Look Back at Clapper's Jan. 2017 'Assessment' on Russia-gate" reminds us on the two-year anniversary of the infamous ODNI assessment that the entire establishment Russia narrative is built upon nothing but the say-so of a couple dozen intelligence analysts hand-picked and guided by a man who helped deceive the world into Iraq, a man who is so virulently Russophobic that he's said on more than one occasion that Russians are genetically predisposed to subversive behavior.

That January 2017 intelligence assessment has formed the foundation underlying every breathless, conspiratorial Russia story you see in western news media to this very day, and it's completely empty. The idea that Russia interfered in the US election in any meaningful way is based on an assessment crafted by a known liar , from which countless relevant analysts were excluded, which makes no claims of certainty, and contains no publicly available evidence. It's pure narrative from top to bottom, and therefore the "collusion" story is as well since Trump could only have colluded with an actual thing that actually happened, and there's no evidence that it did.

So now you've got Trump being painted as a Putin lackey based on a completely fabricated election interference story, despite the fact that Trump has actually been far more hawkish towards Russia than any administration since the fall of the Soviet Union. With the nuclear brinkmanship this administration has been playing with its only nuclear rival on the planet, it would be so incredibly easy for Trump's opposition to attack him on his insanely hawkish escalation of a conflict which could easily end all life on earth if any little thing goes wrong, but they don't. Because this is all about narrative and not facts, Democrats have been paced into supporting even more sanctioning, proxy conflicts and nuclear posturing while loudly objecting to any sign of communication between the two nuclear superpowers, while Republicans are happy to see Trump increase tensions with Moscow because it combats the collusion narrative. Now both parties are supporting an anti-Russia agenda which existed in secretive US government agencies long before the 2016 election .

And this to me is the most significant thing about Trump's presidency. Not any of the things people tell me I'm supposed to care about, but the fact that the age of Trump has been highlighting in a very clear way how we're all being manipulated by manufactured narratives all the time.

Humanity lives in a world of mental narrative . We have a deeply conditioned societal habit of heaping a massive overlay of mental labels and stories on top of the raw data we take in through our senses, and those labels and stories tend to consume far more interest and attention than the actual data itself. We use labels and stories for a reason: without them it would be impossible to share abstract ideas and information with each other about what's going on in our world. But those labels and stories get imbued with an intense amount of belief and identification; we form tight, rigid belief structures about our world, our society, and our very selves that can generate a lot of fear, hatred and suffering. Which is why it feels so nice to go out into nature and relax in an environment that isn't shaped by human mental narrative.

This problem is exponentially exacerbated by the fact that these stories and labels are wildly subjective and very easily manipulated. Powerful people have learned that they can control the way everyone else thinks, acts and votes by controlling the stories they tell themselves about what's going on in the world using mass media control and financial political influence, allowing ostensible democracies to be conducted in a way which serves power far more efficiently than any dictatorship.

So now America has a president who is escalating a dangerous cold war against Russia , who is working to prosecute Julian Assange and shut down WikiLeaks , who is expanding the same war on whistleblowers and Orwellian surveillance network that was expanded by Bush and Obama before him, who has expanded existing wars and made no tangible move as yet to scale them back, who is advancing the longstanding neocon agenda of regime change in Iran with starvation sanctions and CIA covert ops , and yet the two prevailing narratives about him are that he's either (A) a swamp-draining, establishment-fighting hero of peace or that he's (B) a treasonous Putin lackey who isn't nearly hawkish enough toward Russia.

See how both A and B herd the public away from opposing the dangerous pro-establishment agendas being advanced by this administration? The dominant narratives could not possibly be more different from what's actually going on, and the only reason they're the dominant narratives is because an alliance of plutocrats and secretive government agencies exerts an immense amount of influence over the stories that are told by the political/media class.

The narrative matrix of America's political/media landscape is a confusing labyrinth of smoke and funhouse mirrors distorting and manipulating the public consciousness at every turn. It's psychologically torturous, which is largely why people who are deeply immersed in politics are so on-edge all the time regardless of where they're at on the political spectrum. The only potentially good thing I can see about this forceful brutalization of the public psyche is that it might push people over the edge and shatter the illusion altogether.

Trust in the mass media is already at an all-time low while our ability to network and share information that casts doubt on official narratives is at an all-time high, which is why the establishment propaganda machine is acting so weird as it scrambles to control the narrative, and why efforts to censor the internet are getting more and more severe. It is possible that this is what it looks like when a thinking species evolves into a sane and healthy relationship with thought. Perhaps the cracks that are appearing all over official narratives today are like the first cracks appearing in an eggshell as a bird begins to hatch into the world.

* * *

The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for my website , which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My articles are entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook , following my antics on Twitter , throwing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypal , purchasing some of my sweet new merchandise , buying my new book Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone , or my previous book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers .

[Jan 11, 2019] Blowback from the neoliberal policy is coming

Highly recommended!
Seeing Tucker Leaders show no obligation to American voters suggest that the collapse of neoliberalism is coming...
Notable quotes:
"... Excessive financialization is the Achilles' heel of neoliberalism. It inevitably distorts everything, blows the asset bubble, which then pops. With each pop, the level of political support of neoliberalism shrinks. Hillary defeat would have been impossible without 2008 events. ..."
Jan 11, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

bruce wilder, January 11, 2019 at 2:17 pm

Barkley insists on a left-right split for his analysis of political parties and their attachment to vague policy tendencies and that insistence makes a mess of the central issue: why the rise of right-wing populism in a "successful" economy?

Naomi Klein's book is about how and why centrist neoliberals got control of policy. The rise of right-wing populism is often supposed (see Mark Blyth) to be about the dissatisfaction bred by the long-term shortcomings of or blowback from neoliberal policy.

Barkley Rosser treats neoliberal policy as implicitly successful and, therefore, the reaction from the populist right appears mysterious, something to investigate. His thesis regarding neoliberal success in Poland is predicated on policy being less severe, less "shocky".

In his left-right division of Polish politics, the centrist neoliberals -- in the 21st century, Civic Platform -- seem to disappear into the background even though I think they are still the second largest Party in Parliament, though some seem to think they will sink in elections this year.

Electoral participation is another factor that receives little attention in this analysis. Politics is shaped in part by the people who do NOT show up. And, in Poland that has sometimes been a lot of people, indeed.

Finally, there's the matter of the neoliberal straitjacket -- the flip-side of the shock in the one-two punch of "there's no alternative". What the policy options for a Party representing the interests of the angry and dissatisfied? If you make policy impossible for a party of the left, of course that breeds parties of the right. duh.

Likbez,

Bruce,

Blowback from the neoliberal policy is coming. I would consider the current situation in the USA as the starting point of this "slow-motion collapse of the neoliberal garbage truck against the wall." Neoliberalism like Bolshevism in 1945 has no future, only the past. That does not mean that it will not limp forward in zombie (and pretty bloodthirsty ) stage for another 50 years. But it is doomed, notwithstanding recently staged revenge in countries like Ukraine, Argentina, and Brazil.

Excessive financialization is the Achilles' heel of neoliberalism. It inevitably distorts everything, blows the asset bubble, which then pops. With each pop, the level of political support of neoliberalism shrinks. Hillary defeat would have been impossible without 2008 events.

At least half of Americans now hate soft neoliberals of Democratic Party (Clinton wing of Bought by Wall Street technocrats), as well as hard neoliberal of Republican Party, which created the " crisis of confidence" toward governing neoliberal elite in countries like the USA, GB, and France. And that probably why the intelligence agencies became the prominent political players and staged the color revolution against Trump (aka Russiagate ) in the USA.

The situation with the support of neoliberalism now is very different than in 1994 when Bill Clinton came to power. Of course, as Otto von Bismarck once quipped "God has a special providence for fools, drunkards, and the United States of America." and another turn of the technological spiral might well save the USA. But the danger of never-ending secular stagnation is substantial and growing. This fact was admitted even by such dyed- in-the-wool neoliberals as Summers.

This illusion that advances in statistics gave neoliberal access to such fine-grained and timely economic data, that now it is possible to regulate economy indirectly, by strictly monetary means is pure religious hubris. Milton Friedman would now be laughed out the room if he tried to repeat his monetarist junk science now. Actually he himself discarded his monetarist illusions before he died.

We probably need to the return of strong direct investments in the economy by the state and nationalization of some assets, if we want to survive and compete with China. Australian politicians are already openly discussing this, we still are lagging because of "walking dead" neoliberals in Congress like Pelosi, Schumer, and company.

But we have another huge problem, which Australia and other countries (other than GB) do not have: neoliberalism in the USA is the state religion which completely displaced Christianity (and is hostile to Christianity), so it might be that the lemming will go off the cliff. I hope not.

The only thing that still keeps neoliberalism from being thrown out to the garbage bin of history is that it is unclear what would the alternative. And that means that like in 1920th far-right nationalism and fascism have a fighting chance against decadent neoliberal oligarchy.

Previously financial oligarchy was in many minds associated with Jewish bankers. Now people are more educated and probably can hang from the lampposts Anglo-Saxon and bankers of other nationalities as well ;-)

I think that in some countries neoliberal oligarchs might soon feel very uncomfortable, much like Soros in Hungary.

As far as I understood the level of animosity and suppressed anger toward financial oligarchy and their stooges including some professors in economics departments of the major universities might soon be approaching the level which existed in the Weimar Republic. And as Lenin noted, " the ideas could become a material force if they got mass support." This is true about anger as well.

[Jan 04, 2019] Eric Dubelier emerges as Robert Mueller's top courtroom adversary by Rowan Scarborough

Notable quotes:
"... Mr. Dubelier has depicted Mr. Mueller as a rogue prosecutor willfully ignoring Justice Department guidelines. ..."
"... He has accused Mr. Mueller of creating a "make-believe crime" against his Russian client, Concord Management and Consulting, which is accused of funding a troll farm that interfered in the 2016 election. ..."
"... " Mr. Dubelier is exactly right on Mr. Mueller 's motives and tactics," said Sidney Powell, whose book "License to Lie" exposes years of Justice Department scandals. "His lieutenant Weissmann is the poster boy for prosecutorial misconduct and has no regard for the facts or the law. He will make up whatever he wants to win, and the entire like-minded team views as an accomplishment everyone whose life they destroy in pursuit of their objective." ..."
"... The Washington defense attorney seemed to catch the Mueller team off guard by immediately demanding disclosure of evidence. Disclosure, Mr. Dubelier argues, is a sacred legal right in America, even for the oligarch Yevgeny Prigozhin, Concord 's chief with close ties to Russian leader Vladimir Putin. ..."
"... Mr. Dubelier argues that people are free to create fake accounts. It's done all the time, he says. "When it comes to political speech, one is free to pretend to be whomever he or she wants to be and to say whatever he or she wants to say," he said at an Oct. 15 hearing. ..."
"... "That's why in this case this special counsel made up a crime to fit the facts that they have," Mr. Dubelier said. "And that's the fundamental danger with the entire special counsel concept: that they operate outside the parameters of the Department of Justice in a way that is absolutely inconsistent with the consistent behavior of the Department of Justice in these cases for the past 30 years." ..."
"... But he wasn't done. There is an ongoing battle over Concord 's access to "sensitive" evidence that Mr. Mueller won't let its officers see because they are Russians with ties to Mr. Putin. Mr. Dubelier has expressed exasperation. "This equates to the burden of preparing for trial without any ability to discuss the evidence with the client who is to be put on trial," he said. "This has never happened before in reported case law because the notion is too ludicrous to contemplate." ..."
"... On another matter, Mr. Dubelier is accusing the Mueller team of skullduggery. Judge Friedrich last summer approved the prosecutor's request for a "firewall counsel" to review evidence for its national security implications. ..."
"... In another pre-trial argument, Mr. Dubelier is the first defense attorney to ask this question: Why isn't British ex-spy Christopher Steele, who was paid by Democrats to obtain anti- Trump information from the Kremlin to influence 2016 voting, being investigated by the Justice Department for election interference just like the Russians? ..."
"... Mr. Steele didn't register under the Justice Department 's Foreign Agent Registration Act, under which Mr. Mueller has brought charges against a number of defendants, including the Concord team. Judge Friedrich rejected Mr. Dubelier 's argument of "selective prosecution." ..."
Jan 01, 2019 | www.washingtontimes.com

A former federal prosecutor has emerged as special counsel Robert Mueller 's most persistent courtroom critic. It's not Rudolph W. Giuliani, a former U.S. attorney and now President Trump 's ubiquitous defender, or any of cable TV's prosecutors-turned-pundits. He is Eric A. Dubelier , a litigator for the Reed Smith law firm who knows international law and the D.C. playing field. He served eight years prosecuting cases as a Justice Department assistant U.S. attorney in Washington. He refers to his former employer as "the real Justice Department ," implying that Mr. Mueller 's team is something less. His biting remarks have come in months of court filings and oral arguments. Mr. Dubelier has depicted Mr. Mueller as a rogue prosecutor willfully ignoring Justice Department guidelines.

He has accused Mr. Mueller of creating a "make-believe crime" against his Russian client, Concord Management and Consulting, which is accused of funding a troll farm that interfered in the 2016 election.

So far, the federal judge presiding over the case has sided with Mr. Mueller .

Mr. Dubelier charges that the Mueller team violated the confidentially of Concord 's counter evidence while hiding documents Concord needs for its defense. The prosecutor wants to "whisper secrets to the judge," Mr. Dubelier says, as Mr. Mueller is calculating the "short-term political value of a conviction" and not worrying about an appeals court defeat years later. An example: In a Dec. 20 motion, Mr. Dubelier resurrected a botched case spearheaded by Mr. Mueller 's top prosecutor, Andrew Weissmann.

Mr. Weissmann headed the Justice Department 's Enron task force nearly two decades ago. He won a conviction against the accounting firm Arthur Andersen for shredding the defunct energy firm's financial documents. Years later, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously reversed the conviction. The 2005 decision effectively said that Andersen, by then out of business and its 28,000 employees gone, hadn't committed a crime.

"Mr. Dubelier is exactly right on Mr. Mueller 's motives and tactics," said Sidney Powell, whose book "License to Lie" exposes years of Justice Department scandals. "His lieutenant Weissmann is the poster boy for prosecutorial misconduct and has no regard for the facts or the law. He will make up whatever he wants to win, and the entire like-minded team views as an accomplishment everyone whose life they destroy in pursuit of their objective."

'Made up a crime to fit the facts'

Concord Management and Consulting is an unlikely client. Legal observers opined that when Mr. Mueller brought charges against various Russians who hacked computers and trolled the 2016 election, no defendant would travel the nearly 5,000 miles to show up for trial.

No defendant has personally arrived. But Concord did appear quickly after the February indictment. Of 28 Russian individuals and firms charged with election interference by Mr. Mueller , only Concord has appeared in U.S. District Court, in this instance in the person of the aggressive Mr. Dubelier .

The Washington defense attorney seemed to catch the Mueller team off guard by immediately demanding disclosure of evidence. Disclosure, Mr. Dubelier argues, is a sacred legal right in America, even for the oligarch Yevgeny Prigozhin, Concord 's chief with close ties to Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

Concord is accused of an elaborate conspiracy with another Russian operation, the Internet Research Agency. The indictment accuses Concord of providing the troll farm $1.2 million monthly to defraud the U.S. The two firms set up fake personas and false Twitter accounts, Facebook ads and other social media posts mostly to disparage Hillary Clinton and support Donald Trump .

In a separate case, Mr. Mueller brought charges in July against 12 Russian intelligence officers for hacking Democratic computers, stealing emails and funneling them to three websites for distribution.

Mr. Dubelier argues that people are free to create fake accounts. It's done all the time, he says. "When it comes to political speech, one is free to pretend to be whomever he or she wants to be and to say whatever he or she wants to say," he said at an Oct. 15 hearing.

"That's why in this case this special counsel made up a crime to fit the facts that they have," Mr. Dubelier said. "And that's the fundamental danger with the entire special counsel concept: that they operate outside the parameters of the Department of Justice in a way that is absolutely inconsistent with the consistent behavior of the Department of Justice in these cases for the past 30 years."

Mr. Dubelier lost that argument with U.S. District Judge Dabney L. Friedrich, who rejected his bid to dismiss the case.

But he wasn't done. There is an ongoing battle over Concord 's access to "sensitive" evidence that Mr. Mueller won't let its officers see because they are Russians with ties to Mr. Putin. Mr. Dubelier has expressed exasperation. "This equates to the burden of preparing for trial without any ability to discuss the evidence with the client who is to be put on trial," he said. "This has never happened before in reported case law because the notion is too ludicrous to contemplate."

What Mr. Mueller has turned over is often irrelevant to mounting a defense, such as promotion emails for airlines and personal naked selfie photographs, Mr. Dubelier said in a December filing. The special counsel is keeping most relevant information between himself and Judge Friedrich, excluding Mr. Dubelier .

Why no probe of dossier writer?

Mr. Mueller won the argument over "sensitive" material. He now wants to hold closed sessions with the judge over classified information -- again, without Mr. Dubelier .

Mr. Dubelier responded in a Dec. 27 filing: "The Special Counsel has made up a crime that has never been prosecuted before in the history of the United States, and now seeks to make up secret procedures for communicating ex parte [meaning no defense counsel present] to the court which have never been employed in any reported criminal case not involving classified discovery."

The defense attorney admitted his motion is "likely fruitless" because Judge Friedrich previously has ruled against Concord . Many documents are in Russian, a culturally different language than English. One Russian word, Mr. Dubelier says, "can be translated into the English words 'chief,' 'boss' or 'chef' -- a distinction that is critically important since international media often refers to Mr. Prigozhin as 'Putin's chef.'"

On another matter, Mr. Dubelier is accusing the Mueller team of skullduggery. Judge Friedrich last summer approved the prosecutor's request for a "firewall counsel" to review evidence for its national security implications.

Mr. Dubelier said he submitted evidence to the firewall lawyer only to see it fall into the hands of Mr. Mueller 's team, who began using it to further investigate Concord . "Surely a remarkable coincidence," Mr. Dubelier said.

In another pre-trial argument, Mr. Dubelier is the first defense attorney to ask this question: Why isn't British ex-spy Christopher Steele, who was paid by Democrats to obtain anti- Trump information from the Kremlin to influence 2016 voting, being investigated by the Justice Department for election interference just like the Russians?

Mr. Steele didn't register under the Justice Department 's Foreign Agent Registration Act, under which Mr. Mueller has brought charges against a number of defendants, including the Concord team. Judge Friedrich rejected Mr. Dubelier 's argument of "selective prosecution."

Mr. Mueller 's counter-motion boils down to this: Mr. Prigozhin is a criminal fugitive who blatantly interfered in the U.S. election and is not entitled to sensitive national security information he would share with the Kremlin intelligence. In a new battleground, the Mueller team wants to show the judge top secret material to persuade her to keep it from the defense. "Disclosure of such information could cause exceptionally grave damage to the national security," the Mueller filing stated. Judge Friedrich ruled in June that Mr. Prigozhin is prohibited from viewing non-classified sensitive information that details how the government obtained evidence.

The Mueller team argued: "Discovery in this case contains sensitive information about investigative techniques and cooperating witnesses that goes well beyond the information that will be disclosed at trial Information within this case's discovery identifies sources, methods, and techniques used to identify the foreign actors behind these interference operations the government has particularized concerns about discovery in this case being disclosed to Russian intelligence services."

Mr. Mueller says that as long as Mr. Prigozhin, whom the U.S. sanctioned and then indicted for election interference, remains in Russia, he isn't entitled to see sensitive evidence.

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC.

[Jan 03, 2019] Five Political Predictions for 2019 by Daniel R. DePetris

Jan 01, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com
4. Matt Whitaker will block public release of the Mueller report.

Special counsel Robert Mueller will finalize his investigation and send his report to Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker, who has never been supportive of the inquiry. Using his powers as attorney general, Whitaker will block public disclosure of Mueller's conclusions and release a sanitized summary detailing no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. Democrats will be outraged -- as will be Bob Mueller, who will proceed to give his first on-air, primetime interview detailing what he did and did not find. The next week, the House Judiciary Committee will debate opening an impeachment inquiry based solely on Mueller's interview.

[Jan 02, 2019] Sanders as a lying bastard

Jan 02, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

OJS , Feb 21, 2018 8:27:10 PM | link

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-02-21/they-had-more-information-us-sanders-blames-clinton-not-exposing-russian-meddling

"They Had More Information Than Us" - Sanders Blames Clinton For Not Exposing Russian Meddling

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=WRnBPKFcAKo

Bernie Sanders said he on Wednesday, "felt compelled to address Russian interference during the US election. Sunday.... he was not aware and believes Russian bot promoting him and went as far to said WikiLeaks published Hillary's email stolen by the Russia....."

Can you really trust that lying bastard? I'm probably one of the few MoA refused to believe and trust Bernie Sanders and the fuckup Democrats .

[Jan 02, 2019] Election tampering via false identity by Democratic operatives: The cleverest trick used in propaganda against a specific country is to accuse it of what the accuser itself is doing.

Notable quotes:
"... a text book case of "projection" by demorats -their own crimes of sedition and treason projected onto trump via the russians. ..."
"... The thing that is most difficult for Americans to grasp is that they do not control their own government and have not for many decades. ..."
Jan 02, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
Oldguy05 , 31 minutes ago link

George Carlin on some cultural issues.

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

vampirekiller , 35 minutes ago link

"The Only Meddling "Russian Bots" Were Actually Demorats Experts masquerading as progressive Republicans and Democrats"............FIFY

It's all they have left after being rendered politically irrelevant and statistically insignificant in November 2016 by the deplorables. ROFLMAO.........this civil war needs to die in federal government so we do not waste money in mass deportations to an established island nation surrounded by 1000 nautical miles of water.

Baron Samedi , 1 hour ago link

"Election tampering via false identity" sounds like the right kind of language for a federal law -- but I'm betting there is something already out there (at state/fed level), and am not wild about yet more laws (which [[[they]]] get to ignore anyway).

bh2 , 1 hour ago link

"tech specialists who lean Democratic," Tech specialists who lean criminal. A distinction without a difference, of course.

hooligan2009 , 2 hours ago link

a text book case of "projection" by demorats -their own crimes of sedition and treason projected onto trump via the russians.

one can only hope that Mueller has found the proof that DemoRats were responsible for attempts to rig the presidential elections - aided and abetted by criminal journalists also guilty of sedition and treason.

I Am Jack's Macroaggression , 2 hours ago link

The Moon of A on Hamilton 68: http://www.moonofalabama.org/2018/02/russian-bots-how-an-anti-russian-lobby-creates-fake-news.html

A new and improved version of H68 coming soon! https://securingdemocracy.gmfus.org/hamilton-68/

it's a bunch of Ultra-Zionist Jews, which is the only reason their ******** gets published all over the (((media))) as if at all credible.

https://securingdemocracy.gmfus.org/about-us/advisory-council/

I mean, ******* Chertoff and Kristol's involvement says it all.

OT : Trump Gives US Troops Four Months to Leave Syria – Report I would not be surprised if US troops in Manbij are attacked/killed soon and immediate blame put on the SAA.

lincolnsteffens , 1 hour ago link

Didn't look it up but someone told me that Kristol's parents were passionate Marxists.

dcmbuffy , 2 hours ago link

democrats are corrupt- plain and simple- shameful and with no regard to who knows that are corrupt- no shame- "I'm Gettn' mines!!!"

navy62802 , 2 hours ago link

As if it ******* matters at this point. Get real. We are watching a display of raw power right now. Well connected individuals are calling the shots right now, well outside of the legal system. If you haven't realized that over the past 2 years, you haven't been paying attention. Furthermore, no amount of factual proof is going to result in the actual criminals being held to account. The thing that is most difficult for Americans to grasp is that they do not control their own government and have not for many decades. They do not have an equal system of justice. Instead, the US is ruled by a secret oligarchy which exists above the US legal code. This is the harsh reality we are watching be revealed right now.

jughead , 2 hours ago link

We're watching an attempted display of raw power...that hasn't been going as planned. If it had, Trump would either be gone or automagically transformed into the next iteration of BushBama. We are fly in the ointment...buzz buzz

loveyajimbo , 2 hours ago link

No prosecution... our DOJ does not prosecute anything political... no matter how serious the felony. Just ask the ***-maggots Hillary, Brennan, Comey, Clapper and Lynch.

Lord Raglan , 2 hours ago link

Wow! What does Sherlock Holmes Mueller think of this? This story makes Mueller out to be the biggest fraud of all time and his attorneys tantamount to the Keystone Cops. Where are they on all this?

chunga , 2 hours ago link

It's too bad there isn't any opposition to these "Democrat Operatives".

SmackDaddy , 2 hours ago link

There was. We fire bombed the **** out of them in 1945.

philipat , 2 hours ago link

Strange that this story has not featured prominently on the front pages of NYT/WaPo or on CNN?

[Jan 02, 2019] Russian bots - How An Anti-Russian Lobby Creates Fake News

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Atlantic Council ..."
"... Alliance for Securing Democracy. ..."
"... Alliance for Securing Democracy ..."
"... That's pretty rich, coming from a country and from people who actually genuinely, and in proven ways, have subverted democracy in Europe since the late 1940s - Italy being one of the clearest cases. ..."
"... For the life of me I cannot figure why Americans want a war/conflict with Russia. I can't believe it has to do with the economy. There's got to be a far better nefarious reason. Even during the real cold war we tried to avoid conflict. Absolute insanity. ..."
"... American media has graduated from simply repeating the lies of "unnamed government sources" to repeating the lies of any organization unofficially blessed by the powers that be. ..."
"... In that The Narrative is tightly controlled in the corporate media, not matter how strong the proofs or arguments about the falsity of these propaganda campaigns are, little or no circulation of those proofs or arguments wlll reach the general public. ..."
"... The thing that bothers me, is the fact that the MIC Globalists don't care what we think or how poor their deceptions are. ..."
"... The cleverest trick used in propaganda against a specific country is to accuse it of what the accuser itself is doing. ..."
"... I've always put it down to the Washington Establishment having a severe case of psychological projection. ..."
"... The warmongering is not intended to make any sense - not many people are trained in critical thinking and logic, and even when they are, they can be swamped by their own emotions or other people's emotions. ..."
"... Propaganda is intended to appeal to people's emotions and fears. You can try reading works by Edward Bernays - "Crystallizing Public Opinion" (1923) and "Propaganda" (1928) - to see how he uses his uncle Sigmund Freud's theories of the mind to create strategies for manipulating public opinion. ..."
"... The American Security State needs enemies to exist, otherwise there's no need for the "security" which translates into big bucks for the Military-Industrial-Congressional-Media Complex. They can't agree on the ranking of the enemies: North Korea is a threat to the world! Iran is....! Russia is...! China is....! But the threats are there, and they are pure evil (TPTB contend). ..."
"... Sad but definitely correct. The first casualty of war is the truth. It's dead in the USA and allies. Therefore, they're at war with Russia and China. If Russia is down, China will be dealt with. ..."
"... Some years ago, I noticed the American media and politicians were sort of going soft (actually mushy) in the brain department, but I was told not to be so judgemental. As the months went by, I saw more and more people saying "they have gone nuts". So, it turns out I am not alone after all. ..."
"... That madness comes from having no behavioural limits, no references outside of your own opinion but groupthink, and manipulating the language to suit your ambitions (the Orwellism of the US media has been repeatedly pointed at). Simply put, you don't know anymore what's what outside of the narrative your group pushes, you go nuts. The manipulators ends up caught in their lies. All the more when they makes money out of it, which would be the case of all those think tanks and media. ..."
"... Honestly, the story of democracy (by capitalist/liberal class) is a grand BS, to be modest. The only thing what was truthful, paradoxically, is who is "lesser evil" of two. Or the Bigger one in unrestrained capitalism, savage and monopoly, predatory and a fascists one. ..."
"... War or the threat of war is needed to distract attention from rapidly devolving societal bonds and immense economic inequality. ..."
"... The US is progressing toward a fascist police state; therefore, Russia is said to be a horrible dictatorship run by Putin. The US traditionally meddles in elections around the world, including Russia; therefore, the Russians are said to meddle in US elections. The US is the most aggressive country on the planet, occupying and bombing dozens of countries; therefore, the Russians are accused of "aggression." And so on ..."
"... The US actually spends $75 billion per year---more than Russia's entire $69 billion defense budget---spying on and meddling in the politics of virtually every nation on earth. An outfit within NSA called Tailored Access Operations (TAO) has a multi-billion annual budget and does nothing put troll the global internet and does so with highly educated, highly paid professionals, not $4 per hour keyboard jockeys." ..."
"... Zbignew Brzezenski explained in his 1997 book "The Grand Chessboard" why global hegemony required taking control over Russia (and how to do it, which boils down to taking the other chess pieces off the board (Iraq/Ukraine/etc. and then pulling off a "color revolution," coup or military conquest). ..."
"... Msm, bellingcat and other think tanks - they push their anti Russian racism too far making a large section of westerners just tired of their hysteria. Exposing their own racism and paranoia. ..."
"... Globalization . . . is a program to create private corporate rights to trade, invest, lend or borrow money and buy and own property anywhere in the world without much hindrance by national governments. It would bar governments from most of the common methods of helping or protecting their national industries and employment. It is a winners' program promoted chiefly by some business interests, governments and neoclassical economists in Europe and the United States. ..."
"... One of its purposes is to intensify international competition for jobs. Together with other Right policies it is likely to maintain some unemployment in the rich countries and reduce the wage rates of their lower-paid workers, and reduce the proportion of secure employment. Hugh Stretton, Economics: A New Introduction ..."
"... The anti-russian think tanks, msm, bellingcat etc push this too much, making them look stupid. ..."
"... Assange: "Regardless of whether IRA's activities were audience building through pandering to communities or whether a hare-brained Russian government plan to "heighten the differences" existed, its activities are clearly strategically insignificant compared to the other forces at play." ..."
Feb 20, 2018J | www.moonofalabama.org

The U.S. mainstream media are going nuts. They now make up and report stories based on the uncritical acceptance of an algorithm they do not want to understand and which is known to produce fake results.

See for example these three stories:

From the last link:

SAN FRANCISCO -- One hour after news broke about the school shooting in Florida last week, Twitter accounts suspected of having links to Russia released hundreds of posts taking up the gun control debate.

The accounts addressed the news with the speed of a cable news network. Some adopted the hashtag #guncontrolnow. Others used #gunreformnow and #Parklandshooting. Earlier on Wednesday, before the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., many of those accounts had been focused on the investigation by the special counsel Robert S. Mueller III into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

In other words - the "Twitter accounts suspected of having links to Russia" were following the current news just as cable news networks do. When a new sensational event happened they immediately jumped onto it. But the NYT authors go to length to claim that there is some nefarious Russian scheme behind this that uses automated accounts to spread divisive issues.

Those claims are based on this propaganda project:

Last year, the Alliance for Securing Democracy, in conjunction with the German Marshall Fund, a public policy research group in Washington, created a website that tracks hundreds of Twitter accounts of human users and suspected bots that they have linked to a Russian influence campaign.

The "Alliance for Securing Democracy" is run by military lobbyists, CIA minions and neo-conservative propagandists. Its claimed task is:

... to publicly document and expose Vladimir Putin's ongoing efforts to subvert democracy in the United States and Europe.

There is no evidence that Vladimir Putin ever made or makes such efforts.

The ASD "Hamilton 68" website shows graphics with rankings of "top items" and "trending items" allegedly used by Russian bots or influence agents. There is nothing complicate behind it. It simply tracks the tweets of 600 Twitter users and aggregates the hashtags they use. It does not say which Twitter accounts its algorithms follows. It claims that the 600 were selected by one of three criteria: 1. People who often tweet news that also appears on RT (Russia Today) and Sputnik News, two general news sites sponsored by the Russian government; 2. People who "openly profess to be pro-Russian"; 3. accounts that "appear to use automation" to boost the same themes that people in group 1 and 2 tweet about.

Nowhere does the group say how many of the 600 accounts it claims to track belong to which group. Are their 10 assumed bots or 590 in the surveyed 600 accounts? And how please does one "openly profess" to be pro-Russian? We don't know and the ASD won't say.

On December 25 2017 the "Russian influence" agents or bots who - according to NYT - want to sow divisiveness and subvert democracy, wished everyone a #MerryChristmas.


bigger

The real method the Hamilton 68 group used to select the 600 accounts it tracks is unknown. The group does not say or show how it made it up. Despite that the NYT reporters, Sheera Frenkel and Daisuke Wakabayashi, continue with the false assumptions that most or all of these accounts are automated, have something to do with Russia and are presumably nefarious:

Russian-linked bots have rallied around other divisive issues, often ones that President Trump has tweeted about. They promoted Twitter hashtags like #boycottnfl, #standforouranthem and #takeaknee after some National Football League players started kneeling during the national anthem to protest racial injustice.

The automated Twitter accounts helped popularize the #releasethememo hashtag , ...

The Daily Beast reported earlier that the last claim is definitely false :

Twitter's internal analysis has thus far found that authentic American accounts, and not Russian imposters or automated bots, are driving #ReleaseTheMemo . There are no preliminary indications that the Twitter activity either driving the hashtag or engaging with it is either predominantly Russian.

The same is presumably true for the other hashtags.

The Dutch IT expert and blogger Marcel van den Berg was wondering how Dutch keywords and hashtags showed up on the Hamilton 68 "Russian bots" dashboard. He found ( Dutch , English auto translation) that the dashboard is a total fraud:

In recent weeks, I have been keeping a close eye on Hamilton 68. Every time a Dutch hashtag was shown on the website, I made a screenshot. Then I noted what was playing at that moment and I watched the Tweets with this hashtag. Again I could not find any Tweet that seemed to be from a Russian troll.

In all cases, the hash tags that Hamilton 68 reported were trending topics in the Netherlands . In all cases there was much to do around the subject of the hashtag in the Netherlands. Many people were angry or shared their opinion on the subject on Twitter. And even if there were a few tweets with Russian connections between them, the effect is zero. Because they do not stand out among the many other, authentic Tweets.

Van den Berg lists a dozen examples he analyzed in depth.

The anti-Russian Bellingcat group around couch blogger Eliot Higgins is sponsored by the NATO propaganda shop Atlantic Council . It sniffs through open source stuff to blame Russia or Syria wherever possible. Bellingcat was recently a victim of the "Russian bots" - or rather of the ASD website. On February 10 the hashtag #bellingcat trended to rank 2 of the dashboard.


bigger

Bellingcat was thus, according to the Hamilton 68 claims, under assault by hordes of nefarious Russian government sponsored bots.

The Bellingcat folks looked into the issue and found that only six people on Twitter, none of them an automated account , had used the #bellingcat hashtag in the last 48 hours. Some of the six may have opinions that may be "pro-Russian", but as Higgins himself says :

[I]n my opinion, it's extremely unlikely the people listed are Russian agents

The pro-NATO propaganda shop Bellingcat thus debunked the pro-NATO propaganda shop Alliance for Securing Democracy.

The fraudsters who created the Hamilton 68 crap seem to have filled their database with rather normal people from all over the world who's opinions they personally dislike. Those then are the "Russian bots" who spread "Russian influence" and divisiveness.

Moreover - what is the value of its information when six normal people out of millions of active Twitter users can push a hashtag with a handful of tweets to the top of the dashboard?

But the U.S. media writes long gushing stories about the dashboard and how it somehow shows automated Russian propaganda. They go to length to explain that this shows "Russian influence" and a "Russian" attempt to sow "divisiveness" into people's minds.

This is nuts.

Last August, when the Hamilton 68 project was first released, the Nation was the only site critical of it. It predicted :

The import of GMF's project is clear: Reporting on anything that might put the US in a bad light is now tantamount to spreading Russian propaganda.

It is now even worse than that. The top ranking of the #merrychristmas hashtag shows that the algorithm does not even care about good or bad news. The tracked twitter accounts are normal people.

The whole project is just a means to push fake stories about alleged "Russian influence" into U.S. media. Whenever some issue creeps up on its dashboard that somehow fits its false "Russian bots" and "divisiveness" narrative the Alliance for Securing Democracy contacts the media to spread its poison. The U.S. media, - CNN, Wired, the New York Times - are by now obviously devoid of thinking journalists and fact checkers. They simple re-package the venom and spread it to the public.

How long will it take until people die from it?

Posted by b on February 20, 2018 at 03:15 PM | Permalink

Comments next page " It's all too reminiscent of Duck Soup:


Clueless Joe , Feb 20, 2018 3:45:14 PM | link

"to publicly document and expose Vladimir Putin's ongoing efforts to subvert democracy in the United States and Europe."

That's pretty rich, coming from a country and from people who actually genuinely, and in proven ways, have subverted democracy in Europe since the late 1940s - Italy being one of the clearest cases.

ken , Feb 20, 2018 3:46:05 PM | link
For the life of me I cannot figure why Americans want a war/conflict with Russia. I can't believe it has to do with the economy. There's got to be a far better nefarious reason. Even during the real cold war we tried to avoid conflict. Absolute insanity.
xor , Feb 20, 2018 4:11:10 PM | link
The cleverest trick used in propaganda against a specific country is to accuse it of what the accuser itself is doing.
karlof1 , Feb 20, 2018 4:30:11 PM | link
Gee, what could go wrong formulating policy founded upon a series of Big Lies? Kim Dotcom says he has important info the FBI refuses to hear. At the Munich Security Conference , neocon Nicholas Burns, former US Ambassador to NATO, details my assertion's factual basis that current policy is being formed on a series of Big Lies: "Will NATO strengthen itself to contain Russian power in Eastern Europe giving what Russian [sic] has done illegally in Crimea, in the Donbass, and in Georgia ?" [Bolded text are the Big Lies.]

Clearly, this entire psyop was premeditated and its design was hastily done contemporaneously with Russia's Syria intervention. NSA/CIA/FBI knew of HRC's security breeches and rightly assumed their contents would find their way into the election, so the general plan was ready to go prior to WikiLeaks publications. b has uncovered much, and I hope he's planning to publish a book about the entire affair.

Jen , Feb 20, 2018 4:54:59 PM | link
Ken @ 4: There doesn't necessarily need to be One Major Reason for going to war. There may be several reasons all feeding and reinforcing one another and creating a psychological climate in which Going To War is seen as the only solution and is inevitable. The reasons are not just economic and political but cultural and historical.

In some countries allied with the US, the politicians in power are the ideological descendants of those who collaborated with Nazi Germany - so in a sense they are committed to "correcting" what they see as wrong. In the case of current Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, he is the grandson of a former prime minister who once served in General Tojo's World War II cabinet.
https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2012/12/26/national/formed-in-childhood-roots-of-abes-conservatism-go-deep/#.WoyZCG9uaUk

That's why pinning down the reason for wanting a war against Russia is so difficult.

Partisan , Feb 20, 2018 5:06:58 PM | link
The whole piece is just hilarious and I laughed out loud all time while reading it.

https://consortiumnews.com/2018/02/16/nyts-really-weird-russiagate-story/

Since the FBI never inspected the DNC's computers first-hand, the only evidence comes from an Irvine, California, cyber-security firm known as CrowdStrike whose chief technical officer, Dmitri Alperovitch, a well-known Putin-phobe, is a fellow at the Atlantic Council, a Washington think tank that is also vehemently anti-Russian as well as a close Hillary Clinton ally.

Thus, Putin-basher Clinton hired Putin-basher Alperovitch to investigate an alleged electronic heist, and to absolutely no one's surprise, his company concluded that guilty party was Vladimir Putin. Amazing! Since then, a small army of internet critics has chipped away at CrowdStrike for praising the hackers as among the best in the business yet declaring in the same breath that they gave themselves away by uploading a document in the name of "Felix Edmundovich," i.e. Felix E. Dzerzhinsky, founder of the Soviet secret police.

As noted cyber-security expert Jeffrey Carr observed with regard to Russia's two main intelligence agencies: "Raise your hand if you think that a GRU or FSB officer would add Iron Felix's name to the metadata of a stolen document before he released it to the world while pretending to be a Romanian hacker. Someone clearly had a wicked sense of humor."

james , Feb 20, 2018 5:17:19 PM | link
thanks b!

muddy waters.. paid for propaganda.... look at all the russian bots, lol... cold war 2 / mccarthyism 2 is in effect... the historic parallels are marked. thank you neo cons! it's working... the ordinary person in the usa can't be this stupid can they?

when does ww3 kick in? is that really what these idiots want? or is it just to prolong the huge defense budget?

Mike Maloney , Feb 20, 2018 5:24:03 PM | link
This is about conditioning voters in Europe and the United States for a long war with Russia and China. In other words, a return to the 1950s. It is not working and becoming increasingly hysterical because societies are not nearly as cohesive as they once were, and the mainstream political parties, while better funded and more top-down organized, are basically hollow. The collapse is coming. Four years or ten, take your pick.
dh , Feb 20, 2018 5:32:10 PM | link
@4 "For the life of me I cannot figure why Americans want a war/conflict with Russia."

Most Americans probably don't. Just the chosen few with the deepest fall-out shelters. The idea is to keep piling the pressure on to countries like Iran and Russia in the hope that their populations will rise up and demand the freedoms that we enjoy in the West....things like uncensored wardrobe malfunctions and transgender washrooms.

Partisan , Feb 20, 2018 6:02:58 PM | link
"Most Americans probably don't."

not true.

let's imagine that we have the pyramid of evilness, by which we measure bestiality of one regime and its constituency. my firm belief is that us would be on the top of that pyramid. Only dilemma would be between Zionist entity and the US.

"How could the masses be made to desire their own repression?" was the question Wilhelm Reich famously asked in the wake of the Reichstagsbrandverordnung (Reichstag Fire Decree, February 28, 1933), which suspended the civil rights protections afforded by the Weimar Republic's democratic constitution.

Hitler had been appointed chancellor on January 30, 1933 and Reich was trying to grapple with the fact that the German people had apparently chosen the authoritarian politics promoted by National Socialism against their own political interests.

Ever since, the question of fascism, or rather the question of why might people vote for their own oppression, has never ceased to haunt political philosophy.2 With Trump openly campaigning for less democracy in America -- and with the continued electoral success of far-right antiliberal movements across Europe -- this question has again become a pressing one.

An American people is in perfect harmony with its regime.

CarlD , Feb 20, 2018 6:06:06 PM | link
Remember the "USS MAINE"! Media have long agitated for War in US History. Nothing sells newspapers like a good ole war! Demonizing is a way to achieve it. What is sure is that this is a one way street. Once over the cliff, there is no turning back.

How do you tell people that, at the flick of your magic switch, Putin is in fact a swell guy and wonderful human being? Once love is gone who goes back to the filthy, abhorrent and estranged spouse?

Surely the US establishment is playing with fire thinking they will successfully ride out any conflict and come out on top secure in their newly reestablished hegemony on the smoldering ruins of Humanity.

Make no mistake, we are all on the road to hell. Better enjoy todays peace as tomorrow word will be filled with the sweet music of cemeteries.

"Freedom of speech"...

dh , Feb 20, 2018 6:14:14 PM | link
@15 "An American people is in perfect harmony with its regime."

I'm not so sure. I think there are many Americans who deeply distrust their government. But of course they don't want to appear unpatriotic. There are also many who are apathetic and many simply don't know how to change things.

SteveK9 , Feb 20, 2018 6:35:58 PM | link
It's horrible I know to quote a Nazi, but Goring had this right:

Göring: Why, of course, the people don't want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally, the common people don't want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship.

Gilbert: There is one difference. In a democracy, the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars.

Göring: Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.

WorldBLee , Feb 20, 2018 6:36:51 PM | link
American media has graduated from simply repeating the lies of "unnamed government sources" to repeating the lies of any organization unofficially blessed by the powers that be. The skills required to repeat the text verbatim serve them well in both cases. Skepticism is only reserved to anyone who tries to introduce logic or facts into the equation--such as when Jill Stein was interviewed on MSNBC recently. How dare Ms. Stein try to bring FACTS into the discussion!
chet380 , Feb 20, 2018 6:41:04 PM | link
In that The Narrative is tightly controlled in the corporate media, not matter how strong the proofs or arguments about the falsity of these propaganda campaigns are, little or no circulation of those proofs or arguments wlll reach the general public.
Sinc , Feb 20, 2018 6:41:57 PM | link
See info on US 'Twitter' manipulation campaign
Sinc , Feb 20, 2018 6:44:16 PM | link
Sorry, link here
ken , Feb 20, 2018 6:59:01 PM | link
Thanks Jen. It still makes no sense. As a veteran of the Vietnam fiasco, I was pretty much government oriented until McNamara outed the whole thing whining about haw sorry he was. 59,000 dead and he's sorry. They were able to hide the Gulf of Tonkin BS until then. After that I researched the reasons for each war/conflict the USA started and could find no logical reasons except hunger for power. But the little sandbox wars won't destroy the world like a major war/conflict with Russia and it goes nuclear. Almost every politician, and major news organizations are pushing for a war/conflict with Russia. This is insanity as no one will win a war like this and I am sure they know that,,, but they keep the war drums beating anyhow. It simply doesn't make sense. But Thanks again.

Same for dh, #14. Things are soooo stupid, your joking may be closer to the truth than you know. :-)

Skip , Feb 20, 2018 6:59:35 PM | link
@SteveK9 #19

Thank you for the post. I will save it and use it liberally, with proper attributions. When one challenges the tribe on places like Twitter, it is hard to tell who is a real idiot and who is a bot. How do you know? Maybe that the bots go away fairly quickly and the idiots hang around to argue ad infinitum.

oldenyoung , Feb 20, 2018 7:06:23 PM | link
The thing that bothers me, is the fact that the MIC Globalists don't care what we think or how poor their deceptions are. The public perception that "russia did it!!" continues to rise. I wonder what the public acceptance level needs to be for them to execute a MAJOR false flag event. They seem to think they are still on target, and its just a short matter or time...

They are going to do this when the perception management is complete... We really do not need another one of their disasters

Grieved , Feb 20, 2018 7:37:47 PM | link
The bully pushes and pushes until stopped by the first serious push back. The dynamic of the west and the neocon/Zionists at the core is essentially that of the bully. Nations like Venezuela and the Philippines have started to push back, and I hope and feel fairly confident that they will both survive the rage of the US. In some part, they have begun to show the actual powerlessness of the bully.

But the really killer nations - Russia and China - are holding their water as they strengthen their force. I believe that one very serious push back from either of them in the right circumstances will stop the bully. And yet, as they bide their time, we see a curious phenomenon wherein the US is destroying itself from the inside.

It's as if all of the forces that exist to control the country - the lockstep media, the fully rigged markets, the hysterical military, the bought legislature and the crooked courts - are all acting far more strongly than should be necessary. The entire system is over-reacting, over-reaching, over-boiling. And in the course of this, the US is actually shedding power, and at an amazing rate. But not from the action of Russia but from its non-action, the empty space that that allows the bully's dynamic to over-reach, all the way to complete failure.

Is it possible that deep in the security states of Russia and China there's even a study and a model for this? Is the collapse of the US actually being gamed by Russia and China - and through the totally counter-intuitive action of non-action?

Just a thought.

Ghost Ship , Feb 20, 2018 7:51:03 PM | link
>>>> xor | Feb 20, 2018 4:11:10 PM | 6
The cleverest trick used in propaganda against a specific country is to accuse it of what the accuser itself is doing.

I've always put it down to the Washington Establishment having a severe case of psychological projection.

WG , Feb 20, 2018 7:52:38 PM | link
Hey b,
Just wanted to let you know that Joe Lauria mentioned your blog and the article you wrote on the indictment of the 13 Russians. He was on Loud and Clear (Sputnik Radio, Washington DC) today and brought you up at the start of the program.
Glad to see you get some recognition for all the great work you've been doing :)
Mike , Feb 20, 2018 7:53:24 PM | link
Meanwhile, back in 2010:
https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2010/11/when-campaigns-manipulate-social-media/66351/
Jen , Feb 20, 2018 7:53:43 PM | link
Ken @ 24: The warmongering is not intended to make any sense - not many people are trained in critical thinking and logic, and even when they are, they can be swamped by their own emotions or other people's emotions.

Propaganda is intended to appeal to people's emotions and fears. You can try reading works by Edward Bernays - "Crystallizing Public Opinion" (1923) and "Propaganda" (1928) - to see how he uses his uncle Sigmund Freud's theories of the mind to create strategies for manipulating public opinion. https://archive.org/details/EdwardL.BernaysPropaganda

Bernays' books influenced Nazi and Soviet propaganda and Bernays himself was hired by the US government to justify in the public mind the 1954 US invasion of Guatemala.

You may be aware that Rupert Murdoch, head of News Corporation which owns the Wall Street Journal, FOX News and 20th Century Fox studios, is also on the Board of Directors of Genie Energy which owns a subsidiary firm that was granted a licence by an Israeli court to explore and drill for oil and natural gas in Syria's (and Israeli-occupied) Golan Heights.

simjam , Feb 20, 2018 7:59:21 PM | link
The national media speaks as one -with one consistent melody day after day. Who is the conductor? When will one representative of the mainstream media sing solo? There must be a Ray McGovern somewhere among the flock.
V. Arnold , Feb 20, 2018 8:05:33 PM | link
Grieved | Feb 20, 2018 7:37:47 PM | 27

Many of my thoughts as well. The U.S.'s greatest fault is its tacit misunderstanding of just what russia is in fact. They utterly fail to understand the Russian character; forged over 800 years culminating with the defeat of Nazi Germany, absorbing horrific losses; the U.S. fails to understand the effect upon the then Soviets, become todays Russians. Even the god's have abandoned the west...

Debsisdead , Feb 20, 2018 8:53:42 PM | link
I watched bbc news this am in the hope that I would get to see the most awful creature at the 2018 olympics cry her croc tears (long story - a speed skater who cuts off the opposition but has been found out so now when she swoops in front of the others they either skate over her leading to tearful whines from perp about having been 'pushed', or gets disqualified for barging. Last night she got disqualified so as part of my study on whether types like this believe their own bullshit I thought I'd tune in but didn't get that far into the beebs lies)

The bulk of the bulletin was devoted to a 'lets hate Russia' session which featured a quisling who works for the russian arm of BBC (prolly just like cold war days staffed exclusively by MI6/SIS types). This chap, using almost unintelligible english, claimed he had proof at least 50 Russian Mercenaries (question - why are amerikan guns for hire called contractors [remember the Fallujah massacre of 100,000 civilians because amerikan contractors were stupid] yet Russian contractors are called mercenaries by the media?) had been killed in Syria last week. The bloke had evidence of one contractor's death not 50 - the proof was a letter from the Russian government to the guy's mother telling her he didn't qualify for any honours because he wasn't in the Russian military.

The quisling (likely a Ukranian I would say) went on to rabbit about the bloke having also fought in Donbass under contract - to which the 'interviewer (don't ya love it when media 'interview' their own journos - a sure sign that a snippet of toxic nonsense is being delivered) led about how the deceitful Russians had claimed the only Russians fighting in Donbass were contractors - yeah well this bloke was a contractor surely that proves the Russians were telling the truth.

It's not what these propagandists say; they adopt a tone and the audience is meant to hate based on that even when the facts as stated conflict with the media outlet's point of view. Remember the childhood trick of saying "bad dog" ter yer mutt in loving tones - the dog comes to ya tail wagging & licks yer hand. This is that.

The next item was more Syria lies - white helmets footage (altho the beeb is now mostly giving them an alternative name to dodge the facts about white helmets) of bandaged children with flour tipped on their heads.

The evil Syrians and Russians are bombarding Gouta - nary a word about the continuous artillery barrage Gouta has subjected the citizens of Damascus to for the past 4 years, or that the Syrians have repeatedly offered truces and safe passage for civilians. Any injured children need to ask their parents why they weren't allowed to take advantage of the frequent offers of transport out. Maybe the parents are worried 'the resistance' will do its usual and blow up the busloads of children after luring them over with candy.

Anyway I switched off after that so never did learn if little miss cheat had a cry.

ben , Feb 20, 2018 9:17:54 PM | link
Reposting from TRNN: http://therealnews.com/t2/story:21178:Why-is-a-Russian-Troll-Farm-Being-Compared-to-911%3F
integer , Feb 20, 2018 9:23:42 PM | link
Thank you for reporting on this. The people behind the so-called Alliance for Securing Democracy need to be exposed for the warmongering frauds that they are. Regardless of what one thinks of him, Trump was correct when he said that NATO is obsolete.
Don Bacon , Feb 20, 2018 10:12:52 PM | link
The American Security State needs enemies to exist, otherwise there's no need for the "security" which translates into big bucks for the Military-Industrial-Congressional-Media Complex. They can't agree on the ranking of the enemies: North Korea is a threat to the world! Iran is....! Russia is...! China is....! But the threats are there, and they are pure evil (TPTB contend).

So the whole scenario makes perfect sense from that standpoint.

Petri Krohn , Feb 20, 2018 10:17:36 PM | link
The news stories become far easier to understand if you replace the word " Russia " with the word " truth ".
bevin , Feb 20, 2018 11:45:45 PM | link
re Felix E. Dzerzhinsky: Ukrainian fascists have a particular hatred of Felix because he was both a Bolshevik and a Pole.

I hate to do this but I just posted this elsewhere, at Off Guardian, where the Guardian is back into its highest gears promoting war.

"The wardrums are beating in a way not heard since 1914-there is no reason for war except the best reason of all: an imperial ruling class sees its grip slipping and will chance everything rather than endure the humiliation of adjusting to reality.

"China is in the position that the US was in 1914-it can prevent the war or wait until the combatants are too exhausted to defend their paltry gains.

Given the realities of nuclear warfare-which seem not to have sunk in among the Americans, perhaps because they mistake a bubble for a bomb shelter- the wise option is to prevent war by publicly warning against it. In the hope that brought face to face with reality the masses will besiege their governments, as we can easily do, and prevent war.'

See also http://www.greanvillepost.com/2018/02/20/the-coming-wars-to-end-all-wars/

V. Arnold , Feb 21, 2018 12:32:43 AM | link
Debsisdead | Feb 20, 2018 8:53:42 PM | 35

I have no idea who you are talking about; care to say?

Jeff Kaye , Feb 21, 2018 12:36:59 AM | link
Great analysis! Can't imagine how you continue to put out quality work day after day! Your question at the close speaks to stakes involved in this.
foo , Feb 21, 2018 1:53:45 AM | link
@ 10 - 4

Resources boils down to money. Of course. I don't think any power would lose from tapping a source of resource.

DidierF , Feb 21, 2018 2:03:08 AM | link
Sad but definitely correct. The first casualty of war is the truth. It's dead in the USA and allies. Therefore, they're at war with Russia and China. If Russia is down, China will be dealt with.

The horrible thing with the US attitude is that you do a white thing, you're attacking them and if you do a black thing, you're attacking them too. This attitude is building hostility against Russia. It's like programming a pet to be afraid of something. The western people are being programmed into hating Russia, dehumanizing her people, cutting every tie with Russia and transforming any information from Russia into life threatening propaganda. A war for our hearts is running. The US population is being coerced into believing that war against Russia is a vital necessity.

It will be a war of choice from the US "elites". Clinton announced it and the population had chosen Trump for that reason.

You're wondering why they're doing it. I suppose that their narrative is losing its grip on the western populations. They're also conscious of it. If they lose it, they'll have to face very angry mobs and face the void of their lives. Everything they did was either useless or poisonous. It means to be in a very bad spot. They're are therefore under an existential threat.

Russia proved time and again that it's possible to get out of their narrative. Remember their situation when Eltsin was reelected with the western help.

The Chicago boys were telling the Russian authorities how to run the economy and they made out of the word democrat a synonym of thief. They were in the narrative and the result was a disaster. Then, they woke up and started to clean the house. I remember the "hero" of democracy whose name was "Khodorovsky (?)". In the west he was a freedom fighter and in Russia he stole something like Rosneft. This guy and others of the same sort were described in the west as heroes, pionniers and so on. They were put back into submission to the law. The western silence about their stealings, lies and cheating is still deafening me.

It was the first Russian crime. The second one was to survive the first batch of sanctions against them (I forgot the reason of the sanctions). They not only survived they thrived. It was against the western leading economic ideology. A third crime was to push back Saakachvili and his troops with success.

The fourth was to put back into order the Tchechen. Russia was back into the world politics and history. They were not following the script written for them in Washington and Brussels. They were having a political system putting limits to the big companies. And, worst of it, it works.
Everybody in the west who can read and listen would have noticed that they are making it.

More, with RT and Sputnik giving info outside the allowed ones or asking annoying questions (western journalists lost that habit with their new formation in the schools of journalism - remember the revolution in their education was criticised and I missed why - very curious to discover why), they were exposing weaknesses of the western narrative. On the other side their narrative became so poor and so limited that any regular reader would feel bored reading the same things time and again and being asked to pay for it at a time his salary was decreased in the name of competitivity. The threat to their narrative was ready. They had to fight it.

It's becoming a crime to think outside their marks. It's becoming a crime to read outside their marks. I don't even talk about any act outside their marks. Now, it's going to be a crime of treason to them in war time.

I do feel sadness because many will die from their fear of losing their grip on our minds. I do feel sadness because they have lost and are in denial about it. I do feel sadness because those death aren't necessary. I do feel sadness because those people can't face the consequences of their actions. They don't have the necessary spine. Their lives were useless and even toxic. They could start repairing or mitigating their damages but it would need a very different worldview, a complete conversion to another meaning of life outside the immediate and maximal profit.

V. Arnold , Feb 21, 2018 2:13:54 AM | link
DidierF | Feb 21, 2018 2:03:08 AM | 46

You have aptly described the most dangerous country on this planet. That country must not be appeased, at any cost, because it would surely end us forever...

Fran , Feb 21, 2018 2:53:24 AM | link
I wonder if this is true: STUNNING: Mueller Patched Together Much of His Indictment from 2015 Radio Free Europe Article I wouldn't be surprised if it is true. It would give the entire story a whole new touch. I wanted to write a new smell, but it would be rather stink.
Partisan , Feb 21, 2018 3:38:27 AM | link
https://www.wordfence.com/blog/2016/12/russia-malware-ip-hack/

Conclusion regarding IP address data: What we're seeing in this IP data is a wide range of countries and hosting providers. 15% of the IP addresses are Tor exit nodes. These exit nodes are used by anyone who wants to be anonymous online, including malicious actors.

Overall Conclusion: The IP addresses that DHS provided may have been used for an attack by a state actor like Russia. But they don't appear to provide any association with Russia. They are probably used by a wide range of other malicious actors, especially the 15% of IP addresses that are Tor exit nodes.

The malware sample is old, widely used and appears to be Ukrainian. It has no apparent relationship with Russian intelligence and it would be an indicator of compromise for any website.

fairleft , Feb 21, 2018 5:28:09 AM | link
Partisan @15: "With Trump openly campaigning for less democracy in America -- and with the continued electoral success of far-right antiliberal movements across Europe -- this question has again become a pressing one."

The above is entirely backwards. The bottom 2/3rds is frustrated by the LACK of democracy in the US and that's a major reason many voted against the (in fact anti-democratic) elite's desired candidate, Hillary.

70% of the voting age public was dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with both candidates, and 40% of Americans didn't vote, so that means whichever of Clinton/Trump won, she/he would win with approval of only 10% of the electorate. That's the best example possible of our anti-democratic reality (it's not a worry or a threat, it's already here).

In the case of both Europe and the US, many people are generally very dissatisfied with the anti-democratic response by the elite to 'the will of the people' that there be much less immigration into countries with high unemployment and 'race to the bottom' labor conditions. That's nearly the entire basis of what the corporate media calls 'the move right'... When in fact restricting immigration is a pro-labor and therefore 'left' policy ... Except in the confused and deliberately stupid political discourse the elite media pushes so hard.

Lea , Feb 21, 2018 6:16:53 AM | link
Some years ago, I noticed the American media and politicians were sort of going soft (actually mushy) in the brain department, but I was told not to be so judgemental. As the months went by, I saw more and more people saying "they have gone nuts". So, it turns out I am not alone after all.

That madness comes from having no behavioural limits, no references outside of your own opinion but groupthink, and manipulating the language to suit your ambitions (the Orwellism of the US media has been repeatedly pointed at). Simply put, you don't know anymore what's what outside of the narrative your group pushes, you go nuts. The manipulators ends up caught in their lies. All the more when they makes money out of it, which would be the case of all those think tanks and media.

One could argue that they are not going mad, that they know full well they are lying, but I beg to differ: they don't see anymore how ridiculous or how dumb or smart their arguments are. That would be congruent with a real loss of touch with reality. One wonders what they see when they look at themselves in a mirror, a garden variety propagandist or a fearless anti-Putin crusader?

Another example of the narrative gone mad: they are sending CNN journos to meet pro-Trump folks who "have been influenced by Russian trolls on social media". https://twitter.com/yashalevine/status/966177091875168256

Partisan , Feb 21, 2018 6:20:19 AM | link
"The above is entirely backwards."

Well, it is not...if you are believer in "democracy". Honestly, the story of democracy (by capitalist/liberal class) is a grand BS, to be modest. The only thing what was truthful, paradoxically, is who is "lesser evil" of two. Or the Bigger one in unrestrained capitalism, savage and monopoly, predatory and a fascists one.

One way or other result is the same, it is: Barbarism.

ralphieboy , Feb 21, 2018 6:27:23 AM | link
When "trending on Twitter" became a news item in and of itself, I began to despair for the future of reporting, political discourse and ultimately, democracy in America. Twitter and FB are at best a source of information for news reporting, but not a source of news in themselves.

We made ourselves vulnerable to any and every sort of pernicious manipulation and in the end, we just about deserve everything we get.

WJ , Feb 21, 2018 6:38:11 AM | link
War or the threat of war is needed to distract attention from rapidly devolving societal bonds and immense economic inequality.
Partisan , Feb 21, 2018 6:41:09 AM | link
there is something illogical in your comment.

but one should never forget:

The class which has the means of material production at its disposal, has control at the same time over the means of mental production. The ruling ideas are nothing more than the ideal expression of the dominant material relationships.

Karl Marx

Ger , Feb 21, 2018 7:52:44 AM | link
Dan @ 4

It is partially tied direct to the economy of the warmongers as trillions of dollars of new cold war slop is laying on the ground awaiting the MICC hogs. American hegemony is primarily about stealing the natural resources of helpless countries. Now in control of all the weak ones, it is time to move to the really big prize: The massive resources of Russia. They (US and their European Lackeys) thought this was a slam dunk when Yeltsin, in his drunken stupors, was literally giving Russia to invading capitalist. Enter Putin, stopped the looting .........connect the dots.

Anon , Feb 21, 2018 8:08:35 AM | link
Media and its politicians have lost it completely, and if you criticize them, well then of course you are a... "russian bot". Unfortunately 90% of westerners buy this western MSM influence propaganda campaign, WW3 with Russia will come easy.
Florin , Feb 21, 2018 9:00:03 AM | link
News "Meet The Cabal That Are Framing Domestic American Activism As "Russian Influence" and "Fake News"
https://disobedientmedia.com/2018/01/meet-the-cabal-that-are-framing-domestic-american-activism-as-russian-influence-and-fake-news/

At risk of being censored and/or convicted of Thought Crime - it is *remarkable* how very highly disproportionate the number of Jewish Zionists is who are in the media and in Congress and in ThinkTankistan and shouting about Russian meddling, 'aggression,' and the like.

It's too bad it is forbidden to examine this phenomena as one part of the matrix of power and lies leading the US into conflict with Russia, no?

I don't think Bill Kristol and David Frum and Jeff Goldberg are either honest nor primarily concerned with American national security, nor the lives of MENA civilians. I think they care only about using American blood and treasure to facilitate Israeli lebensraum, however bloody and expensive.

Trump survives only if he dances for the Deep State *and* Likud.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2015/10/12/us-caught-faking-it-in-syria/

ex-SA , Feb 21, 2018 9:17:53 AM | link
Chris Hedges has an article on the similar situation in Germany almost 100 years ago. "In 1923 the radical socialist and feminist Clara Zetkin gave a report at the Communist International about the emergence of a political movement called fascism. ...." https://www.truthdig.com/articles/how-we-fight-fascism/
fairleft , Feb 21, 2018 10:26:45 AM | link
Partisan @54: The facts contradict the statement in the quote that Trump was "openly campaigning for less democracy." He wasn't. He in fact campaigned in part as a populist who would oust (or at least repeatedly ridicule) an anti-democratic elite. If you've overlooked that and believe more or less the opposite, you can't understand the 2016 election or the elite's virulently anti-democratic reaction to it.
Oui , Feb 21, 2018 11:18:34 AM | link
NEW CENSORSHIP - HAMILTON68 DASHBOARD

From the website of Hamilton68 :: Tracking Russian influence operations on Twitter

So easy to signal this group as a fraud, I wrote an article recently

G W F and McCarthyism In A Digital Age - Part 2

[G W F – German Marshall Fund]

Earlier I wrote about the following relationship: Khodorkovsky - The Interpreter - Henry Jackson Society (UK) .

With Bush and the Iraq War, Dutch PM Balkenende and FM de Hoop Scheffer were seen as the poodle of the White House. In recent years PM Mark Rutte [of MH-17 crash fame] can be considered its puppy. Perhaps a parrot would suit better.

I noticed a former journalist Hubert Smeets hs partnered with some people to found a "knowledge center" Window on Russia [Raam op Rusland]. Laughable, funded by the Dutch Foreign Ministry and a Dutch-Russia cultural exchange Fund. Preposturous in its simplicity and harm for honest reporting.

Noirette , Feb 21, 2018 11:38:52 AM | link
US media has gone bonkers. The original claim was Russian meddling and Russian interference in the election. Then, a sort of bridging meme showed up (see also b above), undermining democracy or subverting it. This in turn then morphed into promoting divisive issues which is new (circa 2018, not before?)

Imho. US pols make it their business to create divisive issues, diviusses (neologism), to the point of inventing rubbish ones. Part of the US public embraces that sh*t as well, > tribalism and religious economics in lieu of policy politics. So such actions should be viewed as gloriously democratic, ;) - ok easy to make fun.

The emphasis on 'divisive' is curious, it signals that some managers are calling for 'union' - 'cohesion' - 'group soldering' facing the outside enemy, threat.

Russia has really become the all-purpose épouvantail scarecrow, specter of doom, etc. An awareness of the high costs of divisiveness if uncontrolled -> massive social unrest, at extreme, civil war -- and that these are to be avoided, is evidenced.

Heh, or the whole storm is just fluff that distracts, occupies the pixels, airwaves, a jamboree of knee-jerk reactions irrelevant to the present World Situation, with practically no important body - faction of the PTB, Trump, the MIC, lame outsiders like the EU, etc. having any clue.

james , Feb 21, 2018 1:03:45 PM | link
i got a kick out of cluborlov's post from yesterday.. -
http://cluborlov.blogspot.ca/2018/02/make-russia-great-again-through.html

The accusation is a lot like accusing somebody of despoiling an outhouse by crapping in it, along with everyone else, but the outhouse in question had a sign on its door that read "No Russians!" and the 13 Russians just ignored it and crapped in it anyway.

The reason the Outhouse of American Democracy is posted "No Russians!" is because Russia is the enemy. There aren't any compelling reasons why it should be the enemy, and treating it as such is incredibly foolish and dangerous, but that's beside the point. Painting Russia as the enemy serves a psychological need rather than a rational one: Americans desperately need some entity onto which they can project their own faults.

The US is progressing toward a fascist police state; therefore, Russia is said to be a horrible dictatorship run by Putin. The US traditionally meddles in elections around the world, including Russia; therefore, the Russians are said to meddle in US elections. The US is the most aggressive country on the planet, occupying and bombing dozens of countries; therefore, the Russians are accused of "aggression." And so on

Don Bacon , Feb 21, 2018 6:35:10 PM | link
@Noirette 70
Yes, claiming that Russians are promoting polical division is silly -- the divisions were already there.
gizmodo , Jun 12, 2014:
It's Been 150 Years Since the U.S. Was This Politically Polarized

Nevertheless, now in WIRED magazine: Their [Agency] goal was to enflame "political intensity through supporting radical groups, users dissatisfied with [the] social and economic situation, and oppositional social movements."

OJS , Feb 21, 2018 8:27:10 PM | link

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-02-21/they-had-more-information-us-sanders-blames-clinton-not-exposing-russian-meddling

"They Had More Information Than Us" - Sanders Blames Clinton For Not Exposing Russian Meddling

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=WRnBPKFcAKo

Bernie Sanders said he on Wednesday, "felt compelled to address Russian interference during the US election. Sunday.... he was not aware and believes Russian bot promoting him and went as far to said WikiLeaks published Hillary's email stolen by the Russia....."

Can you really trust that lying basted? I'm probably one of the few MoA refused to believe and trust Bernie Sanders and the fuckup Democrats .

ben , Feb 21, 2018 9:24:01 PM | link
Anti-Russia Think Tanks in US: Who Funds Them? By Bryan MacDonald http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/48755.htm
daffyDuct , Feb 21, 2018 9:46:49 PM | link
Excellent article summarizing much of what B has posted and more.

"Finally, and as long was we are on the topic, here is what a real troll farm looks like. [Picture of NSA] Yet this vast suite of offices in Fort Meade, Maryland, where 20,000 SIGINT spies and technicians work for the NSA, is only the tip of the iceberg.

The US actually spends $75 billion per year---more than Russia's entire $69 billion defense budget---spying on and meddling in the politics of virtually every nation on earth. An outfit within NSA called Tailored Access Operations (TAO) has a multi-billion annual budget and does nothing put troll the global internet and does so with highly educated, highly paid professionals, not $4 per hour keyboard jockeys."

http://davidstockmanscontracorner.com/muellers-comic-book-indictment-how-to-prosecute-a-great-big-nothingburger/

Daniel , Feb 22, 2018 12:47:29 AM | link
Great article. Great comments. I LOVE MoA! And it's great to see b getting recognition.

james wrote: "There aren't any compelling reasons why it should be the enemy"

You know the following; I think you're just too decent a human being to understand how psychopaths operate. Russia is a huge area with enormous natural resources as well as a large, educated populace. Zbignew Brzezenski explained in his 1997 book "The Grand Chessboard" why global hegemony required taking control over Russia (and how to do it, which boils down to taking the other chess pieces off the board (Iraq/Ukraine/etc. and then pulling off a "color revolution," coup or military conquest).

Ziggy also noted that once Russia was incorporated, China is the next, and largely last target.

Jen: NICE JOB putting together a big picture, from Bernays' control of the masses all the way to Genie Energy. Add in Oded Yinon and PNAC and the "foreign policy blunders" that led to the present situation in MENA look like a carefully-constructed, long-game being played "by the book."

Fairleft. Any leftist/socialist movement which is not global is doomed to failure. This has always been true, but with "offshoring" of manufacturing jobs and the internet untethering many "white collar" jobs from any given geological location(s), workers must see ourselves as a global entity rather than national or regional players - because that is certainly how the 0.01% see us (and themselves).

"Workers of the world UNITE" is more true today than a century and a half ago.

Ghost Ship , Feb 22, 2018 5:28:36 AM | link
Did the Titanic just sink Bild ?
Partisan , Feb 22, 2018 6:20:18 AM | link
https://youtu.be/GN-tf3HM9ao New Yorker Reporter Debunks Russia Twitter Panic
ralphieboy , Feb 22, 2018 7:31:36 AM | link
@fairleft 85

nations that do not have to face costs arising from environmental, health or safety legislation will almost always prevail in the world market over those that have some concern for the environment and the workers.

That is the main issue I have with globalization.

Competing on wages is one thing; that can be a great impetus to become more efficient and productive, but if we do nothing to force other countries to clean up their act, they will have no impetus to do so and we will continue to lose jobs to the international competition, no matter how efficiently we work.

test , Feb 22, 2018 7:32:53 AM | link
Msm, bellingcat and other think tanks - they push their anti Russian racism too far making a large section of westerners just tired of their hysteria. Exposing their own racism and paranoia.
Partisan , Feb 22, 2018 9:02:22 AM | link
"....borderless globalization has been a catastrophe for most of the underdeveloped world's businesses and workers."

it is always annoying when I see the 'globalization" argument is used whether from the right or left. The globalization has started by the moment when us humans begin to roaming on this planet. there are millions of examples yet somehow globalization is of recent phenomenon. Lapis Lazuli mineral used in making blue color and paint is found on clay pottery in Mesopotamia's ancient city of Ur. That city is also place where many legend originated which were taken by major religion and can be found in their holy books. See even the myth are globalizied from very early on.

Most of the people do not even know what it is, not those who are writing about it.

Globalization . . . is a program to create private corporate rights to trade, invest, lend or borrow money and buy and own property anywhere in the world without much hindrance by national governments. It would bar governments from most of the common methods of helping or protecting their national industries and employment. It is a winners' program promoted chiefly by some business interests, governments and neoclassical economists in Europe and the United States.

One of its purposes is to intensify international competition for jobs. Together with other Right policies it is likely to maintain some unemployment in the rich countries and reduce the wage rates of their lower-paid workers, and reduce the proportion of secure employment.

Hugh Stretton, Economics: A New Introduction

test , Feb 22, 2018 10:02:35 AM | link
The anti-russian think tanks, msm, bellingcat etc push this too much, making them look stupid.
john , Feb 22, 2018 10:30:32 AM | link
Tannenhouser

the observable and demonstrable attempts are clearly futile, and have been pretty much reduced to spasms and tantrums, largely devoid of cognizance, not to mention legality, but certainly dangerous nonetheless.

no sir ree bob, we get our multipolar world or we scavenge a dead landscape of Alamogordo glass .

Tannenhouser , Feb 22, 2018 11:23:44 AM | link
John@96. We are on the same page then. I see it more like this. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1991370.The_Cool_War
karlof1 , Feb 22, 2018 4:18:56 PM | link
Really enjoyed Julian Assange's explanation of Mueller's nothingburger.

Assange: "Regardless of whether IRA's activities were audience building through pandering to communities or whether a hare-brained Russian government plan to "heighten the differences" existed, its activities are clearly strategically insignificant compared to the other forces at play."

[Jan 02, 2019] The Only Meddling "Russian Bots" Were Actually Democrat-Led "Experts" by Mac Slavo

Highly recommended!
Jan 02, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Mac Slavo via SHTFplan.com,

Cybersecurity "experts" in the United States have long alleged that "Russian bots" were used to meddle in the 2016 elections.

But, as it turns out, the authors of a Senate report on "Russian election meddling" actually ran the false flag meddling operation themselves.

A week before Christmas, the Senate Intelligence Committee released a report accusing Russia of depressing Democrat voter turnout by targeting African-Americans on social media. Its authors , New Knowledge , quickly became a household name. Described by the New York Times as a group of "tech specialists who lean Democratic," New Knowledge has ties to both the U.S. military and the intelligence agencies.

The CEO and co-founder of New Knowledge, Jonathon Morgan, had previously worked for DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) , the U.S. military's advanced research agency known for horrific ideas on how to control humanity . Morgan's partner, Ryan Fox, is a 15-year veteran of the NSA (National Security Agency) who also worked as a computer analyst for the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC). Their unique skill sets have managed to attract the eye of authoritarian investors, who pumped $11 million into the company in 2018 alone, according to a report by RT .

Morgan and Fox have both struck gold in the " Russiagate " scheme, which sprung into being after Hillary Clinton blamed Moscow for Donald Trump's presidential victory in 2016. Morgan, for example, is one of the developers of the Hamilton 68 Dashboard, the online tool that purports to monitor and expose narratives being pushed by the Kremlin on Twitter. And also worth mentioning, that dashboard is bankrolled by the German Marshall Fund's Alliance for Securing Democracy – a collection of Democrats and neoconservatives funded in part by NATO (North AtTreaty Tready Organization) and USAID (United States Agency for International Development).

It is worth noting that the 600 " Russia-linked " Twitter accounts monitored by the dashboard is not disclosed to the public either, making it impossible to verify these claims. This inconvenience has not stopped Hamilton 68 from becoming a go-to source for hysteria-hungry journalists, however. Yet on December 19, a New York Times story revealed that Morgan and his crew had created the fake army of Russian bots, as well as several fake Facebook groups, in order to discredit Republican candidate Roy Moore in Alabama's 2017 special election for the U.S. Senate.

Working on behalf of the Democrats, Morgan and his crew created an estimated 1,000 fake Twitter accounts with Russian names, and had them follow Moore. They also operated several Facebook pages where they posed as Alabama conservatives who wanted like-minded voters to support a write-in candidate instead . In an internal memo, New Knowledge boasted that it had " orchestrated an elaborate 'false flag' operation that planted the idea that the Moore campaign was amplified on social media by a Russian botnet ." – RT

This scandal is being perpetrated by the United States media and has so far deceived millions, if not more. The botnet claim made a splash on social media and was further amplified by Mother Jones , which based its story on "expert opinion" from Morgan's dubious creation, Hamilton 68.

Things got even weirder when it turned out that Scott Shane, the author of the Tim es piece, had known about the meddling for months because he spoke at an event where the organizers boasted about it!

Shane was one of the speakers at a meeting in September, organized by American Engagement Technologies, a group run by Mikey Dickerson, President Barack Obama's former tech czar. Dickerson explained how AET spent $100,000 on New Knowledge's campaign to suppress Republican votes, "enrage " Democrats to boost turnout, and execute a " false flag " to hurt Moore. He dubbed it " Project Birmingham ." -RT

There really was meddling in American democracy by " Russian bots. " Except those bots weren't run from Moscow or St. Petersburg but from the offices of Democrat operatives chiefly responsible for creating and amplifying the " Russiagate " hysteria over the past two years in a textbook case of psychological projection , brainwashing, and Nazi-style propaganda campaigns.

[Jan 02, 2019] Did Mueller Patched Together Much of His Indictment from 2015 Radio Free Europe Article ?

Highly recommended!
Jan 02, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Fran , Feb 21, 2018 2:53:24 AM | link

I wonder if this is true: STUNNING: Mueller Patched Together Much of His Indictment from 2015 Radio Free Europe Article I wouldn't be surprised if it is true.

It would give the entire story a whole new touch. I wanted to write a new smell, but it would be rather stink.

[Jan 02, 2019] Meet The Cabal That Are Framing Domestic American Activism As "Russian Influence" and "Fake News"

Jan 02, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Florin , Feb 21, 2018 9:00:03 AM | link

News "Meet The Cabal That Are Framing Domestic American Activism As "Russian Influence" and "Fake News"
https://disobedientmedia.com/2018/01/meet-the-cabal-that-are-framing-domestic-american-activism-as-russian-influence-and-fake-news/

At risk of being censored and/or convicted of Thought Crime - it is *remarkable* how very highly disproportionate the number of Jewish Zionists is who are in the media and in Congress and in ThinkTankistan and shouting about Russian meddling, 'aggression,' and the like.

It's too bad it is forbidden to examine this phenomena as one part of the matrix of power and lies leading the US into conflict with Russia, no?

I don't think Bill Kristol and David Frum and Jeff Goldberg are either honest nor primarily concerned with American national security, nor the lives of MENA civilians. I think they care only about using American blood and treasure to facilitate Israeli lebensraum, however bloody and expensive.

Trump survives only if he dances for the Deep State *and* Likud.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2015/10/12/us-caught-faking-it-in-syria/

[Dec 30, 2018] RussiaGate In Review with Aaron Mate - Unreasoned Fear is Neoliberalism's Response to the Credibility Gap

Highly recommended!
Dec 30, 2018 | jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com

At the inception of this entire RussiaGate spectacle I suggested that it was a political distraction to take the attention away from the rejection by the people of neoliberalism which has been embraced by the establishments of both political parties.

And that the result of the investigation would be indictments for perjury in the covering up of illicit business deals and money laundering. But that 'collusion to sway the election' was without substance, if not a joke.

Everything that has been revealed to date tends to support that.

One thing that Aaron overlooks is the evidence compiled by William Binney and associates that strongly suggests the DNC hack was no hack at all, but a leak by an insider who was appalled by the lies and double dealing at the DNC.

In general, RussiaGate is a farcical distraction from other issues as they say in the video. And this highlights the utterly Machiavellian streak in the corporate Democrats and the Liberal establishment under the Clintons and their ilk who care more about money and power than the basic principles that historically sustained their party. I have lost all respect for them.

But unfortunately this does open the door for those who use this to approve of the Republican establishment, which is 'at least honest' about being substantially corrupt servants to Big Money who care nothing about democracy, the Constitution, or the public. The best of them are leaving or have already left, and their party is ruined beyond repair.

This all underscores the paucity of the Red v. Blue, monopoly of two parties, 'lesser of two evils' model of political thought which has come to dominate the discussion in the US.

We are heavily propagandized by the owners of the corporate media and influencers of the narrative, and a professional class that has sold its soul for economic advantage and access to money and power.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/2HBA3Zm3dGM

And here is a bit more from Nate Silver --

https://www.youtube.com/embed/SETw5GLF8mU

[Dec 29, 2018] The problem is in 2008 unlike 1933 large sections of the electorate just wanted more Republican economics to "deal" with the aftermath

Politically Obama was a "despicable coward", or worse, a marionette.
Notable quotes:
"... A 50 state strategy, or no 50 state strategy, it really doesn't matter. Democrats were going to take losses. The key is, making sure the party is unified enough to run public policy courses. ..."
"... Your points make little sense in the face of what people wanted in 2016 that Obama could have delivered without interference from the Republicans. Things like anti-trust enforcement, SEC enforcement aka jailing the banksters, not going into Syria, not supporting the war in Yemen (remember he did both of those on his own without Congress), not making the Bush tax cuts permanent, not staying silent on union issues and actually wearing those oft mentioned comfortable shoes while walking a picket line, the list of what could have been done and that people supported goes on and on. None of which required approval from Congress. ..."
"... And speaking of the ACA, we know that Obama and others did whatever they could to kill single payer and replace it with Romneycare 1.5. The language in the bill and the controversy surrounding it show that no one thought this would give them a short term political advantage. If anything, the run up to the vote finally made enough citizens realize that they didn't hate government insurance, they just hated insurance. And here were the Democrats and Obama, forcing people to buy expensive insurance. ..."
"... He had a mandate for change. He had a majorities in both houses. He had the perfect bully pulpit. He chose not to use any of it. He and others killed the support for local parties. The Democrats needed the JFA with Hillary because Obama had pretty much bankrupted the party in 2012. A commitment to all 50 states would have been huge and would have helped Hillary get on the ground where she needed to shore up support by a few thousand votes. ..."
"... Obama and the Democrats took losses from 2008 on because they promised to do what their constituents voted them in to do and then decided not to do it. ..."
"... People don't have Republican fatigue. They don't have Democrat fatigue. They simply don't see the point in voting for people who won't do what they're voted in to do. ..."
"... The citizens of this country want change. They want higher wages and lower prices. They want less war. They want less government interference. They want their kids to grow up with more opportunities than they did. ..."
Dec 29, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Health Care

"Democratic left playing a long game to get 'Medicare for All'" [Bloomberg Law]. "'We don't have the support that we need,' said Rep. Pramila Jayapal of Washington, who will co-chair the Progressive Caucus. She said that she'd favor modest expansions of Medicare or Medicaid eligibility as a step toward Medicare for All. 'I am a big bold thinker; I'm also a good practical strategist,' Jayapal said.

'It's why the Medicare for All Caucus was started, because we want to get information to our members so people feel comfortable talking about the attacks we know are going to come.'" • So many Democrat McClellans; so few Democrat Grants.

"Progressives set to push their agenda in Congress and on the campaign trail. The GOP can't wait." [NBC]. "While the party has moved left on health care, many Democrats seem more comfortable offering an option to buy into Medicare or a similar public plan rather than creating one single-payer plan that replaces private insurance and covers everyone. Progressives, led by Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., and her Medicare For All PAC, plan to whip up support for the maximalist version and advance legislation in 2019." • The "maximalist version" is exactly what Jayapal herself, quoted by Bloomberg, says she will not seek. Not sure whether this is Democrat cynicism, sloppy Democrat messaging, or poor reporting. Or all three!


Nick Stokes , December 27, 2018 at 3:45 pm

The problem is unlike 1933 large sections of the electorate just wanted more Republican economics to "deal" with the aftermath. That is the difference between a moderate recession(historically) and a collapse like the early 1930's had when the British Empire and the de Rothschild dynasty finally collapsed.

40% didn't want anything the Obama Administration came up with succeed. 40% wanted more than they could possible politically come up with and that left 20% to actually get something done. You see why the Democrats had to take losses.

Even if Health Care, which was controversial in the party was nixed for more "stimulus", Democrats look weak. Politically, Stimulus wasn't that popular and "fiscal deficit" whiners were going to whine and there are a lot of them.

Naked Capitalism ignores this reality instead, looking for esoteric fantasy. I would argue Democrats in 2009-10 looked for short term political gain by going with Health Care reform instead of slowly explaining the advantage of building public assets via stimulus, because the party was to split on Health Care to create a package that would satisfy enough people.

Similar the Republican party, since Reagan had done the opposite, took short term political gain in 2016, which was a mistake, due to their Clinton hatred.

Which is now backfiring and the business cycle is not in a kind spot going forward, which we knew was likely in 2016.

So not only does "Republican fatigue" hurt in 2018, your on the political defensive for the next cycle. Short-termism in politics is death.

A 50 state strategy, or no 50 state strategy, it really doesn't matter. Democrats were going to take losses. The key is, making sure the party is unified enough to run public policy courses.

Chris , December 27, 2018 at 7:13 pm

Mr. Stokes (or David Brock I presume?),

I truly don't understand your point of view. I also don't understand your claim that NC deals in fantasy.

Your points make little sense in the face of what people wanted in 2016 that Obama could have delivered without interference from the Republicans. Things like anti-trust enforcement, SEC enforcement aka jailing the banksters, not going into Syria, not supporting the war in Yemen (remember he did both of those on his own without Congress), not making the Bush tax cuts permanent, not staying silent on union issues and actually wearing those oft mentioned comfortable shoes while walking a picket line, the list of what could have been done and that people supported goes on and on. None of which required approval from Congress.

There's even the bland procedural tactic of delaying the release of the Obamacare exchange premium price increases until after the election in 2016. He could have delayed that notice several months and saved Hillary a world of hurt at the polls. But he chose not to use the administrative tools at his disposal in that case. He also could have seen the writing on the wall with the multiple shut down threats and gotten ahead of it by asking Congress that if you are deemed an essential employee you will continue to be paid regardless of whether your department is funded during a shutdown. With 80% of Americans living paycheck to paycheck that would have been a huge deal.

And speaking of the ACA, we know that Obama and others did whatever they could to kill single payer and replace it with Romneycare 1.5. The language in the bill and the controversy surrounding it show that no one thought this would give them a short term political advantage. If anything, the run up to the vote finally made enough citizens realize that they didn't hate government insurance, they just hated insurance. And here were the Democrats and Obama, forcing people to buy expensive insurance.

Obama took a huge organization that could have helped him barnstorm the country (OFA) just like what Bernie is doing now and killed it early in his first term. He had a mandate for change. He had a majorities in both houses. He had the perfect bully pulpit. He chose not to use any of it. He and others killed the support for local parties. The Democrats needed the JFA with Hillary because Obama had pretty much bankrupted the party in 2012. A commitment to all 50 states would have been huge and would have helped Hillary get on the ground where she needed to shore up support by a few thousand votes.

Obama and the Democrats took losses from 2008 on because they promised to do what their constituents voted them in to do and then decided not to do it. By the time 2016 rolled around, there were estimates which placed 90% of the counties in the US as not having recovered from the disaster in 2007. Hillary ran on radical incrementalism aka the status quo. Who in their right mind could have supported the status quo in 2016?

The Democrats lost seats at all levels of government because of their own incompetence, because of their cowardice, because of their lazy assumptions that people had nowhere else to go. So when record numbers of people didn't vote they lost by slim margins in states long considered True Blue. There is nothing cyclical about any of that.

People don't have Republican fatigue. They don't have Democrat fatigue. They simply don't see the point in voting for people who won't do what they're voted in to do.

The citizens of this country want change. They want higher wages and lower prices. They want less war. They want less government interference. They want their kids to grow up with more opportunities than they did.

Obama and Hillary and all the rest of the Democrats stalking MSM cameras could have delivered on some of that but chose not to. And here we are. With President Trump. And even his broken clock gets something right twice a day, whereas Team Blue has a 50/50 chance of making the right decision and chooses wrong everytime.

Please provide better examples of your points if you truly want to defend your argument.

Carey , December 27, 2018 at 8:45 pm

What an outstandingly comprehensive recent history of
Our dismal-by-design Democrats.

My hat is off to you, Sir.

Expat2uruguay , December 28, 2018 at 7:44 am

And, that often mentioned reason for voting for Democrats, the Supreme Court. Neither Obama nor the Democrats fought for their opportunity to put their person on the Supreme Court. Because of norms I guess. Which actually makes some sense because it broke norms. Because they simply don't care

WJ , December 28, 2018 at 11:37 am

+100000

Chris , December 27, 2018 at 7:21 pm

I truly don't understand why you think any of that. Most mystifying is your claim that anyone thought ACA would provide short term political benefit?

You know how Obamacare could have given Hillary a short term political gain? If Obama had directed HHS to delay releasing any premium increase notices until after the election.

Otherwise, you'd have to support your argument a lot better. NC has the least fantastical commentary base of any website I've seen.

Yves Smith , December 27, 2018 at 8:09 pm

This is complete and utter nonsense. Your calling depicting NC as "fantasy" is a textbook example of projection on your part.

The country was terrified and demoralized when Obama took office. Go read the press in December 2008 and January 2009, since your memory is poor. He not only had window of opportunity to do an updated 100 days, the country would have welcomed. But he ignored it and the moment passed.

Obama pushed heath care because that was what he had campaigned on and had a personal interest in it. He had no interest in banking and finance and was happy to let Geither run that show.

As for stimulus, bullshit. Trump increased deficit spending with his tax cuts and no one cares much if at all. The concern re deficit spending was due to the fact that the Obama economic team was the Clinton (as in Bob Rubin) economics team, which fetishized balanced budgets or even worse, surpluses. We have explained long form that that stance was directly responsible for the rapid increase in unproductive household debt, most of all mortgage debt, which produced the crisis.

We discussed it long form in 2010:

https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2010/03/the-empire-continues-to-strike-back-team-obama-propaganda-campaign-reaches-fever-pitch.html

Better trolls, please.

[Dec 29, 2018] -Election Meddling- Enters Bizarro World As MSM Ignores Democrat-Linked -Russian Bot- Scheme -

Highly recommended!
Is this shadow of Integrity Initiative in the USA ? This false flag open the possibility that other similar events like DNC (with very questionable investigation by Crowdstrike, which was a perfect venue to implement a false flag; cybersecurity area is the perfect environment for planting false flags), MH17 (might be an incident but later it definitely was played as a false flag), Skripals (Was Skripals poisoning a false flag decided to hide the fact that Sergey Skripal was involved in writing Steele dossier?) and Litvinenko (probably connected with lack of safety measures in the process of smuggling of Plutonium by Litvinenko himself, but later played a a false flag). All of those now should be re-assessed from the their potential of being yet another flag flag operation against Russia. While Browder was a MI6 operation from the very beginning (and that explains why he abdicated the US citizenship more convincingly that the desire to avoid taxes) .
Notable quotes:
"... Democratic operative Jonathon Morgan - bankrolled by LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman, pulled a Russian bot "false flag" operation against GOP candidate Roy Moore in the Alabama special election last year - creating thousands of fake social media accounts designed to influence voters . Hoffman has since apologized, while Morgan was suspended by Facebook for "coordinated inauthentic" behavior. ..."
"... Really the bigger story is here is that these guys convincingly pretended to be Russian Bots in order to influence an election (not with the message being put forth by the bots, but by their sheer existence as apparent supporters of the Moore campaign). ..."
"... By all appearances, they were Russian bots trying to influence the election. Now we know it was DNC operatives. Yet we are supposed to believe without any proof that the "Russian bots" that supposedly influenced the 2016 Presidential election were, actually, Russian bots, and worthy of a two year long probe about "Russian collusion" and "Russian meddling." ..."
"... The whole thing is probably a farce, not only in the sense that there is no evidence that Russia had any influence at all on a single voter, but also in the sense that there is no evidence that Russia even tried (just claims and allegations by people who have a vested interest in convincing us its true). ..."
Dec 29, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

For over two years now, the concepts of "Russian collusion" and "Russian election meddling" have been shoved down our throats by the mainstream media (MSM) under the guise of legitimate concern that the Kremlin may have installed a puppet president in Donald Trump.

Having no evidence of collusion aside from a largely unverified opposition-research dossier fabricated by a former British spy, the focus shifted from "collusion" to "meddling" and "influence." In other words, maybe Trump didn't actually collude with Putin, but the Kremlin used Russian tricks to influence the election in Trump's favor. To some, this looked like nothing more than an establishment scheme to cast a permanent spectre of doubt over the legitimacy of President Donald J. Trump.

Election meddling "Russian bots" and "troll farms" became the central focus - as claims were levied of social media operations conducted by Kremlin-linked organizations which sought to influence and divide certain segments of America.

And while scant evidence of a Russian influence operation exists outside of a handful of indictments connected to a St. Petersburg "Troll farm" (which a liberal journalist cast serious doubt ov er), the MSM - with all of their proselytizing over the "threat to democracy" that election meddling poses, has largely decided to ignore actual evidence of "Russian bots" created by Democrat IT experts, used against a GOP candidate in the Alabama special election, and amplified through the Russian bot-detecting "Hamilton 68" dashboard developed by the same IT experts.

Jonathon Morgan ✔ @jonathonmorgan

Russian trolls tracked by # Hamilton68 are taking an interest in the AL Senate race. What a surprise.

298 4:02 PM - Nov 10, 2017

Democratic operative Jonathon Morgan - bankrolled by LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman, pulled a Russian bot "false flag" operation against GOP candidate Roy Moore in the Alabama special election last year - creating thousands of fake social media accounts designed to influence voters . Hoffman has since apologized, while Morgan was suspended by Facebook for "coordinated inauthentic" behavior.

As Russian state-owned RT puts it - and who could blame them for being a bit pissed over the whole thing, "it turns out there really was meddling in American democracy by "Russian bots." Except they weren't run from Moscow or St. Petersburg, but from the offices of Democrat operatives chiefly responsible for creating and amplifying the "Russiagate" hysteria over the past two years in a textbook case of psychological projection. "

A week before Christmas, the Senate Intelligence Committee released a report accusing Russia of depressing Democrat voter turnout by targeting African-Americans on social media. Its authors, New Knowledge, quickly became a household name.

Described by the New York Times as a group of "tech specialists who lean Democratic," New Knowledge has ties to both the US military and intelligence agencies. Its CEO and co-founder Jonathon Morgan previously worked for DARPA, the US military's advanced research agenc y. His partner, Ryan Fox, is a 15-year veteran of the National Security Agency who also worked as a computer analyst for the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC). Their unique skill sets have managed to attract the eye of investors, who pumped $11 million into the company in 2018 alone.

...

On December 19, a New York Times story revealed that Morgan and his crew had created a fake army of Russian bots, as well as fake Facebook groups, in order to discredit Republican candidate Roy Moore in Alabama's 2017 special election for the US Senate.

Working on behalf of the Democrats, Morgan and his crew created an estimated 1,000 fake Twitter accounts with Russian names, and had them follow Moore. They also operated several Facebook pages where they posed as Alabama conservatives who wanted like-minded voters to support a write-in candidate instead.

In an internal memo, New Knowledge boasted that it had "orchestrated an elaborate 'false flag' operation that planted the idea that the Moore campaign was amplified on social media by a Russian botnet."

It worked. The botnet claim made a splash on social media and was further amplified by Mother Jones, which based its story on expert opinion from Morgan's other dubious creation, Hamilton 68. - RT

Moore ended up losing the Alabama special election by a slim margin of just

In other words: In November 2017 – when Moore and his Democratic opponent were in a bitter fight to win over voters – Morgan openly promoted the theory that Russian bots were supporting Moore's campaign . A year later – after being caught red-handed orchestrating a self-described "false flag" operation – Morgan now says that his team never thought that the bots were Russian and have no idea what their purpose was . Did he think no one would notice? - RT

Dan Cohen ✔ @dancohen3000 Replying to @dancohen3000

Disinformation warrior @ jonathonmorgan attempts to control damage by lying. He now claims the "false flag operation" never took place and the botnet he promoted as Russian-linked (based on phony Hamilton68 Russian troll tracker he developed) wasn't Russian https://www. newknowledge.com/blog/about-ala bama

89 2:23 AM - Dec 29, 2018

Even more strange is that Scott Shane - the journalist who wrote the New York Times piece exposing the Alabama "Russian bot" scheme, knew about it for months after speaking at an event where the organizers bragged about the false flag on Moore .

Shane was one of the speakers at a meeting in September, organized by American Engagement Technologies, a group run by Mikey Dickerson, President Barack Obama's former tech czar. Dickerson explained how AET spent $100,000 on New Knowledge's campaign to suppress Republican votes, " enrage" Democrats to boost turnout, and execute a "false flag" to hrt Moore. He dubbed it "Project Birmingham." - RT

Dan Cohen ✔ @dancohen3000 · Dec 28, 2018 Replying to @dancohen3000

This gets even weirder: NYT reporter @ ScottShaneNYT , who broke the Alabama disinfo op story, learned of it in early September when he spoke at an off-the-record event organized by one of the firms that perpetrated the deception https://www. buzzfeednews.com/article/craigs ilverman/alabama-dirty-tricksters-invited-a-new-york-times-reporter

NY Times Reporter Briefed Alabama Special Election Dirty Tricksters

New York Times reporter Scott Shane spoke at an event organized by the group who ran a disinformation op aimed at helping defeat Roy Moore in Alabama.

A lightly-redacted copy of the internal @ NewKnowledgeAI report has been leaked and claims at least partial credit for Doug Jones' victory. Details follow https:// medium.com/@jeffgiesea/br eaking-heres-the-after-action-report-from-the-alabama-senate-disinformation

10 12:09 PM - Dec 28, 2018 Twitter Ads info and privacy

Shane told BuzzFeed that he was "shocked" by the revelations, though hid behind a nondisclosure agreement at the request of American Engagement Technologies (AET). He instead chose to spin the New Knowledge "false flag" operation on Moore as "limited Russian tactics" which were part of an "experiment" that had a budget of "only" $100,000 - and which had no effect on the election.

New Knowledge suggested that the false flag operation was simply a "research project," which Morgan suggested was designed "to better understand and report on the tactics and effects of social media disinformation."

View image on Twitter
Jonathon Morgan ✔ @jonathonmorgan

My statement on this evening's NYT article.

94 9:17 PM - Dec 19, 2018
465 people are talking about this Twitter Ads info and privacy

While the New York Times seemed satisfied with his explanation, others pointed out that Morgan had used the Hamilton 68 dashboard to give his "false flag" more credibility – misleading the public about a "Russian" influence campaign that he knew was fake.

New Knowledge's protestations apparently didn't convince Facebook, which announced last week that five accounts linked to New Knowledge – including Morgan's – had been suspended for engaging in "coordinated inauthentic behavior." - RT

They knew exactly what they were doing

While Morgan and New Knowledge sought to frame the "Project Birmingham" as a simple research project, a leaked copy of the operation's after-action report reveals that they knew exactly what they were doing .

"We targeted 650,000 like AL voters, with a combination of persona accounts, astroturfing, automated social media amplification and targeted advertising," reads the report published by entrepreneur and executive coach Jeff Giesea.

Jeff Giesea ✔ @jeffgiesea

BREAKING: Here's the after-action report from the AL Senate disinfo campaign.

**an exclusive release by @ JeffGiesea https:// medium.com/@jeffgiesea/br eaking-heres-the-after-action-report-from-the-alabama-senate-disinformation-campaign-e3edd854f17d

1,658 8:49 PM - Dec 27, 2018 Twitter Ads info and privacy BREAKING: Here's The After-Action Report From the Alabama Senate Disinformation Campaign

EXCLUSIVE RELEASE FROM JEFF GIESEA

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The rhetorical question remains, why did the MSM drop this election meddling story like a hot rock after the initial headlines faded away?

criminal election meddling, but then who the **** is going to click on some morons tactic and switch votes?

anyone basing any funding, whether it is number of facebook hits or attempted mind games by egotistical cuck soyboys needs a serious psychological examination. fake news is fake BECAUSE IT ISNT REAL AND DOES NOT MATTER TO ANYONE but those living in the excited misery of their tiny bubble world safe spaces. SOCIAL MEDIA IS A CON AND IS NOT IMPORTANT OR RELEVANT TO ANYONE.

far more serious is destroying ballots, writing in ballots without consent, bussing voters around to vote multiple times in different districts, registering dead voters and imperosnating the corpses, withholding votes until deadlines pass - making them invalid.


Herdee , 10 minutes ago

NATO on behalf of the Washington politicians uses the same bullsh*t propaganda for continual war.

Mugabe , 20 minutes ago

Yup "PROJECTION"...

Yippie21 , 21 minutes ago

None of this even touches on the 501c3 or whatever that was set up , concerned Alabama voters or somesuch, and was funneled a **** load of money to be found to be in violation of the law AFTER the election and then it all just disappeared. Nothing to see here folks, Democrat won, let's move on. There was a LOT of " tests " for the smart-set in that election and it all worked. We saw a bunch of it used in 2018, especially in Texas with Beto and down-ballot races. Democrats cleaned up like crazy in Texas, especially in Houston.

2020 is going to be a hot mess. And the press is in on it, and even if illegal or unseemly things are done, as long as Democrats win, all good... let's move on. Crazy.

LetThemEatRand , 21 minutes ago

The fact that MSM is not covering this story -- which is so big it truly raises major questions about the entire Russiagate conspiracy including why Mueller was appointed in the first place -- is proof that they have no interest in journalism or the truth and that they are 100% agenda driven liars. Not that we needed more proof, but there it is anyway.

Oldguy05 , 19 minutes ago

Dimz corruption is a nogo. Now if it were conservatives.......

CosineCosineCosine , 23 minutes ago

I'm not a huge fan, but Jimmy Dore has a cathartic and entertaining 30 minutes on this farce. Well worth the watch:

h https://youtu.be/hqLIJznUNVw

LetThemEatRand , 27 minutes ago

Really the bigger story is here is that these guys convincingly pretended to be Russian Bots in order to influence an election (not with the message being put forth by the bots, but by their sheer existence as apparent supporters of the Moore campaign).

By all appearances, they were Russian bots trying to influence the election. Now we know it was DNC operatives. Yet we are supposed to believe without any proof that the "Russian bots" that supposedly influenced the 2016 Presidential election were, actually, Russian bots, and worthy of a two year long probe about "Russian collusion" and "Russian meddling."

The whole thing is probably a farce, not only in the sense that there is no evidence that Russia had any influence at all on a single voter, but also in the sense that there is no evidence that Russia even tried (just claims and allegations by people who have a vested interest in convincing us its true).

dead hobo , 30 minutes ago

I've been watching Scandal on Netflix. Still only in season 2. Amazing how nothing changes.They nailed it and memorialized it. The MSM are useful idiots who are happy to make money publicizing what will sell the best.

chunga , 30 minutes ago

The media is biased and sucks, yup.

The reason the reds lost the house is because they went along with this nonsense and did nothing about it, like frightened baby chipmunks.

JRobby , 33 minutes ago

Only when "the opposition" does it is it illegal. Total totalitarian state wannabe stuff.

divingengineer , 22 minutes ago

Amazing how people can contort reality to justify their own righteous cause, but decry their opposition for the EXACT same thing. See trump visit to troops signing hats as most recent proof. If DJT takes a piss and sprinkles the seat, it's a crime.

DarkPurpleHaze , 33 minutes ago

They're afraid to expose themselves...unlike Kevin Spacey. Trump or Whitaker will expose this with one signature. It's coming.

divingengineer , 20 minutes ago

Spacey has totally lost it. See his latest video, it will be a powerful piece of evidence for an insanity plea.

CosineCosineCosine , 10 minutes ago

Disagree strongly. I think it was excellent - perhaps you misunderstood the point? 6 minutes Diana Davidson look at it clarifies

https://youtu.be/_il_NBq0Ec8

[Dec 29, 2018] Nude Selfie In Russia Case Reveals How Deep Mueller s Probe Goes

Notable quotes:
"... Special Counsel Robert Mueller has gone so far down the rabbit hole in his $25 million (taxpayer funded) Russia investigation -- going so far as to have "collected a nude selfie " to satisfy his probe. ..."
Dec 29, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Special Counsel Robert Mueller has gone so far down the rabbit hole in his $25 million (taxpayer funded) Russia investigation -- going so far as to have "collected a nude selfie " to satisfy his probe.

The claim, according to The Hill was contained within a court filing by Russian firm Concord Management and Consulting - one of three businesses indicted by Mueller in February along with 13 individuals for election meddling.

In the Thursday court filing accusing Mueller's team of illegally withholding information in the case, Concord attorney Eric Dubelier made mention of the "nude selfie," asking " Could the manner in which he collected a nude selfie really threaten the national security of the United States? "

[Dec 27, 2018] Trump Pulls Troops Out of Syria in Desperate Attempt to Save His Presidency, Causing Geopolitical Earthquake

Notable quotes:
"... On December 19, Donald Trump announced in a Twitter message: "Our boys, our young women, our men, they're all coming back and they're coming back now. We won". Shortly thereafter, Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White said in a statement: "We have started the process of returning US troops home from Syria as we transition to the next phase of the campaign". ..."
"... The temperature is heating up for Trump following the midterms, as the Democrats prepare to take command of the House of Representatives in January, something that Trump had always hoped to avert. He surrounded himself with generals, in the forlorn hope that this would somehow protect him. If the last two years of his presidency were constantly under the cloud of Mueller's investigation, or insinuations of being an agent of Putin, from January 2019 the situation is going to get much more complicated. The Democratic electoral base is baying for the President's impeachment, the party already in full pre-primary mode, with more than 20 candidates competing, with the incumbent of the White House offering the rallying cry. ..."
"... Given that 70% of Americans think that the war in Afghanistan was a mistake, the more that the mainstream media attacks Trump for his decision to withdraw, the more they direct votes to Trump. In this sense, Trump's move seems to be directed at a domestic rather than an international audience. ..."
"... The decision to get out of Syria is timed to coincide with another move that will also very much please Trump's base. The government shutdown is a result of the Democrats refusing to fund Trump's campaign promise to build a wall on the Mexican border. ..."
"... The choice to announce to his base, via Twitter, a victory against ISIS and the immediate withdrawal of US troops was a smart election move with an eye on the 2020 election. ..."
"... Macron has for now reacted angrily at Trump's decision, intensifying the division between the two, and is adamant that the French military presence in Syria will continue. ..."
"... The military-industrial-intelligence-media complex considers Trump's decision the worst of of all possible moves. Mattis even resigned on account of this. ..."
"... For Israel, it is a double disaster, with Netanyahu desperate to survive, seeking to factor in expected elections in a now-or-never political move. Trump probably understands that Bibi is done for, and that at this point, the withdrawal of troops, fulfilling a fundamental electoral promise, counts more than Israeli money and his friendship to Bibi. ..."
Dec 27, 2018 | www.strategic-culture.org

On December 19, Donald Trump announced in a Twitter message: "Our boys, our young women, our men, they're all coming back and they're coming back now. We won". Shortly thereafter, Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White said in a statement: "We have started the process of returning US troops home from Syria as we transition to the next phase of the campaign".

The reasons for Donald Trump's move are many, but they are mainly driven by US domestic concerns. The temperature is heating up for Trump following the midterms, as the Democrats prepare to take command of the House of Representatives in January, something that Trump had always hoped to avert. He surrounded himself with generals, in the forlorn hope that this would somehow protect him. If the last two years of his presidency were constantly under the cloud of Mueller's investigation, or insinuations of being an agent of Putin, from January 2019 the situation is going to get much more complicated. The Democratic electoral base is baying for the President's impeachment, the party already in full pre-primary mode, with more than 20 candidates competing, with the incumbent of the White House offering the rallying cry.

The combination of these factors has forced Trump to change gears, considering that the military-industrial-intelligence-media-complex has always been ready to get rid of Trump, even in favor of a President Pence. The only option available for Trump in order to have a chance of reelection in 2020 is to undertake a self-promotion tour, a practice in which he has few peers, and which will involve him repeating his mantra of "Promises Made, Promises Kept". He will list how he has fought against the fake-news media, suffered internal sabotage, as well as other efforts (from the Fed, the FBI, and Mueller himself) to hamper his efforts to "Make America Great Again".

Trump has perhaps understood that in order to be re-elected, he must pursue a simple media strategy that will have a direct impact on his base. Withdrawing US troops from Syria, and partly from Afghanistan, serves this purpose. It is an easy way to win with his constituents, while it is a heavy blow to his fiercest critics in Washington who are against this decision. Given that 70% of Americans think that the war in Afghanistan was a mistake, the more that the mainstream media attacks Trump for his decision to withdraw, the more they direct votes to Trump. In this sense, Trump's move seems to be directed at a domestic rather than an international audience.

The decision to get out of Syria is timed to coincide with another move that will also very much please Trump's base. The government shutdown is a result of the Democrats refusing to fund Trump's campaign promise to build a wall on the Mexican border. It is not difficult to understand that the average citizen is fed up with the useless wars in the Middle East, and Trump's words on immigration resonate with his voters. The more the media, the Democrats and the deep state criticize Trump on the wall, on the Syria pull out and on shutting down the government, the more they are campaigning for him.

This is why in order to understand the withdrawal of the United States from Syria it is necessary to see things from Trump's perspective, even as frustrating, confusing and incomprehensible that may seem at times.

The difference this time around was that the decision to withdraw US troops from Syria was Trump's alone, not something imposed on him by the generals that surround him. The choice to announce to his base, via Twitter, a victory against ISIS and the immediate withdrawal of US troops was a smart election move with an eye on the 2020 election.

It is possible that Trump, as is his wont, also wanted to send a message to his alleged French and British allies present in the northeast of Syria alongside the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and US soldiers. Trump may be now taunting: "Let's see what you can do without the US!"

It is as if Trump is admonishing these countries in a more concrete way for not lifting their weight in terms of military spending. Trump is vindictive and is not averse, after taking advantage of his opponent, to kicking him once he is down. Trump could be correct in this regard, and maybe French and British forces will be forced to withdraw their small group of 400 to 500 illegal occupiers of Syrian territory. Macron has for now reacted angrily at Trump's decision, intensifying the division between the two, and is adamant that the French military presence in Syria will continue.

There is also a more refined reason to justify the US withdrawal, even if Trump is probably unaware of it. The problem in these cases is always trying to peer through the fog of war and propaganda in order to discern the clear, unadulterated truth.

We should begin by listing the winners and losers of the Syrian conflict. Damascus, Moscow, Tehran and Hezbollah have won the war against aggression. Riyadh, Doha, Paris, London, Tel Aviv and Washington, with their al Qaeda, Daesh and Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist proxies, failed to destroy Syria, and following seven years of effort, are forced to scurry away in defeat.

Those who are walking a tightrope between war and defeat are Ankara and the so-called SDF. The withdrawal of the United States has confirmed the balance on the ledger of winners and losers, with the clock counting down for Erdogan and the SDF to make their next determinative move.

The enemies of Syria survive thanks to repeated bluffs. The Americans of the military-industrial-intelligence apparatus maintain the pretence that they still have an influence in Syria, what with troops on the ground, attacking Trump for withdrawing. In fact, since the Russians have imposed a no-fly-zone across the country, with the S-300 systems and other sophisticated equipment that integrate the Syrian air-defenses into the Russian air defenses, US coalition planes are for all intents and purposes grounded, and the same goes for the Israelis.

Of course the French and British in Syria are infected with the same delusional disease, choosing to believe that they can count for something without the US presence. We will see in the near future whether they also withdraw their illegal presence from Syria.

The biggest bluff of all probably comes from Erdogan, who for months threatened to invade Syria to fight ISIS, the Kurds, or any other plausible excuse to invade a sovereign country for the purposes of advancing his dreams of expanding Turkish territory as far as Idlib (which Erdogan considers a province of Turkey). Such an invasion, however, is unlikely to happen, as it would unite the SDF, Damascus and her allies to reject the Turkish advance on Syrian territory.

The Kurds in turn seem to have only one option left, namely, a forced negotiation with Damascus to give back to the Syrian people, in exchange for protection, the control of their territory that is rich in oil and gas.

Erdogan wants to eliminate the SDF, and until now, the only thing that stood in his way was the US military presence. He even threatened to attack several times, even in spite of the presence of US troops. Ankara has long been on a collision course with NATO countries on account of this. By removing US troops, Trump imagines, relations between Turkey and the US may also improve. This of course is of little interest to the US deep state, since Erdogan, like Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), is considered unsuitable, and is accordingly branded a "dictator".

Trump probably believes that with this move, as with his defense of MBS concerning Khashoggi, that he can try and establish a strong personal friendship with Erdogan. There are even talks about the sale of Patriot systems to the Turks and the extradition of Gulen.

When Will They Leave, and Cui Prodest?

It remains to be confirmed when and to what extent US troops will leave Syria. If the US had no voice in the future in Syria, with 2,000 men on the ground, now it has even less. Leaving behind 200 to 300 special forces and CIA operatives, together with another 400 to 500 French and British personnel, will, once they are captured with their Daesh and al Qaeda friends, be an excellent bargaining chip for Damascus, as they were in Aleppo.

The military-industrial-intelligence-media complex considers Trump's decision the worst of of all possible moves. Mattis even resigned on account of this. The presence of US troops in Syria allowed the foreign-policy establishment to continue to formulate plans (and spend money to pay a lot of people in Washington) based on the delusion that they are doing something in Syria to change the course of events. For Israel, it is a double disaster, with Netanyahu desperate to survive, seeking to factor in expected elections in a now-or-never political move. Trump probably understands that Bibi is done for, and that at this point, the withdrawal of troops, fulfilling a fundamental electoral promise, counts more than Israeli money and his friendship to Bibi.

Erdogan has two options before him. On the one hand, he can act against the Kurds. On the other hand, he can sit down at the negotiating table with Damascus and the SDF, in an Astana format, guided by Iran and Russia. Putin and Rouhani are certainly pushing for this solution. Trump, on the other hand, would like to see Turkey enter Syria in the place of US forces, to demonstrate he concluded a win-win deal for everyone, beating the deep-state at their own game.

Erdogan does not really have the military force necessary to enter Syria, which is the big secret. He would be against both the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and the SDF, though the two not necessarily in an alliance.

There is a triple bluff going on, and this is what is complicating the situation so much. On the one hand, the SDF is bluffing in not wanting help from Damascus in case Erdogan sends in his forces; on the other hand, Erdogan is bluffing in suggesting he is able to conquer the territory held by the SDF; and finally, the French and British are bluffing by telling the SDF they will be able to help them against both Erdogan and/or Assad.

Iran, Russia, Syria are the only ones who do not need to bluff, because they occupy the best position – the commanding heights. They view Trump's decisions and his allies with distrust. They know very well that these are mostly moves for internal consumption by the enemies of Syria.

If the US withdraws, there is so much to be gained. The priority then becomes the west of Syria, sealing the borders with Jordan, removing the pockets of terrorists from the east, and securing the al-Tanf crossing. If the SDF will request protection from Damascus and will be willing to participate in the liberation of the country and its reconstruction, Erdogan will be done for, and this could lead to the total liberation of Idlib. It would be the best possible outcome, an important national reconciliation between two important parts of the population. It would give Damascus new economic impetus and prepare the Syrian people to expel the remaining invaders (ISIS and the FSA/ Turkish Armed Forces) from the country, both in Idlib and in the northeast in Afrin.

Russia is aware of the risk that Erdogan is running with the choices he will take in the coming days. Perhaps the reason why Putin chose diplomacy over war with Turkey after the downing of a Russian Su-24 in 2015 was in order to arrive at this precise moment, with as many elements as possible present to convince Erdogan to stick with Russia and Iran instead of embracing Trump's strategy and putting himself on an open collision course with Damascus, Moscow and Tehran.

Putin has always been five moves ahead. He is aware that the US could not stay long in Syria. He knows that France and the UK cannot support the SDF, and that the SDF cannot hold territory it holds in Syria without an agreement with Damascus. He is also conscious that Turkey does not have the strength to enter Syria and hold the territory if it did. It would only be able justify an advance on Idlib with the support of the Russian Air Force.

Putin has certainly made it clear to Erdogan that if he made such a move to attack the SDF and enter Syria, Russia in turn would militarily support the SAA with its air force to free Idlib; and in case of incidents with Turkey, the Russian armed forces would respond with all the interest earned from the unrequited downing of the Su-24 in 2015.

Erdogan has no choice. He must find an agreement with Damascus, and this is why he found himself commenting on Trump's words the following day, criticizing US sanctions on Iran in the presence of Iranian president Rouhani. The SDF know that they are between a rock and a hard place, and have already sent a delegation to start negotiations with Damascus.

Trump's move was driven by US domestic politics and aimed at the 2020 elections. But in doing so, Trump inevitably called out once and for all the bluffs built by Syria's enemies, infuriating in the process the neoliberal imperialist establishment, revealing how each of these factions has no more cards to play and is in actual fact destined for defeat.

[Dec 27, 2018] Senate Report on Russian Interference Was Written By Disinformation Warriors Behind Alabama 'False Flag Operation'

Anybody who believe that hillary was derailed by Russians is iether idiot or neocon or both.
Notable quotes:
"... Since receiving an $11 million investment from venture capital firm, GGV Capital, in August 2017, New Knowledge has positioned itself as one of the leading private intelligence firms taking on the scourge of Russian disinformation. The outfit made its biggest splash on December 17th when it published one of the two Senate Intelligence Committee-commissioned reports. ..."
"... Of the dozens of conservative Alabamian Facebook pages the Watson campaign messaged, the New Knowledge-run page was the only one that responded to it. "You are in a particularly interesting position and from what we have read of your politics, we would be inclined to endorse you", they wrote. New Knowledge then "asked Mr. Watson whether he trusted anyone to set up a super PAC that could receive funding and offered advice on how to sharpen his appeal to disenchanted Republican voters." While Watson communicated with the deceptive Facebook page, the New Knowledge operators never revealed their identity, and the page disappeared the day after the vote. "It was weird," Watson commented to the New York Times. "The whole thing was weird." ..."
"... New Knowledge then sought to manufacture a link between Roy Moore's campaign and the Kremlin by claiming thousands of his Twitter followers were Russian bots. Mainstream media outlets credulously ran with the narrative, insinuating that the Christian theocrat Moore was secretly backed by Russia. ..."
"... While the impact of the disinformation campaign on the Alabama senate race may never be quantified, the cynicism behind it is hard to understate. A group of Democratic Party operatives with close ties to the national security state waged a cynical campaign of online deception against the American public while marketing themselves as the guardians against foreign interference. Few, if any, Russian hackers could have done as much damage to the already worn fabric of American democracy as they have. ..."
Dec 27, 2018 | grayzoneproject.com

Grayzone Project -- On December 17, two reports detailing ongoing Russian interference operations commissioned by the Senate Intelligence Committee were made public. They generated a week's worth of headlines and sent members of Congress and cable news pundits into a Cold War frenzy. According to the report, everything from the Green Party's Jill Stein to I nstagram to Pokemon Go to the African American population had been used and confused by the deceptive Facebook pages of a private Russian troll farm called the Internet Research Agency.

Nevermind that 56% of the troll farm's pages appeared after the election , that 25% of them were seen by no one, or that their miniscule online presence paled in comparison to the millions of dollars spent on social media by the two major presidential campaigns and their supporters to sway voters. This was an act of war that demanded immediate government action.

According to Sen. Mark Warner, the Democratic chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, the reports were "a wake up call" and a "bombshell" that was certain to bring "long-overdue guardrails when it comes to social media". His Republican counterpart on the committee, North Carolina Senator Richard Burr, hailed the research papers as "proof positive that one of the most important things we can do is increase information sharing between the social media companies who can identify disinformation campaigns and the third-party experts who can analyze them."

Mark Warner @MarkWarner

Incredible. These bombshell reports demonstrate just how far Russia went to exploit the fault lines of our society and divide Americans, in an attempt to undermine and manipulate our democracy. Here's what we've learned: https://www. nbcnews.com/politics/polit ics-news/russia-favored-trump-targeted-african-americans-election-meddling-reports-say-n948731

But the authors of one of the reports soon suffered a major blow to their credibility when it was revealed that they had engaged in what they called a "Russian style" online disinformation operation aimed to swing a hotly contested special senate election. The embarrassing revelation has already resulted in one of the authors having his Facebook page suspended .

The well-funded deception was carried out by New Knowledge, a private cyber intelligence firm founded by two self-styled disinformation experts who are veterans of the Obama administration: Jonathon Morgan and Ryan Fox.

'It may be designed to manipulate you'

Morgan began his career as a product manager at AOL before founding a series of start ups, some with funding from the United States Agency for International Development and Silicon Valley billionaire Pierre Omidyar's Omidyar Network. Once a Brookings Institution researcher and special advisor to the Obama White House and State Department, Morgan founded Data for Democracy, a volunteer organization said to use "public data to monitor the election system for signs of fraud." Morgan also developed technology for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the arm of the Department of Defense created for basic, applied technological research, and futuristic war toys.

Rising through the ranks of the national security apparatus, Morgan ultimately emerged as a go-to source for credulous reporters seeking to blame Hillary Clinton's loss to Donald Trump on Russian disinformation.

In an interview with the local CBS affiliate in Austin, Texas, Morgan told viewers that feelings of discontent were telltale signs that they had been duped by Russian disinformation.

"If it makes you feel too angry or really provokes that type of almost tribal response, then it may be designed to manipulate you. People should be concerned about things that encourage them to change their behavior," he warned.

View image on Twitter View image on Twitter
Max Blumenthal @MaxBlumenthal

. @ jonathonmorgan suggests Russia deceives Muslims into believing that Obama oversaw a drone assassination program https:// medium.com/data-for-democ racy/crafting-projects-islam-and-russian-propaganda-ccba9a409fb5

69 6:32 PM - Oct 14, 2017

Fox, for his part, is a 15-year veteran of the National Security Agency and was a computer analyst for the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) military unit. JSOC is notorious for its spree of atrocities across the Middle East including digging their bullets out of dead pregnant women's bodies in Afghanistan. Comparatively little information is available about Fox's background.

Since receiving an $11 million investment from venture capital firm, GGV Capital, in August 2017, New Knowledge has positioned itself as one of the leading private intelligence firms taking on the scourge of Russian disinformation. The outfit made its biggest splash on December 17th when it published one of the two Senate Intelligence Committee-commissioned reports.

The report, titled "The Tactics and Tropes of the Internet Research Agency," was oversseen by Renee DiResta, a former Wall Street trader and tech specialist who was recruited by Obama's State Department to devise strategies for combating online ISIS propaganda. The New York Times described DiResta as one among a small group of "hobbyists" who "meticulously logged data and published reports on how easy it was to manipulate social media platforms."

The hobby lobby of online obsessives converged at New Knowledge this year to sound the alarm on supposed Russian disinformation. In a New York Times op-ed published as Americans went to cast their votes in the midterm elections, Morgan and Fox alleged that the Kremlin was secretly running hundreds of propaganda websites in an effort to swing the outcomes. That assertion ran counter to the narrative the two operatives had been spinning out just months before.

In an interview earlier in the year, Ryan Fox suggested that despite the Trump administration's multiple rounds of sanctions against Russia, Vladimir Putin was so satisfied with the state of U.S. affairs that the Kremlin had actually cut back on its supposed interference. "Strategically, are they content with the way things are? Does it play in their favor to do anything right now? That's a valid question," Fox said. "Keep up the momentum, keep poking away. But do they have to implement drastic measures like hacking the DNC and exposing thousands of emails? Probably not."

More recently, Fox claimed to have identified hundreds of Russian-controlled Facebook and Twitter accounts active in France's Yellow Vest movement, which has raged against the country's neoliberal leadership and sparked anxiety among centrist elites across the Atlantic.

The Wall Street Journal @WSJ

"There has been some suspect activity," a French cybersecurity official said. "We are in the process of looking at its impact." https:// on.wsj.com/2EzeS5c

225 1:00 AM - Dec 15, 2018 Twitter Ads info and privacy France probes any Moscow role in yellow-vest movement that is challenging President Macron France Probes Any Moscow Role in Yellow-Vest Movement

French security services are investigating if the Kremlin had a role in social media activity that has spread misinformation about the protest movement that has become the most serious threat to...

wsj.com
205 people are talking about this Twitter Ads info and privacy

However, Fox produced no evidence to support his incendiary accusation, prompting reporters to qualify his assertions as " very likely " and write that he merely " believes " Russian interference took place.

Drafting the dubious bot dashboard

Morgan is also one the developers of the Hamilton 68 dashboard , an online project dedicated to inflaming public outrage over online Russian bots. Funded by the German Marshall Fund's Alliance for Securing Democracy – which is itself backed by NATO and USAID – Hamilton 68 claims to track hundreds of accounts supposedly linked to Russian influence operations. The effort has largely succeeded in drawing positive media attention despite one of its founders, Clint Watts, admitting that the Twitter accounts it follows may actually be real people who are not Russian at all.

When Morgan was asked what techniques Hamilton 68 uses to identify Russian influence operations, he offered a confident-sounding but ultimately empty answer: "We developed some techniques for determining who matters in a conversation Using some of those techniques, we've identified a subset of accounts that we're very confident are core to furthering the Russian narrative in response to mainstream events."

Because Morgan and his colleagues have explicitly refused to name the accounts monitored by Hamilton 68, his claims can never be proven.

In a lengthy profile of the musicologist-turned-New Knowledge "online detective" Kris Shaffer, Foreign Policy described the supposed methodology he employed to identify Russian disinfo operations: "By working with massive datasets of tweets, Facebook posts, and online articles, he is able to map links between accounts, similarities in the messages they post, and shared computer infrastructure."

The article added an extraordinarily revealing disclaimer: "This method of analysis is in its infancy, remains a fairly blunt instrument, and still requires human intervention. It sometimes mistakes real people who post anti-imperialist arguments about U.S. foreign policy for Kremlin trolls, for example."

It may have been that New Knowledge had no knowledge at all of Kremlin botnets, but their reports were nonetheless treated as gospel by droves of credulous reporters eager to make their name in the frenzied atmosphere of Russiagate.

"We orchestrated an elaborate 'false flag' operation"

According to an internal New Knowledge report first seen by the New York Times , the firm carried out a multi-faceted influence operation designed to undermine a 2017 bid by right-wing Republican former state supreme court judge Roy Moore for an open Alabama senate seat. By its own admission, New Knowledge's campaign capitalized on the the sexual assault allegations against Moore to "enrage and energize Democrats" and "depress turnout" among Republicans.

To accomplish this, the New Knowledge team created a Facebook page aimed at appealing to conservative Alabamians by encouraging them to endorse an obscure patio supply salesman-turned-write-in candidate named Mac Watson. They hoped the subterfuge would peel votes away from Moore. It was precisely the kind of tactic that New Knowledge claims Russian troll farms carry out to sow divisions among the American electorate.

Morgan told the New York Times the effort stopped there. But the New Knowledge report says the Facebook page "boosted" Watson's campaign and even arranged interviews for him with The Montgomery Advertiser and the Washington Post . At the same time, Watson's Twitter following mysteriously jumped from 100 to about 10,000.

Russia | disinformation campaign

One of the articles New Knowledge took credit for during its disinformation campaign.

Of the dozens of conservative Alabamian Facebook pages the Watson campaign messaged, the New Knowledge-run page was the only one that responded to it. "You are in a particularly interesting position and from what we have read of your politics, we would be inclined to endorse you", they wrote. New Knowledge then "asked Mr. Watson whether he trusted anyone to set up a super PAC that could receive funding and offered advice on how to sharpen his appeal to disenchanted Republican voters." While Watson communicated with the deceptive Facebook page, the New Knowledge operators never revealed their identity, and the page disappeared the day after the vote. "It was weird," Watson commented to the New York Times. "The whole thing was weird."

New Knowledge then sought to manufacture a link between Roy Moore's campaign and the Kremlin by claiming thousands of his Twitter followers were Russian bots. Mainstream media outlets credulously ran with the narrative, insinuating that the Christian theocrat Moore was secretly backed by Russia.

The Montgomery Observer first reported the alleged link: Russian invasion? Roy Moore sees spike in Twitter followers from land of Putin . From there, it was picked up by Mother Jones, whose headline read: Russian Propagandists Are Pushing for Roy Moore to Win . But there was no proof of any Russian connection to the accounts. To bolster its evidence-free claim, Mother Jones simply turned to Hamilton 68, the highly suspect Russian influence monitoring system that Morgan helped design.

Today, as can be seen below, Mother Jones is using a bogus story generated by a disinformation campaign to raise funds for more Russiagate coverage.

Mother Jones Russiagate Fundraising

As the Russian bot narrative peaked, Moore blamed the Jones campaign for manufacturing the scare. "It's not surprising that they'd choose the favorite topic of MSNBC and the Fake News outlets -- the Russia conspiracy. Democrats can't win this election on the issues and their desperation is on full display."

Moore's opponent, Jones, said he had no knowledge of the operation.

Moore was roundly mocked in liberal circles as a conspiratorial crank, but New Knowledge's internal report contained a stunning admission: "We orchestrated an elaborate 'false flag' operation that planted the idea that the Moore campaign was amplified on social media by a Russian botnet," its authors revealed.

While the New York Times says the internal report does not confirm that New Knowledge purchased the bot account themselves, the accounts' flagrant use of Cyrillic language and profile pictures of famous singers including Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and Avril Lavigne strongly suggest that whoever bought them went to extreme lengths to leave the appearance of a Russian hand.

View image on Twitter View image on Twitter View image on Twitter View image on Twitter
The Ostrich @ALostrich

Roy Moore just picked up a whole bunch of twitter followers. But they ain't from around here, comrade.

7,699 8:02 AM - Oct 16, 2017
5,467 people are talking about this Twitter Ads info and privacy
Disinfo ops to "strengthen American democracy"

The Alabama disinformation campaign was carried out through a network of Silicon Valley tech entrepreneurs and former Obama administration officials who have joined the private sector to leverage liberal anti-Trump outrage into profits.

Billionaire Reid Hoffman, who co-founded the employment networking site LinkedIn, provided $100,000 for the black ops campaign. The money was then pipelined through American Engagement Technologies, which is headed by Mikey Dickerson, a former Google engineer who founded the United State Digital Service. Dickerson is also Executive Director of the New Data Project, an organization dedicated to "testing new approaches" and "serving as an advanced technology research lab for progressives."

A colleague of Hoffman's claimed the purpose of his investments was to "strengthen American democracy."

Since the New York Times' exposι, Facebook released a statement announcing its suspension of "five accounts run by a multiple individuals for engaging in coordinated inauthentic behavior," including Morgan's account. The social media platform has opened an investigation, though it has not revealed what the other pages are or who operated them.

The headline of the New York Times story about the Facebook suspensions appeared to have been crafted to keep the focus on Russia while deflecting scrutiny from the group of Democratic Party-linked hustlers that orchestrated the disinformation operation. It read: "Facebook Closes 5 Accounts Tied to Russia-Like Tactics in Alabama Senate Race."

For his part, Sen. Jones has demanded an investigation. "I think we've all focused too much on just the Russians and not picked up on the fact that some nefarious groups, whether they're right or left, could take those same playbooks and start interfering with the elections for their own benefit," he said. "I'd like to see the Federal Election Commission and the Justice Department look at this to see if there were any laws being violated and, if there were, prosecute those responsible."

Facing an inquiry for possible violations of election laws, Morgan issued a mealy-mouthed statement claiming he "did not participate in any campaign to influence the public and any characterization to the contrary misrepresents the research goals, methods and outcome of the project."

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Jonathon Morgan @jonathonmorgan

My statement on this evening's NYT article.

90 9:17 PM - Dec 19, 2018

While the impact of the disinformation campaign on the Alabama senate race may never be quantified, the cynicism behind it is hard to understate. A group of Democratic Party operatives with close ties to the national security state waged a cynical campaign of online deception against the American public while marketing themselves as the guardians against foreign interference. Few, if any, Russian hackers could have done as much damage to the already worn fabric of American democracy as they have.

Top Photo | Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr, R-N.C., right, with Vice Chairman Mark Warner, D-Va., left, updates reporters on the status of their inquiry into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. elections, at the Capitol in Washington, Oct. 4, 2017. J. Scott Applewhite | AP

Dan Cohen is a journalist and filmmaker. He has produced widely distributed video reports and print dispatches from across Israel-Palestine. Dan is a correspondent at RT America and tweets at @ DanCohen3000 .

Source | Grayzone Project

[Dec 25, 2018] Mattis Marks End of the Global War on Terror

Notable quotes:
"... America's presence in Syria, like Jim Mattis himself, is an artifact of another era, the failed GWOT. As a Marine, Mattis served in ground combat leadership roles in Gulf Wars I and II, and also in Afghanistan. He ran United States Central Command from 2010 to 2013, the final years of The Surge in Iraq and American withdrawal afterwards. There is no doubt why he supported the American military presence in Syria, and why he resigned to protest Trump's decision to end it: Mattis knew nothing else. His entire career was built around the strategy of the GWOT, the core of which was to never question GWOT strategy. Mattis didn't need a reason to stay in Syria; being in Syria was the reason. ..."
"... So why didn't Trump listen to his generals? Maybe because the bulk of their advice has been dead wrong for 17 years? ..."
"... The war on terror failed. It should have been dismantled long ago. Barack Obama could have done it, but instead became a victim of hubris and bureaucratic capture, and allowed it to expand. His supporters give him credit for not escalating the war in Syria, but leave out the part about how he also left the pot to simmer on the stove instead of removing it altogether. ..."
"... Peter Van Buren, a 24-year State Department veteran, is the author of ..."
"... . He is permanently banned from federal employment and Twitter. ..."
"... The GWOT was not only a failure, it was a fraud. Saddam's Iraq was secular and had nothing to do with terrorism. The same can be said for Libya and Syria. We armed and trained jihadis for the purpose of overthrowing Assad. How is that fighting terrorism? The war on terror was a deception, to cover for wars which were aggressive and unjustified. These wars were not just a failure, they were criminal and should be a source of shame and sorrow for our country. The men who orchestrated these wars did so by lying to the American people every step of the way, with the media repeating their every lie and distortion with robotic consistency. The neocon planners and all their willing accomplices deserve a special place in hell for the death and destruction they have wrought. Thank God the neocon era seems to be coming to a close. Thank God for Donald Trump, with all his flaws, for having the guts and decency to put an end to this prolonged military outrage. ..."
"... It's strange that Mr. van Buren celebrates the exit of Mattis as symbolizing the end of a long-discredited policy when Mattis was hired less than 2 years ago, many years after that policy became discredited, and after Mattis's hirer ran for President on a platform diametrically opposed to the discredited policy while denouncing the discredited policy. Now we find out belatedly that the only reason President Trump hired Mattis was because Mattis was fired for insubordination by former President Obama which incumbent President Trump hates, and for which a strong motivating factor is doing everything opposite of Obama. So now incumbent President Trump finds to his dismay that Mattis is insubordinate to himself as well. And yet Mr. van Buren thinks the important focus of this development is Mattis ..."
"... "The raw drive to insta-hate everything Trump does is misleading otherwise thoughtful people. So let's try a new lens: during the campaign Trump outspokenly denounced the waste of America's wars. Pro-Trump sentiment in rural areas was driven by people who agreed with his critique, by people who'd served in these wars, whose sons and daughters had served, or, given the length of all this, both. Since taking office, the president has pulled U.S. troops back from pointless conflicts in Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Congress may yet rise to do the same for American involvement in Yemen. No new wars have been started It is time for some old ideas to move on." ..."
"... The GWOT was a repudiation of the Powell Doctrine. Almost 20 years on, Powell looks like genius and the neocons like a bunch of morons. ..."
"... The retreat from Syria does not mean a U.S. retreat from its role as the Global Cop Gorilla. The Pentagon is merely changing its primary target set from the GWOT actors to the "revisionist powers". ..."
"... The National Defense Strategy Commission's report, ironically and perversely released by the "United States Institute of Peace", validates the fear-monger claims and also the claims to more TRILLIONS of taxpayer dollars to feed the Gorilla as it marauds around the perimeter of Asia. ..."
"... "There is no pleasure in watching Jim Mattis end his decades of service with a bureaucratic dirty stick shoved at him as a parting gift." ..."
"... "Don't make me have to kill you" ..."
"... It's no coincidence that Netanyahu's government fell apart today. Another good riddance. May the Israelis elect a new PM who actually wants peace in the Mideast. ..."
"... The War Party is still The War Party -- which is why so many of us who are strong Trump supporters have never joined the Republican Party and have no plans to join. This moment in history is particularly instruction. The Democrats have blown their cover. The Democratic Party is as much The War Party as the Republican Party. ..."
Dec 25, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

The New York Times , its journalists in mourning over the loss of a war, ask , "Who will protect America now?" Mattis the warrior-monk is juxtaposed with the flippant commander-in-Cheeto. The Times sees strategic disaster in an "abrupt and dangerous decision, detached from any broader strategic context or any public rationale, [that] sowed new uncertainty about America's commitment to the Middle East, [and] its willingness to be a global leader."

"A major blunder," tweeted Senator Marco Rubio. "If it isn't reversed it will haunt America for years to come." Senator Lindsey Graham called for congressional hearings. And what is history if not irony? Rubio talks of haunting foreign policy decisions in Syria seemingly without knowledge of previous calamities in Iraq. Graham wants to hold hearings on quitting a war Congress never held hearings on authorizing.

That's all wrong. Jim Mattis's resignation as defense secretary ( and on Sunday , Brett McGurk, as special envoy to the coalition fighting ISIS) and Trump's decision to withdraw from Syria and Afghanistan are indeed significant. But that's because they mark the beginning of the end of the Global War on Terror (GWOT), the singular, tragic, bloody driver of American foreign policy for almost two decades.

Why does the U.S. have troops in Syria?

To defeat the Islamic State? ISIS's ability to hold ground and project power outside its immediate backyard was destroyed somewhere back in 2016 by an unholy coalition of American, Iranian, Russian, Syrian, Turkish, and Israeli forces in Iraq and Syria. Sure, there are terrorists who continue to set off bombs in ISIS's name, but they are not controlled or directed out of Syria. They are most likely legal residents of the Western countries they attack, radicalized online or in local mosques. They are motivated by a philosophy, which cannot be destroyed on the ground in Syria. This is the fundamental failure of the GWOT: that you can't blow up an idea.

Regime change? It was never a practical idea. As in Iraq, Libya, and Afghanistan, there was never a plan for what to do next, for how to keep Syria from descending into complete chaos the day Assad was removed. And though progressives embraced the idea of getting rid of another "evil dictator" when it came through the mouthpiece of Obama's own freedom fighter Samantha Power, the same idea today has little drive behind it.

Russia? Overwrought fear of Moscow was once a sign of unhealthy paranoia satirized on The Twilight Zone . Today, Russia hate is seen as a prerequisite to patriotism, though it still makes no more sense. The Russians have long had a practical relationship with Syria, having maintained a naval base at Tartus since 1971, which they will continue to do. There was never a plan for the U.S. to push the Russians out -- Obama in fact saw the Russian presence are part of the solution in Syria. American withdrawal is far more of a return to status quo than anything like a win for Putin. (Elsewhere at TAC , Matt Purple pokes more holes in Putin paranoia.)

Washington Melts Down Over Trump's Syria Withdrawal Former Yazidi Sex Slave Is America's Shame

The Kurds? The U.S.-Kurd story is one of expediency over morality. We've used them only because, at every sad turn, there's been no force otherwise available in bulk. The Kurds have been abandoned many times by America: in 1991 when it refused to assist them in breaking away from Saddam Hussein following Gulf War I, when it insisted they remain part of a "united Iraq" following Gulf War II, and most definitively in 2017 following Gulf War III when the U.S. did not support their independence referendum, relegating them to Baghdad's forever half-loved stepchild.

After all that, America's intentions toward the Kurds in Syria are barely a sideshow-scale event. The Kurds want to cleave off territory from Turkey and Syria, something neither nation will permit and something the U.S. quietly understands would destabilize the region. Mattis, by the way, supported NATO ally Turkey in its fight against the Kurds, calling them an "active insurgency inside its borders."

Iran? Does the U.S. really have troops in Syria to brush back Iranian influence? As with "all of the above," that genie got out of the bottle years ago. Iranian power in the greater Middle East has grown dramatically since 2003, and has been driven at every step by the blunders of the United States. If the most powerful army in the world couldn't stop the Iranians from essentially winning Gulf Wars II and III, how can 2,000 troops in Syria hope to accomplish much?

The United States, of course, wasn't even shooting at the Iranians in Syria; in most cases it was working either with them or tacitly alongside them towards the goal of killing off ISIS. Tehran's role as Assad's protector was set as America rumbled about regime change. Iran has since pieced together a land corridor to the Mediterranean through Iraq and Syria, which it will not be giving up, certainly not because of the presence of a few thousand Americans.

What remains is that once-neocon, now progressive catch-all: we need to stay in Syria to preserve American credibility. While pundits can still get away with this line, the rest of the globe already knows the empire has no clothes. Since 2001, the United States has spent some $6 trillion on its wars, and killed multiple 9/11s worth of American troops and foreign civilians. The U.S. has tortured , still maintains its gulag at Guantanamo, and, worst of all credibility-wise, has lost on every front. Afghanistan after 17 years of war festers. Nothing was accomplished with Iraq. Libya is a failed state. Syria is the source of a refugee crisis whose long-term effects on Europe are still being played out. We are the "indispensable nation" only in our own minds. A lot of people around the world probably wish America would just stop messing with their countries.

So why does the U.S. have troops in Syria? Anyone? Bueller? Mattis?

America's presence in Syria, like Jim Mattis himself, is an artifact of another era, the failed GWOT. As a Marine, Mattis served in ground combat leadership roles in Gulf Wars I and II, and also in Afghanistan. He ran United States Central Command from 2010 to 2013, the final years of The Surge in Iraq and American withdrawal afterwards. There is no doubt why he supported the American military presence in Syria, and why he resigned to protest Trump's decision to end it: Mattis knew nothing else. His entire career was built around the strategy of the GWOT, the core of which was to never question GWOT strategy. Mattis didn't need a reason to stay in Syria; being in Syria was the reason.

So why didn't Trump listen to his generals? Maybe because the bulk of their advice has been dead wrong for 17 years? Instead, Trump plans a dramatic drawdown of troops in Afghanistan. The U.S. presence in Iraq has dwindled from combat to advise and assist. Congress seems poised to end U.S. involvement in Yemen against Mattis's advice.

There is no pleasure in watching Jim Mattis end his decades of service with a bureaucratic dirty stick shoved at him as a parting gift. But to see this all as another Trump versus the world blunder is very wrong. The war on terror failed. It should have been dismantled long ago. Barack Obama could have done it, but instead became a victim of hubris and bureaucratic capture, and allowed it to expand. His supporters give him credit for not escalating the war in Syria, but leave out the part about how he also left the pot to simmer on the stove instead of removing it altogether.

The raw drive to insta-hate everything Trump does is misleading otherwise thoughtful people. So let's try a new lens: during the campaign Trump outspokenly denounced the waste of America's wars. Pro-Trump sentiment in rural areas was driven by people who agreed with his critique, by people who'd served in these wars, whose sons and daughters had served, or, given the length of all this, both. Since taking office, the president has pulled U.S. troops back from pointless conflicts in Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Congress may yet rise to do the same for American involvement in Yemen. No new wars have been started. Though the results are far from certain, for the first time in nearly 20 years, negotiations are open again with North Korea. Mattis's ending was clumsy, but it was a long time coming. It is time for some old ideas to move on.

Peter Van Buren, a 24-year State Department veteran, is the author of We Meant Well : How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People and Hooper's War : A Novel of WWII Japan . He is permanently banned from federal employment and Twitter.



Geo December 24, 2018 at 8:22 am

I'm about as left wing as they come and have had a distain for Trump for decades. But, if he can put an end to the GWOT and truly pull America out of those disasters I protested against back in 2001-2002 (not to mention Libya and Yemen) then he will be my favorite modern president. Granted, that's a low bar. I've not had one in my lifetime that was worth admiring, but would be a welcome change.

I have my doubts he'll be able to pull it off but even if he manages to just not start any new wars that would be a novel new direction for us.

Kent , , December 24, 2018 at 9:23 am
If Trump pulls this off, I'll actually consider voting for him in 2020.
TomG , , December 24, 2018 at 9:24 am
It's good for Van Buren to remind people that our relationship with the Kurds has long been one of support when it is convenient and abandonment when it is not. For left and right to feign concern now is quite hypocritical.

Reading this offers some hope though the bulk of coverage on the Syria withdrawal from left and right has been most depressing. May Mattis (and his ilk) go far and may it be soon!

Stephen in Florida , , December 24, 2018 at 9:25 am
Amen to everything in this article. I voted for Trump because of the way he strongly denounced the Iraq war and our policies of interventionism and nation building in general. It has taken two full years, but finally he is delivering what I hoped for. The media is trying to turn this into another Trump smear issue, but I expect them to fail at this. At this point in time how many people take the news channel narrative seriously? Especially if Trump removes our troops from Afghanistan, I expect his popularity to soar.

The GWOT was not only a failure, it was a fraud. Saddam's Iraq was secular and had nothing to do with terrorism. The same can be said for Libya and Syria. We armed and trained jihadis for the purpose of overthrowing Assad. How is that fighting terrorism? The war on terror was a deception, to cover for wars which were aggressive and unjustified. These wars were not just a failure, they were criminal and should be a source of shame and sorrow for our country. The men who orchestrated these wars did so by lying to the American people every step of the way, with the media repeating their every lie and distortion with robotic consistency. The neocon planners and all their willing accomplices deserve a special place in hell for the death and destruction they have wrought. Thank God the neocon era seems to be coming to a close. Thank God for Donald Trump, with all his flaws, for having the guts and decency to put an end to this prolonged military outrage.

JK , , December 24, 2018 at 9:51 am
It's strange that Mr. van Buren celebrates the exit of Mattis as symbolizing the end of a long-discredited policy when Mattis was hired less than 2 years ago, many years after that policy became discredited, and after Mattis's hirer ran for President on a platform diametrically opposed to the discredited policy while denouncing the discredited policy. Now we find out belatedly that the only reason President Trump hired Mattis was because Mattis was fired for insubordination by former President Obama which incumbent President Trump hates, and for which a strong motivating factor is doing everything opposite of Obama. So now incumbent President Trump finds to his dismay that Mattis is insubordinate to himself as well. And yet Mr. van Buren thinks the important focus of this development is Mattis
Kurt Gayle , , December 24, 2018 at 10:06 am
This is brilliant, Mr. Van Buren. Thank you:

"The raw drive to insta-hate everything Trump does is misleading otherwise thoughtful people. So let's try a new lens: during the campaign Trump outspokenly denounced the waste of America's wars. Pro-Trump sentiment in rural areas was driven by people who agreed with his critique, by people who'd served in these wars, whose sons and daughters had served, or, given the length of all this, both. Since taking office, the president has pulled U.S. troops back from pointless conflicts in Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Congress may yet rise to do the same for American involvement in Yemen. No new wars have been started It is time for some old ideas to move on."

furbo , , December 24, 2018 at 10:08 am
The President made the right decision. I WISH it had been reached in a more traditional manner -- going thru the NSC and such, but we had no achievable strategic goals and were really only a bit player. The very real danger was that we were dancing around the Russians like two porcupines making love with the current "Russia!Russia!Russia!" political freakout preventing what could have been a genuine opportunity for cooperation in at least one area. Syria will not be any more chaotic for our departure, infact given less scrutiny and no danger of accidental WW III, the Russians/Iranians/Syrian gov't may be able to wrap this up more faster.

Russia also has interest in Kurdish welfare and as 15% of Israelis ARE Russians, their wellfare as well. In an administration that needed to project credibility, SEC Mattis was a good choice and has done some great things cutting alot of uneeded red tape & worthless 'training' and giving clear priorities for the services. But, he's opposed almost everything the President including the Trans ban so it was 'when not if'.

Oleg Gark , , December 24, 2018 at 10:13 am
The GWOT was a repudiation of the Powell Doctrine. Almost 20 years on, Powell looks like genius and the neocons like a bunch of morons.
Seaman Bodine , , December 24, 2018 at 10:30 am
It all makes sense once you understand that by "restraint" they mean "leave American soldiers as hostages to fortune in Syria!" and "unlimited mulligans for failed generals in Afghanistan!" and "let's provoke Erdogan into releasing two or three million refugees into Europe!"
Alex (the one that likes Ike) , , December 24, 2018 at 10:33 am

The Times sees strategic disaster in an "abrupt and dangerous decision, detached from any broader strategic context or any public rationale, [that] sowed new uncertainty about America's commitment to the Middle East, [and] its willingness to be a global leader."

Geez. I can also come up with something like this artwork by the Times journalists. Here: "The lack of correlation between convergences caused an unwanted bifurcation of idiosyncratic dichotomies". Twaddle? But how badass is sounds! Just read it aloud -- and you'll see the credibility glittering like Swarovski crystals all over the place.

Merry Christmas to the MSM. I wish them to start writing something meaningful next year.

Dan Green , , December 24, 2018 at 10:52 am
Too bad the military establishment had their Christmas ruined. They shouldn't get down there will new new wars.
SteveM , , December 24, 2018 at 11:19 am
The retreat from Syria does not mean a U.S. retreat from its role as the Global Cop Gorilla. The Pentagon is merely changing its primary target set from the GWOT actors to the "revisionist powers".

Mattis fronted the updated National Defense Strategy. It again fear-mongers out the wazoo about Russia and China with the only solution being "more, more, more" for the War Machine.

The National Defense Strategy Commission's report, ironically and perversely released by the "United States Institute of Peace", validates the fear-monger claims and also the claims to more TRILLIONS of taxpayer dollars to feed the Gorilla as it marauds around the perimeter of Asia.

Re: "There is no pleasure in watching Jim Mattis end his decades of service with a bureaucratic dirty stick shoved at him as a parting gift."

Au Contraire , there is much pleasure watching that sanctified War-Monger and Pentagon Hack with his contrived "Don't make me have to kill you" schtick ride off into the sunset.

Unfortunately for those of us not deluded into the Cult of Military Exceptionalism, Mattis will no doubt segue to Fox News as yet another "Wizened Sage" of Pentagon wisdom and insight, where he'll live very large for simply gas-bagging his "Warrior Hero" script. And perhaps Mad Dog will even meander back to General Dynamics to pimp yet again for the Merchants of Death.

Make no mistake, Mattis and his General pals are enemies of the taxpayers and rank apostates of the Founders' principles. Mattis may soon be gone, but unfortunately, he won't be forgotten.

P.S. Merry Christmas

Citoyen , , December 24, 2018 at 11:55 am
It's good to see Trump finally realizing that he is the president, and not his generals and "advisors" that no one elected. Goodbye and good riddance to Mattis, Haley et al. Next to go should be John Bolton, Mike Pompeo and Jared Kushner.

It's no coincidence that Netanyahu's government fell apart today. Another good riddance. May the Israelis elect a new PM who actually wants peace in the Mideast.

Kurt Gayle , , December 24, 2018 at 12:35 pm
"'A major blunder,' tweeted Senator Marco Rubio. 'If it isn't reversed it will haunt America for years to come.' Senator Lindsey Graham called for congressional hearings. And what is history if not irony? Rubio talks of haunting foreign policy decisions in Syria seemingly without knowledge of previous calamities in Iraq. Graham wants to hold hearings on quitting a war Congress never held hearings on authorizing."

The War Party is still The War Party -- which is why so many of us who are strong Trump supporters have never joined the Republican Party and have no plans to join. This moment in history is particularly instruction. The Democrats have blown their cover. The Democratic Party is as much The War Party as the Republican Party.

Stephen J. , , December 24, 2018 at 12:44 pm
Article of interest at link below.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -
Send the Mad Dog to the Corporate Kennel
by Ray McGovern Posted on December 22, 2018

https://original.antiwar.com/mcgovern/2018/12/21/send-the-mad-dog-to-the-corporate-kennel/

Ron B. Saunders , , December 24, 2018 at 2:50 pm
No wonder Mr. Van Buren is banned from federal employment and Twitter. His clarity and surgical observations of American interventionism are indeed enlightening. Deep State forces must cringe when reading his missives.

I don't agree with everything Trump does, but I have high hopes for his intent to extract American military forces from the Middle East. Having cost trillions of dollars and countless lives, these profit-motivated, failed expeditions could never be morally justified even if they were successful.

Being the world's policeman does not make America a benevolent, inspiring global leader. The opposite is true, as much of the world now perceives America to be a disruptive force, conspiring against global peace for the benefit of the military industrial complex and multinational corporations.

Let's pray for a changing tide that steers us further from the brink.

Mark Thomason , , December 24, 2018 at 3:19 pm
"Now Trump, the guy everyone expected to start new wars"

Hillary supporters said that. The rest of us knew that she was the danger of more and bigger wars. That was a prime reason to defeat her. Too bad the only way to defeat her was to elect Trump, but that is on the DNC, since they offered her, and every other Republican was even worse (Cruz!).

[Dec 24, 2018] Did Someone Slip Donald Trump Some Kind Of Political Viagra

Dec 24, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

After two years of getting rolled by the Washington establishment, it seems that President Donald Trump woke up and suddenly realized , "Hey – I'm the president! I have the legal authority to do stuff!"

All of this should be taken with a big grain of salt. While this week's assertiveness perhaps provides further proof that Trump's impulses are right, it doesn't mean he can implement them.

The Syria withdrawal will be difficult. The entire establishment, including the otherwise pro-Trump talking heads on Fox News , are dead set against him – except for Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham .

Senator Lindsey Graham is demanding hearings on how to block the Syria pullout . Congress hardly ever quibbles with a president's putting troops into a country, where the Legislative Branch has legitimate Constitutional power. But if a president under his absolute command authority wants to pull them out – even someplace where they're deployed illegally, as in Syria – well hold on just a minute!

We are being told our getting out of Syria and Afghanistan will be a huge "gift" to Russia and Iran . Worse, it is being compared to Barack Obama's " premature" withdrawal from Iraq ( falsely pointed to as the cause of the rise of ISIS ) and will set the stage for "chaos." By that standard, we can never leave anywhere.

This will be a critical time for the Trump presidency. (And if God is really on his side, he soon might get another Supreme Court pick .) If he can get the machinery of the Executive Branch to implement his decision to withdraw from Syria, and if he can pick a replacement to General Mattis who actually agrees with Trump's views, we might start getting the America First policy Trump ran on in 2016.

Mattis himself said in his resignation letter, "Because you have the right to have a Secretary of Defense whose views are better aligned with yours on these [i.e., support for so-called "allies"] and other subjects, I believe it is right for me to step down from my position."

Right on, Mad Dog! In fact Trump should have had someone "better aligned" with him in that capacity from the get-go. It is now imperative that he picks someone who agrees with his core positions, starting with withdrawal from Syria and Afghanistan, and reducing confrontation with Russia.

Former Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel complains that "our government is not a one-man show." Well, the "government" isn't, but the Executive Branch is. Article II, Section 1 : "The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America." Him. The President. Nobody else. Period.

Already the drumbeat to saddle Trump with another Swamp critter at the Pentagon is starting: "Several possible replacements for Mattis this week trashed the president's decision to pull out of Syria. Retired Gen. Jack Keane called the move a "strategic mistake" on Twitter. Republican Sens. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) and Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) signed a letter demanding Trump reconsider the decision and warning that the withdrawal bolsters Iran and Russia." If Trump even considers any of the above as Mattis's replacement, he'll be in worse shape than he has been for the past two years.

On the other hand, if Trump does pick someone who agrees with him about Syria and Afghanistan, never mind getting along with Russia , can he get that person confirmed by the Senate? One possibility would be to nominate someone like Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney specifically to run the Pentagon bureaucracy and get control of costs, while explicitly deferring operational decisions to the Commander in Chief in consultation with the Service Chiefs.

Right now on Syria Trump is facing pushback from virtually the whole Deep State establishment, Republicans and Democrats alike, as well as the media from Fox News , to NPR , to MSNBC . Terror has again gripped the establishment that the Trump who was elected president in 2016 might actually start implementing what he promised. It is imperative that he pick someone for the Pentagon (and frankly, clear out the rest of his national security team) and appoint people he can trust and whose views comport with his own. Just lopping off a few heads won't suffice – he needs a full housecleaning.

In the meantime in Syria, watch for another "Assad poison gas attack against his own people." The last time Trump said we'd be leaving Syria "very soon " was on March 29 of this year. Barely a week later, on April 7, came a supposed chemical incident in Douma, immediately hyped as a government attack on civilians but soon apparent as likely staged . Trump, though, dutifully took the bait, tweeting that Assad was an "animal." Putin, Russia, and Iran were "responsible" for "many dead, including women and children, in mindless CHEMICAL attack" – "Big price to pay." He then for the second time launched cruise missiles against Syrian targets. A confrontation loomed in the eastern Med that could to have led to war with Russia. Now, in light of Trump's restated determination to get out, is MI6 already ginning up their White Helmet assets for a repeat ?

Trump's claim that the US has completed its only mission, to defeat ISIS, is being compared to George W. Bush's "Mission Accomplished" banner following defeat of Iraq's army and the beginning of the occupation (and, as it turned out, the beginning of the real war). But if it helps get us out, who cares if Trump wants to take credit? Whatever his terrible, horrible, no good, very bad national security team told him, the US presence in Syria was never about ISIS. We are there as Uncle Sam's Rent-an-Army for the Israelis and Saudis to block Iranian influence and especially an overland route between Syria and Iran (the so-called "Shiite land bridge" to the Mediterranean ).

For US forces the war against ISIS was always a sideshow, mainly carried on by the Syrians and Russians and proportioned about like the war against the Wehrmacht: about 20% "us," about 80% "them." The remaining pocket ISIS has on the Syria-Iraq border has been deliberate ly left alone, to keep handy as a lever to force Assad out in a settlement (which is not going to happen). Thus the claim an American pullout will lead to an ISIS "resurgence " is absurd. With US forces ceasing to play dog in the manger, the Syrians, Russians, Iranians, and Iraqis will kill them. All of them.

If Trump is able to follow through with the pullout, will the Syrian war wind down? It needs to be kept in mind that the whole conflict has been because we (the US, plus Israel, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, UAE, the United Kingdom, etc) are the aggressors. We sought to use al-Qaeda and other jihadis to effect regime change via the tried and true method. It failed.

Regarding Trump's critics' claim that he is turning over Syria to the Russians and Iranians, Assad is nobody's puppet. He can be allied with a Shiite theocracy but not controlled by it; Iran, likewise, can also have mutually beneficial ties with an ideologically dissimilar country, like it does with Christian Armenia. The Russians will stay and expand their presence but unlike our presence in many countries – which seemingly never ends, for example in Germany, Japan, and Korea, not to mention Kosovo – they'll be there only as long and to the extent the Syrians want them. (Compare our eternal occupations with the Soviets' politely leaving Egypt when Anwar Sadat asked them, or leaving Somalia when Siad Barre wanted them out. Instead of leaving, why didn't Moscow just do a " Diem " on them?) It seems that American policymakers have gotten so far down the wormhole of their paranoid fantasies about the rest of the world – and it can't be overemphasized, concerning areas where the US has no actual national interests – that we no longer recognize classic statecraft when practiced by other powers defending genuine national interests (which of course are legitimate only to the extent we say so).

What happens over the next few days on funding for the Border Wall – which is fully within the power of Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to deliver – and over the next few weeks over Syria and Afghanistan may be decisive for the balance of the Trump presidency. If he can prevail, and if he finally starts assembling an America First national security team beginning with a good Pentagon chief, he still has a chance to deliver on his 2016 promises.

Anyway, if this week's developments are the result of someone putting something into Donald's morning Egg McMuffin , America and the world owe him (or her) a vote of thanks. Let's see more of the wrecking ball we Deplorables voted for !


Karmageddon , 23 seconds ago link

Trump thought that by bringing the swamp into his fold he might be able to defang it. He bent the knee, played nice and kissed the ring but still they kept at him. I think Trump has had enough of giving a mile for getting an inch. I like Trump when he presents himself as a human wrecking ball to all the evil plans of the Washington establishment and if he continues like this I honestly believe he will be reelected in 2020, and one day will be acknowleged as a true chapion for every day Americans but if he shrinks back into his shadow and gives the likes of Bolton and Pompeo free reign to **** all over the globe with their insane scheming he will be a one term failure.

francis scott falseflag , 6 minutes ago link

Don't get too excited about the possibility that there may be more kinds of viagra to try out, Jattras. If Trump recently seems to be more like the candidate we voted for, the real reason for his reversion back is because the midterm elections are over and Trump kept the Senate.

Check with me before you start making a lot of crack-pot statements

Clear blue sky , 25 minutes ago link

Anybody that wants foreign wars and open borders does not have Americas best interest at heart and is a traitor.

[Dec 24, 2018] How to fix America's dysfunctional trade system by Ryan Cooper

Dec 20, 2018 | theweek.com
America's trade policy is in incoherent shambles. Decades of neoliberal "free trade" pacts -- which as often as not simply gave corporations an end run around the state, or their very own rigged, pseudo-legal system -- have created terrible social carnage around the world and a furious political backlash. And President Trump's incoherent, haphazard response has done little to change the system, let alone reform it in a sensible fashion.

Overhauling such a gargantuan, world-spanning system is a dizzying task. But Timothy Meyer and Ganesh Sitaraman at the Great Democracy Initiative have a new paper that presents a solid starting point for developing a fundamental reform of American trade structure.

Meyer and Sitaraman identify three large problems with the status quo, and propose policy solutions for each:

Let's take these in turn.

The extant trade bureaucracy -- as usual for the American state -- is highly fragmented and bizarrely structured. There is the Department of Commerce, the United States Trade Representative, the Export-Import Bank, and the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, plus the International Development Finance Corporation coming soon. Then there are a slew of other agencies that have some bearing on trade-related security or economic development.

Meyer and Sitaraman logically suggest combining most of these functions into a single Department of Economic Growth and Security. The point is not just to streamline the trade oversight structure, but also to make it consider a broader range of objectives. Neoliberals insist that trade is simply about making the self-regulating market more "efficient," but trade very obviously bears on employment, domestic industry, and especially security.

For instance, for all its other disastrous side effects, Trump's haphazard tax on aluminum has dramatically revived the American aluminum industry . Ensuring a reasonable domestic supply of key metals like that is so obviously a security concern -- for military and consumer uses alike -- that it wouldn't have even occurred to New Deal policymakers to think otherwise. It takes a lot of ideological indoctrination to think there's no problem when a small price disadvantage causes a country to lose its entire supply chain of key industrial commodities.

Then there is the problem of pro-rich bias. Put simply, the last few decades of trade deals have been outrageously biased towards corporations and the rich. They have powerfully enabled the growth of parasitic tax havens , which allow companies to book profits in low-tax jurisdictions, starving countries of rightful revenue (and often leading to companies piling up gargantuan dragon hoards of cash they don't know what to do with).

Corporations, meanwhile, have gotten their own fake legal system in the form of Investor-State Dispute Settlement trade deal stipulations. As I have written before , the point of these arbitration systems is to create a legal system ludicrously slanted in favor of the corporation -- allowing them not just to win almost every time, but to sue over nonsensical harms like "taking away imaginary future profits."

Meyer and Sitaraman suggest renegotiating the tax portions of trade deals to enforce a "formulary" tax system -- in which profits are taxed where they are made, not where they are booked. This would go a considerable distance towards cracking down on tax havens -- who knows, perhaps Luxembourg might even develop some productive business.

Finally, there is the problem of distributive justice. Again contrary to neoliberal dogma, trade very often creates winners and losers -- witness the wreckage of Detroit and the fat salaries of the U.S. executive class. Meyer and Sitaraman suggest new mechanisms to consider the side effects of trade deals (and ways to compensate the losers), to take action against abusive foreign nations (for example, by dumping their products below cost, or violating environmental or labor standards), and finally directly taxing the beneficiaries.

Something the authors don't discuss is the problem of trade imbalances . When one country develops a surplus (that is, it exports more than it imports), another country must of necessity be in a deficit. The deficit country in turn must finance its imports, usually by borrowing. That can easily create a severe economic crisis if the deficit country suddenly loses access to loans -- which then harms the exporting country, though not as much. This has been a disastrous problem in the eurozone.

The U.S. does have extremely wide latitude to run a trade deficit, because it controls the global reserve currency, meaning a strong demand for dollar-denominated assets so other countries can settle their international accounts. But this creates its own problems, as discussed above.

More Perspectives James Mattis. Matthew Walther The failure and delusions of the adults in the room Beto ORourke. Matthew Walther The 2020 Democratic frontrunner is a Republican

To be fair, this is not exactly an omission for a paper focused on domestic policy. Creating a specifically international trade architecture would require an entire paper of its own, if not a book or three. But it would be something future trade policymakers will have to consider.

At any rate, it's quite likely that trade policy will be a major topic of discussion in 2020 -- if for no reason other than Trump's ridiculous shenanigans in the area. However, even that demonstrates an important fact: The U.S. president has a great deal of unilateral authority over trade. Democrats should be thinking hard about how they would change things. This paper is a great place to start.

[Dec 23, 2018] Trump proposes cutting food stamps for over 700,000 people just before Christmas by Matthew Rozsa

Dec 20, 2018 | www.salon.com

President Donald Trump is planning on using his executive powers to cut food stamps for more than 700,000 Americans.

The United States Department of Agriculture is proposing that states should only be allowed to waive a current food stamps requirement -- namely, that adults without dependents must work or participate in a job-training program for at least 20 hours each week if they wish to collect food stamps for more than three months in a three-year period -- on the condition that those adults live in areas where unemployment is above 7 percent, according to The Washington Post . Currently the USDA regulations permit states to waive that requirement if an adult lives in an area where the unemployment rate is at least 20 percent greater than the national rate. In effect, this means that roughly 755,000 Americans would potentially lose their waivers that permit them to receive food stamps.

The current unemployment rate is 3.7 percent.

The Trump administration's decision to impose the stricter food stamp requirements through executive action constitutes an end-run around the legislative process. Although Trump is expected to sign an $870 billion farm bill later this week -- and because food stamps goes through the Agriculture Department, it contains food stamp provisions -- the measure does not include House stipulations restricting the waiver program and imposing new requirements on parents with children between the ages of six and 12. The Senate version ultimately removed those provisions, meaning that the version being signed into law does not impose a conservative policy on food stamps, which right-wing members of Congress were hoping for.

"Congress writes laws, and the administration is required to write rules based on the law," Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., told The New York Times (Stabenow is the top Democrat on the Senate's agriculture committee). "Administrative changes should not be driven by ideology. I do not support unilateral and unjustified changes that would take food away from families."

Matthew Rozsa is a breaking news writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

[Dec 22, 2018] British Security Service Infiltration, the Integrity Initiative and the Institute for Statecraft by Craig Murray

Highly recommended!
Craig Murray is right that "As the Establishment feels its grip slipping, as people wake up to the appalling economic exploitation by the few that underlies the very foundations of modern western society, expect the methods used by the security services to become even dirtier." Collapse of neoliberal ideology and rise of tentions in neoliberal sociarties resulted in unprecedented increase of covert and false flag operations by British intelligence services, especially against Russia, which had been chosen as a convenient scapegoat. With Steele dossier and Skripal affair as two most well known.
New Lady Macbeth (Theresa May) Russophobia is so extreme that her cabinet derailed the election of a Russian to head Interpol.
Looks like neoliberalism cannot be defeated by and faction of the existing elite. Only when shepp oil end mant people will have a chance. The US , GB and EU are part of the wider hegemonic neoliberal system. In fact rejection of neoliberal globalization probably will lead to "national neoliberals" regime which would be a flavor of neo-fascism, no more no less.
Notable quotes:
"... The British state can maintain its spies' cover stories for centuries. ..."
"... I learnt how highly improbable left wing firebrand Simon Bracey-Lane just happened to be on holiday in the United States with available cash to fund himself, when he stumbled into the Bernie Sanders campaign. ..."
"... It is, to say the least, very interesting indeed that just a year later the left wing, "Corbyn and Sanders supporting" Bracey-Lane is hosting a very right wing event, "Cold War Then and Now", for the shadowy neo-con Institute for Statecraft, at which an entirely unbalanced panel of British military, NATO and Ukrainian nationalists extolled the virtues of re-arming against Russia. ..."
"... the MOD-sponsored Institute for Statecraft has been given millions of pounds of taxpayers' money by the FCO to spread covert disinformation and propaganda, particularly against Russia and the anti-war movement. Activities include twitter and facebook trolling and secretly paying journalists in "clusters of influence" around Europe. Anonymous helpfully leaked the Institute's internal documents. Some of the Integrity Initiative's thus exposed alleged covert agents, like David Aaronovitch, have denied any involvement despite their appearance in the documents, and others like Dan Kaszeta the US "novichok expert", have cheerfully admitted it. ..."
"... By sleuthing the company records of this "Scottish charity", and a couple of phone calls, I discovered that the actual location of the Institute for Statecraft is the basement of 2 Temple Place, London. This is not just any basement – it is the basement of the former London mansion of William Waldorf Astor, an astonishing building . It is, in short, possibly the most expensive basement in London. ..."
"... Which is interesting because the accounts of the Institute for Statecraft claim it has no permanent staff and show nothing for rent, utilities or office expenses. In fact, I understand the rent is paid by the Ministry of Defence. ..."
"... I have a great deal more to tell you about Mr Edney and his organisation next week, and the extraordinary covert disinformation war the British government wages online, attacking British citizens using British taxpayers' money. Please note in the interim I am not even a smidgeon suicidal, and going to be very, very careful crossing the road and am not intending any walks in the hills. ..."
"... I am not alleging Mr Bracey-Lane is an intelligence service operative who previously infiltrated the Labour Party and the Sanders campaign. He may just be a young man of unusually heterodox and vacillating political opinions. He may be an undercover reporter for the Canary infiltrating the Institute for Statecraft. All these things are possible, and I have no firm information. ..."
"... one of the activities the Integrity Initiative sponsors happens to be the use of online trolls to ridicule the idea that the British security services ever carry out any kind of infiltration, false flag or agent provocateur operations, despite the fact that we even have repeated court judgements against undercover infiltration officers getting female activists pregnant. The Integrity Initiative offers us a glimpse into the very dirty world of surveillance and official disinformation. If we actually had a free media, it would be the biggest story of the day ..."
"... As the Establishment feels its grip slipping, as people wake up to the appalling economic exploitation by the few that underlies the very foundations of modern western society, expect the methods used by the security services to become even dirtier. ..."
"... You can bank on continued ramping up of Russophobia to supply "the enemy". ..."
Dec 13, 2018 | craigmurray.org.uk

in Uncategorized by craig

The British state can maintain its spies' cover stories for centuries. Look up Eldred Pottinger, who for 180 years appears in scores of British history books – right up to and including William Dalrymple's Return of the King – as a British officer who chanced to be passing Herat on holiday when it came under siege from a partly Russian-officered Persian army, and helped to organise the defences. In researching Sikunder Burnes, I discovered and published from the British Library incontrovertible and detailed documentary evidence that Pottinger's entire journey was under the direct instructions of, and reporting to, British spymaster Alexander Burnes. The first historian to publish the untrue "holiday" cover story, Sir John Kaye, knew both Burnes and Pottinger and undoubtedly knew he was publishing lying propaganda. Every other British historian of the First Afghan War (except me and latterly Farrukh Husain) has just followed Kaye's official propaganda.

Some things don't change. I was irresistibly reminded of Eldred Pottinger just passing Herat on holiday, when I learnt how highly improbable left wing firebrand Simon Bracey-Lane just happened to be on holiday in the United States with available cash to fund himself, when he stumbled into the Bernie Sanders campaign.

Recent university graduate Simon Bracey-Lane took it even further. Originally from Wimbledon in London, he was inspired to rejoin the Labour party in September when Corbyn was elected leader. But by that point, he was already in the US on holiday. So he joined the Sanders campaign, and never left.
"I had two weeks left and some money left, so I thought, Fuck it, I'll make some calls for Bernie Sanders," he explains. "I just sort of knew Des Moines was the place, so I just turned up at their HQ, started making phone calls, and then became a fully fledged field organiser."

It is, to say the least, very interesting indeed that just a year later the left wing, "Corbyn and Sanders supporting" Bracey-Lane is hosting a very right wing event, "Cold War Then and Now", for the shadowy neo-con Institute for Statecraft, at which an entirely unbalanced panel of British military, NATO and Ukrainian nationalists extolled the virtues of re-arming against Russia.

Nor would it seem likely that Bracey-Lane would be involved with the Integrity Initiative. Even the mainstream media has been forced to give a few paragraphs to the outrageous Integrity Initiative, under which the MOD-sponsored Institute for Statecraft has been given millions of pounds of taxpayers' money by the FCO to spread covert disinformation and propaganda, particularly against Russia and the anti-war movement. Activities include twitter and facebook trolling and secretly paying journalists in "clusters of influence" around Europe. Anonymous helpfully leaked the Institute's internal documents. Some of the Integrity Initiative's thus exposed alleged covert agents, like David Aaronovitch, have denied any involvement despite their appearance in the documents, and others like Dan Kaszeta the US "novichok expert", have cheerfully admitted it.

The mainstream media have tracked down the HQ of the "Institute for Statecraft" to a derelict mill near Auchtermuchty. It is owned by one of the company directors, Daniel Lafayeedney, formerly of D Squadron 23rd SAS Regiment and later of Military Intelligence (and incidentally born the rather more prosaic Daniel Edney).

By sleuthing the company records of this "Scottish charity", and a couple of phone calls, I discovered that the actual location of the Institute for Statecraft is the basement of 2 Temple Place, London. This is not just any basement – it is the basement of the former London mansion of William Waldorf Astor, an astonishing building. It is, in short, possibly the most expensive basement in London.

Which is interesting because the accounts of the Institute for Statecraft claim it has no permanent staff and show nothing for rent, utilities or office expenses. In fact, I understand the rent is paid by the Ministry of Defence.

Having been told where the Institute for Statecraft skulk, I tipped off journalist Kit Klarenberg of Sputnik Radio to go and physically check it out. Kit did so and was aggressively ejected by that well-known Corbyn and Sanders supporter, Simon Bracey-Lane. It does seem somewhat strange that our left wing hero is deeply embedded in an organisation that launches troll attacks on Jeremy Corbyn.

I have a great deal more to tell you about Mr Edney and his organisation next week, and the extraordinary covert disinformation war the British government wages online, attacking British citizens using British taxpayers' money. Please note in the interim I am not even a smidgeon suicidal, and going to be very, very careful crossing the road and am not intending any walks in the hills.

I am not alleging Mr Bracey-Lane is an intelligence service operative who previously infiltrated the Labour Party and the Sanders campaign. He may just be a young man of unusually heterodox and vacillating political opinions. He may be an undercover reporter for the Canary infiltrating the Institute for Statecraft. All these things are possible, and I have no firm information.

But one of the activities the Integrity Initiative sponsors happens to be the use of online trolls to ridicule the idea that the British security services ever carry out any kind of infiltration, false flag or agent provocateur operations, despite the fact that we even have repeated court judgements against undercover infiltration officers getting female activists pregnant. The Integrity Initiative offers us a glimpse into the very dirty world of surveillance and official disinformation. If we actually had a free media, it would be the biggest story of the day.

As the Establishment feels its grip slipping, as people wake up to the appalling economic exploitation by the few that underlies the very foundations of modern western society, expect the methods used by the security services to become even dirtier.

You can bank on continued ramping up of Russophobia to supply "the enemy".

As both Scottish Independence and Jeremy Corbyn are viewed as real threats by the British Establishment, you can anticipate every possible kind of dirty trick in the next couple of years, with increasing frequency and audacity

[Dec 22, 2018] Will Trump Hold Firm on His Syria Pullout

So at the moment when everybody assumed that Trump lost control of the foreign policy, he does this. It's a real surprise. Kind of Christmas gift to his voters. And that's with neocon Pompeo as his State Secretary and neocon Bolton as his national security advisor.
The War Party project of regime change in Tehran suffered a severe setback with the U.S. pullout from Syria.
Notable quotes:
"... Forced to choose between Turkey, with 80 million people and the second-largest army in NATO, which sits astride the Dardanelles and Bosphorus entrance to the Black Sea, and the stateless Kurds with their Syrian Democratic Forces, or YPG, Trump chose Recep Tayyip Erdogan. ..."
"... And Erdogan regards the YPG as kinfolk and comrades of the Kurdish terrorist PKK in Turkey. A week ago, he threatened to attack the Kurds in northern Syria, though U.S. troops are embedded alongside them. What kind of deal did Trump strike with Erdogan? Turkey will purchase the U.S. Patriot anti-aircraft and missile defense system for $3.5 billion, and probably forego the Russian S-400. Trump also told Erdogan that we "would take a look at" extraditing Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen whom the Turkish president says instigated the 2016 coup attempt that was to end with his assassination. ..."
"... The war party project, to bring about regime change in Tehran through either crippling sanctions leading to insurrection or a U.S.-Iranian clash in the Gulf, will suffer a severe setback with the U.S. pullout from Syria. ..."
Dec 22, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

"We have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there," wrote President Donald Trump as he ordered the withdrawal of all U.S. forces from Syria, stunning the U.S. foreign policy establishment.

Trump overruled his secretaries of state and defense, and jolted this city and capitals across NATO Europe and the Middle East.

Yet Trump is doing exactly what he promised to do in his campaign. And what his decision seems to say is this:

We are extricating America from the forever war of the Middle East so foolishly begun by previous presidents. We are coming home. The rulers and peoples of this region are going to have to find their own way and fight their own wars. We are not so powerful that we can fight their wars while also confronting Iran and North Korea and facing new cold wars with Russia and China.

As for the terrorists of ISIS, says Trump, they are defeated.

Yet despite the heavy casualties and lost battles ISIS has suffered, along with the collapse of the caliphate and expulsion from its Syrian capital Raqqa and Iraqi capital Mosul and from almost all territories it controlled in both countries, the group is not dead. It lives on in thousands of true believers hidden in those countries. And like al-Qaeda, it has followers across the Middle East and inspires haters of the West living in the West.

The U.S. pullout from Syria is being called a victory for Vladimir Putin. "Russia, Iran, Assad are ecstatic!" wailed Senator Lindsey Graham.

Graham was echoed by Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse who called the withdrawal a "retreat" and charged that Trump's generals "believe the high-fiving winners today are Iran, ISIS and Hezbollah."

But ISIS is a Sunni terrorist organization. And as such, it detests the Alawite regime of Bashar Assad, and Hezbollah and Iran, both of which are viewed by ISIS as Shiite heretics. "Russia, Iran, Syria are not happy about the US leaving," Trump tweeted, "despite what the Fake News says, because now they will have to fight ISIS and others, who they hate, without us."

If Putin, victorious in the Syrian civil war, wishes to fight al-Qaeda and ISIS, the last major enemies of Assad in Syria, why not let him?

The real losers?

Certainly the Kurds, who lose their American ally. Any dream they had of greater autonomy inside Syria, or an independent state, is not going to be realized. But then, that was never really in the cards.

Forced to choose between Turkey, with 80 million people and the second-largest army in NATO, which sits astride the Dardanelles and Bosphorus entrance to the Black Sea, and the stateless Kurds with their Syrian Democratic Forces, or YPG, Trump chose Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

And Erdogan regards the YPG as kinfolk and comrades of the Kurdish terrorist PKK in Turkey. A week ago, he threatened to attack the Kurds in northern Syria, though U.S. troops are embedded alongside them. What kind of deal did Trump strike with Erdogan? Turkey will purchase the U.S. Patriot anti-aircraft and missile defense system for $3.5 billion, and probably forego the Russian S-400. Trump also told Erdogan that we "would take a look at" extraditing Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen whom the Turkish president says instigated the 2016 coup attempt that was to end with his assassination.

National security advisor John Bolton, who said U.S. troops would remain in Syria until all Iranian forces and Iran-backed militias have been expelled, appears not to have been speaking for his president. And if the Israelis were relying on U.S. forces in Syria to intercept any Iranian weapons shipments headed to Hezbollah in Lebanon through Damascus, then they are going to have to make other arrangements.

The war party project, to bring about regime change in Tehran through either crippling sanctions leading to insurrection or a U.S.-Iranian clash in the Gulf, will suffer a severe setback with the U.S. pullout from Syria.

However, given the strength of the opposition to a U.S. withdrawal -- Israel, Saudi Arabia, the GOP foreign policy establishment in Congress and the think tanks, liberal interventionists in the Beltway press, Trump's own national security team of advisors -- the battle to overturn Trump's decision has probably only just begun.

From FDR's abandonment of 100 million East Europeans to Stalin at Yalta in 1945 to the abandonment of our Nationalist Chinese allies to Mao in 1949 and of our South Vietnamese allies in 1975, America has often been forced into retreats leading to the deaths of allies. Senator Sasse says Trump is risking the same outcome: "A lot of American allies will be slaughtered if this retreat is implemented."

But is that true?

Trump's decision to pull out of Syria at least has assured us of a national debate on what it will mean to America to extricate our country from these Mideast wars. It is the kind of debate we have not had in the 15 years since we were first deceived into invading Iraq.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of Nixon's White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever . To find out more about Patrick Buchanan and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators website at www.creators.com .

about:blank


Stephen J. December 21, 2018 at 1:41 pm

I believe "Syria" is a war crime planned and plotted by some western governments and their allies. They are even reportedly financing and assisting terrorists. Which is criminal and treasonous
-- -- --
"With their command and control centre based in Istanbul, Turkey, military supplies from Saudi Arabia and Qatar in particular were transported by Turkish intelligence to the border for rebel acquisition. CIA operatives along with Israeli and Jordanian commandos were also training FSA rebels on the Jordanian-Syrian border with anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons. In addition, other reports show that British and French military were also involved in these secret training programmes. It appears that the same FSA rebels receiving this elite training went straight into ISIS – last month one ISIS commander, Abu Yusaf, said, 'Many of the FSA people who the west has trained are actually joining us.'" Nafeez Ahmed
http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/09/12/how-the-west-created-the-islamic-state/
-- -- -- -- --

"Under U.S. law it is illegal for any American to provide money or assistance to al-Qaeda, ISIS or other terrorist groups. If you or I gave money, weapons or support to al-Qaeda or ISIS, we would be thrown in jail. Yet the U.S. government has been violating this law for years, quietly supporting allies and partners of al-Qaeda, ISIL, Jabhat Fateh al Sham and other terrorist groups with money, weapons, and intelligence support, in their fight to overthrow the Syrian government.[i] Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, December 8, 2016,Press Release.
https://gabbard.house.gov/news/press-releases/video-rep-tulsi-gabbard-introduces-legislation-stop-arming-terrorists
-- -- -- -- --
There is further abundant evidence available at links below:
http://graysinfo.blogspot.com/2018/12/a-christmas-report-on-crimes-of-war.html

http://graysinfo.blogspot.com/2018/07/the-diabolical-work-of-nato-and-its.html

http://graysinfo.blogspot.com/2016/10/the-evidence-of-planning-of-wars.html

http://graysinfo.blogspot.com/2017/05/the-war-gangs-and-war-criminals-of-nato.html

http://graysinfo.blogspot.com/2016/08/are-there-war-criminals-living-in.html

http://graysinfo.blogspot.com/2015/09/should-regime-change-criminals-be-on.html

JeffK , says: December 21, 2018 at 1:58 pm
"At the very least, America will have its first serious debate on its Mideast wars since 2003 . It is the kind of debate we have not had in the 15 years since we were first deceived into invading Iraq."

Finally Mr Buchanan and I agree on something of substance. And I cannot believe I am in agreement with Trump on this too (even though it was quite clumsy). Will wonders never cease?

I hate that Trump will probably throw the Kurds under the bus since they acted as our allies and suffered for it. And if I was Mr Fethullah Gulen I would be packing my bags for Canada.

However, well done, sir. Now let the debate begin.

Fred Bowman , says: December 21, 2018 at 2:00 pm
I think what is to be accomplished by the US staying in the Middle East? Hasn't over 17 years and $600 billion spent and over a million dead been price enough? Hopefully, Syria is the 1st step in ending American military involvement in the Middle East. America has enough to do in taking care of serious issues here at home. As for the Middle East, let Israel, Saudia Arabia, Turkey, Iran and other countries and ethnic groups who reside there solve their own damn problems.
Mark B. , says: December 21, 2018 at 2:01 pm
As a European it feels strange to feel this pro-Trump all of a sudden. Before you know it, I'll order a MAGA cap (I'm always safe with that because carnaval is coming).
Kurt Gayle , says: December 21, 2018 at 4:38 pm
This is President Trump's Finest Hour!

Hang tough, Mr. President!

Bring our troops home from Syria and Afghanistan!

Louis Messana , says: December 21, 2018 at 5:10 pm
Russia just landed a nuclear bomber in Venezuela. Russia and China are making SIGNIFICANT inroads in the Caribbean, Central America, South America and Africa.

If Israel comes under serious threat, the US will be there to assist in its defense but the time has come when the US has to admit that the parasite freeloader nations like Europe and Israel are coming at to high a cost a cost that is both distracting and obstructing the US from being where it is really needed to deal with China and Russia.

One Guy , says: December 21, 2018 at 5:11 pm
In addition to the Syria pullout, Trump promised a 10% tax cut just 2 months ago. Anyone seen a tax cut? Anyone? Bueller?
Connecticut Farmer , says: December 21, 2018 at 6:45 pm
People sit on their collective fat asses inside The Beltway within the confines of some book lined conference room and make decisions involving the lives of thousands of young men and women–other people's sons and daughters (never their own)– who may be dispatched to take a bullet in anger. And over what? Making the MidEast "free for democracy"?

I dislike Trump even though I reluctantly voted for him only to keep the Congenital Liar out of the White House. One of the few positives he exhibited was a desire to extricate the United States from that MidEast hell-hole. For once at least he has delivered. Whether he will succeed, however, remains to be seen. After all, the Beltway is swarming with chicken hawks.

john , says: December 21, 2018 at 7:18 pm
Very zero sum gain way of thinking. How can the US not spending hundreds of billions on a lost cause be a win for Russia? Sounds more like a win for the US. I think the Syrian government with Russia and Iran should be enough to demolish the physical caliphate. Destroying ISIS ? Good luck with that suppress it OK but destroy easier said then done. How have we done against, the Mafia? the IRA? drug cartels and so on and so forth. For those who want to stay is there ever a set of conditions which would be satisfied allowing you to leave? We are still in Germany, I think the Nazis are gone you can relax, if it was the Soviets you worry about also gone by about 3 decades. If we can't accept that Germany is sufficiently stable to no longer be blessed with our presence when oh when would Syria be viewed as stable?
Republicans - are not conservatives , says: December 21, 2018 at 9:48 pm
I have regretted voting for trump for many reasons. I concede that IF USA military leaves Syria, this is a very positive development. He should now do the same for Afghanistan and many other places around the world.
Russia, Iran, Hezbollah and the Syrian military have done a fine job of keeping IS on the run. Let's hope they can finish the job.
Radnor Hunt , says: December 22, 2018 at 4:21 am
In this issue at least I support Trump a hundred percent, and I think a lot of Americans agree.

He's finally doing what he promised to do during the campaign.

I have been very unhappy with him, but if he follows through on this I'll give him credit. Given the lock that the elites and establishment have on the media, it took guts. It's good to see he has some.

Rick Steven D. , says: December 22, 2018 at 6:25 am
While I didn't vote for this excrescence in The White House, I will give credit where credit is due. Hillary's neocon impulses would have been infinitely worse here.

Still, looking at this past week, I can't help thinking about that whole Flight 93 thing. But two years into The Trump presidency, it's starting to look more like that disaster movie camp-fest Airport 1975, where we have crossed-eyed stewardess Karen Black trying to land the stricken 747. In her immortal words to flight control: "Something hit us! There's no one left to fly the plane! HELP US! OH MY GOD HELP US!!!"

[Dec 22, 2018] A closer look at American "democracy" by Barry Grey

December 20, 2018
Notable quotes:
"... According to the narrative fabricated by the intelligence agencies and promoted by the Democratic Party and the corporate media over the past year and a half, Putin and his minions hacked the Democrats and stirred up social divisions and popular grievances to secure the election for Donald Trump, and they have been working ever since to destroy "our institutions." ..."
"... The State and Revolution ..."
Dec 22, 2018 | www.wsws.org

A central theme of the hysteria over alleged "Russian meddling" in US politics is the sinister effort supposedly being mounted by Vladimir Putin "to undermine and manipulate our democracy" (in the words of Democratic Senator Mark Warner).

According to the narrative fabricated by the intelligence agencies and promoted by the Democratic Party and the corporate media over the past year and a half, Putin and his minions hacked the Democrats and stirred up social divisions and popular grievances to secure the election for Donald Trump, and they have been working ever since to destroy "our institutions."

Their chosen field of battle is the internet, with Russian trolls and bots infecting the body politic by taking advantage of lax policing of social media by the giant tech companies such as Google, Facebook and Twitter.

To defend democracy, the argument goes, these companies, working with the state, must silence oppositional viewpoints -- above all left-wing, anti-war and socialist viewpoints -- which are labeled "fake news," and banish them from the internet. Nothing is said of the fact that this supposed defense of democracy is a violation of the basic canons of genuine democracy, guaranteed in the First Amendment to the US Constitution: freedom of speech and freedom of the press.

But what is this much vaunted "American democracy?" Let's take a closer look.

The two-party monopoly

In a vast and complex country with a population of 328 million people, consisting of many different nationalities, native tongues, religions and other demographics, spanning six time zones and thousands of miles, two political parties totally dominate the political system.

The ruling corporate-financial oligarchy controls both parties and maintains its rule by alternating control of the political institutions -- the White House, Congress, state houses, etc. -- between them. The general population, consisting overwhelmingly of working people, is given the opportunity every two or four years to go to the polls and vote for one or the other of these capitalist parties. This is what is called "democracy."

The monopoly of the two big business parties is further entrenched by the absence of proportional representation, which it makes it impossible for third parties or independent candidates to obtain significant representation in Congress.

The role of corporate money

The entire political process -- the selection of candidates, elections, the formulation of domestic and foreign policies -- is dominated by corporate money. No one can seriously bid for high office unless he or she has the backing of sponsors from the ranks of the richest 1 percent -- or 0.01 percent -- of the population. The buying of elections and politicians is brazen and shameless.

Last month's midterm elections set a record for campaign spending in a non-presidential year -- $5.2 billion -- a 35 percent increase over 2014 and triple the amount spent 20 years ago, in 1998. The bulk of this flood of cash came from corporations and multi-millionaire donors.

In the vast majority of contests, the winner was determined by the size of his or her campaign war chest. Eighty-nine percent of House races and 84 percent of Senate races were won by the biggest spender.

Democratic candidates had a huge spending advantage over their Republican opponents, exposing the fraud of their attempt to posture as a party of the people. The securities and investment industry -- Wall Street -- favored Democrats over Republicans by a margin of 52 percent to 46 percent.

Elections are anything but a forum to openly and honestly discuss and debate the great issues facing the voters. The real issues -- the preparation for new wars, deeper austerity and further attacks on democratic rights -- are concealed behind a miasma of attack ads and mudslinging. The research firm PQ Media estimates that total political ad spending will reach $6.75 billion this year. In last month's elections, the number of congressional and gubernatorial ads rose 59 percent over the previous, 2014, midterm.

The setting of policy and passage of legislation is helped along by corporate bribes, euphemistically termed lobbying. In 2017 alone, corporations spent $3 billion to lobby the government.

Ballot access restrictions

A welter of arcane, arbitrary and anti-democratic requirements for gaining ballot status, which vary from state to state, block third parties from challenging the domination of the Democrats and Republicans. These include filing fees and nominating petition signature requirements in the tens of thousands in many states. Democratic officials routinely challenge the petitions of socialist and left-wing candidates who are likely to find support among young people and workers.

Media blackout of third party candidates

The corporate media systematically blacks out the campaigns of third party and independent candidates, especially left-wing and socialist candidates. The exception is candidates who are either themselves rich or who have the backing of wealthy patrons.

Third party candidates are generally excluded from nationally televised candidates' debates.

In last month's election, the Socialist Equality Party candidate for Congress in Michigan's 12th Congressional District, Niles Niemuth, won broad support among workers, young people and students for his socialist program, but received virtually no press coverage.

Voting restrictions

Since the stolen election of 2000, when the Supreme Court shut down the counting of votes in Florida in order to hand the White House to the loser of the popular vote, George W. Bush, with virtually no opposition from the Democrats or the media, attacks on the right of workers and poor people to vote have mounted.

Thirty-three states have implemented voter identification laws, which, studies show, bar up to 6 percent of the population from voting. States have cut back early voting and absentee voting and shut down voting precincts in working class neighborhoods. A number of states impose a lifetime ban on voting by felons, even after they have done their time. In 2013, the Supreme Court gutted the enforcement mechanism of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, with no real opposition from the Democrats. The United States is one of the few countries that hold elections on a work day, making it more difficult for workers to cast a ballot.

Government of, by and for the rich

The two corporate parties have overseen a social counterrevolution, resulting in a staggering growth of social inequality. In tandem with this process, the oligarchic structure of society has increasingly found open expression in the political forms of rule. Alongside the erection of the infrastructure of a police state -- mass surveillance, indefinite detention, the militarization of the police, Gestapo raids on workplaces and attacks on immigrants, the ascendancy of the military in political affairs, internet censorship -- the personnel of government have increasingly been recruited from the rich and the super-rich.

More than half of the members of Congress are millionaires, as compared to just 1 percent of the American population. All the presidents for the past three decades -- George H. W, Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama -- have either been multi-millionaires going in or have cashed in on their presidencies to become multi-millionaires afterward. In the person of the multi-billionaire real estate speculator and con man Donald Trump, the financial oligarchy has directly taken occupancy of the White House.

In The State and Revolution , Vladimir Lenin wrote: "Bourgeois democracy, although a great historical advance in comparison with medievalism, always remains, and under capitalism is bound to remain, restricted, truncated, false and hypocritical, a paradise for the rich and a snare and deception for the exploited, for the poor."

... ... ...

Barry Grey

[Dec 22, 2018] ISIS was created by the US as a part of its divide and conquer strategy. General Flynn blew the whistle on it which is why he has been vilified. Flynn spoke the truth on ISIS and lied to the FBI! Horrors

Notable quotes:
"... Now ISIS has been "defeated" and the US Quixote can focus on other windmills. ..."
Dec 22, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Don Bacon , Dec 20, 2018 10:13:19 PM | link

ISIS was created by the US as a part of its divide and conquer strategy. General Flynn blew the whistle on it which is why he has been vilified. Flynn spoke the truth on ISIS and lied to the FBI! Horrors.

Now ISIS has been "defeated" and the US Quixote can focus on other windmills. Except now comes the Syria encore, Afghanistan. Chalk up another loss for team USA.

[Dec 21, 2018] What the use of Facebook accounts attributed to Russians a false flag operation ?

Dec 21, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

librul , Dec 20, 2018 5:26:57 PM | link

Off topic, but important. Tell me if this is too out of place. The topic was covered a few days ago in a different article by b.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-12-20/democrats-orchestrated-elaborate-false-flag-operation-posing-russian-bots-during

One of the participants in the scheme, Jonathan Morgan, is the CEO of cybersecurity firm New Knowledge. Morgan wrote a blistering account of Russian social media operations during the 2016 election released this week by the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Another angle to this big @nytimes story... Guess who participated in using a Russian style disinformation campaign to influence the Alabama Senate election AND hoped to frame Russia for it? The CEO of the company that wrote the Senate Intel report on 2016 election meddling. https://t.co/uSu8HYCl15
-- Robby Starbuck (@robbystarbuck) December 20, 2018

[Dec 21, 2018] Virtually no one in neoliberal MSM is paying attention to the fact that a group of Pakistani muslims, working for a Jewish Congresswoman from Florida, had full computer access to a large number of Democrat Representatives. Most of the press is disinterested in pursuing this matter

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... What Are the Democrats Hiding?" http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2017/07/what-are-the-democrats-hiding-by-publius-tacitus.html "Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) demanded that Capitol Police Chief Matthew Verderosa return equipment belonging to her office that was seized as part of the investigation -- or face "consequences." ..."
"... "FBI agents seized smashed computer hard drives from the home of Florida Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz's information technology (IT) administrator, according to two sources with knowledge of the investigation. Pakistani-born Imran Awan, long-time right-hand IT aide to the former Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairwoman, has since desperately tried to get the hard drives back." ..."
"... This is not your phony Russia-gate or McCain-commissioned funny dossier on Trump. This is the documented "serious, potentially illegal, violations of the House IT network," which is a case of a free access to classified information by a group of the proven blackmailers. Would this matter be treated with the same urgency of "patriotism" as the cases of Manning and Assange? ..."
Jul 25, 2017 | www.unz.com

annamaria , says: July 25, 2017 at 2:09 pm GMT

@zzzzzzz

" but the Deep State knows how to box"

Let's see: "What Are the Democrats Hiding?" http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2017/07/what-are-the-democrats-hiding-by-publius-tacitus.html "Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) demanded that Capitol Police Chief Matthew Verderosa return equipment belonging to her office that was seized as part of the investigation -- or face "consequences."

Virtually no one [from MSM] is paying attention to the fact that a group of Pakistani Muslims, working for a Jewish Congresswoman from Florida, had full computer access to a large number of Democrat Representatives. Most of the press is disinterested in pursuing this matter."

http://dailycaller.com/2017/07/23/exclusive-fbi-seized-smashed-hard-drives-from-wasserman-schultz-it-aides-home/

"FBI agents seized smashed computer hard drives from the home of Florida Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz's information technology (IT) administrator, according to two sources with knowledge of the investigation. Pakistani-born Imran Awan, long-time right-hand IT aide to the former Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairwoman, has since desperately tried to get the hard drives back."

This is not your phony Russia-gate or McCain-commissioned funny dossier on Trump. This is the documented "serious, potentially illegal, violations of the House IT network," which is a case of a free access to classified information by a group of the proven blackmailers. Would this matter be treated with the same urgency of "patriotism" as the cases of Manning and Assange?

[Dec 19, 2018] Here's What Newly-Diagnosed Amnesiac James Comey Did Not Recall On Day 2 Of Testimony

Notable quotes:
"... He might call it a "higher loyalty", but it looks to us peons like a true double-standard. Democrats get Wall Street Bankster treatment, while the rabble get tossed in the slammer. ..."
Dec 18, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com
Former FBI Director James Comey appeared December 17th, 2018, for a second round of questions by a joint House committee oversight probe into the DOJ and FBI conduct during the 2016 presidential election and incoming Trump administration.

The Joint House Committee just released the transcript online (full pdf below).

Director Blue blog's Doug Ross read through most of the septic backflow so you don't need to. You're welcome:

1. Double Standard: Obama vs. Trump

Trey Gowdy grilled Comey on his vastly different handling of comments by Trump and Obama. When Trump asked Comey whether he could see his way clear to easing up on Flynn, Comey memorialized the conversation in a memo and distributed it to his leadership team, including Andrew McCabe and James Baker.

However, when President Obama on 60 Minutes publicly exonerated Hillary Clinton's mishandling of classified information -- setting the stage for true obstruction of justice -- Comey did nothing. He never talked to the president about potential obstruction, he never memorialized his observations, and he didn't leak anything to the press. These were all things he did with Trump.

He might call it a "higher loyalty", but it looks to us peons like a true double-standard. Democrats get Wall Street Bankster treatment, while the rabble get tossed in the slammer.

2. According to Comey, Flynn had no right to counsel

This is interesting:

Mr. Gowdy. Did Mr. Flynn have the right to have counsel present during that interview?

Mr. Comey. No.

Oooooooookay.

3. Comey confirmed McCabe called Flynn to initiate "entrapment"; contradicts himself on counsel

And:

Mr. Gowdy. Why not advise General Flynn of the consequences of making false statements to the FBI?

Mr. Comey. ...the Deputy Director [McCabe] called him, told him what the subject matter was, told him he was welcome to have a representative from White House Counsel there...

So Comey is saying that Flynn didn't have the right to counsel (item 2), and then states that he does have the right to a White House counsel attending the meeting.

The lies are getting harder and harder to keep straight with this egregious individual.

4. Comey lied about McCabe's conversation with Flynn

When asked whether McCabe was trying to set Flynn up by asserting no counsel was needed in the interview, Comey claimed he was unaware of that critical fact. But McCabe, in a written memo, asserted that he told Flynn, "[i]f you have a lawyer present, we'll need to involve the Department of Justice".

In other words, McCabe was trying to ensure Flynn had no counsel present during the interview.

5. Comey still falls back on the Logan Act scam to justify his actions

Yes, the Logan Act. When former secretary of state John Kerry meets with various Mullahs while President Trump is unwinding the disastrous Iran deal, there's no crime there !

But let Flynn, a member of the Trump transition team, have a perfectly legitimate conversation with a Russian diplomat, we get:

Mr. Comey. And I hesitate only with "wrong." I think a Department of Justice prosecutor might say, on its face, it was problematic under the Logan Act because of private citizens negotiating and all that business.

What a lying sack of gumbo. At the time, Flynn was not a private citizen. He was a member of the incoming administration, and had anyone bothered to prosecute prior transitions for similar "crimes", the entire Obama and Clinton posses would be breaking rocks at Leavenworth.

6. Comey Throws James Clapper Under the Bus

When asked by Jim Jordan about his private meeting with the President to brief him on a very tiny portion of the "salacious and unverified" (Comey's words under oath) dossier, Comey claimed ODNI James Clapper had orchestrated the entire fiasco.

Mr. Comey. ...ultimately, it was Clapper's call. I agreed -- we agreed that it made sense for me to do it and to do it privately, separately. So I don't want to make it sound like I was ordered to do it.

He wasn't ordered to do it, but it was Clapper's call.

Oooooooookay.

7. Jordan Torches Comey Over His Dossier Comments

I'll just leave this here. Comey may need to put some ice on that.

Mr. Jordan. So that's what I'm not understanding, is you felt this was so important that it required a private session with you and the President-elect, you only spoke of the salacious part of the dossier, but yet you also say there's no way any good reporter would print this. But you felt it was still critical that you had to talk to the President-elect about it. And I would argue you created the very news hook that you said you were concerned about...

...it's so inflammatory that reporters would 'get killed' for reporting it, why was it so important to tell the President? Particularly when you weren't going to tell him the rest of the dossier -- about the rest of the dossier?

8. Comey Concealed Critical National Security Concerns About Flynn From the President

This is quite unbelievable: in a private dinner with the president, Comey neglected to mention that just three days earlier he had directed the interview of Trump's ostensible National Security Advisor.

Mr. Comey. ...at no time during the dinner was there a reference, allusion, mention by either of
us about the FBI having contact with General Flynn or being interested in General Flynn investigatively.

Mr. Jordan. That was what I wanted to know. So this is not just referring to the President didn't bring it up. You didn't bring it up either.

Mr. Comey. Correct, neither of us brought it up or alluded to it.

Mr. Jordan. Why not? He's talking about General Flynn. You had just interviewed him 3 days earlier and discovered that he was lying to the Vice President, knew he was lying to the Vice President, and, based on what we've heard of late, that he lied tyour agents. Why not tell his boss, why not tell the head of the executive branch, why not tell the President of the United States, "Hey, your National Security Advisor just lied to us 3 days ago"?

Mr. Comey. Because we had an open investigation, and there would be no reason or a need to tell the President about it.

Mr. Jordan. Really?

Mr. Comey. Really.

Mr. Jordan. You wouldn't tell the President of the United States that his National Security Advisor wasn't being square with the FBI? ... I mean, but this is not just any investigation, it seems to me, Director. This is a top advisor to the Commander in Chief. And you guys, based on what we've heard, felt that he wasn't being honest with the Vice President and wasn't honest with two of your agents. And just 3 days later, you're meeting with the President, and, oh, by the way, the conversation is about General Flynn. And you don't tell the President anything?

Mr. Comey. I did not.

Mr. Meadows. So, Director Comey, let me make sure I understand this. You were so concerned that Michael Flynn may have lied or did lie to the Vice President of the United States, but that once you got that confirmed, that he had told a falsehood, you didn't believe that it was appropriate to tell the President of the United States that there was no national security risk where you would actually convey that to the President of the United States? Is that your testimony?

Mr. Comey. That is correct. We had an --

The more we learn, the dirtier a cop Comey ends up appearing.

9. Gowdy Destroys the Double Standard of Clinton vs. Flynn

Check this out:

Mr. Gowdy. ...we are going to contrast the decision to not allow Michael Flynn to have an attorney, or discourage him from having one, with allowing some other folks the Bureau interviewed to have multiple attorneys in the room, including fact witnesses. Can you see the dichotomy there, or is that an unreasonable comparison?

Mr. Comey. I'm not going to comment on that. I remember you asking me questions about that last week. I'm happy to answer them again.

Mr. Gowdy. You will not say whether or not it is an unreasonable comparison to compare allowing multiple attorneys, who are also fact witnesses, to be present during an interview but discouraging another person from having counsel present?

Mr. Comey. I'm not going to answer that in a vacuum...

10. Comey May Have Been Involved With the Infamous Tarmac Meeting

Another interesting vignette, this time from John Ratcliffe :

Mr. Ratcliffe. Okay. So it would appear from this that there had been some type of briefing the day before, with reference to yesterday, June 27, 2016, where you had requested a copy of emails between President Obama and Hillary Clinton.

Mr. Comey. I see that it says that.

Mr. Ratcliffe. ...The significance of that is, as we talked about last time, June 27th of 2016 was also the date that Attorney General Lynch and former President Bill Clinton met on a tarmac in Phoenix, Arizona. Do you recall whether or not this briefing was held at the FBI because of that tarmac meeting, or was it just happened to be a coincidence that it was held on that day? Mr. Comey. It would have to have been a coincidence. I don't remember a meeting in response to the tarmac meeting.

Muh don't know!

11. Comey confirms Obama knew Hillary Clinton was using a compromised, insecure email server

Well, spank me on the fanny and call me Nancy!

Mr. Ratcliffe. ...Hillary Rodham Clinton and President Obama were communicating via email through an unsecure, unclassified server?

Mr. Comey. Yes, they were between her Clinton email.com account and his -- I don't know where his account, his unclassified account, was maintained. So I'm sorry. So, yes, here were communications unclassified between two accounts, hers and then his cover account.

Mr. Ratcliffe. ...Did your review of these emails or the content of these emails impact your decision to edit out a reference to President Obama in your July 5th, 2016, press conference remarks?

If Trump had done 1/1,000,000th of this crap, he'd be -- yes -- breaking rocks in Leavenworth right now.

But there's no double-standard, rabble! Just keep buying iPhones and playing Call of Duty !

...Aaaaaaaaand I'm spent.

Okay, done for now.

But let's recap the activities of Dr. "Higher Loyalty" Comey:

But, no, there's no double-standard for the aggressiveness of law enforcement when it comes to Democrats like Clinton and Obama.

Hat tip: BadBlue Uncensored News .

[Dec 19, 2018] The Trump Coup Is a Threat to Our Republic by Larry Johnson

Notable quotes:
"... These intercepted communications provided the means to identify George Papadopoulos as a potential target. ..."
"... British intel was worried about Trump's stated positions in 2015 on Syria and NATO, which were inimical to British interests. ..."
"... Meanwhile, back in my country, Jim Clapper at DNI and John Brennan at CIA started to conspire against Trump. ..."
"... if I may add this also proves an imperial mindset. Anyone dangerous to the influence of the Imperium must destroyed. Right now primarily through Justizmord, but as things turn south (and they will) physically too. ..."
"... My apologies if I missed this in the article, but WHY do these US gov't agencies want to take Donald down? I didn't vote for him, but it seems like he is doing things the GOP wants. ..."
"... IMO they have sensed from the beginning that because of his egomania he would never be truly controllable. As TTG and I have stated before we would never have tried to recruit this man as an intelligence asset. To be worthwhile such an asset must be controllable. Trump is demonstrating now in the Syria matter that he is NOT controllable. He is likely to withdraw from Afghanistan in spite of the "counsel" of the generals' club and the waning influence over him of the neocons. With regard to Syria I think that Natanyahu has already abandoned regime change in Syria. The Russians are probably responsible for this. ..."
"... Excellent summary, Mr Johnson! It is extremely concerning that this information is known but no one has the balls to start nailing some people. I read that it is all about timing, release will be in response to demo atks, etc. I read that x number of sealed indictments are out there but no progress seems to be forthcoming. You are correct, no one is defending the Constitution, it is all personalized against trump, who seems to disengaged from the active fight. ..."
"... Chuck Schumer: "You take on the intelligence community, they have 6 ways from Sunday of getting back at you." Play Hide ..."
Dec 19, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

On the threshhold of the second anniversary of Donald Trump's inauguration, the details of the coup to force him from the Presidency are emerging and should alarm all Americans regardless of political party affiliation. Although many facts remain to be discovered, what has emerged paints a shocking picture of criminal activity by FBI and CIA officials. That explains in part why both agencies are going to great lengths to hide documents that provide indisputable proof of their malfeasance.

When American law enforcement and officials, who carry Top Secret clearances and authority to collect intelligence or pursue a criminal investigation, decide to employ lies and intimidation to silence those who worked for Donald Trump's Presidency, our Republic is endangered.

My interest is not in protecting or defending Donald Trump. I am talking about defending the rule of law and ensuring that the Constitutional limitations on the powers of the Federal Government are protected.

What evidence do I offer of the attempted coup? Here is what we know for certain:

Foreign intelligence entities started collecting intelligence on Donald Trump and his associates in 2015. The names of more than 200 people connected to the Trump campaign listed in those reports were unmasked by the Obama Administration. The FBI used two paid informants -- Christopher Steele and Stefan Halper -- to target Trump and members of his team and coordinated this effort with British MI-6 and the CIA. The FBI had additional informant with direct access to Trump who specialized in targeting Russian spies and Russian mobsters. His name? Felix Sater. Yet, Sater appears never to have been tasked to provide any incriminating information on Donald Trump. Bill Priestrap, the FBI Assistant Director for Counter Intelligence since December 2015, relied on Felix Sater in a major operation against Russian spies and then had oversight of the investigation into Donald Trump. So far, no indictment has surfaced from Special Prosecutor Mueller's efforts implicating Trump with the Russian government.

The operation against Donald Trump is pure and simple covert action. But it is covert action on a massive scale and has involved coordinated actions between U.S. law enforcement, U.S. intelligence agencies and foreign intelligence agencies, including both the British Government and the Australian Government.

There are eight major components to this covert action. This is not a confirmed complete list. More elements may surface in the coming days. But these are what we know for certain:

  1. British and other foreign intelligence services were collecting on persons working with and for Donald Trump. GCHQ first became aware in late 2015 of suspicious "interactions" between figures connected to Trump and known or suspected Russian agents, a source close to UK intelligence said. Thisintelligence was passed to the US as part of a routine exchange of information, they added. Over the next six months, until summer 2016, a number of western agencies shared further information on contacts between Trump's inner circle and Russians, sources said. This "intelligence" was then used by the Obama Administration to "unmask" Americans named in the intelligence who were working with Donald Trump. The European countries that passed on electronic intelligence – known as sigint – included Germany, Estonia and Poland. Australia, a member of the "Five Eyes" spying alliance that also includes the US, UK, Canada and New Zealand, also relayed material, one source said. (Luke Harding, Stephanie Kirchgaessner and Nick Hopkins Exclusive: GCHQ is said to have alerted US agencies after becoming aware of contacts in 2015 Thu 13 Apr 2017 09.39 EDT, THE GUARDIAN)
  2. February/March 2016--George Popadopoulus was specifically targeted by a combined MI-6/CIA operation. GCHQ started collecting on the Trump team in the summer of 2015. These intercepted communications provided the means to identify George Papadopoulos as a potential target. But this was more than a mere GCHQ routine collection. MI6 also was involved. British intel was worried about Trump's stated positions in 2015 on Syria and NATO, which were inimical to British interests.

    Meanwhile, back in my country, Jim Clapper at DNI and John Brennan at CIA started to conspire against Trump. They did not believe that Trump would be elected but still decided to take steps to discredit him using the Russia meme. I have this solidly sourced. In other words, US intel and British intel started working against Trump independently at the outset. This effort subsequently was coordinated through the JIC. What is alarming is that despite the targeting of Trump NO intel of any value on the Trump/Russian angle was ever produced. I thank you for the excellent piece you did on Mifsud. Mifsud's "arrival" at the London Center for International Law Practice (LCILP) was not, in my view, a mere coincidence. Papadopoulos was then recruited, unwittingly, to join LCILP as part of a broader intel op intended to compromise him as a Russian enthusiast.

  3. May 6, 2016--DNC Computer supposedly was hacked by Russian government agents and an outside firm, Crowdstrike, a cybersecurity firm that was brought in at the recommendation of Mark Elias (the same attorney who had hired Fusion GPS) is on the record claiming it started working in early May to counter the Russian threat. It was Crowdstrike, not the FBI, that claimed in mid-June that the email theft from the DNC was carried out by Russian hackers. However, the available forensic evidence clearly shows that the information was downloaded by someone with access to the DNC computers. At no time was the FBI given forensic access to the DNC computer to conduct an independent investigation.
  4. A "retired" MI-6 officer, Christopher Steele, was hired by Fusion GPS (which had been retained by a lawyer acting on behalf of the Clinton campaign) to assemble a "dossier" on Trump and his relationship with Russia. However, turns out that Steele also was a fully signed up FBI informant since 2013. He was fired in October 2016 by the FBI for leaking to the media. Despite being funded by a political opponent of Trump, the dossier was a major justification for seeking a FISA warrant against Carter Page, who was affiliated with the Trump campaign. ( https://www.politico.com/story/2018/12/14/russia-dossier-fbi-trump-obama-1066643 )
  5. Summer 2016--Carter Page targeted by the FBI and collected on by NSA and CIA. Page had no relationship with Trump other than being named as an advisor to a group of foreign policy experts. He never met Trump and never spoke with Trump. But the Steele Dossier fingers Page as playing a lead role in bringing Russian influence into the Trump campaign. This unproven allegation the major impetus for obtaining a FISA warrant to spy on Carter Page.
  6. August/September 2016--FBI Informant Stefan Halper was used to try to entrap at least three people associated with Donald Trump. Halper, the son-in-law of a retired famous CIA officers, also was known to work with the CIA and MI-6 on other matters. In September Halper sought a meeting with George Papadopoulus to pitch him on writing a policy paper for $3000 and then traveling to London at Halper's expense. Towards the end of the meeting Halper asked Papadopoulos: 'George, you know about hacking the emails from Russia, right?'" Papadopoulus denied any knowledge of such activity.
  7. DNI Jim Clapper and CIA Director John Brennan both engaged in continuous leaks to feed the meme that Trump was colluding with the Russians even though they knew they had no relevant intelligence to support their claims. They engaged in a deliberate covert information operation to poison the media against Trump. A retired FBI agent writing in the Wall Street Journal noted that, "Robert Hannigan, then head of Britain's Government Communications Headquarters, to pass information to Mr. Brennan. With only these suspicions, Mr. Brennan pressured the FBI into launching its counterintelligence probe."
  8. The FBI had an informant with expertise about the Russians planted inside the Trump organization since 2003, but apparently did not use him. FBI Informant Felix Sater, who started working with the Trump organization since 2003 and a boyhood friend of Trump's lawyer, Michael Cohen, had worked with the FBI in making several cases against Russian intelligence officers and Russian mobsters. Yet, during the 12 years he worked with the Trump organization, not a single indictment was ever brought against Trump or his employees prior to the start of his campaign for President. Even though Sater played a key role in the failed Moscow project, his role with the FBI only involved providing evidence that Michael Cohen lied to the Senate about the project.

The effort to destroy Donald Trump remains active. Trump, unfortunately, is proving to be quite feckless in defying this threat and protecting himself. But this should not be about protecting Trump and his reputation. This goes to something more profound and fundamental -- are those charged with collecting foreign intelligence and investigating crime permitted to act with impunity against someone they define as a political foe. Such actions and attitudes reflect an authoritarian government, not a Republic.

Likbez

An excellent narrative of this special operation. I would call it a color resolution against Trump, as methods are the same. Thank you.

In other words, US and British intelligence started working closely against Trump very early. May be from the very beginning.

The role of the British Intelligence here deserves more attention. I think you are right that pursuing UK geopolitical interests (which are similar to US neocons) required derailing of Trump and that's why they jumped into action. It might be that the idea to hire Steele by Fusion GPS was injected from overseas.

They also might well push the Brennan faction of CIA into action by feeding his faction the required disinfo. And Brennan required very little pushing, if any at all.

In this sense DNC "post-hack" investigation looks more and more like a false flag operation were Crowstrike people were patsies in a bigger game assigned a predetermined task.

Probably the same is true about Guccifer 2

https://consortiumnews.com/...

https://www.zerohedge.com/n...

The Eastern timezone setting found in Guccifer 2's documents published on July 6, 2016 is significant, because as we showed in Guccifer 2.0 NGP/Van Metadata Analysis, Guccifer 2 was likely on the East Coast the previous day, when he collected the DNC-related files found in the ngpvan.7z Zip file. Also, recall that Guccifer 2 was likely on the East Coast a couple of months later on September 1, 2016 when he built the final ngpvan.7z file.

There are four additional episodes that can be added to the provided outline:

  1. Frantic "unmasking" by two female members of the Obama team: Susan Rise (http://strata-sphere.com/bl... ) and Samantha Power (https://nypost.com/2017/09/... also: https://consortiumnews.com/... )
  2. Michael Rogers intervention to save Trump transition team from surveillance in the Trump tower and subsequent attempt by Brennan and Co. to fire him.
  3. A very interesting and unexplainable episode is Avan brothers and their connection to Debbie Wassermann. Theoretically that provided Debbie capability of conduct her own false flag operation. It is clear that nobody wants to prosecute them. But why ?
  4. The "insurance" folder on Wiener laptop (and probably some other interesting dat on it) and Comey treatment of this information:
    https://www.theamericancons...

Bálint Somkuti , 14 hours ago

Sir,

if I may add this also proves an imperial mindset. Anyone dangerous to the influence of the Imperium must destroyed. Right now primarily through Justizmord, but as things turn south (and they will) physically too.

Julius HK , 19 hours ago
You say: I am talking about defending the rule of law and ensuring that the Constitutional limitations on the powers of the Federal Government are protected... And I can tell you with absolute certainty that the US government has engaged in extrajudicial political assassinations with total impunity, and this is repulsive way beyond what you outlined here...
wehaveseenthisb4 , an hour ago
Trump is a criminal and has been all his adult life. He's been a liar since he was old enough to tell a lie. Maybe no more or more less than others; the difference being dumb enough to expose himself by running for the presidency and getting caught. It's on him.
JayneCoe , 2 hours ago
My apologies if I missed this in the article, but WHY do these US gov't agencies want to take Donald down? I didn't vote for him, but it seems like he is doing things the GOP wants. And I was aware even before he ran for office that his past business dealings were shady. Are these agencies going to try to bring him down using his past business dealings poss. involving the Russians? Also, what does Mueller get out of this situation? Not a troll, just someone with an OPEN mind.
Pat Lang Mod -> JayneCoe , 42 minutes ago
IMO they have sensed from the beginning that because of his egomania he would never be truly controllable. As TTG and I have stated before we would never have tried to recruit this man as an intelligence asset. To be worthwhile such an asset must be controllable. Trump is demonstrating now in the Syria matter that he is NOT controllable. He is likely to withdraw from Afghanistan in spite of the "counsel" of the generals' club and the waning influence over him of the neocons. With regard to Syria I think that Natanyahu has already abandoned regime change in Syria. The Russians are probably responsible for this.
MP98 , 3 hours ago
Bad news and good news.

As for Trump, two things: The Clinton crime family is not in the WH. Two Supreme Court Justices NOT appointed by a Democrat.

Bill Herschel , 5 hours ago
The straw in the wind is Trump's proposal to withdraw from Syria. He will resign.
Taras77 , 15 hours ago
Excellent summary, Mr Johnson! It is extremely concerning that this information is known but no one has the balls to start nailing some people. I read that it is all about timing, release will be in response to demo atks, etc. I read that x number of sealed indictments are out there but no progress seems to be forthcoming. You are correct, no one is defending the Constitution, it is all personalized against trump, who seems to disengaged from the active fight.

Then there is the business of Q, whatever the hell that means-we read, trust the plan, trust Sessions, trust Rod, trust Mueller. This may be counter productive to the 4th level of chess but it seems like it is about time to haul some of these bastards off in a perp walk.

Just saying!

Greco , 18 hours ago
Chuck Schumer: "You take on the intelligence community, they have 6 ways from Sunday of getting back at you." Play Hide

[Dec 19, 2018] Judge excoriates Trump ex-adviser Flynn, delays Russia probe sentencing by Jan Wolfe and Ginger Gibson

Flynn "treason" is not related to Russia probe and just confirm that Nueller in engaged in witch hunt. I believe half of Senate and House of Representative might go to jail if they were dug with the ferocity Mueller digs Flynn's past. So while Flynn behavior as Turkey lobbyist (BTW Turkey is a NATO country and not that different int his sense from the US -- and you can name a lot of UK lobbyists in high echelons of the US government, starting with McCabe and Strzok) is reprehensible, this is still a witch hunt
When American law enforcement and intelligence officials, who carry Top Secret clearances and authority to collect intelligence or pursue a criminal investigation, decide to employ lies and intimidation to silence or intimidates those who worked for Donald Trump's Presidency, we see shadow of Comrage Stalin Great Terror Trials over the USA.
Dec 19, 2018 | www.yahoo.com
Former U.S. national security adviser Michael Flynn passes by members of the media as he departs after his sentencing was delayed at U.S. District Court in Washington, U.S., December 18, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

By Jan Wolfe and Ginger Gibson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. judge fiercely criticized President Donald Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn on Tuesday for lying to FBI agents in a probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election, and delayed sentencing him until Flynn has finished helping prosecutors.

U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan told Flynn, a retired U.S. Army lieutenant general and former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, that he had arguably betrayed his country. Sullivan also noted that Flynn had operated as an undeclared lobbyist for Turkey even as he worked on Trump's campaign team and prepared to be his White House national security adviser.

Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to FBI agents about his December 2016 conversations with Sergei Kislyak, then Russia's ambassador in Washington, about U.S. sanctions imposed on Moscow by the administration of Trump's Democratic predecessor Barack Obama, after Trump's election victory but before he took office.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller, leading the investigation into possible collusion between Trump's campaign team and Russia ahead of the election, had asked the judge not to sentence Flynn to prison because he had already provided "substantial" cooperation over the course of many interviews.

But Sullivan sternly told Flynn his actions were abhorrent, noting that Flynn had also lied to senior White House officials, who in turn misled the public. The judge said he had read additional facts about Flynn's behavior that have not been made public.

At one point, Sullivan asked prosecutors if Flynn could have been charged with treason, although the judge later said he had not been suggesting such a charge was warranted.

"Arguably, you sold your country out," Sullivan told Flynn. "I'm not hiding my disgust, my disdain for this criminal offense."

Flynn, dressed in a suit and tie, showed little emotion throughout the hearing, and spoke calmly when he confirmed his guilty plea and answered questions from the judge.

Sullivan appeared ready to sentence Flynn to prison but then gave him the option of a delay in his sentencing so he could fully cooperate with any pending investigations and bolster his case for leniency. The judge told Flynn he could not promise that he would not eventually sentence him to serve prison time.

Flynn accepted that offer. Sullivan did not set a new date for sentencing but asked Mueller's team and Flynn's attorney to give him a status report by March 13.

Prosecutors said Flynn already had provided most of the cooperation he could, but it was possible he might be able to help investigators further. Flynn's attorney said his client is cooperating with federal prosecutors in a case against Bijan Rafiekian, his former business partner who has been charged with unregistered lobbying for Turkey.

Rafiekian pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to those charges in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia. His trial is scheduled for Feb. 11. Flynn is expected to testify.

Prosecutors have said Rafiekian and Flynn lobbied to have Washington extradite a Muslim cleric who lives in the United States and is accused by Turkey's government of backing a 2016 coup attempt. Flynn has not been charged in that case.

'LOCK HER UP!'

Flynn was a high-profile adviser to Trump's campaign team. At the Republican Party's national convention in 2016, Flynn led Trump's supporters in cries of "Lock her up!" directed against Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.

A group of protesters, including some who chanted "Lock him up," gathered outside the courthouse on Tuesday, along with a large inflatable rat fashioned to look like Trump. Several Flynn supporters also were there, cheering as he entered and exited. One held a sign that read, "Michael Flynn is a hero."

Flynn became national security adviser when Trump took office in January 2017, but lasted only 24 days before being fired.

He told FBI investigators on Jan. 24, 2017, that he had not discussed the U.S. sanctions with Kislyak when in fact he had, according to his plea agreement. Trump has said he fired Flynn because he also lied to Vice President Mike Pence about the contacts with Kislyak.

Trump has said Flynn did not break the law and has voiced support for him, raising speculation the Republican president might pardon him.

"Good luck today in court to General Michael Flynn. Will be interesting to see what he has to say, despite tremendous pressure being put on him, about Russian Collusion in our great and, obviously, highly successful political campaign. There was no Collusion!" Trump wrote on Twitter on Tuesday morning.

After the hearing, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told reporters the FBI had "ambushed" Flynn in the way agents questioned him, but said his "activities" at the center of the case "don't have anything to do with the president" and disputed that Flynn had committed treason.

"We wish General Flynn well," Sanders said.

In contrast, Trump has called his former long-time personal lawyer Michael Cohen, who has pleaded guilty to separate charges, a "rat."

Mueller's investigation into Russia's role in the 2016 election and whether Trump has unlawfully sought to obstruct the probe has cast a shadow over his presidency. Several former Trump aides have pleaded guilty in Mueller's probe, but Flynn was the first former Trump White House official to do so. Mueller also has charged a series of Russian individuals and entities.

Trump has called Mueller's investigation a "witch hunt" and has denied collusion with Moscow.

Russia has denied meddling in the election, contrary to the conclusion of U.S. intelligence agencies that have said Moscow used hacking and propaganda to try to sow discord in the United States and boost Trump's chances against Clinton.

Lying to the FBI carries a statutory maximum sentence of five years in prison. Flynn's plea agreement stated that he was eligible for a sentence of between zero and six months.

(Reporting by Jan Wolfe and Ginger Gibson; Additional reporting by Susan Heavey; Editing by Kieran Murray and Will Dunham)

[Dec 18, 2018] FBI's Flynn Notes Show He Was Aware of Nature of First Interview

Notable quotes:
"... christophere steele admitted before a british court today that he was hired by the clintons/obama/DNC to make up the dossier as a weapon to use against trump as a backup plan in case he won the election.. this proves the DNC lied, paid for a fake dossier, and comey admitted he knew the fake dossier was false before using it to get a FISC warrant and to spy on trump, which was used as an excuse for the mueller investigation.. yahoo news and leftwing media arent covering the story.. educate yourselves ..."
Dec 18, 2018 | news.yahoo.com

[Dec 17, 2018] The Mueller group disclosed only 2 redacted documents that were already known by Robert Willmann

Notable quotes:
"... There is an article in the Daily Caller: "Powell: New Facts Indicate Mueller Destroyed Evidence..." dailycaller.com/2018/12/16/... ..."
Sic Semper Tyrannis

On Friday, 14 December 2018, the office of "special counsel" Robert Mueller filed a reply to Gen. Michael Flynn's sentencing memorandum by the court's deadline, as noted on the court clerk's docket sheet--

"12/14/2018 56 REPLY by USA as to MICHAEL T. FLYNN to Defendant's Memorandum in Aid of Sentencing (Attachments: # 1 Attachment A, # 2 Attachment B)(Van Grack, Brandon) (Entered: 12/14/2018)".

Judge Emmet Sullivan in an order on 12 December stated: "In 50 defendant's memorandum in aid of sentencing, the defendant quotes and cites a 'Memorandum dated Jan. 24, 2017.' See page 8 n. 21, 22. The defendant also quotes and cites a 'FD-302 dated Aug. 22, 2017.' See page 9 n. 23-27. The defendant is ORDERED to file on the docket FORTHWITH the cited Memorandum and FD-302. The Court further ORDERS the government to file on the docket any 302s or memoranda relevant to the circumstances discussed on pages 7-9 of the defendant's sentencing memorandum by no later than 3:00 p.m. on December 14, 2018."

In response to Judge Sullivan's order, the Mueller group attached to its reply memo two noticeably blacked out (redacted) documents, which turned out to be the same ones that were referred to in Flynn's memo raising the issue of FBI conduct surrounding his interview, and were nothing additional or new!

The government's reply and two documents that were filed are here--

The two redacted documents are the "January 24, 2017" memo and the "FD-302 dated Aug. 22, 2017", which were cited in the court's order and which Flynn's lawyers apparently already had, or knew what they were about. Judge Sullivan ordered the Mueller group to produce "any 302s or memoranda relevant to the circumstances discussed on pages 7-9 of the defendant's sentencing memorandum", not just the two that were already known [emphasis added]. The "Attachment B" is not the form 302 by an agent who interviewed Flynn on 24 January 2017, but rather is a 302 report by an unknown person of an interview of now former FBI agent Peter Strzok on 20 July 2017, in which Strzok allegedly talks about some things that happened on 24 January.

Unless the "special counsel" filed a complete set of unredacted documents with a motion (request) for leave to file them under seal, the reply is on its face a violation of the court's disclosure order.

As 'blue peacock' said in a comment to the posting on this issue of 14 December, it will be interesting to see what Judge Sullivan does about the response by the Mueller group.

Both documents are heavily blacked out. The form 302 does include the language that the agents at the Flynn interview "had the impression at the time that Flynn was not lying or did not think he was lying". Since this had already been revealed in news and mass media reports, they basically had to disclose that little part, otherwise it probably would have been redacted as well.

On the bottom right corner of each page is a number, which is usually referred to as a "Bates stamp", after the name of the numbering machines that are often used to number and identify documents that are produced in a lawsuit [1]. The pages on the form 302 are numbered DOJSCO-700021201 to 05. The one-page typed paper (Attachment A) has number DOJSCO-700021215. There are nine pages between those pages, but what those might be is not disclosed.

The Justice Department, FBI, and other federal departments are capable of trying to play semantic word games with requests for information, such that if the exact name or abbreviation of the document or class of documents is not requested, they will leave them out of their response. In this instance, the judge asked for "any 302s or memoranda" relevant to the circumstances. The FBI has guidelines about the different types of records it keeps and they can have different names, such as LHM (letterhead memorandum), EC (electronic communication), original note material, the FD-302, and so forth. There are also different types of files and records systems. Thus, there may be some ducking and dodging of the court's order on the theory that the exact types of records were not in the order.

Documents and records may also be generated when any investigative activity is started or requires approval, such as an assessment, preliminary investigation, or a full investigation. Furthermore, an interesting issue is the type of authorized activity the Flynn interview was part of: an assessment, preliminary investigation, or full investigation. Although it is significantly redacted (in this instance whited out instead of blacked out), the FBI Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide contains some useful information for trying to figure out what is going on with this issue [2].

If this problem with disclosure is not bad enough, on 11 December the Justice Department Inspector General (OIG) issued a report with the bland title, "Report of Investigation: Recovery of Text Messages from Certain FBI Mobile Devices"-- https://oig.justice.gov/reports/2018/i-2018-003523.pdf

The OIG investigation began when it was discovered that there was a "gap in text message data collection during the period December 15, 2016, through May 17, 2017, from Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) mobile devices assigned to FBI employees Peter Strzok and Lisa Page relevant to a matter being investigated by the OIG's Oversight and Review Division". Those names are familiar. Thousands of the text messages were recovered.

In addition, the report states: "In view of the content of many of the text messages between Strzok and Page, the OIG also asked the Special Counsel's Office (SCO) to provide to the OIG the DOJ issued iPhones that had been assigned to Strzok and Page during their respective assignments to the SCO".

The result? After Strzok was forced to leave the special counsel's office, his iPhone was given to another FBI agent and reset, wiping out the data. The Mueller group's "records officer" told the inspector general's office that "as part of the office's records retention procedure, the officer reviewed Strzok's DOJ issued iPhone after he returned it to the SCO and determined it contained no substantive text messages". In other words, after the Strzok and Page scandal erupted because of text messages while Strzok was at the special counsel's office, the Mueller group decided itself that his other cellular phone issued to him by the Department of Justice for the special counsel's office had no "substantive" messages on it.

Strzok's paramour, Lisa Page, also had an iPhone issued to her by the Justice Department while she was at the special counsel's office. The Mueller group said it could not find her phone, but it eventually was located at the DOJ's Justice Management Division. It had been reset, wiping out the data, on 31 July 2017.

[1] http://www.batesstampmachine.com

[2] https://vault.fbi.gov/FBI%20Domestic%20Investigations%20and%20Operations%20Guide%20%28DIOG%29


Fred , 5 hours ago

"...the officer reviewed Strzok's DOJ issued iPhone after he returned it to the SCO and determined it contained no substantive text messages"..."

So what is the officer's name, what criterea was used in the review and just what relationship to the extended cast of characters does this individual have?

Tidewater , 3 hours ago
It seems to me that this is very big news. Can it be that the Straight Arrow is bent, after all? This is amazing. There is an article in the Daily Caller: "Powell: New Facts Indicate Mueller Destroyed Evidence..." dailycaller.com/2018/12/16/...
Greco , 3 hours ago
I hope Judge Sullivan gets the chance to read this letter: https://saraacarter.com/for...
As a former/retired Agent, I have combed through every piece of information regarding Mike's case, as if I was combing through evidence in the hundreds of cases I have successfully handled while in the FBI.

The publicly reported Brady material alone, in this case, outweighs any statement given by any FBI Agent (we now know at least one FD-302 was changed), Special Prosecutor investigator report, and any other party still aggressively seeking that this case remain and be sentenced as a felony. Quite simply, I cannot see justice being served by branding LtG. Michael Flynn a convicted felon, when the truth is still being revealed while policies, ethics, and laws have been violated by those pursuing this case.

We now know all FBI employees involved in Mike Flynn's case have either been fired, forced to resign or forced to retire because of their excessive lack of candor, punitive biases, leaking of information, and extensive cover-up of their deeds.

Michael Flynn has always displayed overwhelming candor and forthrightness.

akaPatience , 9 hours ago
Projection and hypocrisy on steroids: leftists accuse Republicans of "fascism" and label the POTUS as "authoritarian".

[Dec 17, 2018] Does Trump thinks about Muller investigation as feud between two mafia families controlling the Washington and the country?

Dec 17, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

charlie_don't_surf , 10 minutes ago link

Get ready Dems, Hell is coming to breakfast.

youshallnotkill , 19 minutes ago link

Trump never ceases to crack me up. While his (terrible) current lawyer, declares on TV that there was collusion but it just didn't last long, Trump calls his former lawyer/fixer at "Rat".

This is just too funny, I mean this is the President of the United States calling his former personal lawyer a "Rat" which of course is a common mob term for a witness testifying against you.

Bricker , 24 minutes ago link

How you can tell that MSM is the front man for the CIA...nothing happens until MSM picks up the story

monkeyshine , 1 hour ago link

Of course it never happened, just like Manafort didn't make 3 trips to London to meet Julian Assange. These fictions were just used as a pretext for diving into the backgrounds of Trump's political supporters and find crimes to charge them with.

The Cohen raid was particularly egregious, a likely violation of attorney-client privilege. Not suprisingly the American Bar Association is silent.

AHBL , 59 minutes ago link

So, Manafort never laundered money and failed to report taxes? Did Flynn never fail to report his work as a foreign agent? Did he also not report income taxes?

Look at all these poor crooks, unfairly being prosecuted for cheating and stealing.

GoldenDonuts , 47 minutes ago link

Keep drinking the koolaid.

brewing_it , 33 minutes ago link

All that could have been prosecuted by a district attorney. They looked at all of Manafort's dealings 10 years ago and passed because he was working with the Podesta Group at the time and thus protected by Hillary Clinton's influence.

Bricker , 57 minutes ago link

The next two years will be insiders admitting fault...Sprinkling 1 at a time every few weeks.

As they back away before 2020 elections. Pucking democrats are the scum of the earth

[Dec 17, 2018] Blackmailed to lie Roger Stone associate sues Mueller, intel agencies for $350mn -- RT USA News

Notable quotes:
"... "at the direction of Mueller." ..."
Dec 17, 2018 | www.rt.com

Conspiracy theory buff Jerome Corsi has sued Robert Mueller and a handful of federal agencies for allegedly attempting to blackmail him into lying about being a middle man between Wikileaks and the Trump campaign. Read more Former Trump campaign adviser targeted by Mueller for his appearances on RT

Corsi, the former Washington bureau chief of Alex Jones' controversial site, InfoWars, filed a lawsuit on Sunday which claims that special counsel Robert Mueller threatened him with prison unless he agreed to falsely confess to being a liaison between WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and Republican political strategist Roger Stone, who was an adviser to Trump's presidential campaign.

The suit, which seeks $100 million in actual damages and $250 million in punitive damages, also accuses the FBI, CIA and NSA of having placed Corsi under illegal surveillance "at the direction of Mueller."

[Dec 16, 2018] Top Democrat Schiff Adds Call for Probe of Trump, Deutsche Bank Links

CIA democrats are still determined to sink Tramp, and continues to beat the dead cat of "Russian collision". What is interesting is that Jacob Schiff financed Bolsheviks revolution in Russia.
Yahoo comments reflect the deep split in the opinions in the society, which is positioned mainly by party lines. Few commenters understadn that the problem is with neoliberalism, not Trump, or Hillary who represent just different factions of the same neoliberal elite.
Notable quotes:
"... Schiff said Deutsche Bank has paid hundreds of millions of dollars in fines to the state of New York for laundering Russian money, and that it was the one bank willing to do business with the Trump Organization. ..."
"... In an interview with the New Yorker that was posted on line on Dec. 14, Schiff said the Intelligence Committee is "going to be looking at the issue of possible money laundering by the Trump Organization, and Deutsche Bank is one obvious place to start." ..."
"... A Senate investigation, which Warren and Van Hollen want to see followed by a report and a hearing, could put further pressure on the lender. The written request from the senators, sent Dec. 13, cites Deutsche Bank's "numerous enforcement actions" and a recent raid by police officers and tax investigators in Germany. ..."
"... Schiff, a target of Trump's on Twitter, also referred to reported comments by the president's sons some years ago that they didn't need "to deal with U.S. banks because they got all of the cash they needed from Russia or disproportionate share of their assets coming from Russia." He said Sunday he expects to learn more about that claim through financial records. ..."
Dec 16, 2018 | finance.yahoo.com

(Bloomberg)

The incoming chairman of the House Intelligence Committee joined Democratic colleagues in questioning ties between Deutsche Bank AG and President Donald Trump's real estate business.

Representative Adam Schiff of California said on NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday that any type of compromise needs to be investigated. That could add his panel's scrutiny to that of Representative Maxine Waters, who's in line to be chair of the House Financial Services Committee and has also focused on the bank's connections to Trump.

Schiff's comments came three days after Wall Street critic Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and fellow Senate Democrat Chris Van Hollen called for a Banking Committee investigation of Deutsche Bank's compliance with U.S. money-laundering regulations.

Schiff said Deutsche Bank has paid hundreds of millions of dollars in fines to the state of New York for laundering Russian money, and that it was the one bank willing to do business with the Trump Organization.

"Now, is that a coincidence?" Schiff said. "If this is a form of compromise, it needs to be exposed."

In an interview with the New Yorker that was posted on line on Dec. 14, Schiff said the Intelligence Committee is "going to be looking at the issue of possible money laundering by the Trump Organization, and Deutsche Bank is one obvious place to start."

More Pressure

A Senate investigation, which Warren and Van Hollen want to see followed by a report and a hearing, could put further pressure on the lender. The written request from the senators, sent Dec. 13, cites Deutsche Bank's "numerous enforcement actions" and a recent raid by police officers and tax investigators in Germany.

It also notes the lender's U.S. operations being implicated in cross-border money-laundering accusations such as in a recent case involving Danish lender Danske Bank A/S and the movement of $230 billion in illicit funds.

"The compliance history of this institution raises serious questions about the national security and criminal risks posed by its U.S. operations," the senators said in their letter. "Its correspondent banking operations in the U.S. serve as a gateway to the U.S. financial system for Deutsche Bank entities around the world."

Troy Gravitt, a Deutsche Bank spokesman, responded that the company "takes its legal obligations seriously and remains committed to cooperating with authorized investigations."

Van Hollen, a Maryland Democrat, had questioned the Federal Reserve earlier this year about how it would keep the White House from interfering with oversight of the lender, which had been a major lender to Trump's real estate business.

Schiff, a target of Trump's on Twitter, also referred to reported comments by the president's sons some years ago that they didn't need "to deal with U.S. banks because they got all of the cash they needed from Russia or disproportionate share of their assets coming from Russia." He said Sunday he expects to learn more about that claim through financial records.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jesse Hamilton in Washington at jhamilton33@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jesse Westbrook at jwestbrook1@bloomberg.net, Mark Niquette, Ros Krasny

[Dec 16, 2018] FBI Docs Reveal Flynn Was Not Lying Or Did Not Think He Was Lying

The decision to indict Flynn ruins " esprit de corps " in the USA intelligence community. So Partaigenosser Mulkler trying to depose Trump oversteped the "norms" of intelligence community. And if CIA allied with FBI against DIA that's a bad sign. It looks like the US elite was split into two warring camps that will fight for power absolutely ruthlessly.
As for "In the report, the two agents describe Flynn as being very open and noted said Flynn 'clearly saw the FBI agents as allies.' " the question arise how he got the to position of the head of DIA with such astounding level of naivety. If anyone from FBI does not want your lawyer to be present you should probably have a lawyer present.
Notable quotes:
"... "The agents did not provide Gen. Flynn with a warning of the penalties for making a false statement under 18 U.S.C. 1001 before, during, or after the interview," the Flynn memo says. ..."
"... According to the 302, before the interview, McCabe and other FBI officials "decided the agents would not warn Flynn that it was a crime to lie during an FBI interview because they wanted Flynn to be relaxed , and they were concerned that giving the warnings might adversely affect the rapport." ..."
"... McCabe, who has since been fired for lying to the DOJ's Office of Inspector General about leaking information to the media, also asked Flynn not to have his lawyer present during the initial meeting with the FBI agents. ..."
"... On Thursday, FBI Supervisory Agent Jeff Danik told SaraACarter.com that Sullivan must also request all the communications between the two agents, as well as their supervisors around the August 2017 time-frame in order to get a complete and accurate picture of what transpired. Danik, who is an expert in FBI policy, says it is imperative that Sullivan also request "the workflow chart, which would show one-hundred percent, when the 302s were created when they were sent to a supervisor and who approved them." ..."
"... Flynn was found guilty by Mueller on one count of lying to the FBI. Supporters of Flynn have questioned Mueller's tactics in getting the retired three-star general to plead guilty to this one count of lying. ..."
"... In the report, the two agents describe Flynn as being very open and noted said Flynn "clearly saw the FBI agents as allies." Flynn is described as discussing a variety of "subjects." The report includes his openness regarding Trump's "knack for interior design," the hotels he stayed at during his campaign, as well as other issues. ..."
"... It would appear that the branch of government that may be out of control (by the Supreme Court) is the judiciary. It is the court rules and failure of the Supreme Court to act and weed its subordinate courts, that allowed much of this to happen. The FISA Court has been a rubber stamp. No judge is held accountable for failure to obtain justice in their court. ..."
"... Could Mueller's whole appointment be meant to protect the Clinton empire? ..."
Dec 16, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com
Authored by Sara Carter via SaraCarter.com,

The Special Counsel's Office released key documents related to former National Security Advisor Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn Friday. Robert Mueller's office had until 3 p.m. to get the documents to Judge Emmet Sullivan, who demanded information Wednesday after bombshell information surfaced in a memorandum submitted by Flynn's attorney's that led to serious concerns regarding the FBI's initial questioning of the retired three-star general.

The highly redacted documents included notes from former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe regarding his conversation with Flynn about arranging the interview with the FBI. The initial interview took place at the White House on Jan. 24, 2017.

The documents also include the FBI's "302" report regarding Flynn's interview with anti-Trump former FBI Agent Peter Strzok and FBI Agent Joe Pientka when they met with him at the White House. It is not, however, the 302 document from the actual January, 2017 interview but an August, 2017 report of Strzok's recollections of the interview.

Flynn's attorney's had noted in their memorandum to the courts that the documents revealed that FBI officials made the decision not to provide Flynn with his Miranda Rights, which would've have warned him of penalties for making false statements.

"The agents did not provide Gen. Flynn with a warning of the penalties for making a false statement under 18 U.S.C. 1001 before, during, or after the interview," the Flynn memo says.

According to the 302, before the interview, McCabe and other FBI officials "decided the agents would not warn Flynn that it was a crime to lie during an FBI interview because they wanted Flynn to be relaxed , and they were concerned that giving the warnings might adversely affect the rapport."

McCabe, who has since been fired for lying to the DOJ's Office of Inspector General about leaking information to the media, also asked Flynn not to have his lawyer present during the initial meeting with the FBI agents.

The July 2017 report, however, was the interview with Strzok. It described his interview with Flynn but was not the original Flynn interview.

Apparent discrepancies within the 302 documents are being questioned by may former senior FBI officials, who state that there are stringent policies in place to ensure that the documents are guarded against tampering.

On Thursday, FBI Supervisory Agent Jeff Danik told SaraACarter.com that Sullivan must also request all the communications between the two agents, as well as their supervisors around the August 2017 time-frame in order to get a complete and accurate picture of what transpired. Danik, who is an expert in FBI policy, says it is imperative that Sullivan also request "the workflow chart, which would show one-hundred percent, when the 302s were created when they were sent to a supervisor and who approved them."

He stressed, "the bureau policy – the absolute FBI policy – is that the notes must be placed in the system in a 1-A file within five days of the interview." Danik said that the handwritten notes get placed into the FBI Sentinel System, which is the FBI's main record keeping system. "Anything beyond five business days is a problem, eight months is a disaster," he added.

In the redacted 302 report Strzok and Pientka said they "both had the impression at the time that Flynn was not lying or did not think he was lying." Information that Flynn was not lying was first published and reported by SaraACarter.com.

Flynn was found guilty by Mueller on one count of lying to the FBI. Supporters of Flynn have questioned Mueller's tactics in getting the retired three-star general to plead guilty to this one count of lying.

In the report, the two agents describe Flynn as being very open and noted said Flynn "clearly saw the FBI agents as allies." Flynn is described as discussing a variety of "subjects." The report includes his openness regarding Trump's "knack for interior design," the hotels he stayed at during his campaign, as well as other issues.

"Flynn was so talkative, and had so much time for them, that Strzok wondered if the national security adviser did not have more important things to do than have a such a relaxed, non-pertinent discussion with them," it said.

The documents turned over by Mueller also reveal that other FBI personnel "later argued about the FBI's decision to interview Flynn." Tags Law Crime


haruspicio , 3 hours ago link

Basically McCabe and others in his unit are totally discredited. He should have this quashed and the case thrown out of court. No Miranda rights, therefore no lying to FBI.

Ajax-1 , 4 hours ago link

Why didn't Flynn demand his day in court? He would have won. I am not buying the ******** argument about him being run into bankruptcy. Hell, he could have represented himself and still won the case at trial. In addition, I am not buying this ******** argument that he agreed to plead guilty because he was afraid the Mueller would go after his son. Does anyone know what Flynn's son does for a living? Why would he be afraid?

alter_ , 4 hours ago link

I've got news for you, if you don't think you are lying, its not a lie. That is a simple fact for anyone who understands English

Koba the Dread , 4 hours ago link

Flynn was found guilty by Mueller on one count of lying to the FBI.

No! Flynn was not f ound guilty by Mueller on one count of lying. The FBI is an investigative body (at best) not a judicial body. Only a jury or a judge acting in lieu of a jury can find someone guilty of anything.

Flynn plead guilty to one count of lying because to have plead innocent would have bankrupted him in legal fees. However, it's interesting that this ZH article stated that Mueller found Flynn guilty. In federal courts these days, once you're charged with a crime you will be found guilty. FBI, DEA, BATF, IRS...whoever, you do not get a fair trial. Federal judges are hard-wired to find guilt. Vicious and ambitious federal prosecutors have only one interest, to rack up successful prosecutions. Federal juries are intimidated by the brute force of the federal system and, I suspect, fear that if they don't bring in a verdict satisfactory to the prosecutor, they may be investigated themselves. "Investigation" in the federal sense means that they will be relentlessly harassed forever by the federal government

artichoke , 1 hour ago link

My small experience as a juror is that state prosecutors and judges are no different than what you describe for the federal system. We found a guy non-guilty (not a close call either) that the judge wanted convicted, and he came back and questioned us about our logic. Casually of course. I just said the guy was innocent beyond a reasonable doubt. Judge wasn't pleased.

Imxploring , 7 hours ago link

Flynn is an idiot.... why agree to talk to the FBI at all.... as Martha Stewart found out.... if they can't make the case for what they're investigating... they'll just find some statement in your "interview" that they claim was not true.... no matter if it was your intention to lie or just a recollection that was wrong... and charge you with that!

Simple answer is that if law enforcement wants to "talk" to you they're looking to get information to charge you.... simple reply.... FU... I want a lawyer!

Amy G. Dala , 8 hours ago link

Remember Petreaus and Paula Broadwell?

The compromise of classified docs was really sort of candy-assed, everybody knew it . . .

Rewind the tape, and you will find the contrite Petreaus in front of any and all microphones confessing to his affair with Broadwell, which he repeatedly stated began on some certain date . . .conveniently AFTER his confirmation as CIA director . . .

. . .certainly Petreaus was asked in his FBI background interview if he was involved in any affairs. And he certainly said no.

So, Paula, since I'm on all the networks at the moment, I know you can hear me, our affair started on X date, in case the FBI gets a notion to ask you (which they did not.)

See, the FBI takes lying seriously. But somebody must have said something along the lines of: hey, Petreaus is a good guy, I hope you can find a way to let him off easy.

Noktirnal , 9 hours ago link

How can an honest investigation be done now?

The FBI destroyed evidence and devices at the behest of subjects in the HRC investigation on the first go-round.

Aubiekong , 9 hours ago link

But when faced with financial destruction, your kids being threatened, and false evidence against you, you sometimes admit to the charges to make a deal...

PGR88 , 10 hours ago link

Flynn "clearly saw the FBI agents as allies."

Sorry dumbass, they are America's new Gestapo. Big mistake.

divingengineer , 7 hours ago link

The military is realizing they are not on the same team with FBI, CIA, DOJ.

Why do you think they have tried so hard to keep NSA under military leadership? Wink, wink...

Leguran

It would appear that the branch of government that may be out of control (by the Supreme Court) is the judiciary. It is the court rules and failure of the Supreme Court to act and weed its subordinate courts, that allowed much of this to happen. The FISA Court has been a rubber stamp. No judge is held accountable for failure to obtain justice in their court.

The Chief Justice has refused to accept that judges can employ personal poliltical beliefs in court. All courts are subordinate to the US Supreme Court and therefore the Supreme Court has a duty to ensure justice not just to decide whether cases are 'sufficiently mature' to come before the Supreme Court. In other words, the Judiciary needs to be disturbed from their lifetime appointments and made conditional appointments. The Supreme Court needs to deal with incapacity within its own ranks. All told, this shocking miscarriage of justice came about because the Judicial Branch of government allowed it to happen. The Judicial Branch has run amok.

lizzie dw

IMO, Judge Emmet Sullivan needs to demand and receive the original UNREDACTED 302 about the Strzok/Pientka interview with General Flynn. But, really, just by reading the pre-interview discussions of the FBI members involved, the whole thing sounds fishy.

Caloot

Hedge headline:

Could Mueller's whole appointment be meant to protect the Clinton empire?

Like Trump or not, there are serious cracks appearing in the Clintons foundation.

[Dec 16, 2018] Judge Emmet Sullivan in the Michael Flynn case orders the Mueller group to disclose interview material by Robert Willmann

Dec 14, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com
Two days ago, federal judge Emmet Sullivan in Washington D.C. ordered the "special counsel" Robert Mueller group to do the following by 3:00 p.m. eastern time today, as shown on the court clerk's docket sheet--

"12/12/2018 MINUTE ORDER as to MICHAEL T. FLYNN. In 50 defendant's memorandum in aid of sentencing, the defendant quotes and cites a 'Memorandum dated Jan. 24, 2017.' See page 8 n. 21, 22. The defendant also quotes and cites a 'FD-302 dated Aug. 22, 2017.' See page 9 n. 23-27. The defendant is ORDERED to file on the docket FORTHWITH the cited Memorandum and FD-302. The Court further ORDERS the government to file on the docket any 302s or memoranda relevant to the circumstances discussed on pages 7-9 of the defendant's sentencing memorandum by no later than 3:00 p.m. on December 14, 2018. Should the parties seek to file such material under seal, the parties may file motions for leave to do so. The government is also ORDERED to file its reply to the defendant's sentencing memorandum by no later than 3:00 p.m. on December 14, 2018. Signed by Judge Emmet G. Sullivan on 12/12/2018. (lcegs3) (Entered: 12/12/2018)"

Judge Sullivan is a Black lawyer who came up the hard way, going to Washington D.C. public schools and Howard University and its law school. Howard University has been a reputable university with a full curriculum as it provided education to Black Americans from the time of segregation. He was appointed by three different U.S. presidents to judicial positions, by Reagan, Bush sr, and Bill Clinton [1].

The actions and investigation regarding Gen. Michael Flynn (ret.) beginning when he was removed as National Security Advisor to president Trump have seemed odd and not to square with past behavior and the normal course of things. With little information available publicly it is very difficult to look at the issue and pick through information, since it has been mainly hidden behind the skirts of the Mueller "investigation", which was supposed to look at "interference" by the Russian government in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Flynn's sentencing is set for next Tuesday, 18 December. However, that is subject to change, depending on what is filed today. I will try to provide some relevant items from the court clerk's file that you can read to bring yourself up to date about the court case from what is available; some items are still filed under seal, and the probation office presentence investigation report (PSI) is kept private as a matter of federal judicial policy.

Continue reading "Judge Emmet Sullivan in the Michael Flynn case orders the Mueller group to disclose interview material" "

Posted at 02:20 PM in Babelfish , Current Affairs , Intelligence , Justice , Politics , Transcripts | Permalink | 13 Comments


Walrus , a day ago

The FBI failed to warn Flynn and entrapped him. Throw out the case
TTG -> Walrus , 9 hours ago
That defense would be more effective if Flynn was a bewildered youth or someone with diminished mental capacities being badgered in a police interrogation room.
MP98 -> TTG , 5 hours ago
Flynn certainly acted like a bewildered, naive person.
Did he think that the FBI was showing up to ask about his health?
Was he really the Director of DIA......or did he just stay in a Holiday Inn?
Pat Lang Mod -> MP98 , 5 hours ago
He was in way over his head at DIA. This guy had commanded MI housekeeping units and had dome CT targeting/
Greco , 10 hours ago
Thank you Robert. It's good to have someone like judge Sullivan presiding over this case. We'll have to wait and see, but a lot of what I have gathered so far suggests Gen. Flynn is a man of honorable character who has been raked over for mostly political reasons.
MP98 , a day ago
In the meantime, has anyone investigated the leak that supposedly caught Flynn talking to the Russian Amb?
That apparently did harm sources and methods.
But,noooooooooo, no investigation.
The swamp cares not a whit for national security, but yet constantly lectures us "deplorables" about their great talent and dedication - they'd all be Fortune 500 CEO's if they weren't so dedicated.
There are probably a few dedicated talented people trying to do the right thing, but the bureaucracy - including the Intel. agencies/FBI (VERY important people "risking" their lives, BTW) - has shown over and over to be populated mostly by self-enriching slugs.
TTG -> MP98 , 9 hours ago
The leak was that USI and LE were listening in on the Russian Ambassador's conversations by turning his smartphone into a hot mic by exploiting well-known SS7 vulnerabilities. This hardly reveals anything new about sources and methods. Any one who wants to keep secrets shouldn't be carrying a smartphone and any ambassador who thinks the host government doesn't keep him under surveillance is hopelessly naive.
MP98 -> TTG , 6 hours ago
So the leaker gets a pass?
TTG -> MP98 , 5 hours ago
Was it a leak or was it just an assumption of the obvious surveillance of Kislyak? Pence is the one who confirmed Flynn talked to Kislyak about lifting sanctions and lied to him about it.

[Dec 16, 2018] Former FBI SSA Exposes McCabe Mueller's Unethtical, Target Destroy Coercion Tactics, Defends Flynn

Usual can of worms. Typical for any large organization. Petty vengeance, etc.
Dec 15, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Former FBI SSA Exposes McCabe & Mueller's "Unethtical, Target & Destroy Coercion" Tactics, Defends Flynn

by Tyler Durden Sat, 12/15/2018 - 21:15 59 SHARES Via SaraCarter.com,

Former FBI Supervisory Special Agent Robyn Gritz has asked SaraACarter.com to post her letter to Judge Emmet G. Sullivan in support of her friend and colleague retired Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn, who will be sentenced on Dec. 18. The Special Counsel's Office has requested that Flynn not serve any jail time due to his cooperation with Robert Mueller's office. Based on new information contained in a memorandum submitted to the court this week by Flynn's attorney, Sullivan has ordered Mueller's office to turn over all exculpatory evidence and government documents on Flynn's case by mid-day Friday. Sullivan is also requesting any documentation regarding the first interviews conducted by former anti-Trump agent Peter Strzok and FBI Agent Joe Pientka -known by the FBI as 302s- which were found to be dated more than seven months after the interviews were conducted on Jan. 24, 2017, a violation of FBI policy, say current and former FBI officials familiar with the process. According to information contained in Flynn's memorandum, the interviews were dated Aug. 22, 2017.

Read Gritz's letter below... (emphasis added)

The Honorable Emmet G. Sullivan. December 5, 2018 U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia

333 Constitution Avenue, N.W.

Washington D.C. 20001

Re: Sentencing of Lt. General Michael T. Flynn (Ret.)

Dear Judge Sullivan:

I am submitting my letter directly since Mike Flynn's attorney has refused to submit it as well as letters submitted by other individuals. I feel you need to hear from someone who was an FBI Special Agent who not only worked with Mike, but also has personally witnessed and reported unethical & sometimes illegal tactics used to coerce targets of investigations externally and internally.

About Myself and FBI Career

For 16 years, I proudly served the American people as a Special Agent working diligently on significant terrorism cases which earned noteworthy results and fostered substantial interagency cooperation. Prior to serving in the FBI I was a Juvenile Probation Officer in Camden, NJ. Currently, I am a Senior Information Security Metrics and Reporting Analyst with Discover Financial Services in the Chicago Metro area. I have recently been named as a Senior Fellow to the London Center for Policy Research.

While in the FBI, I served as a Special Agent, Supervisory Special Agent, Assistant Inspector, Unit Chief, and a Senior Liaison Officer to the CIA. I served on the NSC's Hostage and Personnel Working Group and brought numerous Americans out of captivity and was part of the interagency team to codify policies outlining the whole of government approach to hostage cases.

In November 2007, I was selected over 26 other candidates to become the Supervisory Special Agent, CT Extraterritorial Squad; Washington Field Office (WFO) in Washington, DC. At WFO, I led a squad of experts in extraterritorial evidence collection, overseas investigations, operational security during terrorist attacks/events, and overseas criminal investigations. I coordinated and managed numerous high profile investigations (Blackwater, Chuckie Taylor, Robert Levinson, and other pivotal cases) comprised of teams from US and foreign intelligence, military, and law enforcement agencies. I was commended for displaying comprehensive leadership performance under pressure, extensive teamwork skills, while conducting critical investigative analysis within and outside the FBI.

In December 2009, I was promoted to GS-15 Unit Chief (UC) of the Executive Strategy Unit, Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate (WMDD). While the UC, I codified the WMDD five-year strategic plan, formulated goals and objectives throughout the division, while translating the material into a directorate scorecard with cascading measurements reflecting functional and operational unit areas. This was the only time in Washington, DC when I did not work with of for McCabe.

From September to December 2010, I was selected as the FBI's top candidate to represent the FBI, and the USG in a rigorous, intellectually stimulating; 12 week course for civilian government officials, military officers, and government academics at the George C. Marshall Center in Garmisch, Germany, Executive Program in Advanced Security Studies. The class was comprised of 141 participants from 43 countries.

I have received numerous recommendations and commendations for my professionalism, liaison and interpersonal ability and experience . Additionally, I have been rated Excellent or Outstanding for my entire career, to include by Andrew McCabe when I was stationed at the Washington Field Office. Further, other awards of note are: West Chester University 2005 Legacy of Leadership recipient, Honored with House of Representatives Citation for Exemplary record of Service, Leadership, and Achievements: Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and Awarded with a framed Horn of Africa blood chit from the Department of Defense and Office of the DASD (POW/MPA/MIA) for my work in bringing Americans Out of captivity, "Patriot, Law Enforcement Warrior, and Friend."

Length of Association with Flynn, McCabe, and Mueller

I met Michael Flynn in 2005, while working in the Counterterrorism Division (CTD) at FBI Headquarters (FBIHQ).

I met then Supervisory Special Agent Andrew McCabe, when he reported to CTD at FBIHQ, around the same time. McCabe subsequently was the Assistant Section Chief over my unit, my Assistant Special Agent in Charge at the Washington Field Office, and the Assistant Director (AD) over CTD when I encountered the discrimination and McCabe spearheaded the retaliation personally (according to documentation) against me.

I have known both men for 12-13 years and worked directly with both throughout my career. They are on the opposite spectrum of each other with regard to truthfulness, temperament, and ethics, both professionally and personally.

I regularly briefed former FBI Director and Special Prosecutor Mueller on controversial and complex cases and attended Deputies meetings at the White house with then Deputy Director Pistole. I got along with both and trusted both. Watching what has been done to Mike and knowing someone on the 7th floor had to have notified Mueller of my situation (Pistole had retired), has been significantly distressing to me.

Lt.G. Michael T. Flynn:

Mike and I were counterparts on a DOJ-termed ground-breaking initiative which served as a model for future investigations, policies, legislation and FBI programs in the Terrorist Use of the Internet. For this multi-faceted and leading-edge joint operation, I was commended by Gen. Stanley McChrystal, Gen. Keith Alexander (NSA Director), and LtG. Michael Flynn as well as others for leading the FBI's pivotal participation in this dynamic and innovative interagency operation. I received two The National Intelligence Meritorious Unit Citation (NIMUC) I for my role in this operation. The NIMUC is an award of the National Intelligence Awards Program, for contributions to the United States Intelligence Community.

Mick Flynn has consistently and candidly been honest and straightforward with me since the day I met him in 2005. He has been a mentor and someone I trust to give me frank advice when I ask for his opinion. His caring nature has shown through especially when he saw me being torn apart by the FBI and he felt compelled to write a letter in support of me. He further took the extra step to comment on my character in an NPR article and interview exposing the wrongdoings in my case and others who have stood up for truth and against discrimination/retaliation. Senator Grassley also commented on my behalf. NPR characterized this action against me as a "warning shot" to individuals who stood up to individuals such as McCabe.

The day after I resigned from the FBI, while I was crying, Mike reached out and congratulated me on my early retirement. I really needed to hear that from someone I respected so much. His support for the last 13 years has been unparalleled and extremely valuable in helping me get through the trauma of betrayal, unethical behavior, illegal activity executed against me and to rebuild my life. Additionally, his support has helped my family in dealing with their painful emotions regarding my situation. My parents wanted me to pass on to you that they are blessed that I have had a compassionate and supportive individual on my side throughout this trying time.

Mike has been a respected leader by his peers and by FBI Agents and Analysts who have interacted with him. I personally feel he is the finest leader I have ever worked with or for in my career. Our continued friendship and subsequent friendship with his family has helped all of us cope with the stress a situation like this puts on individuals and families.

It is so very painful to watch an American hero, and my friend, torn apart like this. His family has had to endure what no family should have to. I know this because of the damaging effect my case had on my parent's health, finances, and emotional well-being. Mike and I both had to sell our houses due to legal fees, endured smear campaigns (mostly by the same individual, McCabe). I ended up being deemed homeless by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, was on public assistance and endured extensive health and emotional damage due to the retaliation. Mike kept in touch and kept me motivated. He has always reached out to help me with whatever he could.

The Process is the Punishment

Thomas Fitton of Judicial Watch commented to me that the "Process is the punishment." This is the most accurate description I have heard regarding the time Mike has gone through with this process and the year and a half I was ostracized and idled before I resigned. This process is one which many FBI employees, current, retired and former, feel was brought to the FBI by Mueller and he subsequently brought this to the Special Prosecutor investigation.

It also fostered the behavior among FBI "leadership" which we find ourselves shocked at when revealed on a daily basis. Is this the proper way to seek justice? I say no. I swore to uphold the Constitution while protecting the civil rights of the American people. I believe many individuals involved in Mike's case have lost their way and could care less about protection of due process, civil and legal rights of who they are targeting. Mike has had extensive punishment throughout this process. This process has punished him harder than anyone else could.

Andrew McCabe

I believe I have a unique inside view of the mannerisms surrounding Andrew McCabe, other FBI Executive Management and Former Director Mueller, as well as the unethical and coercive tactics they use, not to seek the truth, but to coerce pleas or admissions to end the pain, as I call it. They destroy lives for their own agendas instead of seeking the truth for the American people. Candor is something that should be encouraged and used by leadership to have necessary and continued improvement. Under Mueller, it was seen as a threat and viciously opposed by those he pulled up in the chain of command.

I am explaining this because numerous Agents have expressed the need for you to know McCabe's and Mueller's pattern of "target and destroy" has been utilized on many others, without regard for policies and laws. I, myself, am a casualty of this reprehensible behavior and I have spoken to well over 150 other FBI individuals who are casualties as well.

I am the individual who filed the Hatch Act complaint against McCabe and provided significant evidentiary documents obtained via FOIA, open source, and information from current, former, and retired Special Agents. The Office of Special Counsel (OSC) asked why my filing of the complaint was delayed from the actual acts. I said I personally thought I was providing additional information to what should have been an automatic referral to OSC by FBI OPR. I was notified I was the only complainant. This illustrates not only a fatal flaw in OPR AD Candice Will not making the appropriate and crucial referral, but also shows the fear of those within the FBI to report individuals like McCabe for fear of retaliation.

While serving at the CIA, detailed by the FBI in January 2012, I was responsible for overseas investigations, as opposed to Continental United States-based (CONUS) cases. Unfortunately, during my assignment at the CIA, I encountered extensive discrimination by two FBI Special Agents and subsequently, in 2012, I filed an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) complaint. Instead of addressing the issues, then CTD Assistant Director Andrew McCabe chose to authorize a retaliatory Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) investigation against me, five days after my EEO contact. The OPR referral he signed was authored by the two individuals I had filed the EEO complaint against. In his signed sworn statement, McCabe admitted he knew I had filed or was going to file the EEO.

Numerous members of my department at the CIA requested to be spoken with by CTD executive management, regarding my work ethic and accomplishments. However, CTD, Inspection Division, and OPR disregarded the list of names and contact numbers I submitted. This is an example of knowing you are being targeted and the truth is not being sought.

Although my time at this position was short, I was commended by my CIA direct supervisor for: "having already contributed more than your predecessor in the short time you have been here." My predecessor had been assigned to the post for 18 months; I had been there four months.

In contrast and showing lack of candor, McCabe wrote on official documents the following statement, contradicting the actual direct supervisor I worked with daily:

"SA Gritz had to be removed from a prior position in an interagency environment, due to inappropriate communications and general performance issues"

This is one of many comments McCabe used to discredit my reputation and to ostracize me. McCabe knew me as someone who told the truth, worked hard, got results, and was always willing to be flexible when needed. He was also acutely aware of the excellent relationships I had formed in the USG interagency due to comments made by individuals from numerous agencies. Yet, he continued to make false statements on official documents. He has done this to numerous other very valuable FBI employees, destroying their careers and lives. He used similar tactics of lies against Flynn. It should be noted, McCabe was very aware of my professional association with Mike Flynn.

In July 5, 2012, I was involuntarily pulled back to CTD from the CIA. I was told McCabe made the decision. A year and a month later, I resigned from the job I absolutely loved and was good at. All because of the lack of candor of numerous individuals within the FBI.

Unethical and dishonest investigative tactics

Throughout the last year, I have kept abreast of the revelations surrounding anything related to Mike's case. I believe, from my years at the FBI and in exposing corruption and discrimination, the circumstances surrounding the targeting, investigation, leaking, and coercion of him to plea are all consistent with the unethical process I and many others have witnessed at the FBI. The charge which Mike Flynn plead to was the result of deception, intimidation, and bias/agenda. Simply, Mike is being branded a convicted felon due to an unethical and dishonest investigation by people who were malicious, vindictive, and corrupt. They wished to silence Mike, like they had once silenced me.

The American people have read the Strzok/Page text messages, the conflicting testimony and lack of candor statements of former Director Comey, the perceived overstepping of the reasonable scope of the Special Prosecutor's investigation, the extensive unethical, untruthful, and outright illegal behavior of Andrew McCabe, to include slanderous statements against Flynn, and the facts found within FOIA released documents and Congressional testimony. As a former/retired Agent, I have combed through every piece of information regarding Mike's case, as if I was combing through evidence in the hundreds of cases I have successfully handled while in the FBI.

The publicly reported Brady material alone, in this case, outweighs any statement given by any FBI Agent (we now know at least one FD-302 was changed), Special Prosecutor investigator report, and any other party still aggressively seeking that this case remain and be sentenced as a felony. Quite simply, I cannot see justice being served by branding LtG. Michael Flynn a convicted felon, when the truth is still being revealed while policies, ethics, and laws have been violated by those pursuing this case.

We now know all FBI employees involved in Mike Flynn's case have either been fired, forced to resign or forced to retire because of their excessive lack of candor, punitive biases, leaking of information, and extensive cover-up of their deeds.

Summation

Michael Flynn has always displayed overwhelming candor and forthrightness. One of the main individuals involved in his case is Andrew McCabe, who used similar tactics against me in my case, of which Mike Flynn defended me by penning a letter of character reference and is a witness. Seeing McCabe was named as a Responding Management Official in my case, he should have recused himself with anything having to do with a character witness on my behalf against him and DOJ.

I'm told by numerous people, but have been unable to confirm, that McCabe was asked why he was so viciously going after Flynn; my name was mentioned. I do know, from experience with McCabe, he is a vindictive individual and I have no doubt Mike's support of me fueled McCabe's disdain and personally vindictive aggressive unethical activities in this case . It matches his behavior in my case.

Reliable fact-finding is essential to procedural due process and to the accuracy and uniformity of sentencing. I'm unsure if the fact-finding in this case is reliable, nor do I think we currently have all the facts.

The punishment which LtG. Flynn has already endured this past year, due to the nature of the case, legal fees and reputation damage, is punishment enough. He is a true patriot, a loving husband and father, a devoted grandfather, a trusted friend, and has a close knit family made up of compassionate and honest individuals. To be branded a felon, is a major hit to a hero who protected the American people for 33 years. I do not think society would benefit from Mike Flynn going to jail nor being branded as a convicted felon. Not knowing the sentencing guidelines for this charge but if there is any chance that the case can be downgraded to a misdemeanor, this would be an act of justice that numerous Americans need to see to stay hopeful for further justice.

Respectfully yours,

Robyn L. Gritz


Never One Roach , 3 minutes ago link

This lady is seriously brave. She confirms one more reason i strongly support our Second Amendment; it's to protect us from tyrants and corrupt people like McCabe, Ohr, Comey and Mueller. Oh yes. I almost forget Rosenstein who should be hung for treason also.

Totally_Disillusioned , 35 minutes ago link

WOW...all this time I had been asking where are the whistle blowers and kept saying, certainly not all the FBI are this corrupt -and further asked are they being threatened to not come forward?"

Well, the later sure seems true when you consider Ms. Gristz statements, particularly " the fear of those within the FBI to report individuals like McCabe for fear of retaliation. "

This is the level of corruption that ought to bring this entire cabal to their knees and place them behind bars. Hopefully Judge Sullivan's intuitions will be bolstered by Ms. Gristz' letter.

runswithscissors , 19 minutes ago link

The FBI is corrupt to the core...from top to bottom. If she joined the FBI to "uphold the Constitution" or "serve the American People" or some other horseshit then that was her first mistake. The FBI is a completely corrupt & unconstitutional organization that protects only the (((globalists))) and other enemies of freedom. The Hoover Buliding should be padlocked and all of the agents of evil put on trial for treason.

Macho Latte , 6 minutes ago link


Like I said earlier today,

Flynn was an example to the rest of the Trump supporters. His guilt or innocense was/is meaningless and irrlevant to the Prog Attack Dogs. The message was/is clear:
"We are the Power. Resistance is futile. Bend your knee or we will destroy you."

It is prudent for reasonable people to believe that the Progs have spent the past couple years destroying evidence that can be used against their gods (Obama, Clinton, Soros, etc.) and their cohorts.

There is no penalty or negative consequence for the Mueller team who engaged in "unethical" activity. None of them will have to answer to anyone or disgorge the millions of dollars in "fees" they have been paid by the Sheeple.

All Progs must hang.
Christopher Wray must hang next.

[Dec 13, 2018] Michael Cohen Sentenced To 36 Months In Prison

Dec 13, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Update 5: Cohen has been sentenced to 36 months in prison for his crimes, far below the guideline of 51 - 63 months laid out by New York prosecutors. The Judge noted that the guidelines aren't binding and had the ability to issue a lesser sentence.

Cohen has also been hit with forfeiture of $500,000, restitution of $1.4 million and a fine of $50,000. He will be allowed to voluntarily surrender on March 6 .

Update 4: Judge Pauley has responded following Cohen's statement, saying "Mr. Cohen's crimes implicate a far more insidious crime to our democratic institutions especially in view of his subsequent plea to making false statements to Congress," adding that Cohen's crimes warrant "specific deterrence."

Update 3: Cohen has spoken, telling the Judge: "Recently the president tweeted a statement calling me weak and it was correct but for a much different reason than he was implying. It was because time and time again i felt it was my duty to cover up his dirty deeds." Judge William Pauley, meanwhile, noted that Cohen pleaded guilty to a " veritable smorgasbord of fraudulent conduct ," which was motivated by "personal greed and ambition."

Update 2: Petrillo, Cohen's attorney, continues to reference Cohen's desire to cooperate further with prosecutors to answer future questions - however Manhattan prosecutors don't appear to care, according to Bloomberg banking reporter Shahien Nasiripour. In a memo last week to the court, they said that Cohen's promise to cooperate further is worthless - especially since there would be nothing requiring him to do so once he's already been sentenced.

Meanwhile, Jeannie Rhee - an attorney with Robert Mueller's office, told the court that while Cohen lied to the special counsel's team during his first interview in July, he has been truthful since.

Manhattan Assistant US Attorney Nicolas Roos, however, says that any reduction in sentence "should be modest."

Roos added that Cohen "has eroded faith in the electoral process and compromised the rule of law," and that he engaged in " a pattern of deception of brazenness and greed ."

Update: Cohen's attorney, Guy Petrillo, says Cohen thought that President Trump would shut down the Mueller probe, and has argued that his client's cooperation warrants a lenient sentence.

"Mr. Cohen's cooperation promotes respect for law and the courage of the individual to stand up to power and influence," said Petrillo.

"His decision was an importantly different decision from the usual decision to cooperate," added Petrillo. "He came forward to offer evidence against the most powerful person in our country. He did so not knowing what the result would be, not knowing how the politics would play out and not even knowing that the special counsel's office would survive."

"The special counsel's investigation is of the utmost national significance... Not seen since 40 plus years ago in the days of Watergate." -Guy Petrillo

Petrillo has asked the judge to "consider Cohen's "life of good works" in his decision, adding that Cohen's cooperation stands in "profound contrast" to others who havern't cooperated and who "have continued to double-deal while pretending to cooperate."

***

Michael Cohen, former longtime personal lawyer for President Trump, has shown up to a New York courthouse where he will be sentenced on Wednesday for a laundry list of crimes - some of which implicate Trump in possible wrongdoing, but most of which have nothing to do with the president. Judge William Pauley, meanwhile, noted that Cohen pleaded guilty to a " veritable smorgasbord of fraudulent conduct ," which was motivated by "personal greed and ambition."

Update 2: Petrillo, Cohen's attorney, continues to reference Cohen's desire to cooperate further with prosecutors to answer future questions - however Manhattan prosecutors don't appear to care, according to Bloomberg banking reporter Shahien Nasiripour. In a memo last week to the court, they said that Cohen's promise to cooperate further is worthless - especially since there would be nothing requiring him to do so once he's already been sentenced.

Meanwhile, Jeannie Rhee - an attorney with Robert Mueller's office, told the court that while Cohen lied to the special counsel's team during his first interview in July, he has been truthful since.

Manhattan Assistant US Attorney Nicolas Roos, however, says that any reduction in sentence "should be modest."

Roos added that Cohen "has eroded faith in the electoral process and compromised the rule of law," and that he engaged in " a pattern of deception of brazenness and greed ."

Update: Cohen's attorney, Guy Petrillo, says Cohen thought that President Trump would shut down the Mueller probe, and has argued that his client's cooperation warrants a lenient sentence.

"Mr. Cohen's cooperation promotes respect for law and the courage of the individual to stand up to power and influence," said Petrillo.

"His decision was an importantly different decision from the usual decision to cooperate," added Petrillo. "He came forward to offer evidence against the most powerful person in our country. He did so not knowing what the result would be, not knowing how the politics would play out and not even knowing that the special counsel's office would survive."

"The special counsel's investigation is of the utmost national significance... Not seen since 40 plus years ago in the days of Watergate." -Guy Petrillo

Petrillo has asked the judge to "consider Cohen's "life of good works" in his decision, adding that Cohen's cooperation stands in "profound contrast" to others who havern't cooperated and who "have continued to double-deal while pretending to cooperate."

***

Michael Cohen, former longtime personal lawyer for President Trump, has shown up to a New York courthouse where he will be sentenced on Wednesday for a laundry list of crimes - some of which implicate Trump in possible wrongdoing, but most of which have nothing to do with the president.

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Cohen, who went from claiming he would "take a bullet" for President Trump to stabbing his former boss in the back, faces sentencing on nine federal charges , including campaign finance violations based on a hush-money scheme to pay off two women who claimed to have had affairs with Trump, as well as making false statements to special counsel Robert Mueller.

Prosecutors alleged that Cohen paid off two women at the "direction" of "Individual-1," who is widely assumed to be Trump.

Prosecutors said the payments amounted to illegal campaign contribution s because they were made with the intent to prevent damaging information from surfacing during the 2016 presidential election, which Cohen pleaded guilty to in August.

Legal experts view the filing as an ominous sign for Trump , suggesting prosecutors have evidence beyond Cohen's public admissions implicating the president in the payoff scheme. While the Justice Department has said previously that a sitting president cannot be indicted, that would not stop prosecutors from bringing charges against Trump once he leaves office. - The Hill

New York prosecutors have recommended that Judge William Pauley impose "a substantial term of imprisonment" on Cohen - which may be around five years. Cohen's attorneys, meanwhile, have asked Pauley for a sentence which avoids prison time - citing his cooperation with the Mueller probe and other investigations which began prior to his guilty plea last summer. Mueller said that Cohen had "gone to significant lengths to assist the Special Counsel's investigation," having met with Mueller's team seven times where he reportedly provided information useful to the Russia investigation. The special counsel's office has recommended that any sentence Cohen receives for lying to Congress should run concurrently with the charges brought by the Manhattan federal prosecutors.

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Cohen, 52, pleaded guilty in August to tax evasion, lying to banks and violating campaign finance laws - charges filed by the US Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York.

The campaign finance charges relate to his facilitation of two hush-money payments to porn star Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal shortly before the 2016 presidential election. Both women say they had sex with Trump in the prior decade. The White House has denied Trump had sex with either woman.

Prosecutors say the payments were made "in coordination with and at the direction of" Trump, who is called "Individual-1" in a sentencing recommendation filed last week.

Cohen's crimes were intended "to influence the election from the shadows," prosecutors wrote. - CNBC

In November Cohen also pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about the Trump Organization's ill-fated plans to develop a Trump Tower in Moscow - a project floated by Cohen and longtime FBI asset who had been in Trump's orbit for years, Felix Sater. Cohen claims he understated Trump's knowledge of the project. He also lied to Congress when he said that the Moscow project talks ended in early 2016, when in fact he and the Trump Organization had continued to pursue it as late as June 2016.

On Wednesday, Stormy Daniels' lawyer, Michael Avenatti - who is in attendance at Cohen's sentencing, said in a Wednesday tweet that Cohen "thought we would just go away and he/Trump would get away with it. He thought he was smart and tough. He was neither. Today will prove that in spades."

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We wonder how much Avenatti will pick up of the $293,000 in legal fees Stormy Daniels was ordered to pay Trump?

Tags Law Crime Politics

pedoland , 8 minutes ago link

Did the State of New York REVOKE his license to practice law yet?

Is a felony conviction automatic revocation in NY?

It would be funny if he was still able to practice law in NY, legally as a convicted felon.

I assume criminal fraud is a felony in NY.

jafo2me , 2 hours ago link

Trump's paying around $280,000 in " hush money " .. out of his own pocket is dwarfed into virtual insignificance by Obama's Presidential Campaign in 2008..,.

BEING FOUND "GUILTY" OF ILLEGAL USE OF 2 MILLION IN CAMPAIGN MONEY

barely reported by the media that saw THE OBAMA DOJ decide not to prosecute Obama and instead quietly dispose of this

"REAL CRIME" with a fine of 375 thousand dollars by the US FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISION.

Welcome to the two tier Justice System we all live under..

One for the Deeeep State Globalist Elite and .. the other...

Life In Prison or execution for the rest of us.

[Dec 12, 2018] Mueller's Investigation is Missing One Thing A Crime by Peter Van Buren

Notable quotes:
"... Peter Van Buren, a 24-year State Department veteran, is the author of ..."
"... Yes, he (and I) read the filings. They are merely the assertions of overzealous Democrat prosecutors in the SDNY that used to work for Preet Bharara and have political/personal axes to grind. Witness past much more egregious instances of what they claim as a felony that have been resolved without charges by fines – most recently, Barak Obama's campaign finance violations. ..."
Dec 12, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

If he had something on Trump, we would have been watching impeachment hearings by now.

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We last looked at what Mueller had publicly -- and what he didn't have -- some 10 months ago, and I remained skeptical that the Trump campaign had in any way colluded with Russia. It's worth another look now, but first let's give away the ending (spoiler alert!): there is still no real evidence of, well, much of anything significant about Russiagate. One thing that is clear is that the investigation seems to be ending. Mueller's office has reportedly even told various defense lawyers that it is "tying up loose ends." The moment to wrap things up is politically right as well: the Democrats will soon take control of the House; time to hand this all off to them.

Ten months ago the big news was Paul Manafort flipped; that seems to have turned out to be mostly a bust, as we know now he lied like a rug to the Feds and cooperated with the Trump defense team as some sort of mole inside Mueller's investigation (a heavily-redacted memo about Manafort's lies, released by Mueller on Friday, adds no significant new details to the Russiagate narrative.)

George Papadopoulos has already been in and out of jail -- all of two weeks -- for his sideshow role. Michael Avenatti is now a woman beater who is just figuring out he's